Originally sent August 4
Well, once again, I've goofed. If this keeps up, I may have to get a 'ghost writer' for the news. But in some defence....this was all quite before my time. I appreciate Bert Click, '49, for letting me know it was NOT Kitty Wells, but WAS in fact Patsy Montana who sang..."I want to be a Cowboys Sweetheart". Bert's right. But, bet Kitty did too!
And mystery of the 'John's solved. The 'John' who sent the great info on Roy Rogers including picture of his Pontiac was John Mercadante, '64! Thank you John!
Great notes and info in the eMail bag:
"With all of the interest expressed in the movie and TV cowboys, I thought you might find it interesting that I've been doing some teaching and lecturing on classic western films since mid-2008. Next month, for instance, I teach a one-week seminar on "The Code of the West: Duty, Honor, and Responsibility in the Classic Hollywood Westerns" at the Lawrence University retreat center/lodge in Door County. Last year a similar class I did on Westerns for Lawrence drew 21 students. I got into this area of teaching (Rhetoric of Film) while at Miami of Ohio in the 90's. In November I'm doing a series of talks in Wisconsin Rapids on the 1960's/70's/80's transition from the classic Westerns to the more modern variety. And so it goes.Happy Trails.
Jack [Rhodes] '59
"Georgia, your blog is very much appreciated, especially for us ex-Pats. Ray's [Hobbs] story, which he swears is true, can top all those about Ritz Theater prices. He said he walked to the Ritz from 1908 D Street and a potato was his admission. No money for candy, popcorn, bus, but he did get to see the Saturday serials!
I lived over by the park....was it Union or Harmon?....on the South side. Barbara Thaxton and I were allowed to walk to the Lawton or the Dome, but not to the Ritz, Palace, or Murray. C Street was too rough for us "innocent" girls. We loved to play around the train station. We would put pennies on the train tracks to see if they would be flattened. Thanks for sharing the memories."
Tommye (Boudreaux) Hobbs, '52
"Georgia, I must protest Ronny Jones claiming that Sonya Reynolds was his girl friend, she was my girlfriend but like Ronny; I'm sure she didn't even know who I was. I met her along with Mary Beth Lund and some more of the girls from then the JR or Soph class at the old Youth Center on 4th St upstairs over a furniture store. There the girls would try to teach us dumb boys how to dance. One song has always stuck in my mind is "The Little White Cloud that Cried" by Johnny Ray; that's the one where you got to hold the girls close.
As for the old Ritz, every Sat like clock work, except on the 3rd or 4th Sat, I was given a whole $1. I would walk to Old Royal barber shop on 3rd St between "C" and "D", saving bus fare. 50 cent for haircut which gave me a lot to spend at the movies. I just had memory jog, when i met Soyna and the girls, had to be when I was in the 9th grade because we started working on getting a new Youth Center when I got to high school."
Frank Hankins, '57
And some are remembering the Vaska.....
"What about the Vaska Theater Sat morning Shows with the Fairmont name brand that was collected by the young show goers."
Bruce Knowles, LHS 62
"The Vaska was a favorite place to meet for those of us in Junior High who were not yet driving. I think it had a baby room back in the northwest corner for crying babies. Always enjoy keeping up with everyone."
I remember that cry room! Would sit in there sometimes if empty...very quiet!
"The Vaska, I think ,was named after Mrs. Brock whose husband built the Vaska. I think the earliest week featured a blockbuster movie called 'New Faces'. featuring Eartha Kitt in 1954. I was there.Favorite movies not mentioned in earlier emails about the Ritz were 'Lash LaRue' and 'The ?Durango Kid'. Smiley Burnett and Gabby Hays seemed to be the sidekicks for everyone. The Big Six Bar was across the street on the corner, and the Busy Bee Cab was directly across the street. Lawton then had 76 bars, double the number of churches. Probably the same proportion now."
Sam Hamra, '55
I know 76 trombones, but 76 BARS! How did Sam know this???? hahahhahahahhaahaaaa
I will always remember Eartha Kitt and her raspy voice singing, 'Santa Baby'.!!
Note: Sam is on the right track, the Vaska was named after Vaska Redding, wife of Harold Redding, who was the contractor for the Vaska Theater. Max Brock was either the owner or the operator/manager?
btw...Harold & Vaska Redding had one son, James 'Jimmy' Redding, who was a grad of LHS sometime around 1949-50? He was killed in Korea at age 23, fluky accident, a fire in a barracks & he suffocated. Very tragic. My Bill lived in the infamous 1300 block on Cherry and says the Reddings lived in the house right next to Whittier School (on south, in the cul-de-sac). Bill remembers Jimmy from that old neighborhood.
Emails from: Kay (Purvis) Cunningham; Kay (Haines) Young, 59; Ralph Purvis, '52; Tom Newman, '60; Wayne Kniffin,'52.
While funerals are always sad occasions and cause of some reflection for most, they also serve as an occasion of bringing folks together. Such was the case as we attended the funeral this past Saturday for our friend & neighbor Loyal Farmer. A lovely service and Loyal will be missed by so many.
Afterwards, several adjourned to Burgess Grill for a bite of lunch and to reminiscence. It was a good group of LHS'ers. In addition to Bill & myself, Allen Johnson, '54; LuAnn & Jim Powers, '55; Johnna, '59 and Wayne Parks, '60; Judy (Matthews) Johnson, '57; Jeannie (Lee) and Chesley Montague, '52.
It was especially good to see Chesley out as he has had several very serious health issues the past 2-3 years. And so has Jeannie! It was a good visit in spite of the circumstances.
We need to take more time to enjoy our friendships.
I also attended the lovely service for Marjorie Ray and visited with Larry and Shirley and other family members.
Don't do it often enough, so, hugs to all my classmates...... Georgia