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Central  1965  Digest



December 2008


We’re the best there is alive; we’re the class of ‘65



From the editor:

I’ve come to believe the reason God told Eve to stay away from that certain tree is because it was covered with poison ivy.  For the wages of sin is ---rashes, terrible itching, and misery.  Like Eve, I didn’t listen to Him either and spent about a month in torment.


Unfortunately, I have to report on news of several deaths.  Some of these happened a few years ago and I simply don’t have more information about the persons, the way I have information about others.  It’s certainly not to belittle the lives of any of our classmates if I report less on them than I do on others.  As I’m finding lost classmates, it appears some of them are deceased.  Maybe as we get closer to finding them all (only 35 left), the number of obituaries will lessen. 


I apologize to anyone who would complain that I didn’t tell them about Raymond Adams at the time of his death.  I learned around that time that Raymond was a very private person and I was torn as to whether or not to send out an e-mail.  Since he chose to have no funeral or visitation, I made the decision (right or wrong) to keep silent until this newsletter where we could honor him.


A new column has been added to this newsletter.  For lack of a better name, it will be called “Funny Stories from High School”.  The first story was submitted by Bryant Millsaps and I look forward to hearing from you with your own stories – and I KNOW that each one of you has a story.  I bet Bill Harless has quite a few funny stories.  If you don’t want to spend the time to type it and e-mail it to me, just give me a call at 423-344-5619, tell me your story.  I’ll type it and include it in the next newsletter.


                      Linda Smiley Wilson





Raymond Adams


Raymond Thomas Adams, 61, a lifelong resident of Hamilton County, died on October 22, 2008.

In 1969 he received a Bachelor of Science degree from Middle Tennessee State University and in 1975 received his Master of Arts degree.

Raymond was a social studies teacher in the Hamilton County Schools and the Chattanooga Public Schools for 23 years, 21 of which were at Tyner High School where he served as a Chairman of the Social Studies Department, yearbook adviser, stage manager, faculty representative for the Hamilton County and Chattanooga Education Associations, delegate to NEA and TEA, Senior Class sponsor and Senior Trip coordinator.

After retirement he joined the adjunct faculty at Cleveland State Community College where he taught American history for nine years.

Raymond was a member of the Organization of American Historians, the National Education Association, the American Historical Association, and the First Baptist Church in the Golden Causeway.

A musician and singer, Raymond was a charter member of the cast of Mountain Opry on Signal Mountain, where he performed for more than 28 years.

Prior to his death, Raymond designated that his body be used for medical research through the Genesis Donor Program.


Raymond Thomas Adams



Tribute from Bobby Byrd:


Sadly, our good friend and former classmate, Raymond Adams, passed away peacefully Wednesday evening (October 22)  at the Memorial Hospital Hospice Unit after a courageous two-year battle with lung cancer.  His death came just six days after his 61st birthday with his family at his side.  He is survived by two younger sisters, and an older brother.  In life, Raymond was a devoted and dedicated school teacher, and in death he will continue to make a contribution to education by donating his body for medical research.  Per Raymond’s request, there will be no funeral or memorial service.  He will surely be missed by all of us.

 “To everything there is a season…a time to be born and a time to die.”




Dina Carole Farmer Breedlove

The following message was received from one of Dina Farmer’s friends. 


Dina Carole Farmer (Breedlove) passed away about 5-6 years ago of cancer. I graduated in 1966 and Dina was a classmate of mine freshman year, but graduated in 1965 early.



Diane Stone Perry


Diane Stone Perry died Jan. 15, 2004.  She was my half sister.


Linda LaParry Newell

      (Class of '61)

Robert W. Hudson


Robert W. Hudson, 61, formerly of Chattanooga, died on Friday, November 28, 2008, at the VA Hospital in Decatur, GA, following a prolonged illness.  Robert had suffered several small strokes, causing his health to decline.


Robert Hudson


Mr. Hudson was born in Chattanooga to James and Rebecca Hudson. He was a graduate of Central High School, attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity and Eastwood Baptist Church.

He was a U.S. Navy Vietnam War veteran, worked in commercial truck sales, and enjoyed golf and bowling.

He was preceded in death by his parents.  Surviving are his children, Rebekah Joy Hudson and Robert W. Hudson II of Chattanooga; sisters, Janet H. (Charlie) Trinks of Lawrenceville, Ga., and June H. McBride of Chattanooga; brothers, Jerry R. (Judy) Hudson of Thomasville, Ga., and Richard L. (Gaye) Hudson of Harrison; and several nieces and nephews.
Burial was at Chattanooga National Cemetery with American Legion Post 95 providing full military honors.

Memorial donations may be made to VA Medical Center, In Memory of Robert W. Hudson, 1670 Clairmont Road, Volunteer Services (135), Decatur, Ga. 30033.


Darryl  Phillips


I received an e-mail from someone who knew Darryl Phillips. That person told me Darryl was deceased because they remembered reading his obituary. I then looked on the Hamilton County Library website and found an obituary for William Darryl Phillips, March 24, 1992.


Bernard Lewis


After having heart disease for 20 years, Bernard Lewis underwent open heart surgery in August 1983.  Six days later he suffered another heart attack, which took his life.  He was 37 years of age.


He and his wife of 14 years, Nevely Basham Lewis, were living in Houston, Texas at the time of his death.  Bernard is a former City of Chattanooga policeman.




Dorothy LaVada Byrd, 91, the mother of Bobby Byrd passed away on November 19, 2008 in a local hospital.

She was a member of Red Bank Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Byrd was born September 6, 1917 in Soddy, TN. She graduated from Soddy High School in 1935 and the Wiley School of Business in 1937.  Mrs. Byrd retired from the accounting department of Erlanger Hospital in 1979.



Jerry Wilson, Jr.

(son of Linda Wilson-Wilson)


Jerry Edward Wilson, Jr., 40, son of Linda Wilson-Wilson passed away on November 19, 2008 in a local health facility. 

Mr. Wilson was a resident of Chattanooga and a graduate of the 1986 class of Ringgold High School.
He was employed with M.H.I. for over 14 years, was a member of the Brainerd Lions Club, and attended Woodland Park Baptist Church. He was a sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserves, stationed in Decatur, Al., serving in the 663rd Squadron, formally of the 844th, having served in Kuwait in 2005.





Wayne Billingsley


A graduate of the class of 1961, Wayne Billingsley, passed away on December 3.  In case some of you may know or remember him, you can check out his obituary at: http://www.myfamily.com/isapi.dll?c=Content&htx=View&siteid=SN3ZAE&contentid=ZZZZZXLT&contentclass=PICT&categoryid=0




Keep up with Pat and Jerry Mayfield by logging on to the following website, then clicking on journal:






Max Smith is facing knee surgery.  He must undergo a stress test before his internist will sign-off on setting a date for the surgery.


Larry Shackelford

My mother passed away October 12.  The good part of that is that she was 90, had a good life, and was a Christian.

I am having surgery on my lower back Nov. 18, followed by removal of a basal cell carcinoma from my nose Dec. 8th. Not looking forward to either of these events.

Nov. 12 update (Larry Shackelford):

Went to pre-admission testing and they told me I am having aDecompressive lumbar Laminectomy with posterior lateral fusion, posterior lumbar interbody fusion pedicle screw fixation”. Sounds nasty to me.  A lot of words to say they are going to fuse L5 to S1, in my lower back, with rods and screws and some homes made glue that will contain the ground up bone spurs that will be removed from L3 through L5 and S1 through S3.

The surprise was that I will not be able to sit for more than 15 minutes a day for the next three weeks. OK to stand or lay but not sit.  After three weeks I’ll get new instructions.





Plans are quickly coming together for our 2010 reunion.  Below is the latest.


The committee met on October 15 and voted to pursue plans for an ocean   cruise aboard Carnival’s Triumph in March 2010.  It will be a 5-night cruise and will leave from the port of New Orleans, making stops in Progreso and Cozumel, Mexico.   We will be actively working on this and will send out a letter to all classmates around June 2009.  I wanted to give you a heads-up so you can be getting your passports, saving money, and losing weight.  A passport will cost approximately $130 and you should receive it within three weeks from the time you apply for it at the post office. 


In order for us to get group rates, I will need to call Carnival Cruise Lines and reserve a certain number of rooms.   I plan to do this around June 2009 and will send out the letter to you at that time.  When you get your letter, you will need to contact the cruise line and make your reservation, using our booking number.   A down payment of $200 per person will be due at the time you make your reservation, with the balance due four months before departure.


If you think you will be going on the cruise, please contact me as soon as you can and let me know.  THIS IS NOT A COMMITMENT ON YOUR PART.  It is merely a method to let me know how many rooms to reserve.  If I reserve too many rooms, we can release them a month before departure with no charge to us.  If, however, I don’t reserve enough rooms, anyone registering after the quota is filled will not be eligible for the lower rates given on our booking.  So – PLEASE let me hear from you if you think you may go on the cruise.



A date has also been set for the second phase of the reunion.  We will have our Saturday night event on April 17, 2010, along with a casual get-together on Friday the 16th.  There’s a lot of work to be done in preparation for this reunion, and we will mail out another letter prior to this event.


W. L. Goodman has offered his new 16,000 square foot warehouse as a location for our reunion.  That should save us a lot of money and this savings will be passed on to you.  There will be other expenses, however, such as two USPS mailings, decorations, props, catering, etc.  If you would like to make a donation to offset some of these costs, please mail your check (made payable to Central High School, Class of 1965) to:


Treva Jay Schlosshan

Treasurer, CHS Class of 1965

909 Belvoir Hills Circle,

Chattanooga, TN  37412


The initial cost to set up our class website was $350, and the annual fee to maintain it is $59.  That fee includes the addition of reunion pictures.  If we want to add other pictures, the charge is $10 per picture.  If you would like to contribute toward the cost of the website, please send your donations to Treva also.




John Kuntz


I spent 33 years in the military.  After being kicked out of ETSU, I entered the Air Force (1966-1970); then Army 1973-2001.  But, I finally got smart and went back to college in 1975.  Colleges:  University of Maryland (1979); Washington College (1982) Johns Hopkins (1985 and 1989); I just finished my PhD in English at the University of Glamorgan, Cardiff, Wales, U.K., (2008). 


Of course, I would like to get together with everyone next summer.  I teach ROTC and write most of the time.  I now live near Charleston, S.C. 


Note:  John is a published author, with a children’s book, entitled Tennessee Tiger.




Linda Smiley Wilson


When you were in high school, did you feel you were not a part of the “in” crowd?  If so, you were not alone.  In school I thought I was probably at the very bottom of the list when it came to popularity.  Getting out into the workforce literally forced me out of my shell.  I have also made a concerted effort to overcome the things in my life that I didn’t like about myself and, although it’s taken 40+ years, it’s been worth it.


I’ve had the privilege to get to know and become friends with some of those that I considered to be the most popular students - people that I feared would brush me off if I dared to speak to them in school.  Well, guess what?  Those students tell me that they didn’t think they were popular either - and they don’t brush me off.


As I’ve pondered over all this, I have come to realize that no matter how we were treated in our childhood or even in our teen years, we don’t have to continue to allow others to determine how we feel about ourselves in our adult lives.  (At this point I want to say that not a single student at Central did anything to make me feel bad about myself; my lack of self-esteem began when I was a baby and was the result of living in a family with severe emotional problems). 


I’ve learned that we can choose to forgive those people who may have hurt us, face up to our fears, do the things to become the person we want to be, and enjoy life.  We’re 61 years old.  We’re too old to have regrets or carry around negative emotional baggage. 


Working on the reunion committee has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done for myself, and I cherish each phone call, letter or e-mail that I receive from any of my classmates.   I challenge anyone who felt they were less than popular in high school to get involved with our class.  You’ll find that you will be accepted and as much a part of the class as anyone.  Our class has some of the most wonderful people you could ever meet.  Don’t pass up the opportunity to get to know them.


If you attend a meeting or a reunion, just go up to someone you didn’t know in school and introduce yourself.   That person may be too shy to approach you.  My husband has been known to tell fellow classmates that he used to sit beside them in history class, or was in a club with them, or if they were female, he would tell them that he used to date them….at our age, they probably wouldn’t remember anyway.  haha      And yes, Bryant, I really did sit behind you in English class.





The picture below was taken at the October 15 reunion committee meeting, and was submitted to the Times Free-Press, announcing our reunion plans and asking for classmate contact information for all three classes.


October 15, 2008 meeting


Seated left-to-right: Treva Jay Schlosshan, Linda Smiley Wilson

Standing left-to-right: 

W. L. Goodman, John Slaten (class of 1964), Lori Harless Grauso, Ken Lytle, Max Smith, Charlie Saylors, Harry Phillips (class of 1963) and Mike Pleasant.




As you already know, when you add your bio to our class website, you are asked for the name of your favorite song from that time.  That song is then added to the nostalgia page and you can listen to the songs by clicking on the link.  If you wish to add more songs, see the info below from our webmaster.


From Wiley:

One of your classmates emailed me and asked about adding a personal music player to his bio.  If anyone is interested, this is how it works:


The songs that I add to the music players are not mine.  They are uploaded to the internet by individuals that like to share music.  Most are stored on UTube.  Therefore, I don't have control of the quality of the music and not all songs can be found when I do a search.  Also, I've noticed that sometimes songs sometimes disappear from the playlist.  I suppose that is because the person who uploaded it has deleted it from the internet.  I also don't have any control over that.    So.....having said all that, the deal is:

Mail check payable to Wiley Poole to:


Wiley Poole

9801 Stemwell Point

Richmond, Va.  23236


Bryant Millsaps

Below is a story Bryant related to us and which also reflects the things he’s done in his life since graduation.  He has also submitted his bio on our class website, and encourages the rest of you to do so.

Bryant adds:  Hope that this will serve as a motivator for others to join in with their info.

This is a true story.  On the Sunday morning after I had been elected the Executive Director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, my mother was sitting in her Sunday School Department opening assembly, when the following conversation took place:

Dept. Director:  “Miss Myra, I saw in the newspaper this morning that Bryant had been elected to lead THEC.  I know that you are proud of him.” 

My Mother:  “Well, Arnold, I’m proud of both of my boys.”

DD:     “Well, I know that you are.  But this is a special accomplishment for Bryant.”

MM:   “I know it is.  But he’s been a teacher, a commission salesman, Asst. Clerk and Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives, served as Secretary of State, created and ran his own company, and now this.  To be perfectly honest with you Arnold, I just wish he could figure out how to keep a job!”

Of course everyone got a good laugh out of that.  But that has always served as a reminder to me that whatever I have “accomplished” in life, I have been able to do because of other people, who given enough time, could make even me look good.  And kinda at the beginning of that process are the experiences I had and the friends that I made at Central.  So whatever I’ve accomplished, it has been because of a lot of wonderful people over the years like you and so many others who encouraged me when I was a student at Central.  If I had to select some of the most significant places in my life, Dodds Avenue would certainly be on the list.  For me those were six of the most wonderful years of my life.  My only regret was that I didn’t realize that at the time.

That is one of the reasons why I cherish our reunions so much.  It gives me a chance to see and talk with folks who, for the most part, have no idea how much they meant to me then and still do today.


Pat Clay Mayfield


Hi there, Hope this finds you doing well and ready for a blessed Thanksgiving. Loretta asked me to send you a note for the newsletter.


One of the things I have had on my mind since Jerry and I last heard our son preach a few weeks ago, is about Christmas. In preparing for the Christmas season Brian was challenging their church to think about “Who Stole Christ's Birthday?" Instead of giving unwanted or needed stuff to our family and friends, why not really celebrate Jesus birthday?   


It's really very simple to do acts of kindness for someone in need and let someone else know this is what I am giving you. For instance, we plan to send a gift card to a soldier to either use or send back to his family that might be in need. There are several ways to accomplish this. Letting our grandchildren pick out an item for another child in need, especially when they understand this other child may not have any shoes or even food to eat. You can set aside what you would spend on a gift and send to any utility company for someone who is about to lose their power.


It is important to see this as a gift to Jesus. I believe the Lord is trying to get His people to focus on what we are actually here for. To help others and lead them to Him. Personally I would like to see a lot less glitter and a lot more about Emanuel!


Oh well, enough said. Blessings to you and the family....

Pat Clay Mayfield

W. L. Goodman


Congratulations to W. L. Goodman on the success of his office furniture company, Office Coordinators.  They are celebrating 35 years in business.  New curb appeal changes have been made to the store front and a 16,000 square foot warehouse has been built.


Check out the following newspaper article regarding his business. 






Two of our classmates, David Gault and Ron Lance, live in the Houston, TX area, and we’re glad to learn they both survived Hurricane Ike with no devastating effects.  They both live about 60 miles from the coast and chose to remain at home and weather the storm.


From Ron:

Thanks for thinking of us.  The Lord was with us.  I live 60 miles from the coast.  Winds were 70-90 mph.  We lost trees, roof tiles, water, electric power – but STILL HERE!!




Ron Lance


I’m just glad Hurricanes Ike and Tina weren’t in town at the same time.  Talk about a wild storm.  That’s just my sad attempt at humor….. 

Your humble editor




Lori Harless Grauso


Many thanks to Lori who is on a mission to get as many bios as possible posted on our class website.  She has encouraged quite a few classmates to add their bios and tries to contact at least five of you each week.  But don’t wait for her e-mail.  Go ahead and post your bio today. 


Lori gets 10 points for every bio that is posted.  Now if we can just figure out how she can cash in those points…..




Chattanooga Central

football history



Check out the following website.  http://www.chattanoogan.com/articles/article_135668.asp\


It is a really good history of Central High football and was written by our own Charles Sedman, Class of 1963.  Charles sent me the following e-mail message which I wanted to share with you because it endears to us even more our own Coach E. B. Etter and our principal, Dr. Hobart Millsaps.


Charlie Sedman (class of 1963)

My Dad started passing a football to me when I was age two. It was always a given that I would play for Coach Etter.  E.B. and Helen were the closest to Royalty as I will ever know.  I still go fishing with Bobby Etter whenever we can get together, and dine with the Etter Clan.  I owe more than I can ever repay to Coach Etter and Hobart Millsaps.  The articles on Central Football are a small repayment, with emphasis on the coaches and administrators that made it all possible.  I may bite the bullet someday and expand to a book on Central High School history. My blood still runneth purple and gold.  John Slaten and Harry Phillips are two of my old teammates; whom I don’t see often enough.

Having said that, I would love to come to the reunion meetings, but I have a major logistical problem in that I live 420 miles from Chattanooga, am helping my wife care for a blind 83-year-old father-in-law and a one-year-old grandson (not to mention my engineering consulting business and a 12-acre fruit farm).  Plus I am recovering from prostate cancer surgery of August 28 (prognosis excellent).  My articles on Central football are helping me cope with the long, slow recovery.  Except for the aforementioned, I would be at every meeting kicking butts and taking names.




One day in Miss Hoosier’s 8th grade English class, she got really mad at the boys in the class because she was convinced that one of them had taken her keys.  She held all of us after class and made us late to our next class.  The next day when we came to her class, she was wearing the keys on a ribbon (or something) around her neck.  This was after she found the keys that had been in her desk all the time.


I also remember her keeping me after class for several days to take an exam until I finally made a 100 on it.  I was so afraid of her that it took me an entire week before I could make the 100.  She was determined that her students were

going to learn.


Linda Smiley Wilson


From Bryant Millsaps

As quirky as she seemed to me (and just about everybody else also), her obsession with perfection served me very well on throughout my years at Central and in college.  After getting through Miss Hoosier's class, I had the fundamentals of grammar pretty well conquered.  And the others just kept on adding to it.

I do remember the key incident.  I am not real sure that she ever realized that those keys were a constant sound announcing her coming down the hall.  There was no way she was ever going to sneak up on a class.  To be honest, I'm not real sure that she ever thought about sneaking up on anything!

 Do you remember the day, while we were taking a test, she caught Ricky Jones (God rest his soul) whistling under his breath.  He was sitting right in front of her desk.  She had tried for the better part of 15-20 minutes to catch whoever was doing it.  She looked down, and then quickly looked up and she saw Ricky all puckered up to whistle again.  She jumped up, grabbed Ricky by the shoulders, and pulled him up so hard that it pulled the base of the old desk seat right out of the floor.  As Ricky stood there with the desk hanging off his body, and she was shaking him trying to get his teeth to fall out, Jim Gill, who was sitting in the back of the room, hollered, "TILT!  TILT!

I believe that was as hard as I have ever laughed.  It liked to have killed me to keep it in.  But after she got Ricky out of the desk and drug him out the door to take him to Mr. O'Neal, I laughed until my sides hurt.  As a matter of fact, I'm still laughing about it.

We are so blessed to have been a part of a school where so many people have such fond memories of our school, our friends, and the ways we later learned that our lives were positively influenced by our years there with each other.

Bryant Millsaps


More current Class  Happenings

Looks like someone else has a pool story.  Lori Harless was brave enough and confident enough to grant permission to print this story.


During the early part of this summer, the adults in my family were sitting on the top deck of our pool, watching the grandkids swim.  In my effort to be cool and comfortable, I had gone inside and changed from my swimsuit to a pair of Joe’s old boxer shorts and an old shirt.


After playing in the water for a while, one of the grandbabies decided he wanted out.  When he got onto the deck, I leaned over and was drying him with a towel, making a concerted effort to keep away the myriad of yellow jackets that had invaded our yard this summer.  At that very opportune moment, about six to eight yellow jackets flew up my boxers.  I say opportune for the yellow jackets – inopportune for me.  I started screaming and flailing around. My daughter started screaming that there were  bees in my boxers. In all the chaos and hilarity of the moment, I just pulled the boxers off – right there in front of God and everybody.


I thought my son-in-law would fall off the deck because of all his laughter and I’m just thankful they didn’t have the video camera going that day.





The Harbor Light Restaurant in Soddy-Daisy, TN was the scene of a mini-reunion of classmates and their guests. The occasion was the fact that Bobby Johnson was in town.  Below is a group picture of those classmates in attendance.  (Notice that Janie is almost as tall as Bobby now.)


Pictured left to right: 

1st row: 

Max Smith, Mike Pleasant, Linda Smiley Wilson, Treva Jay Schlosshan, Patti Averitt Gross, W. L. Goodman, Loretta Harless Grauso  

2nd row: 

Bobby Johnson, Janie Young Potter




Diane Liner Eaves


CHARLESTON, SC – October 6, 2008 The Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) has announced its newest chapter, the Palmetto Chapter, serving the Charleston, Columbia, and Myrtle Beach, SC regions.  The Palmetto Chapter announced its 2008-09 Board of Directors composed of senior marketing and business development leaders representing the architectural, engineering, and construction industries.


The board includes:

President – Jennifer Eaves,

Director of Business Development, Liollio Architecture, Charleston, SC


Jennifer has previously been the President of the Lexington, KY Chapter of SMPS, and moved to Charleston, South Carolina in April 2008 and was asked to start a new chapter in Charleston.  Her major from the University of Kentucky was (ISC), Intergraded Strategic Communications.  Jennifer is the daughter of Larry and Diane (Liner) Eaves.


Congratulations to

Jennifer Eaves

daughter of Diane Liner Eaves



Mike McCarty


Sunday (September 7) I completed my first year of retirement. It has gone so fast! Seems like a short time ago I was talking to you and Jerry at the centennial celebration.  I have not made your Jam yet but thanks for mentioning it again.  I may contact Alan Hulgan and we'll go.


I have spent this year going around to hear live music. I've been to Thomson GA (near Augusta), Mongtomery, Chattanooga and Asheville. I'll be back in Chattanooga on September 26 to see Al Anderson at Nightfall and I'm going to try to make the Saturday portion of the Three Sisters Bluegrass show on October 4. On September 19 I'm going to Bristol for a 3-day festival.  Check their story and lineup at bristolrhythm.com. Have you heard about the fest in Chattanooga that same weekend? It's sponsored by Sirrius and has a lot of my kind of people. Their site is chattahippie.com. John Cowan is doing four Tuesdays in September here in Decatur GA at Eddie's Attic. He has the 9th, 16th and 30th left to do. Too Cool!




If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they

Will Rogers 




The following story was received by Tonia Frazier and she sent it to me, requesting that it be included in our newsletter as a way to say a great big THANKS to all of you who served in the military and hope that all of you had a great Veterans Day.  It’s a letter from a lady whose husband, Richard, received a very special tribute from Ann Margaret.

Contrary to the things you may have heard when returning home from Viet Nam, we did support you and we did (and still do) appreciate your sacrifices.


Viet Nam 1966

Richard, my husband, never really talked a lot about his time in Viet Nam, other than he had been shot by a sniper.  However, he had a rather grainy, 8 x 10 black and white photo he had taken at a USO show of Ann Margaret with Bob Hope in the background that was one of his treasures.

A few years ago, Ann Margaret was doing a book signing at a local bookstore.  Richard wanted to see if he could get her to sign the treasured photo so he arrived at the bookstore at 12 o’clock for the 7:30 signing.

When I got there after work, the line went all the way around the bookstore, circled the parking lot and disappeared behind a parking garage. Before her appearance, bookstore employees announced that she would sign only her book and no memorabilia would be permitted.

Richard was disappointed, but wanted to show her the photo and let her know how much those shows meant to lonely GI's so far from home. Ann Margaret came out looking as beautiful as ever and, as second in line, it was soon Richard's turn.
He presented the book for her signature and then took out the photo. When he did, there were many shouts from the employees that she would not sign it. Richard said, "I understand.

I just wanted her to see it."  She took one look at the photo, tears welled up in her eyes and she said, "This is one of my gentlemen from Viet Nam and I most certainly will sign his photo. I know what these men did for their country and I always have time for 'my gentlemen.'"

With that, she pulled Richard across the table and planted a big kiss on him. She then made quite a to-do about the bravery of the young men she met over the years, how much she admired them, and how much she appreciated them. There weren't too many dry eyes among those close enough to hear. She then posed for pictures and acted as if he were the only one there.

Later at dinner, Richard was very quiet. When I asked if he'd like to talk about it, my big strong husband broke down in tears. "That's the first time anyone ever thanked me for my time in the Army," he said.

That night was a turning point for him. He walked a little straighter and, for the first time in years, was proud to have been a Vet. I'll never forget Ann Margaret for her graciousness and how much that small act of kindness meant to my husband.

I now make it a point to say "Thank you" to every person I come across who served in our Armed Forces. Freedom does not co me cheap and I am grateful for all those who have served their country.

Lori Harless Grauso


I posted some pictures from the last reunion committee meeting on www.Myfamily.com and in those pics it appears that an orb (some people believe orbs to be ghosts) had visited us.  We all think it is Lynn Brown.  But....you can go to the above website, select an ID and password and enter to post a response.  It is a website handled by Ed Hoback, a Central graduate.  Lots of us classmates belong.  You can also get to that website from our 65 website by clicking on "Central Connection" and signing in that way.  You will then get daily updates about the site. 


We decided to reserve a seat for Lynn at the Harbor Light Restaurant.  I took a photo of the blank chair and, sure enough, there was an orb above the chair.



Do you have any old pictures made at Central High, the Varsity, Mr. 15, the Rebel, football games, or any other places of importance to us during our high school years?  If so, I would love it if you would scan them and e-mail them to me.  We may be able to use them at our reunion.            

      Linda Smiley Wilson


The reason we get heavier as we get older is because there's a lot more information in our heads.

I do have flabby thighs, but fortunately my stomach covers them.

Merry Christmas and best wishes for a wonderful 2009.




If you can read this, thank a teacher.  If you can read it in English, thank a military veteran.



At this point, please hit the ‘Reply’ button and type “Please add my name to your list of those who plan to go on the cruise.  I will be bringing (one, two, whatever, number of guests).