Inspired by having read so many interesting bios and recollections by my PHS ’56 classmates, I have decided to share a few facts and memories:
I only lived in Forth Worth through 9th grade at McLean and my 4 years at Paschal. My first 14 years were in Akron, Ohio, and after Paschal, it was Texas Tech for a degree in Architecture, then on to Phoenix, Arizona, “temporarily”. I’m still here, temporarily, practicing architecture while I decide what I want to do in my next life.
Those 5 short years out of 65 are so full of fond memories and unforgettable characters and friendships it seems hard to comprehend. Even after 46 years I do remember many of you – classmates and teachers – far more than college or any other “blink” of time. The significance of some of my experiences weren’t even recognized at the time – like when my family first moved to Ft. Worth I was building my 3rd Soap Box Derby to enter in the Fort Worth Race. Prior to the race, a kid my age who had no car to drive, offered to be my “pit crew” just so he could be close to the action. We developed a friendship that summer, then went to different high schools. Years later, he finally got his own car and drove it pretty well – at Indianapolis Speedway! He was Johnny Rutherford. It seems remarkable that so many Paschal students who walked the halls when we did went on to great things. Wasn’t it exciting seeing Frank Ryan quarterback for the Cleveland Browns? Frank was a senior when we were sophomores – but he was always friendly to us “underlings”. Living out in Phoenix I’ve been a bit out of touch with Fort Worth, so I always appreciated my mother sending me Sheila (Renfro) Taylor’s column from the Star Telegram. We had Irma Bombeck out here, but Sheila can write like the very best of them! Can’t think of Sheila without remembering Phylades (sp?) DOS, etc. and the dances at the Casino.
Teachers? Remember Durwood Fox who taught Physics? Super nice, patient teacher. How about Mrs. House and Mrs. Gardner for Latin? Now there’s a subject which really was helpful as a foundation for English as well as foreign languages! I wish I could take it again – well, maybe not. O.D. (Mutt) McCauley was not only a fine track and “B” team football coach, but a very capable Geometry teacher. Math is not my forte, but coach McCauley made Plane Geometry very interesting and logical to me. Speaking of O.D. – there was our principal, O.D. Wyatt, whom we all remember for his frequent playing of Star Dust over the intercom. The story I got was that it was a song which his son had in some way dedicated to him just prior to his tragic death.
On everybody’s “most unforgettable” list has to be Coach Charlie Turner. Most of my professional career has been in school design, so I have known and worked with many, many high school coaches, over 42+ years. Believe me: there is only one Charlie Turner! I’ve got a couple of “Charlie Stories” which I can’t share in writing – he was a motivator like no other, with – shall we say – an “earthy edge”. His nicknames for everyone were graphic and whimsical. Thank God we preceded political correctness! Hope to see many of you at the mini reunion so we can swap lies.
Like Bill Frost has been saying: “Lets (the good times) roll”