Memories of Lueders, Texas
Pirate Chat Line Chatter for 2nd Quarter of 2006

April 1, 2006
Another Side Of Bill McCown

Starting my senior year in 1955, one of the first assignments in Mrs. Denham's English class was to write a short couple of pages about something interesting that happened to us during the summer. Then we had to get up in front of the class and read the story.

To this day, I still recall Robert Vicker's story.

It seems that a bunch of the boys and Bill McCown were hanging around town one afternoon. I believe that some of them were worked for Bill on his rod and tubing machine but they didn't have any work that afternoon. Anyway, someone mentioned that a watermelon sure would taste good and someone else mentioned that Homer Hughes had some nice ones growing on his place north of town. It was decided that as soon as it got good and dark that a bunch of them would pile into Gilbert Petty's big Cadillac and see if they couldn't sneak out and steal a watermelon. Bill McCown was taking part in the conversatiion, he might have even egged them on a little. Of course Bill went home about supper time.

They had to go past Homer's house to get to the field of watermelons, so they had their lights off and drove slowly down the dirt road so as not to be spotted.

They stopped by the side of the road and crawled through the fence to the watermelons. They were still trying to pick a good one out when all of a sudden, "What are you boys doing?" and a shotgun blast rang out. Followed by a couple more shots.

They went back through the fence a lot faster going out than they did coming in. Gilbert had a little trouble getting the key in the ignition, everyone else was on the floorboards. Meanwhile a few more blasts from the shotgun filled the air. One of the boys hollered, "Get out of here, that SOB is shooting to kill". They did manage to escape with no injuries.

Come to find out, it was a "put up" job between Bill McCown and his brother-in-law, Homer Hughes. They had sat outside visiting until the boys showed up.

You could tell from the way Robert Vickers read his story that it had made a big impression on him. I don't think they went watermelon hunting for awhile. I would pay good money for an audio recording of Robert reading his "story".

Anway, that's the way I recall Robert telling it. I don't recall who the other boys in the story were. I'm pretty sure that Robert and Gilbert both worked for Bill.

Don Latimer, Class of 56

April 1, 2006
Mrs. C. E. (Thedora) Newsom, 89, died April 1, 2001, in Ennis, Texas. She was born on December 30, 1916 in Mingus, Texas, the daughter of George and Gertrude Penix.

She attended rural schools in Jones County and graduated from Stamford High School, Stamford, Texas, in 1934. In 1937, she married C.E. "Buck" Newsom and lived in Lueders, Texas, where they reared their family and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at the Lueders First Baptist Church. She enjoyed homemaking, needlework and quilting projects for her family. At 56 she decided to study nursing and enjoyed caring for residents in the Skyview Living Center, Stamford, Texas, until her move to Ennis in 1983.

She was preceded in death by her husband, C.E. "Buck" Newsom in 1990; and her sister, Arlene Alburtus Higgs in 2005. She is survived by her daughter, Sharon Lambert and her husband, Norman, of Hurst; Texas and son, Phillip Newsom and wife, Cynthia, of Ennis, Texas. Her survivors also include six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren; one sister Imogene Thomas, and husband Lewie, of Snyder, Texas; nieces and nephews.

Pall bearers will be grandsons Curtis Lambert, John Lambert, Matt Newsom, Chad Newsom, Rusty Lee, nephews Larry Higgs and Leslie Thomas.

Graveside service will be held at Bethel Cemetery in Funston, Texas, at 2 p.m. on April 3, 2006. In lieu of flowers, Thedora requested memorials be made to Calvary Baptist Church Building Fund, P. O. Box 1402, Ennis, Texas 75120.

Ramona Mullins Hamilton, Class of 54

April 3, 2006
Newspaper Announcement

LUEDERS ó Ruthie Lee Mitcham Shipp, 95, died Thursday, March 30, 2006, at an Abilene hospital. Services will be 4:30 Saturday, April 1, 2006, at Lawrence-Adams Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will be in Bethel Cemetery in Funston, directed by Lawrence-Adams Funeral Home.

Ruthie was born November 20, 1910 to Albert A. "Mitch" Mitcham and Etta Compton Mitcham. She married O. T. Shipp, Sr. in 1958. Not only did she gain what she called a wonderful man as a husband, but both claimed they had each found the perfect fishing partner. They were part of the founding members of the Lueders Fish Day that was started in 1958. Ruthie was the last surviving member to attend the Fish Day in 2005.

Ruthie was a life long resident of Lueders. She owned and operated Ruth's Beauty and Dress Shop for 55 years prior to retiring at age 85.

She was preceded in death by her daughter (Johnnie Ruth Sparks), her parents, and her husband (O. T. Shipp, Sr.).

Ruthie is survived by a number of relatives, longtime friends and customers.

Ruthie never lost that will to get up and go, which usually meant to go drink coffee and chat with friends. This ability to keep going was accomplished by her inner drive and the help of her cousin and caregiver, Albert Wilhite; her neighbors, Thurman and Marjorie Thomas; longtime friends, Laveta Youngquist, Fern McGlathery, C.T. and Carolene Stovall, Ruby Galloway; and special helper, Oralia Lopez.

Special thanks to Stamford Home Health, Dr. Paul Borgfeld and staff, Dr. Bill Haynes, and the entire staff of Hendrick Hospital Hospice.

Memorial gifts may be made to Hendrick Hospice Care, P. O. Box 1922, Abilene, Texas 79604 or to the donor's favorite charity.

Carol Felts, Class of 53

April 3, 2006
I was saddened to read this about Mrs. Shipp. It's been many many years since I've seen her, but can still see her as she was during the mid 50's through early 60's. I can remember when I went to the drug store for my grandmother, Mrs. Shipp would be there and tell me..."Hon, you look as hot as a firecracker" then tell Mr. Shipp she was going to get me an ice cream. That was the highlight of my day for walking to town. Thank you for posting this article......

Terry Johnson Blackburn, Class of 66 at Abilene High

April 4, 2006
I am a little late getting this out---The 2 story house that the Smyth's lived in down by the football field burned Friday night or early Saturday morning. Don't know the cause----Edith Ham and I went by there yesterday and there was yellow tape on the fence gate stoping people from going in----it is hard to see the landmarks go.

Dorothy Bennett, Class of ?? -- My daughters are Jo, Jimmie and Myra.

April 5, 2006
Dorothy, Thanks for letting us know. It's a shame the home burned. If you have any more details please let us know.

Was any of it saved?

I look forward to reading some of your memories of Lueders in the Pirates Chat Line.

Cheers, Carlene Burkman Black, Class of 72

April 5, 2006
For those of you knew Jan Blackstock Angel and Donna Blackstock Petty, their father, B. J. Blackstock, passed away on April 2nd. His service is in Buchanan Dam, Texas at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, April 6th, at Chapel of the Hills baptist Church. Interment will be in Cisco, Texas, at 4:00 p.m.
April 5, 2006
Newspaper Announcement in Abilene Reporter News

Billy J. "Blackie" Blackstock, age 78, of Burnet, Texas, passed away on April 3, 2006. He was born on May 16, 1927 in Cisco, Texas to Robert and Opal Blackstock. Blackie was born and raised in Cisco, Texas. He and Fran met at the Cisco pool where Blackie was a lifeguard and Fran worked in the ticket office. They later married and were married for 63 years on January 27. He enlisted in the US Navy during WWII and served on board the USS Miami. Blackie worked across West Texas as a power lineman. He worked for the City of Abilene for 17 years. They later moved to Burnet in 1980 and then retired with the City of Burnet in the electrical department in 1989. He was an Eagle Scout and enjoyed hunting and fishing and was an avid Burnet Bulldog fan. He was a member of the Chapel of the Hills Baptist Church in Buchanan Dam, Texas.

Blackie is survived by his wife of 63 years, Fran Blackstock of Burnet, Texas; two daughters and husbands, Jan and Randy Angel of Fairfield, Texas and Donna and Foy Petty of Marble Falls, Texas; one son and wife, Bruce and Shirley Blackstock of Benbrook, Texas; one brother, Robert Franklin, Jr. of Winnsboro, Texas; nine grandchildren; fifteen great- grandchildren; and two great-great grandchildren.

Services will be Thursday, April 6, 2006 at The Chapel of the Hills Baptist Church in Buchanan Dam at 10:00 a.m. Interment will follow at Oakwood Cemetery in Cisco, Texas at 4:00 p.m. Pallbearers will be the grandsons.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to your local Boys Scouts of America.

Clements-Wilcox Funeral Home / Burnet, Texas

Second Announcement in Abilene Reporter News
Thedora Morinda Newsom of Ennis passed away on Saturday, April 1, 2006, at the age of 89 years. She attended rural schools in Jones County and graduated from Stamford High School in 1934. She married C.E. (Buck) Newsom in 1937 and lived in Lueders, Texas where they raised their family and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

She was preceded in death by her husband, C.E. "Buck" Newsom in 1990 and her sister, Arlene Higgs in 2005.

She was survived by her daughter, Sharon Lambert and husband, Norman of Hurst, Texas; son, Phillip Newsom and wife, Cynthia of Ennis; six grandchildren; nine great- grandchildren; one sister, Imogene Thomas and husband, Lewie of Snyder, Texas; and several nieces and nephews.

Graveside services were held on Monday April 3, at 2:00 p.m. in the Bethel Cemetery in Funston, Texas with Rev. Larry Porch and Rev. Ken Cashion officiating. Green Funeral Home was in Charge of arrangements.

Sandra Reves, Class of ??

April 5, 2006
Sandra Reves..........are you related to Diz? He is a Spectrum Scoreboard rep for our high school and comes by to visit often. He talks about all his relatives out your way. My name is Denise Love and I am the athletic secretary here at Burnet High School. I was born in Stamford when my parents lived in Lueders. My dad, Paul Mosley, was a coach at Lueders High in 1956-57. Blackie Blackstock was my uncle.

D Love, Class of ??

April 5, 2006
Thanks for passing along the news. I lived next door to the Smyths and our house burned several years ago. It is truly sad to lose the reminders of the past.

Marie Watkins, Class of 57

April 5, 2006
Hello! This is Donnie Smyth and I've really been sad ever since learning about our old homestead burning.

I moved into that house when I was a toddler and grew up there.

MARIE? Is this the Marie Watkins that I used to bug everyday along with my sister Iva?

If so, Marie, respond to me at my personal e-mail address:

Donnie Smyth, Class of 60

April 5, 2006
I too am sorry to hear of the Smyth's house burning. I seem to recall it was the biggest house in Lueders.

My family was friends of the Smyths and I believe Iva was my first girlfriend although I don't believe she ever knew it.

My sister Kay and I visited Lueders about two or three weekends ago and drove by the house. My grandmother Lillie Murray lived in a rock house in the next block toward the school from the Smyths. I believe maybe next to Marie Watkins. It also has burned. Sad! I wonder who owns my grandmother's house now.

Most of the Pirates probably do not remember me or my grandmother. We left the Lueders schools when I began the 7th grade in Anson but Lueders has always seemed like home.

John T. Murray, Class of 57 in Anson

April 5, 2006
John Tom, This is Donnie Smyth - You ask if anyone remembers your grandmother?

How could I forget? She practically raised me. She kept me many many times and she was like a grandmother to me. I can still picture her and I remember exactly what she looked like. Mrs. Murray was all I ever knew her by. She made me walk the line.

Good memories - Good childhood - Good people - We're blessed!

Donnie Smyth, Class of 60

April 5, 2006
I only remember being in the Smyth house and Donnie took me up the stairs. I don't remember getting to the top of the stairs. I guess my dad the Mr. Smyth finished their business and said it was time to go. I was to young to remember anymore about the inside of that huge beautiful white house. It is sad to hear that it is gone.

But, isn't it great to read about all the memories formed there from soo many different people. Ones we know and ones we have forgotten thru the years.

Cheryl McCown Gilmore, Class of 65

April 5, 2006
Losing that beautiful old home in Lueders is like losing an old friend. It was truly a landmark in Lueders and I would love to see a picture of it in our Photo's In Memory on the website.

Dorene McAlister Allen, Class of 55

April 6, 2006
E. Ray Smyth, I appreciate everything you and others have written here. I started to school in the first grade in Lueders in 1955. I remember some of the people you talk about and have only the memory of names of others.

I especially enjoyed your stories of playing on Cottonwood Creek as my sisters, Jimmie and Myra, and I played there also. In 1955, I believe, my parents Dixie and Dorothy Bennett built a house at the end of the street that runs in front of the school.

We grew up playing "down at the river" as we called it. At that time there was a small lake there called Penik Lake. We hardly ever saw anyone else down there and if we did it was some of the Vinson kids. It is a wonder that we weren't hurt climbing on the stone quarry remains at the west end of the lake.

I remember the small "shack" that you used as a scout club house. Cattails have taken over the lake now and new stone quarrying has just about stopped the flow of Cottonwood Creek into the Clear Fork. I would be surprised if that club house hasn't been demolished and replaced by a quarry. '

Later in life when we gathered at Mother's house to visit, we spent many hours fishing and riding on the Clear Fork in an old boat we called the Tub. Nell and G.W. Hart allowed us to put in at the crossing near their house which was near the Anson bridge and at the "River House", as we called it, which was up stream a bit from their house.

It would be great to have a bit of room on the Pirates website to store all these letters for the future.

Jo Bennett Burns, Class of 67

April 6, 2006

Thanks to all of you for remembering the "Smyth House"

As my bother was, I too am saddened to know my childhood home has been destroyed.

I learned of it when Alma Lou (Wills) Sims called me Saturday evening, April 1, 2006.

I did not know until 2003 when I attended my 50th Class Reunion and homecoming that most people now referred to our childhood home as "The Smyth House".

I learned that when I ran into Mrs. Vineta who lived in the house for several years with her now deceased husband and she herself referred to it as the "Smyth House" and when I asked why, she told me most people did also.

I reckon that is understandable because it was during my parents tenure that most of the properties amenities were placed there.

Since he was only 14 months old in August of 1943 when we moved in, the house is the only childhood home my brother Donnie has every known whereas I have memories of 2 childhood homes.

We first came to the Lueders in January 1937 when I was 2 years & 4 months old. But, prior to moving into Lueders, we lived on the J. P. Vickers oil lease in the Post Oak Community where I went to school my first 3 years.

The lease house had no electricity or bath room. We used gas lights with the gas being supplied from the oil wells on the oil lease.

It was in 1943 when I was approaching 9 years of age that mother and daddy started looking for a place with a bath room and electricity and they found the house which we are now discussing.

A Mr. Kell who owned the Lueders Limestone Company had built the house and it had been sitting vacant for a few years.

I remember us looking at houses in Stamford and Albany and then Daddy came home one day talking about a house Cap and Myrtle told him about right there in Lueders.

After discussing the pros and cons, it was decided to purchase the house in Lueders for the whooping sum of $1,500.00 total.

At the time, the house consisted of a living room, dining room, kitchen, 2 bedrooms and 1 bath downstairs. Upstairs was 2 bedrooms and a landing at the top of the stairs which my dad used for an office.

At the time of purchase there was nothing else on the property except an old unpainted 2 car garage which my father had tore down.

The house had stood vacant for a period and needed a lot of work so, before we moved in Daddy did some remodeling.

Les Tonroy, completely painted the house inside and out. The inside walls are wood with cheese cloth and wall paper so, Les also re-papered the complete house. Les also sanded and varnished all the hardwood floors, downstairs and up.

My Dad enclosed a screened in back porch with windows and when we first moved into the house my bedroom was in the utility room on the back porch were we kept the cream separator for a milk cow we had and there was a cistern on the back porch.

Prior to moving in, Daddy built a 2 car detached garage out of 8 inch Sawed Stone and of course it was Lueders limestone.

Little Joe Delwaide cut the stone in the stone mill and Bozo Walls laid the stone for the garage.

Daddy moved a one car garage in off the oil lease and made the barn out of it. Later on he added the hip roof and loft area. The garage which became a barn had previously been built with boards that came from a power house shed on the oil lease.

Shortly after moving in, My father designed the gate entrance way to the house out of Lueders split faced limestone and Bozo Walls again laid the stone. Oscar Ekdahl welded the front gate together out of oil field sucker rods and pipe. Of course the fence was built at this time.

Being 9 years old, the most amazing thing to me about moving to town and the new house was the bathroom. I can recall standing at the commode and flushing it time and time again with nothing in it but, some toilet paper and wondering where it all went.

What really made the Lueders house a very nice home was the den with it's basement and then upstairs a 3rd bedroom and bath that my father added on to the back of the house in 1947.

Jay Watkins dug the basement by hand, poured the floor and then laid up all the rock walls for the basement. Jay also did all the electrical wiring for the new addition. Once again Les Tonroy did the painting and wall paper. If I recall correctly Guy Mitchem did all the carpenter work with Jay helping him when needed. There were some other contractors and helpers also involved for the stucco, roofing, and other minor things. The house was completely re-stuccoed so the old addition matched the new.

The addition also caused a major remodeling of all the downstairs because Daddy moved the downstairs doors up stairs for the new addition and installed all new colonial style doors downstairs. He did the same with the windows because most all the downstairs windows had been single windows and he replaced them with double windows and then used the old windows upstairs while also making the upstairs windows double. By taking out the back porch utility room it made the living room and dinning room much larger.

I lost my back porch bedroom but, gained a whole 2nd floor and a private bath for myself. For a kid now 13 years old I was in hog heaven. I ran a copper wire and tin can telephone from my upstairs bedroom to the loft of the barn where me and Carol Felts had built us a club house. I don't think our tin can telephone worked but, back then we thought it did.

As mentioned, in 1943 my dad paid $1,500.00 for the house and then in 1947 the basement, den and upstairs bedroom plus the 2nd floor bath was added and I recall that costing around $7,500.00 which made the house now cost $9,000.00 - Hard to believe, huh!

When the one channel KRBC television station out of Abilene came along around 1952, it became a contest in town to see who was going to have the highest TV antenna.

When the antennas started going up there were several winners as each one tried to out top the other.

I can't recall them all but, I do remember Buster Winkles built one 65 feet tall. It was kind of funny because there was a discussion in town where Buster's Antenna should count or not because his antenna was located where he pumped a lease out on the Bluff Creek.

After Buster's being the highest, my Dad had Oscar Okdahl build one out of oil field sucker rods and tubing which was 76 feet tall and therefore topped Busters. I came home from Ranger Junior College one week end in the fall of 1953 to paint the new antenna and help raise it. My Dad had me paint it red and silver. One of my classmates, Gene Henderson who was working for my Dad on the Rod and Tubing machine at the time poured the antenna foundation and put in the guy wire post.

As most of you know that antenna still stands today as sort of a Lueders land mark and it will be 53 years old this fall.

I have a roll of 8 millimeter film that Buster Winkles took the day we raised the antenna which I should get onto a CD.

As I recall, Skinny Bledsoe was the eventual height winner as he had an antenna 80 feet tall built by welding boiler tubes together which came from the boilers at the Lueders Refinery.

My father was sort of a gadget man and liked building things such as the Love Seat which was once located in the front yard.

After I graduated and left home my father designed and again had Oscar Ekdahl weld up a back yard clothes line made from the fly wheel of a car and 2 starter motors mounted on the post. You could stand in one spot and run the clothes line back and forth to hang or remove clothes from the line. Wasn't very practical but, daddy had fun figuring it all out and making it work.

The last amenity my father added to the property was the large patio and rock barbecue grill he built in the late fifties just outside the back door.

I might add that in a phone conversation back in the eighties I learned from Arlene Felts that the weather vane which my father had designed and had Oscar Ekdahl build had fallen off the barn. I immediately contacted Mr. Vineta to see if he had intentions of putting it back and the results of that conversation ended with me purchasing the weather vane for the sum of $200.00. I did so because to me it was a part of the home place and a part of my father so, I have it today and it has been restored.

After my father died in June 1962, it became necessary for my mother to move to Abilene for employment. So, after commuting for a while, in 1964 with a little to boot, she traded houses with the Counts family who wanted to move back to Lueders.

I indicated in the beginning that I had 2 childhood homes and one was the lease house.

It might surprise some folks to know that prior to April 1, 2006 I could stand in the street in Lueders and view both my childhood homes.

I could do so because the J. P. Vickers lease house was purchased by Sandy and Doris Raughton and moved in across the street from our house in Lueders.

The Raughtons added a bathroom and screened in porch on to the back of the lease house and that is were my classmate Edith Raughton grew up. Later on GranMa Dodgen lived in the house.

The Memories of Lueders and my childhood just go on and on and on.

AND, Yes I know others living in other places also have childhood memories but, I would challenge those who lived in other places:... are theirs as memorable as mine. I doubt it.

It has been suggested a picture of the Smyth House be placed in the Memories in SnapShot section of the Web Site and I may do that. However, there already is a picture of the house taken in 2004 by Jerry Latimer on the web site and the number of the thumb print is "Photo-52" under the link "2004 Photographs" in the Lueders History Section.

I was fortunate to be able to tour the house completely inside and out in 2003 while in Lueders for Homecoming.

I took several picture both inside and out of the home place and I am planning on placing them on on my personal web site so the grand kids have them. When I am finished posting the pictures I will let the Chat Line know.

In case anyone is interested, I am writing "Stories for the GrandKids" and posting them on my Web Site which is located at:.. ---- I currently have 15 stories posted for the Grand Kids.

Fact of the matter is, I had already wrote a story last year about "GranPa's Childhood Homes" and now sadly I must revise it.

I'll mention one final thing in closing. YES, it was nice home. I know because each and every spring, spring in, and spring out, my father stuck a paint brush in my hand and said "Paint Boy" For example, He would make me paint all the fence post white which wasn't too bad but, then I had to go back, mask off and paint the top 2 inches of each post red. Today, I don't paint nothing. I remember one spring a funny escapade we had about painting the barn but, I'll save that for another time.

Thanks again to all of you for the concern and interest shown.

E. Ray Smyth, Class of 53

April 7, 2006
Jo, Thanks for participating in the Pirate Chat Line Chatter - It is great when we have lots of Pirates and friends of Pirates tell us stories and provide memories of our school and Lueders, Texas.

You mentioned it would be nice to have an area on the Web Site to post such stories and comments. Perhaps your not aware that we did that for a month long period between August 17, 2004 and September 13, 2004 which was right after we put Don Latimer's "A Little History of Lueders, Texas" on the Web Site and expanded the History Section.

Everyone got so interested in Don's history that they got to telling stories by the bucket fulls and without editing them I complied all the Pirate Chatter into 2 different web pages and listed the messages in the order in which each one was wrote or replied to.

To reach the posted messages (Chatter) of August & September, 2004 go to the Pirate section of the Lueders Avoca Web Site and click on "Lueders History" which is the first selection on the menu. At the next page you will find 9 different selection links which will take you to different Historical things we have posted, Two of which are the links to the chatter of August & September, 2004.

After the burst of interest which Don's history created things slowed down and became a hodge podge of messages and we choose not to post those messages.

Although I am personally attached to the burning of the Smyth House, I feel those messages relative to this particle incident should be preserved because of the historical nature of preserving the date of the loss and the fact we had so many warm comments coming from so many different people. So, I will be doing that as I have time.

I frankly did not expect so many comments and the kind of memories which came forth.

One thing that came to my attention which was amusing to me was, I didn't know my brother Donnie and my sister Iva lived in the Smyth House. I thought I was the only one raised there. I suppose being the oldest caused that.

I rather enjoyed the fact, more people commented about being around the house with either Iva or Donnie then they did me. So, I needed reminding that I had a brother and sister living there also. Of course I had 2 older sisters but, by the time we moved into Lueders they were out of high school and on their own.

Jo, Let me also remind you and everybody else. this is your web site and if you would like to see other section or areas added I know Carlene and I both are receptive to suggestions and new ideas .

In the beginning we had several Pirates offer to send in old pictures of Lueders and/or the Lueders area but, they have been slow to arrive.

We also would like to see more class participation and class memorabilia come forth. Some of the Class sections have zilch in them.

Ramona Mullins, Class of 54, Don Latimer, Class of 56 and Pat Culpepper, Class of 61 have been good to contribute to their class section and we would like to see others take their Classes lead and provide us with some pictures and other memorabilia.

Cheers to all - E. Ray Smyth, Class of 53

April 7, 2006
I should have mentioned this early but, it slipped my mind.

My Mother will be 94 years old June 23, 2006 and although in reasonable good health I use precaution and I'm very selective with what I tell Mother when I think it will effect her emotionally and other wise.

My Mother will be heart broken if and when she finds out about our old house burning in Lueders..

I know of no useful purpose it would serve to tell mother about the house and I would appreciate anyone who might come in contact with her would leave it to me if she is to ever be told.

If I every tell her, I will make a great effort to choose the proper time.

Interestingly enough I came close last Thursday when I took her to the doctor and shortly after leaving her house, mother ask "Had any news from anyone in Lueders?" I didn't answer her and then out of the blue she says "Jay and Evelyn Watkins old house burned awhile back you know."

Man I didn't know what to say to that knowing what I did about our old house so I decided to just keep quite.

I know Marie Watkins who lived next door to us and was in the same class as my sister Iva calls mother occasionally. So mums the word Marie.

Carol Felts went to the trouble to drive over from Knox City and take me some pictures and I am so grateful for that. I didn't like what the pictures showed me but, it was better then sitting in Florida wondering.

Again Thanks to all who expressed a concern and interest in "The Smyth House"

E. Ray Smyth, Class of 53

April 9, 2006
The Smyth house was just southwest of Mother's house where Buck and Theodora Newsom lived with Sharon and Phillip when I was going to Lueders School. Mother bought the Newsom house in 1989 and moved in from the farm where I grew up two miles north of Nugent. I remember Donny was older than us and he could play the piano like no one else!

When Mother lived on that street, I never met the family who lived in the Smyth house. They eventually moved before Mother had her second stroke and left Lueders for Abilene Regional Hospital, Stamford Teakwood Manor, and back to Abilene Regional Hospital. November 17, 200l was her last day to live in Lueders. Then Christmas Eve she went home to be with our Lord which was her daily plea after that second stroke.

It is definitely good to share with your family and friends about your faith in the Lord while you are living. Then when it is time to leave this world for heaven, peace abides. Have a blessed Palm Sunday!

Carolyn Mullins Pearson - Class of 65

April 9, 2006
E. Ray, I do thank you for reminding me that the messages are on the website. I vaguely remember your sending me a message with a password etc. and telling me (and everyone else I assume) about the messages a couple of years ago. I looked in the notebook that I keep for passwords etc. and there it was! I'll bet I spent 4 hours reading all of them and it was really fun!

From what I have read so far it seems that those who attended LHS before the '50's or before experienced a completely different town from what it was when I graduated. There were only twelve of us that year but Avoca only had 3!

It would be fun to know where everyone lives, not that I would want to contact, or pester you! :) As Carole Lankford's father used to say Lueders is a nice place to be FROM. There must be some truth to his saying since folks are scattered across the country.

I live with my sister Jimmie, class of 68'. Last year about this time I sold my house in far north Fort Worth and moved here with Jimmie and her husband Randall McGary, Stamford, class of 69' I think. We are in in Tarrant County near Crowley which is just South of the Ft.Worth city limits. If we can stop having fun for a while, we are going to add an addition to their house for me, which is what I meant to do to begin with. We anticipate (read we hope to have her here soon!) my mother Dorothy Bennett from Lueders coming to live here too.

Does anyone have a map of Lueders that could be put on the website? I'd like to know where some of the buildings were, and can't get it straight in my mind.

Yes, Stephen, I'm sure everyone in our class would want to claim you as 'ours'. You inherited some great memories and documentation of life in Lueders through your family.

Thanks to you E.Ray and Carlene for your hard work. Thanks to others for the memories!

Jo Bennett Burns, Class of 67

April 11, 2006
In a message to the Pirate Chat Line on April 6, 2006, Jo Bennett Burns, Class of 67 expressed a wish that the Chat Line Chatter could be preserved some place on the Web Site.

In a message I put on the Chat Line sort of back to Jo, I said we had done that in the past and would probable do it again.

I am happy to advise Jo and all Pirates that all the chatter messages since the Chat Line was reactivated last October 23, 2005 is now in an organized format as we did before.

I have hit upon the idea to organize the messages by quarters each year so you will find the year of 2006 already headed in that direction.

"NOW LISTEN UP PIRATES", This takes lots of time and I need your help to archive the messages.

Some of you are pretty sloppy about following the rules of putting your name and class year on the bottom of your messages and when I have to polish them up it takes me double the normal time.

You are going to have me start thinking your old and senile and we all know Pirates stay young.

We can have a sloppy archive of our memories or a properly formated one. I prefer a consistent format so, it is easily readable by all.

I would like to see all messages signed such as mine is here:.........  E. Ray Smyth, Class of 53

If you will look at the email messages we are doing it all different ways and some are not even signed. Some have first names only, some have name with no hint of a class year.

In the archived messages you will find I have changed them all to the format of:..  Your name, Class of ??

The ladies should decide how you want your name i.e. include current and maiden or just how.. I will suggest it be like this:... Ramona Mullins Hamilton, Class of 54 --- In the past I have had the ladies maiden name in brackets or hyphened or whatever such as this "Mullins" or (Mullins) I have also in certain areas on the web site not even used a ladies married name because everyone who went to Lueders schools know the girls by their maiden name.

I would like when possible, for the obituaries to be identified to which Newspaper they came from and if you are submitting it go ahead and put your name and class year at the bottom same as always..

If you graduated from another school but, are associated in whatever way with the Chat Line then please add your location some how such as this Terry Blackburn, Class of 66 in Abilene or Terry Blackburn, Class of 66 - Abilene High.

I don't think I'm asking too much and it will make my job much easier when I'm archive the messages.

Please consider the fact from October 23 until April 6 we had 73 messages representing 79 pages in my word processor.

Also consider the fact the messages are currently going to 75 different people ranging in graduating years from around 1939 to mid 70's as a guess or what is a span of more the 30 years age difference. A person graduating in 1975 is not going to know much about a person graduating in 1939 and vis verses. Therefore we need complete names and class years to allow others to better grasp the subject matter.

It is my hope and intentions to archive all future chatter by quarters of each year. I hope I have the time and the more help I get with the simple items the better we can make sure it gets done.

Thanks to you all for participating for I truly enjoy reading your stories and I'll admit I also enjoy writing a few. Problem is I write like I talk which is a little too much.

To find the archived messages go to the Pirate Section of the Lueders Avoca Web site at and click on the "Lueders History" link and then at the next page you will find the links to the "Alumni Memories" which is the archived Chatter messages.

Cheers - E. Ray Smyth, Class of 53

April 11, 2006
Talked to Mother today. I had copied and mailed to her the two E. Ray dramas.

The Water Witch and the cow dragging your poor skinny body w/rope.

She was so happy to get them. She wants more Lueders stories. So keep writing E. Ray.....

Marie Watkins Fuller class of '57

April 11, 2006
The fire started in the middle of the night. My brother discovered it and turned it in. Arson is suspected from what I hear. The fire marshall was waiting for the north wall to be pulled down so they could go in to investigate. It flared up again thursday or friday night and had to be put out again. I understand not much was saveable.

Ada Crawford Wills, Class of 1961

April 16, 2006
Hi again Pirates,

Regarding Ada Wills message, I hope someone in Lueders will keep check and let us know if anyone is charged with arson relative to the burning of my childhood home which most Pirates have referred to as the Smyth House.

In my recent story about the house, I stated, I don't now paint because as a very young boy every spring, spring in and spring out, my father stuck a paint brush in my hand and said, "Paint Boy"

I said I might tell a painting story in a different message so here tis. If anyone thinks it too long please remember I am writing stories to leave to my grand children.

In 1943 when I was 9 years old, we moved into the house and on one of these spring painting episodes which was among the first I was made to paint the barn fence which consisted of 4 rows of 1 X 6 boards.

Right after I started, My father came down to see how I was doing and he found me dipping my paint brush in the gallon paint can and then wiping the brush off on the side of the can.

He took the paint brush from me and said "That ain't how you paint. Your wiping all the paint off the brush" and with that he dipped the brush in about half way up the bristles, slapped it on the side of the can a couple of times and then painted about 3 feet of the fence with that one brush full of paint.

He did that 2 or 3 times and handed me the brush back and said "Now that is how you paint" "You don't diddle daddle boy you slap that paint on the fence and get it done".

I had to admit he covered some ground with the paint whereas I had been having to go back to the bucket quite often and didn't cover much area with each dip of the brush.

After Daddy left and went back up to the house, I discovered that shoot if I didn't even slap the brush on the side of the can I could really cover some ground and get this job over with and go play with Carol.

So, I would stick that brush way into the paint and get a real brush full and slap her on the fence.

With in about 45 minutes I had one whole side of the fence painted but, was out of paint so I went up to the house and told Daddy "I need more paint."

"What in the hell are you taking about!, You can't be out of paint."

"Well it's all gone", I said. "How far did you get?" - "That one side", I said.

Daddy gets up and says, "Well I got to find out what's going on because you had enough paint to paint the whole fence."

We go back to the barn and with a few expletive words Daddy says "your blinkty blank paint is all over the ground, your suppose to paint the fence, not the blinkity blank grass."

We go to the lumber yard and get another gallon of white paint and I was shown once more how to paint a fence and warned there better not be another drop hit the ground.

I finished the fence and had 1/2 gallon paint left.

End of Season one.

Another spring season or two rolled around and Daddy decides the whole barn needs painting. I commenced to complain and he told me, "Now look I'll let you paint one side each weekend and in just 4 weekends, one month you will be through."

So, I proceeded to paint the barn and did just that and after 3 weekends I had the barn all painted except the back end which faced west.

That Saturday morning at breakfast, I told Daddy that Carol, Harold, Max and a few others of my friends were spending the night on the river and I sure would like to go with them. I explained that all there was left was the end which couldn't even be seen from the street. He said, "Well Ok but, we are going to finish that barn and it don't matter what part of it can't be seen by anyone else."

So, I spent the weekend with the rest of my buddies on our beloved Clear Fork of the Brazos.

Daddy never mentioned the barn the rest of the week nor the following Saturday morning at breakfast and I sure as hell didn't mention it either.

After breakfast, I'm sure I told mother where I was going and I can't recall now what I did that weekend but, I didn't do any painting.

Another week rolls by and Saturday comes along and again nothing has been said about the barn.

I mosey down to breakfast Saturday morning and Daddy is looking me over and he says, "What you doing in them good clothes?" and I say "Well Carol and I are........." and he says, "I don't think so, I let you slide two weeks ago to spend the weekend on the river and then last weekend which you thought you had gotten away with, I let you slide again." Your through sliding young man. Now get your a _ _ back up stairs and get them paint clothes on because this weekend we are finishing the barn.

And folks that is how and why the barn and everything else usually looked nice at the "Smyth House". Child abuse wouldn't you think.

End of Season Two

My Mother had to share a part in this child abuse because at another spring painting session I was made to paint the kitchen cabinets and walls pink. Don't ask why pink, I reckon it was the thing at the time.

Our telephone at the time was one of those big old large wooden wall phones with the mouth piece sticking out in front that required you to stand up to talk. It was mounted on the kitchen wall just inside the door.

While painting the wall around the phone, I first tried to keep the paint off the phone and that got to be a pain so I just painted the phone pink and we used that phone several more years.

The Smyth kitchen now had a pink decor with matching accessories.

The first time Mr. Lambert viewed my paint job he didn't say much but, did have a weired frown.

Later on we did get a different phone and I next saw our beautiful old pink telephone mounted in someone else's house there in Lueders. I wish I could recall whose house it was. (Anybody Know)

At any rate, thanks to forced labor someone in Lueders got to use a custom painted telephone.

Some time after I graduated and was living in Abilene, I was over at Robert Sanders house which was right across the street from the telephone office and Mr. Lambert had some storage sheds there besides the Sanders house.

Mr. Lambert had been in the process of converting the Lueders telephone system from the hand cranking system with an operator to a dial system which meant he was throwing away all the old crank telephones.

There outside the storage shed was a pile of old crank telephones that would have more then filled the back of a pickup and in the pile was our old pink telephone. "O" how I now wish I had ask Mr. Lambert for it.

Seeing the prices of some old style phones in antique stores now days I expect Mr. Lambert threw out a small fortune. But, then that is the same with a lot of old things.

End of Stories

Epilogue:... My own children didn't fare any better relative to child abuse.

E. Ray Smyth, Class of 53

April 23, 2006
Hello Pirates, I'm sure having a hard time getting any of you Pirates to tell a story and get us some chatter going and I sure hope we don't have to burn down another house to see a little chatter.

I've learned something, - Tell an old Indian a story, he at least grunts at you.

Tell an old Pirate a story and they don't even grunt.

Must have something to do with all that wild living in their youth that has old Pirates all wore out.

What ever the reason here is something for the Old Guy Pirates.

In 1985 I was home visiting and took the time to go by the Chisholm Trail Boy Scout Office in Abilene to see if I could obtain my Scouting records.

I hold fond memories of my first scout master, Little Joe Delwaide and then we had the High School Principle, Moody Galbreath, Curtis Hardwick whose wife taught Home Economics and then Ag Teacher, Truman Kidwell as our scoutmaster.

We had a lot of other adult Lueders men who I never know were behind us in our scouting until I read an Application for a Troop Charter dated, November 1947 which Mr. O. T. Shipp signed and on it were other adult names I never knew were involved in what we were doing. I never knew or don't recall Troop 46 being sponsored by the Lueders Chamber of Commerce, Shucks I never even knew we had a Chamber of Commerce.

Like a lot of others things in life, I obtained the records in 1985 (about 35 years after they were created) and brought them home only to misplace them. "O" I had them put up in a safe place I just didn't know the place. Over the next 20 years I would run across them only to again forget where I was keeping them.

I recently ran across them so, today I scanned them into the computer. Interestingly enough while scanning them into the computer I ran across a folder where I had already scanned in the records last year. So much for my senility years.

I am now glad they are now on the Lueders School Web Site so when I forget what is on the web site Don Latimer can remind me again as he has done in the past.

I'm also now really glad I got the records because when I was home in 2003, I again went to the Chisholm Trail Council Office and they no longer had any records at all on Lueders. What I obtained in 1985 is also not complete and is only part of Troop 46 records but, at the time I was really only after the merit badges I had earned.

I suppose we should remember that in 1985 the records were over 35 years old and now they are approaching 60 years since their creation so it is reasonable to expect they are no longer complete or available.

Of the merit badge records I have, appears the earliest record is Stanley Shipp in January 1941 and the oldest is Max Dillard in August 1950.

I'm not giving you the adults on the list or all the scouts listed for that you must go to the school web site then the Pirate section and then the Lueders History section and then the Memories in Snapshot sections. And then there is a new Thumb Print #14 which says "Lueders Boy Scouts Troop 46" - Click on that.

Nuff Grunting - E. Ray Smyth, Class of 53

April 23, 2006
Everett Ray--I am going to correct you on a name. The Ag teacher's name was Truman Kidwell. Maybe that was just a typo?????????? Greta
April 23, 2006

I'm sorry, I forgot--Greta Olson Corbitt, 1952

April 24, 2006
You know Greta, you are correct and I knew that - This also means it is misspelled on the Memorial Section of the School Web Site because I couldn't remember his first name and reviewed the Memorial section to get his first name and then in my haste and a little old age thrown in I over looked the spelling and used what was on the school memorial section.

So, it's all Carlene's fault and boy did I get out of this one slicker then goose butter.

By The Way Guys, the boy scouts from my era should look over the Application for Troop Charter which Cecil McCurdy being the Committee Chairman had to fill out.

Apparently this is the very first time any of our names appeared in the records of the Boy Scouts because, except for me at age 13, it indicates we were 12 years of age, Tenderfoots, with less then one years service and on the back it indicates this was an applications with 9 old members and 13 NEW members with us being the NEW members.

One of older scouts being registered was Charles Bragg at age 16 and shows he was a transfer from Troop 74 in Midland, Texas

How many of you recall Charles Bragg getting a motorcycle about the time he was graduating and shortly afterwards getting into a high speed wobble and jumping off down by the American Legion Hall doing about 70 miles an hour.

He was skinned from head to toe sliding on the gravel on the side of the road and he was about completely covered in bandages.

He went around for a couple of weeks wearing nothing but, short pants and his bandages.

I ask him why he jumped off and he said because at the time he didn't know where the motorcycle was going and the gravel shoulder and bar ditch looked a whole lot softer then the asphalt pavement.

He sold the motorcycle shortly afterwards never to ride it again. I think I am correct that it was maroon Harley Davidson but, an old one pretty well wore out when he got it.

AND YEP Greta - Here is how you do it and thanks for remembering - E. Ray Smyth, Class of 53

April 24, 2006
Ok, I'm back in the groove now and I need E. Ray's or Carlene's email addresses and how I can get back to Lueders web sites. Have finally found my Lueder's pictures and will send them and let yall figure them out. LOL I sent them to my Aunt Maxine Vaughn Payne (class of '36 I think) and she said they were too small for her to really see them, but she thinks:

It looked a little like some were of the flood. About Mr. Galbreth being a scout leader, you knew he was *Mimie's* neighbor? (*Mimie* was Aunt Maxine's mother and my grandmother)...He and his wife were so nice. She brought over some Tuna apple salad one time when we were visiting Mimie. First time I had eaten any. I still make it now and then. I didn't know there were scouts in Lueders. I knew the Cecil McCurdy's. (lumberyard owners) She came to get her hair fixed in beauty shop. (My aunt Maxine was a beauty operator in Lueders). Those Lueders people - there was not any people anywhere a good as them!

Terry Johnson Blackburn - Class of 66 - Abilene High
Daughter of Odessa Vaughn Johnson and niece of Maxine Vaughn Payne

April 24, 2006

Terry, send me your pictures at:... and you can contact Carlene at:...

To see your picture at normal size and what other viewers will see when they get them. Just take your browser which I assume is Internet Explorer and open them by clicking on FILE and OPEN and BROWSE and then find the image file you want to open.

Don't forget have the browser look for "All Files"

If you think they are too small you can set the Scanner Resolution to a higher setting.

But, for now just send me the pictures anyway you can and I will see what I can do with them.

Glad to know your back in the groove. We been missing you.

E. Ray Smyth, Class of 53

April 24, 2006
From Dorothy Bennett --I worked at Lueders school for 25 years--first as a teacher's aid then Secretary for the rest of the time---Daughters's Jo class of 67--Jimmie class of 69---Myra class of 7l--------When the West Texas Utilities opened their ofice here in l948 Ed and Maudie George had the feed store in the south side of the hocus pocus building---I don't know if any of you remember this.---
April 24, 2006
Ray thanks a million for the pictures of the Scout documents.

I looked them over today, brought back a few memories. Who was the Scoutmaster who worked in the oilfield and his wife seemed to have some mental problems? I can remember old Moody Galbraith telling some really scary ghost stories inside that old empty schoolhouse where everything echoed so much. He was a master story teller. Something you might find interesting is that O. T. Shipp came from Knox City. As Lions secretary I have found documents mentioning Mr. Shipp The Arledges from Stamford who were from Knox City at one time in their life.

Carol Felts, Class of 53

April 25, 2006
Ray maybe you can get a story out of Lee Bledsoe.

I remember he and I putting a. chicken in that chevy coupe that Truman Kidwell was so proud of. I guess it was a Halloween trick, can't for the life of me remember where we got the chicken. May have been one of my project chickens. Truman lived across the street south of the school, can't remember who he was renting from, a big old house with front porch all the way across the front. I would tell another on Truman but don't know if he is still alive or not. I remember he took several of us, James Cox and myself for sure, to Stephenville to a contest at Tarleton. He took us out to a private fishing pond near Stephenville that they kept stocked with fish. Later when Tab our second son was in Stephenville we found that same pond and fished it several times. While we were there with Kidwell we watched a guy fly fish for bullfrogs. He used a regular fly fishing rod and a floating fly that he would present to a bullfrog. Of course the bullfrog would be hooked by the tongue when it took the bait. He was having a great time pulling them in. Can't remember the model of the car but pretty sure it was a dark blue Chevrolet maybe a 1949 coupe.

Carol Felts 1953.

April 25, 2006
My freshman year in high school, Kidwell many times would ask me to drive the old blue Chev. to town to get something. Those were different days. I had yet to get a drivers license but it didn't make any difference to him. The thing I remember most is that the car was parked in the front of the school and I would have a difficult time getting it out of the ditch which seemed to be pretty steep at the time. I would roar the motor and start out and it would die. Usually took me two or three attempts to get it out. He later bought a new Turquoise colored Chev. I think it was a 51 but it may have been a 53. He never let me drive it. I think I later learned to use the choke and it helped.

Marlin Felts, Class 1957

April 25, 2006
Hearing Marlinís rendition of backing out of those steep parking spaces reminded me of our driverís ed classes taught by Mr. John Hayton who attendee homecoming two and one-half years ago. I just thought it was the lack of experienced driving for Phillip Newsom, Eddie Vaughan, Stacey Vinson, and me. We all had our turn at being first to drive and hated the idea of getting the car up that steep incline. So, thanks, Marlin, for letting us know it was not only a challenge to us, but also to others.

God bless,

Carolyn Mullins Pearson, Class l965

May 2, 2006
Quietest bunch of darn Pirates I ever saw - But, here is you a new story to ponder.

Last year when we first put Don Latimer's "A Little History of Lueders, Texas" on the school web site, he and I did considerable corresponding back and forth telling each other stories of our Lueders memories.

I told him a story that most all Pirates of my era were involved with and although what is wrote here is different then what I sent to Don, it is the same subject and basic story.

I changed it from a personal message and story to one suitable for installing on the Web Site for those not familiar with Lueders to read and clarify things for some of the younger generations.

But, the jest of my story to Don went something like this:.........................

By The Way Pirates, Don Latimer just spent two days visiting me here in Titusville, Florida and we had a great time talking about all of you. Ha!. Don was attending a Navy Reunion in Jacksonville and arrived a couple of days early so he could drive down and visit with us and we enjoyed every minute he was here.

On with the Story:..................

Back in earlier times before the environmental movement, small towns such as Lueders had no such thing as garbage pickup. Everyone had a 55 gallon drum sitting in their back yard to burn their trash in.

The burning took care of lots of things but, it did not get rid of the cans, jars and other non burnable items.

As a result, the barrels would fill up until there was no more room to burn trash and you had to get another barrel or find a place to dump the full one.

Some folks choose not put their cans and jars in the burn barrel but, throw them on the ground in the area where the barrel was located.

As a results there was trash, trash and more trash scattered hither to yonder all over town.

In my sophomore year of 1950/51, the City of Lueders, Texas made a deal with the Lueders Kids to clean up the whole complete town from one end to the other for the grand sum of $100.00.

I am not exactly sure how or who came up with the idea except I do know the kids of Lueders where wanting to do something about a better place to go swimming and the desire to have a nicer place for picnics.

However it came about, a deal was struck and we did haul off peoples trash and junk no matter were it was located, front yards, back yards, vacant lots, and behind every business and building in town.

We even cleaned the ditches along side the roads. The name of the game was not to just pick up the garbage but, any junk or trash of any kind, found any place.

We were willing to do this to raise the money so we could have a better swimming place and fix up City Park on the river where the rock bathhouses are located.

Imagine that, The City was paying us a $100.00 to clean up the city so we could spend it to fix up the City's Park. Sounds like a bunch of dumb kids to me.

Prior to 1951 the main swimming hole was a little south of the rock bath houses and it had a cable swing hanging in a tree. Here the river was about 4 feet deep.

Without adult supervision or permission of any kind to my knowledge we decided to move the swimming hole a little north of the bathhouses were another giant tree was located and make us a platform out into the water for a diving board.

The move was made because the water was about 5 feet deep or about a foot deeper then the southern swimming hole. This north location was fairly close to the Baptist Encampments south fence line.

The large tree also allowed us to have another cable swing to swing out over the river and drop off into the water.

To provide a platform for a diving board, we built a coffer dam out from the bank of the river and filled it with concrete.

Frederick Lieb, Class of 51 was older then most of us involved and kind of one of the leaders and he went up to Robert Sanders Garage and got 2 rear car springs which we embedded upside down into the concrete with about half the spring sticking up and bowed over.

Between the springs, we ran a bar through the eyes in the end of the springs and set a 2 X 12 board across this bar and then somehow we tied the back of the board down and this was our diving board and the upside down car springs coming half way out of the concrete on an angle was our way of making the board bounce.

I remember Frederick didn't get two springs alike and there was enough difference that to align the end of the springs up, one spring came out of the concrete further back then the other and this gave the board a crooked bounce and if you really jumped on it, it would throw you side ways. What was a darn good idea was ruined by not finding 2 springs alike. But, we still used it.

The 3 sided wooden box we built to contain the concrete stuck out into the river from the bank and since it was not water proof it contained water up to the same level as the river so we could not see what was happening to the concrete as we started pouring it into the box.

As I remember it, we had built this coffer dam up about 3 or 4 feet above water level and back into the bank. Seems like we cut the side of the bank out and back 3 or 4 feet.

In other words, the platform was 2/3 in the bank and 1/3 stuck out in the river.

I remember the platform being about 6 feet wide and 8 feet long and about 4 or 5 feet deep so I reckon it had about 2 or 3 feet of water in it but, the center of the river in this area was about 5 feet deep or at our age, up to our necks.

We attempted to seal the boards were they touched the bottom of the river by piling up dirt on the outside of the coffer dam or box we had built to hold the concrete pour. I recall my spending lots of time in the water working and building the box.

We started mixing and pouring concrete by the bucketful into this box we had made. AND, then after a whole heap of concrete, we thought surly this thing should have the concrete above water by now but, it never showed and we never could find were it was leaking from but, we decided it had to be going out the bottom and into the river.

I remember being in the river and I kept telling Frederick, the damn thing has to be leaking because we done dumped a truck load of concrete in here and nothing is showing inside.

However, I would go underwater and could not find any concrete on the outside of the box with my hands, either by feel or showing up on my hands.

Then we ran out of the sack cement we were using from Rockwell Bros. who had donated what was suppose to be enough to fill the thing except for the leak.

I remember going after more sack cement in my Dads old jeep. I don't think we ever found the leak but, when I got back Frederick said it's sealed now because they had dumped a whole heap of dirt on the outside around the box and seems like it was now staked up as high on the outside as was the water level of the river.

Finally, the concrete started filling up the box and we filled it plumb full and installed the car springs.

All the dirt piled up on the outside of the box had done the trick and this dirt had come from the next river bank up above the lower bank were the diving platform was being built.

Because of this we ended up starting out to widen the path and walk way and putting a row of large rocks along the path to hold the next higher bank back.

Young kids can move a lot of dirt with a shovel but, I remember telling Frederick we would never get to using the diving board if we were going to dig up the whole bank so digging the bank back and rock laying didn't go much further then a small area where we had removed the dirt to seal up the coffer dam.

Frederick had wanted to dig the bank back and make a rock lined path all the way back to the south bath house which was about 50 to 75 yards.

We overhauled the bathhouses, filling cracks and stuff and got some barrels and cut the tops out and painted them for trash.

We cleaned up the picnic area and repaired some tables.

In other words we cleaned up the whole complete park and even fixed the roads because I remember going with Frederick to borrow a Dump Truck and we hauled in several loads of fill dirt and gravel for the roads.

I don't remember doing it but, we probably got one of the adults to grade the roads with the city road grader.

In those days, if you needed your street graded in front of your house you just went up and got the city road graded and did it. Now of course not everybody could do this but, my Dad could and he went up one time and graded the road all the way from town to our house and he was having so much fun he just went ahead and graded the rest of the streets on our side of town that afternoon.

I don't recall the exact details but, about the time we were finishing things up, the city started trying to renege on the $100.00 deal for us cleaning up the city and by this time even though they donated part of the cement and some other stuff we had run up a pretty good bill at Rockwell Bros. Lumber. I don't recall were we got the boards to form up the coffer dam.

However, in the end it all worked out and for a time Lueders was probably the cleanest little city in Texas and us kids had a wonderful Old Swimming Hole in the Clear Fork of the Brazos.

Other memories remind me, the rock quarry down by the river railroad bridge had just been quarried out and was no longer being worked.

The city made arrangements to use this exhausted quarry for trash dumping and our clean up of the city was about the very first initial use of the Rock Pit.

I recall us dumping in the quarry and it was still clean and had several roads in and out and around in the bottom of the rock pit.

Incidentally Lueders used this quarry for many years afterwards as a dump ground.

On most all of my visits back home, I usually go to the park to reminisce of my childhood and although the diving board was long gone, for years and years the platform was always there.

However, by 1989 or 1991 the Platform had fallen over into the river. It was still visible but, was turned over on it's side out into the river.

Quite a little piece of concrete sitting in the Old Clear Fork and I helped put it there many many moons ago.

To see a few pictures of us cleaning up Lueders, Go to the Pirate Section of the Lueders Avoca Web Site at and click on "Lueders History" - Then click on "Memories in SnapShots of Lueders, Texas" - Then click on the Photo-14 which is of Jannett McDuff, Class of 56 and Iva Smyth, Class of 57 who are standing on the Diving Board.

On the picture of Jannett and Iva is a link which carries you to the pictures and another copy of these memories.

I won't apologize for 4 of the pictures being of me and girls because after all that was part of my growing up in Lueders and the girls picked up as much Lueders trash as did the boys and also helped mix and pour the concrete.

All in All, great memories of a great childhood in a great little small town in Texas.

I'd like to live it all over again and not change a thing.

E. Ray Smyth, Class of 53

May 3, 2006
Ray wish you could have been there yesterday! Zo and I went to the 48th annual Lueders Fish Day. We saw Kenneth and Joyce Stanford who brought Glenn with them. He looks great still. Rayford Kelly, Edith Ham, Dorothy Bennett, Sam Davis, Albert Wilhite, Goose and Danny Dillard, Greta and David Olsen, Warren OLsen, Ethel Bounds, 3 of the Macalister girls (Dorene did not make it), these are just a few I can name right now. Wayne and Gloria did not make it, Harrel Petty and Carole ann were not there either. Dave Reves did not come but his daughter did. Saw lots of old friends and ate lots of good fish. I'm so glad Greta and David moved back, they seem to be ramrodding the affair this year. Edith has a perfectly bald head from her chemotherapy. Kenneth still looks great, his wife stayed home. We disCUSSED you quite a bit. The crowd was down quite a bit from previous years but a good crowd anyway. The day was pleasant, usually it is cold and wet or hotter than heck. Maybe you will get some news from some of them.

Carol Felts, Class of 53

May 3, 2006
I sure would have liked being their. Do they still hold Fish Day down below where John Swenson lived.

I have only been to one Fish Day and that was in 1985 when I happen to be home and I had gone to see the Vinetas' who lived in our old house and they told me they were on their way to the Lueders Fish Day which I had never heard of. So I followed them out and had a wonderful time talking and visiting with everyone. AND enjoyed the fish to say the least.

I was wondering why my ears were ringing all day yesterday and I did pick up on the word dis----- CUSSED !!

I really don't mind my name being disCUSSED because as I said in my last Pirate Chat Line message me and Don Latimer spent two days last week talking about all of you cats.

Maybe one day I can make another Fish Day and join in on the discussions-

E. Ray Smyth, Class of 53

May 4, 2006
The Lueders Fish Day is now held at the American Legion. It is the Legion and auxiliary who do all the work on that now. Of course, there are many others who actually cook and work on Fish Day. My brother and his wife, David and Joyce Olson, are the ones who ramrod that now. I am just a member of the auxiliary who was helping out a bit. I believe they told me that about 250 people attended this year, which is down some from previous years.

There were many more ex-students there than Carol named, but they were quite a bit older than him and he probably doesn't remember them.

Let's see if I can remember--Bill McLennan, Sid Goyne, Howard Thompson, Reba Gail Meil, Raymond Reves, Jessie Ray Ford. Right off-hand, that's all I can remember. Sheridan Olson was there. Buddy and Marjorie Thomas, Ada Barnes (can't remember maiden name), Bobby and Sandra Reves. There were probably many others, but I have strained my brain enough!!

It is a lot of fun to visit with lots of people you don't see very often.

Greta Olson Corbitt, Class of 52

May 4, 2006
I think Ada's maiden name was Crawford. Her younger brother Earl was in our class.

Carolyn Mullins Pearson, Class of 65

May 5, 2006
Just a line about the Fish Fry. Sometimes I think we need to wear name tags.Ha Just kidding. There were less there than last year. I did read about who was there. And I think Mary Lou Odell was not mentioned. So many I did not reckonize and I am sure alot didn't know me.

Rena "McAlister" Potter, Class of 1950

May 5, 2006
We use to go to the river and catch the fish with our hands before fishday. In those days it was J.C.Wills, G.C. Spurrier, Bob and Boley Wiley, Jr. Scott, the Nichols boys, Jim and Bob Ottis Wiley, Henry Vinson, Butch Scott, The Keese boys, Buddy and me and others. We went to the river on friday and stayed until Sunday. Then had a fish fry sunbday afternoon. My uncle Ben always went fishing with the group and always threatened to leave me at home until I learned to fish.

Ada (Crawford) Wills married Richard and is sister to Marjorie (Crawford) Thomas.

Chuck (Doug) Thomas class of 60

May 6, 2006
I read where some of you went fishing for the Fish Fry. Does anyone know what year the Fish Fry started or about what year? I do not remember the Fish Fry when I was living in Lueders but I may not have gone..Also I have heard the saying the whole town closed to go fishing for the Fish fry. If that is true I don't remember that. p> But there is alot I don't remember. Too long ago.

Rena McAlister Potter 1950

May 6, 2006
Mother, Dorothy Bennett, said that Fish Day began in the late '50 or early '60. And, yes most if not all the town closed down and went out to Stamford Lake. They fished and had a fish fry. Sometime later it was moved to town. Mother said Fish Day was intentionally held during the week so the kids would be in school and the adults could enjoy Fish Day without having to look out for children.

I have only been to Fish Day once and that was 8 or 9 years ago. Funny that I lived in Lueders 19 years and never went to Fish Day....of course I didn't go, most of that time I was in school with the rest of the kids.

Jimmie Bennett McGary class of '69 at Lueders-Avoca (I was in the second graduating class after the schools consolidated.)

In a message dated 5/6/06 11:06:53 A.M. Central Daylight Time, writes:

I read where some of you went fishing for the Fish Fry. Does anyone know what year the Fish Fry started or about what year? I do not remember the Fish Fry when I was living in Lueders but I may not have gone..Also I have heard the saying the whole town closed to go fishing for the Fish fry. If that is true I don't remember that. But there is alot I don't remember. Too long ago.

Rena "McAlister" Potter, Class of 50

May 6, 2006
Mr. and Mrs. Shipp were two of the orignal people that started Fish day. This was the 48th year. And when the event moved to town the Farmers State Bank of Lueders furnished the fish. When the bank closed the First National Bank of Anson took over furnishing the fish , the fries and the paper goods. Mr. Staley furnished the hushpuppies while he had his little store. Now Chester Clinkinbeard who has the Country Store furnishes them.

Ada Crawford Wills, Class of 61

May 7, 2006
I think if you will check back far enough you'll find Mr. Red Felts was also one of the original people who started the fish fry. Originally we all gave money, it was on a donation basis and lots of the fish were caught and donated.

Carol Felts, Class of 53

May 7, 2006
For all Pirates Info, I have just archived all the Pirate Chat Line Messages for the period from April 7, 2006 to May 7, 2006 and they are now posted to the School Web Site.

For you senile Pirates or those with the disease CRS.:.........................................

To read the archived message all in sequence go to:... - Sign In and Click on the Pirate Section.

At the main Pirate Menu, Click on "Lueders History" -- At the History Menu Click on "Alumni Memories April 1, 2006 - June 30, 2005"

Have Fun, E. Ray Smyth, Class of 53 and your sweet old Pirate Web Master.

May 7, 2006
Black and White
(Under age 40? You won't understand.)

You could hardly see for all the snow,
Spread the rabbit ears as far as they go.
Pull a chair up to the TV set,
"Good Night, David. Good Night, Chet."

Depending on the channel you tuned,
You got Rob and Laura - or Ward and June.
It felt so good. It felt so right.
Life looked better in black and white.

I Love Lucy, The Real McCoys,
Dennis the Menace, the Cleaver boys,
Rawhide, Gun smoke, Wagon Train,
Superman, Jimmy and Lois Lane.

Father Knows Best, Patty Duke,
Rin Tin Tin and Lassie too,
Donna Reed on Thursday night!
Life looked better in black and white.

I want to go back to black and white.
Everything always turned out right.
Simple people, simple lives.
Good guys always won the fight

Now nothing is the way it seems,
In living color on the TV screen.
Too many murders, too many fights,
I want to go back to black and white.

In God they trusted, alone in bed, they slept,
A promise made was a promise kept.
They never cussed or broke their vows.
They'd never make the network now.
But if I could, I'd rather be
In a TV town in '53.

It felt so good. It felt so right.
Life looked better in black and white.
I'd trade all the channels on the satellite,
If I could just turn back the clock tonight
To when everybody knew wrong from right.
Life was better in black and white!

Another Goody For The Old timers

My Mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread mayo on the same cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn't seem to get food poisoning.

My Mom used to defrost hamburger on the counter AND I used to eat it raw sometimes, too.

Our school sandwiches were wrapped in wax paper in a brown paper bag, not in ice pack coolers, but I can't remember getting ecoli.

Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the lake instead of a pristine pool (talk about boring), no beach closures then.

The term cell phone would have conjured up a phone in a jail cell, and a pager was the school PA system.

We all took gym, not PE... and risked permanent injury with a pair of high top Ked's (only worn in gym) instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors. I can't recall any injuries but they must have happened because they tell us how much safer we are now..

Flunking gym was not an option...even for stupid kids! I guess PE must be much harder than gym

Speaking of school, we all said prayers and sang the national anthem, and staying in detention after school caught all sorts of negative attention. We must have had horribly damaged psyches. What an archaic health system we had then. Remember school nurses? Ours wore a hat and everything.

I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was allowed to be proud of myself. I just can't recall how bored we were without computers, Play Station, Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital TV cable stations.

Oh yeah... and where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when I got that bee sting? I could have been killed!

We played 'king of the hill' on piles of gravel left on vacant construction sites, and when we got hurt, Mom pulled out the 48-cent bottle of Mercurochrome (kids liked it better because it didn't sting like iodine did) and then we got our butt spanked.

Now it's a trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10-day dose of a $49 bottle of antibiotics, and then Mom calls the attorney to sue the contractor for leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel where it was such a threat.

We didn't act up at the neighbor's house either because if we did, we got our butt spanked there and then we got butt spanked again when we got home.

I recall Donny Reynolds from next door coming over and doing his tricks on the front stoop, just before he fell off. Little did his Mom know that she could have owned our house. Instead, she picked him up and swatted him for being such a goof. It was a neighborhood run a muck.

To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that they were from a dysfunctional family. How could we possibly have known that? We needed to get into group therapy and anger management classes?

We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills, that we didn't even notice that the entire country wasn't taking Prozac! How did we ever survive?





Denise "Mosley" Love, Daughter of Paul Mosley - LHS Coach, 1956-57

May 8, 2006
Who ever wrote this didn't sign their name and year they graduated, but I really enjoyed reading it. Wish they had signed it. I think the kids that were raised in big cities missed out on alot of things we did at Lueders.

We used to live down by the Brazos River. Mother would take us swimming and we thought there was quicksand in some spots in the river and some natural springs and we were told not to wade in those spots that we thought was quick sand. They probably weren't real but we thought they were.We used to gather pecans from the big pecan trees. How much fun it was stepping on the rocks without falling in the water. We even enjoyed digging out muscle shells.

We always had a fear of the dam breaking. When we were older and had moved away we were down there probably fishing or just looking around. Anway there was a horrible loud noise and we screamed the dam broke and were rushing up the hill and then we knew it was dynimite going off in the rock quarry. When we lived down there we would watch the river rise and when it got to a certain place we left until the water went down.

Also this would sound boring to the younger ones. But when we were living in town and the train came through a bunch of us kids ran down to wave at the man on the caboose. Boy that was the high light of the day. He would always give us a big wave. Now kids probably don't even know what a caboose is. I would never have dreamed the train would be so long as it is now.

Rena "McAlister" Potter. Class of 50

May 8, 2006
If anyone holds the world record for how the Lueders Play Day effected their lives I would think it me but, I'll let the rest of you decide after reading about Play Day 1950.

I think by now most Pirates are aware I have been writing stories for the Grand Kids and putting them on my web site at

Just last month when once again April Fools Day came around, I wrote the grand kids a story on that day and it tells about Lueders Play Day - 1950 which you will discover also effected their lives.

The Grand Kids Story goes Like this:..................................

How GranMa Captured GranPa

As I write this it is April 1, 2006 and exactly 56 years since I first met your GranMa on April Fools Day in 1950. We celebrated our day by going out to dinner which cost GranPa $22.65.

For later reference, keep in mind the $22.65 price which was for meatloaf and green beans at the local coffee shop.

We usually celebrate two anniversaries every year, one for when we met and the other of course being the date we got married.

Having met on April Fools Day, it is a date easily remembered and has always been a cause for discussion about which of us was the greatest fooled.

Now on with the capture !!

In April 1950 at age 15 years and 7 months, GranPa lived in Lueders, Texas, Population 900 and attended the 9th grade at Lueders High School.

In April 1950 at age 14 years and 3 months, GranMa lived 14 miles away in Stamford Texas, Population 3,500 and attended the 8th grade at Stamford Grade School.

Each April Fools Day i.e. April 1st, The Lueders School had what was called "Play Day". This all day event held at the School house was pretty much just that, all the farmers came to town and the entire community gathered at the school house for three legged races, toe sack races, softball games and even a fishing reel contest to see which fisherman could come closet to casting their plug inside an old tire inside the school gymnasium.

Cake baking contest were held and crafts were displayed for awards.

Matter fact, GranPa won the best woodworking award one year for a table he made in the school work shop. (GranPa still has the table)

This all day fun affair was not held in the other surrounding communities. It was sort of a Lueders School exclusive.

The day was kicked off with a parade through downtown Lueders on Main Street. The whole complete one block of it.

In Texas you were able to obtain vehicle drivers licenses at age 14 because the farmers could use help from their children to drive the crops to market.

Although your Great Grandfather was in the Oil Well Service business he needed me to drive so he would have a vehicle to come home in when he took the oil rig out to work on an oil well.

Because of this, GranPa got his drivers license and was driving as soon as he turned 14 and the vehicle he learned to drive in was a 1947 civilian jeep.

GranPa had the jeep all fixed up with mud flaps and a few other extra goodies one of which I had constructed a seat from a 2 X 12, padded it and placed it between the two front jeep seats.

I wanted to make sure any girls I might encounter had ample opportunity to slide over and sit next to me.

Another of my madness was to out smart my dad and put the jeep in the Lueders Play Day parade and then not take it home but, go straight back to school after the parade and rip and tear with my buddies the rest of the day in the jeep around school and town.

A fun time for me and my buddies because it was the only time I was allowed to take the top off of the jeep and lay the windshield down. I would do that and decorate the jeep to advertise my dads Oil Well Service Business in the parade.

I now know, I never fooled my dad the least bit. He let me get away with it and use the jeep all Play Day because he was that kind of dad.

So, here we are on April Fools Day 1950 at the school house, the parade over and GranPa is ripping and tearing around the school grounds in the jeep with it full of his buddies, like Carol Felts, Max Dillard, Harold Backus, Homer Swinson, Kenneth Stanford and maybe a few others. Jeeps hold lots of young kids when they are foolish and full of energy.

Well now, as GranPa tells it, Your GranMa was running with this gang of hoodlums from Stamford, Texas and the whole gang had played hooky from their school and came down to Lueders because they knew we were having our Play Day.

GranMa tells it that she had this group of about six girl friends and some of them attended the Swede church which was located half way between Lueders and Stamford and they knew Greta Olson who also went to the Swede church but, attended school in Lueders with your GranPa.

So, the group of girls who knew Greta from church decided to skip school and attend the Lueders Play Day and GranMa, being part of the Stamford group, came too.

Greta who was a grade ahead of me at Lueders came over to GranPa and said this group of girls from Stamford want to go jeep riding and one of them thought I was about the cutest boy she had ever seen.

Well Now, no high spirited young boy from Lueders, Texas is going to turn down a chance to take a bunch of girls jeep riding so, the answer was SURE !!

Greta hollered over and told the gang of girls "Let's Go"

I noticed this one sweet thing make a mad dash for the jeep to get ahead of everybody and crawled into the middle seat next to GranPa. (I knew that extra middle seat was a good idea!!)

AND, Away we went ripping and tearing around town, I can't recall one word of our conversation we must of had except I can tell you the next Saturday night GranPa had a date with this sweet young thing of 14 years and 3 months who was in the 8th grade and thought I was the cutest thing.

Of course GranPa was a big shot freshman in high school at the age of 15 years and 7 months.

At the time, my dad wouldn't let me take the jeep much outside the city limits of Lueders except to go oil up the oil lease we pumped 3 miles east of Lueders in the Post Oak Community.

There was no television in those days and the entertainment of the day was going to the movies which in our day we called "The Picture Show".

GranPa's mother and daddy didn't go to the movies too often but, Greta's parents went to the picture show in Stamford most every Saturday night. Lueders did not have a picture show.

So, Thanks to Greta and the Olson family, GranPa and GranMa begin dating on Saturday nights. I would go with the Olson's to the picture show and meet your GranMa and we would sit in the show and hold hands.

When the show was over, I rode back to Lueders with the Olson's and your GranMa of course went to her house.

We dated that way for a while and then my dad decided I was responsible enough to trust me with driving in Stamford our new 1950 Dodge pickup which replaced the jeep. However, this didn't mean I got to take the pickup to Stamford. My dad frequently attended Masonic Lodge meetings in Stamford on Monday nights.

Interestingly enough, I didn't even get to drive my dad to Stamford or back home. He would do the driving and then when we got to lodge he let me have the pickup. When I picked him back up at the lodge hall, He took over the driving.

So, I would ride up to the lodge meeting in Stamford with my dad and then he let me take the pickup out to GranMa's house and get her and we came back to town and went to the picture show which incidentally was only about 5 doors down from where the lodge hall was located.

If the movie was a long one, I had to take GranMa straight home in order to get back down and pick my dad up after his lodge meeting.

If the movie was a short one, we could go get a hamburger, malt, and french fries after the movie and then hustle back down to the lodge hall to get my dad.

Once after a hot date, I left my dad standing on the street waiting for me to get back and that didn't go over too well so, that only happened the one time.

I was working for my own money by this time but, dad only dished it out as I needed it and on my dates he gave me $2.00.

The picture show cost 12 cents each. Hamburgers and milk shakes were 25 cents each. French fries were 15 or 20 cents. Add all that up for 2 people and it comes to a whooping $1.65 for a nights entertainment with dinner out. Now relate that to the $22.65 which didn't include a movie.

Your GranMa and GranPa dated this way for a few months and then gradually, as my dad gained more confidence, I was allowed to take the pickup to Stamford alone and me and GranMa dated in a Red, 5 window, 1950 Dodge 1/2 ton pickup with fluid drive. (You Grand Kids never heard of a "Fluid Drive")

In August of 1951 when GranPa was starting his 11th grade of high school and was exactly 17 years of age, I got a 1951 light blue Henry-J automobile with the money I had earned and saved since age 12. It cost $1,500.00 and was brand new.

With my own car and nearly paying my own way, I was able to date GranMa every Saturday night and that is about the way it was until GranPa graduated from High School in May of 1953 at age 18 years and 9 months.

Your GranMa had another year of High School to attend but, that's for another story.

By The Way, your GranMa and her gang of hoodlums were punished with one weeks detention for playing hooky from school.

GranPa was punished 56 years for taking GranMa Jeep Riding.

But then again, Perhaps that is why GranPa has a jeep in the Family Museum

End of Story

That is how I ended the story for the Grand Children. After reading it, I would think you can see why Lueders Play Day had such an effect on my life.

Shucks my kids and grand kids even look the way they do because of Lueders Play Day. Imagine that !!

I obtained permission from Carlene to send the attached image of the 1950 Play Day Parade and she had to actual do some special configuring to the mail system of the web site to allow it to go through but, the picture was so relative to the story being told that we both thought it should be inserted into the Pirate Chat Line Message.

This picture was published in one of the homecoming papers back in the late 80's -- That is the jeep and me in the 1950 Play Day parade of which the story is all about.

1950 Lueders, Texas Play Day Parade

E. Ray Smyth, Class of 53

May 9, 2006
Here is an appropriate image to follow the Play Day Story I just wrote.

Just by looking at it, I am guessing this is Play Day 1952 or 53

I mentioned 3 legged races on Play Day and here is one of them - I doubt my Grand Kids ever heard of a 3 legged race.

Not Sure & Edith Raughton - Carol Ann Felts & Ramona Mullins    --- Wide image Scroll Right

E. Ray Smyth, Class of 53

May 9, 2006

Sorry. I don't normally send out anything, but I so enjoy reading all the stories from the past in Lueders. I just thought that was such a great example of how great life used to be for kids.

Too bad my kids and my grandbaby won't get to experience it. I do remember staying with my aunt and uncle,

Fran and B. J. Blackstock when they lived near the river. I remember seeing the old rusty bridge from their house. My parents lived in Lueders when I was born in 1957. My dad, Paul Mosley, was a football coach in 56-57 at Lueders High.

Denise "Mosley" Love, Daughter of Paul Mosley - LHS Coach, 1956-57

May 9, 2006
Your sister Vickie was in my class. Y'all lived in a house behind a little house Dave Reves once owned located across the street from the Berryhills. We once lived in the little house Dave Reves owned. Mother, Dorothy Bennett, lives on the hill West of there across the stone mill lot.

The Blackstocks lived just Southwest of us and the Moores directly behind us. My sisters and I (the three Bennett girls) adored Jan and Donna Blackstock; and Mary Ann and Jeanette Moore.

Lueders was a good place to grow up. The demographics there have somewhat changed.

My sisters and I spent many hours running up and down the creek, which we thought was a deep river. There was a huge tree beside the river just below our house. We use to climb out on those limbs over the water and think we were very brave! We also attempted to walk on ice when the creek froze. And, I cannot count the times we went to the railroad bridge. You could see the bridge from Mother too. I could go on and on....

Jimmie Bennett McGary, Class of 69

May 10, 2006
Viki lives in Missouri City near Houston. She just built a beautiful home there. She has two girls who are 25 and 28 and she has two grandchildren. She is a sales rep for BD medical supplies and plays softball all the time. Her email is You should write to her. I know she would love to hear from you.

Denise "Mosley" Love, Daughter of Paul Mosley - LHS Coach, 1956-57

May 13, 2006

Lueders Merchants
I for one frankly don't care for our modern day world of shopping at Walmart and all the other corporate giants such as Home Depot, Office Max, Lowes and all the rest.

I much prefer the Mom and Pop stores were you not only got good merchandise and personal service but, good conversation and often knew the merchants own children such as it was in the days of my youth in Lueders, Texas.

My brother Donnie, who is 7 years younger then I, just left after his annual visit to see our 93 year old mother and we once again laughed about his story when he was in his late teens but, still in high school how he would go to Red Felts Grocery Store and charge his cigarettes.

Of course Daddy would not have stood for that but, since Red and Arlene lived across the street from us, They had a big hand in raising the Smyth kids and Red and Donnie were in coo-hoots with each other and since at the time bread and cigarettes cost about the same Red would write Donnie's Cigarettes down on the charge ticket as bread.

My Dad as most family's did at the time charged everything from gas at the service station to clothes at Herrick's Dry Goods and anything Shipp's Drug sold could be charged and that included a nickel popcycle.

Fact of the matter, I don't think there was a store in town that you could not charge things.

After the bills came in at the end of the month. Our Dad would sit down at the kitchen table around the 15th each month and pay all the bills by check.

Don said, Dad was sitting over at the kitchen table paying bills one month and as usual he was going through the charge tickets checking things over. Donnie said Daddy kept going back and forth through these grocery store tickets which made Donnie a little nervous and pretty soon Daddy looked up and said "I'd like to know who in the hell is eating all this bread".

Don said nothing came of it and he and Red continued charging cigarettes as bread. Of course Cigarettes at the time only cost 20 to 25 cents a pack and a pack would last Donnie a couple days or maybe more.

I have my own story about Lueders Merchants, at Christmas time we always had a sack or two of walnuts and pecans.One Christmas when I was around 11 or 12, I was eating some walnuts and cracking them in my hands when a couple of real hard ones wouldn't crack. I saw my dads smoking pipe laying there so, I picked it up and commenced to crack the walnut using my Dads pipe for a hammer. Will that wasn't too smart because I broke my Dads pipe right were the stem connected to the bowl.

Normally, Daddy smoked cigars but, occasional around the house he would lit up one of his pipes.

He was also a firm disciplinary and didn't take too kindly to anything he considered stupid so I knew I was in deep yogurt.

With help from my mother and a piggy bank, I rounded up a few dollars and went down to Shipp's Drug Store and told Mr. Shipp I needed a pipe just like this broken one real bad and showed him my Dads broken pipe which incidentally had been purchased from Mr. Shipp only a few months before.

Well Mr. Shipp didn't have another one just like the broken pipe so I got one as close as possible and I remember it costing around $3.00 which for the time made it a pretty good pipe.

That evening after daddy settled into his rocking chair to read the newspaper and magazine which was his habit, I approached him and gave him the bad news, all the while pulling the new pipe from the sack as my salvation.

Well the poop hit the fan and he informed me in no certain terms how stupid I was for using his pipe as a nut cracker and what he thought of the new pipe and I had destroyed his favorite pipe and I could take the new pipe back to Mr. Shipp because he didn't want it and wasn't smoking it.

Growing up, my father left most all the discipline to our mother and he never whipped us or anything but, his verbal tongue lashings left no doubt when he disapproved of something.

He thought me double foolish for buying a pipe he didn't like and made it clear, I was too get that pipe back to town and get my money back.

One thing about my Dad was when he had had his say and was sure your understood his position it was over with and things usually got back to normal in a hurry.

So, after a few "YES SIRs" and I understand I'm stupid, I was off to town to get my money back.

Like I said, it was Christmas time and we happened to have snow and ice on the ground and the streets were iced over so on my walk to town I would run a ways and then slide on the ice.

On one of these Ice Slides I fell down and landed right on my butt.

I got up to the drug store and explained to Mr. Shipp my Dad was pretty unhappy and didn't like the new pipe and told me to go get my money back and handed Mr. Shipp the sack from my back pocket.

Mr. Shipp reached into the sack, pulled out the pipe and mercy me the stem was broken off the bowl just like the other one was.

I explained my fall while skating on the ice coming to town and I must have broken the pipe when I landed on my rear end.

Mr. Shipp felt so sorry for me he went ahead and gave me my $3.00 back and said I'll see what I can do and maybe I can get another bowl for it.

Now I have no idea what Mr. Shipp did, My brother Donnie says Mr. Shipp knew our dad well enough that he was probably just keeping me from being in double trouble.

Now who in the world would take back broken merchandise and a give you a full refund except in Lueders, Texas in those times

It was simple wonderful growing up in Lueders in those times because you not only had your mother and daddy looking out after you but, all the other moms and dads as well.

Telling this story reminds me of all the occasions at night when us kids would get our night watchman, George Newell to open up Shipp's Drug so we could get ice cream. George would leave the money on the counter with a note telling Mr. Shipp what the money was for and if I didn't pay for mine like some of us did. He would put on the note, ER's boy got 2 popcycles or whatever the case was and Mr. Shipp would then put it on the charge tickets for my Dad's account.

Try that at Walmart !!!

E. Ray Smyth, Class of 53

May 15, 2006
Hello, Ray ( its hard not to say Everett Ray )

I to know how the merchants at Lueders watched out for us. I decided that I would like to learn to smoke, so I took myself to Mr Acocks grocery (same one Red owned later) and bought a package of Lucky Strike cigarettes, telling Mr. Acock they were for Daddy, smoked one or two before I got home and hid the rest between Reids and Braggs where we would cut through to town. (Remember the trail).

When I got home Mother met me at the door wanting to know where the cigarettes were. I inocentally told her I didn't know what she was talking about. The cigarettes you charged at Acocks. Not me, I didn't do anything like that.

Yes you did , where are they. I finally admitted I had charged cigarettes and went and retreved them. Then mother told me Mr. Acock had called her and told her what I had done. Seems Daddy smoked Camels. Where but, in a small town like Lueders would the merchants look out for the kids

Sharon Hines Hudson, Wichita Falls High 1957

May 17, 2006
Hello Pirates,

It is nice to know we have Pirates enjoying the Chat Line who we never hear from for various reasons.

I recently had a most enjoyable 1 hour phone conversation with Orlan Vaughn who graduated in 1949. Orlan reads all the Pirate Chat Line messages and said he really enjoys reading all the stories of the past but, leaves the sending of E-Mail to others.

Enjoys it so much he wanted to tell us some stories but, since he don't dig computers he had rather telephone and let others do the writing.

So, here is what we did folks - I took notes of our phone conversation and wrote what is before you now and e-mailed what I wrote to Orlan. He then, with help from his wife, added some clarification and a few revisions and sent it back to me and so what you have is the e-mail I received back from Orlan copied into this message. I did add one little statement about where he now lives. Otherwise, it is verbatim what Orlan sent back to me. "O" I did also add this paragraph your reading now.

Orlan's father was the George Francis Vaughn who owned a shoe shop in Lueders. -- Note: We have a picture of the shoe shop in the Memories in SnapShots section of the school web site.

Terry Blackburn who we hear so much from, talking about her grand mother and grand father is Orlan's Niece.

It was interesting to me when Orlan pointed out the coal oil lamp hanging in the ceiling shown in this picture because there was no electricity in the shoe shop and the lantern was the only source of light in the shoe shop. Looking at the picture I personally never gave it much thought but, folks that would also mean all the equipment in the shop was hand powered.

Incidentally, Orlan said, the shoe shop picture was made in 1926 which was 6 years before he was born.

Orlan said, as a youngster of 10 years old he worked for Curly Benton who owned the service station where years later Shirley Evetts had her Cafe. Orlan worked 12 hours each day from 6 AM to 6 PM and his main job was to keep the gas pumps pumped full of gasoline.

For you youngsters who never witnessed such a pump, in those days with no electricity you had to hand pump the gasoline from the underground storage tank into a 10 gallon glass bowl which set a top the gas pump and from there the gasoline ran down the hose into the car's tank. The glass bowl had a yard stick type gage on the side which marked the gallon level of the gasoline in the bowl and you had to know the level when you started and the level when you stopped to figure the gallons sold.

If you couldn't add and subtract you were in trouble.

For his 12 hour day Orlan was paid the whooping sum of $1.50 for the whole day and even then Orlan said it was sort of a gift from Mr. Benton because at the time Orlan said they were pretty poor and Mr. Benton gave him the job just to help the family.

One might remember that Orlan lost his Dad in 1942 when he was 9 years old. In other words the family had no bread winner. His mother did sewing for the public, making dresses for 25 cents each.

He also worked for Don Latimerís Mother Zora in Zora Latimerís Laundry for 40 cents per hour. He was the delivery boy and said that old Ford car we have pictured in the Memories in SnapShot Section of the school web site he has driven many a mile picking up tubs full of clothes and delivering them back home to be hung out on the line to dry after being washed.

Orlan said, he can remember when the only place in town that had a telephone was Shipp's Drug and he could recall when Mr. Shipp put the first pin ball machine in town which cost a penny to play. He said that machine was fed pennies from opening to closing time.

Orlan told me of his days when Joe Delwaide was his scout master and for several years running around 1942, 43, and 44 he could recall camp outs being held on the rodeo Grounds in Stamford, Texas.

Orlan says in 1947, he started working for Glenn Odell in the grocery store located on the west side and next to Shipp Drug. As he remembers, it Rubin Nance had the ice house and it was next to the grocery store.

Said he worked there until 1949 when he graduated from high school, during that time the store was owned by Glenn Odell and then Hubert Bell and by 1949 it was owned by Swede Seaman and Charlie Webb.

During this time Buster Winkles had the Locker Plant which was also part of the Red and White Grocery Store

While working in the grocery store Orlan was taught how to butcher beef by Perry Fite, Mr. Fite was planning on retiring but, with Orlan's show of interest in becoming a butcher, Mr. Fite said "Well if you want to be a butcher, I'll just work another year and teach you"

Kind of more evidence the kind of people we had living in Lueders at the time. A man delayed his retirement just to teach a kid how to be a butcher and follow in his trade.

Orlan said, you probably couldn't get away with it now but, back then he would walk down the street to the Locker Plant and get a 1/4 of beef and walk back up the street with the side of beef on his back so he could cut it up at his place.

After graduating Orlan worked for a grocery store in Albany, Texas during 1950 and while in Albany he decided to try the oil field and got a job pumping oil wells for W. G. Rogers Oil Company and after a stint in Archer City and Olney, Texas they sent him out to Colorado in 1958 and it sounds almost unbelievable but, he has now been with the W. G. Rogers Oil Company for 48 years and with the help of his wife and others is still looking after 60 to 70 oil wells for them.

He said, he had now worked for 3 different generations of the Rogers family.

Orlan who now goes by the name Bo (his mother gave him the name Bohoss the hoss was later dropped and he became known to everyone as Bo) was formerly married to Marzelle Burkman and both of them are in the Costume pictures #11 and #12 which we have on the School web Site under the Memories In SnapShot Section. The gentleman on the left side was the Pastor of the Church Melvin Bird.

George and his wife Patty reside in Yuma, Colorado and have the last humteen years.

George Orlan "Bo" Vaughn, Class of 49 -- With a little help from E. Ray Smyth, Class of 53

May 17, 2006
E.Ray... You don't know how much I appreciate you doing this, not only for my Uncle Bo, but for me too! I was born 2 years before he graduated from high school, so now it makes me realize how old I really am. LOL I loved every bit of this story and am trying so hard to get my Aunt Dackie (Maxine Vaughn Payne class of '41) involved with her stories, too. She added her bit about their Daddy, George Francis Vaughn, when he was working in his shoe shop. Just to show how observant, I'm Not...I didn't even notice the lantern hanging in my Grandpa's shoe store until Uncle Bo mentioned it. Had to go back and look at it. *blushing* I will submit what Aunt Dackie wrote me:

He was the only shoe cobbler that ever was at Lueders. He made harnesses, sewed those celloid windows on canvis for car windows. He made leather sandals with wooden soles, just a few for Sis and her friends. Of course he half soled shoes and put on heels and metal taps that was used on places that saved the wear on them like on the toe of the sole or some place on the heel. The leather sole was interesting. He would cut a grove all around the sole, then punch a hole each time before he pushed the needle and thread that he had waxed through, one stitch at a time, then he trimmed the sole to fit the shoe better, dyed it the color of the shoe. He also had a machine that had lots of wheels one being a sander to smooth the sole's edges before he dyed them. As a special favor he polished most shoes. I remember one time when I visited him in the shop, he polished a lady's linen shoes They were beige color and he polished them white. I worked and worked washing that off! I don't know what ever became of that. Sis told me GrandPa, Daddy's father had a country store. He sold food out of barrels, by the pound. He even sold dry goods. Grand Pa used to walk the railroad tracks with a hoe and rake over his shoulders to the grave yard to clean the graves and probably the surrounding area.

Contributed by Terry Johnson Blackburn Class of 66 Abilene -- As told by Aunt Maxine Vaughn Payne Class of 41

May 17, 2006
Great stuff -- Some of the older Pirates have a lot of Lueders history to share.

One small correction. Zora Brock Latimer, who had a laundry, was my aunt, not my mother. Zora and Charlie Latimer's two sons were Howard Latimer (about class of '39) and Truett Latimer (about class of 46).

Don Latimer, Class of 56

June 5, 2006
I want to thank Carlene and Ray for spearheading this website. It has brought a wellspring of memories to this Lueders native.

Though I was born in the Stamford hospital, I lived in Lueders until 1945. My mother and father owned the Lueders Laundry until they moved to Abilene. I went to school through the fifth grade in Lueders, and graduated from Abilene High in 1954, but I still remember many of the things you have talked about. It is as if my whole life was wrapped up in those nine years.

Those were the "good old days" weren't they; WWII, rationing, no chocolate candy, outhouses & no indoor plumbing, grass burrs & goat heads, horned toads & rattlesnakes. Yes, I remember all that but I also remember swinging from ropes at the swimming hole down by the encampment, helping momma can everything we raised in jars and putting it in the storm cellar I remember walking across the old railroad bridge, playing on the cotton bales at the gin, exploring the rock quarries, skating at the tent roller rink, watching a movie in a tent and eating popcorn from a red or green cellophane cone-shaped cup. Those were the days.

I can still remember the smell of the refinery and fresh ginned cotton, and the taste of a mesquite bean, and a fresh picked (snitched) watermelon. I still remember the pain of prickly pears and the pleasure of experiencing all of these wonderful things with my best friends Sheridan Olsen, and Craig Tonroy. Sheridan's mother taught (tried but failed) me to play the clarinet. Sheridan played the sax and he was good. Craig and I hunted prairie dogs (never killed any though) with our 22's. I have never figured out why my mother and his allowed us to wander all over the country with those guns.

I remember the gravel school yard where we played ball and I remember the never-healing scabs on my knees and elbows (occasionally my nose) from those games during recess and after school. I remember school lunch tickets and loaves of light bread on the tables. I vaguely remember the Friday night football games and Hub Brown's son "Onion" Brown running all over the other teams. I worked for Hub a little. I am not sure why. I guess it involved free food somehow. Whatever the reason, it did not last long.

I delivered the Abilene Reporter News for awhile. I bought a Schwinn bike from the variety store with that money, and paid it out $2.00 a week.

I too, bought a cigar (King Edward, $0.06) and a box of penny matches from Ship's drug store, claiming it was for my dad (Ennis Fitzgerald). I smoked it while I was on my way down to the encampment to deliver papers. It made me sick of course, but worse than that, I realized that momma (Mary Fitzgerald) would smell it on my breath when I got home. To cover the stink, I picked some plums on the way home. Unfortunately they were a little green, and well you know the rest of the story.

My daddy loved Brown Mule plug tobacco and dipping snuff. As all young men do I admired him for that. I thought it looked "Cool", until it tried it myself one day when daddy wasn't around. My admiration quickly turned to disbelief. I have never smoked, dipped, or "Chawed" since.

Oh how I remember William's drug store, where I drank the very best chocolate milk shakes I have ever had. I still remember the taste, and to this day I have never found anyone that can make a shake to compare to those. I remember getting comic books there and candy when it was available, and valentine cards for my sweethearts (you know who you were).

I remember getting my hair cut at Diggs barber shop, and wishing I could grow a beard so that I could get a shave from him. I used to go with my daddy and watch as he shaved him with that straight razor. My daddy was 50 when I was born, so he was mostly bald, but his face was weathered from years of working in the sun, so, since Mr. Diggs wouldn't give him a break on a haircut, daddy would order a shave, knowing that Mr. Diggs hated shaving his craggy face.

I remember the train depot and riding the train to Stamford in one direction, and to Walnut Springs in the other, and walking the rails for miles and miles. Of course I put the pennies on the rack and mashed them out to the size of a quarter.

I remember playing in the lumber yard and the sweet smell of pine lumber and unique smell of nails in an open keg. I remember playing at the dam, shooting turtles, all-night fishing parties, and seining for minnows to bait the trot lines.

I remember making lye soap in a cast iron wash pot for the laundry, helping daddy fire up the boilers or work on the washing machines, ironing sheets with a mangle, filling the gum-ball machine and coke machine at the laundry. I remember RC Cola and "Big Red", making home-made ice cream in a "hand-cranked" freezer, fresh biscuits every morning, fried chicken every Sunday, and red beans at every meal except breakfast.

I remember wringing the necks of chickens, plucking the feathers, and cutting them up for momma to cook. I remember killing hogs, and curing the bacon & hams, making the sausage and stuffing it in cloth bags. I remember raising chickens for a FFA project, and I remember how hard it was to see them go, knowing that they faced the same fate as someone else's Sunday dinner.

I remember Christmas at the First Baptist Church, where "Santa" came and passed out bags of fruit and nuts. I remember the "Revivals" and the pot-luck dinners, the funerals, and the baptisms in the river. I never could quite understand why everyone, but us Baptists, including a fairly large part of my own family, were going to Hell. The rest of you, seemed like pretty nice people to me. Anyway, I hope by now all of you have seen the error of your ways and repented, and are now safely in the Baptist denomination. I really want to visit with you when we all get to heaven.

I haven't been back to Lueders in quite awhile. Is the rock house where I grew up still standing? Daddy and his brothers built that as a wedding gift for my mother in 1933. They built, or helped build many of the homes in Lueders, including the laundry. Daddy was a carpenter first and a business man second. The laundry never made a lot of money, so daddy was always doing some work for someone. I never realized we were poor until I was in high school. I was so proud of what we had that I didn't even give it a second thought. I noticed that a lot of people had nicer houses and newer cars, but it never occurred to me that they actual made more money than we did, and to your credit, none of you ever lorded it over me.

YES!! Those were the days,

Jim Fitzgerald, Class of 54 - Marshall, Texas

June 6, 2006
In Response: I don't know when I have enjoyed an article about Lueders history as much. You about said it all. I was born in 1938. I am under the opinion that every one is Lueders was about in the same financial condition--no one had much. I relate to most of what you say. I was in Lueders a few weeks back staying at the Big Country Assembly (Lueders Baptist Encampment). There is lot of stone Quarrying. My dad ran a service station. Mr. Fitzgerald would come by in his old automobile. I can't remember for sure but I think Rayford Kelly bought his old car after he died. Anyway, thanks.

Marlin Felts, Class of 1957.

June 6, 2006
Just to let you know, the rock house is still there, but I don't know who is living in it now. I usually drive by it when we visit Lueders because it was our home too, for about 7 yrs. I think my Dad & Mom (Ted & Thelma McAlister) rented it from your Dad. My mother worked at the laundry for your parents and I do remember you delivering newspapers on your bike as you rode along whistleing each morning. Dad always said that was one of the most well built houses in Lueders, and I guess he was right, as it still stands well.

Dorene Mcalister, Class of 55

June 8, 2006
Jim thank you so much for taking the time to bring all the wonderful memories back.

I can remember my mother washing clothes in the wash house and my memories of it was that it was real hot and steamy and had water all over the floor.

Do you remember how many washing machines there was. As I remember it, seems like there was about 10 or 12 down each side.

I remember 2 or 3 tubes of water at each machine for rinsing and running the clothes through the wringers first from the machine into the first tube we called a soap tube and then from the soap tube into one I think we called the fresh water tube.

Then we had a bluing tube which had real pretty blue water in it. but, seems to me that was a special area for bluing your clothes and you would go over to this area were there were several bluing tubs. Seems like you only used the bluing on certain clothes perhaps the bluing tubes were just for white clothes. I may be remembering this wrong. But I sure can remember the bluing tubes.

Running the clothes through the wringer was fun but, also remember that mother was always cautioning me to keep my fingers back and be careful running the clothes through the wringer because you could get your whole arm pulled through.

Also remember the outhouse because it had one of the deepest poop holes I ever saw and you could look in and see all the maggots working away. Seems like the outhouse was over more behind the rock house then it was the laundry.

Young folks that don't understand me talking about poopie, maggots and the outhouse got to understand the outhouse was a way of life back in those days and was no more thought about then the bath room is today. AND to have real toilet paper hanging in one instead of a magazine or newspaper was real high class living.

When we added the basement on to our house in 1947, mother got her own washing machine and one of the features on it was an automatic release which caused the wringers to pop apart if you got your arm caught in the wringers but, I don't remember the machines in the laundry having that feature. That is probably why the wringer release stands out in my memory.

Actually prior to us moving to town in August of 43, Mother had an old maytag washing machine out on the oil lease that was powered with a maytag gasoline engine. But, I don't remember us ever using that machine in town and it was the machine I took the engine off of and me and Carol Felts built us a motor car with it.

The Fitzgerald Laundry which I also remembering being called the Fitzgerald Wash House was and is a true part of the culture and history of Lueders, Texas.

It was in fact a social center were people met and visited while washing their clothes.

Jim, I regret to say that I can't remember playing with you. However, if we moved to town in late 43 as it was and you all moved to Abilene in 1945 then I reckon that is why.

Again, Thanks for the Memories - E. Ray Smyth, Class of 53

June 9, 2006
It was fun dredging up those memories from the early years. Unfortunately time has clouded many of the details, and fancy has put a brighter fase on some than are due, but here is what I remember:

There were two laundries. The first was built just back and south of the rock house, either before I was born or shortly thereafter, and yes the outhouse was behind the rock house. Later daddy built another one to the south of the first one and attached it to a house that had belonged to my grandfather Lawrence, which had been moved into town from his farm when he became unable to continue living out there. Daddy built a small house to the south of the new laundry where my grandfather lived until he died. I am not sure why daddy built the second laundry. I suppose it was to modernize and add some more washers and dryers. I was very young and those things are kind of fuzzy. I do remember daddy getting up around five in the morning to light the boiler which produced the steam for the washers.

I don't remember a special section for the bluing tubs. The bluing was mostly for white shirts & blouses. I think you may be referring to the machines that were reserved for "greasers" (oilfield & refinery overalls & very dirty jeans & chambray shirts) Those machines had steam piped directly into the washer and only the sturdiest of clothes could survive the steam and lye soap used in those machines, pluse it was almost impossible to get them clean enough to use for regular clothes. Nobody would put school or Sunday go-to-meeting clothes in one of the greaser machines. A lot of people that had washing machines in their house would bring the greasers to our laundry for that very reason.

In the second laundry we had two or three large tumble dryers for those who had the money to pay for that, and we had clothes lines out back to hang clothes outside to dry for those who didn't believe in the new fangled gadgets. My job was to wipe the outside clothes lines down to get the mesquite pollen and bird poop off before we hung close on them. I well remember hanging the clothes on the lines during the summers and on Saturdays. Mother took in ironing, spending most of her day standing over an ironing board or at a mangle.

As to the outhouses, I too was enthralled by those "finer" aspects of the place. I am pretty sure mother did not share my wonder because she kept pestering daddy until he put one in the house. I don't remember us ever having toilet paper in our outhouse. A Sears & Roebuck catalog, or the Abilene Reporter News provided a pleasant diversion while doing your business and since the job was not done until the "paperwork" was finished, they provided a very useful purpose in that respect too. I had to help dig a new pit when the old one got too rank. That was not much funn as I remember it.

As to the wringers there were never any "accidents" of that nature that I remember. That is not to say that a few fingers might have gotten "nipped", but the wringers were made of very soft rubber and very forgiving for the most part. The main reason for the quick release was to prevent damage to the machine more than to people.

I too regret that we did not get to share those good old days together.

Jim Fitzgerald, Class of 54 - Marshall, Texas

June 9, 2006
Before Mother went to the Wyatt Laundramat south of the main street and toward the east end of town, she used an electric washing machine on our back porch. Sometime before that Grandmother Verna Mullins was washing clothes on Monday morning as was her custom, when she had to do the reverse procedure for the wringer because my hand had gone through the wringer up to my wrist. That experience was the fastest I ever saw her maneuver.

The bluing she put in the water was for the white clothes to make them whiter. Still later when doing a summer home economics project in Odessa, hanging the cloth diapers out on the line for Ramona's big boys was a joy! Have a blessed day!

Carolyn Mullins Pearson, Class of 65

June 9, 2006
Many of you seen to remember the old wash house with the many tubs and machines.

What many forget is the change in the way we live today.

The town of Lueders did not have a sewer system and the laundry let all of the soap and water from the tubs flow out the back of the laundry into a gully that ran downhill to the cottonwood creek and of course on to the Clear Fork of the Brazos River.

The soap suds would build up 5 to 6 foot high in the gully some times and present a real mess all the way down to the creek. My uncle Fred Sides has a home to the west of the laundry and had to contend with the odor on the occasions the wind blew in the wrong direction. The floor of the wash house had slatted boards to walk on because the water stood several inches deep on the floor as they drained the tubs.

Lighting was pig tailed raw light bulbs hanging from the ceiling rafters and often water splashed up and blew the light bulbs out. I can only imagine the electrical hazard that was present as electricity and water seldom mix well.

Stay Well my friends

Max Dillard, Class of 53

June 10, 2006

Patty Smith

STEPHENVILLE     Patty Smith, age 63, of Stephenville, passed away on Thursday, June 8, 2006 in Stephenville. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m., on Monday, June 12, 2006 at the Valley Grove Baptist Church. Interment will follow at the Gardens of Memory Cemetery in Stephenville. Family will receive friends at the Stephenville Funeral Home from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., Sunday, June 11, 2006.

Patty was born on February 22, 1943 in Stamford, Texas to the late Ellis A. Bean and to Billie Welch Bean. She married Fenton Smith on November 24, 1962 in Lueders, Texas, and he preceded her in death on January 30, 1999. Patty has resided in Stephenville since 1978 where she was a member of the Valley Grave Baptist Church. She was a teacher in the accounting department at Tarleton State University for the past 25 years.

She is survived by sons, Craig Smith of Stephenville, Monty Smith of Keller, Brian Smith of Comanche, and Ernie Smith of Stephenville; mother, Billie Bean of Stamford; brother, Lance Stacy Bean of Joshua; grandchildren, Krysta Madlock, Jake Smith, Katie Smith, Ashley Smith, Alexander Smtih, Stormie Smith, Cassie Crawford, and Hailie Horelik; great grandchild, Caelynn Crawford.

She was also preceded in death by, her father, Ellis Bean; sister, Linda Whitcowski; and a brother, Johnny Ellis Bean.

Online condolences may be made at


Sandra Reves, Class of ??

June 10, 2006
Patricia Elaine Bean Smith was a member of and graudated with the Lueders class of '61.

Don Latimer, Class of 56

June 10, 2006
So sorry to hear of Patty's passing. However, it's scary. She is the same age as my sister Peggy. We don't realize how fast time passes us by, OR how loved ones are actually aging until we see something like this. My prayers go out to the family and friends of Patty.

Terry Johnson Blackburn, Class of 66 - Abilene High School

June 14, 2006
Jim do you remember your dad making clothes hangers? That was a facination for me. He had a wooden mold which he stretched the wire around then twisted. Can you imagine someone hand making wire coat hangers now!

This is Carol Felts we played together quite a bit, we hunted up and down the creek the laundry drained into and I rode along while you threw the Abilene paper. I can remember picking up the paper at Shipp's drug and folding them but I can't remember how to fold them now. We folded them in a triangle the best I remember in order to throw them from our bikes.

I still remember trying a judo move on you on the playground and getting grounded because I skinned you up when you fell. Mrs. Douthit didn't take kindly to those kind of pranks.

Thanks for the memories. .

Carol Felts, Class of 53

June 14, 2006

No I don't remember him making clothes hangers. He was a jack-of-all-trades, so it doesn't surprise me. Max mentioned the soap suds in the creek. I don't remember anything like that other than that the water from the washing machines did run off down the gully and the smell certainly may have been objectionable at times. There were many things like that, that in hindsight were pretty dumb. I remember draing the oil on the ground when we changed the oil in the car. I am pretty sure that the stations and garages did the same thing. It kept the dust down and we didn't think about the consequences beyond that. As a matter of fact there were trucks that regularly spread oil on the roads to keep the dust down. I remember running behind the DDT spraying machine, and I remember the slush pit fires at night where drilling rigs burned off the pits and the farmers burning their fields at the end of the season. I remember the flare at the refinery, spewing out black smoke. "Those were the dumb days"

Yes I remember shooting turtles and snakes at the quarry ponds with you, and maybe dove hunting. As I recall I wasn't very well coordinated so it probably didn't take much of a Judo move to take me down. I seem to remember that I had places that never healed completely before I skinned them again. I vaguely remember winning some kind of "King" & "Queen" contest with Patsy Cowen and I had a huge scab on my nose. That may have been your doing. If so i can never forgive you for that.

The paper route was fun, and having you help made it even more fun. I thought it was Rayford and I that smoked the cigars on the way to the encampment and got sick, but it may have been you. That sounds like you. You probably helped me build ladders. I had a thing about ladders. We could't use them after we got them built because they were too heavy.

As I have said, my memory is a little fuzzy on a lot of the details. Reading the other articles and looking at the city & yearbook pictures has helped me remember some of them, and the pleasure of mentally visualizing the way Lueders looked back then has brought with it a flood of bits and pieces which I have tried to string together in my mind. I wish I could remember the names of all the special people that made the experience so memorable. There was a little old lady that lived on the street behind the Baptist church that I delivered the paper to, that had the most beautiful front yard, filled with flowers that smelled so good. She was so nice to me, but I can't remember her name.

I remember the smell in the halls of the school and the sounds in the Gym and the House of David basketball team that played (humiliated) our basketball team. I remember the Donkey basketball in the Gym, and all of the men trying to ride them and shoot the ball. I remember the War rallies and the end of WW II.

I remember Mrs. Douthit, my first grade teacher, and especially the naps. Mother taught me (tried to) second grade that summer and I went straight into third grade. Mrs. Cobb was our third grade teacher. I remember that was a very hard year for me academically since I had a lot of catching up to do. I can't remember the fourth grade at all. I may have had Mrs. Cobb again. I can't remember the name of the fifth grade teacher either. I remember that she wasn't married, and she gave me my first and only paddling (a ruler on the wrist for talking). At any rate I think I may have had a crush on her too in spite of that unfortunate incident with the ruler.

"Those were the days"

I do not know the real reason for our move to Abilene. Money, or lack thereof, had something to do with it I'm sure. I seem to remember a lot of stress during that time. Mother always held it over daddy's head that she had been asked by a successful businessman in Anson to marry him, but chose to marry daddy instead. It may have been that a couple of laundries were built in the 40's, and Daddy may have finally seen the futility of trying to make a decent living in Lueders, or mother may have badgered him into it. At any rate daddy joined the carpenter's union in Abilene and began working as a carpenter for my uncle who was a contractor, and we finally were able have some things that we could never afford before. They rented the laundry and our houses to someone, and eventually sold the laundry, with the house attached. They rented the rock house out until daddy died in 1967.

Daddy caught TB when he was 65 and I was 15, so he had to go to the TB sanitarium in San Antonio for a couple of years. I had to go to work after school and Saturdays to help mother pay the bills and buy groceries. We were able to squeak by until daddy got out of the hospital. I managed to stay in school and eventually graduated in 1954. I became a machinist after taking two years in metal shop in high school. I eventually started my own company in 1990 called Magnum Technology where I still work with my son Kenneth.

I met my first wife, Georganna, in Abilene and married her November 24th, 1954. She and I will celebrate our 52nd anniversary this November. We lived in several places, including Knox City, Rochester Texas, Odessa, and Arlington, Texas, before moving to Marshall, Texas in 1973. We have two sons. One is in businesses with me in Marshall, Texas, where I have lived since 1973. My oldest son just recently moved to Charlotte NC where he is a management consultant with a computer software company. We adopted our daughter in 1965. She is divorced and lives in Palestine, Texas.

In 1962 I started back to school to get a college degree. It took eight years, working full time, going to school part time, to get the degree. After graduating from UT Arlington, I worked for a couple of companies in the DFW area, eventually moving to Marshal.

In 1980 I was invited to join the Rotary club in Marshall. I eventually went on to become District Governor of the East Texas area Rotary clubs in district 5830 during the years 1992-93, and that brought with it a new appreciation for the needs of others around the world, which became my passion . It also was indirectly responsible for me getting involved in the Internet. I now maintain the websites for District 5830 and Rotary Zones 25 & 26, and the Rotary Presidents-Elect Training Seminar in Texas, as well as my own company website,

I still am active in the company and run it when Kenneth is away, which is the case now.

I am somewhat of a computer junky, spending far too much time sitting and far too little time exercising, with the predictable results.

Jim Fitzgerald, Class of 54 - Marshall, Texas

June 14, 2006
Jim-- The little lady behind the Baptist Church was probably Mrs. Owens. She had her yard full of bluebonnets and only little trails around through the flowers to get around her yard. She also had chickens in the back yard and we would help her pen them up at night. Her house was just North of Church and our house was next to hers at the end of that block.

Funny that you mentioned her as I have been thinking alot about her lately. Her frugal, simple life, to what our lives are today. Behind us was Mr Summers, an old German man that was still cooking on a wood stove and his house was heated the same way. The Methodist parsonage was on that corner lot, next to the Methodist Church.

Cheryl "McCown" Gilmore, Class of 65 - Rider HS, Wichita Falls, Texas

June 14, 2006
Thanks for sharing your story. Our daughter is a counselor at Super Summer camp in Marshall this week. We are so very thankful for the Lueders Baptist Encampment and the role it has played in our lives.

Listening to stories from Lueders is wonderful! Keep up the good work!

God bless you,

Carolyn "Mullins" Pearson, Class of 65

June 15, 2006
Hi Pirates, Glad to see some action on the chat line -- It's Great.

In Jimmy Fitzgerald's writings he mentioned WWII several times and I too remember those years..

On December 7, 1941 - I had just turned age 7 - When the war ended in 1945 I had just turned 11. Those were frightful years for a small boy to be growing up. An age when you understood what was going on but, not old enough to do anything and not young enough to not care.

Ellen, my sister 10 years older then me had gotten married in August of 1941 which meant I had a new brother in law who ended up fighting in the Pacific. The family of course always had a concern for him and we were always on the look out for his letters.

I can remember the pictures of all the Lueders Boys hanging on the wall in the Post Office and it was horrible to see them mark who had been killed. I can remember the Herrick's loosing their son and my father talking to mother about it. I remember the two Cox brothers who were flying on B-17s over Germany.

We used to draw airplanes on the black boards at school and run the chalk across the black board to show what we were shooting at. The B-17 was my favorite airplane and I would draw all the gun turrets with both machine guns blasting away. One time we had a contest to see who could draw the best airplane. I don't remember who won but, I do remember quite a discussion over my drawing and some one else's. I assume the other person won since I can't remember who it was or the details.

I remember the time when a blimp flew over Lueders and my little sister Iva saw it and hollered "Bomb Bomb" and started running towards the house. I looked up and took off running, scared to death for about 30 seconds when it dawned on me that it was a blimp and not a bomb. But, that is how scary it was knowing this was a WORLD WAR and it was on your mind a lot.

Fortunately, my Dad never had to go to war nor did I, nor has any of my children or my grand children. I regret that is some ways but, really glad in others.

It is for these reasons, as an adult I have always had a great deal of respect and appreciation for those young men and women who allow me to live in freedom. Especially those who sacrificed so much in WWII fighting for me when I was a very small boy.

So, Pirates I want you to go read about one of those Pirates who looked out for the most of us during WWII and the Korean War and even Vietnam.

1939 Lueders High School Graduate, F. W. Burkman was one of those and he was recently honored with a write up in the May Issue of the Criminal Investigation Division Agents Associations. Frank spent a lot of his 28 years of military service in the Criminal Investigative Units of the U. S. Army.

Frank was quite proud of the honor and sent me a copy of the write up. -- I wanted all Pirates to be aware and have a chance to enjoy reading what one of our older Pirates accomplished and how he spent most his life looking out for our welfare in service to our country.

I have placed Frank's article on the LuedersAvoca web site under the Class of 39 section. However, I also have a link on the main menu of the web site and it is at the very top.

Knowing some of you will not have the time to visit the web site. I may send it out on the Pirate Chat line providing it is not too large for the mail system.

AND Frank, if no one else ever THANKS you. Let me say "I THANK YOU" from the bottom of my heart for the services you provided to our country of which I am one of the beneficiaries.

E. Ray Smyth, Class of 53

June 15, 2006
Hi Pirates, if you don't have time to visit the web site, here is Mr Burkman's article I wrote about in the last Pirate message,

Article submitted by Hubert "Herb" Marlow, May 2006
FW Burkman, one of our old timers in the CIDAA, was born on 27 July 1920, on a farm about five miles north of Lueders, Texas. Most of you address FW Burkman as "Frank" so I will let you in on a little secret; actually he only has the initials FW and "Frank" was an invention many years ago. His dad rented the farm and FW at≠tended the Hastings County schools. He would cut across the field and meet his cousins on a farm road, then walk to school for about three miles, and walk back home after school.

Around 1930, his dad purchased about 160 acres of good farmland and built a home on it. This was also when FW entered Lueders High School. Actually the two-story brick building housed both the grade school and high school. It was a small school in a rural setting; even so, it did have a football team. Depending on the situation, the coach used FW as fullback, punter and center. He also played guard on the basketball team, which had only eight boys. In May 1939 FW graduated from high school and went to work on his father's farm.

In high school FW had met the love of his life and the woman he would eventually marry. She was a young lady from Albany, Texas, by the name of Vera Myers. On 14 February 1940 he and Vera were married at Cisco, Texas, by one of his uncles who just happened to be a Baptist minister and who FW called, "Preacher." Having a newly acquired wife, FW had to think of earning more money than farm work allowed so he got a job as the Assistant Manager of Perry Brothers 5 and 10 Cent store at Stephenville, Texas.

It was June 1941, and all 21-year old males were required to register with the Draft Board. Since FW had not attained the age of 21 the requirement did not apply to him. War was in full swing in Europe but the United States was not directly involved. In February 1942, the situation was different. We were at war with Japan and all 21-year old males were informed that they would have to be registered for the draft. This was the moment when FW decided he would not register. Instead, he volunteered for military service. Most of us who ended up in CID had joined the U.S. Army. FW was different; he joined the U.S. Coast Guard. First came boot training in New Orleans, Louisiana. Next came three months at a lifeboat station in Sabine Pass, Texas; three months of duty patrolling the Sabine River; and six weeks at the Port Security and Police School at Baltimore, Maryland. For the next two years FW performed duties as a police investigator and port security officer at Port Neches, Texas. Was the seed sown that would move FW towards becoming an investigator with the CID?

By now FW was a Boatswain Mate 2nd Class and was on his way to Boston, Massachusetts, for a six-months course at the Electrician Mates School where all of the instructors were from MIT. He returned to New Orleans, Louisiana, stayed there one month, and then moved to Orange, Texas, to work on an LST that was dry-docked while being prepared for action in the South Pacific. FW received training on how to operate the LST's bow doors and direct traffic. Before the LST was ready, Japan surrendered and WWII came to an end. FW was released from active duty, returned home and went back to work with Perry Brothers, but this time at the store in Midland, Texas. The manager was a lady with whom FW did not see eye-to-eye. Before long he departed for Alpine, Texas, and found employment as a manager with CG Morrison, a variety store chain. This employment also required that FW man≠age the warehouse that the other stores ordered from. He remained at this job until 1948, when he attended Cisco Junior College. He attended college during the day and at night worked as a city street sweeper with the City of Cisco, Texas, which he now called home.

FW did not know it at the time, but when he joined the Army Reserve at Cisco he was getting one step closer to CID. He received the associate degree in May 1950, and on 1 October 1950, as a result of the Korean "Police Action," was called to active duty and ordered to report to Camp Chaffee, Arkansas. By this time he had attained the rank of sergeant and in October 1950 was promoted to SFC (E-6).One day the administrative sergeant asked FW what he had done in the Coast Guard. When FW informed him that he had been an investigator, the administrative sergeant said: "Investigator? That's it." FW was sent to Lieutenant Ray Krebbs, commander of the 37th MP Detachment (Cl). He was interviewed, accepted, and officially transferred into that unit in January 1951. Because the 37th was just being formed, FW was a combination investigator, photographer and supply sergeant. Two other members of the unit were SFC Chuck Cowherd (operations officer) and MSgt Freeman B. Mariner. While at Camp Chaffee, FW never had a case he really felt was exciting, but he was young in CID and would get plenty of excitement later.

FW was accredited by OPMG in August 1951, and in April 1952 went to the CID School at Fort Gordon, Georgia. His CID class had 71 students, a little heavy I would say. Another student was a WAC named Lois E. Edwards. FW was told she was the first female to attend CID School.

Next came his first overseas assignment. On 1 December 1952 he received orders assigning him to the 3rd MP Det (Cl), Pusan, Korea, but the work was actually done on Yong-do Island. FW departed Fort Lawton, Washington, on Christmas Eve, 1952. Since he traveled by troop ship, which encountered high seas (and a lot of sea sickness, I bet), FW did not arrive in Korea until mid-January 1953. The commander of the 3rd was Captain Paul R. Elliott who in May 1953 promoted FW to MSgt. Back then, MSgt (E-7) was the highest enlisted rank in the army. Captain Elliott was replaced by Major J.F. McGowan in February 1954.

The highest enlisted rank came with added responsibilities; FW became the unit's investigator supervisor, a job that later became known as operations officer. FW continued in that position until about April 1954 when a new investigator arrived and took over the position. FW took charge of the Korean Investigation Section on a full-time basis. That section made a name for itself because of the number of cases solved at the Port of Pusan and the large amount of stolen property recovered. The Korean National Police must have liked FW because it appears he was the only CID Investigator that was made an Honorary Colonel and issued a badge of the office. FW departed Pusan, Korea, in June 1954 and headed to the 48th MP Det (Cl), at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.

FW's new commanding officer was Major Warren F. Lafferty and the operations officer was CWO Bud Rathjen. The unit had 17 investigators and the workload was not heavy. FW had no sooner arrived when Rathjen transferred to Fort Sam Houston, Texas, which left FW to take over as operations officer. FW had hardly warmed the chair when it was decided that he should attend Lie Detector Class #17, scheduled to start in August 1954 at Fort Gordon, Georgia. FW graduated from Lie Detector School and returned to the 48th where he resumed his job as operations officer, with additional duties as lie detector operator (later called polygraph operator and later still, polygraph examiner). Major Lafferty, the commanding officer, also headed up the 4th Army Pistol team, and for that reason was absent quite often, which left FW in charge. FW remained at Fort Bliss until October 1957 when it was once again time for him to go overseas.

This time he was lucky and got assigned to the 32nd MP Det (Cl), Stuttgart, Germany, the Land of Good Beer and Schnitzels. His duty station was the Ulm Sub Post, Neu Ulm. The officer-in-charge was CW4 Roy Britt. In addition were CW2 El-wyn H. Butler and George W. Stephens who held the rank of SP7, a rank that everyone hated. The unit's main area of responsibility was Combat Command A, 4th Armored Division, commanded by MG James B. Quill.

It was here that FW solved a nighttime hit and run accident that resulted in the death of a German citizen. The case almost resembled a jigsaw puzzle with FW being very good at solving it. He collected small parts broken from the vehicle and began making a methodical search of vehicles commonly in use near the accident scene. His search led to the barracks area of the Combat Command A, which was located about one half mile from the scene. He found a vehicle that was missing the broken parts. The vehicle owner, a PFC, would not confess, but with the parts and analyses made of them by the CID Crime Lab in Frankfurt, FW was able to send the case before a General Court Martial and obtain a conviction. FW received a letter of commendation from MG Quill, endorsed by MG Paul A. Gavin, Commanding General of Southern Area Command (or SACOM as we used to call it).

Since FW had two years of college under his belt, he decided in about October 1959 that he might as well submit his papers and become an officer and a gentleman. That very month he appeared before a board of officers and began the long wait.

About the middle of 1960 a rumor circulated that only four CID agents stationed in Germany would make warrant that year, and confident as ever, FW thought, "I wonder who the other three will be." In December his confidence was confirmed when he received orders informing him that he was to be promoted to Warrant Officer. The other three successful applicants were Donald J. Presson, Bob Brisentine and Joseph Keough. On 3 October 1960 each raised his right hand and was sworn in.

Soon after, FW received orders assigning him to the 46th MP Det (Cl), Sandia Base, New Mexico, where as a brand spanking new warrant officer he assumed duties as officer-in-charge. The 46th MP Det (Cl) supported the Mercury Test site in Nevada, and other defense atomic agencies in and around New Mexico.

While at the 46th, FW applied for Operation Bootstrap, a program that allowed officers with college credits to attend the University of Omaha to complete requirements for award of the baccalaureate degree. But FW was told that the program was for commissioned officers only. He disagreed with the interpretation and made it known. His insistence must have worked because in May 1962 the main headline of the Army Times read, "WO BOOTSTRAP" and the accompanying article said that Operation Bootstrap was open to warrant officers. FW immediately applied and in July or August of 1963 he received a call from OPMG informing him that he was accepted and that the PMG was proud that a CID agent would be the first warrant officer to enter the program. FW received his degree on 1 June 1964.

When he returned from Omaha it was off to the Presidio of Monterey Language School to learn Portuguese. In January 1965 he reported to the 550th MP Det (Cl), 8th Special Forces (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, Special Action Force, Fort Gulick, Canal Zone, Panama. His job was translating lesson plans from English to Portuguese. Brazil, being the only South American country speaking Portuguese, wanted no part of training offered by the U.S. military. The prospect for FW was to move into Central and South America to teach military tactics and aid local police forces. This was not what FW had in mind so he managed a transfer to the PMO, United States Army Southern Command (USARSO), where CW4 Mel Williams was the CID operations officer. Not long after, Williams departed, and FW took the job. In May 1968 FW left Panama and arrived at Long Binh, Vietnam.

The assignment placed him at the USAF base at Tuy Hoa but he did not remain there very long because on Thanksgiving Day he became the operations officer at Det D, 8th MP Gp (Cl) in Saigon. The commander was LTC Frank Schaefer. Here FW would acquire a nickname. There were about 15 investigators assigned to the office and every day around 1700 hours they would depart and not return. FW had a pile of cases on his desk and would work alone late into the night. After a week of this he called a meeting and informed the investigators that since there were about 350 open cases, everyone would go to eat at 1700 hours and return to the office at 1900 hours to work on the "old dogs" that remained open. Initially, the investigators had negative thoughts about their chief. A few days later, FW arrived at work and found a sign above his office door that read, "The Bear's Den." FW didn't say a word. As time went along, the "old dogs" were cleared. No one ever said "Bear" to FW's face, although he heard it said out of his sight. As time passed, the name became an endearing one and the investigators started calling him "The Bear." When FW was getting ready to depart Vietnam, Bill McCoy from the 18th MP Gp presented him with a coolie hat that had "The Bear" painted on it.

FW's next assignment was Det D, 4th MP Gp (Cl), Fort Sam Houston, Texas. When he arrived there in July 1969 he had no way of knowing that it would be his last assignment. The commander was CW4 Jack Mullis and the operations officer was CW3 Barney Bishop, who was in the process of retiring. FW took over Bishop's job, and then in January 1970 he became commander when Mullis retired. CW3 Frank Traficante temporarily took over the operations officer position until CW3 Bob Buckles arrived.

The end of FW's military career came during September 1971 when he was hospitalized with heart problems. In October 1971 the doctors informed him that he was no longer fit for military service and would be medically retired. He was transferred to the Medical Holding Detachment and on 30 June 1972 retired at the ripe young age of 51, holding the grade of CW4 with 28 years of military service. Since then "The Bear" has occupied his time playing golf.

Wayne McNeely remembers when FW arrived at Fort Sam Houston. Because FW was a left-handed golfer, Wayne and others called him "Leftie." Wayne said of FW, "Burkman came with many years experience, what we all liked about him was that he gave us plenty of rope to complete our investigations." In other words he trusted the agents' competence and he backed them 100 percent. Wayne added: "Leftie always offered constructive criticism, had a kind way of working with younger agents and CID/MPI teams, and was an individual greatly appreciated by all the office workers." Wayne concluded: "Leftie was a well respected CID boss, and is respected in the CID family today. He is still very active and sharp as a tack!"

CIDAA member Edward Wilusz made the following comments: "My family and I arrived in Panama during September 1967, and FW Burkman was the operations officer. One of the outstanding traits of FW was his compassion for others. Shortly after our arrival my oldest brother died. Due to having just arrived and my wife being pregnant, we were unable to leave Panama. FW and Vera Burkman, joined by Veryl (a fellow agent now deceased) and Helen Warford, visited with us and showed great compassion and sympathy. FW also was a forgiving person because during a CID party some of the agents threw him into the swimming pool, clothes and all, causing him to hurt his back. Although he was hurting, he took it in good humor and did not carry a grudge. He was a good operations officer and is a very caring individual to this day."

CIDAA member George Luketic commented: "I worked for FW Burkman at Fort Sam Houston from about July 1969 to about June 1971. FW was not only a top-notch agent, but one of the best operations officers. He displayed great knowledge in the investigative field and was never too busy to help his agents. He was highly respected by his agents, the local Provost Marshal, and the officers and NCOs of the 4th MP Gp (Cl), including Colonel Dubois the Group Commander."

Colonel (Retired) Keith F. DuBois said the following: "FW Burkman was one of finest agents in charge of a detachment in my Group. I always found him to be thoughtful, a reliable individual, who did a great job for me. He always kept me informed and up to date on matters pertaining to his detachment. He always conveyed his opinions to me, reflecting an intelligent judgment. I considered him an asset to my command. He was an outstanding detachment commander and person, liked and respected by his superiors and his subordinates."

FW Burkman and his wife Vera have four children, two daughters and two sons. Their youngest son, Jerry Lynn Burkman, resides with them in San Antonio, Texas, which is a real blessing to them because he does the cooking, laundry and cleaning.

I thought FW Burkman was someone you should know, Hubert "Herb" Marlow

F. W. Burkman and Wife Vera
Frank W. Burkman receiving an honor from the Korean National Police
"As reflected in the May 2006 CIDAA Newsletter"

E. Ray Smyth, Class of 53

June 15, 2006
Hello Jimmy and all other good Pirates.

I too remember the laundry. My mother Cora Mae Hines worked at different times for Mary at the laundry. I remember mostly after I started School in 1946 Mother was working there and I decided I didn't want to stay at school any more and I went to the laundry where she was. That didn't Last long ,she took me by the hand and back to school I went. I also remember the big rock house where you lived. I, For the life of me, don't remember your older sisters name but she would take me in the house and feed me cornbread and syrup and sometime red beans. Nothing ever tasted so good. I remember the laundty just south of the house , I thought it had dirt floors, maybe not. Did your Dad build the new laundry with the house attached or did the Clevengers? I don't know. from birth until I was 2-3 years old we lived in Zora Latimer's white house and your uncle Arthur( or was Arthur your Dad and I have forgotten your uncles name, but I do remember Vida) and aunt Vida lived across from us to the west and you lived across from them to the south. One of the things I remember about her was a big cat.I remember how stiffeling hot and humid it was in the laundry, The big drum of caustic soda that ladies used to get extra dirty work clothes clean the bluing tubs for white clothes , the big boilers that kept the water hot,and how when mother and Mary started a wash for someone they saw it all the way to delivery, how they would hang some of the clothes to dry until the were just damp and then iron them on the mangle, fold them and your Dad would deliver them.Some time he would pick up the ladies and their wash , bring them to the laundry and when they were done take them home. I think Zora did this too. Her laundry was south east of yours and some ladies would'nt wash any where but there and some would only wash at yours.Including my mom. She washed ther until we moved to Wichita Falls.

I saw Craig Tonroy at our family reunion and told him about your first letter, so hopefully he will log on and get intouch with you.Itwas so nice to read your rememberances, I could remember and identify with every one.

Thanks again for the memory jogging

Sharon Rose "Hines" Hudson, Class of 57 - Wichita Falls High

June 17, 2006

My sister's name was Frieda Marie. I had three other siters but they were all married and gone by the time I was born. I'll bet I got my share of the beans & cornbread. Ha!

It is possible that the first little laundry had dirt floors, or partially rock. Daddy and I built the second laundry after we moved my mother's father into town. It was built from Clay Tiles and had a concrete floor with drains.

Arthur was my uncle. My fathers name was Ennis.

Cheryl McCown Gilmore: Thanks for reminding me of Mrs. Owens. She had such a sweet spirit.

Jimmy Fitzgerald, Class of 54 - Marshall, Texas

June 15, 2006
For those of you who know my Aunt Maxine Payne (and I can never remember when she graduated, but think it was like 42 or so), her husband, Jess Payne, is in hospital at Wichita Falls.

Below is the information I received from their son, Bill:

Here's the best information I have at the moment.

Dad is scheduled for a triple bypass Monday afternoon in Wichita Falls. The reason they took him to the hospital turns out to be that he actually had a heart attack (though he thought it was just an angina episode). There are three veins mostly blocked, but possibly four - I'm getting this through a filter of third or fourth hand information. Doctor to nurse to Mom to Jim to Becky to Penny, and possibly more in between, plus Becky's cell phone kept cutting out because of the thick walls in the hospital - but at least three veins and at least three blockages.

I talked to Dad briefly, but I understood about half of what he said, because his speech is badly slurred (most likely because of the meds), along with the fact that he's not used to holding a cell phone. He actually asked for a consensus among the children whether he should have the surgery or not - which tells me he's not exactly clear on the concept.

The doctors or surgeons (or whoever said this) said they give him an 85% probability of coming through the surgery just fine, up from 60% on their initial assessment before tests. I figure that's pretty good odds; I'd be a lot more worried with the 60% deal. Prayer would be a Very Good Idea TM.

Terry Johnson Blackburn, Class 1966 - Abilene High

June 23, 2006
Hello Pirates,

A few months back, one of you suggested a street map of Lueders be put on the web site and a few days later Carlene sent me a map of Lueders which I saved to the hard drive and then promptly forgot about.

I ran across it the other day and since I got my memory back I built us a map place on our web site.

Not sure how many of you are aware of Microsoft's TerraServer and rather then me try to explain it, I copied in an excerpt from their web site and here tis!!

TerraServer is operated by the Microsoft Corporation as a research project for developing advanced database technology. Maps and images are supplied through our partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey

In simple terms, this is aerial photographs made by U.S Geological and you can see them by plugging in any address in the USA.

The images come up in a mosaic form meaning many photographs are put together to make one picture on your computer screen.

You can then scan back and forth North to South and East to West to view all of an area and how much of an area you see at one time depends on the magnification setting which you can choose and also there's another setting which sizes your screen view.

Google has a similar program and it is in color, unfortunately their program currently has no photographs of Lueders.

The TerraServer images are neat and I had some fun with them. I put six different images on the web site in a slide show.

Using different magnifications, I scanned over our wonderful little home town and did about 40 computer screen captures and saved those images. I then pasted those images back together into one image.

The first image is from way up and then as you move to the next image you move into closer views. The first 4 images fit on one screen but, the 5th and 6th images are huge and you will have to scroll around to view all the picture.

The 5th image is 1600 X 1200 pixels which means at a screen resolutions setting of 800 X 600 the 5th image is exactly twice as wide and high as your computer screen.

The the 6th image is 3200 X 1700 Pixels which means it is 4 times larger then a screen set at 800 X 600.

Screen Resolution, pixels, and words like dpi can get awful confusing at times so in simple terms let me explain it how any country boy from Lueders would.

A computer screen set at the 800 X 600 resolution has 800 spaces (pixels) across the screen and 600 up and down the screen. Like wise if your running at the 1024x 768 setting then you have 1024 spaces (pixels) across and 768 up and down. (A pixel is a unit of measure or in our case one space)

An image of 800 X 600 pixels in size will exactly fit the monitor screen when it is set at 800 X 600 Resolution.

I hold the opinion that most computer User today operate at the 800 X 600 resolutions. Carlene had a heck of a time convincing me to go from a setting of 640 X 480 but, finally did when I got a 19 inch monitor. I kept telling her, us old folks couldn't see and use the lower settings because the higher the resolutions the smaller things appear on the screen.

Pirates with a dial up connection may take a spell to get the larger images loaded because the 5th image contains 321,505 bytes and the 6th one contains 709,912. Once loaded however, the wait will be worth it because you can scroll from the Baptist Encampment Grounds to the football field east and west and view all of Lueders from North to South and see most things with some detail.

The dam and the old water reservoir at the dam are clearly visible as is the school house and other landmarks.

The images were made January 9, 1995

The 7th and 8th images are the street maps of Lueders.

Have fun and enjoy the images. To do that go to the Pirate section of the school web site and click on Lueders History - On the History Link Menu there is a new link at the very bottom which say "TerraServer Images and City Maps of Lueders, Texas"

The School Web Site is at

The TerraServer Web Site can be reached at:.....

If you want to learn more about Screen Resolution and how to change it go to:............

E. Ray Smyth, Class of 53

June 30, 2006

I have in my possession a newspaper that is quite interesting.

I'm wondering how many of you have ever seen - The Pirate Loot - Volume 1, No. 1

It was published by the Lueders senior class of Lueders High school

Viola Aiken was the editor
Janie Webb was the business manager
Franes Lieb was the sports editor
Olin Cowan was the business editor

just to give you some dating of time sequence.

So, let's do a little trivia - just one note. What year did the Lueders athletic teams get the name "Pirate" and who was it that gave the name "Pirate" to the athletic teams of Lueders High school?

Evidently from the newspaper - there were other mascot names as well.

The newspaper came from my father-in-law, a graduate of Lueders High school in the 1940s.

Dorman Holub, Class of 71 - Graham, Texas

June 30, 2006
Hey Dorman, any way you could scan in the newspaper for us and I will put it on the web site. I graduated in 1953 and I don't recall ever hearing of the Pirate Loot.

I can't put a face with it but, the name Janie Web is quite familiar to me.

Frances Lieb was the sister of Fredrick Lieb who was a good friend of mine and we associated and worked together in the oil field after graduating. Fredrick graduated in 1951 so Francis had to be some where around the 48 or 49 class

The other 2 names escape me

My school year books are at the museum or I could look up Francis Class year.

Don Latimer will probably be able to jump in here and tell us the exact year.

I am anxious to learn about the Mascot Names because seems like I heard some mascot stories before but, right now those memories won't come to the surface.

Thanks for joining in on the Pirate chatter -- E. Ray Smyth, Class of 53

June 30, 2006
We've had two guesses on the year of the naming of the Pirate mascot for Lueders HIgh school.

If I tell you the year of the newspaper - that will tell you the year that they named the mascot.

Let me give you another hint - the newspaper is after 1920 and before 1938.

The newspaper is four pages and is the same size of a regular newspaper.

The senior basketball team was worried about a team in their district that was going to give them troubles since they were a larger school and team - Swan's chapel. If you know about Swan's Chapel, you'll know there's only a cemetery there now.

If no one figures it out - I'll let everyone know - July 4th.

Dorman Holub, Class of 71 - Graham, Texas

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