Pictures

November 6, 2007 at 1:55 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Your tireless webmaster was going over some of the older posts on this website and was surprised that most of the pictures are still here, having survived a couple of “digital meltdowns” to my main servers; obviously caused by “global warming.”

I really like the group photo taken at our 40th reunion. A new feature of this site is the ability to enlarge most new photos (newly posted, that is) to a very large size.

Click on the photo to see if you’ve changed any since that great event.

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History of Central High

November 5, 2007 at 5:35 pm | Posted in History of Central, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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More than you ever wanted to know……about CHS

Thanks to Google, I found a very comprehensive history of Central High School. It’s on Garringer High’s website and I’ve taken the liberty of copying it here.

“The year was 1909 when ten students received diplomas in the first graduation in what was to become Charlotte High School. This year also was the premiere of our yearbook “Snips and Cuts.” Our first school building was located at Ninth and Brevard Streets in First Ward. The school included the tenth and recently added eleventh grade, with new courses in French, Physics, and Trigonometry. Mr. Harry P. Harding, the principal and later superintendent of the Charlotte City Schools, guided the school until 1912 when the eighth and ninth grades joined the two upper grades. It was in this year that the Charlotte High School was established. The young high school experienced much academic success and its enrollment increased during the next decade.

In the spring of 1920 the student body moved to a new, larger building located on East Morehead Street. This move included the administration, faculty and all the traditions of the Charlotte High School. Our second school building was named in honor of Dr. Alexander Graham, who had served for over twenty-five years as superintendent of the Charlotte City Schools. Our leaders for many years, Dr. Elmer H. Garinger was appointed principal in the summer of 1921. However, the time at Alexander Graham High School was very short because of the rapid growth of Charlotte’s population.

A new school building located on Elizabeth Avenue opened in 1922 to relieve the ever-expanding student population of Alexander Graham High School. The new school, named Charlotte Central High School, received all its remaining students from Alexander Graham High by 1924. Just as in 1920 when Charlotte High School closed its doors and moved the faculty, students, and traditions to Alexander Graham, the new school moved again to Charlotte Central High School. Alexander Graham became a junior high school. Our rich history at Central spanned thirty-six years, primarily under the leadership of Dr. Garinger. In the spring of 1959 Charlotte Central High School closed. The building, now part of Central Piedmont Community College, is named for Dr. Garinger.

The summer of 1959 brought much excitement to our Wildcat family. A new high school on the edge of a growing city, four miles northeast of downtown Charlotte, Garinger High School, was named in honor of our former principal and then superintendent of the Charlotte City School. The campus-style high school design won many architectural awards for its unique modern buildings and special features. Again as in 1920 and 1923, the administration, faculty, students, trophies, books and all our traditions moved into our modern school to start the decade of the sixties.

Our blue and gray school colors, the Wildcat, “Snips and Cuts”, the Rambler Newspaper, the Hall of Fame. School motto “Service”, the Willow Tree, and school clubs made the journey to the campus facility on Eastway Drive. The school “Alma Mater” and “Fight Song” music remained the same, but new lyrics reflected the new tradition.

Garinger High School was featured in a 1962 edition of National Geographic as Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s showplace high school. The new high school was to become the largest secondary school in the state during the mid sixties with a rich history of academics and superb athletic teams.

Our school has been through many changes since the first diploma was presented in 1909, but its mission has never wavered. Our graduates have gone on to make significant contributions to our community and out country in the art, sciences and humanities.”

Memory Pictures from Ellouise

November 5, 2007 at 5:30 pm | Posted in Memory Pictures from Ellouise | Leave a comment
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Here’s a nice verbal snapshot from Ellouise Diggle Shoettler that she more elloquently calls” Memory Pictures.”

She even posted this on her website Ellouise Diggle Artist-Storyteller

Memory Pictures has a nice ring to it. Feel free to join in…….and paint your own pictures here on the website, for all of us to enjoy!

-Ed (Your award winning, humble webmaster)

June 1954 I wept when I graduated from Central High School in Charlotte, NC; last week-end I wept as we drove out of Charlotte to return home.

The reunion was wonderful. People I had grown up with – some I had gone to school with for twelve years. No need to explain yourself to people who knew you WHEN! Whose parents had gone to school with your parents. Today what you see is what you get – – pretty much like it was when I walked into Elizabeth School for the first day of the first grade.

Just as I remembered the youthful face of fifty years ago I felt my classmates do the same for me. I loved them for the gift of recognition we exchanged.

Toward the end of the evening a man I felt I should know walked over and said “hello” – I saw the name on his tag and his 1954 picture and really recognized him.

We had known each other – not closely – since the 7th grade. ” I used to deliver your paper when you lived at 814 Hawthorne Lane” – he said. With those words he opened a whole series of memory pictures I had forgotten. By his remembering – – he gave them back to me.
I am so grateful to him.

That’s what I think reunions are for – to confirm and renew – to acknowledge and remember. To touch base with who we were so that we will know who we are.

Hugs and thanks to the committee for such a great job and gift to all of us.

Ellouise

Thank you, Thank you!

November 5, 2007 at 5:28 pm | Posted in Thanks for the 50th | Leave a comment
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A great big thank you for a great program that came together beautifully. Martha and I had a great time at all events.
Harry Ferguson

Today I woke from a fabulous dream! It was one of friendly faces from my past, soft voices long-forgotten, new friends now discovered, and the glimpse of a beautiful, futuristic city, rising in glittering splendor above the green sea of trees that is the city of Charlotte, What an awesome adventure was my whole time spent at the 50th reunion.
Maxcyne Motte Yaworsky

The reunion was great. I appreciate so much all that was done. Let me know about other get-togethers, I just might be in town and can join you.
Jackie Pickard Marcotte

I tell you one thing, I’ve had a hard time coming home!! The reunion far surpassed all my expectations (and they were high to start with). I don’t know what happened, but something magical!!
Betsy Villas White

Thanks to the committee for the wonderful fun weekend! I almost felt 18 again (Ha). It was great seeing everyone ….like turning the clock back.
Nancy Hartis Byers

What a wonderful weekend it was, to be sure! Thank you all so much. Although I have only the foggiest idea of what a monumental job you all did – – best proof of how good a job it was, seems to me to be how smoothly all went! Bless you.
Diana Carpenter White

Thanks for a wonderful job that resulted in making the reunion a most memorable occasion. My wife and I had such a grand time, which we will never forget.
Herb Jacobowitz

A tremendous thanks to the committee for all that was done for us. Really enjoyed the bus ride and being taken back in time 50 years.
Bill Huntley

“You members of the Reunion Committee did an outstanding job. My suggestion is that you form a corporation and devote yourselves to putting on conventions, with your expertise you could make a fortune.”
Gene Moore

“How wonderful to see you and to feel time evaporate as we caught up on each other’s lives. Thanks so much for planning such a pleasant reunion”.
Linda Garmon Huggins

“A great big thanks to the committee for a wonderful reunion. It was quite an unusual experience to be with people I spent 12 years of my early life with”.
Mike Andrews

“Thanks for all the hard work by the committee on our behalf.”
Al Widenhouse

“Just want to tell you and the committee what a great reunion it was. You all did a great job getting everything together”.
Mary Sandra Shulken Costner

“How can we thank the committee for the memories of a lifetime?!! Chet and I had the most wonderful time.”
Andrea Stalvey Davis

“I think y’all pulled off something rare and brilliant. Ed, Ellouise and Neil completely held the attention of everyone. I really came to show my respect for the work and spirit behind the planners. I didn’t expect to be totally charmed”.
John Talbutt

“My compliments to the committee for a super weekend, talking and visiting with classmates. Looking forward to the next one”.
Joe Broadway

“Just wanted to thank the committee for all your hard work. It really paid off. Everyone had a wonderful time, and the whole event was just great – Beautifully arranged and so much fun! Everyone I talked to said they had a great time.”
Jane Hoke Bultman

“A quick note to tell the committee how much we appreciate what you did to make the reunion a great success”.
Warren Sparrow

CONGRATULATIONS!! THANKS! Of course, those expressions are inadequate to say what Jeanette and I felt at the reunion. Thanks for being so meticulous. God bless you. Now rest!”
Bob Yandle

“What a fantastic event! Congratulations! I’m just now coming off the “high” of the weekend. So again, my thanks…..to the committee…..for a wonderful experience.”
Ed Myers

“What a grand time was had by all I know of at the reunion…expecially ME! The whole committee is to be HIGHLY commended. It was just so much fun.”
Carolyn Minogue Meacham

Thanks for all the vision and hard work for our reunion. It would not have been so great – and fun without good leadership!
Jennie Margaret Meador Forehand

Thanks so much for the class bios. I am in the process of reviewing them and like to think our classmates turned out to be a “pretty good bunch”. They cleaned up nicely over the years. Keep the committee together. I promise to attend the next one!
(Note: Pat had to cancel the day before the reunion began due to a family illness.)
Pat Faulkner

The committee did a marvelous job and I can’t think of a thing I would have done differently. Everything was well planned and seemed to go off without a hitch. We shared the details of the event with our friends here in Minnesota and they were very complimentary of our reunion.
John Ballard

Thanks for all the effort that went into making it such a special weekend. I especially appreciated the “smoke free” environment.
Sandra Lineberger Patterson

Thanks for all the work you guys did in organizing the 50th. There were a lot of people I recognized right away. We should have come down Friday night. Thanks also to Gene Moore for the CD. God Bless.
Jim Cook

Turn Out the Lights

November 5, 2007 at 5:22 pm | Posted in After the 50th | Leave a comment
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OK….so it’s time to clean up the website, and prepare for our next one. Our 60th? Well, maybe our 55th? How about doing it again next week? I’m all for it. Of course, I’m not one of the ones who did all the work. Those special CHS 54 grads on the committee did it all.

Look Out Charlotte,

We Might do this AGAIN!

Nothing official, of course, that’s just my heart speaking. But as your handsome, highly intelligent, trim, agile as a gazelle, and modest webmaster…..I have a plan. Here it is: Let’s let the committee (the worker bees behind the curtain who made our 50th…truly MAGIC!) rest…………..for about six months….or a year. By then, the shock of working their fingers to the bone…..for MONTHS making our 50th so successful….will have worn off.

Then, we’ll start dropping subtle hints……..to each of the members; something like, “Incidentally, what have you done lately for the Class of ’54?” or “Isn’t it about time you got your boney fingers back to work for your fellow classmates?”

Meanwhile, I’ll start pruning this site. Now yaw’ll keep tuning in…because it’s going to become even MORE exciting than ever…….DON’T TOUCH THAT DIAL!

Betsy Villas White’s Poem

November 5, 2007 at 5:19 pm | Posted in Betsy's Poem | Leave a comment
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THOUGHTS ON THE EVE OF MY 50TH HIGH SCHOOL
REUNION

By Betsy Villas White

SO SHOULD I START WHERE ONCE DIANA STOPPED
IN WRITING OUR COMMENCEMENT POEM SO DEEP?
OR SHOULD I SKIP THE PAGES WE HAVE TURNED
AND JUMP RIGHT TO THE DAY WHEN WE WILL MEET?

I DON’T EXPECT TO FIND THE FACES I ONCE KNEW
I KNOW THEY WILL HAVE CHANGED AS MUCH AS MINE
BUT UNDERNEATH I HOPE TO FIND THE SPARK
OF FRIENDS AND TIMES FOR WHICH I OFTEN PINE

IS LAUGHTER STILL ALIVE BEHIND YOUR EYES?
WILL I NOTE THE AGILE BRIGHTNESS OF YOUR MIND?
HAVE YOU GROWN IN LIFE AS ONCE YOU WISHED
OR DID YOUR DREAMS BECOME A DIFFERENT KIND?

I WANT TO KNOW HOW YOU HAVE WEATHERED STORMS
I YEARN TO ASK HOW YOU HAVE COPED WITH DEATH
I WANT TO HEAR WHAT WISDOM YOU HAVE LEARNED
AND WHAT BRINGS JOY AND MEANING TO EACH BREATH

AND YES, I KNOW, THESE WISHES ARE UNSPOKEN
WITH EXPECTATIONS FAR BEYOND THE NORM
BUT ANYTHING I GAIN FROM MUSING THUSLY
COULD POSSIBLY EMERGE IN VERBAL FORM

THE MORAL OF THESE WORDS IT SEEMS TO ME
IS WHEN YOU SEE ME COMING TOWARDS YOU WITH A SMILE
BE SURE YOU ARE SURROUNDED BY YOUR BUDDIES
AND DON’T ASK ME TO STAY AND CHAT AWHILE
©Copyright 2004

and……….

The Commencing (From 1954 by Class Poet Diana Kay Carpenter)

Each one has bold sharp edges on the base
That he has set to build his living on.
And in defiance of conformity,
He claims each jutting angle as his own.

He wishes not to differ with his kind,
But eldersâ€Âï�½ set traditions chafe his wings;
He wants to be a part of life that soarsâ€Âï�½
Of life that dreams, and does, and life that sings.

The outline of that base pray God to soften,
By some part added here, subtracted there,
So that the whole be separate and distinct,
Yetâ€Âï�½part of all thatâ€Âï�½s best and all thatâ€Âï�½s fair.

Pray each man be not worn to dreary sameness,
With every other being placed on earth;
But let his nature, different from all,
Work well with all, that each best proves his worth.

Diana Kay Carpenter
©Copyright 1954, 2004

Pictures at Our 40th

November 5, 2007 at 5:13 pm | Posted in Pictures at our 40th | Leave a comment
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TEN YEARS AGO


This is us at the 40th reunion.

More ……..10 years ago….at the 40th!


Sylvia Dunn Cross, Shirlene McGill Yeargins, Betsy Villas

Alton Widenhouse Bobby Seagraves


Bill Huntley


Carolyn McCall.


Alma Burton Stevenson Ann Ruth Henson Boyd.


Barbara McCall


Barry Clark and Linda Garmon Huggins

Bill Mason, Judy Anderson Fainberg, John Ballard

Betty Barnes Walpole, Sophie Leventis Trakas, Mary Rand Norton Kratt

Bradford Mills (deceased)

Max Evans


Barbara Presson Forrest
(This picture was NOT taken at our 40th, Barbara writes,
“This will be my first reunion– no one could find us!!!!
Attached is a picture of my husband (Jim Forrest) and me. We have been married almost 50 years.)


Karol Broadwell Welch, Nancy Gibson Smith, Shirley McClanahan Maynor, Millie Fogle Stanton, Dottie Cammer Parker and Nancy Hartis Byers.

Carolyn “Tootie” Byrum Nisbet

Jennie Meador Forehand, Alma Burton Stevenson, Buddy Matthews and Pat Roberts Stevens

The Rev. Don Nance

(That’s Charles Mateer’s mother seated and my wife Linda in the red jacket)

The Rev. Bob Yandle

The Rev. Mike Andrews


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New Book Released

November 5, 2007 at 5:09 pm | Posted in Mary Kratt Norton Book | Leave a comment
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NEW BOOK JUST RELEASED

A couple of years ago, I was surfing the web for some information about my old home town of Charlotte and came upon some delightful articles about the Queen City. (My favorite was the one about Charlotte’s “urban removal” plan of the 1960’s.) One of the stories featured a picture of the author. SHAZAAM! It was our own Mary Norton (Kratt)!


Mary Norton Kratt

Now, she has a new book out:

Celebrating New South Women: Twentieth Century Women of Charlotte, North CarolinaCharlotte, NC-The Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County and Levine Museum of the New South announce the publication of New South Women: Twentieth Century Women of Charlotte, North Carolina by Mary Kratt. The arresting voices of the women themselves tell their stories. Using personal interviews, archives, and reports from books and newspapers, author Mary Kratt conveys an immediacy as lively as front-porch talk. White and black, poor and rich, these women saw needs and answered them. They became a political coalition, mentored others and experienced being the “first woman” in many fields. Whether seamstress, mill worker, teacher, athlete, novelist, humanitarian, or socialite, the women of the New South in Charlotte exhibited the amazing tenacity and ingenuity that has long characterized women’s lives.

The book, published by PLCMC in association with John F. Blair Publisher is available at Charlotte’s main library and its branches, Levine Museum of the New South, Charlotte Museum of History, and Park Road Books. Paperback: $14.95 plus tax 264 pages. Black and white photos. Index. Biographical appendix ISBN 0-89587-250-1.

REPORTERS NOTEBOOK

One of our stealth reporters found this accolade posted prominently at the Charlotte YMCA

“Charlie has been a member of the YMCA for 55 years. He literally grew up in the Y, joining when he was 10 and learning how to swim.As a parent, he has participated in youth basketball as an assistant coach. Charlie has been instrumental in committee work and our community outreach programs. He helped raise money in our last Capital campaign, worked for the last four years in our phonathons, served in the community gifts division for numerous years and on the chairman’s Roundtable division for the past 3 years. He has served in so many capacities including 10 years on the fitness Center Committee of which he was Vice Chair for 4 years, he has served the past two years as Chair of the membership development committee and has also been a member of the Board of Advisors for the last two years as well. Charlie is a walking, living example of the YMCA and what we stand for.”

.

Charlie Willis

Congratulations to a fellow Tadpole (That’s the award we got after learning to swim at the Y……at least that’s what they called us in the 40’s) However, now that this in on the internet………communities all over the country are going to be tempted to kidnap Charlie…..and clone him. Be careful Charlie, be very careful. -Ed

November 5, 2007 at 5:05 pm | Posted in Salute to our heros | Leave a comment
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A Salute to Our Heros

Yes, that’s what they are, heros. The men and women who are wiling to fight, and even die, for our freedom. Central had a great record of men and women who answered the call, and the class of ’54 was no exception. Our committee chairman, Obie Oakley emailed me the following:

“Recently, classmates Calix Reneau and Pat Faulkner were asked to send a photo for the class web site. They both made careers in the U.S. Marine Corps. Thought it would be interesting to see them as they were in Vietnam.
When Calix responded, he offered the following: “Our infantry company was on a rescue mission attacking a position and the situation on the ground was pretty grim. It was the close air support we received saved the day and many lives. The flight leader of that mission was none other than classmate, Pat Faulkner.”
Photo shows Captain Faulkner beside his F-4B Phantom. In his two tours in VN, he flew a total of 410 combat missions, was awarded 2 Legions of Merit, 4 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 32 awards of the Air Medal, 2 Bronze Stars and the Navy Commendation Medal. Pat retired after 30 years as a full colonel.”

(Hopefully, a photo of Calix is on the way.)

.
Pat Faulkner

Great story! And in case you’ve forgotten, Obie himself is on our heros list. Obie served 4 years on active duty as an Army officer, and then another 5 years as Captain with the Special Forces of the North Carolina National Guard.

.

And, not all of them returned…..

.

Charles Mateer was the first American to be killed in Laos. He was flying hellicopters for Air America (CIA) when he was shot down. This was in May of 1961, before anyone knew that we were fighting in Laos. Charles’ name is not on the Vietnam Memorial in Washington because of a technicality (CIA instead of “official” armed services) but he was defending our country just as surely as any other member of our fighting forces. However, thanks to the wisdom and efforts of several Charloteans, two of whom we know very well, Jenny Margaret Meadow (Forehand) and Obie Oakley….Charles’ name is prominently displayed on the Charlotte Vietnam Memorial, there on the grounds of the old Thompson Orphanage.



MORE… CHS’54 HEROS WHO SERVED……:


Robert Clark

Crosby Lane Spruill (Chuck) Tan Son Nhut airbase, 1965

” I had tried unsuccessfully for a number of years to find you folks and finally gave up thinking that when Central closed, so did all chances of finding former classmates.
I was found by Ellen (Abernathy) Bates, who called me one morning from Wyoming. She said they had been looking for me for a number of years. Thanks to the Internet and some of the search programs now available to the general public, she was able to explore in places never attempted.

As you may or may not know, I was a member of the class of ’54 for only my graduating year. I never really got to know too many people in our class. I do remember not ever having a date with a single girl in our class because I was only 16 years of age during 80% of that final year. And you know how sensitive high school seniors are to age differences, especially girls who feel like they are dating sophomores. I remember having to invite a sophomore to our senior prom. She was thrilled…..So was I.

I spent most of my life flying airplanes for the Air Force. I was a career officer and fighter pilot. Something I dreamed of doing all my life. After retirement, I taught college for 15 years here in San Antonio, Texas. I was offered a very nice separation package in 1995 so I took it. They wanted to get rid of overpaid, tenured Profs.
I live in the small town of Schertz…a bedroom community adjacent to San Antonio, Texas.

I have been a Texan for 34 years now. When I left Charlotte 50 years ago, I rarely returned. I spent part of my life in Europe and Southeast Asia, as well as various assignments all over the USA.

I do hope to attend our reunion if at all possible. I think it must be some kind of rite of passage for seniors…a celebration of life that so many never get to participate in. I look forward to meeting you and continuing this conversation.”

Warm regards, Chuck

Edgar Smith circa 1958

Lt. JG Warren Sparrow at his duty station aboard the aircraft carrier USS Wasp circa 1961.

Bonson Hobson being promoted circa 1962

Bill Huntley as the MID Commander of the 541st Military Intelligence Detachment assigned to the 11th Armored Calvary Regiment somewhere northwest of Saigon sometime during 1971. This was the second tour.

(EDITORS NOTE: Help us list all of our classmates who served and post pictures in uniform of as many as possible! So far, here is a list we’ve come up with….this is surely not complete….and in some cases may not be totally accurate, so please don’t hesitate to give us your input. Our committee chairman, Obie Oakley has compiled the following list:)

Calix Reneau – Marines
Charlie Willis – Army
Martin Hill – Army
John Talbutt – Army
Jim Weller – Marines
Bill Huntley – Army
Bonson Hobson – Army
Gene Efird – Air Force
Ralph Jones- Navy
Warren Sparrow – Navy
Clayton Eubanks – Army
Bill Moore – Navy
Lewis Robinson – Marines
Pat Faulkner – Marines
Robert Clark – Marines
Edgar Smith – Air Force
Neil Jones – Navy
Joe Broadway – Air Force
Bill Mason – Navy
Barry Clark – Navy
Crosby Lane Spruill – Air Force
Jerry Gaudet – Air Force
Bradford Mills – Air Force
Edgar Smith – Air Force
Bobby Small – Air Force
Charles Switzer – Air Force!

Three of our ladies have military experience:
Carolyn Taylor Powell – Air Force
Agnes Hamer Kolb -Air Force
June Yarborough Alexander – Air Force


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Midwood, Elizabeth

November 5, 2007 at 5:01 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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How many of us can YOU recognize?

(keep scrolling. It’ll show up in a minute)

Ran across this photo recently. It is Mrs. Craig’s 4th grade class at Midwood School. Of the 34 pictured, 27 graduated with us 8 years later.

Obie

…and HERE is the Elizabeth School 4th grade:

(The brilliant kid wearing the sailor cap has requested that he not be identified. However, he is NOT the kid pictured on the Cracker Jack
box.)
-Ed

Here’s one more from Midwood. This is a 5th grade class.

Harold Cullingford sent us this picture of his 4th grade class at Midwood. Chances are you will instantly recognize at least 50% of the kids.
See how little we change? Add a few pounds, paint in some gray hair (or skin colored hair as the case may be) and you’ll be able to instantly recognize that person…at our event!

June Reid sent this photo in. It’s The Wilmore 5th grade…and has at least 9 pictured who graduated with us.




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