Friday, September 14, 2018

Fifty Years Ago. 1968 was a very good year! Dothan High School, Senior Trip, Delta Delta Delta, Found a future husband and enjoyed Very good friends!

1968 was a very big year in my life. I missed our fifty year high school reunion, (my husband had three brain surgeries this year) but thought some folks might enjoy a look back. Add these pictures to your collection if they are also a part of your own memories! Dothan, Alabama was a great place to grow up!

I had the privilege of being a cheerleader, something that had never been something I had thought I would ever do. But, when I entered High School, I decided to try out for just about everything and miracle of miracles, I did it! So many wonderful things happened that year.

Let me share them with you...

Kathy Parrish, Sandy Price, Karen Mullins, Sharman Burson
Mary Ann Howell, Nancy Davis, Kay Davis and Cindy Cutts

 Senior Year (We would be seniors of 1968)
 Kathy Parrish, Paula Dunning, Sally Fortner, Phyllis Brown, 
Karen Mullins, Sandy Price, Mary Ann Howell, and Sharman Burson (Seniors '68)
The tigers were given to us by Kathy Parrish's uncle, Lowell Rountree. 

Sharman Burson, Paula Dunning, Karen Mullins, Mary Ann Howell, Phyllis Brown, Sandy Price, Sally Fortner and Kathy Parrish

My brother, Elkanah, and sister, Sylvia, enjoyed all of the football games Mother and Daddy attended.

 You can't remember those years without Nip and Ernie's. I remember going there before games and after school. Cherry cokes were my favorite. And, of course, their delicious brownies. The recipe is included below given to me by Rosemary Edwards.

Best buddy, Karen Jackson, and I REALLY enjoyed basketball games. 

The senior play was The Hoosier School Master. I had the female lead and Jimmy Parkman had the male lead. Julie Wauthena Nall directed the play. 

Sharman, Jimmy, and Sylvia Jackson

Sha'na Shiver, Dennis Ray Clark and Donna Gayle Martin and Sharman on the back row

Convertible yellow GTO. My favorite car ever! Why did I ever let her go?

This GTO had a GRRR Boomershine tag on the front. My favorite memories are driving down Front Beach Road with the top down with "Wild Thing" booming forth on the radio. Our old cottage at 17807 HWY 98 was a concrete block cottage. Each of us had our own shovel to shovel the sand off the patio every time we came to the Beach (Panama City). Elkanah learned the wonders of the binoculars quite early. Daddy and Uncle Elmore enjoyed the view as well. Mother met everyone who came down the public walk and made many a friend there. She loved a joke better than anyone I have ever known and folks quickly picked up on that and remembered them to share with her.

Before Coach McCall and his wife Maxine bought the cottage next to us, it was owned by the Jackson family from Gainesville, Georgia. Turns out Mama Sally (front and center) was related to Joe through the Dowling line. She originally came from Ozark. Susan, far right, was my age and we bonded right off the bat. She had scoliosis and one summer she was in a full body cast with her right  arm elevated and dangling. We loved to ride down the Beach in that GTO to Hill Grocery where we would purchase a delicious Bismarck (elongated donut with cream in the middle). Susan's handsome brother Felix is to the left, but he was Elkanah's age so imagine him much smaller. Sally Jackson (named for Mama Sally, of course) was Sylvia's age so we had a great group for each of us to enjoy. We looked forward to them coming! Joan Jackson (mother's friend) and her husband Walton are in the middle. 

Gayle Tyson

Those Beach friends remained good friends for life. Mary Ann and Jack Tyson had the cottage behind us. They were from Cairo, Georgia. Bernie O'Neal, handyman along the beach, got Daddy to go over to the Tyson's cottage one evening to treat Ann who was very sick (chicken pox, Ann says). When she got well, he told her, he wanted her to come and meet his daughter, Sylvia, who was her age. She did. And so did her big sister Gayle who was my age. We became lifelong friends.

We sunbathed long hours together. Rode down the Beach in that convertible GTO. I learned to ski from someone with a business at the Hathaway Bridge. Jack would take us to Lake Powell to ski (where Pinnacle Port is now). We went floundering there as wellt.

BTW Ann Tyson and her husband Tommy Hopkins have bought Sanctuary Beach. Phoebe Masker remodeled what was once the sales house into a beautiful bayside home. 

My first boyfriend, Bobby Geiger, got killed in a car accident coming home from Auburn while I was at cheerleader camp the summer of 1966. Such a fine young man. Mother called me on the camp telephone. (No cell phones then.) It seemed unreal. Shock, I guess. We were too young for death. On the way back to our cabin, I remember hearing Bob Dylan on the radio. Blowin' in the Wind. Strange how music speaks to you and takes you back to places and people. 

Mary Ann Howell and Sandy Price at Cheerleading Camp 
We were too busy for many pictures! This is the only one I have and it was in a scrapbook with a whole bunch of pictures. It was really the first time I was away from home (other than at my grandmother's) without my parents. After Bobby got killed so suddenly, Mother came down and stayed with a Dothan friend, Thelma Dagostine, who had a fishing cottage there. 

And then, I got lavaliered to this handsome KA who was studying engineering at Louisiana Tech, David Upton, the nephew of Ben Upton who sold State Farm Insurance in Dothan. His uncle sent him with a bowl of scuppernongs to our house to meet me. Dave's music leaned toward Otis Redding. So, whenever I hear Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay, I think of him. And John Fred and his Playboy Band, Judy In Disguise. I still love that soul music.

And here we are at the Senior Prom.

That pool table was a quite creative idea to keep me at home with friends. 

Robin Ann Green and Ricky Williams 

Sharman and my buddy, Rick Williams. Below is Randy Pierce, a friend I seriously miss. 
 I always found that guys made the best friends. Other than my very good girl friends, that is.

Sootzus was the Dothan High School newspaper.

 Senior Scholars? Maybe Honor Society. A program in the auditorium.

We took a train South 

Margaret Lee, Theresa Dauphin, and then me. Theresa's mother, Evelyn Dauphin, chaperoned our trip aboard a boat for our Senior Trip to Nassau in the Bahamas.  

Margaret Lee, Sharman Burson, Janis Purdy

Sharman Burson, Margaret Lee, Gloria Loftin, and Janis Purdy I think we are now in Nassau. 

This newspaper clipping survived being glued to Mother's wall.
Yearbook picture

Dr. E. G. Burson, Jr., Sharman and Dr. E. G. Burson, Sr., Papa nearly burned up in that gymnasium with no air-conditioning. He still wore his winter long john underwear. Daddy fanned him and fanned him. He did not live long after that, though I do not think it was the heat in that auditorium in May that did it. Nanny had already passed away. We found out he had leukemia and he died in 1969.  He practiced medicine in Wilcox County up until he passed away. 

Sharman, the graduate, and Jean Gillis Burson, proud mother. 

Mattie Lee Martin played a major role in my life.  I dedicated a book to her. 

 Debbie Spann had always been one of my best friends, and Tommy, being older (3 yrs) tormented us. Not having a big brother, I loved him like MY big brother. So, when Dr. Spann, my father's best friend, died on my 18th birthday, Joe, Tommy's best friend, came home from the University of Alabama to be with Tommy. Joe had transferred from The Citadel while Tommy remained there.

My usual gaping self attended the funeral in white, my newest dress for Graduation. So, I guess I stuck out in his memory. That summer, Tommy Spann came home and appeared with his best friend, Joe, at the Dothan Country Club swimming pool. I had taken Elkanah to the swimming pool and lay out my towel to sunbathe. I waved at them. That night Joe called and asked me out. I couldn't go because my family was spending the weekend at the Beach at our cottage. He broke a rule and called me again. We went to a party at someone's house. There was magic in his goodnight kiss. So, the trajectory of my life changed at that moment, I guess. 

And then I went off to college. The University of Alabama. I had applied early admittance to Agnes Scott and was accepted. I had an epiphany during my senior year. Agnes Scott had no football team.

I applied to the University of Alabama. And was accepted. I had the best surprise roommate! She and I met for the very first time at Martha Parham Hall on the University of Alabama Campus. Donna Jo Rumore from Birmingham, Alabama! She was the daughter of Joe Rumore of Rumor's Record Rack who had a radio show. She was the very best of roommates.  

Downstairs at Martha Parham probably just outside the snack bar where they made the very best grilled cheese sandwiches!

Now comes a group of silly pictures by silly 18 year olds.

And yes, the windows opened, but no I did not jump out. 

Sharman teases Suzi's hair. I am not sure who is behind that umbrella. Somehow professional models pull this off a lot better than our amateur photography. Dark hair. Maybe Donna. Could be me. I couldn't climb up on that chair today, that's for sure!

Suzi Crowley (Ozark) and I got very silly and took pictures in our dorm room. 

I think this was when we were wigged out over Rush.

And then came the bid...

I pledged Delta Delta Delta!

The Tri Delta House was a round house at that time. Here is a look down the stairwell. Whenever I think of the Tri Delt House, I think of Friday afternoons with the windows open at the Alpha Gam and KD houses bouncing off the music coming from the Tri Delta House there on First Circle. Sometimes Jimmy Hendrix. A little Purple Haze.

This was surely a different time. Pledges would sit at the rotary phone table here and take messages for the actives. This was a great way to become better acquainted with the actives. A great short story could evolve from this picture, I would think. I wonder who Donna Carol was looking for as she peeked around that corner.

Folks these days cannot imagine a single rotary phone in a house full of women! But, that was how it was. On Friday nights we had tuna fish and brownies for supper. Those living in the House were upstairs getting ready for their dates who would come to the door to pick them up. Though everyone who lived in the House had a room, there was a sleeping porch with bunk beds where everyone slept.

 This was the Delta Delta Delta Composite my pledge year.

Third row from the bottom third from the left. I am beside Amelia Brown from Ozark who developed a brain tumor and passed away not long after this. Sue Hopkins, second row from the bottom, married Alec Moseley who grew up down the street from me on Camellia Drive. 

Mary Colquitt Ray, our pledge trainer

Laurie Stone, my fantastic big sister

Our pledge class. The picture was taken the day I nearly dropped out of college doing drop and add. I missed the photo shoot! 

I remember standing at the phone bank on the bottom floor of Martha Parham debating whether to call my mother or Joe first.  I called Joe at the Pi Kappa Phi house crying and told him I was about to call my mother. I was going home! He and Robert Grimes came and took me out for ice cream. I stayed.

As pledges we were responsible for the decorations on the Trip Delta House and to march in the Homecoming Parade. Our theme was the Bear Necessities. (The movie Jungle Book and the play on Bear Bryant. Get it?) Ann Kerrigan and I led in pulling the float down University Boulevard and sang, 
"Look for the Bear Necessities,
those simple Bear Necessities.
Forget about your worries and your woes.
 Look for the Bear Necessities
 that's how our hearts can rest at ease.
Those simple Bear Necessities of life!"

Best coach ever!!!!!

Here are other sororities and fraternities in the parade, I hate it that the picture has faded so badly. 

By the end of 1968 (November 18) I got pinned to Joel Ramsey, Pi Kappa Phi, who brought fraternity brothers to help us DDD pledges create the Homecoming transformation on the Tri Delta House. That co-operative venture brought a husband to Susan Kuster as well as me! The candle went around the circle of pledges and actives gathered in the living room a couple of times before I blew it out telling everyone that I had gotten pinned.

Delta, Delta Tri, 
by and by you'll know why 
this girl is a Delta Tri, 
little shy, loves her guy 
and he loves his Delta Tri.

By the light of the Tri Delt moon 
with those three stars above
Tri Delt girls sing sweet melodies 
To those Sisters we love

I remember the night his fraternity brothers brought Joe bound, syrupped and feathered and tossed him out on the lawn in front of the Tri Delta House. I stood on the balcony and watched. I had to come downstairs and give him a kiss before they allowed him to leave. (Of course I was not dressed so formally at that event. But it was that balcony and that is me in the middle.)

Ah, we look so young! 

I spent just about every weekend with Joe at the Pi Kappa Phi House so these guys played a big part of our life. This is the composite.

Susan Kuster (who married Pi Kappa Phi, Billy Barton) and Margaret Lambreth

Look at those curlers! Not a blow dryer around! Grooming was much different then!

Yancey Nowlin became one of my dearest lifelong friends. 
Her daughter, Dr. Katherine Bivona, married Pi Kappa Phi John Bivona's son. Lives touch over and over. 

Rondi Bates became my next roommate when we moved right across the street from the Tri Delta House to live in Harris Hall. She remains one of my dearest friends. 

We started out very prim and proper.

Pledge Sister Barbara Jean was selected Pi Kappa Phi Star and the celebration began. Yancey on the left, Barbara Jean in the middle with Ronnie Coleman (Dothan was Archon) Susan Kuster,  and Joe. 

Joe's best friend, Robert Grimes.

Caroline Massey (don't know her date's name) Sharman (gaping again) and Joe

They told us we would be hazed. We were apprehensive. 

This was the Delta Delta Delta version of hazing. They threw us a party!

This is our basement room. 

Riverboat at the Pi Kappa Phi House
Band parties at the Pi Kappa Phi House were such fun! I guess I think of "My Girl" and Joe. 

Fifty years ago. 
My goodness!  
Time has just flown by! I guess there is nothing really special about these pictures. This life. 
 It just happens to be my time, my people and my life, and that makes it very special to me
This is a time capsule of one version of 1968. 
It is special because of those who shared it with me and who remain dear to me. 
Joe and I got married the next year,  November 8, 1969. 
I was 19; he was 22. 
That was the national average at that time. But now it seems so young. 
We grew up together. 

Delta Delta Delta Memories

University of Alabama Delta Delta Delta dedicates a new home

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