2001 Homecoming  -  Class of 61

At the 2001 Lueders Homecoming the Class of 61 was honored for their Championship Football Teams of 1959 and 1960.

Class member B. A. Honey took the lead in introducing the Class of 61 and the following are his remarks.

The text of Mr. Honey comments was so memorable they deserve to be listed here in the Class of 61 section of the Web Site for all to read.

Hello Pirates, Raiders, and Friends. - My name is B.A. Honey

I attended Lueders Public Schools from 1949 through 1961. I was a member of the teams being recognized here today. I played running back and defensive safety, and wore number 25. Let me begin by saying thanks to Harrell Petty and the Homecoming Committee for giving the Pirate Football Teams of 1959 and 1960 this special recognition on the 40th anniversary of the class of 1961.

In light of world events of today it is refreshing that we can pause at a time like this and remember what now seems like a much simpler and more wholesome time.

In trying to reflect on a few highlights of the events of some 40 years ago, I reviewed old newspaper clippings, annuals, athletic programs and talked with classmates. 40 years does cloud the memory, but this was a great time of remembrance. Those of us who were a part of these events were and are truly blessed. We had a lot of success on the football field as well as other school and community activities. That success was the direct result of having the support of our families, fellow students, teachers, and the community at large. May I say thanks to all that played a part in any way then and even now for the support you showed.

Special thanks go to Coach John Hayton, who coached as much off the field as on. He provided rides for players after games late at night and dedicated his entire life and a good portion of his paycheck to the school and athletic programs. If a need existed Coach Hayton was ready to supply his help. Also, to Red Felts who traveled lots of miles scouting our opponents. Harrell Petty filmed games our senior year. Coach Hayton drafted him by walking into the bank where he worked and telling him he was the official in charge of filming the football games. Stanley Vinson served as announcer at home games and also recorded play by play during some games for later broadcast on the Stamford radio station. Also, to those of you who lived many miles out from school, you and your families made many sacrifices to be involved in school activities. The buses didn't run for every event you needed or for which you were required to be at school. I know there are many others deserving of recognition and to them we express our appreciation. We would also like to recognize our pep squad, cheer leaders, drum majors, the drummers, mascots and twirlers. They practiced long and hard. Also a special thank you to Troy Denham who I credit with giving our group the focus and early encouragement to follow our dreams on the athletic field and on into our adult years.

If you were a member of the pep squad in either 1959 or 1960 would you stand?

Would the cheerleaders from those years please stand?

How many twirlers are here today? Please stand !

Now, the Drum Majors    -  Drummers  -  Are the mascots present?

Thanks to all of you. You not only cheered during the games and pep rallies, you paraded down town before games, writing on store front windows encouraging the players as well as supporters. You decorated the football field, and you marched down town following the games. Win, loose, or draw, you proudly and loudly announced to the city the result of each game. You all were great. Do any of you remember the yells you marched to as the drummers pounded the cadence on the rare occasion of a loss?

We lost, we lost, but we're not blue. The season's not over and we're not through.

How about the chant we usually heard upon winning the game.

We won, we won, we won by golly we won. We told you we could, we showed you we could, we won by golly we won.

As I stated earlier, it was a great trip down memory lane as I attempted to review some of these 40-year-old events. A lot has changed in these years. A team is a lot more than the players on the field or court. It takes the entire community to produce a winning spirit. We had that kind of community support. As players we were committed to ourselves first, but perhaps even more so to our school and community. We felt that when we lost we had let the community down. Lueders was truly the" wind beneath our wings".

As I looked in the annuals I saw advertisements that brought back many fond memories of people and businesses, and a realization of just how important they were to us.

I got to thinking about a common complaint we have all heard in recent times, especially from students in the classroom where I taught for 33 years. That complaint was that life was boring! I have even heard some parents complain that their children were bored because they had nothing to do. I would tell my students that I felt sorry for them because they had nothing to do. I told them that where I grew up we had so much to do that we didn't have time to become bored. Besides, if the Lord gave us a functional body and brain, we certainly had no reason to be bored.

Now, we didn't have everything in 1949 in Lueders when we started in 1st grade, and most of us had to work a lot of the time, especially those who lived on the farm. We didn't have TV, or ballpoint pens. The teachers didn't have copy machines, which did cause a lot of writer's cramp for the students. We didn't have electric bells until our class was in 4th grade. We did have indoor toilets at school, which was something fairly new for a lot of students about this time. We didn't have air conditioning until high school and then only the old swamps coolers in a few areas. The heaters during cold weather provided comfort for those sitting not too close or too far away. They could also provide a very unpleasant odor when Thurman Thomas or some other mischievous student stuck something into it.

We did have a movie theater, and lots of school and church activities. We can all remember play day on April 1st. We had the Diggs Dodgers softball team during the summer, along with adult softball teams. I also remember a Dr. Tate Medicine show coming to town and I think it stayed an extra week because they had such good business in Lueders. We had great hunting and fishing. We could walk to the river or the water treatment plant. Now we were not suppose to fish in the reservoir but Eric Lundstrom wouldn't run us out. We did have to watch out for Mr. Ulkey from Stamford when we sneaked into the treatment plant. I remember a 60-lb yellow cat Jim Youngquist and Doyle Graham once landed at the reservoir.

Can I mention a few more things, which I think many of you might remember from the late forties and fifties here in Lueders? Do you remember the Hocus Pocus building? I use to tell people I was from Lueders and they would say " oh, that's the town with the big building in the middle of the street. How about the colored Christmas lights that were hung zig/zag fashion down Main Street. How many of you rode the Doodlebug train to and from Stamford. We had Dr. Williams who filled prescriptions and delivered babies. Mr. Shipp supplied most anything from prescriptions to school supplies and usually had a great pinball machine in his drug store. George Newel, the night watchman was on hand if anything was needed late at night, as was Pop McBride a bit later. We had an oil refinery originally owned by Panhandle Oil. There were at least 3 limestone plants and numerous stone quarries operating here about that time. Did you ever go to the Fitzgerald laundry or Zora's Laundry where the latest wringer Maytag washers could be used? We remember the Prince family operating what was formerly Zora's place. Did you ever get anything caught in the wringer?

How about movies from this time in the old theater which, sadly, burned down when we were in elementary school? Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin; The Bowery Boys, Francis the Talking Mule; Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and on and on we could go, not to mention the serials that continued from week to week. There were Buck Rogers, Jungle Jim, Tarzan, and many more. I guess the cartoons were my favorites.

I remember Jr. Koch delivering fresh milk, Rube Nance ran the Icehouse, Buster Brown was in charge of the MKT depot, and who could forget the Lambert Telephone Company? NUMBA PLEASE. The telephone office was also the information hot line at that time. You could call central to find out about most any situation in town or to get information quickly distributed. The phone numbers were short. Ours was 56. I guess all numbers consisted of 2 digits. The wall-hung phones from the turn of the century sounded a combination of long and short rings to alert the receiver. Most phones were on a party line and rumors were about that some folks might have listened in to other folk's conversations. At least I remember hearing some interesting stories. Kenneth Hansen once got the cussing of a lifetime from a lady before she or he realized they had the wrong party. Now, the telephone company couldn't provide you with everyone's license plate number but Sam Fulgham could.

T.R. Putnam ran the Farmers State Bank, Willie Parker had the feed store, Homer Thomas had the grain elevator. There were 2 hotels, The Hocus Pocus, and just North a block or so was the Winkles hotel, which was built by Houston Ham.

We could buy a coke for a nickel any place in town or a carton of 6 for a quarter, and could get an ice cream float at Williams soda fountain/Greyhound Bus station for 10 cents. Later the fountain and bus station was operated by the Smart family. Lueders had many gas stations, Jack Felts, Dean Hines, Cap and Myrtle Terry, Ergle White, along with Newberry's station and Motel, and Smoky Flemming's. The Terry's were awarded national recognition for the longest Gulf affiliation for single owner/operator in the history of the company. I think it was a total of 60 years.

All your grocery needs could be purchased at stores operated by Webb and Seamon, Buddy Felts, Winkles and McGlaun, Aycock, or Red Felts. Ralph Herrick sold everything in hardware (not computer stuff) Stanley Vinson ran Herricks' Dry Goods and Furnishings when not involved with other community activities. Elvie and Lela Mae Smith operated Lueders Variety Store which had everything a person could need. I think Sam Walton got the idea for his Wal-Mart stores from the Lueders Variety Store. For 50 cents you could get a haircut at either Mr. Diggs or John Scott's barbershop. Rutha Lee supplied the beauty shop needs for the ladies, as did Lake View Beauty Shop operated by Pearl Ham. You could get an electric curl from the permanent wave machine or the new fancy cold wave that had just come out and was a lot more convenient. They did however just about ruin a person's sinuses from the odor they produced. That old electric permanent wave machine was a thing to behold. Have any of you ladies ever been plugged into one of these devices? I think Hollywood could use one of these old contraptions to produce a chilling horror movie. It can best be described for those that don't know, as a cross between an octopus with what seemed like hundreds of legs, an electric eel, and a blow torch. As a child I witnessed many near fatal encounters between this machine and ladies of our community in my mom's beauty shop. As far as I know she never lost a customer, but there were what seemed at the time to be a lot of close calls.

Rockwell Bro. Lumber supplied all building needs, including tools, lumber, plumbing, and cement materials. Bob Moore, Bunk Bounds, and Mr. Gafford took care of our needs.

There were lots of old time builders including Guy Price and Joe Delwaide as well as others. Car repairs could be had at garages operated by Fred Sides, Jimmy Youngquist, or Robert Sanders. Fred Sides also sold new Henry J automobiles. Earlier auto dealers in Lueders included Oscar Ekdahl who was the authorized Ford Dealer in the 1920's and Adolph Olson who sold some brand of auto way back there I am told.

There were lots of Cafe's. We had Hub Brown's, Bill Bailey's, Mrs. Meils, Mrs. Griffiths, and a bit later Mrs. Diggs and Shirley Evetts entered the restaurant business.

Other prominent businesses in Lueders during these years included Fenkee's T.V. shop in the old Hocus Pocus building, oil drilling companies operated by the likes of John Tom Evetts, Eric Crowe, and Benny Dillard as well as others. We had oil well service companies like those of E.R. Smyth and Bill McCowan. Several cotton gins were at one time operating in the city. Bill and Swen Almquist offered cattle buying and butchering services. Evetts Dry Cleaners advertised custom made suits as well as cleaning and alterations. When welding or blacksmithing was needed we called on Oscar Ekdahl or J.C. Wills, and later, on Ham's Welding and Blacksmithing.

The first home with a TV was The Arringtons. E.R. Smyth had the tallest antennae in town and could still only get a snowy picture from Wichita Falls until KRBC TV came on the air in 1953. Does anybody remember the Dub and Larry show, or Crusader Rabbit?

Well as you can see Lueders had just about everything, but if we had to we could go to Stamford, Anson, or Albany to get that new car or have an appendectomy. If you had trouble getting shoes to fit at Stanley Vinson's you could get an X-ray fit at the Family Shoe Store in Stamford. The trip only took about 15 or 20 minutes. Kenneth Stanford, Everett Ray Smyth, Bobby Sanders, Harold Backus and Glenn Commons could cut the time in half.

The class of 1961 started to school in September 1949. We had 24 students originally in Mrs. Douthit's class. Of this original 24, 10 of us graduated together in a class of 19. Our football team really got organized and focused during 4th grade in Mrs. Vaughn's class. During recess the boys would go out and play football. We played no holds barred tackle football. I think concussions were a common occurrence. Superintendent Troy Denham watched us out of his office window and must have noticed some talent displayed, or he was simply afraid we were going to kill each other. Anyway, he came out and started coaching us. He taught us plays and techniques. In a couple of weeks he outfitted us with full uniforms from the leftovers in the varsity equipment room. We had antique leather helmets that would fit forward, backward, or sideways. Our pants came down to our shoe tops, but we thought we were now in the big league. Once properly suited up, Mr. Denham transported us to Munday, Texas for our one and only game of the year. Our entire season was riding on this game. A hard fought game resulted in a victory for the Pirates with a score of 7 to 0. Rex Garvin scored the TD and I ran a quarterback sneak for the extra point. (That extra point would have counted 2 points under today's rules)

Our 5th grade year saw Mr. Denham again as our coach. We played 4 games: 2 against Albany and 2 against Anson. Each of the schools being either a class A or AA. We didn't win them all that year.

As 6th graders we became a part of the Jr. High Squad coached by John Hayton and playing with 7th and 8th graders. Most of us didn't get too much playing time that year.

7th grade was a fairly successful year with our class filling in many positions on the team and learning a great deal under Coach Hayton.

As 8th graders we were undefeated in football and only lost 4 games in basketball during a schedule of around 70 games. We had equal success in most sports endeavors that year. On a personal note: During our 8th grade year my family moved to Arlington for a short while. I missed the last part of the basketball season but on two separate weekends following the move I was able to catch a ride back to Lueders and Coach Hayton let me go with the team and play in the tournaments. (Don't tell U. I. L.)

As 9th graders we started the season with only 9 players out for football. We had to drop the 11 man schedule and play non-conference 6-man football. None of us had ever seen a 6-man game. We learned a great deal under Coach Paul Mosley and won about half or more of our games.

In 1958 as sophomores we pretty much got it together. Coach Hayton led us to the district championship with only a couple of losses during regular season. We once again played Weinert in the bi-district game. In non-conference we had earlier lost to them by a score of 57 to 7. In the bi-district game we again lost by a score of 77 to 40.

The season of our junior year produced so far as I know the first Regional Football Championship in the history of the school. Unlike today, during this period class B schools could go no further than the Regional playoffs in football. Our season record was 8 wins and 2 losses during regular season. We played Nevada Community School for Bi-District in Farmersville and won 33 to 6. The Regional game was against Pottsville in Albany. We only had 2 seniors on the team that year. They were Doug Thomas, and Donnie Smyth.

The 1960 season was a fabulous year for our group and I think for the community as a whole. We did have a major disappointment early. We lost the second game of the season in a non-conference game to Miles by a score of 22 to 28. Anyone who saw the game knows what happened. If a game can be manipulated by the officials, this one was. I guess some of us are still just a little bitter. Coach Hayton was upset enough that he went out and purchased a movie camera stating that he wasn't going to let such a thing happen again with out getting it on film.

Most of the '60 season was uneventful. The starters generally began the game, played a portion of the first quarter or until we were a few touchdowns ahead then sat on the bench until half time. The starting line up would begin the second half and play a few downs before again coming to the sideline. Coach Hayton was intent on keeping the score down. However, the back up squad often didn't cooperate. Some scores just got away from us, like the 56 to 6 win and the 79 to 12 victory that year... I remember telling Coach Hayton that some of us were becoming concerned that we may not get the required 16 quarters to letter as seniors. In some games we were only getting to play part of two quarters. He said not to worry.

Do you guys remember our pre-game meals? Coach Hayton bought a gallon can of fruit cocktail at Red Felt's grocery store. Before each game he passed out paper cups filled with the fruit cocktail. He said we would get energy from this. The cost of these "pre-game" meals as we called them was not provided for in the athletic budget. Coach Hayton simply charged it on the school's account as soap.

Superintendent Wortham Crowe never found out about this scam, but he did say he thought we must be the dirtiest, or perhaps the cleanest team in the state based on the amount of soap we used.

With a 9-1 season record we once again entered the playoffs. The bi-district game was played in Albany against Iradell. We were victorious with a score of 64 to 23.

Albany's field also served as the site of the final high school game played by those of us in the class of '61. We played Blue Ridge. The final score was 55 to 20.

There was not a lot of attention paid to statistics back in the 50's or 60's. At least not like today. About the only one I can come with for our 1960 team is total points. We scored 494 points to our opponents 149. This was with our starting 6 players playing less than 50% of the time in most games. I remember one game where we scored 3 or 4 times before ever snapping the ball from center. We returned the opening kickoff for a TD and picked up loose fumbles or returned punts for 2 or possibly 3 additional scores before ever calling a play.

In the 1961 State Track Meet we placed 2nd behind Lazbuddie. Rex Garvin won the 1/4-mile and placed 2nd in the high jump. He also anchored our Mile Relay team to a class B State record, (breaking the old record by 4 seconds). Our record of 3:24.4 stood for many years. Other members on this team included Willie Jamar, Jackie Cox, and myself.

Most of you know that we have lost 2 members from these teams. Mack Keesee and Bob Wylie were very important members of the teams and of our school.

Mack Keesee wore number 31. With sure hands Mack handled the ball on almost every down from his quarterback position. Mack never got rattled and his concern was never about himself, but always for the team. He was a dedicated team member and very instrumental in the successes we enjoyed.

Bob Wylie wore number 64. He was a talented and motivated player both on offense and defense. He was especially aggressive from his defensive end position. Many worthy opponents found themselves flat of their back staring up at the black and gold jersey with the number 64 firmly etched in their memories.

Another member unable to participate today is John (Jr. Reves). I spoke to Jr. last week and he would be here if he could. Jr. wore number 70 and played center. He also handled the kicking duties on kickoffs, field goals and extra points. His broad shoulders offered great security for the ball carrier that followed behind his blocking. Jr. could always be counted on to give 100% effort and was a sure first down "Go-To-Guy" when needed.

I am proud to have been a part of the Lueders Pirates of the '50's and '60's and happy that these from our glory years, and all of you have returned for this homecoming. Again a great big thanks to all of you from all of us.

Team members from the 1959 and the 1960 years including team managers are as follows.

Donnie Smyth, Doug Thomas, Rex Garvin, John Reves, Jim Youngquist, William Jamar, Wayne Fuqua, Wayne Routon, Mack Keesee, Pete Zips, Richard Wills, John Nichols, Stanley Oman, Leonard Dodgen, Bill Culver, David Lundgren, Jr. Garvin, Joe Higgs, Victor Worley, Mike Courtney, and Ray Reves.

Now I will ask each member present to introduce themselves, giving their name, number, and position played, plus any comments or special remembrances they wish to share.

One final mention of a couple of folks that none of us will ever forget. When I think of Lueders Public Schools I always see Mrs. Morehead and Charlie Helmer. They contributed as much as anyone I can think of for many, many, years.

"Thank You All"
Photo of 1961 Championship Football Team on Stage at Homecoming 2001

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