Monday, October 26, 2009

Allegiance to Old Heavener High


Allegiance to old Heavener High

The dearest school in all the world

We’ll fight for Heavener High

Wherever we may be

Our allegiance we want

All the world to see


Will be with us

Our whole lives through

And we’ll remember

Everything you did for us

Oh, our dear old Heavener High!

Heavener High will 2.???_____________ for you

High rickety hoopty doo

Heavener High will 3.???_____________ for you

High rickety hoopty doo

4.????_______________(I remember the sax part here, but weren’t there some words?)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Life Lessons and the Green Packard

I recently reconnected with Felda Looper on Facebook. We haven’t talked in about 35 years, so there is a lot to remember and a lot to learn about each other! We reminisced about learning to drive on the west side streets of Heavener. Dad taught Judy and me really young, about 12 years old I think. In fact, Judy had her first wreck with Dr. Fair when she was about 14. Anyway, I knew how to drive, and Felda and I decided it was time for her to learn as well. We “borrowed” an old, old, old gray Ford with wings on the back from my Dad’s old car collection for this special project because the Gray Ghost had a Sears and Roebuck air-conditioner that was MONEY on those hot summer days.Dad worked a lot of nights that summer, so I would have breakfast with him and make sure he was sound asleep before I drove the Gray Ghost up the hill to pick up Felda for her driving lesson. Driving the Gray Ghost was a challenge in itself because it was a 3-speed on the column, and really interesting things always happened when you changed from first to second gear. I think they must have crossed up some wiring when they installed that Sears and Roebuck air conditioner. Sometimes the horn would honk when you changed gears, and sometimes the windshield wipers would swipe a few times. Such distractions for a beginning driver! Felda and I would make our way out to Independence Road and practice our driving skills, then get the Ghost back to my back yard before time for Mo to wake up.

When Felda turned 16, Dr. Looper was amazed at how quickly she “caught on” to the skill of driving. And we were so excited at the possibilities of Felda actually having a license! Dr. Looper had a Corvette and a Mustang, and we could just picture ourselves sporting around the country in those classy cars. But NO, we forgot about the old, old car Dr. Looper had in their back yard, the Packard!! And as luck would have it, her Dad was able to get the Packard running again just in time for Felda’s 16th birthday. That car was the biggest tank you can imagine, probably was once quite a luxury mobile, but not in 1971. It would not go one bit faster than 30 miles an hour, maybe closer to 25. All my careful teaching of how to effectively use a clutch was wasted. The Packard was an automatic; however, it was not without excitement either. Sometimes it wouldn’t change gears at all, and just hummed along really loudly in first gear. Or when it would change gears it had this crazy way of almost stopping and then LUNGING forward as it moved into the next gear.

There was such wisdom in giving your child a gigantic, slow Green Packard as a first car. We could never get a speeding ticket because it wasn’t possible to speed! There is no way that car would not be noticed, so there was nothing we ever got by with in the Packard. We had been told it should never be driven past the Dairy Cream, but we motored over to Poteau one day. A host of angry parents waited to greet us upon our return. Another time, all the majorettes decided to steal a stop sign. From the Glass House, sitting at his desk, Dad saw the old slow Packard packed full of girls lunging over the railroad tracks with the huge, red octogon sticking out the back window. (Later that night I had an appointment with Daddy and a shovel. Judy and I think it was at the exact same intersection where Dad watched her put one back up in the ice and snow 10 years earlier! I must clarify Judy didn’t steal hers. It simply encountered her bumper!)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sutherland's photographs drawing notice

Jerry Sutherland is not professional photographer. Yet.

“I might see if I can sell some later, although I did get paid for doing some calendar pictures,” said Sutherland, whose only connection to Heavener is that he married a girl from Heavener, the former Sherry Linville. The cover for 2010 City of Grand Junction calendar is of a full moon over the Colorado National Monument (above) is one photographed by Sutherland. “I just like to take photographs as a hobby now.”

Jerry and Sherry moved to Grand Junction in December 1995 after Jerry retired from UPS in Fort Smith . Originally from Michigan , and a high school graduate in Virginia , Sutherland moved the Arkansas in 1971, met and married Sherry in February 1982 in Fayetteville.

Sutherland has previously photographed Denver Broncos NFL games with sideline photo passes obtained by John Inman.

More of his shots can be seen at

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Continuing on our trip -- Part 4

Saving the “best” for last, easily the most intriguing people we visited on our trip were Cynthia’s cousin, James Harvey Brewer and his wife Betty. Because of their backgrounds in the Orient we found them so interesting. The moment we walked in the door, he asked if we had been watching the sumo wrestling tournament. He had recorded 14 hours and said it would come on later than night and he was planning to record more, because it came on at 4 a.m. or something like that. Cynthia and I looked at each other, a little puzzled, I’m sure. James Harvey gets a Japanese channel on his TV, you see.

He is very knowledgeable and began explaining the yokozuna (grand champion) to us. He spent time in Japan during his military days and Betty was an assistant to the CEO of a Japanese electronics firm for seven years.

Then he introduced us to his family – of birds, that is. One by one, he introduced us to Warrior (top left) Levi (top, 2nd photo) Mochi (top, 3rd photo) and Tiki (second row, 4th photo). Warrior was actually just visiting while his owner was bird-sitting in Georgia . The birds were absolutely beautiful, even to someone not really into in the fine-feathered things. Over the next evening and morning, the birds played, talked, sang and even danced for us. Very entertaining. Mochi is a white Goffin’s Cockatoo, nine years old and domestically hatched. In fact they have a shadowbox display that includes his actual age. He was named for a Japanese rice dish. Tiki, a Panama Yellow Amazon, was caught in the wild and is over 28 years old. His favorite phrase appears to be “Hi, sugar”. Levi, a blue and gold McCaw is 17 and Warrior, a green-winged McCaw. is 16. All these birds are a commitment for life and beyond. Betty explained how McCaws often outlive their owners, requiring provisions for their care to be included in wills. We didn’t even begin to guess how much they might be in “bird years”.

James Harvey and Betty have a back room they’ve turned into an aviary so their little family can “spread their wings and stretch out” each day. Betty fed each bird, things like oat meal, crackers, etc. and talked to them as they ate. The birds responded and did a little dancing at Betty’s request. They almost reminded Cynthia and I of the mynah birds at Coodrod’s old store on HYW. 59 in Heavener, but, obviously, these were much prettier and talented in their own right.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Continuing on our trip -- Part 3

(click photos for larger view)

Oklahoma City was our next stop after Kansas . There, I got to visit with an old friend from my days at LeTourneau University in Longview . Elliot Johnson is now baseball coach at Southern Nazarene and he and his wife Judy have built a new log home in Northwest OKC, actually Piedmont . It is truly a nice home, or as Elliot calls it, his “cabin.” We were very comfortable in the “Indian” room.

The last night in OKC we had a mini-Heavener Reunion , with Dennis West and his wife Carol, Russell Walker (photo at top left), Nancy Gilstrap Adams (photo with me, below, we were sweethearts in the 1st or 2nd grade), along with Kathy Bain Dunn and her husband Harry (photo, third from top). Harold Patterson and his wife Sheila, plus Paul Riggins and his wife were unable to join us because of family commitments.

It was great to meet, Kathy, a fellow Heavener blogger. I had known her only as a youngster, and as Judy’s sister. Her husband Harry is a school principal in Midwest City and a really nice guy. Russell, of course, was my next door neighbor on 2nd Street , and Dennis, retired from the U.S. Air Force, lived on 2nd Street as well. He graduated in 1965 with me, so I’ve gotten to see him at a few Heavener Reunions. Nancy was a ’65 grad as well, so we had seen her some over the years. Our stay in the OKC area was rewarding, in that we got to visit with old friends. However, a friend of mine passed away in Longview , so we had to make the trek back home the very next day to go to the funeral. I’d have to classify our first extended RV trip as very good, and we plan to make another one soon

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Continuing on our trip--Part 2

The stay in Miami and visit with Jim was very relaxing. Cynthia has tons of photos to share with her brother. Then it was on to Topeka , KS to spend a few days and visit with another Heavener classmate, John Marvin Wright.

John Marvin lost his wife Mieko a year ago in July, so he has struggled somewhat and it did him good to see some familiar faces from the old hometown. He was a very gracious host and even had a place we could park our RV, in a trailer park community near his house. He showed us around Topeka and even “arranged” for the Yankees and KC Royals to play on TV the night before we left, so I could watch my fave team play ball. We met John Marvin’s daughters, Donna and Shirley. Donna even came over one night to fix shrimp and steak all of us.

We drove to El Dorado Lake , near Wichita , after we left Topeka and lo and behold, one of Cynthia’s classmates lived in El Dorado – Lee (Johnson) Lewallen. Cynthia didn’t realize Lee lived so close to Wichita . Lee no longer had a listed telephone, instead deciding to go with a cell phone. Anyway, unable to get in touch with her, we found her house and went by. Cynthia was a little afraid to knock on her door (for fear we had not found the right house), so I agreed to knock on the door. Nobody was home, but they pulled in the driveway as I was standing on the porch. The man got out and with a puzzled look on his face, said, “Can I help you?” I said, “Well, I’m looking for Ken and Lee Lewallen, I’m John Inman from Heavener, Oklahoma .” Lee said, “Oh, I remember him.” About that time, Cynthia got out of the car. Lee recognized her, we talked for a few minutes and they made plans to meet the next day for lunch (photo on left) and they were able to catch up on old times.

So, in a few days time, I was able to see one of my classmates and so, too, was Cynthia. Oh, and our stay at Lake El Dorado, a Kansas State Park, was almost as enjoyable as Roaring River, not nearly as beautiful and certainly not as busy, either. But very adequate and again, relaxing. That was the main thing. Oh, have you ever heard the old joke about the wind in Kansas ... it blows southward because both Oklahoma and Texas s---k. Well, I don’t know about the latter part, but the former part is certainly true. The wind blowed and blowed for all three days we were there. So hard, in fact, the RV was almost rocking.

Monday, October 12, 2009

What a novel idea

This Heavener blog idea was absolutely a great one, I think. Craig, ye of mostly great ideas and an old sportswriter friend of mine, wised up and got out of the newspaper business several years ago. He then went into banking, but along the way came up with the idea for HOL (Heavener on line) and it was a big hit. Everywhere I go to see old hometown friends, it never fails that someone asks whatever happened to HOL. Bill Pitchford asked me one time over a lunch visit at the Southern Bell in Heavener, “What do you think it would take to start up another Heavener online type of thing?” I told him I wasn’t sure, maybe he should check with Craig. Well, this spring Craig became tired of the banking business and said he would like to get back into newspapers again and if I heard of anything opening up would I be sure to contact him.

Lo and behold, he found something. The LeFlore County Journal, a website online with all the county communities – Arkoma, Bokoshe, Cameron, Heavener, Pocola, Poteau, Spiro, Talihina, Whitesboro and Wister –county schools, news and anything else deemed newsworthy. From weddings, births, obituaries … you name it, it lists everything you might be curious about and everything else you were afraid to ask about. It even has Carl Albert State College news. All the sports schedules, scores upcoming sporting events, etc., are included. Lately, I’ve been sending out obits I find each day on newspaper websites from Ft. Smith , Poteau, Tulsa , Oklahoma City, Ft. Worth and even on occasion, in Shreveport , but people have told me that when an email comes in from me, they are often afraid to open it, knowing I’ve sent another obit. I’ve had other people tell ask me, “Why don’t you send out a newsletter with good things?” I thought about it and decided I would try to do exactly that.

I even ask friends about the name of Heavener newsletter, and had suggestions like Heavener Highlights, Highlights of Heavener, Heavener Headache, but the one I chose came from Steve Hembree: Runestone Ramblings. I’ve even done some preliminary work for the newsletter, but now I discover Craig has started LeFlore County Journal. He certainly knows more about computers than I, so I’ll gladly step aside and let him continue, and, at the same time, help him generate some promotions for it. Here’s the first one, Craig. Heavener bloggers: go to, bookmark your computer and start reading it. I know it will and hope to contribute to it, too, whenever I can. Remember:

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Continuing on our trip -- Part 1

Chuck had said before we left on our RV trip, it would be nice if all the Heavener bloggers could “ride along” with us. Meaning he wanted me to blog along the way. We ran into some problems with our wireless laptop, and finding a place suitable where we could get on the internet. We have returned home now, but I will try to catch everybody up – on the different places we visited, that is. I will send four blogs with photos the next several days – concerning Missouri , Kansas , Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

Roaring River, MO.
When we last talked last, we were sending from a Wal-Mart Subway in Cassville , MO. , or from Roaring River . The trip to Roaring River was easily the most beautiful and busiest portion of our trip. Beautiful because it was in a spot near a river full of trout, (photo at right shows the fishermen lined along the river fishing for trout which are released every morning from the hatchery above the river) lots of trees and, most importantly, cool weather. Busy because a friend from my graduating class – Jackie Garrett Alsup – kept us doing and going someplace every minute. Mercy!

From the moment we arrived, she had a tour trip through Dogwood Canyon , a beautiful place for scenery, planned with the perfect tour guide, her husband Ken. Really. Ken is employed part time by Dogwood Canyon as a tour guide. (photo at top of Jackie, Ken, Cynthia and I) The next day, she had set aside for us to go to the Dixie Stampede in Branson. It had a meal to die for … prairie chicken, BBQ pork tenderloin, corn, a baked potato, bread, creamy vegetable soup, tea or water and to top it off, apple turnover for dessert. Mmmm, good. The Dixie Stampede includes a show filled with cowboys and pretty cowgirls riding in a small arena surrounded by the dining platforms. The traditional “stampede” is followed by the battle between the north and the south. A really fun evening! The next day was spent walking around Silver Dollar City in Branson. Jackie used to work there before she retired in May, so she knew practically everyone and all the places to go. She got us in with passes she had attained upon her retirement and used her discount card whenever we bought something.

We left Roaring River , mainly to catch our breath (whew), and went back to Miami , OK to visit Cynthia’s brother Jim, whom she hadn’t seen in over five years.