Memories of Lueders, Texas
Pirate Chat Line Chatter for 3rd Quarter of 2007
The foregoing messages are displayed in sequences as recieved and without editing. However, when not provided, the author's name and class year were added........

July 9, 2007

The Chat Line has been quit for a few days and I just received some Spam mail I thought most of it was cute and sort of fit us Older Pirates or said another way "I sure could Relate to Most of It.".

Q: Is it common for 50+ year olds to have problems with short term memory storage?
A: Storing memory is not a problem, retrieving it is the problem.

Q: Why should 50+ year old people use valet parking?
A: Valets don't forget where they park your car.

Q: What can a man do while his wife is going through menopause?
A: Keep busy. If you're handy with tools, you can finish the basement. When you are done you will have a place to live.

Q: How can you increase the heart rate of your 50+ year old husband?
A: Tell him you're pregnant...

Q: How can you avoid spotting a wrinkle every time you walk by a mirror?
A: The next time you're in front of a mirror, take off your glasses.

Q: As people age, do they sleep more soundly?
A: Yes, but usually between 1 and 5 PM.

Q: Where do 50+ year olds look for fashionable glasses?
A: On their foreheads.

Q: What is the most common remark made by 50+ year olds when they enter antique stores?
A: "I remember these".

Q: Where can women over the age of 50 find young, sexy men, who are interested in them?
A: Try a bookstore under " fiction ".

E. Ray Smyth, Class 53

July 16, 2007

I received an e-mail from Sandra Reves informing me of the below obituary.

I knew Muffett well as she lived on the corner just north of where we lived and I vividly recall her dating Dub McKeever during our years in high school together.

E. Ray Smyth, Class of 53
July 29, 2007

On Sunday August 5th at 5 p.m., the descendents of J.H. Vaughn, George F. Vaughn, Ben and Emaline Stevens are meeting at the Lueders Cemetery. Emaline was the daughter of J.H. and sister of George F.

Mildred Stevens Kidd (granddaughter to Ben and Emaline) has had a new monument erected on my mother's (Odessa Vaughn Johnson) "Aunt Emma's" grave and there are several of us getting together to more or less dedicate this.

I've heard that there has been lots of rain and that the graves may be impossible to get to. Does anyone know of someone in Lueders who will go out and clear the Vaughn/Stevens plots and surrounding area for us so we can get lawn chairs around and visit? J.H. Vaughn is my great grandfather and George Vaughn is my grandfather. They both used to walk miles to the cemetery to keep it cleaned for everyone. I think my great grandfather used to have a house on the cemetery road though and he was the carekeeper.

Mildred emailed me and asked:

Do you know who to contact, to see if they might get the caretaker to mow this week (at least around the Vaughn Plot)? According to the cemetery index that Bill Simpson did in 1999, Rosie Emaline (Vaughn) Stevens' number is: ( 16301 3 10 04 Mrs. B. A Stevens).

The Vaughn graves are in a curbed, concreted area with small gravel spread over the entire plot. It is located, east of (just in front of) a clump of large, tall, cedar- like trees. These trees are to the left of the dirt road that goes " into" the cemetery at the north end.

If anyone knows who I can talk with please have them call me at 325-646-0624 or email me with a phone number where I may reach them.

Terry Johnson Blackburn, Granddaughter of George F. Vaughn - Class of 66 - Abilene High

August 9, 2007

Homecoming will be October 20. Letters will go out next week. Hope to see you all there.

Greta Olson Corbitt, Class of 52

August 11, 2007

My aunt Maxine Vaughn Payne had written me that she used to have a beauty shop in a little tin building. I saw the picture of that tin building on the Lueders/Avoca web site and sent it to my aunt to see if that was the building. I believe it's in Russell Mullin's back yard now. The caption under it said:

This is the location were the Art Names Movie Theater in a Tent was set up and operated. The Tin Building was moved in later and we are having trouble recalling its use because it didn't get used much.

Aunt Dackie wrote me back with this:
If I knew where it is located at the time the picture was taken. Was it the last building on the side of street that Shipps Drug store was on? and Fox grocery was next building across the road straight on down just before Eckdial's Welding shop. The building sure does look like the tin building Mr. Fox had built, and he tuned pianos on one side, and Mr. Fox rented the other half for Vaughn's Shoe Shop for a little while, then in 1947, I put in a one operator Beauty Shop with all new equipment, thinking Payne (my aunt's husband) would be in Alaska for two and a half years while we were engaged to be married, but he came back earlier to marry me, and I had the Shop only three months. I paid Mr. Michell to put in the plumbing and Shampoo Bowl. It was real nice and I had my old customers I had when I worked for Faye (Modgling). There is a cross walk sign and names of two street signs on two poles on the east side in the picture. Those were not there when Daddy and I rented the building, so that is a question if it is same location. The lot WAS used before the building was there, for tent shows, medicine shows, skating rink and whatever strangers came though town while making money. When Carnivals came to town they always used a Big Lot close to Ruthie Benton's house. There was not Shirley Evetts cafe building, or anything on that corner back then.

I will have to go to L/A web site to see when she graduated, if you need to know. I can never remember. *sighs*

Terry Blackburn. Class of 66 - Abilene High

August 15, 2007

Mark you calendars and get ready for a great time at homecoming!!

The following Newsletter sent in by the homecoming president, Greta Olson Corbitt, class of 1952.

Cheers, Carlene Burkman Black, Class of 72


Well, it's that time again and we are looking forward to seeing all of you back HOME again on October 20. See if you can contact all those classmates that graduated with you and encourage them to come to homecoming this year. The more the merrier!!

We are trying to update our mailing list. We need your help. If you want your name removed from our mailing list, know someone who wants to be put on the list, or someone whose address is incorrect, contact the following: Greta Corbitt, 15118 Co. Rd. 250, Lueders, TX 79533; 325-228-4415; or

Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m., with the morning session beginning at 9:30. The registration fee is $3.00. Registration is not mandatory, but the money goes to help with the homecoming expenses and for the scholarship fund.

We will be having a noon meal catered by the Lueders/Avoca cheerleaders. They will be serving a brisket lunch with trimmings, assorted desserts, and tea. The cost of the meal will be $8.50 and will be served in the school cafetorium. We will be ordering 150 meals, so be sure you send your reservations and money right away to insure that you have a meal. We must have them by October 5. Send them to: Margarie Thomas, P.O. Box 382, Lueders, TX 79533.

The afternoon program will begin at 1:30. We will recognize classes and the Hall of Fame honorees will be presented. There will be a football game with Wichita Falls Christian that evening at 7:30.

We will need nominees for the Hall of Fame presentation. Two honorees will be inducted into the Hall of Fame and these may include faculty, students, school board members, or other former employees of the district. For ex-students, they must have been out of high school for 25 years or more and others must not have been employed by the district for 5 years or more. These people will be recognized by their contributions to their families, schools, churches, communities, and country. In your letter naming your nominee, please state your reasons for choosing that person. WE MUST RECEIVE THEM BY SEPTEMBER 20. Please send them to Greta Corbitt, 15118 Co. Rd. 250, Lueders, TX 79533.

Previous Hall of Fame winners are:
C. T. Burkman Gerrell Moore
Charlie Helmer Maurese Putnam Vinson
Edith Ham Carol Felts
Arlene Dodgen Felts Truett Latimer
Mary Alice Putnam Vandeventer Ann Keesee Tajchman
Dave Reves C. A. (Red) Taylor
John Hayton Thurman (Buddy) Thomas
Rose Marie Culver Bennett R. C. (Clif) Cobb
Gold Star Memorials were awarded to:
Ralph Stanley Herrick Frank C. Ferrell John Howard Reves

August 16, 2007

It's kind of bad when you reply to yourself but I have some more information on the Denhams.

I tried calling the Denham residence in El Paso this morning. A caretaker answered the phone. She offered to put Mrs. Denham on but said she probably wouldn't know who I was and not to ask about Troy because Pat was still in denial that he had died.

I decided to just talk with the caregiver who said that she had also been Mr. Denham's caregiver.

She said that Mrs. Denham went downhill rapidly after their son Terry died. She fell and broke her hip--had hip replacement but has never recovered from that.

Mrs. Denham is in the later stages of Alzheimer's. The caregiver said that said that she though several of Mrs. Denham's family had died from Alzheimer's.

Their son Terry (born in 1954 while they were teaching at Lueders) had been cremated but Troy Denham was buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in El Paso.

Pat Denham's two sisters are still alive and one of them, Carolyn, lives in El Paso and comes to see Pat regularily.

She also told me that Nancy Denham Phipps, class of 59 had moved from Michigan to Georgetown, she had enough of the cold weather.

Don Latimer - Class of 56

August 16, 2007

Hey Don, do you have a name of the Funeral Home in El Paso in case we want to send flowers?

Frank Burkman, Class of 39

July 16, 2007

We just found out about Mr. Denham's death but, he died in November 2005.

Don Latimer, Class of 56

August 17, 2007


You might take a look at the Lueders H.S. "public" Memorial page at the alumni website.

Web to:

Cheers, Carlene Black, Class of 72 - Admin.

August 17, 2007

Nice job with memorials. There are 2 more former students that have passed away and I'm trying to find out the dates of their births and deaths. I know she passed away May 3, 2001 or May 2002, but I don't know when he passed away. They are Leroy Carter and Florence Burns Carter. Have been waiting to hear from their daughter and no reply for a while now.

Terry Johnson Blackburn, Class of 66 - Abilene High

August 17, 2007

I just wonder why no one ever mentions the Stapp children J W was a Captain in the army in World Warll and passed away a few years ago. Connie did in Abilene 4 years ago. J W was a fantastic basketball player and high jumper. Just wondered. Winnie Barton Graduate 1940 Salutatorian of my class. Have been the Schoollibrarian for the last 17 years. Not complaining, just musing.

W Barton, Class of ??

August 18, 2007

I know that the stories of kids having to "walk" to school for miles in the old days have been recounted over and over yet there is one story my mother, Maurese Putnam Vinson, told us: At one time Lueders High School included 9th thru the 11th grades so in order to complete their 12th grade some kids from Lueders traveled to Stamford. My mother rode with the Stapp's, I believe it was Connie and J. W. and I think Theodora Penix (Newsome) road also. Mr. Stapp would heat a brick in the fireplace and wrap it in a tow sack and put it in the floorboard or the car....that was the "heater!" On the way to Stamford, they gave Wilburn Jensen a ride to Avoca.

Winnie Stapp Barton has served school and community here for 10 years, at least, by providing up to date, libraries for both the junior high and high school. I hope folks will visit that part of the school at homecoming to see these accomplishments.

Many people here have attached the title "Miss" to her name as well as to my Aunt Mary Vandeventer's name, as terms of endearment. "Miss" Winnie and "Miss" V., respectfully.

I feel I share the experience of returning to my home town, with Miss Winnie. We both moved back to Lueders and live in the houses we lived in as kids.

Stephen Vinson, Class of 67 - Abilene High - Lueders School 1955 thru 1964

August 20, 2007

I received a call from the husband of Gloria and he reported that she had passed away last year. He had received a homecoming letter. This is to inform those of you who knew her and also so that the info can be put in the memorial list on the web site. Gloria Gay Spinks Webb, born Oct. 8, 1933, died June 12, 2006. She was in the class of 1951.

Greta Olson Corbitt, Class of 52

August 21, 2007

Greta, I just recently learned that Marjorie Faye Edgar Burch, 77 of Athens passed away July 7th. I am not sure what year she graduated but you might need this name on your lists to be read at homecoming. The Edgars have had a great impact on many of us.

Marlin Felts, Class of 57

August 21, 2007

Margie Faye Edgar Burch was born 6 Jun 1930 died 7 Jul 2007.

She's a junior in the 1946 annual so she would have been in the class of 47.

Don Latimer, Class of 56

August 22, 2007

I just found out that we've lost anoter classmate.

Mary Naomi Petty Pippin was a member of the class of 57. She didn't graduate with the class, dropping out before graduation. She was born Oct 17, 1937, died Dec 16, 2005 in Houston of Pancreatic Cancer.

Don Latimer, Class of 56

August 23, 2007

Sandra Reves made me aware of the following obituary in the Abilene Reporter News.

I like Sandra am having trouble placing Cathrine Purcell but, we both are assuming she was a member of the family of Purcells who attended school in Lueders.

Perhaps some Pirates can jog all our memories. The obit indicates she was born in 1913 which would place her in about the same age group as my mother.

E. Ray Smyth, Class of 53
August 23, 2007

Yes, she is my Aunt and is also Judy, Christines and Lottie Kays.

Frank Burkman, Class of 59

August 23, 2007

Catherine Almquist Purcell was reared in the Ericksdahl Community, and attended the Swenson school. She never lived in Lueders, or attended school there. She was born on a farm north of Lueders which in later years was the Jamar farm. She was my aunt.

Lottie Cay Purcell Doty, Class of ----- Failed to provide Class Year

August 26, 2007

Pirates--I need some help. Thanks for your help on naming deceased school friends,etc. I have been getting back lots of homecoming letters because of incorrect addresses, etc. It occurred to me that some of you might be able to help me out with corrections so I can forward these on. I've been spending lots of time on the phone in the evenings trying to track people down. I'll list the ones I have received and would appreciate your help with any. Thank you in advance.

Virgin Sowell
Jack Powell
Morris and Wanda Baron Youngquist
Bill Story
Jimmy Norwood
Ethel Butler
Charles Bragg
George and Judy Weeks McGonagill
Peggy Culpepper Stevenson
Rita Hernandez White
Wayne Doty
L. H. Lucian Punches
Bonnie Fuqua Archer
Joan Mosley
Richard Glaze
Kay Murray
Carol Helmer
Rose Daily McLennan
Boyd McLaughlin
Cloys and Berry Patton
Pearletta Burkman Noggle

Greta Olson Corbitt, Class of 52

After Greta's request for help with addresses, a lot of chat line messages were passed back and forth but, the Web Master choose not to archive them.
August 28, 2007

Sharon, not sure you received my last email but now is a good time to get the announcement out about the class of 57.

There is a get together for the class of 57 at the Whitten Inn, I 20 & Hwy 351, Abilene, 6:00 p.m., October 19th. This same weekend HSU & ACU are having their homecomings, so anyone planning on staying in Abilene should book early. The Whitten Inn phone number is 800/588-5050.

The class of 57 was small and many have passed on. We are encouraging everyone who was ever in our class to attend. Please contact me at to make reservations for the meal. Phone # is 806/259-2393 office, 806/259-1354 home.

Marlin Felts, Class of 57

September 9, 2007

I thought I might inform you folks of something that might be of interest to you since it involves the space program of which your aware and may have some interest.

A few of you know about The Space Walk of Fame because you have been here to visit.

For those not aware, The U. S. Space Walk of Fame is a river front walk here in Titusville, Florida and it's purpose is to recognizes the American Space Worker and America's Space Achievements.

NASA has logos representative of each of the manned space programs of Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and now the Shuttle.

We have duplicated those program logos into stainless steel monuments which are the Focal points along the walk.

In addition, Nasa has patches or mission logos for each manned space launch and like Hollywood we have engraved each of the different mission logos in 2 foot squares of black granite and installed those in the side walk.

It was just this past week that a major milestone was accomplished when the Big A was erected for the Apollo Monument.

This was a major accomplishments for the Space Walk of Fame Foundation because the monument has been in the works and was first planned over 10 years ago.

As Vice President of the Space Walk of Fame Foundation at the time, I was in on all the planning and in fact personally conceived and designed the pylons on which the astronauts hand prints and the Space Workers names will be engraved. I did the pylon design so as to eliminate the on site sand blasting of the space workers names since the engraving is an on going project as the request come in.

The base of the monument on which the Big "A" sits will have 12 bronze panels surrounding the monument and each of the panels represents different segments or events of the Apollo Program.

One of the panels is a bust of President Kennedy making the announcement that we shall go to the moon.

I was pleased to be in the position to have 2 of my own mechanics sculptured into one of the panels of the monument and on another panel even an image of myself made from a photograph taken while sitting at my desk at KSC on the morning we launched Apollo 11.

Anyone who worked on the Apollo Program is eligible to have their name and the name of the company they worked for engraved in black granite and installed on one of the pylons.

That means that my high school class mate Kenneth Stamford is eligible because he was running the Amarillo Helium Plant for the Bureau of Mines and shipping helium to me at the space center and neither of us knew that until after the program was over..

Titusville will be the only place in the world that has the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts hand prints in bronze. Because there are so many we only obtained a representative portion of the shuttle astronauts hand prints and we do have a couple of the Russian Astronauts hand prints. I could tell you some funny stories because it was I who obtained several of the astronauts hand prints in clay which we then had cast in bronze.

The Space Walk of Fame Foundation is a volunteer organization in partnership with the city who obtains grants to put in the in fracture structure and then SWOFF provides all the monuments and other amenities.

The Apollo Monument alone will cost over $500.000.00 when completed and those funds are and will be provided by the Space Walk of Fame Foundation.

The Big A is quite impressive as the earth and moon were cast in bronze.

The earth has the continents showing and the moon has craters made from actual photographs of the moon including the back side to make the craters an accurate model of the moon.

Sandmeyer Steel who has provided all the stainless steel for the Atlas Rockets has donated to the foundation the stainless steel and fabrication of the 3 monuments thus far erected.

Other Aerospace companies have made donations as well as individuals and a portion of the funds come from the $100.00 it cost to have your name engraved.

I just put together the pictures taken of the installation of the Big A for the Apollo Monument and you can see those pictures on my web site by Clicking:...   HERE

Another guy put together a power point presentation and I turned it into a slide show which is also on the web site.

Being on my web site is temporary as I will provide the pages to the guy now taking care of the SWOF web site.

You can learn more about the Space Walk of Fame by Clicking:...   HERE  and YES I did the original Space Walk of Fame Web Site.

Make sure you see the overall plan for the Apollo portion of the walk by going to the web page by Clicking:...  HERE

I think the biggest thrill of being involved with something like the Space Walk of Fame is knowing it should be here forever and long after I'm not.

Enjoy ---- E. Ray Smyth, Class of 53 PS --- PS: Here is the Apollo Program Logo which we have now turned into a Stainless and Bronze monument

September 9, 2007

I intended to include the below link which is the Big "A" installation on "youtube" which Phil Kimbro, one of our SWOF guys did. It has some familiar words in it.

To go to You Tube and the Video, Click:...   HERE

E. Ray Smyth, Class of 53

To continue reading with:...   2007 - 4th Quarter  -  Click:...   HERE

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