A rerun from 2011...
In the world of High School Journalism, Waldron High School surely had the student newspaper with the coolest name. In honor of our beloved mascot, The Bulldog, our newspaper, the Voice of the Bulldogs, was of course The Bow Wow. I have no idea who thought up that name, or even what year the Bow Wow first started. But every month, a group of dedicated students churned out another edition of The Bow Wow. And I do mean churned out; The Bow Wow was printed on a mimeograph machine.
The Bow Wow was sponsored by Suella Ross (later Bratton), who taught typing at Waldron High. The Bow Wow staff consisted of an editor, an assistant editor, an exchange editor, a business manager, two artists, two sports editors, and three groups of workers: reporters, typists, and production. The three groups were somewhat interchangeable; I was technically a typist but I got to do some reporting as well.
Each month, we would meet together as a staff and make decisions about what we wanted to include in that month's edition. The editor would assign various topics to different individuals, but if someone thought of something later on they could usually persuade the editor to include it. We were given a deadline to submit our work, so that enough time would be left to type the individual pages. We typed the paper on stencils, which were like ditto masters but a bit harder to work with. The stencil consisted of a sheet of paper attached to a second, wax-coated sheet of paper. When you typed the stencil, the impact of the typewriter keys made a wax impression on the back of the first sheet of paper. This would serve as your duplicating master. If you made a mistake, you had to take a knife and carefully scrape away the wax from the back of the page, and then make sure your page was still lined up correctly so that you could re-type over the mistake. The typists always breathed a sigh of relief when a page was completed successfully.
The next step was the production. Each page had to be carefully attached to the drum of the mimeograph machine. There was a little metal strip on the drum that raised up, enough to fit the top of the page under, and then it lowered back down to hold the page secure. You would take your stencil, tear off the front page and discard the wax-covered second page. Then, you carefully placed the master under the little metal strip on the drum. You had to get it just right, or else your page would wrinkle when the drum turned, which could cause a young person to lose their religion if not extremely self-controlled. But, if all went well, you could then crank out however many pages you needed. Since we were a newspaper, we printed on front and back, so you would turn the printed stack of papers over and print the next page on the back. Finally, after all the pages were printed, they had to be sorted and stapled along the left side of the page. So, as you can see, the production staff worked hard!
Then, the fun part; selling the Bow Wow. I believe we charged ten cents per issue. The Bow Wow staff could get out of class to sell the paper. We would all grab a stack of papers and disperse to all regions of school, some to elementary, some to junior high, and others to the high school classes. Elementary kids were eager to buy the Bow Wow, even though there was almost never anything about elementary school in it.
So, what was in the Bow Wow? We had reports from various clubs, a little bit of sports news, occasionally some goofy survey where we asked lots of people some off-the-wall question and published their answers, poetry, a student-made crossword puzzle, occasional serious commentary about national or world events, and I even got to do a series of comic private eye spoofs. Working on the Bow Wow was great fun, and we even learned a lot about teamwork and creativity, not to mention the importance of meeting deadlines.
But, alas, The Bow Wow is no more. It went away quietly, no one seemed to even notice. I don't know when it happened, actually. It just ceased to exist. I guess it was just a matter of time catching up with it. High school students now have access to technology and coursework that is far beyond what we were able to learn. And Waldron High is able to offer students training and experience in a number of high tech areas, at a level comparable with or above even larger school districts. So, we shall weep not for The Bow Wow; it will live on in our memories, and in the copies that I've kept since 1974. And maybe I can do a post sometime soon featuring exerpts from some of those Bow Wows.
Friday, November 15, 2013
I've been seeing them for the last week or so, those ubiquitous Facebook posts in which people tell little-known facts about themselves. Fascinating, they are, truly; I have enjoyed reading them.
So, since I have been so short of material for this blog lately, I'm taking my cue from Facebook and posting...
So, since I have been so short of material for this blog lately, I'm taking my cue from Facebook and posting...
Ten Things About Me
1. I have not thrown up since 1977.
Perhaps the accomplishment of which I am most proud. I was in college at Arkansas Tech, living in prison-like conditions in a facility called Paine Hall. Caught a stomach bug, middle of the night, made the tortuous trip down the hall to our community/prison bathroom. Decided afterwards that the experience was far to unpleasant to repeat, and determined that I would not throw up again. Has worked for almost 37 years.
2. I did not see a movie in a theater until I was 21 years old.
I am very thankful for the way I was raised, but some of you youngsters today might have considered it to be a bit on the conservative side. In my little church, going to the movies was considered a no-no. So, I didn't go. But, at age 21, I decided that I really wanted to see my favorite musical group, The Bee Gees, in their new movie Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The movie, considered by critics to be possibly the worst movie ever made, I found to be quite good.
3. I Own Every Episode of The Andy Griffith Show.
On VHS tape, so what good is it? But, I am a huge fan and in fact, the only area in which I consider myself to be near expert is Andy Griffith trivia. I'm even a member of an official organization called The Andy Griffith Show Rerun Watchers Association.
4. I am a twin.
Yes, most of you probably know that already, but I'm trying to come up with 10 of these things, ok? I have a twin sister, Janet, who is 10 minutes younger than me. What you might not know, however, is that my mom didn't know she was having twins! So, when I was born, everybody was all excited and happy and then somebody happened to notice that my mom was not finished. So, they sat me down in the corner somewhere and proceeded to assist into the world the first female to be born into the Yates family in 50 years or so. Eventually, after the excitement settled down, someone remembered that there were two of us and, after a brief search, I was located in my corner and reunited with the family.
5. I once worked on a garbage truck.
For a summer, in college. Pretty sweet, actually; anything I found of value I got to keep. That is, if the driver didn't want it.
6. I like to do magic tricks.
For kids. Only simple ones though.
7. I've been to the World's Tallest Thermometer.
In Baker, California. During a drive my wife and I made from Las Vegas to Oceanside, California. Which brings me to my next item...
8. I love the desert.
Although my wife hates it. I was enthralled with the beauty of the desert on our drive; at times it seemed like we were driving around on the moon. I guess I like it because the landscape is so different there than it is here. But I do love it.
9. When I'm introduced to new people, they almost always mention Bill Gates.
Which allowed me to come up with a good little laugh line, which I use whenever I speak to a group. "The only difference between me and The World's Richest Man is one letter...and 9 zeroes!" (Pause for laughter)
10. I can't swim.
In fact, I'm quite afraid of the water. My beautiful wife Marilyn can swim. Our son Ross and his wife Maegan are excellent swimmers, as well as our daughter Laura and her husband Kip. Even little granddaughter Kate, age three (almost), is totally fearless of the water and is on her way to swimming. But not me. I did, however, buy a snorkel and mask in the spring. I thought about it all summer, and in September, on the last day Marilyn and I got in the pool, I donned my snorkel and mask, put ear plugs in my ears, and submerged my head underwater for what seemed like several minutes but was clocked by Marilyn at four seconds.
Gotta start somewhere...
Monday, November 11, 2013
The Growing Up In Waldron blog has been around since July 23, 2010. In its heyday, I normally posted one or two times a week, and then I ran out of memories, so posting has been sporadic at best for the last year or so.
In spite of the lameness of recent postings, I'm happy to say that the little GUIW blog has now reached the milestone of 100,000 pageviews! I find this particularly gratifying; I had so much fun living those stories and I'm pleased that others have enjoyed reading about them.
So, what do we do to celebrate 100,000 pageviews? I thought about holding a party, but my wife said I had to limit the invitees to 50,000 and I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings.
So, I've decided to just have a chocolate malt for myself and, for everyone else, I'd like to share a few of my favorite pictures of the town that will always have a place in my heart, Waldron Arkansas...
I paid an exorbitant amount for this old postcard, but it was worth it. This is the oldest picture I have of Waldron. I don't know the year, but I think the old bank building in the background is still standing. Can you imagine what life was like for these folks?
This old postcard fascinated me as a child; the time-lapse photography is amazing. Sadly, the original postcard is lost; maybe when my Dad took it to the Waldron News for publication he never went back to pick it up. I would give anything to find another copy!
When going through some of my Dad's possessions after he passed away, I came across this incredible find; the shirt he wore when he was a projectionist for Waldron's only movie theater. For most of it's existence, it has been known as The Scott Theater, but when it first started it was The Pines Theater. My wife had this precious find professionally framed for me.
I love this old picture of Waldron from the 30s. I don't own it; I borrowed it from the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture website. Not a lot has changed in the past 80 years.
Here's another wonderful picture from the Encyclopedia of Arkansas website. This one is looking south down Main Street.
One more from the same website. My mom used to talk about how the sidewalks of Waldron would be so crowded with people on Saturday that you could barely make your way through the crowd.
One place that at some point almost everyone in Waldron visited was Crutchfield's Restaurant. I remember the booths with individual jukebox selections, and Madge's pies were a town favorite.
Although taken a few years before my time, this was my church and most of the people in this picture were an important part of my childhood. Precious Memories, how they linger.
The Methodist Church, foreground, and Baptist Church, background, were major Waldron landmarks. I passed both when I walked to school or town, and in fact we kept a permanent trail cut through the Methodist churchyard where we cut the corner.
I love this view of Main Street; it's one of my most prized cards. You see the Baptist Church at the far end of Main, and I love the trees in front of the courthouse. Lots of people in town that day, and one fellow making his way up Main Street on his bicycle.
Another great card, but nobody is really sure what was going on when this picture was taken. One person told me that Charley Forester was giving away a plow at his store, but I don't know if that's right or not. I hope there weren't any pickpockets in the crowd.
I got this picture from Herb Wilson, and I love it. Maybe the only time a buffalo has been seen on Main Street. I imagine this would have been quite a show to see.
So that's my Waldron, at least a quick view. If you're from Waldron, these pictures may bring on a few memories of your own, and if you're not, your hometown might have looked a little like this too.
And thanks for looking at this blog. All 100,000 of you. Now go get yourself a chocolate malt.
P.S. In my candy store days, we called it the "hundred thousand dollar bar"...
Friday, September 13, 2013
When I was little, around 8 or 9 years old, my family had an old Model T, just like the one above, only ours was a bit rougher. My only memory of riding in it was the indelible image of the road zipping by beneath my feet as seen through the rusted out floorboard.
My brothers, who were older, had many more adventures with the old Model T. It was primarily driven by our cousin Jerry, who was a bit older than my brothers and thus more qualified to drive. I think we ended up selling it to someone for $25.
Even at my tender age, I recognized the old Model T as an OLD, OLD car.
When my twin sister and I left for college in 1974, we bought a used Buick Century almost identical to this one for the sum of $3,000, which comprised the life savings of both of us. It was far and away a much nicer car than we ever thought we could afford.
That wonderful car, that Buick Century, would be 40 years old now. That's about how old the Model T was when we cruised around Waldron in it back in 1965.
Monday, July 1, 2013
|That's me and my dog Scooter and various other family|
members. That's Gary directly behind me.
The groundwork for our admiration of Gary was laid at an early age, when Gary would tell us bedtime stories. Gary has a brilliant and creative mind, so his bedtime stories were crafted with thoughtful moments of realism that seemed to bring them to life. There we would all be, in Gary's story, hiking through the woods on some generic pursuit, pausing by a little stream to sit down and eat, almost always bringing forth a snack of cheddar cheese and crackers. In Gary's story, you could actually taste the food.
One cold morning, Gary and I were in his Dodge Dart, for some reason heading out East 80 to get Aunt Addie and Uncle Joe and bring them to church. I noticed a fly on the dashboard, and pointed it out to Gary. "Watch this," he said. Gary reached out, and to my amazement picked up the fly with his fingers. Rolling down the window, he tossed the fly out. "How did you do that???," I exclaimed. Gary explained that the fly's metabolism slowed down due to the cold, so it could not react in time to fly away.
Some of Gary's scientific explanations were a little too complex for me, which sometimes resulted in confusion. For instance, there was at some point a discussion about the Earth's atmosphere freezing. I don't know what the actual context of that was, but for about four years after that I imagined a horrific scenario in which we were all attempting to make our way through layers and layers of thin ice.
Gary also indicated that sound waves continued on forever as they moved through the atmosphere. In my memory, he seemed to have suggested that perhaps the voice of George Washington was still out there somewhere, possibly trapped under a rock.
I lifted many rocks in the days and weeks following that, looking for old George.
Elsewhere on this blog, I've mentioned Gary's incredible ability to hypnotize chickens, and his life-changing discovery that I needed glasses. Those two stories are wonderful examples of Gary's contributions to my quality of life.
But perhaps the greatest lesson I learned from Gary was in the frequently overlooked realm of bathroom etiquette. It was Gary who took the time to point out to me that a gentleman, after visiting the facilities for the purpose of Number 1, always takes a little piece of tissue paper and goes around the rim of the toilet.
And it was even Gary who took on the herculean task of The Talk. Or perhaps, I should say, The Read. One Saturday, when I was about 10, Gary and his wife brought down a couple of little thin books designed to explain the birds and bees to children. I, after reading one of the books, was so amazed that I exclaimed, a little bit too exuberantly, "SO THAT'S HOW IT'S DONE!"
One of those moments in time that is still recalled by many family members.
I would not have gone to college if not for Gary. My sister and I lived with Gary and his wife for two years while we went to Westark Junior College in Fort Smith. We honestly could not have gone if not for this tremendous act of generosity.
And so, today, Gary is still my source of knowledge. He has fulfilled the Big Brother job description extremely well, and there is no one else on earth I'd rather be mistaken for.
Friday, June 7, 2013
"We'll sing your praise, o'er all the earth,
And yell, "Ki-Yi! Ki-Yi!"
I am sorry to admit to all today that I have been remiss. Singing, yes. Praising, yes. Perhaps not o'er all the earth, but there are people from other countries who have read this blog, and hopefully read some various posting about Waldron High School. But, and it saddens me deeply to say this, I can not recall even a single "Ki-Yi!" emanating from my bashful persona.
If memory serves me, it was the WHS class of 1929 that created our Alma Mater. Not that I was there, mind you, but I've heard the story. Lorene May was a graduate that year, and she has not missed a single reunion event. They also gave us our school colors, orange and black. The complete song is:
Oh Waldron High, Oh Waldron High
We sing your praise tonight.
We'll let you know, where e'er we go
That the orange and black will fight.
We'll sing your praise o'er all the earth
And yell, "Ki-Yi! Ki'Yi!"
In books of fame, we'll write your name
Oh Waldron High.
So, where did our beloved little ditty originate? Who penned those immortal words? Who unleashed a bunch of ki-ying country kids upon an unsuspecting world? Why, H.G. "Seldy" Seldombridge of course.
Who, you may ask, is H.G. "Seldy" Seldombridge? Seldy was a speech instructor at Oklahoma A & M College, later to become Oklahoma State University. In 1908, Seldy tooled on up to New York City, to Columbia University to be specific, in search of an idea for a senior class play. There, he saw a performance of the runaway Broadway smash The Red Mill. He was particularly taken by one song from the operetta, "The Streets of New York (Old New York)".
When he got back to Stillwater, he incorporated the song "Old New York" into a college production there. Looking at the stage decorated in orange and black while the song was being performed, Seldy was struck by inspiration. He told the choir to take a break, grabbed a pencil and paper, and soon had adapted the lyrics to "Old New York" into a song more appropriate for Oklahoma A & M College. His new lyrics were:
We'll sing your praise tonight;
To let you know where e'er we go,
For the Orange and Black we'll fight
We'll sing your worth o'er all the Earth
And shout: Ki Yi! Ki Ye!
In books of fame we'll write your name,
For the truly intellectually curious, here is a performance of the original tune, "Old New York." Stay with it until the chorus, there you'll recognize the familiar tune.
The night the song was performed, lettermen from the various sports joined the stage, waving in unison to the song, which had to be repeated several times. The enthusiastic audience waved back; the response was so exuberant that a near-riot erupted. From that point on, The Waving Song, as it became known, has been a staple at Oklahoma State University sporting events.
Click here for the full story of the OSU Waving Song.
Was a WHS faculty member perhaps a graduate of Oklahoma State in 1929? Did they provide the impetus for the creation of our own Alma Mater? Interesting question.
So, what about one particular component of the song, those curious "Ki-Yis"? At OSU, the second one was actually Ki-Ye, probably to rhyme with the "C" in OAMC (Oklahoma A&M College). Let us now research the historical literature in search of the elusive expression.
There are those who feel that "Ki-Yi" was perhaps one part of the fabled Rebel Yell of Civil War lore. The Rebel Yell battle cry was never specifically described, but there is a clip on YouTube of some Confederate veterans demonstrating the yell. It doesn't sound like Ki-Yi to me, but there are some references to "Ki-Yi" being a part of the yell in other writings.
Another historical reference to "Ki-Yi" comes from Jack London's classic book White Fang. Here's an excerpt:
The next moment he received a clout alongside the head that knocked him over on his side. Then all fight fled out of him. His puppyhood and the instinct of submission took charge of him. He sat up on his haunches and ki-yi'd. But the man whose hand he had bitten was angry. The cub received a clout on the other side of his head. Whereupon he sat up and ki-yi'd louder than ever.
For the sake of our own pride, let's just skip over the reference of "Ki-Yi' as the sound made by a wounded puppy. We are The Bulldogs. Case Closed.
So, who will join me? I am pledging that before another week is past, I will yell Ki-Yi somewhere, sometime. And I'll continue to let them know, where e'er I go, that the Orange and Black will fight. That is, if a reasonable agreement can't be reached. Then, we'll fight.
And, in books of fame, I'll write her name. Oh Waldron High.
UPDATE: Carolyn Terrill with the Scott County Historical and Geneological Society has tracked down the source of the WHS Alma Mater! She found an article by Virgil Bethel, who came to Waldron in 1929 to teach and ended up starting our first football team. With used equipment donated by the Arkansas Razorbacks, the team played seven games and lost all of them. In the article, Virgil says:
"During that year (1929) I taught the Waldron School their Alma Mater. After that first year, I went to Oklahoma to teach. I returned to Waldron School in 1950 and I was so overjoyed to learn they had kept their Alma Mater I had taught them. It was to the tune of the Alma Mater of Oklahoma A&M College at Stillwater (now called Oklahoma State) but there is a little variation of words. I learned the song at Stillwater in 1916."
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
I once knew a hero
When no cares of the world
Had weighed him down
And no tempest or storm
Had gathered round
Just a young hero
Yet to grow
He set about to live
The way that heroes do
You would not think
This life he made
Beyond the brink
Still to grow
When we called for him
To lift us up or help us out
And leave us with a smile
To back us up or point our way
And go the extra mile
And be our friend
Nice to know
A hero lives his life
And leaves us with a tear
For dreams unknown
And other things
For foundations built
On solid stone
But Duty calls
Time to go
I once knew a hero