Friday, May 29, 2009

Indian Tale

This story from Frances Jean Nowlin Brubaker, Class of 1952:

My grandparents bought land in what was known as “Big Pasture” down on Red River and moved to Cotton County about 1906.

Mary Catherine Gann Nowlin was born in Brown County, Texas on April 3, 1860. She departed this life July 8, 1959 in Cotton County, Oklahoma. She married James Calvin Nowlin in 1876. He was born in Alabama on October 15, 1850, and died October 14, 1922 in Cotton County, Oklahoma. Our Dad, Rufus Eugene Nowlin, was next to the youngest in this family of five children who lived to be grown. He had three older sisters: Margaret, Ruth and Nancy and a younger sister was Audrey.

MY grandmother opened my imagination with stories of her life and childhood. The following is an event that took place during my grandmother’s first year of school.

The setting was rural Texas in 1866. Buffalo herds roamed the plains of Texas and wild Indians raided and killed settlers coming to the area. These would have been Comanche and Apache Indian tribes. Men from this part of Texas did not have to serve in the Civil War for they were needed at home to protect their families.

This was a one room school situated near a stream. Probably located in as central an area as they could manage for the children who were to attend. My grandmother and her older brother walked several miles to school. This particular day my grandmother’s brother was sick and her mother wouldn’t let her walk this distance alone to school.

Some child in the classroom spotted two horse back riders in the distance. Soon the entire classroom was aware of the approaching riders. It was apparent these riders were headed for the school. The classroom was a stir! The children were restless and pointing. In vain, the teacher was trying to maintain order until she saw these two horsemen were Indians. Quickly she went to the little window at the back of the room and frantically began helping the children out with instructions for them to hide in the brush down by the stream. When these two Indian men came through the door the teacher and two children, a boy and a girl, stood petrified with fear at the back of the room. The young teacher put her hand to her chest and begged them not to kill her. As soon as the first arrow pierced her body she became enraged, and began be meaning these two Indians. She would not flinch nor fall, but continued to rage verbally at them until they killed her. Possibly she may have wanted to divert their attention from those children who had escaped hoping to give them time to hide.

This brutal scene took place in the presence of the children who did not have time to escape. The Indians motioned for these two children to go outside with them. They then patted their horses for them to get on their horses. –A TEACHER KILLED AND A BOY AND A GIRL STOLEN BY THE INDIANS--.

When they found the teacher lying on the floor of the little school room she was full of arrows. They did not try to remove them, but cut the arrows off to bury her.

The children who escaped stayed hid out until late evening. News as to what had happened began to trickle through the area. The tragic event ended school for that year.

Several years later some settlers traveling through the country bought this white boy from the Indians for a sack of flour. The Indians said he was a bad boy. The boy would show people scars on his lets below his knees where the Indians stuck feathers beneath the skin and set the feathers on fire. The Indians did this because he tried to run away.

Evidently, this account is recorded. In the summer of 1966, while visiting my parents in southern Oklahoma I came across an article in the Wichita Falls, Texas newspaper written by Jack Kemp. The title was “Just a Hundred Years Ago”. The article told how children collected pennies to buy a headstone for their teacher who had been killed by the Indians.

I tried to tell the story as near as I could to the way my grandmother told us.

Frances Jean Nowlin Brubaker, Class of 1952.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A "Book" for Graduates

Mrs. Blackburn was class sponsor for my senior year at Temple High (1951). She and her husband, John, went on the senior trip with us. Later she taught speech at Walters.

Harold mentioned she introduced him to poetry. She published a book of poetry, “PONDER…ings” in 1974. Below is a poem from the book which is aimed at new graduates.

School is like a book!
It has a hard durable cover.
There is much reading matter involved.
Inside there are many characters, main and minor,
Good and bad?
There are many events from beginning to end.
There are crises---
And a climax!
The characters laugh;
The characters cry.
We mustn’t forget the introduction
And we CAN’T forget the END.
The twelve years are like twelve chapters.
Memories of those
Will be part of us
School is like a book,
And now
YOU have finished it!

By – Ella Mae Blackburn”

Copied by Lois Lewis Powell. Class of 1951
Billie (Frances Brown) Campbell, a 1944 graduate of Temple High, responded to the posts about Temple teachers:

I only attended THS from 9th through 12th grades, as we lived north of town near Pioneer school, which provided grades from Primary through 8th grade. The teachers I remember most vividly are Miss Christine Simpson (English) and Mr. Jarrett, who taught one semester of Psychology (his main duties were those of either Principal or Superintendent). Miss Simpson never scolded or even raised her voice, but there was complete quiet and order in her class. I came away from those two teachers with a love for words and for language, and with a fascination for human behavior, the latter of which became the basis for my career as a psychotherapist after some years of work at OU.

Two other teachers I remember were Mr. Robert Mastin
(coach, who made no secret of the fact that he hated being required to teach girls' physical ed) and Ms. Burright (sp?) who taught vocal music and who once embarrassed Mr. Mastin by composing and having us sing a response to his favorite song, "Bicycle Built for Two". It went something like this: "Bobby, Bobby, here is my answer true: I'm half crazy, all for the love of you; But we'd better postpone the marriage, since we can't afford a carriage, For I'll be hanged, if I'll be banged on a bicycle built for two."

Ah! Weren't those the days?!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bill Dobbs remembers

After reading the posts about teachers, Bill Dobbs wrote me about his memories of teachers over 60 years:

Memories of a first grader

It was the fall of 1946 when I started school. I was 6 years old and fresh off the farm. On my first day of school, I remember being assigned to Mrs. Wanda Johnson’s room where we all took our seats. I was seated toward the back and I was astounded to see a little white haired girl sitting several seats in front of me. Mrs. Johnson called our names and we each approached her desk where she gave us a page from a tablet. I think that the exercise was to put names and faces together. I then learned that the little white haired girl was Jeannie Cooper who would be a friend through 12 years in Temple and through college and beyond. Jeannie was not white haired at all but just about as blond as one could get. But once again, it was my first day of school, what did I know?

Mrs. Johnson’s class was too large, so an overflow (first and second grade) class taught by Mrs. Wilkins was created and that is where I was assigned. Our classroom was the one just to the south of the back of the auditorium, just up the hall from the girl’s restroom. In Mrs. Wilkins class, I met many friends for life.

I remember first seeing Roger Norman in class and was very intrigued to see that he was wearing short pants. This was quite novel to me since my fashion world was centered on blue roundhouse farmer overalls.

In the first grade, one not only learns academically but also learns the rules and customs of school. One of the terms used, if a restroom trip was necessary, was to ask the teacher, “May I go to the basement?” Where did such a term come from? Years later, I learned that the old school building that had not been around for about ten years had the restrooms in the basement. It’s funny how such a term can take on a life of its own. I think the phrase did go away after two or three years though.

In 1946, the cafeteria had not yet been built. For those who brought lunch, we would have it in the large sixth grade room at the south end of the building. I can still remember the great diversity of smells that came from the room as lunch boxes were opened. To a first grader, the sixth grade desks seemed enormous. Usually, two first graders could sit at one desk eating lunch with feet not touching the floor.

During my first year of school, I rode the bus driven by Harry Bizzell. One morning my mother fixed my lunch and packed it in a brown paper bag. She also filled a pint fruit jar with milk and placed it in the bag as well. On that particular day, I was riding on the front seat of the bus by the door. As we proceeded to school, the bus made a sudden stop and the lunch jumped from my lap and onto the floor. The jar of milk broke and ruined my lunch. Later that day at lunch time, Harry came to my classroom and took me downtown and bought me my lunch. Such a simple act of kindness and thoughtfulness can be remembered for a long time.

Being fresh off the farm, I had not attended kindergarten and of course learning to read was a big deal. Years later my Dad would tell how I would sit in his lap learning to read and at times would cry from frustration. The reading program used was “The Friendly Village” series and it was used through the fourth or fifth grade. The characters in the series were Alice and Jerry and their dog Jip. Mr. Carl was their mentor. I think that he was a cobbler. I have had phrases burned in my memory such as, “See Jerry run. Run Jerry run. Run, run, run!”

Mrs. Wilkins set up a little woodworking shop at the back of our classroom. It had a workbench and some simple hand tools. There she taught us how to do some woodworking. I remember making an elephant pull toy. Little diversions from the everyday drudgery of writing in penmanship books were a pleasure. Even passing the wastebasket, sharpening a pencil or dusting erasers helped to break the monotony.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Temple HS Reunion

John (J.R.) Glasgow is the keeper of e-mail list for Temple Alumni. If you are not on his list send us an email with your name, including maiden if applicable, and class year, and I'll pass it on.

Some alumni have proposed changing reunion from Saturday after Thanksgiving to Friday.
WE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE YOUR COMMENTS! Post them by commenting on this blog or write to me, and we will submit them to current alumni president, Richard Glenn, for consideration.

Renee Gower, class of 1967, was the latest alum to weigh in on changing the reunion date:
I know that Glenda Canary wrote to you about changing the date for the Alumni get together to a time when it's not a holiday. I actually wrote that to Glenda and she copied it and sent it on to you. I've felt for a long time that we should change the date. When this tradition was started many had family in Temple but that is not the case now. They've moved out of the area and they spend Thanksgiving with their families and will never come to Temple on Thanksgiving. I strongly believe that if this reunion was held at another time of the year the attendance would improve.

-- Harold & Lois Powell

Teacher Tribute

As a student in Temple School in the 1940s, I never dreamed that sixty years later I would pay tribute to my teachers.

In first grade Miss Bowles was stern and no student would dare cross her. She taught respect for teachers. Miss Woods read to my second grade class daily after lunch. She taught that reading was fun. Ester Powell promoted me to fourth grade even though I didn’t know arithmetic (a result of California schooling most of that year). She spared me the humility of failing. Elizabeth Hooper’s geography lessons opened my mind to other cultures. Mrs. Vencill’s 6th grade class was a no nonsense experience. Erma Dawson demonstrated patience and caring from which I learned some of the same. Miss McClarty got us singing, and I’ve never stopped. Mrs. Blackburn led us into poetry, some of which I often remember. Pa Price taught Math and inadvertently storytelling. Mrs. Kennedy made us diagram sentences day after day. From that I gained knowledge of sentence structure which helped me through college and an Army career. Mrs. Hickerson taught speech and helped get me out of my shyness. Lewis Knight taught Agriculture. Looking back I can see that he was amazingly tolerant of the pranks of the boys in his classes. I know for a fact that most of those boys have turned out to be good men. Some have apologized to him for their behavior and others would like to apologize. Lewis a 1939 Temple grad attended the Tiger reunion and seems unscathed by our indiscreet behavior. I think he is a fine man and I know past students love him for his patience and kindness.

Athletic coaches were a big influence too. James Taylor was a great teacher. His example gave me the idea to go to college to become a football coach. (I was sidetracked from coaching by a military obligation that turned out OK.) It is a truth: Teachers make a difference in our lives.

(This is reprinted from my Kernels from Temple column in the Walters Herold in January 2006.) --Harold Powell

Sunday, May 10, 2009

You smell . . .

If you only read this blog in email, you may have missed this comment on the blog from Ed Deutschendorf:

I really enjoyed reading Kathy's recollections of Mrs. Mae Blair. I was extremely afraid of her. Being in the 7th grade, new to junior high, I was pretty insecure anyway, and then to have Mrs. Blair as a teacher really got me going.

My sister, Kerry, loves to tell this story about Mrs. Blair, but I have to give a little background that she leaves out.

In 1970 I was in the 5th grade. I was firmly entrenched in the Temple school system having moved to Temple half way through my 3rd grade year. During that 5th grade year a new kid moved in; his name was Eric Claunch. I hope I am spelling his last name correctly. Eric was a very outgoing kid and a tremendous athlete. We played football together in the 6th and 7th grades. He reminded me a lot of Brett Gunn. He would have been a tremendous asset to our football team, but he moved away shortly after we entered junior high.

Eric would do or say anything. He even had the nerve to flirt with the older 6th grade girls, and he was the new kid. Wow! He always had that look that made you wonder what was coming next, and something was always coming. I am not sure if split classes (mixed grades in the same class) were unique to Temple, but I was in several. Mrs. Blair's class was one of them. Some of my 7th grade classmates shared her classroom with some of the 8th graders. Eric Claunch was in that class. We probably didn't get into any more trouble than any other class, but Eric seemed to push the envelope in any class.

I believe Mrs. Blair knew she had to stay ahead of Eric to keep him in line, and I think she did for the most part. You didn't get much past her. That is the background.On one particular day, we had a memorization assignment of some sort in Mrs. Blair's class.

The way I remember it, prior to class beginning on that day, it seemed we were all intent on the final prep for the assignment. In other words, there wasn't the normal chatter before class. Mrs. Blair was at her desk, completely in control as always, and Eric walked into class. Eric had his hands behind his back, and he gave the whole class this look that said, "Watch this!" The beauty of the whole thing was that we had no idea what he had planned.

Eric walked up to Mrs. Blair and the coversation went something like this:

Eric : "Mrs. Blair."

Mrs. Blair : "Yes, Eric."

Eric : "You smell....(long pause)"

When he said that, the entire class gasped audibly; we thought the world was going to end right then and there. You could physically sense the fear in that room. We all knew Eric was toast, but we feared that Mrs. Blair would find a way to implicate the whole class. After the pause, a long pause mind you, he said, " a rose.", and he gave her a rose that he had been hiding behind his back.

The class came unglued. I am not sure her class was ever the same after that. I would love to have known what she thought that day. She never mentioned it. Being the astute 7th grader that I was, I do believe she saw Eric in a different light after that. You would actually catch her smiling at something he said or did from time to time after that. Maybe she did appreciate a good joke.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Teachers Remembered

Pat Lyford Wrote:
I began thinking of the teacher's in my four years at Temple High. Mrs. Washington in the Library with blue hair, sometimes purple. Mrs Lowe, who taught us more than college kids get now in the English and public speaking world. Mrs. Kerr, who taught us typing and bookkeeping (can never remember how to spell that); James Dean, the band director who followed Alfred Montain. Mr Miller was an extremely good math teacher. Did Mrs. Miller teach home economics? Didn't we have a Mrs Blackburn, a tiny little woman with jet black hair. Of course, how could we leave out J.D. Lynch. I also remember a young male teacher who taught physics I think, Mr Risen(sp?) who blushed every time the girls would go to his desk to ask a question. What about Herb Hickerson and Mr. Groenwald (sp?) And the strange science teacher, who kicked me out of physics for misbehaving. I guess Mr. Risen taught Geometry. I'm sure there were many more, but those seem to have stuck in my mind.

Missing Emails

This was misdirected to a spam folder a couple of weeks ago and I just found it:
Dale is anticipating the 60th reunion of the class of 1949. He's living in Costa Rica. He wants to know if the class is planning anything special.

And another missing email, commenting on the movie poster: Yes, Roger, I do remember that movie. I rarely missed a Sunday afternoon "technicolor" film. If you want to read about it and the plot...just type in your browser "The Greatest Show on Earth" by Cecil B. DeMille. The movie came out in l952. This reply is from your wife's first cousin, Martha "Jean" Wall Griffith.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Plane Crash Remembered

From Jerry Bowles: I remember the plane crash. Like Harold, I walked out to the site and saw the indentation of the body in the ground. The plane was on fire and was a Air Force twin engine B26 light/medium bomber. I wouldn't swear that this is true, but that's how I remember it.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Plane Crash and Sixth Grade Teachers

Roger, I think it was a US Air Force plane.  Not sure where it was based.

Sue, I didn’t have Mrs. Hand in sixth grade.  I had Mrs. Vencil.  She was stern, all business, didn’t read to us.  But I did read “The Secret Garden” and remember bits of it yet.  It was my reading year: Bobbsey Twins, Girl of the Limber Lost, two or three books about the great snowy north and several about a boy inventor and mystery solver.



Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Temple Teachers; B & O Santa

Lucy Jarrett Davis wrote:
I grew up in Temple town in the thirties and forties, a thriving small town where everybody knew everybody else. A wonderful place to call home. My granddad was Santa Claus for several years in the old B & O Department store, upstairs, right next to where Dr. McKinney had his office. My Uncle “Dude” was teacher, Principal, Superintendant of Temple High School, I’m sure many of you remember him fondly , some not so fondly. I am very proud to say that my favorite teacher was the dearly loved Miss Ermal Dawson. What a lovely, caring person she was. I didn’t get to graduate in Temple, but had I been able to it would have been with class of ’49. My parents moved us to the Panhandle of Texas at the start of my Junior year.

'40s Plane Crash Near Temple

Harold, do we know any more about it. Was it a military plane from Sheppard or from Ft. Sill? Was it reported in the Tribune?


Reunion Change

Roger Norman says he agree's with Vickie's proposal to change the Reunion date to Friday.

Mrs. Hand and The Secret Garden

Sue Wilson Golden wrote:
I have lots of memories of being in school in Temple from the first grade on. One of my favorite times was in the sixth grade when Mrs. Hand would read to us after lunch. It was always a continued story and I looked forward to each day. She read “The Secret Garden” and it was my favorite. I loved it. Do any of you (those that graduated in 1956) remember that?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Temple Teachers ...

I am sure many Temple graduates have fond memories of the teachers they had over the years. I saw Suzy Blair's name mentioned on your blog. I just had to add, Mrs. Mae Blair was probably the most disciplined, effective teacher I ever had. I was actually rather scared of her. I never wanted her to have to correct me; I could hardly stand it when she did. When she looked at you with a disapproving eye, it was the same sick feeling I had when my mother did the same.

Mrs. Blair had a routine for each day and she drilled us on skills that I use to this day. I remember her daughter, Suzy, was named Teacher of the Year--I think, in Oklahoma--but I can not imagine she was any better teacher than her mother. As far as teachers and administrators go, the years I was in Temple schools, most of them were grade A. Would others want to contribute their special memories of the staff at dear ole Temple?

--Kathy Frusher

Monday, May 4, 2009

Reunion Date

I am sure many Temple graduates have fond memories of the teachers they had over the years. I saw Suzy Blair's name mentioned on your blog. I just had to add, Mrs. Mae Blair was probably the most disciplined, effective teacher I ever had. I was actually rather scared of her. I never wanted her to have to correct me; I could hardly stand it when she did. When she looked at you with a disapproving eye, it was the same sick feeling I had when my mother did the same.

Mrs. Blair had a routine for each day and she drilled us on skills that I use to this day. I remember her daughter, Suzy, was named Teacher of the Year--I think, in Oklahoma--but I can not imagine she was any better teacher than her mother. As far as teachers and administrators go, the years I was in Temple schools, most of them were grade A. Would others want to contribute their special memories of the staff at dear ole Temple?--Kathy Frusher

Saturday, May 2, 2009

1948 Plane Crash Remembered

I remember the plane crash southeast of Temple. I believe it happened in early August 1948. The day was hot. I was a high school freshman. Mike Richardson and I were riding our bikes to football practice when someone told us a plane had crashed southeast of town. We rode to the site, about two hundred yards past the railroad tracks. The bodies had been removed. We saw the impact where one of the airmen had landed in the ditch beside the railroad track. Coach George Woodruff made us run extra laps for being late for football practice. -- Harold

Friday, May 1, 2009

Small Town Changes

Some readers had comments on my posting about economics of the nation and a small town:

Ray Ille said:

My brother, Bill and I grew up on a farm north of Grandfield. It was part of the Big Pasture. In the fall of 1942 our family moved to Temple when our Dad purchased his first farm south of town. Part of the land was connected to the Temple Cemetery. Temple was a thriving little town and filled with cars and shoppers each Saturday until late in the evening.
Last June, Dorothy and I had the opportunity to return to Grandfield for a short visit with my cousin, Theresa Anderson and her husband Clarence. It was the first time we had stayed overnight in the town in over 60 years. Grandfield, like Temple, had been an active small town. It had an oil refinery for many years that provided employment for a great number of families. Both the Katy and Rock Island railroads served the town. The surrounding area produced high yielding fields of wheat and cotton. On Saturdays the town was full of shoppers.
The refinery has been gone for many years. The main street is now almost a ghost town. Like Temple, there is no main grocery store and it looks as though no new homes have been built in several years. My cousin drove us through rural communities that once had numerous farm families. Now the farmsteads are long gone, with only open fields remaining. Several large grain elevators still overlook the town but trains seldom pass through these days.
It is sad but the young must look elsewhere to find their future in today's world.

Jerry Bowles wrote:
Harold did an excellent job writing the article about Temple's past and future. As he wrote, the past seems better than the future. Maybe everything will change in 2012?

More Poetry Appreciation

From Roger Norman: Dottie, I sure enjoyed your poem – a great job.

Reunion Proposal

Vicki Stogner Elliott has this suggestion about the Temple High School Reunion:
Since I no longer live near Temple, I always look forward to the Temple Reunion that occurs every other year around Thanksgiving and treasure the opportunity to see so many old friends in such a concentrated span of time. A few years ago this event was moved to the Saturday after Thanksgiving. For the last 2 times, it is happening on the same day as the big OU/OSU state rivalry football game in Norman. This means that several friends who would normally be at the THS School Reunion are torn and sometimes do not attend because they want to either watch or go to the game. I too would like to go to the game if I had the opportunity (and a ticket). I understand why people wanted to move the Reunion away from Thanksgiving Day, but can't we schedule it to be on the Friday after Thanksgiving instead of Saturday to avoid the conflict with the big game? Hope this suggestion can be directed to the Alumni Board for their serious consideration this year.