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Central  1965  Digest



June 2008


Weíre the best there is alive; weíre the class of Ď65




From the editor:

I want to thank all of you who prayed for and send cards of encouragement to Raymond Adams and others.  I received a note from Janie Leonard Williams, saying she was very much overwhelmed at the number of calls and e-mails she received from you.  Just proves to me that you guys are Ďthe best there is aliveí.


Our next class meeting will be on Wednesday, August 13 at Office Coordinators on E. Main Street.  It will begin at 6:00.  The speaker will be Attorney Mack OíRear, class of 1966 who will talk on legal issues such as wills.  Please let me know if you will be attending.  Dinner will be served.


                           Linda Smiley Wilson




Margaret Ann ďPargieĒ Claypool, 60, of Harrison, TN, died on Saturday, April 5, 2008.  She is the sister of Jody Bell Welch.  She died of an aneurysm while in line at Walmart.


Even though Pargie was not a Central graduate, we felt some of you may remember her.

Bettye Lorene Rothwell McBride, the mother of Bill McBride and Sherrie McBride Snipes, passed away on Sunday, May 16, 2008, at her home in East Ridge, TN.


Unfortunately, I donít have contact information for either Bill or Sherrie so they wonít receive this newsletter.  If any of you know of their whereabouts, please let me know.    Linda S.  Wilson



It is with great sadness, that I tell you of my fatherís passing.  His funeral was on May 26.
It was a long, hard journey that we took together, and he was able to stay in his home till the end.

Stanley Pyzanowski, 85, passed away on May 22. 

Diane Pyzanowski Johnson





My dad, Jack Denton, passed away.  He was 85 years old.  He was at home. After lunch he always takes a nap.  He fell asleep and did not wake up.  Please pray for our small family which includes our Mom who is 86 years old.  

                                Sandra Denton





My son has cancer again on the left side.  Though he was fine but when they did the MRI, they found two cancer cells on the left side again. 

                             Linda Wilson-Wilson





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






Lori Harless Grauso


In mid-April our own Wonder Woman, Lori Harless Grauso (formerly Loretta Harless Grauso) broke her foot.  After lifting a glass top off a table, she dropped it and it fell onto her foot. 


A few weeks later she got the flu.  As if that wasnít enough, at the time when she was almost recovered from the flu, she was bitten by a brown recluse spider.  Iím sure you all know how devastating those bites can be.


Lori will be retiring from her employment with Waste Management on July 27 of this year.



Raymond Adams

From Bobby Byrd       (April 19, 2008)

I thought you might want to pass this along to our schoolmates so that they might keep Raymond in their thoughts and prayers.


Raymond, who is a lifetime non-smoker, was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer about one year ago.  The disease has now spread to his rib cage, pelvis and hips.


Raymond was a member of the National Honor Society at Central, and he graduated Cum Laude from MTSU with a degree in History.  He later received a Masters Degree from MTSU, and he taught school at Red Bank and Tyner High here in Chattanooga for 23 years.


He also has two sisters, Becky and Sarah Jo, who later graduated from Central.




Tommy Lawhorn


Tommy is suffering from the effects of leukemia.  He also has emphezema and is on oxygen. 


Now retired, he and his wife are taking advantage of their free time to do some traveling and are planning a trip soon to the Grand Canyon. 


Tommy has a really great attitude toward life and depends on his faith to help him get through every day.


Kathy Shields Eckler


About a year ago Kathyís sodium and potassium levels dropped suddenly and she fell, hitting her head.  This caused brain trauma and a total memory loss.


She regained consciousness about a month after the fall, only to learn that her brain was blank.  She could not walk, and she was having seizures.  Therapy began.  She had to literally live her life over again, from age five until the present.  (And I get frustrated when I lose something on my computer and have to re-construct it all over again.) 


Kathy received therapy to learn to walk again.  She also received therapy where she was taught by using flash cards.  For instance, she didnít know what an umbrella was.  She remembered her children, but did not remember their spouses or their weddings.  When it came to trying to remember her high school years, a yearbook would have been helpful, but she couldnít find hers.  Her husband was able to pull up our class website, which contains our yearbook.  Kathy scanned it very closely and now remembers a lot of her classmates as well as the events at school, including that wonderful rotunda.  She was calling off names of a lot of you that she remembered.  This brought home to me the fact that we made the right decision to spend the $350 to have a class website.  Iím so glad we did it and so glad it helped her.


Kathy is still on medication to prevent seizures, so she canít drive. She reads slower and may leave a word off occasionally, and sometimes canít think of the word she wants to say, but those seem to be her only limitations. 


After receiving her bachelorís degree from the University of Tennessee and her masters from Vanderbilt, she taught art at Lebanon, TN High School and Cumberland University. A showing of her work will be at Cumberland University this September and will highlight her specialty Ė historic landmarks.


Doctors still donít know the cause of the sudden drop in her sodium/potassium levels, but Kathy credits her healthy lifestyle for not having injuries any worse than they were.  During the time of her recovery, her husband was, and still is, battling a return of cancer. 


Kathy, on behalf of our class, we are all so very proud of you and your accomplishments.  We are sorry this happened to you but we are so glad that you, our beautiful majorette and our beautiful friend, have done so well in your recovery. 




Jane Leonard Williams


I found my husband, Thom, on the bathroom floor after the dogs alerted me Easter morning at 3am.  We have been in the hospital for two weeks. They found pancreatic cancer. He had part of his pancreas and spleen removedÖÖcut from side to side. I don't know if you remember or not but I work at Erlanger Bledsoe Hospital. We were transferred to North Park Memorial and later Memorial Hospital in Glenwood through an act of God. I have to sing the praises of both Memorial hospitals....everyone was great from housekeeping to the doctors and MICU. I am taking off some time to be with Thom and help him but we will never forget how great everyone was...WOW. Dr. Gwin was his surgeon and was great. All of the doctors were great and I am so thankful to have Thom back. Will keep you informed.


Take care, Love, Jane


Janie Leonard Williams

Update  April 28, 2008

Linda, just a quick note to let you know that we are doing ok.  Thom went back to Dr. Gwin last Monday. It went pretty good. He doesn't have to go back until 2 months. If that CT is negative, he won't have to go back every six months for a CT. They are going to check his urine in about a week as he had plus-2 blood in the urine. The doctor didn't seem too concerned though.



Jerry Johnson

After I graduated from Central, I went to work at Murphyís in Eastgate.  I had taken the Civil Service exam for the Post Office and they called me right after I turned 18 in October.  On November 15, 1965, I went to work for the government.  After about 1-1/2 years I was called again, but this time it was Uncle Sam.  I was drafted on August 9, 1967.  The following January I found myself in Vietnam.  I was in the 9th Infantry in the MeKong Delta. 


I was there for 4-1/2 months before I was shot on May 13, 1968.  Although this year it will be 40 years, I remember it like it was yesterday.  After surgery in Saigon, I was sent to Japan for 70 days and then sent to Ft. Campbell, Kentucky to have another operation.  I was eventually sent to Ft. Riley, Kansas to finish up my two years of military service.  After I got discharged, I had a job waiting in Chattanooga because the Post Office had held my job for me.


I married while in the Army and we had one daughter. The marriage didnít last and we both found someone else.  I met my current wife, Sarah, on my mail route and we have been married 25 years.


My daughter, Lori, gave us two granddaughters, EmaLeigh is 14 and Rebecca is 15.


I retired from the Post Office on November 3, 2006, after carrying the same route for 29 years in Brainerd.





Class  Happenings


Our most recent class meeting was held on Saturday, May 17 at Office Coordinators, of which W. L. Goodman is president.


Tonia Frazier Hooker spoke on issues of concern to us regarding our aging parents.  She covered, among other topics, living wills, nursing home resident rights and power of attorney.


We invited the class of 1963 to join us at our 2010 reunion and they have accepted.  Harry Phillips joined the meeting as the class of í63 rep.  It was decided at the meeting that we should also extend an invitation to the class of 1964.  That invitation was extended and accepted and John Slaten has agreed to be the rep. 


The 2010 reunion will be very different from former ones.  A cruise will be offered.  W. L. Goodman and Patti Averitt-Gross are in charge of the cruise.  The regular reunion will be planned for about two months after the cruise.


The highlight of the reunion will be a play.  It will be a spin-off of ďA Christmas CarolĒ and will be called ďReunions: Past, Present, and FutureĒ.  Our own Mike Pleasant will play the Ebenezer Scrooge role, but his name will be Ö are you ready for this? .... Mike Unpleasant.  It will be an event that will bring back a lot of great high school memories.


We are looking for people to fill some of the acting roles.  We also need people to help with props the night of the play, someone to help with the lights and microphones and we especially need a person who is proficient in Power Point, or other software programs, because we want to project photos onto a large background screen.  If anyone in the class is a professional photographer and can take pictures that night as well as produce a video of the event, please let me know.


Let me know if you are interested in filling one of the above positions.  You do not need to live in Chattanooga to be a part of the play.  Most of the roles can be learned in 20 minutes.


I look forward to hearing from you with a positive response.  If there are any special memories you would like to see recreated, let us know.


I can assure you this is one reunion you do not want to miss.   You will be in the midst of a lot of laughter and fond memories, whether youíre at the meetings, in the play, or attending the reunion.

                              Linda Smiley Wilson





There are only a few bios on our website.  In my effort to entice you to add yours, all biographies that are posted on our website will be entered in a drawing for a nice prize at our reunion.  Go to the website as soon as you finish reading this and add your bio so that your name will be entered in the drawing.           Linda S. Wilson




You can't control the wind, but you can adjust your sails.

Yiddish proverb



New names have been added to our shared e-mail address list and the new list is attached to this newsletter.




Check out the website below for an interesting article on Frawley Field.


I cannot predict the future

I cannot change the past

I have just the present moment

I must treat it as my last


I must use the moment wisely

for it soon will pass away

and be lost to me forever

as part of yesterday


I must exercise compassion

Help the fallen to their feet

Be a friend to the friendless

Make an empty life complete


The unkind things I do today

may never be undone

and  friendships that I fail to win

may nevermore be won


I may not have another chance

On bended knees to pray

And I thank God with humble


For giving me the day




I wanted to end this newsletter by giving you something to laugh at, even if it is at my own expense. 

           From your humble editor



Last summer we had an above-ground swimming pool installed in our yard.  The pool was filled with water, but we had not yet put a ladder on it or built a deck or steps.


One day (and you know how hot and humid it was last summer) I had been outside pulling weeds.  Jerry was at work.  When I finished pulling the weeds, I was so hot and sweaty that I just couldnít stand it anymore.  I HAD to get into that pool.  Immediately, my main objective was to figure out a way to get into it.  I finally decided to bring a folding metal chair up next to the pool (the pool is four feet high.)  I stepped onto the chair and lifted my body onto the edge of the pool (which youíre not supposed to sit on) and then lowered myself into the water.


Boy, did that water feel good !!!   I probably stayed in the pool for an hour, just thoroughly enjoying every minute of it.  Finally, I realized that I had better think about getting out.  I went over to the edge of the pool and tried to lift myself up.  Have you ever tried to lift your body up four feet and onto a very un-sturdy ledge about 4 inches wide?  Well, it didnít work.  I went back in the water and tried to think of a way to get out of the pool.

One option I had was to just stay in the water until Jerry got home; but then I thought that if an airplane is late, it could be hours before he got home (he works for American Eagle Airlines.)  Iíd look like a prune by that time.

I didnít have a phone with me, so I couldnít call anyone to help.  Even if I had one, Iím not sure my pride would have allowed me to call.


So, once again, I tried to lift myself up Ė still no success.  I finally thought that Iíd try to get out the way I got in.  I was a bit leery about putting the folding chair in the water because I was afraid the feet on the chair legs might puncture the plastic lining of the pool, then Iíd really be in trouble.  Fortunately, the feet had those little rubber thingies on them.  I leaned over the edge of the pool and tried to get the chair.  I could barely reach it.  I finally managed to get it over into the pool where I stepped up on it and lifted myself up to the edge of the pool (once again, where I was not supposed to be sitting.)


Ah, progress.  Now Iím sitting on the edge of the pool and looking down at the gravel four feet below me, thinking that Iím gonna have to jump down.  (Hey, Iím 60 years old Ė not 12 and weigh more than I should.)  At that point, however, I didnít have any other choice.  I jumped down and hit my feet on the gravel.  That didnít feel very good.  I then leaned over the pool and lifted the chair out and prayed that there was no puncture in the lining.


Finally --- everything is going well.  Thank goodness I had the foresight to hang a towel on a 4x4 post that would be used to help build a future deck.  Now Iím beginning to feel pretty smart because I had actually thought ahead.  I took the towel and began drying myself.  It didnít take me long, however, to realize that ants had taken over the towel.  At that point I just threw down the towel and ran into the house, brushing ants off of me all the way Ė and thanking God that we live in an area where no one could see me.





Some 60s artists have now changed their original songs to accommodate us aging baby boomers.   See below:


Hermanís Hermits:   Mrs. Brown, youíve got a lovely walker

Ringo Starr:  I get by with a little help from Depends

Abba:  Denture Queen

Bee Gees:  How can you mend a broken hip?

Bobby Darin:  Splish, Splash, I was having a flash

Roberta Flack:  The first time ever I forgot your face

Johnny Cash:   I canít see clearly now

Paul Simon:   50 ways to lose your liver

The Commodores:  Once, twice, three times to the bathroom

Marvin Gaye:  I heard it through the Grape Nuts

Procol Harem:  A whiter shade of hair

Leslie Gore:  Itís my procedure and Iíll cry if I want to

Tony Orlando:  Knock three times on the ceiling if you hear me fall

Willie Nelson:  On the commode again



Just remember -- if the world didn't suck, we would all fall off.



Brick walls are not meant to keep you in, but to see how much you want something.

Mike Pleasant



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