July 2008

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                           Have a safe and happy Fourth










Please send us your cell phone number Click here this info will not be
publicly viewable.


            SupperClub IF YOU FEED THEM, THEY WILL COME
 Pete and Sams on Park Ave  Thur. July 17th, 7PM. Please
 respond by Mon. July 14th ,

Click here, enter your name and number in party.



                        The Grand Reunion



If you haven’t yet sent your reunion pics to Phil, please do so.



         To see the pics received thus far, go here







“The Laugh Track”, “Say What” and “Henry’s Corner” will be preempted this
 month to allow for the publication of the Grand Reunion news.


Before we get into the random Reunion comments and news, an explanation. At the close of the
Saturday dance some Warriors asked why Alex Ward stopped his show at 11pm.


What occurred was a “perfect storm” of errors.


Shortly before 11, Alex, who noticed that people were beginning to drift out, asked Bob Pepper
when he should stop. Thinking it was near midnight, Pepper answered “anytime”.  In reality, it was
just before 11.


Alex thought the event was scheduled to run from 7-11 and had set up, accordingly, ready to begin
his show at 7. In reviewing his notes Sunday, he realized that he had failed to note the times.
Although Alex was copied on each email regarding the dance, he failed to catch the difference in the


All of which is moot, as Alex was using the Blazers’ sound engineer and equipment, and the engineer
was beginning to pack up to leave.  Ed.


Friday night


Remember all that “Say it with me one time, June 21, 2013”? Well, don’t etch that in
granite just yet. In an attempt to avoid weddings, vacations, family reunions and moving
Junior from the dorm to his apartment, The Tribal Council is considering an October date
for the Golden Reunion.      Send your thoughts to


The beautifully framed Ragsdale print was raffled off to Beverly Flowers, who came to the reunion
with Sue Burks Acred. ‘Bev’ then gave the print to Sue. Click for pic


Leeba Andrews Curlin attended the picnic with two of her sons, U.S. Army Chaplin, Capt. David
Curlin, who offered the blessing and Ranger Lt. Caleb Curlin. God bless our troops! She had
considered bringing her 24 grandchildren. Click for pic


Jo Ann Solomon and Lana Solomon, wives of Fallen Warriors Larry and Garry Solomon respectively,
attended the picnic. Jo Ann presented the class with a Ragsdale print to be raffled at the Golden
Reunion. Click for pics.

How many of us can say what Marvin Palmer
told this reporter. “…I weigh less now than I did in
high school”? Click for pic


Overheard, but unsubstantiated - While at CHS, Mimi Allenberg Wachsman’s parents discouraged
her from dating boys of a different faith.   To evade this prohibition, Mimi would have a teenage,
neighbor boy, who was of her same faith (Jewish), pick her up and ferry her to her non-Jewish date. 
Her neighbor boy's name-Joey Cooper. See "In the News."

A bit of trivia – Jack Larson, who played Cub reporter Jimmy Olsen of “Superman” fame is Mimi’s


In the biggest faux pas of the evening, while gesticulating wildly, Bob Pepper slapped a glass full of
merlot from Tina Surrency Winter’s hand, drenching Sandra Sacks
Mislow, Mimi, and Bobby
Three of whom were wearing white slacks.  Ever the gentleman, Henderson
immediately began licking the wine from Sandra’s leg. Click for pic


While we were sweating in the Memphis heat, what were the Kittrell Rushings doing?

Click here and see.-


Saturday night

David ‘Mouse’ Van Hoozer  and he calls himself our “Cub Reporter”


Even with Carol out of town, I had planned all week to attend the Saturday night portion of the Class
of 63 reunion. I knew that The Blazers were going to do a set around Alex Ward's music, and there
was no way I was going to miss that. Gene Johnson, Dickie Cooper, Joe Arnold and Bobby Manuel
and I had all been Pikes at MSU and I tried hard never to miss them or The Counts in the 60's and
this would be a bonus.

I miscalculated slightly how long it would take me to get to Whispering Woods and so I arrived at
about 8: 15. I parked and as I entered the lobby, I heard in the distance, THE MUSIC. I was wearing
my bi-focals, which are great for straight-ahead vision but not so hot for looking upward. Down the
hall, I saw some people milling about one of three doors that led into the ballroom. Now THE MUSIC
was clear and I sped up to be sure I did not miss any.

I did not stop to look closely at anyone in the hall, but no one spoke so I headed for the second door
to gain easy access. I went right past a banner overhead and zipped into the room.

First of all every light in the ballroom was on and there was good music playing, but no Blazers.
Great... I thought I have not missed them. Then I looked around for all of the people I knew from the
Class of 63 and all I saw were white hair and baldheads. No one was dancing or even moving very
fast. As I got closer to the crowd, my first thought was

 " Wow these friends have really aged since their last reunion or maybe our Class of 62 has really
been able to keep it together." After a few minutes, I had not recognized a single soul and while I
know 63 was a big class that just did not make any sense. I turned around and eased out of the
door and took a better look at the banner over it. Whitehaven Class of 58 it proclaimed. I felt better
and dashed down the hall through the lobby and up the other side to where the beautiful people were
assembling for a great night of fun and music.


Attending their first post graduation events this weekend were Patsy Sims Moore and Susan Gray
McInnis and may I add, a thing of beauty is a joy forever. Click for pics


In the most touching moment of the evening, Alex Ward played a poignant five-minute video
presentation, accompanied by the song “The Way We Were”, showing individual class pictures of
our 50 “Fallen Warriors”


Overheard, but unsubstantiated – Bobby Henderson has retired.


In a battle that went down to the wire, Mickey Emmons out bid ($60) Penny Dollar Gilliam in the
silent auction for the ’63 Yearbook donated by Mary Ann Vlahos, widow of Paul Vlahos CHS’64.


                             A thought from the Pepperpatch


I’ll be honest; I initially had some trepidation about booking the Blazers. Economic concerns only,
certainly no question about the quality of their performance. Even the cost was a bargain for what
we would be getting. My concern was if we would “make our nut”, but how could the Tribal Council
say no? Most of the group was donating their time. We were virtually paying just their out-of-pocket
expenses. But with an anticipated attendance lingering in the mid eighties, my fears seemed
realistic. Silly me!


Gene Johnson suggested having Alex Ward intro each song with some of his trivia, an idea that was
sheer brilliance. As it turned out, their joint performance was incredible. For the last week, I have
been inundated with calls and emails about how great their performance was.


Sunday, Alex, a man not easily impressed, call to say how well it came off, and how great the
Blazers sounded. He continued that this was the first time he had done a format such as this.


There aren’t enough superlatives to describe their performance. All the food, fun and fellowship
notwithstanding, the Blazers were the defining moment of this reunion.


I’m sure I speak for every one in attendance when I say to the Blazers, thank you for a tremendous
performance and an unforgettable evening that will live forever in our memories.


                               A note from our resident Sage Gene Johnson


I want you to know how delighted The Memphis Blazers were to have played the Saturday night
dance for the ’63 reunion.  It was particularly meaningful for those of us who were members of the
class along with those who were members of ’64 because of the memories which were rekindled,
and it was a ‘kick’ to see so many familiar faces on the dance floor as they once were 45 years ago.


We have several professional musicians who have joined our franchise because of the death of band
members.  These people play with some of the most accomplished entertainers in the industry, and,
to a man, they each told me how much fun they had, how good we are and how they are looking
forward to future events with us.


As you know, Alex Ward had a good time, enjoyed the concept we executed and is amenable to
doing it again, so this could become exciting.


THX again, and stay tuned.


Gene Johnson



IN THE NEWS WITH VIEWS send news of new jobs, retirement, kids, grandkids,



May 25th In a valiant effort, J. Thomas ‘Scooter’ Pepper fails to best Hunt Allen Solomon at
polishing a rib bone, but he does manage to shine the back of a recliner. Click for pic.


May 26th Rev. Timothy Mowry, CHS’63, died suddenly while vacationing in the Cayman Islands.


June 4th We have received another letter from Howard Curlin. For a copy request Howard’s  Iraq 5
letter. Request Howard's Iraq #5


June 13th Little Hunt Allen Solomon would have made granddad Larry Solomon proud.
Click for pic

June 21st An update from Paula Wicker on Sweet Baby James. Please share this with others
and continue prayers for him. He is a happy, active little guy...not walking yet, but putting weight on
his legs when he is held up. At the end of the summer James hopefully with have his colostomy
reversed and be "bag free!" Morris and Melissa continue to be dedicated and loving parents, and
James is thriving! James does not have Cerebral Palsy, but his left side is weaker...so the picture of
James using his left hand to shake his rattle is a major thing!
God is good!   Click for pix

June 24th Rev. James Hayes writes that he has taken the position of Asst Professor of Natural
Sciences at Georgia Military College, Warner Robins, GA. teaching Biology and Anatomy and

June 27th In an update, Rev. Curtis Crenshaw reports that Warrior David Merriman, injured in an
automobile collision over a month ago, is now stable. A recent MRI showed no life threatening injures.
On the 26th, David sat up for the first time. He is still in Med, ICU room 6. He still needs our prayers.






May 31st. – Two teenagers drowned on the opening day of the City’s public pools.  Around 2:30, a
13 yr-old boy drowned in the Pine Hill Community Ctr. pool. Less than an hour later, a 15 yr-old boy
drowned it the Westwood Community Ctr. pool. As of
June 25th, the public pools will remain closed,
at least for another week, as authorities try to determine the manner of death, homicide, accident,
etc. in one of the cases. The park commission is still trying to determine how to address the safety
issues involved. The commission has promised to make admittance a public pool more onerous and
burdensome than boarding a plane.
June ’08 – The Memphis City Council cut 62+million from the city school budget. On June 18th the
school board filed suite against the City of Memphis to restore the funds. Operation Rainbow Push
has tried to join the suite. This will end well.
June ’08 – A 48 year old black woman with several medical problems became the county’s first heat
related death of the year. The date of the death was not given. Last year there were 17 heat related
deaths in Memphis, with the first occurring on August 8th.
June 10th 53-year-old Kriner Cash, currently the Miami-Dade County Fla. chief of accountability
and system wide performance, has accepted the job of Supt. of Memphis City Schools. The salary
for the job reportedly is in the range of $260,000.  For some reason, Groucho Marx’s line “I don't care
to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members.” springs to mind.
June 12th Former Congressman Dan Kuykendall, died today at the age of 83.
June 17th Liberty founder Bud Dudley died today in a Memphis nursing home at the age of 88.
June 18th – Pal Joey A Federal Court judge sentenced Joe Cooper to six months in prison plus six
months of home detention and two years of supervised release for money laundering.


                                           LINKS YOU’LL LOVE
Although Smoke Signals never contains material that would be considered obscene, some links may occasionally
contain a word, image or other content that might be offensive to some. Henceforth, those links will appear BLACK
Ink Bottles  Blackwell                            From the D.C. dummies.                                The Warrior  Leeba
There's a lot of strange men in cell block 10      Handy 'favs'  Busselle       Trade in SS Beeman
Defunct Mphs. restaurants.              Felony wedgificatrion                   Hopefully, by our 50th

                           IMPORTANT LINKS ON THE CHS WEBSITE

Check for our news page.  CLICK FOR NEWS
Email addresses for our troops.   CLICK FOR OUR TROOPS PG.    
Our tribe’s ’61 & ’62 homeroom pics. CLICK FOR PICS
Alumni page for warriors of all years.  CLICK FOR ALUMNI PAGE
Send us your thoughts. CLICK FOR OPINION PAGE
Send us some laughs. CLICK FOR LAUGH PAGE.