Thanks for your feedback

Sissie Blair Shandalow has collected everyone’s opinions regarding the WHS60 luncheons. The results are as follows:

“I would like to thank all who responded to the e-mail about our luncheon venue.The majority voted to stay at Casa. In fact more wanted to stay at Casa than the other two choices combined. We also had said that we wanted to meet every 2 months instead of quarterly.

So our next meeting is …

Thurs., March 14th, 11:30 am
Casa de Castillo

Hope to see you there.”

PS- Remember, Sissie wants your reservations…..

Sissie (Blair) Shandalow Needs Your Feedback

We have had requests to use different locales for our luncheon. Our last luncheon we discussed having the luncheon every other month instead of quarterly and the majority were in favor of this.

Please let me know your opinions on the following:

1. STAY – continue to meet at Casa de Castillo
2. ALTERNATE – Go to another location every other month
3. STOP – No longer go to Casa de Castillo

If you no longer want to go to Casa, please send me suggestions for other locations. Any other place we go needs to have a room to accommodate us.

Also, if you know of any of our classmates who still reside in the Waco area but do not attend our luncheons, if possible contact them and encourage them to attend. We have such a terrific time – lots of visiting and catching up.

Again please let me know your thoughts,
Love, Sissie

Waco Town Crier – February 2019

An adapted version of “The Town Crier” sent by Jeanne Harman on January 31, 2019.

First of all, I want to thank each and every one of you who have helped to contribute to the Town Crier. Without input from you and your sharing with us, there would be no Town Crier. To those who have not yet contributed anything—it is not too late. As was said in The Price is Right game show—“Come on down”. Our graduates enjoy so much hearing from everyone and we want to hear from you!

February is the month of love. Show some love to someone—be it friend, family, or stranger. Our world seems to be filled with so much hatred right now, we can do a little part to improve things by giving someone a smile to lighten their heart. Everyone wants and needs love.

Do not forget our wonderful website: Our directory is on-line so if you ever wonder where someone is, be sure to click on the directory for an address or phone number. Elizabeth Bentley is doing a fantastic job of keeping our site current, Pat Payne continues to bless our class with the finances to keep it up and going, Janet Hurta keeps up with all the changes of our very mobile class, and Bob Easter has helped to locate most of us. We will never know the hours that each of these folks gives to our class. It takes a village! Drop them a line and show your appreciation.
Elizabeth Bentley-
Pat Payne-
Janet Hurta-
Bob Easter-
Again, thank you so much for all your contributions to the Crier. Keep me posted!

What We’re Doing

The quarterly luncheon that was held on January 29th was a great success! We had about 33 people in attendance. It was so good to see JoAnn Carson and Charles Ray/Jan Miles who came from Arlington! Ken and Scoot Baker came from Georgetown, David and Janie McPhail from Cleburne. Robert (Little Red) Wilson came from San Antonio, Malissa Ruth Starnes Baugh from Temple, Betty Luedeker Gatlin from Liberty Hill. Also Tim Lasseter Latta came from Ft. Worth and Sissie Blair Shandalow came from Rockwall. Our mystery graduate who recently moved back to Waco as of only a week ago is DICK TOOKER and he attended. Dick said he is thrilled to be back in Waco and thinks it has changed so much. Dick said he was 35 years old when he left. The rest of the group was from Waco or parts really close to Waco. I do not think any pictures were taken—if you took some, please send to me and I will post in the next Town Crier. And, if you came from out of town and I overlooked mentioning you, please forgive. I did not take notes and my memory is probably not as good as it used to be.

Ken Baker wants everyone to start thinking about a 60th reunion. Someone is going to have to step up to the plate to organize this. If you are interested in having a 60th reunion, we need to hear some feedback. ESPECIALLY if you are interested in chairing it, let us know. You can contact our fearless leader of our last reunion. This does not have to be anything fancy….no decorations are needed….just a place for all to meet, visit, eat/drink, and enjoy memories and the fact that we are still alive and able to do all this.
So, let us hear from you. I will post the responses in the March Town Crier.
1. Do you want to have a 60th reunion
2. Do you want to chair it?
3. Are you willing to help work with a 60th reunion?
4. What ideas do you have for a 60th reunion?

Contact: Tim (Lasseter) Latta:
Jeanne Harman:

From Our Graduates

“What a wonderful article from David Dibb. Thanks so much for sharing.”
— Susan (Harkness) Hill

“Thank you, Jeanne, for this wonderful Town Crier. I especially appreciated the history of Waco composed by David Dibb. My father worked at Home Abstract and Title Company and shared much of the history of our town with me through the years. David captured it in superlative fashion. Though I have never attended a reunion, your Town Criers have always made me feel “connected” to my youth there, to the town and my friends. Our class has done extremely well!”
— Stan Lennard

“So sorry to hear about Gene Carson, another dear loss! Enjoyed reading about David Dibb’s too! We have so many talented class members!”
–Bev (Murphy) Wells

“I always enjoy catching up on our classmates. It was great seeing everyone that attended the last reunion.
I hope we will have another one soon.”
— Steve Brown

SO COLD here in Nebraska—no school for today (Jan. 23)—and none last Friday—we haven’t had weather this cold and snowy for several years. Hopefully we will warm up soon. Winters here were like this during the 1980’s when our kids were in school. The climate gradually changed with fewer winter storms. Guess it’s shifting back.
— Clara Sue (Griffis) Arnsdorff


Richard Tooker Exciting news! Dick Tooker has moved to Waco! Another graduate has returned “home”!!!! Yeah!

Ralph Klatt has a new address. He said he and Linda have moved to the mountains in North Carolina and marked off another goal on their bucket list. Be sure to make the correction in your directory. His new community is located about 15 miles from Boone, NC which is in a most beautiful part of the United States, near the Blue Ridge Parkway. No wonder Ralph had it on his bucket list! Ralph said right before Christmas they had over 20 inches of snow. Winter Wonderland!

Stan Lennard: “Earlier I had a book published, Nerve Endings of the Soul: Interaction Between the Mind of God and the Mind of Man Through Neural Synaptic Networks. It was the culmination of 18 years of apologetics research. It can be found at .

I have completed a second book which segues off the first one and is in the final draft form. I’m making my final edits and will next work to identify a publisher. This can be an arduous task! The title of the second book is The Boundless Love of God: Redemption of Man at the Cost of His Son. Though including scientific technical details, it has a much more evangelical focus. I endeavor to show the concordance between Scripture and science as they apply to the topic. I’ll keep you informed.

If anyone of our classmates should ever read my book or books, I hope they will give me feedback and/or post their review on Amazon.”

(FYI: info on Stan -as seen on
Doctor E. Stan Lennard is a retired general surgeon and certified Christian apologist. His Doctor of Medicine degree was awarded at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas in 1968, and he received a Doctor of Science in Surgery degree through the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine, defending his thesis in 1976. The first half of his career was at the University of Washington in Seattle where he completed his Chief Surgical Residency in 1977 and joined the fulltime academic faculty with a subspecialty in surgical infectious disease. He entered fulltime private practice at Evergreen Healthcare in Kirkland, Washington in 1987 and retired from clinical practice in 2001. Since his retirement he has continued his affiliation since 1987 with the international, interdenominational Reasons To Believe ministry. He served on the Board of Directors for four and a half years, for four serving as its Chairman. For eleven years he served as an online instructor with Reasons Institute, the educational arm of the ministry, while conducting research that has extended over 18 years. Articles from his research have been posted on the ministry’s website, and this book summarizes his research findings. Now fully retired he resumes his lifelong hobby of art, now focusing on oil painting. He is married with two grown children.

Medical Report

Several graduates are currently undergoing cancer treatment. I feel certain these folks would appreciate a card or two from you. Having health issues and treatment is not easy. It is always good and lifts one’s spirits to know others care and are thinking of you.

David Peeples is currently undergoing treatment for leukemia in Waco at Hillcrest Baylor Scott and White Oncology.

Linda (Shelby) Lyons has been undergoing tests for two types of cancer. She has a rare Neuroendocrine Carcinoma that originated in her GI tract. She is having another biopsy on a knot in her neck to determine its type of cancer which the doctor says most likely will be treated with chemo.

Phyllis Brooks has just found out that she has metastatic adenocarcinoma lung cancer. She is waiting on paperwork and tests to find out what part of her lung is involved. She will be able to have tests and chemo treatments at Texas Oncology in Duncanville which is only about 8-10 miles from her home. It is always so much better when treatments can be done close to home.

February Birthdays

1- Don McClellan
4- Al Ctvrtlik
5- Russ Keeling
10- Tommye Ruth (Blair) Toler
16- Kay (Phillips) Sparks
18- Norma (Cissell) Smith
25- Jeanne (Holland) Harman
27- David Peeples

Richard Quick – Photographer

I do not have to introduce any of you to Richard Quick. He has taken many, many pictures of each of us at several of our reunions. You have enjoyed seeing yourselves and your fellow graduates but now I want you to enjoy some of the work that Richard does for others. Richard lives in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. That alone gives him a wonderful backdrop for his work and pleasure.

Richard’s Bio
After graduation from WHS, Richard continued his education at Baylor receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology in the spring of 1964. While attending Baylor, because of his fascination with snakes and other reptiles, he worked in Baylor’s Natural History Museum and also as a lab assistant for a senior class majoring in biology-Natural History of Vertebrates. The summer after Baylor graduation, Richard participated in a program through Baylor’s Psychology Department in the Aerospace Research division in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Richard helped train and handle chimpanzees that were being used as involuntary astronauts. This project had utilized “Ham”, who was famous at the time for being the first chimpanzee shot into space in a rocket.

In the fall of 1964, Richard returned to Texas and entered the University of Texas in Austin where he began working on a master’s degree in zoology. However, after a year, he realized he was not compatible with the procedures of the program so he left graduate school, soon married and moved to Houston. He got a job in Houston with the zoological park in the Small Mammal Building. This involved caring for a variety of small animals, many of which he had never seen or even heard of before this time.

After three years at the zoo he was promoted to the newly created position of Curator of Mammals. His new responsibility was the entire mammal collection of 150 species including elephants, giraffes, tigers, sea lions, and gorillas. He still maintained his strong interest in reptiles although the care of captive mammals became his profession. He also went on several collecting expeditions for snakes or vampire bats in Mexico. The years from 1965-1980 were most definitely an interesting time in Richard’s life. While at the zoo, in the mid 1970’s, a friend let Richard borrow his 35mm camera- a Minolta SLR.I. Richard said he was “stunned” by the clarity and size of the image he saw as he had been accustomed to using an instamatic or Polaroid camera. As soon as he could, Richard purchased the same Minolta type camera and became hooked on photography for life.

Richard’s personal life began to take a change during these years in Houston, so he and his wife decided to go their separate directions. A few months later Richard met the love of his life, Pamela, on a blind date set up by Richard’s sister. Pam also owned a Minolta. This initiated a humorous line that they were meant for one another because they “had interchangeable lenses.” Richard and Pamela were married two years later and this past December, they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary.

Richard and Pam decided to search for a simpler lifestyle outside the hustle and bustle of Houston and were directed to Eureka Springs. Eureka is a thriving art community in the Ozark Mountains of northwestern Arkansas. They immediately fell in love with the scenic Victorian town and two and a half months later, they left their chosen professions in Houston and moved to Eureka Springs. They started their new life there on a frosty mid-February day in 1980. They became very active in the town’s art scene, Richard did some pencil art, they engaged in some organic gardening, and they remodeled several old houses. They opened their own art gallery, Quicksilver, the Nature Gallery where they started selling Richard’s drawings, Pam’s handcrafted jewelry, and consignment pieces from several of their local artist friends. After a few years they were able to purchase an old downtown building which they remodeled and the Quicksilver Gallery was reopened in an ideal, highly visible location on the main street of Eureka Springs. Location, Location, Location!

Richard reconnected with photography during this time. After the purchase of his first computer, Richard realized that with digital photography, he could take a photo, process it, print it, package or frame it, and sell it—all himself from start to finish. Over the years he steadily learned more about photography and upgraded to cameras with better capabilities. He had success in selling his images at their gallery and he began to do consignment work. He also participated in local art shows.

In 2002, the Quicks sold their gallery and building. The new owners continue to sell Richard’s photographic images to this day. Richard and Pam are both mostly retired now but Richard is still fully engaged with the camera. Facebook has become his public photography “showroom”. Since the latter part of 2009, Richard has accumulated over 500 photo albums on his album pages. He said he is fortunate to live in Eureka Springs which is a small but highly artistic town. Eureka Springs is located in a most beautiful setting with many parades and festivals –all of which provide great photo opportunities.

Richard and Pam travel to Mexico frequently where there are always interesting images to capture. Their favorite location in Mexico is San Miguel de Allende. The albums in his digital gallery include colorful people and events in Eureka Springs as well as images taken during visits to Mexico, Europe, and the American southwest. Richard hopes to start work on a photo book in 2019 and plans to continue recording the color and life that he and Pam encounter at home and on their travels.

Richard has two sisters who live in Waco. Both of his daughters live near Houston so he still has a strong connection to Texas. His daughter, Sheryl, lives in Seabrook with her husband, Paul Duport, and grandsons, Makai and Shae. Jennifer and her husband, Randy Mills, live in Cypress with grandson, Tevai, and Richard’s first granddaughter, Ren, who is only seven months old.

Samples of Richard’s Work
“Here is a link to my gallery of albums on Facebook. These particular albums are available to see if you are on Facebook. Each album is represented by a single image so as you scroll down through the cover photos you can select any image that looks interesting. This will take you to that album. Each album contains a selection of images taken at one event or a series of connected subjects. The albums appear in sequence with the most recent appearing first. If you open the album in a new window (Control click or right click) you won’t lose your place on the album page.”
(This is available for all to see- whether on Facebook or not.)

“This is a sample album from San Miguel de Allende showing Aztec dancers in action:”

The dancers began a full day of dancing the morning of March 3rd in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. At least eight…

Posted by Richard Quick on Wednesday, March 14, 2018

“These are two sample albums from Eureka Springs, one from a parade and the other showing the local seasonal color:”

Back on the first Saturday in May the participants started lining up for the Artrageous Parade which always sets the…

Posted by Richard Quick on Thursday, June 9, 2016

Pam and I live in Eureka Springs, a small Victorian village in northwestern Arkansas, population 2275 or so. The little…

Posted by Richard Quick on Sunday, October 25, 2009


Beverly (Murphy) Wells:
Bev Wells and her children, David Wells and Darla Wells, traveled to St Thomas, St Maarten, Antigua, Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire for the holidays. They saw some beautiful islands and Bev said all the people were warm and friendly. She reports: “The beaches are as beautiful as you see on TV commercials. The colors of the waters are breath taking! Happy New Year to all!”

When it comes to traveling, Bev is letting no grass grow under her feet!

Scott Horne – January 12, 2019

I am sorry to report that Scott Horne passed away this morning.

I received an email from his wife bearing the news. Paula said Scott did not want a funeral but instead, there will be a small gathering in Waco sometime the end of the month or the first of next month. She will be back in touch with me regarding the particulars. Paula said that Scott’s body would be at Waco Memorial in the mausoleum. I will inform you as soon as I become aware of all the plans.

Please remember this family with your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time for them. As you are aware, Scott had been ill for quite some time but it is never easy for the final good-bye.

Roy Don Phillips – January 6, 2019

I am sorry to report that Roy Don Phillips has passed away in Kerrville, Tx.

Roy Don had been living in a nursing home in Kerrville following several strokes. He had his final and fatal stroke on Sunday, January 6, 2019.

There will not be a service and no obit is going to be published in the Waco paper. His body is being cremated.

Please remember our fellow graduate, Roy Don Phillips.

Waco Town Crier – January 2019

An adapted version of “The Town Crier” sent by Jeanne Harman on January 2, 2019.

Memories of Gene Carson

June 20, 1960 – On their first day as Marines, these boys were getting ready to board a bus to the Marine Corp recruiting office in Dallas, Texas.

Pictured are: (l-r) probably the bus driver, Rodney Cross, Edward Hernandez, Gene Carson, Vince Tusa, and Jack Miles.(Gene said Edward Hernandez was a year younger than the rest of them) Gene got out of the Marines four years later on June 19, 1964.


(Below)Some pictures of Gene through the years enjoying time with our graduates. Gene was always there, whenever possible.


Please remember the following graduates who are facing health issues. Forgive me if I have overlooked you so please let me know if you need to be included in the list. Scott Horne, David Peeples, Linda Shelby Lyons, Bob Easter, Betty Vaughan Willis

January Birthdays

4- Malissa Starnes Baugh
5- Dick Tooker
8- Beth Freeman Holiday
10- Betty Luedeker Gatlin
12- Nanci Stiteler Felice
16- Vince Tusa
17- Ken Lipscombe
25- Bernie Regian, Pat Gabler Kemper
26- Don Clyde Blackburn




This month features David Dibb, who says he enjoys writing. For the past 5 years David has written a monthly column for a local Seniors’ newspaper, Golden Life, in Florence, SC. The first 3 years the columns were of a Biblical perspective on seasonal themes or events of current interest. David said after saying all he could think of after four December columns, the columns are now often about what strikes his fancy or in his reading. His column is still called “In Due Season”. (see Proverbs 15:23) For the last 3 years, David has also been writing a front-page article which highlights a local senior in his area.

After our recent WHS reunion in October, David decided to share a bit of Waco’s history with his readers. He sent me a copy of the newspaper with the article. I thought all of you might also be interested in reading about Waco’s past, and I asked David if I could feature him for our SHOW and TELL this month. David was gracious enough to agree and also agreed to share a little of his bio with us. David and his wife, Anita, like to travel and have been doing so for quite some time. At the end of his article, I have included a few of the photos of them on some of their trips. Thanks for sharing with us, David. I guess you can fill in for me when I need help.

Brief Bio on David
After graduating from WHS in 1960, David attended Texas Tech where he earned a B.S. in Textile Technology. While working on that degree, he had a summer job in Pensacola, FL at a Monsanto nylon plant. While living in Pensacola, he attended a small Baptist church where he discovered his need for a Savior ….and also “discovered” Anita. They were married in that very church in 1966 and then both of them returned to Lubbock where he obtained his M.B.A. from Tech. Upon completion of his Masters, David said he then got a “real” job with Monsanto back in Pensacola and for the next 35 years (except for a 4 year stint in the USAF), worked as a process engineer in nylon and polyester fiber manufacturing. He never left Monsanto to work for another company; however, because the textile business underwent a lot of mergers and changes in ownership as it struggled against the economics of overseas competition, he worked for Monsanto, Celanese, Hoechst, and Fiber Industries, in Florida and North Carolina, and finally, Wellman, Inc. in Florence, SC. David retired in 2002.

David and Anita have 3 children. Their daughter, Whitney, is a free-lance management trainer in Germany; their oldest son, Kevin, is an IT specialist with home office in Fayetteville; and their youngest son Brian, after 12 years in the USMC, now works as a project engineer on oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico but calls home to Shenandoah, VA. David and Anita are blessed with 8 grandchildren.

David and Anita have always liked to travel. They have spent time in Germany, Belgium, Amsterdam with their daughter. They have been on mission trips to Costa Rica and Mexico. They have time-shared in England and Scotland. Recently, David was brave enough to drive a right-hand Fiat around Ireland after a bus tour of the Scottish Highlands. They have driven up the West Coast of the USA, through New England to Prince Edward Island and Halifax, Nova Scotia. This year they joined some friends for a tour of China, where they climbed the Great Wall, entered the tomb of the Terra-Cotta soldiers, visited the Panda breeding center, and cruised the Yangtze River. They often visit the Smoky Mountains National Park (especially in the fall) since it is so near their home in Florence, SC.

For about 35 years, David has been a Bible teacher. Both he and Anita work in several areas of their church but David said that teaching and ministering to a class of about 20 couples is a rewarding use of his time that is provided by retirement.

In Italy

Great Wall of China

Bar Harbor, Maine

In Due Season – December 2018

This is the article that David Dibbs wrote about Waco.
What do outsiders know about your hometown? Around here, Blenheim is known for its ginger ale, and Florence was known for its railroad history and dental services. A few weeks back, I returned to Waco, Texas, for my 58th high school reunion. Having lived at least 1000 miles from Waco for the last 58 years, this was only my second reunion. The dramatic changes in the city since my last visit (our 50th, just 8 years ago) caused me to reflect on what gives a city its personality and reputation.
Waco’s early history is rich with Texas Longhorn cattle drives, Texas Ranger law enforcement, and Indian lore. On an 1850’s map of Mexico to Kansas, the state of Texas is covered with cattle trails that converge on Texas’ northern border at the Chisholm Trail, just below Indian Territory (sometimes called Oklahoma). The objective of the cattle drive was to get the cattle from Texas (or even Mexico), where they were worth about $4 a head, to Kansas, then by rail, back East, where they were worth about $40 a head.
Waco was established in 1849 near a Texas Ranger fort, shortly after the Republic of Texas became our 28th state. It was named for the Hueco Indians, who had a nearby village. One of the main trails on the Chisholm route paralleled the Brazos River until it reached a spot at Waco where the river was shallow enough to drive cattle across. In 1870, a suspension bridge was built across the Brazos, channeling even more traffic, business, and cattle through Waco. Designed by Thomas Griffith, who had completed the first bridge across the Mississippi, and built with materials from the same company that helped construct the Brooklyn Bridge, the Waco Suspension Bridge was so successful that the tolls (5 cents per head of cattle, plus tolls on other traffic) quickly paid off the $141,000 construction cost.
In the 1880’s, Baylor University moved to Waco, and a local pharmacist developed the formulation for Dr. Pepper, capitalizing on the artesian water recently discovered under the city. The next time Waco made national news was May 1953, when one of the deadliest tornadoes in US history hit the area. Cutting a path 1/3 of a mile wide, and with winds of 260mph, the tornado that struck Waco killed 114 people and demolished 1600 homes and other structures.
But in 1993, there was a surreal event that re-defined Waco to many Americans. A religious cult calling themselves the “Branch Davidians” who had been living in a compound outside Waco since 1962, came under FBI scrutiny due to their reported weapons collection and the number of women and children possibly held against their will. Their leader, David Koresh, who claimed to be a Messianic prophet, refused to allow the FBI to enter the compound, and several weeks of “negotiation” ensued. Then the well-armed ATF Hostage Rescue Team got involved, and on April 19, impatient and embarrassed by the drawn-out lack of results, they attacked the compound with tanks and tear gas. Fires and gunshots broke out inside the compound, all captured on national TV, and in the end at least 80 died, including 25 children and 4 ATF agents. From that moment, many Americans pronounced Waco, “Wack-o”.
Then in 2013, the national TV exposure that had helped bring Waco’s image down became instrumental in building it back up. Chip and Joanna Gaines launched their Fixer-Upper series on HGTV in May 2013, and America (and the world) fell in love with this quirky, talented, loving, and driven couple. Over 5 years, their 79 episodes have not only changed solid old houses into beautiful new homes, it has shown off the down-to-earth honesty, unselfish family values, and productive work ethic that I know to be typical in Texas. Their retail complex in the Waco historical district, near the old suspension bridge and the Dr. Pepper Museum, includes The Silos, which sells clothing and Joanna-style home décor, a restaurant, and a bakery. And like the bridge 145 years ago, it’s bringing more commerce and travelers to this popular crossroads on the Brazos River.
In her book, The Magnolia Story, Joanna says she has listened to God’s guidance for many of her life-changing and business-changing decisions. Their “all in” approach to any project reminds me of this Biblical admonition: “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men” Col 3:23

Pictures of Graduates

Betty Barkley Flowers and Tom Flowers
at Sweet Sounds, benefiting Meals on Wheels
Photo by Joy Pruitt

Glenn Hurta and Janet Hurta at Waco Symphony Concert with Chris Botti
Photo by Michael Bancale

Waco Town Crier – December 2018

An adapted version of “The Town Crier” sent by Jeanne Harman on November 30, 2018.

Important Information on the California Fire known as ‘Camp Fire’

As of 11-25-2018: The rains have come…the fire is contained….but the current numbers of deaths and missing:
85 dead, 475 still missing and more than 13,000 homes destroyed

From Dick Tooker who lives in Chico, CA near the ‘Camp Fire’ (as of November 11th):
SHORT VERSION: We’re OK. Fire never got into Chico Proper where we live, and other than the God-awful smoke and long gas lines, no effect on us.

THE LONG VERSION: Somewhat more complicated.

When we moved here 13 years ago, we bought a house in the Sierra foothills, about ten miles from, and 1,500 feet higher than Chico. It was the place in the country I always wanted. Five acres, a great home, and a spectacular view that looked over a huge vineyard, then the lights of Chico at night, and forty miles further, the snow-capped coastal mountain range that separates the northern California valley from the Pacific ocean. Two years ago, we decided to leave my dream home and move into town, mostly because I simply couldn’t keep up with five partially-landscaped acres any more, and we needed to be nearer healthcare resources. Sad, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Well, that turned out to be a really good idea. The Camp Fire (way too benignly-named for such a Hell-on-earth phenomenon) turned that house into a smoldering pile of rubble, along with the homes of many of our old neighbors who are still friends. Our previous next door neighbors, who are still our best friends in California, lost their home as well. They’re on vacation in Australia. We’re keeping their dog, and Victoria is now busy clearing out a couple of rooms for them when they get back next weekend. They have no place to stay in Chico.

I should note that our new neighborhood is filling up with refugees from Paradise, CA. The folks directly across the street have taken in 4 people who are suddenly homeless. There are RVs parked everywhere. I can’t describe how bad I feel for all those folks.

It is the worst fire in California history. If you’ve been watching it on television, it’s way worse than it looks from a distance. Paradise, a great little town of 30,000 people, is about 25 miles from here as the crow flies. Fully 90% of the homes in that town have been completely destroyed, and many of the few that are left are badly damaged. 120 businesses burned to the ground, along with both hospitals and all the schools. Some of the dead were trapped and burned alive in their cars trying to escape. For all practical purposes, the town has been wiped off the map. I don’t see how it will be possible for all those people to rebuild.

Pray for California.
Richard N. Tooker

Aubrey Stringer was featured on the front page of the local section of Waco’s newspaper on  November 18, 2018, regarding his sawmill in Valley Mills, Texas. As you know, Chip and JoAnna Gaines of “Fixer Upper” have made Aubrey a familiar name all over the USA.  So….all credits of this month’s Show and Tell go to the Waco Tribune Herald article by Mike Copeland.  Read the article.

December Birthdays

9 & 10-  Sondi Nelson Pace
13-  Jerry Causey
14-  Peggy Wake Thyfault
16-  Chinky Johnson
24-  Howell Johnson
26-  Howard Dudgeon & Joan Beaty Settle
28-  Gayla Miller Webb
31-  Elizabeth Bentley & Gwen Ewing Hodges


Tommye Ruth (Blair) Toler recently returned from a trip to Taos, NM.Here are some of the changing colors in that area.

Blast From The Past

Finally …

Here’s wishing everyone peace, good health and contentment in this Christmas Season.  Enjoy the holidays to the fullest w with your loved ones. Stay safe and healthy, and make some happy memories.

Gene Carson – November 21, 2018

I have just received word from JoAnn Carson that Gene Carson has died.

From JoAnn Carson –
“Wanted you to know that Gene died on Wednesday, 11/21. He had been in hospital more than a month and tried hard to beat it but was just so tired. Gene always loved coming to Waco for the lunches to see old friends. He will be buried at DFW National Cemetery in about 2 to 3 weeks. I will let you know when I get the final word. Thanks for being such a good friend to Gene.”

Eugene “Gene” Carson passed away Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018, in Arlington, Texas, at the age of 78.

GRAVESIDE SERVICE: 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, in Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery, Dallas, Texas.

MEMORIALS: In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donation to the Alzheimer’s Association (at, or the charity of your choice.

Gene was born Nov. 7, 1940, in Hope, Ark., to George Davis Carson and Roy Sue Culp Carson. Gene was a fun-loving guy with an infectious laugh. He enjoyed going to his Tuesday Breakfast Club events and poker night with “the guys.”

SURVIVORS: Wife, JoAnn Carson; daughter, Suzanne FitzGibbon and husband, Mike; son, Eric; four grandchildren; and brother, James.

NEPTUNE SOCIETY OF DFW North Richland Hills, 817-838-5100 View and sign guestbook at

SPECIAL EDITION – 58th Class Reunion

We certainly had a good time celebrating our 58th class reunion.  We missed all of you who were not able to make it.

A big, big thanks to Tim Lasseter Latta (our fearless leader), Malissa Starnes Baugh (our co-leader and one who continues to bless us with her organizational skills- name tags, keeping up with registration, all the money and our head-count, paying all the bills, ordering the cakes, napkins, etc.),  Howard Dudgeon (furnishing us with the Memorial Books of our dearly departed graduates) and Janet Hurta (our adopted graduate and wife of Glen Hurta who has kept our directory for more years than I can remember).  Special Thanks goes to Gayla Miller Webb and Linda Phelps McKee (who both have been responsible for our decorations for what must be every single reunion we have ever had and to David McPhail, Karen Shinault and all those who were on the telephone committee:  you did an awesome job!!  Without each of these folks, our reunion would not be what I have heard some folks say:  the “best reunion we have ever had”.  It takes a village….and unless you have ever worked on the reunion, you have no idea just how demanding it is.

A cold front came through Waco with rain….a lot or rain…. so much rain that golf was rained out.  Although the weather was cold and damp outside, inside the Phoenix room our graduates were wrapped in the warmth of love and friendship, reliving times when all of us were young and carefree.   Folks came as far away as from Buffalo NY,  Florence SC, Paris TN, New Mexico (5 different graduates from NM), Louisiana, and Indiana.

The food was wonderful, Ralph Sparks (class of WHS 59) entertained us with oldies on his keyboard, and the camaraderie of all was unsurpassed.  I could not believe that so many 76 year-olds could get out on the dancefloor and “cut a rug” as they did.  Ralph was supposed to play for about 15 minutes or so….but popular demand turned that into one hour.  In our hearts it was like we were once again enjoying our teen-aged classmates at a sock hop.  Sweet memories.

There are several who want a 60th reunion—especially since we are the class of ’60.  However, there is no leader so if you want a final reunion, someone is going to have to step up to the plate and organize it.  Otherwise, the 58th was our final hoorah.

Again, so glad to have seen everyone and so sorry we missed you if you were unable to make it.  Robert “Little Red” Wilson, has his take on the reunion which is in the comments sections.  Robert has always been so great to bless us and our food each and every time we meet.  It is only fitting for him to close this special edition with his AMEN.