Our Memories - Page 3
MARY MEMORY '61
Shirley Wilder and I, both 8-year graduates of Central Park Elementary, often
had lunch side-by-side. And occasionally, she would give me a bite or even swap
her Buddy Bar (a waffle shaped cookie covered with peanut butter and chocolate)
for whatever I had in my lunch sack, usually a homemade sugar cookie. At the
time I thought I made the better bargain as we seldom had store-bought foods!
So, wherever you are now, thank you, Shirley, for sharing. One of my favorite
memories at WEHS was vocal with sweet Mrs. Davis, our teacher of the all-female
vocal class. I sang with the altos, sitting beside Betty Carolyn Duncan maybe
three semesters. In the soprano area, Margaret Cobb had her place. Both Betty
Carolyn and Margaret had very nice singing voices. To make up for that lack, I
added volume:):):). We would sing popular songs; I think mostly from Mrs. Davis’
youth. She had us write the lyrics in a brown spiral notebook which I no longer
have. The only song I’m certain was included is Red Sails in the Sunset, one I
still enjoy hearing. If anyone still has her notebook or remembers other songs,
I’d love to know what you remember. Last and perhaps most meaningful! When
Harry and I married September 19, 1959, I was 16-years old and just beginning
the second half of my junior year. Memory, the first of 3, was born October 21,
1960. So the last semester of my senior year was completed exactly a year after
it would have been. Leaving the line in the lunchroom the first day of the
semester, wondering where I could sit, where I would ‘sort of’ fit in, was
intimidating. Fortunately, sweet Gwen Bryars, a friend
from Central Park Methodist Church, invited each to join her table with her
friends. Sometime we don’t know what our actions mean to another person. I’m
sure Gwen had no idea what her kind invitation meant to me. Gwen, I hope you’ve
enjoyed and are enjoying a good life. And a very belated huge thank you to you!
MINA MIZE '61
I chuckle to myself sometimes when I think of the business math class that I
attended in the basement of WEHS. The pipes were exposed and the floor was dirt.
Coach Short taught class and when we got bored or needed a stall tactic, we
asked him something about football and that took up the rest of the class. Maybe
it was his influence that makes the game of football so exciting for me now!
JUDY MYERS '61
I remember with much love Central Park, the neighborhood and the elementary
school; hot-fudge sundaes from Lane's Drug Store at Five Points West; Friday
nights at Lowe's skating rink, Sky Castle with Tommy Charles and 2-door '57
'BUSTER' PATTERSON '61
A little remembrance
for one of WEHS more unique teachers. There probably has been only one time in
all the years Mr. Baughan terrorized chemistry
students that everyone managed to pass one of his quizzes. We're all sitting
there, scratching various parts of our anatomy, trying desperately to figure out
just what a molal solution was, when divine intervention occurred. We had a fire
drill and all got to stand around outside for about 15 minutes before going back
in to finish the exam. It must have been the sun shining on our heads that
caused knowledge to grow that time!
I went to Hemphill and at Tuscaloosa and 13th was the WE
Theater, Donna Jean’s Candy Store, library, Alley’s Drug store and Spivey’s. The
theater didn’t have a snack bar, so we first went to Alley’s for popcorn, then
to Donna Jean's for a snow cone, then off to the movies: a news reel, cartoon,
serial (where the hero always found a way to escape from an impossible
situation) and then maybe a double feature. Spivey's had a mezzanine with all
kinds of model “stuff.” They later moved across the street and focused on
models. In '68, my oldest sister's husband was big into radio controlled
airplanes which he was mail-ordering from Mr. Spivey. When they first dated and
he first came to B’ham to meet the family, he was more excited about visiting
“the temple of modeling,” (his words) and meeting Mr. Spivey. Also, across from
WE Baptist, was a hardware store operated by the Brett family, a bakery, an A &
P, a post office and a small jewelry store. On Fridays after school, we would
stop at the jewelry store for free bubble gum. Across the street was a beer
joint, Mickwee’s. I felt like a real adult when I turned 21 and went in for a
beer. That part of West End, in retrospect, was a great place to grow up. None
of the families had money, so there was little peer pressure. Everything we
needed was within a few blocks of our house and there were tons of children
around. My mom commented that she and dad came home one Saturday afternoon to
find 17 kids on the front porch (about 40’ X 8’) of our 1,100 sq ft house. We
had 8 people living in that house, 5 children, my parents and maternal
read through the memories. I especially appreciated the Cantrell comments about
chemistry. John and Bill were in the same boy scout troop I was in and the same
dorm at Alabama so I knew them quite well. As the chemistry comment went I give
it a big amen. I made it through a quarter of chemistry at Birmingham Southern,
two chem classes at U of A, made A’s to everyone’s
amazement, including mine. But after all the afternoon tutoring we had with Mr.
Baughan, college was a breeze, at least chemistry was.
NANCY SANDLIN '61
At Central Park, in Ms. McKinney's class, I remember going on field trips on a
regular basis. What a great teacher she was. Friends I remember
there were Resheda Sharbel and Patsy Haynie. Others were Tommy Ponder,
Sandra Ogletree, Nancy Spurrier, Barry Gilliam, Stewart Hassler; at Jackson,
June McGinnis, Glenda Perdue, Nina Southard, Carlene Suttles, Barbara Pochran.
BILL SCOTT '61
My most vivid memory of WEHS is Mr. Baughan’s
chemistry class and his notes on most of my test papers (see me GCB). This was
usually not a good sign!
BEVERLY SIMPSON '61
I remember trying out to be majorette and never
getting that lucky! I remember cherry cokes, delicious pralines from the Candy
Kitchen, swimming pool at Woodward Park and those great drive-in movies that
provided another learning experience! Wish I could relive it all once again!
RONNIE STUBBS '61
I never thought I would live this long after growing up in the Iron City of
Birmingham! I use to tell the story about my mother washing clothes and hanging
them out to dry before she went to work at Loveman's. She would come home after
work and the clothes would be covered with soot from the steel mills!
RILEY THORNTON '61
My fondest memory at WEHS was in study hall. Annie Pearl Whaley passed around a
legal pad for the roll. Someone (I'm 99% sure it was Larry Vincent) signed
Conway Twitty's name. The next day, Ms. Whaley called
the roll and got to Conway Twitty and the class broke up laughing. Ms.
Whaley said, "Ya'll are so rude. Conway, please stand up". God rest her soul.
They don't make them like her anymore!
In addition to the
great WEHS recollections on these pages, I have great memories of growing up in
Central Park. My brother, Don, and those of you
that lived in CP are sure to remember the community center, library, football and baseball at the little and
big triangles, the creosote plant, Saturday morning serials and movies at the CP Theater,
ice cream at Howard Johnson's after church,
going to the 3 nearby drug stores (Herring's, Bowen's, Weaver's) for root beer
floats, malts and banana splits. And a little beyond to Five Points West,
Kiddie Land, Lowe's Skating Rink, tutti-frutti at Grayson's Spinning Wheel and
going to the Alabama State Fair every year. Riding the bus on Saturday mornings down 3rd Avenue to Birmingham's many
downtown theaters, then to either Pete's Famous Hot Dogs, Krystal or to the hot
tamale street vendor. We were lucky to have lived in an area with so much to do,
most of which we could easily walk to. We had lots of kids in our neighborhood
and played capture-the-flag on many a summer night. And who could forget that in
the evenings, the northwestern sky glowed pink and orange from the TCI furnaces
in nearby Fairfield (unhealthy, but beautiful).
remember that at Vulcan, a green torch indicated that
no one had died on Birmingham roadways in the past 24 hours
and the feeling you had when the torch was red?
I remember just about all of the
places listed at the Memory Lane pages, most of
which are long gone ... but will forever live in our memories!
Continue to Our Memories Page