One risk of attending reunions is in the story telling. Being autobiographical in nature, reunions are an excellent venue for re-living the stories of one’s past, sharing with fellow revelers their inherent nostalgia. The risk arises when one of the listeners volunteers at story’s end, “I don’t remember it that way.” Some people avoid reunions to keep from hearing those dreaded words, preferring to preserve their shaded memories and happy conclusions; but, other yarn spinners wade right in, ready to flash memories like light sabres, may the best story teller win. Here we have two recollections of the same story, both earnestly and affectionately remembered.
From Jack Frick, former high school football player and a quite competent dentist in Portland, Oregon:
There was an athletic contest most of you never heard about, one that involved two members of the Class of ’60. It has been 50 years, so I’m a little fuzzy on the exact details. It started late one night at Jerry’s Drive-In, when several male classmates were standing around their cars, talking and gesturing, as testosterone laden young men are prone to do when bonding. One of the participants was a member of the football team (Ed. note: Jack Frick), and another was a member of the track team (Ed. note: Jim Sullins). The track team member was expounding on his speed in the 100 yard dash, and, being at the end of a long night of partying, there might have been loosening libations that encouraged his confident pronouncements. As a multiple lettered lineman, knowledgeable of the dash man’s limited skills on the football field, it wasn’t possible to let his talk go unchallenged, with libations again playing a role when an immediate race was proposed. The aforementioned testosterone demanded acceptance, so the conclave adjourned, to reconvene on the track at Bellarmine College, where the race was completed. The winner of the race won’t be divulged here, but it’s truthful to say the football player puked his guts out on that field that night.
Hold on there, pigskin purveyor of imperfect recollections, because somebody doesn’t remember it that way. Here’s the way the other racer remembers it.
From Jim Sullins, former high school dasher and a cranky old man living in eastern North Carolina:
It began the night the bronze turtle disappeared from Hogan’s Fountain in Cherokee Park. It was one of those nights around graduation, when dozens of us would gather to bask in the glow of transition, with many secretly wishing it would never end. A large crowd from our class had assembled at the fountain that night. It wasn’t an evening for dates, it was just for being together, boys and girls, to celebrate. I was standing with a group of guys, each of us surreptitiously sipping suds, idly watching somebody wrestle that turtle.
Memories Worth Re-Telling of a Race Not Worth Re-Running
Contributions by Jack Frick and Jim Sullins
A day or two following the big race, the Courier-Journal duly reported the turtle missing from Hogan's Fountain
Suddenly, my attention was jerked back to the group, when a guy tauntingly said, “Sullins, how fast can you run the hundred?” My response, “I ran 10.0 flat once this year,” drew a chorus of guffaws and chortles. “Shoot,” said a nearby football player, “I’ll race you right now.” That challenge didn’t hang out there for long before I accepted. Jack is right about the testosterone part. Somebody assumed the role of organizer and suggested we run the race at Bellarmine, where there was unfettered access to a flat track, unlike the curvy, hilly terrain of Cherokee Park. So, we cranked up and drove the two miles to Bellarmine’s track, alongside Newburg Road. Today, the track at Bellarmine University is a synthetic wonder, surrounding a first rate soccer field. In those days, it was a neglected cinder oval. The organizer positioned Jack and me at the starting line, both of us grinning and both of us churning with too much Falls City beer. At the cry of “Go!” we commenced to run, except after about ten yards the beer made me lean too far forward. I stumbled to my knees, sprawling on all fours, eating cinders and dust. In the dark, with all the observers at the finish line, nobody saw this untimely spill. The football player lumbered on, surely amazed that he couldn’t see or sense hide nor hair or me, but he had nothing to worry about, because I couldn’t catch him. Lord knows I tried, but he won it, fair and square. At the finish line, I was about a stride behind when he veered off into the infield grass, where he returned his Falls City to mother earth. I spent the next two weeks picking cinders from my palms and knees. Yep, the football player won, what he left on the infield notwithstanding. The dash man learned to accept a challenge only when in the condition to meet it. Both of them birthed a memory that night, still rekindled whenever they meet. The eternal question, though, is whatever happened to the bronze turtle?
Tales and Photos Supplied by '60 Classmates
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Vol. 50, No. 1 FERN CREEK, KENTUCKY - Location of Friendliest School in the County October 3, 2010
Remember back in the day, when you didn't worry so much about punishment at school; but, what you would face when you got home? This little incident didn't happen at school, but on the way home. Every now and then, I was allowed to drive a family car to school, as were some of my girl friends. We took turns driving to and from school, talking, giggling and gossiping all the way. Imagine that! One day, when it was my turn, my dad said that I was to come directly home, after letting my friends off at their houses. "Do not, I repeat, do not drive around Jerry's after school. Take your friends to their houses and then you come directly home," he said. "OK, Dad." But on the way home...yeah, you guessed it... I drove around Jerry's anyway and even went in! Dad wouldn't notice the extra time because traffic was usually a little busy then. He would understand and, besides, he wouldn't be home anyway. So, after being inside Jerry’s for awhile, my friends and I walked out into the parking lot, but couldn't find the car. We looked and looked and looked! Where was the car? We couldn't find it anywhere! Nobody locked their cars then, so, “OH MY GOD, SOMEBODY STOLE THE CAR!” Hotwired it or pushed it away. They had to, because I had the keys. My dad was going to be furious and I'd never get to drive again! What was I going to do? I had to call home, but there were no cell phones then. I begged to use the phone inside Jerry's, called home hysterical and Dad answered. "Daddy! I'm at Jerry's and the car is gone! Somebody stole it! I know I wasn't supposed to stop; but, it was only for a few minutes,” I cried. "Oh Honey. Stop crying. I'll be there in a minute and take care of it. It will be alright. You just wait outside with your friends until I get there." Which we did, until he drove up in the “stolen” car. Guess what he said when we got in the car: Nothing. Absolutely nothing. He knew I had already learned my lesson! Yeah, I got to drive that old gray Kaiser again! But Jerry's after school again....hmmm?
The Bryant family chose one of the few truly new post-war cars, manufactured by World War II ship building phenom Henry J. Kaiser.
Barbara Bryant Lechner as she appears on Facebook
Barbara remembers the day Daddy stole the car, but never said "Gotcha!"
Peggy Karem McClusky Learned How To "Really" Dance in an Athens, Georgia Bus Station
Remember those days when a quarter’s worth of gas was all you needed on the way to school! Yeah, it’s another car story from Barbara; but, this time including my friend, Sharon Wagoner. I loved her, but sometimes . . . well . . . let's just say, she could be so "blonde!" One day, we're on our way to school in Sharon’s car and, as usual, had to stop for gas.
Because Sharon was always broke (and always on a diet, which is another story), I gave her the gas money.
On the way to the gas station, I heard a buzzing sound coming from the back of the car. "Sharon. What's that buzzing sound in the back?" "Oh, Barbie, it's just a fly buzzin' around. I'll get it when we stop for gas." "Must be a big one, 'cause it sure is loud!" "Okay, fine," said the blonde. When we pulled into the station, while waiting for the attendant, Sharon opened the door to let the fly out. Then, with the pumping finished and the quarter paid, we again sped toward Fern Creek. "Sharon! I hear that buzz again! I thought you let the fly out." "Well, I opened the door, but I guess it's still in here" At that moment, a back tire went flat! Yep, we arrived late that day and had to do lots of explaining to Commissar Klapheke.
If you knew Sharon like I knew Sharon, then you’d appreciate the way she turned on the charm that got us off the hook.
By the way, I never did understand why she ate my french fries, while always on a diet. Love and miss you, Sharon. (It was my year-long pleasure to be Sharon’s locker partner our senior year. There was seldom a day without something funny or entertaining. It’s tragic that we lost Sharon not long after graduation. She was living in Cincinnati when she was the victim of a brutal murder that remains unsolved. JS)
Here's another chuckle from Barbara, featuring our class blonde, Sharon Wagoner
Sharon Wagoner was voted cutest senior girl and was a cheerleader.
Everybody understood that Sharon was a little "blonde," but we loved her for it.
Band Trips...ah the stories we can tell. Do you remember the soft drink bottles being rolled on a gym floor in Huntsville, Alabama our freshman year, when the boys slept on the high school gym floor, while the girls slept on the stage? How about being snowbound (14"+ of snow), somewhere in Alabama on the way to Mardi Gras in New Orleans our sophmore year; and venturing to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC our senior year, all the while eating Feganbush's apples after each meal. Mr. Walker claimed, "Apples are nature's toothbrush!" A couple of the Fegenbush boys were in the band. Each Band trip was funded by the "World's Finest Chocolate" company. We figured out how to break a bar into neat little sections, and sold half a bar for twenty-five cents during lunch, because to many students, chocolate tasted better than a toasted cheese sandwich and tomato soup. Little did I realize how funding our Band trips by selling "World's Finest" candy would follow me all the days of my career as a high school,and later a junior high, band director. I found I could say to my students, "I had to sell it, now you have to sell it!" And, just as we sold it, so did they!
Debby Murrell, doing what she loves best, as seen on Facebook
Imported from the Guest Book: Debby Murrell Remembers Band Trip Anecdotes and Chocolate Bars