Update: Graduates & Hurricane Harvey

Don McGown: is back home now after having to evacuate to his son’s Houston house.This is the latest that he sent to Pat: We had to walk several blocks through high water to get back to our house – and it is dry!!!  Praise God for His mercies.  The water came up to the front door, but it did not come into the house!  It has receded now about halfway down our driveway, and the heavy rain is over – so I think we are in the clear.  It will probably be 4 – 5 days before we can get out, but we that’s OK – we are home.  Thank you for all of your prayers.

David Walsworth:  I wasn’t on the original list, but I live in San Antonio and as reported by other class members, San Antonio “dodged” the proverbial bullet. We only had 2 inches of rain at our house. Windy conditions but not strong enough to do any damage at our place, and no loss of power. Remembering those still in harm’s way.

Hugh Wilfong told Pat Payne: As of yesterday, we are fine, dry in Austin.Our home in Houston is dry and we have power there. So far so good.

John Ferguson: Reporting from sun-splashed Galveston Island. At least, that’s what the Convention and Visitors Bureau would have me call it.

Galveston has so far escaped the really damaging winds. The incredible rain is another matter. It is expected that by Thursday, we will have received about 50 inches. Houston, with the same amount of rainfall, is experiencing catastrophic flooding. That whole city of five million people is at a standstill.

Galveston floods regularly, but only in the lower parts of the Island. The topography of Galveston (at least the 10-mile stretch behind the seawall) is one big slope. The highest point is atop the seawall, and the lowest point is in the historic district downtown. Water, whether coming from the Gulf or from heaven, immediately drains toward the lower bay side. If it’s high tide, or if there is a storm surge, that’s when the heavy flooding occurs. Galveston’s seawall, constructed after the devastating 1900 Storm, is 17 feet high. I live behind the seawall, just a few blocks from the beach. My front door is 14 feet above sea level, and I have never had any flooding issues on my property (knock wood). It must be pointed out, however, that as I write this, the Gulf Freeway (I-45) is flooded and for the most part closed, as are the approaches to both sides of the mainland causeway. The Bolivar Ferry is not in service, and the San Luis Pass Bridge dumps you into a flood plain. As Jim Maxwell so thoughtfully pointed out to me, I’m stranded. Even so, I’m in a magic bubble. I have electricity, working plumbing, air conditioning, telephone, Internet and cable. The ice machine continues to spit out cubes. It’s only a short walk to Kroger. All things considered, I’m pretty lucky. After 51 years in this magical place, and in spite of the periodic inconvenience of storms, I cannot imagine living anywhere else. Sand between your toes, and all that.

Tell everyone that John says hey.

Gwen Ewing Hodges: My son and family are under mandatory evacuation orders in Ft Bend Co.  Please pray for safety of them and all Houstonians!  Thanks!

Cathy White Land is safe and dry.

Anitra Harrell Henrion is safe and dry.

Gayla Miller Webb: Water is over the curb at their Houston home…..and if they can make it through tonight, she thinks their house will be okay.  She and Rodney are still in Fairfield.

Randy Farrar: (Corpus Christi)- reports no damage to his house.

From Scott Horne: The sheer size of this catastrophe is beyond comprehension. On our TV, the phenomenal number of rescues by just volunteers with their personal boats of all kinds is helping but not anywhere near what is needed…flooding is still in every street and neighborhood and apartment unit. Hundreds out of town guys have come here from many cities and states in their pickups pulling boats…just to help. Many have no place to stay but are just winging it however they have to. There are many, many areas and subdivisions that are still unreachable with many trapped people, kids, and animals. Water levels are going up in most areas, down in some areas, or staying the same but very deep in still others. Some people  just rescued in their areas say there are still 100’s “back in there” that still need help…old,  young, sick, invalid, etc. It just seems never ending…

We are still marooned in about 6 square blocks with flooding even though the heavy rains have stopped. A few local stores opened until their goods and food ran out, and more supplies can’t get to them for resupply.

Don’t know what you are seeing on your TV, but realize the situations are far worse than what they show. Now Far East Texas and La. are getting hammered by Harvey, so it’s all continuing for more days and weeks.

Again, we are ok. But thousands of others have lost their homes, cars, and all they once owned. Everything. Poor, rich, and all in between…no one is immune to these kinds of floods. Many had no flood insurance, of course, but even if they did, they are now being told the payout limit is $250K, no where near what is needed many cases. Many very wealthy people here did not know this and are outraged. Seems like very few knew that beyond that limit, they needed private insurance. Just saying…no one could have anticipated this size of a natural disaster in this country, so obviously most were totally unprepared financially or emotionally for this scope of catastrophe.

Hurricane Harvey & Our Graduates

From Jeanne Harman …

Good news from some of our graduates who have been “in harm’s way”.  Thank you so much for sharing your updates!!

Robert ‘Little Red’ Wilson (San Antonio) as of Sunday afternoon: Still good– few limbs broken, 5 inches of rain. No flooding in my area yet.
Scott Horne  (Houston)– as of Sunday afternoon: Experiencing huge rain downpours but remain dry and with power. Heavy rain is continuing. We probably could not get out of our neighborhood but have no plans or need to go anywhere. So far, our immediate families in Houston (Woodlands, Cypress) are fine and staying in their homes. 12+ inches rain overnight and today in our N Houston area.
Carolyn Wolf Lloyd (Round Rock) as of Sunday afternoon: I’m okay here in Round Rock. The retention pond behind my house is doing its job. Have not lost power at all so far. I’ve been listening to 740 KTRH on iHeart radio. They’ve been broadcasting nonstop since 11am Friday. Doing an amazing job with “telephone radar.” People calling in from all over the area to give updates about water situation in their locations. Praying for those in Houston now and for the very long recovery ahead. Also for those along the rivers in Bastrop, Lee and Hays counties. Flooding in those areas now. Harvey, the Horrible can’t leave too soon.
Carol Hodges Bright (Houston): Thank you for your concern and prayers.  My husband and I are doing fine so far.  We live fairly close to Cypress Creek, but it looks like we will make it thorough without flooding.  Our prayers are with those less fortunate.
Anitra Harrell Henrion(Cypress): I am fine so far. I have had about 15 or 16 inches of rain with more to come. I heard from Cathey (White Land) today and she also is ok so far. We’ve really been lucky

Gayla Miller Webb (Katy): Gayla has spoken with her neighbor who says all is fine with Gayla’s house so far; however, the street is covered in water so things can always change very quickly.
Malissa Starnes Baugh: Our daughter and family are safe so far but bayou behind their home is rising!  Electricity off yesterday but back on now!  Hope they are smart enough to stay put!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hurricane Harvey Update

From Jeanne Harman …

I realize that every moment can be a different story….one minute all is okay and the next minute, one can be flooded.  If you hear of the condition of any of our graduates, please inform me so I can pass along the information.

Scott Horne (Houston) as of yesterday afternoon at 4:20 p.m.: Just for your information, our house and immediate area have consistently been BETWEEN the storm bands, meaning very little rain and low winds so far for us. I know many others have been less fortunate, but we are safe and dry and are not part of the heavy damage you are probably seeing on TV for Houston.

Robert “Little Red” Wilson (San Antonio) as of about 3:30 yesterday afternoon: All ss fine – had only about 1½” of rain at that time but 10″ of rain are expected Sunday and Monday.

Jim Monnig ( Jim’s second home in Port Aransas): As of this morning, Jim’s house is fine according to his neighbors.

Pat Payne heard from Don McGown early this morning.  Don lives in Houston and went to Waco Schools until High School. 

Don McGown (Houston): Things are not looking too good right now.  We were not hurt yesterday afternoon by the tornado that touched down about a couple of miles or so from our house – so that was a great blessing.  We did lose power, but only for a couple of hours.

However, it looks very likely that our house is going to flood.  Our street is now a river, and the water is rising.  The rains are expected to continue for another 3 days.  Unfortunately, our lot is very flat; our house is not much higher than the street.  So, it seems like it will only be a matter of a few hours before the water reaches us.  Please pray for us.

Bob Easter (Austin): No electricity this morning on our street and several streets behind our home. Neighbors across the street have lights. They are on a different circuit. Not sure when we will have it restored. High winds will not allow repairs due to the danger. Figure later today maybe.

Gayla Miller Webb has evacuated Katy.

Hugh Wilfong has evacuated Houston.

The condition of their homes is not known at this time.

Thoughts & Prayers

From Jeanne Harman …

Please keep these people in your thoughts and prayers as they may be affected by Hurricane Harvey. I know some have evacuated but we pray for their homes and belongings to be safe. Forgive me if I have overlooked anyone. I am not on Facebook so I am not privy to reports regarding any of these people. Please keep me in the loop regarding everyone’s safety.

Bill Bishop- Bandera, Tx
Jeri Anne Boren Guyton- San Antonio, Tx
Ronald Boulware- Conroe, Tx
Lucy Caperton Nelson- Conroe, Tx
Frank Connally- Houston, Tx
Cynthia Copeland Studenko- Katy Tx
Randy Farrar- Corpus Christi, Tx
Rodger Felt and Delind Kirkpatrick Felt- Houston, Tx
John Ferguson- Galveston, Tx
Luann Hanna Lund- San Antonio, Tx
Anitra Harrell Henrion- Cypress, Tx
Douglas Harris- Houston, Tx
Phillips Hay- Kingsland, Tx
David Herbert- San Antonio, Tx
Carol Hodges Bright- Houston, Tx
Scott Horne- Tomball, Tx
Leland Howard- Houston, Tx
Ken Lipscomb- El Campo, Tx
Jim McDonald- Wimberley, Tx
Charlotte Suttle Kleibrink- Spring, Tx
Gayla Miller Webb- Katy, Tx – has evacuated
Jim Monnig- San Antonio, Tx (second home in Port Aransas)
John Moon Mullen- San Antonio, Tx
Robert Marcus Otterstad- Houston, Tx
Sammy Owens- Kerrville, Tx
Mary Pack Hogan- Houston, Tx
Roy Don Phillips- Kerrville, Tx
John Schwetman- Huntsville, Tx
Linda Smith Uhlenhoff- Katy, Txs
John Tutt – San Antonio, Tx
Cathy White Land- Houston, Tx
Hugh Wilfong- Houston, Tx
Robert “Little Red” Wilson- San Antonio, Tx

Remembering Our War

For the Waco High School Class of 1960
Author: Pat Payne

Recently I completed a short video for my sons, David and Greg, with images of those who I served with in the Vietnam War. I shared it with Jeanne Harmon asking her to forward to just the military vets within our class. Jeanne replied, “war affects us all” and suggested these memories may be appropriate for our entire class. After some thought I agreed with Jeanne.

Most likely this war had an affect on each of us who graduated from Waco High School in 1960. Regardless of whether we served in the military or ever set foot in Vietnam or our gender, this ten year war impacted us personally or a member of our family or our friends. I care about my family having first hand images of the young men who served. I care about preserving their memories as long as possible because history is important. History defines the time in which we lived, our early years in Waco, our young adult lives, our families, our careers and now our sunset years.

This is why the great work by Jeanne Harman (Town Crier), Rayburn Taylor (Website) and Bob Easter (Finding Classmates) has set our class apart—we care about each other and preserving our memories. Recently the call went out to find the resources to carry on Rayburn’s good work with our website. A number of our classmates responded and I was happy to join them. The reason was to help keep our classmates memory alive via the website. Until the very last one of us closes our eyes for the last time we should be able to flip through the web pages and remember our younger years in Waco. Dr. Seuss said it best, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” As we look at the WHS pictures hopefully we all realize we came from a special town in the middle of Texas, have lived a good and meaningful life—and have so very much to smile about. Then we can go to sleep.

As previously noted, this video is for my two sons who appear in the last frame. About a third of the young men you will see were killed or wounded between September, 1965 – August, 1966. The song accompanying the pictures was written and sung by Jim Moore, a Vietnam veteran, who is the father of the performer Pink. She is singing harmony. The lyrics are worth paying attention to. They ring true for any soldier regardless which war they fought in. This video is meant to be relevant to both our WHS years and today as the world struggles with terrorism and rogue countries. Hoping this video is meaningful to you which can be viewed by clicking here.