Memories of HHS

When we had our reunion in 1999,
I asked everyone to send me some of their high school memories.
Here's what they wrote.

This is a very long page. Sorry about that, but you can always open it in a new browser and read it later when you are off-line.

Frances Abernathy
The great friends that were made from participating in school sports. At first it was a hard transition transferring from a small, close knit south Memphis school, Southside, to this large school and completely different lifestyle. It was a major change that turned out with great memories.

Steve Allen
The pep rally where the stage band played the same song 4 times with my big solo in it. I've never gotten over my need for applause. And the time the marching band was practicing on a Saturday and during a break I loaded up my mother's '64 Ford with band members and to show off I drove fast around the school. I smashed into the curb in front of the main entrance to the school building.

Cindy Anderson
Mr. Kessler singing "Old Man River" in an assembly
The definitions of ennui and innuendo and an example of a metaphor from Mrs. Hardison's 11th grade English class
Mrs. Hardison making us listen to "Rigoletto" on the Saturday Metropolitan Opera broadcast
Beating Bartlett at basketball in the last second
Mrs. Thomas explaining a full court press

Judy Ashton
Prom night at the Rivermont and wearing the identical dress of another classmate. She was very upset, but it did not really bother me. (I wonder if she will remember?)

Bobby Bailey
One of my favorite incidents in high school occurred in Mrs. Gary's biology class when we were in the 10th grade. Todd Traylor was my lab partner. I can't remember who sat across the table from us. On top of the tables in the middle there were gas jets which they wisely kept turned off with a master valve at the front of the room (we knew this because we would periodically turn one on to see if we could light it). Between us there was a cabinet where we kept our jar of dissection specimens soaking in formaldehyde and our dissection kits. Above this cabinet was an electrical outlet. One day Todd and I were debating whether the electrical outlets were also turned off with a master switch up front. As I remember it, Todd said it was off and I said it wasn't, but we had to know. Todd took the tweezers from the kit and, just in case it was turned on, wedged it between the sole and heel of his shoe. He then proceeded to insert it into the outlet. I won. It was on. There was a very loud pop and lots of sparks. The tweezers began to glow bright red. We rolled up a piece of notebook paper, stuck it between the prongs of the tweezers and flipped them out of the outlet. This ignited the paper which we then had to stomp out. I'm not sure what we were supposed to be doing at the time, but this wasn't it. I knew we were about to receive the full wrath of Mrs. Gary, who was very pregnant at the time. We looked around and she either didn't see or didn't care. It scared the crap out of us.
(Editor's note: Here is Todd's response after reading this.)
oh, that's funny. i remember that like it was yesterday. those tweezers were glowing red hot and sparks were flying all over the place. then, of course, the fire. we caused a huge commotion and to this day, i'll never understand how we managed to stay below the radar with mrs. gary. i liked her. i used to think she was good looking until she got pregnant and all fat.

Ted Barham
I remember Mr. Kessler and how he blew it with the senior class prom fund. Mr. Summers was always dusty from chalk dust, hence the name "Dusty Joe." Mr. Akin was probably one of the best math teachers I ever came across. It's a pity he was so good that he got promoted to Assistant Principal. When we were practicing the alma mater for the senior prom, Mr. Chism told us to sing the second "chapter" again. I remember we used to hang out at McDonald's.
[Editor's note: He won't let me print the "boinking" story.]

Carol Bartlett
It is all in my long term memory bank and I should be able to recall some memories once I get all the current short term stuff out of the way (kinda like my attic).

Alison Barton
Patty Adkins and I decided we were going to be majorettes in the band. The only problem was that neither of us had ever twirled a baton. Over the summer we took a crash course in baton twirling! We were awful, but we had a lot of fun.

Jack Bryant
-Talking to Libbye long distance when she lived in St. Louis
-The taste of a coke over ice from the cafeteria at lunch, after PE
-Mr. Zurhellen nodding off to sleep as he sat in study hall
-Assemblies with the Breakers, the Norsemen; talent shows
-Swimming in an icy motel pool in the dead of winter on a band trip
-Drumming in the marching, concert, jazz band, and in Destry Rides Again
-Mr. Akin getting mad in math class and throwing an eraser across the room
-Breaking in line during lunch and being caught by Mr. Kessler
-The future mayor of Memphis cutting up in Ms. Bell’s English class
-Hitchhiking to school in the mornings, often getting a ride with Jim Terry (band director)
-My ninth grade English teacher almost dying in a car wreck
-Accidentally spilling nitric acid in Mr. Summers’ chemistry class
-Shocking Mr. Summers with the Van de Graaff generator in physics class
-Brenda Breshears' severe sunburn after she fell asleep under a sun lamp
-Driving my car into a ditch while on a date with Libbye, Cindy Anderson, and David Harlan
(Cindy's Note: I remember it well. It was raining and the road and ditch were covered with water. I walked to Kay Allen's house on Bluebird and called my father. With a chain and a '55 Chevy he pulled Jack's VW bug out of the ditch.)

Ellen Bynum
Driving Dennis Cornwall around the neighborhood in my Dad's car, at 15, no permit. Drag racing a quarter mile Randy Henderson's GTO against a Chevy 396 and winning. Appreciating Steve Allen's zen style. Riding horses and doing scouts with Cindy, Teresa, Sherilyn, Merilyn, Pam, et. al. Realizing that Faith Church, Rose Houk and others were always going to be smarter than me no matter how much I studied!

Pam Caldwell
Teacher memory - Ms. Smith always believed I did my best.
Student Memory - Dennis Cornwell always gave my ego a boost.
Biggest Crush - (She decided to leave this one out!)
Biggest Regret - Thank goodness, I couldn't think of one.

Faith Church
My strongest memories from high school are from my participation in drama department productions and activities. Getting up in front of large groups of people to perform did not come easy for me. Several times I was so overcome by fear that I forgot my lines. I thought I would never be able to get over this fear. But in my work now, I have learned how to conduct training sessions for large groups of people without so much fear.

Mike Collins
The "Gang" - Ernie McCracken, Charlie Craft, and Rick Tate

Drinda Cook
Hillcrest was not a great experience for me, so I haven't thought much about it for a long time. The best memory is seeing Cary peeking through the window of Mr. Zurhelen's class. It was the first time I saw him, and I knew I was going to marry him!

Lynn Cook
I remember going to a football game in Millington. We had Susan Gregg driving. She had just moved to Memphis from Jackson, MS. There were several girls in the car including Connie Wright who was a cheerleader. We missed our turn and somehow ended up 10 miles out of Jackson, TN. We found our bearings - got to the game with less than 2 minutes left in the game. I remember the Hillcrest side standing up when we arrived.

Dennis Cornwell
Will never forget working on the Valkyrie, Key Club, and Student Council with all my old buddies whom I miss. Single neatest moment probably is when we beat Bartlett in basketball our junior year when they were #3 in the state with their 7 footer (Remember Sam Howell's jumper from the key and replay at the pep rally the next day? Ha - what a hoot!!) Also remember a pretty good time at the Latin Club convention our sophomore year at Vanderbilt (Rose and spray cheese?).

Mike Coulson
When I first saw that we were to share a highschool memory, I went blank. I could think of a lot of things, but nothing that just stood out. Then I remembered how much I enhoyed Mrs. Tyler's chorus class. I know this sounds strange coming from a person that can't carry a tune, but I do have very fond memories of singing all those songs she taught us. And to this day I still hum and sing some of them. In fact, during the Christmas season while the family is riding around looking at lights and singing carols, I will throw in "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire," and the response from the kids is, "Where did you hear that?" Thanks, Mrs. Tyler, for all those wonderful songs.

Charlie Craft
Mrs. Smith making English class interesting and educational (not an easy thing to do!).

Tommy Cross
Bringing Van Crider to school every day
Having the first ever winning football season '68
playing on a very good baseball team
starting the tradition of the wooden football, myself, Monty Arnold, Van Crider

Phyllis DeAngelis
The most memorable event was the time Danny stole a kiss from me on the stairway between classes. We never expected a teacher across the parking lot to be able to see us. She reported the event. Mr. Kessler, remember him, called us into his office. I was in the 9th grade and Danny in the 10th. I was scared to death. He proceeded to explain how he would have to tell our parents. I cried . . . . .Far cry from the schools today. The kiss was worth it . . . . . . . .We never did it again. I was too scared. Now thirty five years later . . .we laugh at the whole event. That was in a different space in time.

Sharon Donovan
The day we went to school and the morning was rather warm and by 1:00 we were riding the buses home in the snow. We had a great bus driver, Leslie Hays.

Betty Jo English
Dick Hackett sliding down bannister by Ms. White's room

Linda Ford
I remember when the band took an out of town trip for a parade and only 1 majorette had put her uniform on the bus! The rest of us had to watch the parade! I also remember being very proud of our great jazz band. They were very good and pretty unusual for a high school at that time.

Anne Greer
Senior year history teacher (can't remember his name) told all his history classes to study entire book for final exams - there would be one essay question which would pass or fail us for the year. Everyone studied like crazy. The question was: "Who delivers your toys at Christmas?" If you answered Dad, Santa, Saint Nick, etc., you got an A+!!! Thank God! Otherwise, I probably wouldn't have graduated.

Susan Gregg
I was a "new kid" my junior year. I remember a very friendly welcome from the students and supportive staff.

Jackie Haise
Having to sing in front of all school students and faculty. Sang part of "Anastasia" solo as one of Mrs. Tyler's chorus members.

Larry Hanna
Two actually. One had to do with Ernie McCracken, a dance at the "Y", a pint of Cherry Vodka, and . . . . . The other had to do with Dick Hackett, a "small" fire underneath one of those wooden student desks in study hall, and Ms. Noyes sitting/knitting through the whole thing.

Susan Harriman
I have 2 very vivid memories:
1) 9th grade - Chartres McCoy spilled a whole bottle of "Jungle Gardenia" perfume in Mr. Underhill's math class. Every window in the whole school was open for several days. To this day, that scent has remained with me!
2) Junior year, last couple of days of seniors at school. Mr. Terry was directing the band in the lunchroom as a special treat. Bobby Davis (senior at the time) decided to start eating a lemon (behind Mr. Terry, of course, but in front of the entire band). It took him a while to figure out why so many "sour" notes were being played!

Paul Heffington
I remember Nancy Truss's essential goodness and beauty, Mark Meadows' intelligence, Ronnie Houston's craziness. I remember trying to convince Mr. Kessler I was late because I had a flat tire - and that he pointed out I walked 2 blocks to school. I remember a terrific senior prom, and the sweetness of Karen Stafford. I remember great informal debate with Richard Tate; Nashville the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr.'s death. A funny and not funny linked memory followed. You remember martial law was declared, and a curfew enforced. Leaving work at Mickey D's with some buds, we waited on the parking lot for others. In a flash, we were surrounded by National Guard with guns. Looking back, I remember with greatest fondness my friend J. McConnell, and our oath to "hold" at age 19. We tried... Dancing - with anyone who would - and with Sharlene Henders and Terry May who didn't mind my lack of rhythm. I loved the Methodist Church for sponsoring - was it "Teen Town"? - the regular chance to go and dance. Skating with Lynne Ballew and meeting Emily Taylor...I remember snubs and appreciations; my own foolishness; I remember skating all night with Susan Gregg. Though I've forgotten his name, I remember his face - the school janitor who bought us liquor...McCracken, Collins, and Charles Craft... hanging out and talking about all the gorgeous girls (now gorgeous women I suppose) - in our class and the ones behind. Jimmy May, Warren Thomas, Etta Talbert, and Linda Ragsdale. Randy Henderson and Ellen Bynum - what a great couple they the time, and in that place...Monty Arnold's super speech when he ran for class head-knocker...Larry Hanna tossing pennies over the church...Cindy Anderson and the amazing Rucker sisters...Steve Allen - and his love for music...A host of others - unseen in years - A haze of goodness has come over most of my memories - and I've longed at times to see you all. Can hardly wait (I think) to see some of you soon.

Carl Hogan
I remember:
having homeroom with Randy Henderson.
Mickel Graham helping me with algebra.
Chris Lovell and Greg Harris and I going to parties almost every weekend our junior year.
Randy Dismuke and myself burning the highways to Tunica, MS, our senior year.

Rose Houk
I hold many memories from Hillcrest. Ranking as most horrible was having to stand up in front of the class and tell everyone we didn't have Booker T amd the MGs for the senior prom! Among the best was Quiz Em on the Air.

Patsy Hughey
Since I am married to a teacher, I've developed a compassion for them, and I have thought so many times about how mean we were to some of our teachers, especially the substitutes. (I got paid back for that when I was a sub.) I especially remember Ms. Gaston (8th grade, I think) and how Al Johnson and Chris Lovell gave her such a hard time. They were the ring-leaders, and the rest of us followed them. Then there was the time a group of guys turned a teacher's VW bug upside-down. I think it might have been Mr. Richter's.

David Hutchison
Do you remember Trotter's Law of Laziness? Mr. Zurhellen used Richard Trotter to explain to his Algebra I class that there is less effort required to memorize conversion tables than to do a conversion with each problem. Do you remember Miss Johnson reading to her Geometry class just before Christmas break? I think she read "The Fourth Magi."

Al Johnson
Mrs. Claypool's senior English class. On behalf of the 18 of us who disrupted the class, we apologize to the other 3.

Judy Johnson
Greg Harris and I burned a dummy of one of our least favorite teachers at a bonfire (pep rally). Greg had snitched his sister's wig, and it was an awesome dummy!

Jo Lyn Key
I remember the day the drivers ed teacher was trying to teach me how to parallel park. He had set up four coat racks at curbside, and I was supposed to park the car between them. Unfortunately, the curb he chose was directly outside the study hall window. Those coat racks didn't stand a chance. Before it was over, the instructor had lost every ounce of patience and any pretense of professionalism. I will never forget looking up at the windows and discovering that we were providing entertainment for the whole stydy hall. And I never did get that car parked!

David Killebrew
The charging foul against Monty Arnold in the final seconds of the big game against Bartlett in 1967 (ranked number 2 in the state at the time). The game was tied and the Vikings took possession and scored on a last second jumper (by David Jenkins, I think) to win the game 58-56. And the crowd went wild led by the best cheerleading squad in Memphis.

Charles Leadford
One of the funniest had to be when our Latin teacher, Mrs. Creci (?), took a few of us out into the hall for an impromptu swat with the paddle. Her eyesight was never that good, and the first person she swung at (who was bent over in the obligatory position) was hit directly in the back of the head with the paddle and "went down" like the Hindenburg. The rest of us were laughing so hard we couldn't get off the floor, and she was forced to return to the classroom.

John Marable
x equals negative b plus or minus the square root of b squared minus 4ac over 2a

Chartres McCoy
My fondest memory is of Mrs. Tyler in chorus. She was a truly delightful lady! I still think of her often. Best wishes!

Ernie McCracken
This is a tall order, Cindy, but I'll do my best. I'll probably natter on and on like some senile old man, but what the hell.

When I contemplated the concept of remembering times at Hillcrest, the first thing that came to mind was - "ivy loops"! There were two general clothing styles among teenagers then, ivy league and mod.

The requirements for ivy league (what we now call "preppie") were strict. Shirt collars, pleats, and buttons had to be exactly right, as precise as a military uniform. You could have it all perfect, though, and still be a "greaser" if you didn't have an ivy loop in the back. Then some chick would come up behind you and yank it off, sometimes tearing a big rip in the shirt in the process. Girls would collect them, bound together by a rubber band. I think there was a kind of status amongst the ladies as to whose ivy loops they had snagged.

Mod, on the other hand, was wide-open. Anything loud, garish, and unusual was cool. Shirts in polka-dots of all sizes, anything paisley, turtleneck dickies, pirate belts with giant buckles, multicolored ascots or scarves on both girls and boys, skin-tight stovepipe jeans, burlap jeans, Nehru jackets, Beatle hats and boots, etc., etc.

And there was the hair! Bouffant hairdos on girls, Beatle cuts on boys. There were still a few slickumbackers, though, until we poked fun at them enough that they conformed to our nonconformity. I never combed my hair so much in my life! There was the ever-constant effort to keep it out of the eyes, so the principal wouldn't make you get a haircut.

And that all brings to mind the great Cafeteria Boycott. The way I remember it, the principal (William Kessler?) mandated that we all sit in alphabetical order in the cafeteria. We objected, and began a grassroots movement to boycott the food in the cafeteria. We would not buy any food in the cafeteria line, only junk food and soda pop. Almost every student in school participated. After about a week of this, the administration caved. We were allowed to sit wherever we wanted during lunchtime. Power to the pupils!

As to teachers, the more I think about it, the more I remember of them, almost all of them wonderful educators. My two favorites were Elizabeth Smith and Henry Zurhellen.

Mr. Zurhellen always made me think of Allen Funt (Candid Camera). He taught American History with a sense of humor that I don't believe I've seen since. He would pick out the students who were the most obnoxious in class and make them act out historic scenarios in front of the entire class.

Elizabeth Smith was probably the teacher I was closest to (if she will forgive the dangling preposition!). A few months after graduation, I actually dated her daughter Leigh once or twice (until she passed me on to one of her girlfriends from Whitehaven High, Susan Lincoln, just to get rid of me!). Leigh, bless her pea-pickin' little heart, looked just like Carrie Fisher in "Star Wars" -- my, my!

Mrs. Smith was indirectly responsible for me changing my college major back and forth between English and Psychology. She had us to study Shakespeare's "Hamlet", which led me to investigate Freud's concept of the Oedipus complex. At the same time, she initiated in me a love of Shakespeare which continues to this day. I may be one of the few people our age who actually loves the recent "gangstuh" version of "Romeo and Juliet".

Other teachers come to mind also: Mr. Barham, Miss Paxenos, Mr. Stevens, Mr. Richter, Mr. Brown, Mr. Underhill... And then there was Miss Neville, who taught us 7th grade English. She must've been about 80, a rotund little woman who wore turn-of-the-century clothing styles and had never cut her hair in her life, to hear her tell it. She used to draw little stick-men pictures of "Patty Participle" and "Jerry Gerund" on the board. The worst thing about her was when she would give you "licks". She had a big paddle that she could barely lift with two hands. She couldn't see very well, so when she tried to hit your gluteus maximus, she would often miss and hit you in the spine. Lord, Lord!

Thinking of Mr. Underhill brings to mind high school drama. I played the character Gooper in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof". Mr. Underhill cut many of the four-letter words from the script, but he left in Big Daddy's (Sonny Hartzog's) line, "Rut the ruttin' preacher!" He also left in the scene where Maggie (Karen something?) took off her dress and performed in a slip. As a result, a group of censors from the Board of Education pulled the whole cast out of class and made us perform the entire play for them. They gave us a standing ovation and allowed the play to be enacted for the public, who also gave us standing ovations.

There are other delightful memories - sock hops, athletic events, smoking in the boys' room, gambling after lunch for nickels, passing notes, getting "licks", shooting birdshot at the shades with rubber bands, water bombs and paper airplanes...

I was on the Valkyrie newspaper staff for several years. It was great! Instead of having study hall, you got to hang out in the staff room and wander the halls without a hall pass. I wrote a satirical article once that got me and two or three of my closest friends kicked off of the staff. I believe that included Charlie Craft, Richard Tate, and Mike Collins, but I may be mistaken in that. The rest were reinstated, but not me. It didn't matter: I continued to hang around the Valkyrie staff room and wander the halls without a pass. The only difference it made was that I no longer had to work to earn those privileges. The Valkyrie staff room served as a kind of clubhouse for future bohemian intellectual rowdies: Steve Allen, Jerry Cupples, Kim Seeto, Larry Rice, Sonny Hartzog, Jon Wesley, Bobby Bailey, and others.

One time we did one of those pages where you have a cartoon signed by every member of the senior class (Class of ‘68?). It showed a teenage boy and girl in Viking attire. The title was "Thor has Sif". We were amazed that it actually got past both the newspaper sponsor and the principal.

Well, now I look back at this and realize my fears were well-founded: I have nattered on and on like a senile old codger. But I have to mention one more aspect of high school life -- crushes. My first crush was on Sandra Miller. I think I got a crush on her just because Al Johnson had one and I thought it would be cool. Later I had crushes on Connie Wright and Wanda Roberts. But the biggest imaginary romance of all was the crush I had on Debra Perry, a golden-haired little Tinker Bell. She was about three years younger than me, so I felt it would be cradle-robbing to date her. Alas, she began to go steady with my friend Mike Clark. Southern gentleman that I was, I kept my feelings secret. Such pathos!

(Editor's note: I enjoyed the first section so much that I asked for more. Cindy)

Charlie Craft was upset that I didn't tell the story about the big boulder that fell outside Mr. Stevens' math class one afternoon. The Valkyrie newspaper staff room was right over his class, and there was this big rock, about the size of two or three footballs, sitting in the window of the staff room. One day an upper-classman (Frank Fowler, Class of ‘67?) got us into a discussion of what size crater the rock would make if we dropped it out the window into the mud below. Mike Collins, Charlie Craft, Rick Tate, and I counted down 10-9-8-7-6-etc. as Frank held the rock out the window. Then he dropped it. It hit with a loud PLOP just outside Mr. Stevens' math class. We all cheered. Later, as we were being assigned Detention, we tried to tell the authorities that the rock had fallen of its own accord. Mr. Stevens said that was the first time he'd ever heard of a rock falling of its own accord accompanied by a countdown.

Other images flit through my mind - David McKinney singing Roger Miller songs all the time ("Dang Me!", "King of the Road")...Bobby Powell using his desk for bongos, beating out the latest James Brown hit...teachers yelling at us to tuck our shirttails in, get haircuts, and "What's that you have in your mouth?"...

As kind of a footnote to Hillcrest memories, I'd like to make mention of Graceland Recreation Club. It was a private club with swimming pool out behind Graceland School. A number of Hillcrest students' families were members. I wouldn't bring it up, except that there might be no other proper place to reminisce about GRC. Since it's been over thirty years, I can't accurately remember every Hillcrest alumni who went there. Most of the names below were ones I remembered by using a picture of the swimming team as a visual aid.

Swimming Team Coach Bill Todd (who taught at Kingsbury, I believe); Mike Collins; Sandra Miller; Teresa Carter; Jimmy Walton; Russ and Link Hodges; Roy Trafton; Joyce Streuding; Brenda and Mike Clark; Phil, Kenny, and Rose Houk; Elis Nunis; Randy and Jeannie Henderson; Charles, Marilyn, Becky, and Paul Craft; Terri and Mark Brown; Terri Thompson and family; Tom Shreve; Kris Brody; Penny Edmondson; Yancey Hughes; Ronny and Danny Isbel; Harriet Douthit; Russ and Carrie Soderlund; George and Anthy Gates; Sherry Pleasants; David, Richard, and Allen Dickson; Lynn Carrier; Kay Thomas; Candy Chapman; Debra Perry; Connie Carter; Kathleen Callicott and family, Vic, Mike, and MaryAnn Viser; Barbara Shaeda...

Swim meets...lifeguarding...building up the courage to take your first jump off the High Dive...swim goggles and fins...water polo...sun screen...Little League games across the street at the school...making out with your girlfriend in the shadows of the school playground...bikinis, bikinis, bikinis!

Vic Viser was practically an institution at GRC. He was a body-builder whose state-record shotput toss wasn't broken for many years. Every year the children would climb all over him in the water, trying in vain to dunk him under. It was like trying to dunk a mountain. Later, as young adolescent boys, we used to get advice from him about such macho things as weight- lifting and fist-fighting. Some of us, who should perhaps best be left unnamed, used to give him money to buy us beer. We would sit in the parking lot at Graceland School on Saturday nights, drinking quarts of Pabst Blue Ribbon while Vic told us stories of fights and loose women. Despite the stories, etc., Vic was one of the most peaceful people I ever knew. Like Ferdinand the Bull, I guess.

I just put that in so you all would know that I DO remember other things besides bikinis. If I seem obsessive about women, I hope that you ladies will forgive me. I'm a 48-year-old American male who's been happily married for the past 21 years. I spent every summer, from age nine thru nineteen, in a situation where I was surrounded by girls and women wearing swimsuits that covered about five to ten percent (or less!) of their body area.

Then I went to college and studied Freud, spending my free time with people who practiced free love and appreciable nudity. Now I live in the ‘burbs again, and I spend my days wearing ivy-league clothes, shooting the breeze with fellow realtors. The only bikinis I see are on "Bay Watch". I can't even have a Playboy magazine, ‘cause my wife would find it and think— mistakenly so— that she's not sexually satisfying enough for me. Girls, we men are not all that bad (most of us). Voyeurism is just part of our lifestyle. Cut me some slack!

I remember Glenn Burress and I, climbing the tree in his front yard to spy on Connie Carter across the street. We were not Peeping Toms, ladies: she was always clothed when we spied on her. Couldn't see her when she was inside, anyways; she kept the curtains pulled, to our chagrin.

Having made my rationalizations, so to speak, I shall now render honor to a FEW of the memorable bikinis at GRC. Too many of them to do them all justice. But one of my fondest memories in that regard was playing water polo with Sandra Miller. I think I still have scars from scratches she gave me when I tried to get the ball from her. I may have misjudged exactly what or where I was grabbing. Apologies, Sandra! :) Then there was Brenda Clark -- lovely lady who swam like a speedboat. Rose Houk was another lovely lady one sometimes saw there. Frankly, I was always a little afraid of Rose. I don't know why - — maybe I was afraid her brothers would beat me up if I got "fresh" with her. Or, maybe Rose was just too intelligent, too adept at repartee. A few years later, in college, I would've liked that. But to an adolescent male in the Sixties, an intelligent woman who was also beautiful was a little frightening. Or, maybe I was just afraid of women in general. Lord knows, I'm still afraid of my little Korean wife! :)

Jeannie Henderson (Randy's little sister) used to say she had a crush on me. I never believed it, though. Too bad. Missed my chance. She was a "fox". Carrie Soderlund, Elise Nunis, and Marilyn Craft were likewise foxes. I would've had a crush on Marilyn Craft, but that she was Charlie's sister. Charlie was, and is, a close friend of mine. That would have been too much like incestuous behavior. "Marilyn's sexy," Rick Tate and Mike Collins used to say, "but gee-whillickers, she's Charlie's SISTER!"

I don't remember ever dating any of the girls at Hillcrest, except one or two dates with Lyn Ballew. Lyn Creed went out with me once or twice, but I thought she was just trying to get her boyfriend jealous. I used to date girls that went to Whitehaven High -- Darlene Holifield, Jane McNamee, Leigh Smith, and especially Susan Lincoln. When I was 18, Susan would get me to buy booze for her friends, Cliff "Puck" Emory and Jim and John Weisenthal. Then we would drop them off at the Southland Mall and we'd go on our date, usually a drive-in movie or else a party at my cousin's house (Tom Pleasants). Tom and his brother Tim should be considered National Treasures of the ‘60s and ‘70s Zeitgeist: country hippies. Hoards of people from Whitehaven and north Mississippi would gather at their house out in the country almost every weekend to party. Tom was in a kind of band called "The Maffers", and he used to tell us funny stories about people we knew at Hillcrest, like Chris Lovell and Mike Maffei.

And then there was Harriet Douthit


Well, there was Mr. Summers the chemistry teacher, who always got his foot stuck in the trash can and almost blew up the room a couple of times with his "Sam’s Flour Mill" experiment. None of us were ever really sure what "Sam’s Flour Mill" was all about. When we would get too rowdy, he would always say, "ALL RAHT NOW!" in his crackley voice.

Raymond Yee, Rick Tate, and others won meets in "Quiz ‘Em on the Air," local PBS battle of wits between schools. I liked football games: the chill in the air heightening the excitement of watching two teams head-to-head on the field, the sound of the school band, people yelling, the cheerleaders jumping around, wandering the bleachers to see who was there... Then there was Derby Day - what did we call it? Valhalla Day or something - And my buddy Steve Allen was in the Norsemen. Years later in the ‘70s, he would wander all over his house in Midtown, playing his saxophone like some kind of errant jazz spirit while the rest of us played couch potatoes. Decades later, he played with Rita Coolidge’s band - or was Linda Ronstadt's?

Principal Kessler: When he first started, there were rumors that he had previously run a German concentration camp - used to sing "Ol’ Man River" in his foghorn voice at pep rallies, etc. Principal Fryar: We used to call him "Tree Stump" behind his back, and Vice Principal Chism we called "Tree Stump Junior." I grew a beard for a Shakespeare play. Then Martin Luther King was assassinated and the play was canceled. It took the Administration a month or two to realize I wasn’t supposed to have a beard anymore. I’ve pretty much had one ever since I graduated. Have to, it’s about the only head hair I’ve got! I notice, in looking at the yearbook, that my own hairstyle resembles Mr. Fryar’s nowadays. He looked like a cross between LBJ and Goldfinger.

I remember Fanny Burns and Rosy Bottoms - ouch! Mrs. Marian Phillips was a "sweet little old lady" who taught English. She could surprise you with the acuity of her mind, though, and could be firm in keeping discipline - really a miracle how she could quiet us down with her mousey little voice.

I remember the day Ricky McMullen borrowed my notes to do a debate in Speech Class. He had trouble reading my handwriting and stood up in front of the class mumbling gibberish as he tried to make out my chicken-scratches. Instead of J. Edgar Hoover, he said "J.E. Hooves." Everybody, including Mr. Underhill, knew what was going on.

Mr. Wm. Marsh (shop, math, German) taught a Philosophy class after school. Some of the things he taught us have lasted me over the years, stimulating me to take a number of philosophy courses in college. I still like that stuff. Mr. Harold Brooks was pretty much my first experience of a black person that I could really talk to. Considering the milieu, it was amazing how the students respected him. But then, we respected any teacher who was good, and he was a good teacher - history, geography. Coach Brown made us run laps for punishment. Nowadays, I think that method should be used more extensively. I bet we’d have a lot less car thieves if people in jails and prisons were made to run laps. Of course, they’d be harder to catch, too.

Oh, and there was Mr. Westmoreland, the little fighting rooster. He could scare the pants off you just by saying "hello." Then there was the time some of us skipped school and went to Whitehaven High to see our girlfriends. I’m not sure I remember exactly who it was - maybe Charlie Craft, Paul Heffington, David Freeman? I know David Freeman went, because when they ran us off, he ran right out of his flip-flops and left them there.

Paul Heffington had more comic books than anyone I’d ever seen. When he was 9 or 10, he could read a whole "Hardy Boys" book in a day. Dennis Cornwell could crack everybody up just by opening his mouth. Rick Tate, Mike Collins, Charlie Craft, Steve Allen, Jon Wesley, and I formed a gang of intellectual nonconformist weirdos. Jerry Cupples, Kim Seeto, and Randy LeDuke used to follow us around, asking for wisdom. I see in the yearbook that we had an Alchemist Club, sponsored by Mr. Summers, that attended seminars on such things as ESP and UFOs. Things were different then.

Pep rallies were a wonderful break from classroom drudgery.

I remember Billy Wilson doing birdcalls in class, Bobby Guth and David McKinney shooting birdshot at the window shades with rubber bands. And there was the Curtain and Contest Club. When everybody got to arguing and yelling, Jerenell Norris could quiet us all with one word. And I used to love Larry Rice’s "Bastille Day" parties.

To the best of my knowledge, there were no drugs at our school as late as 1968. I remember one guy in our class who said he thought he might have smelled some pot at some place he’d been to off campus, but I don’t think he ever got any then. Maybe I’m mistaken. There were several of us who used to get knot-bread, gouda cheese, and Chef Mario’s wine and go out to McKellar Park to talk about philosophy and social issues, though: Rick Tate, Charlie Craft, Mike Collins, Larry Rice, Steve Allen, Kim Seeto, Randy LeDuke, and assorted Whitehaven High females, among others -

That's about all I can think of right now. I guess the rest will come up at the Reunion!

Shirley Mckee
My main memory and probably the best was the day we graduated. I never really liked school.

Deborah Mehler
Always having fun!

Debby Miller
A leading role as "Big Mama" opposite Sonny Hartzog in school play, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," during my senior year

Linda Minton
All the fun I had working on the yearbook staff

Zina Muffoletto
My high school memories are all of my friends and I feel like I had many. Overnight sleepovers, homecoming, and our senior yearbook signing party and of course senior prom! But most of all, '66 Mustang rides and cruzing Hwy 51 from Shoney's to McDonald's on Saturday night! We don't have a Mustang anymore, but we still cruz on Saturday nights in his 1997 Black Corvette!

Merilyn Neel
I don't have any remarkable memory about HS. I do remember some fun with Mrs. Smith. We enjoyed her so much and had some fun times out to dinner with her. She was a great teacher, and I hope she can make it to the reunion.

Toni Paige
Slumber parties at Becky Ryan's. Calling people all night on her speaker phone. Freezing Connie Wright's bra and putting peanut butter between her toes (poor Connie - she went to sleep). Eating Chef Boyardee pizza and cheese dip. Smoking cigarettes in her bathroom.

Jim Perrie
You have to be kidding! I have a hard enough time remembering what happened last week much less over 30 years ago. Did run out of gas after seeing "In Cold Blood" with Ann Pickel. It wasn't the best neighborhood and I didn't have the key to the gas cap.

Sue Phillips
One night after a basketball game Merilyn and Sherilyn Neel and I went to Shoney's on Elvis Presley. Merilyn was driving, and she pulled into a space already closed by a chain. We ran right into the chain with a huge jolt. Immediately Merilyn pulled out of the space. We left in a flash and ended up at their house for hot chocolate and popcorn.

Linda Ragsdale
The principal and his wife accused of "misappropriating" the prom money. Being called to the gym to hear the news of Kennedy being killed. Having a 7 PM curfew citywide when Martin Luther King Jr. was killed.

Dale Rast
Taunting Whitehaven, cruising between McDonald's and Krystal, Valhalla Days

Gini Rich
My brain can't process memories that long ago!

John Roberts
I enjoyed working with many of the teachers who were involved in the extracurricular activities, such as the newspaper, the annual, and the Key Club. Probably the one memory that sticks out the most is the school trip to Nashville in our senior year. It was April of 1968 and involved going to the State Capitol and conducting a mock legislature. This happened to be the same time as the shooting of Martin Luther King. Everything went crazy, and here we all were "trapped" in the State Capitol. The National Guard surrounded the Capitol building, and our entire group was escorted out of the building. A short time later we returned to Memphis and all of the problems going on here. Memphis had a curfew for being out on the streets at night. I remember Paul Johnson and I (and I think a couple of others) decided that we wanted to see where the Lorraine Motel was. So one night we drove downtown. Not the smartest thing we ever did, but what a memory.

Wanda Roberts
When the Southland Mall opened (I don't remember the year), the HHS band was in the parade that marched down Highway 51 to the mall, and I nearly died from the heat in that wool uniform.

Patti Rucker
I still have nightmares about not having my white gym uniform ready for gym class on Mondays. Ironing that thing was terrible! I remember one very warm afternoon right after lunch going to Liz Smith's English class and having to sit through a terrible film and Thoreau. It was warm in the classroom, and she darkened the room so we could see the film better; we all fell asleep and she was furious! Also, I remember being terrified of Henry Zurhellen. He was twice as tall as I was! We had to do everything in that Algebra class in ink, remember? I still know the conversions from fractions to decimals just because of him! Oddly enough, Dr. Zurhellen was teaching at the Univ. of Memphis when I started teaching there. We became friends and he is a great guy! Who among you remembers MR. KESSLER!?

Joyce Streuding
Mr Zurhellen, the history teacher who had one glass eye and always reminded me of some German SS officer during WW2, scared the hell out of me. I had his class after lunch, and one warm day I fell asleep, and he almost gave me a heart attack when he slammed this large ruler on my desk and screamed, "Miss Streuding!!!!!"

Etta Talbert
I remember the wonderful reception I received as a new student for just my senior year. I had a great senior year and had a lot of fun. There are a lot of good memories and wonderful people that I made friends with that year. Anyone that wants to jog my memories is welcome to do so!!

Richard Tate
Going to underground cinema with Ernie McCracken, Charles Craft, and Mike Collins

Teresa Thurmon
Riding horses with Ellen and Cindy
Sharing lunches with Jo Lyn

Todd Traylor
Getting licks from Mr. Chism and seeing stars for weeks afterwards.

Ann Watson
With all the talk of re-opening the investigation of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, I have thought about what a significant year we graduated in. There was even a TV special titled "1968." I also remember what fun it was to have a real "witch" for a senior English teacher! (Mrs. Elizabeth Smith)

Nancy White

Cynthia Wilson
The night of our senior prom we double dated with Debbie Miller (Mathewson) and her date. We enjoyed the dance and went to her home afterwards. We made waffles in her mom's kitchen, and I'm quite sure we made quite a mess (waffle mix on the counter, etc). I often have thought about her mother's reaction the next morning when she went into her kitchen!

Vicki Wilson
Getting suspended for skipping lunch when we really didn't, but Leigh Ledsinger's mother covered for us and told a fib. Had she told the truth we would have been okay. My parents never found out.

Connie Wright
High School Memory: I have so many fond memories that it is difficult to isolate just one, so I'll share several:

1) During the ninth and tenth grades, Mr. Kessler and his wife walking the halls with yardsticks, measuring girls' skirts and sending anyone home whose skirt was not AT LEAST 2-inches BELOW the knee!

2) The first pep rally under Mr. Friar's leadership and his immortal words, "Let's go out there and BEAT THE HELL OUT OF THEM!"

3) The Hillcrest/Whitehaven football game during the Fall of 1966, the night before our ACT tests--power failure, game delayed almost 2 hours, a VERY late night for everyone, and a MIRACLE any of us passed our ACT's.

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