Saturday, August 23, 2008

Memoir of a Tiger Cheerleader

Here's the rest of the message I recieved from Vickie Nowlin and her picture from the 1970 Temple High School yearbook:

I can't end the walk down memory lane, without talking about the 2 years (9th Grade-1967 & 12th Grade-1970) I was a cheerleader. At the end of 8th grade, Gail Cobb approached me to try out for high school cheerleader for the next school year (1967).

She taught me two cheers and coached me along. I was so scared, I can't tell you. Stage fright and all, I went out in front of the pep club, the cheerleaders (the graduating senior left a place to be filled) and Mrs. Virginia Bone (pep club sponsor) to do my cheers.

The auditions were held in the gym. I thought I would faint before getting through the whole thing. And to my utter astonishment, I was chosen!!! Needless to say, I didn't return to band! That summer, I ordered my cheerleading sweater for the winter uniform, a letter ("T") with my name on it and had the red wool skirt made. For the hotter months, we had a sleeveless white top with a red peter-pan collar and a white skirt with wide pleats made. We wore short white socks and red tennis shoes (Keds). I loved the whole experience. We were not gymnasts back then. We did kicks and pom-pom routines and the like, but we were not into the tumbling the cheerleaders are into now.

I also was cheerleader my senior year. We were sent that summer to Wichita Falls, Texas. To a cheerleading camp to learn new cheers to bring back to perform.

The pep rally was so much fun. We made the dummy to burn and walked in front of the band with the team from the school to the center of downtown on Thursday nights. We had a school pep rally on Friday afternoons before the game as well in the stadium.

But the most fun was game night. We were part of the opening performance and had a pom-pom routine to the National Anthem. Then the most exciting part of the game was running the team on the field from the north side of the stadium. They would come out of the lockers from the gym and run on the concrete with those cleats on their shoes. The sound was like a herd of buffalo running towards you. I ran like a gazelle out of sheer fright leading them onto the football field. It was very scary! And, of course, during the game, we lead the pep club and crowd in cheers and did pom-pom routines to the band music.

There were cold winter games that we nearly froze to death, too, but there we were out there cheering and then running back to our stadium seats to get under a blanket together. I made some close friendships with Carol Beth Bentley, Oveta Mullins, Kathy Graham, Gail Cobb, LaDonna Parkey, Linda Knox, Gail James and Joyce McIntyre. Great girls! Great memories!!

-- Vickie Keck Nowlin, Class of 1970

Friday, August 22, 2008

Secret Life of Temple Band Member

Vickie Keck Nowlin wrote to me about her days as a member of the Temple band and cheerleader. Thank you Vickie for sharing your story. It brought tears to my eyes. I'm sure it is a universal story that many people will cherish.

Here is Part I of Vickie's story about the band:

I was in high school band in the 7th and 8th grades (1965 & 1966). I played clarinet and was not so great as to ever achieve 1st chair, but I couldn't "NOT" be a part of things, so I persevered on for a couple of years.

The August before my 7th grade, Mr. Robertson, who was the band director at the time, brought us all out on the football field to start band practice. We gathered at 7:30 AM before it got too hot and began what I remember as more of a boot camp than band practice. We all learned how to keep a straight line and how to do precision marching. I realized right away that I couldn't march AND count yard lines AND play music at the same time. I was probably the best "lip sync-ing" clarinet player in the whole band.

Besides, I don't think anyone would have wanted to hear my "squeaking" rendition of "Sound and Fury" anyway. Now, if we were sitting or standing still, I could play pretty good without squeaking the instrument. But marching, counting and playing all at the same time was not my thing! All I remember about that summer was that I lost weight and got taller.

I walked into the Temple Jr. High School building looking nothing like the chubby 6th grader that walked out of the Temple Elementary School that past spring.
I will have to say that I learned discipline and more self-confidence by the 8th grade though. I can still remember “THE LONG RED LINE” that marched from the band room to the stadium for home games. It was an event, an awaited treat for the crowd. Our uniforms were new (red and white) and our hats had white plumes on them. Our white shoes had taps on the toes and when we exited the band room (across from the cafeteria) the drum major's whistle signaled us to attention. We were taught to carry our instrument a certain way, and we wore white gloves (with holes cut out of the tips to be able to play our instruments).

The drums began the marching cadence on the rims and we slid our taps against concrete sidewalk in rhythm to that cadence. As we marched out of those double doors, we found our younger fans waiting for us with bright, excited eyes and they followed us around the sidewalk as we passed the home-ec cottage, then the gym and the south entrance to the school building.

And just as we started up the ramp into the stadium, the drums switched from the rims to the drum skins echoing off the concrete walls and buildings. The fans started applauding and seemed to be just waiting for the band to make its entrance. We tried to stay in step and all moving as one. After getting settled into our reserved area in the stadium, we continued to march in place until the drum major took his baton and held it above his head and then whistled 3 times and the drums stopped and we all stood still at attention.

Then after the next signal, we played, "ONWARD TIGERS" and the crowd all stood up and clapped and sang. Only then were we allowed to sit down (in unison). The twirlers were wonderful and wore those short skirts and boots with huge pom-poms on them.

Don Smallwood was the drum major when I was in the 7th Grade and Jackie Rodolph was in my 8th grade. The twirlers were Marilyn and Carolyn Graham (TWINS--another novelty), Jackie Rodolph, and the next year Renee Gower, Anne Davis and Kathy Hale were added. We had strict rules about how and where we placed our hats and our instruments while sitting with the pep club in our area. When it came time to march out on the field for the opening program (the national anthem and the fight song again) and for half time performances, we always stayed in a formal line.

Only after the 3rd quarter of the game were we allowed to take a break and go to the concession stand for a drink or a snack and to the bathroom. All thru the game, we entertained the crowd with different marches and the fight song after a touch down. The twirlers did routines and the cheerleaders did pom-pom kicks to it all. Then we marched back to the band room in a LONG RED LINE just as we came in. Only then were we excused to leave on our own.

Out of town games were tiring but fun. There were 2 buses (a high school bus and a jr. high bus) to drive us to and from games (band trips on the buses were a whole other experience as well).

And we were expected to march and play at the Thursday night pep rally downtown. We marched from the school down Commercial to the middle of town where a huge bon fire was burning. The football team walked down with us lead by the cheerleaders carrying the dummy of the opposing team that would be burned in the fire.

Cheers, songs, twirlers doing routines, coaches speaking... the whole thing was something the school and the town looked forward to every week of football season. And can you forget the homecoming parade and special half time performances? The football queen and princesses walking with the football captains?

And the embarrassing "KISS"???? (I had the honor of being a football princess my junior year and walked with Jerry Norman at the half time performance.)
Finally, during the winter months, we had concert band on stage and there was a jazz ensemble, too. And can any of us forget marching in the Xmas Parade in Okla. City? We nearly froze to death. I couldn't feel my nose, my feet or my fingers. It was sheer torture.

1930 Temple High School Football Team

The 1930 Temple High School South Central Conference Championship football team:

Front – Arthur Dolman (mascot)

Sitting – Ralph Collins, Charles “Speedy” Sparks, G.L. Edwards, Ardeene Sanders, Leroy Bowen, Leonard Tarkington, Jimmy Hoar, Artis Tarkington, Albert Rodolph, Clarence Norman, Paul Smith, Fred Parkey, Joe Parkey, Cecil McGee

Standing Coach Chester Alvin, Carl Dolman, Jack Grimsley, Fred Jemison, Miller Price, Mack Smith, Fred Knight, R.C. Mobley, John Thomas Schupe, Jerry Trammell, Aaron Mooney, Millard Hayes, Elmo Taylor, Ray McWater and Oris Taylor.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

1930 Temple Championship

Max Edwards, the younger brother of G.L. Edwards, gave this trophy to Opal Harper Allen, who passed it on to the Temple Museum Association. The engraving says “Temple High School Champions, South Central Conference, 1930.” G.L. Edwards was on the football squad and graduated with the class of 1932.

Corkey Hooper Kickin', Plowin' & Blastin'

I ran into Corkey Hooper and Harold Parkey at the post office yesterday. Corkey said he’s lost 100 pounds and his overalls are too loose now. Corkey is pushing 80. He drove the tractor plowing the day before.  Harold says he can’t see well enough to do that.

Back in high school, Corkey was strong as a mule and agile. He could stand in a doorway and kick and hit the top of the door frame with his foot.

One time Corkey decided he’d clean out the muddy pond by his house. He put together a bomb of fertilizer and oil and rigged it up to a detonator. He got behind something and set it off. It blew out several windows in his house and left a small hole in the mud in the pond.

--Harold Powell


Monday, August 18, 2008

A letter to the editor of The Daily Oklahoman caught my attention this week. Donald W. Rominger Jr., of Tecumseh, wrote in response to an article about a hiring freeze at the University of Oklahoma.

Rominger said the article discusses problems with Oklahoma higher education that a hiring freeze won’t help. "State higher education isn’t in existence to 'save jobs' but to achieve efficiently and effectively the mission it’s given," Rominger wrote. "OU’s professed employment of 17,000 people amounts to fewer than two students for each employee. As a 46-year educator with 23 years in administrative budgeting experience, I find these figures reckless and irresponsible.

"Reading that OU President David Boren attributes his budget problems to a 'recession' relates more to Democratic campaign rhetoric than reality. The country is not in recession by any reasonable economic calculation; certainly Oklahoma isn’t.

"When you raise tuition by nearly 10 percent, it’s not the time to be arguing for saving jobs. Rather, it’s time to go down to doing your job."

This letter got me wondering: How is it that OU has brought in new professors and facilities and increased tuition with reckless abandon for many years? Is there consideration for efficiency in conveying knowledge? Maybe Boren instead of protecting jobs for the already employed should be ferreting out the non essential for student education and reducing expense even when there is no shortage of funds. -- Harold Powell

The Loss of a Newspaper

Terry Clark wrote about the The Temple Tribune this summer in The Oklahoma Publisher, the monthly publication of the Oklahoma Press Association. Terry cares a lot about the future of newspapers. In fact he is quoted in an article on the topic in the Oklahoma Gazette. He recognizes the important role newspapers play in people's lives and in maintaining freedom.

I wrote to Terry a while back about The Tribune in hopes he could help us find an editor/publisher to keep the paper going. He was familiar with Temple and the old Temple Tribune. Terry used to live in Waurika and occasionally preached at the Temple Church of Christ. He even remembered when the original The Tribune died in the 1970s.

In his recent column, Terry told his readers the story of our attempt to revive The Tribune. Our newspaper lasted 36 issues. We quit publishing it May 1 of this year. I hear from a lot of people who enjoyed and miss getting the newspaper every week.

An update on The Temple Tribune: stockholders donated controlling stock to the Temple Museum Association. Tribune hardware, software, mailing list and all the information about what we’ve done are available for someone willing to try to publish the newspaper again. It could be a rewarding project for a retired couple wanting a challenging job and to escape city traffic. And I would sell them a fine 1906 Victorian house in Temple, a quaint country town in southwest Oklahoma.

Terry also provided a lesson on diagramming sentences as we continued our written dialogue about writing. I once thought of forming an organization for ending and eliminating repetition and redundancy in writing and literature, but never began nor started the project or the work. (I became sidelined and put off an idea to run for President of the United States on the platform to make all highways between cities and town run downhill. Think of the fuel that would save.)

Harold Powell

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Football Rivalries

As football season draws near, I thought it would be nice to share this note from J.T. Wyatt on Temple football that I printed in my column in 2005:

I grew up in Walters and graduated in the class of 1944. Most folks of the younger generation are not aware of the intense rivalry between Walters and Temple in those years, especially in sports. The annual football game was played on Thanksgiving afternoon, and more often than not a fight would break out among the fans.

When I was asked to move to Temple because of my employment in 1949, I had mixed emotions. However, I was in for a pleasant surprise. The people of Temple accepted me with open arms and before long I was converted and became a fervent Tiger supporter. I became a member of the Board of Education when Mr. Adams was Superintendent, and some may remember we went through some trying times during his tenure.

I found the town of Temple to be made up of friendly folks and a good place to raise a family. It has been said that communities have distinct characteristics as individuals do, and I believe that to be true. Temple is not the thriving business community that it once was and to me that is sad. I remember when it was difficult to find a place to park even with center street parking. We had a late Saturday night preview at the theatre and the Hob-Nob Café didn't close until after midnight. While Temple has gone the way of many small town-farming communities it still holds many fond memories to me.

But I go back a long way.

I can even remember when Bobby Green was dating your wife. Of course that's before she became Mrs. Powell. Again, let me say, I like your weekly column. 

--J.T. Wyatt, Pharr, Texas “


When J.T. moved to Temple I was a high school sophomore.  J.T. was Temple funeral director.  He often attended our football practice and was on the sidelines at games. He was an encourager to would be athletes.  He is correct about Bobby Green and Lois Lewis.  In fact they were once engaged.  That’s another story. 

Bobby Green was an outstanding Temple High athlete in football, basketball, and baseball.  He was a senior starting quarterback for Oklahoma A&M (now OSU) the fall of 1953.  I was sophomore fullback linebacker at OU.  The highlight of my college football career at OU was when I tackled Bobby Green in the middle of Owen Field. The next play he completed a pass in my zone.  The final score was OU 47, A&M 7 (OU was on the way to a 47 game winning streak).  Bobby ran 65 yards for A & M’s only touchdown.  Lois, my bride of three months was there.  I think it was a big day for Temple football fans gathered around their radios. Maybe J.T. and Bobby will expand on these remembrances.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

More Memories of James Deen

Charles Elkins, a former coach and teacher at Temple High School, sent me his own memory of frog hunting with music teacher James Deen:
JD (Lynch) went frog hunting on the many farm ponds around Temple and gave a big "banquet" each fall together with the FFA teachers who supplied the "mountain oysters". A great get-together for all the boys and the rest of us who liked "delicacies." James Deen often went with us on these night expeditions. If you remember James, he was not what you'd call "athletic". In fact, he was a little on the fat side. This description is to set up this story.
One night James was with several of us who were out frog hunting when we approached a large dam with small streams of water running around the dam and spilling down the sides, making it necessary to jump the six or seven foot wide streams in order to reach the pond..Most of us had lights and had no problem leaping across the mud and water. For James, however, the jump was another story. He recognized the difficulty and called for all of us to shine our lights on the place where his great leap would take place, consequently, all spotlights were on the somewhat nonathletic band director as his takeoff foot slipped as he attempted the jump and he accidentally dived into the slime! As sympathetic as we all were for James, all of us nearly died laughing. James was such a good sport, but threatened to kill any us who reported the "great leap of faith". As I remember this, I still can't keep from laughing out loud.

B&O Cash Store Merchandise... Memories

It turns out the photos supplied by Harley Gene Salsman were from the Cotton County Museum in Walters. Here’s the museum’s Web address if you want to see more historic photos from Cotton County:

These pictures are his own. These are items purchased at the B&O Cash store and given to Harley by relatives. The pitcher and plate have the B&O logo on the bottom/back.

In a comments on an earlier post, Carroll Newberry shared some interesting memories triggered by thoughts of the B&O, including Temple's first swimming pool, which was at the home of the Mooneys who owned the store. Be sure and read Carroll's comments if you haven't seen them.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Historic Temple

Here's another picture from a visitor to this blog.

I was pleased to receive a copy of this picture and the drawing from the B&O Cash Store from Harley Salsman. I had never seen either of these before.

We are collecting pictures, other artifacts and information about Temple's history for a museum. We are renovating the old cleaners building just north of City Hall to be an archive – to collect and display documents of Temple Community history. We would be happy to see anything readers might contribute including family stories.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

B&O Cash Store

A visitor to this blog e-mailed me some interesting pictures of Temple from many years ago. Harley Gene Salsman, who has relatives who lived in Temple, sent this drawing of the B&O Cash Store, which once brought visitors to Temple from miles around.

Thank you, Harley.

The B&O was opened in 1906 by brothers Bob and Otho Mooney, who began with $1,300 and 200 square feet of floor space. By 1923, the store took up an entire block with 40,000 square feet. It grossed $1.5 million that year.
Billed "the biggest country store in the world" the B&O employed a preacher, an undertaker, a doctor, a pharmacist and a milliner among 100 regular employees. The store hired another 100 people during turkey and pecan season.

I remember going through the store on Saturday and going to the drug store. They had a soda fountain in the drug store. I remember looking at all the saddles and bridles. I bought a bridle there for $5 to go with my horse I had bought for $13. That was a lot of money I had to mow five lawns to earn that much money.

To learn more, visit the Temple Museum Association website.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Laura Weber Folk Guitar

I wasn't alone in learning to play the guitar by watching Laura Weber on her television program on PBS. Folk/country singer Nanci Griffith; the folksinging trio of sisters Maggie, Terre and Suzzy Roche; and jazz guitarist Jane Miller all credit Weber with teaching them and inspiring them to play guitar with the television program "Folk Guitar." Many other less-known musicians say they learned from Weber.

Temple High School Band Memories

Carroll Newberry responded to my last entry (see the comments) with memories of Temple High School band director James Dean in the late 1950s. Carroll was just a few years behind me. I graduated in 1952.

It sounds like Mr. Dean made a great impression as did a handful of my teachers over the years. George Neaderhiser was “music man” during my time at THS. Students who came to the high school in later years enjoyed the improvements in the band room and the uniforms that Mr. Dean and your class brought to Temple High School.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I would enjoy hearing about other experiences and memories of former and current Temple students.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Kernels from Temple... on Music

Music has always been an important part of my life. Growing up I attended the Majestic Theater where I was in awe of the singing cowboys: Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Jimmy Wakely and Sons of the Pioneers. I sat through their movies twice to hear them sing. The songs still pop into my mind.

Daughter, Beth, has told about bringing her college girlfriends home and warning them not be surprised if her Daddy burst out singing at any time.

A word or a situation often brings to my mind a song. Granddaughter Kelly was a little girl when she said to me, “Granddaddy sing that song you sang when we were herding cows in the Suzuki.” I said “What song was that?” She said, “Don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys.”

The first movie I recall seeing was “Wizard of Oz”. “Somewhere over the Rainbow” brought tears. It’s a sweet song not to be belted out, which I’ve heard done recently.

Anna Maria Alberghetti’s musical movies came to the Majestic when I was about sixteen. She was about my age. I was spellbound by her singing. Sat through her movies multiple times.

From where did my lust for music come? I think it’s genetic. My Grandmother Powell played piano by ear. My Dad whistled while he worked.

Seventh grade at Hillsboro, Texas, school singing class, the other kids told the teacher to hear me sing. I did, in a falsetto voice. Afterward the teacher told me I would soon outgrow the falsetto. I never sang falsetto again.

At 16, I was a farm hand. Spent many long days driving a noisy tractor. I sang over the noise.

About eleventh grade I was the only boy in the Glee Club. At an assembly, I sang the solo in “Battle Hymn of the Republic."

My first Army job was at Brooke General Hospital. Among other jobs I was officer in charge of patient entertainment. Once I escorted Gene Autry around the hospital and introduced him at a show he put on for the patients.

At age 35, I saw Laura Weber on TV offering folk guitar lessons on TV. I sent for her book, bought a folk guitar and sat in front of the TV once a week for the lessons. She said that I should sing while I played. I learned about 15 folk songs. Rarely practice since starting farming. At 74 I can play only a few of the songs I knew before.

I sometimes say I know some of the words of every song and all of the words to no song.

Music jokes: A lady came over to the piano player and whispered in his ear, “Do you know your fly is open?” Piano player said, “No mam, but if you hum it I will play along with you.” OR “When I was a kid back on the farm we had a flood and Dad floated down the creek on the chicken coop. I accompanied him on the piano.”

In the ninth grade Mrs. Blackburn had us learn a poem which had a line that said, “The greatest race hasn’t been run and the greatest song hasn’t been sung.” I feel sure that the greatest song was sung several years ago. To me music is a matter of rhythm, melody and harmony. Melody and harmony seem missing from what many of the younger set call music these days.

A few years back I sang, “Good Night Irene” at a friend’s birthday party. I introduced the song by saying it had been on top of the Hit Parade three times. My friend called out joking me, “What’s the Hit Parade?” Everyone from our time knew what the Hit Parade was – it was an early day TV program featuring the countries top ten tunes of the week.