MEMORY LANE

"Reunion"

by Lynda Holland Reynolds

Class of 1969

A spelling bee, a four-forty relay

Speech contests, high jump - Field Day

Ms. Clark, Ms. Humphrey, Ms. Morris

Ms. Causey and Ms. Thompson, of course!

A President's death - favored by few

I was on the playground - "Where were you?"

Ms. Aaron, Ms. Wilkes, Mr. Toler, Ms. Price

Racing the first bell - couldn't let it ring twice!

Radiator-warmed rooms, cold halls, wooden floors

Gray (or green?) lockers, high ceilings, heavy doors

The lunchroom - vegetable soup

The Lyons Roar - facts and fun, scoops

And "slang books" hidden from sight

The canteen, the breezeway, college night

Jack Lemon Sours, Bobbie Brooks, John Romain

Smoking ring petition - something ventured, nothing gained!

Class officers' elections, the "most whatever" queens

Basketball, football, and other Bulldog dreams

Tests and report cards, the worst of our fears

An auditorium of ashes once flaming with our cheers!

Ms. Hallford, Ms. Beasley, Spanish ---- Ahora

Don't you wish you had studied more-a ??!!??

Girlfriends, boyfriends, best friends, just friends

Breaking out, "breaking up", "making out", making amends

Some near, some far, some in-between---one gone

We all walked together once, and so, we never walk alone."

Lynda wrote this poem several years ago in anticipation of an upcoming reunion. The "one gone" in the next to the last line refers to L. C. Moore, the only classmate lost at that time.  Lynda was one of our most talented, creative classmates.  She died 2007 from complications of cancer.

1932 LHS 10th Grade: (front row) Sidney Dickerson, Corley, Harry Talley, Marie Bowen, David Brown, Janette Parker, Unknown, Unknown. (second row) Woodrow Wilson, Ruth Baker, Bill McNatt, Orvelle Gibbs, W.J. Findley, Cash, Jack Aaron, Ruth Norris, Unknown (third row) Iris Thompson, Marion Winge, Josephine Winge, Loyd Jordan, Johnnie Will Winge, Sammie Mann, Argris Cobb, Joe Snell, Mildred New Kitchens (back row) Louise Thompson, Kenneth Tomlin, Berma Tomlin, Wallace Henderson, Annie Vera Odom, George McBride, Vera Mae Findley, Roderick Wilkes, Ethel Stanley

1928 LHS Graduating Class: (L-R): Bess Oliver, Beverly Brantley, India Stanley, Farle Spell, Kate McLain, Minnie Bowen, Wilber Gibbs, -?-Wooten, -?-Corbett, Herschel Lynn, Mr. Suddath, Bob Brown, Mrs. Suddath, Miss Brem, Ernest Odum, Lela Bell Partin, Vivian Brown, Mary Summer, Lucy McNatt, Mary Elma Aaron, Veda Clark, Ollie Mae Brannen, Geraldine Pope is the little girl in the center.

1938 Senior Trip: (Front row) Irene Cave, Margaret Lane, Helen Lane, Earlene Brewer, Gwendolyn Hall, Lavenia McRae, Mattalice Youmans, Jeanette Meeks, Margaret Lynn, Rema Dent, Vera Hunter, Beulah Harden, Louise McBride, Myrtle Sutton, L. Rodgers, and Gladys Aaron.  (Back row) F.C. Randall, Earnest Thompson, E.L. Thompson, L. Flanders, Pinky McRae, Archie Alexander, Ray Kicklighter, Congressman Hugh Peterson, Will H. Williams, Carlos Alexander, Winston Ivey, Don R. Greenstead, Earl Swinson, Joe Underwood, David Randall, G. T. Gray and Williard Partin.

1935 Agricultural students:  (front row L-R) Jack Higgs, Edwin Stephens (second row L-R) Don Roy Grinstead, Thomas Sapp, Vince Swinson, Howard Winge, Lafayette Flanders, Wilmer Collins, Woodrow Spell, (unknown) (third row L-R) W. J. Culberson (teacher), Glynn James, Pib Craft, J. B. Flanders, Edwin Winge, Paul Braddy, Durwood Moseley, William Partin, Ernest (Pig) Thompson, (unknown), A. D. Mayo, Otis Rinehart (top row) Buddy Moore, Hubert Rollison, Ernest Campbell, Clifford Drake, Kenneth Talley, W. O. Talley, T. L. Drake, Curtis Rinehart, Earl Swinson, Garland Lentile, Herbert Collins, Mr. Floyd (superintendent)

1965 Senior Trip:  (front row) Aleace Goff, Betty Page Jones (chaperone), Marijon Meadows, Evelle Gibbs, Lou Ann Lanier, Audrey Rollinson, Annie Ruth Mosley, Salley McMath, Susan Smith, Betty George, Carol Kight, Karen Jarriel, Marilyn Smith, Sue McCumbers, Betty Hall, Carol Williams, Sharon Tillman, Cherry Boatright  (back row)  Durwood Mosley, Billy Yarbrough, Henry Griffin, Dwayne Dykes, Chris McRae, Don Carter, Jacky Jones (chaperone), Chip Matheson, Johnny Griggers, Archie Toler (chaperone), Phillip Odum, John Todd, Tim Palmer, Chris Matheson, Albert Aiken, Ronnie Stewart, Rod Wilkes, Larry Wilkes, Cecil Garrett.

2007:  The Class of '65 gather at Chris McRae's home for a cookout and some big time storytelling!!

John Todd, Johnny Griggers and C.M. Youmans provided the photos below of all the first grade classes of the Class of '65.  These photos were taken on April 20, 1954:

This is Mrs. Braddy's 1st Grade class from 1954. Top row: ?, ?, ?, ?, Chris McRae. Third Row:  Mrs.?, ?, ?, DeLaine Mayes, Susan Smith, ?, ?, ?.  Second Row: Kenneth Burton, Janette Findley, ?, ?, ?, Latrelle Jarriel, Ronnie Bryant, Grace Collins, Billy Yarbrough, ?.  Front Row: ?, ?, Terry Bryson, ?, ?, ?.

This is Mrs. Carr's 1st Grade class from 1954. Top row: Mrs. Carr, ?, ?, ?, ?, Carol Kight, Evelle Gibbs, ?, Eula Moore, Carol McDilda, ?. Middle Row: Judy Mixon, ?, Gwen Clark, Jimmy Youmans, ?, ?, ?, Don Thompson, Jane Jones. Front Row: Phillip Odom, Danny Smith, ?, John Todd, Gerald Tootle

This is Mrs. House's 1st Grade class in 1954. Most of these students were in the Class of '65. Top Row: Greg Tucker, David Edenfield, ?, William Grimes, Chris Matheson. 3rd Row:  Benny Anderson, ?, Betty George, Teresa Ferraro, Nancy Wright, Lorraine McNair, Rod Wilkes, Mrs. House. 2nd Row: Sharon Tillman, ?, Joan Wilkes, Wayne Gibbs, Martha Carol Williams, Hoke Green, Elaine Wright, ?, Linda Faye Sawyer. Bottom Row: Don Carter, Jackie McCumbers, Larry Powell, Chip Matheson, Theron Gore, Tommy Proctor.

Please help us identify those pictured in both of the above photos. Submit your names to the Webmaster.

51 People on a Packard!

Back in the golden era of drive-in theaters, J. W. Griggers of Lyons (father of the LHS Alumni Website webmaster) drove into Pete's Drive-In with 51 human beings, mostly kids, crammed into and onto his vintage Packard to win a "Load the Car" promotion being staged by the now long-defunct theater. The feat was captured on film by local photo enthusiast, Billy Yarbrough, manager of the Pal Theater in Lyons, and made Griggers a local hero of sorts, especially among the kids, who gained free admission to the theater for making up the largest crowd entering in and on one car.

Above is the photograph, taken in 1952, that was the talk of the town. We need your help identifying everyone on the automobile. You can see 42 people. Presumably, another 9 are in the car or on the other side, away from the camera. Were you there? Florine Griggers has helped up identify a few of the people on the car, relying on her memory. Can you identify the others? If so, please let the webmaster know.

A Tribute to William Penn (Billy) Yarbrough, Jr.

Robert Brown posts a special tribute to the late Billy Yarbrough, who most of you should remember as the manager of the Pal Theater in Lyons.

(Posted by Robert Brown, Class of '63)

While attending the Lyons High School 50’s and 60’s Reunion in November 2000 I began to reminisce about some of the folks in Lyons that had an impact on my life. There are many, but I began to focus on Billy Yarbrough and realized that this man touched all of our lives as we came up through Lyons High School. Billy loved Lyons High School and did so many things to support the school and its students. I wonder if you all can respond to this posting and provide some of your remembrances. Perhaps we can even have an article published in the Lyons Advance Progress after we summarize all of the responses.

Some of my remembrances are given below:

(Posted by Robert Brown, Class of '63)

I remember Billy being perhaps the most ardent booster of the Bulldogs. I know that for years he attended all of the games and filmed the game for the coaches. For a couple of years I had the privilege of going with Billy and helping him do some of the filming. I remember climbing to the top of some rickety grandstands and wondering if we would survive the wind and the swaying structures at some locations! Billy would post the score on the marquee of the Pal Theater.

I remember going to the Pal Theater to see a number of movies (we used to say "picture show") during school hours. The teachers would march us out of the building and down US 1 to the Pal and we would have a great time seeing some pretty good shows like Samson & Delilah, The Robe, The Ten Commandments, and others that I’m sure some of you can remember. Billy would always be there to announce the picture, welcome us, and then run the projector. As most of you know, Bill was the manager of the Pal in Lyons and also provided technical support for all of the Pal Theaters. Billy was a great electronics technician and could fix just about any piece of electronics gear from TVs to short wave receivers and transmitters.

On a real personal note, I remember the invaluable guidance and support that Billy gave me when I got into Ham Radio when I was about 12 years old. Being a Ham Radio operator and getting a license required learning the Morse Code and passing an exam on electronics theory as it applied to short wave radio communications. Marion Carson helped me with the code and Billy helped me with the theory. In particular, after I passed my general license at age 13, I began to build radio transmitters and receivers. As they got more complex I needed more help in debugging some of my circuits and Billy was always there to get me out of trouble and to make things work.

Billy, Marion, and I had great fun together talking by short wave to folks all over the world. Billy’s call sign was K4HAO ("Hamburgers And Onions"), Marion’s was W4DWQ ("Ducks Without Quacks"), and mine was K4SEO (Silly Eager Oldmaids).

The support, encouragement, and friendship Billy provided for me at an early age greatly shaped my future career in Electrical Engineering and Communications with Bell Telephone Laboratories. For 24 years with AT&T Bell Laboratories I was privileged to lead engineering teams that designed and launched the Telstar Satellites in the 80’s and 90’s. Often when I was at Cape Canaveral watching the Space Shuttle or an Atlas Rocket lift one of my satellites into orbit I would think about my early days with Bill Yarbrough and I would be thankful for his interest in me.

Now, I am working for Lucent Technologies and lead a group designing high speed wireless communications to the Internet. I wonder what Billy would think about the Internet if he were still with us? Thank you Billy. I know I will see you in Heaven some day and we will have a great reunion.

I am sure that many of you have your own recollections of very positive experience with Billy Yarbrough. Please add your comments to mine.

(Please submit any responses to me by email and I will add them to this page .....Webmaster.)

(Posted by Becky Yarbrough, Class of '60, only daughter of Billy Yarbrough, Jr.)

Robert, that was the sweetest, most heartwarming tribute that I could probably every hear about my Daddy. He is probably shedding a tear right now too, for, believe it or not, he was the most tenderhearted person you could ever meet and wasn't afraid to show his tears. Thank you so much for your kind words, it really means the world to me.

I know he probably touched a lot of people in many different ways, for a lot of them have told me so. For instance, whenever I am in Lyons sometimes, I have had ladies that used to know us come up and say, "Did you know that my children loved your Daddy so much, because when he was on the mail route, he would bring them candy every day and they would sit by the mailbox and wait for him to come up the road?"

He certainly did love that Lyons High School football team, better than us, I think!!And remember when he had Lash LaRue and his horse up on the stage in thepicture show??!!! He used to fix the front of the show up with all kinds of sets that matched whatever movie was playing, I remember Ma and Pa Kettle on the Farm, he had a real live fox in a pen and a chicken in another pen next to him out on the sidewalk, a stalk of corn was sticking out of the fox's pen, and I think he had some eggs in the ROOSTER'S pen!! ha ha!

I could just go on and on, and....did any of you ever ride Trigger in your dreams?? I used to (before I got old enough to sell tickets!!) get me a seat at 10 AM on Saturday morning and not leave the show except to go to the house and eat and watch Roy and Gene ALL DAY LONG till 10 PM that night!! That was my lifelong ambition - to be a cowgirl some day!! Oh well!!

Thanks again for honoring my Daddy like that and sharing your memories with us. I'm glad that he touched your life in such a positive way. I hope everybody will be able to read this and share with us anything they can remember, gosh, that picture show gave us a lot of good ole memories, didn't it? Please let's everybody keep in touch and let's thank Larry for giving us this opportunity to re-live all of those good ole days. Thanks, Larry, for all of your hard work, and thank you, Robert, for taking the time to write to me.

Love you,

Becky Yarbrough, Class of '60

(Posted by Billy Yarbrough, Class of '65, and oldest of three sons of Billy Yarbrough)

Dear Robert,

I was overwhelmed by you tribute to my father. I guess I was too busy playing basketball behind the theatre with the boys from the Pool Room, Jimmy Meeks, Van Page or my brother, Dale, to have paid much attention. I always knew you were involved in ham radios but I never realized that my father and Marion Carson were such a huge players in your life.

Marion taught me to swim at Starra's Recreational Center and I think his basketball goal in his back yard on Lincoln Ave. was the first basket of millions I have shot. And yes, you are right on about the loves in my father's life. He loved ham radios, electronics, the Pal Theatre, and especially, LHS and the sports programs.

One thing people never realized is that the thousands of pictures he made of the school's club and sports activities, he developed himself. He had a "dark room" directly over the lobby in the theatre where he spent hours upon hours to develop them.

And don't even get me started about the Dawgs and his love for the sports programs. One thing I remember most is how during a football game, I would be in the stands and he would be filming the game high up on the press box, the Dawgs would be on defense on he would yell for God and everybody to hear, "Ya'll watch out!! He's gonna chunk it!!" Everyone around me would laugh and pat me on the back. All I could do is duck and cover!

Thank you for being such a good friend to my father. I'm sure you and he formed a bond between the two of you because of ham radios and electronics. At his funeral I remember there was a huge flower arrangement that was shaped like the Booster Stadium scoreboard that said "Heaven 7, Earth 0". That summed up my father's 53 years in Lyons, Georgia.

Billy Yarbrough III, Class of '65

(Posted by Patsy Wilds Wallace, Class of '67, who worked for several years selling tickets at the Pal Theater.)

Yes, Robert, Billy Yarbrough was a great person. I practically grew up at the Pal Theatre and with the Yarbroughs, not knowing I would eventually be a member of the family.

In the summer of 1962 Mr. Yarbrough gave me my first job. I thought selling tickets at the Pal was the best thing I had ever done. I continued working at the theatre until I graduated from high school in 1967. By that time I had met Mr. Yarbrough's nephew, Bill Wallace from Valdosta Ga. He had come to Lyons in the summer of 1963 for a one week visit with his uncle and cousins (Mr. Yarbrough, Becky, Billy, Dale and Mitch.) He met me and was in Lyons every chance he got until we married in June of 1967 (What can I say, he was smitten over me!) That was over 34 years ago. So you see Billy Yarbrough was a big influence on my life also.

Robert don't forget the movies Old Yeller (1957), To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) and of course Gone With The Wind (1939). Back then you could walk down the streets without worry.   Those were the days!

I think Billy Yarbrough touched many hearts in his day. Thanks Uncle Billy for all you did for me.

Patsy Wilds Wallace, Class of '67.

A Treasure Trove of Memories

There is a treasure trove of memories stored away in the closets of LHS alumni. Just before the November 27, 2004 all year reunion, while visiting my mother, my wife Debbie was helping her clean out her closets and she discovered a photo album I made while a Junior at LHS. At the time I was serving on the Mastiff Staff and taking campus pictures for the annual. Let see if you enjoy seeing these photos again as much as I did.  --Larry Griggers, Class of '66, Webmaster

Outdoor pep rallies were a great way to get fired up for a ball game, especially the hot rivalry between the Lyons Bulldogs and the Vidalia Indians. These pep rallies often took place just outside the canteen by the breezeway.

"You are NOT going to take my picture, are you?" Cathy McArthur aims a questioning look at the photographer.

Coach Mac Morrison taught World History and was very popular among the students.

Notice that all the typewriters were manual. There was one Selectric Typewriter that arrived in 1965 that was electric. It had a little ball that spun around and positioned the proper letter over the paper. That was real progress. Mr. Archie Toler taught the class.

Roland Bass, Ronnie Stewart and Pete Wright in the Breezeway.

Everybody had some place to be most of the time, but those recesses allowed a few minutes to just do what you wanted to do.

The entrance to the canteen was a center of campus activity and the place to be during recess.

Mr. Jack Sapp taught Industrial Arts at Lyons High.

You should have been in this class when the debate started over the color of the inside of a watermelon. Anybody remember?

Reading, writing and arithmetic. English class was as important then as it is now.

Notice the dress and the hairstyles. Each era adopts its own look and that was ours.

Susan Coleman and Shawnee Merritt are waiting after class for a ride home in my new 1964 Ford Galaxy 500 with four barrel carburetor and 390 cubic inch engine .... remember how we were so proud of our wheels? A car to a teenager guy meant freedom and independence and it really attracted the girls.

Color film wasn't the best back in those days, but it gives you a more realistic view of life on campus. That's Tim Palmer coming down the steps. Might be Fran Pugsley in the white sweater sitting to his right. Sitting with her might be Cherry Boatright. John Todd is drinking a coke while chatting with David Thigpen. Greg Wilkes is in the tan sweater further right holding a coke.

Earldeen Todd is facing left. Patsy Wilds is sitting on the steps. Lamar Mosley is holding a coke. Remember the patches on the elbows of the sweaters like Roland Bass is wearing (back to us).

Who were the red devils? I remember the pep rally, but I can't remember the name of the team. Can you?

Mr. J. H. Collins teaches us about the periodic chart of the atoms. The year following when this picture was taken, he would become the principal of Lyons High School after the death of Mr. Sam Jones.

Cherry Boatright, Deloris Thompson, ???, David Thigpen, Wayne Jarrell discuss the latest campus gossip.

The teachers always sat at this table in the lunch room. Coach Bill Schofield, Jack Sapp, J. H. Collins, ???, and Coach Mac Morrison discuss their strategy for salvaging this generation of students!

Sue McCumbers and Billy Yarbrough enjoy some first class food (yeah right). Remember those milk containers?

We were a group of level headed young men and women who had their priorities in order and knew exactly where we were going. Just ask  Linda McKinley and Carol Mosley.

The field trip combined an adventure with a learning experience and was both fun and educational. The Class of '65 and '66 took a trip to Savannah to tour a museum, the Dixie Crystal Plant and Union Camp.

Everyone arrives at the Union Camp Paper Mill in Savannah for a tour of one of the largest makers of paper and paper bags in the country. Their bags used to be found at every grocery store.

We were real honored to have Edith Bunker join us on the boat ride. Just kidding, that's Mrs. Brown.

Mr. J. H. Collins describes the industry along the Savannah River, but .....

"Well, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!" Mr. Collins comes downside to listen to the music.

Hanging out at the drug store after school was a lot of fun. The Shuman girls enjoyed it. Shown here are Tina, Madeline and Pat.

Did you know Coach Morrison's first name was Malcolm? Maybe that's why he adopted the nickname "Mac". He made all the hearts of the high school girls go pitter patter.

Check out those sunglasses! Jane Spell, Deloris Thompson, Nancy Truax, Fran Pughsley, Jan James and Marijon Meadows show off the latest in eye wear.

... most of the classmates were more attracted to the onboard juke box than to the sights. John Todd and Mike Dickerson are dropping in the quarters.

Of course when the teachers come inside, the kids head outside. We weren't moving very fast here. All the weight of the guys in the bow of the boat had the propeller barely in the water!

Coach Mac Morrison shows the kids how to do it. That's Linda Register on the right.

If you tuned in to WBBT during 1965, one of the DJ's you might hear was your very own Webmaster, Larry Griggers. All programming in those days was live. We played 45's and 33 1/3 RPM music. Commercials were on cartridges or on reel to reel tape players. It was a fun time for me.

Wonder if any of our actors went on to act as adults?

Yes, that is Ronnie Stewart (Class of '65) in a dress. It was the senior class play, but nobody at the 2004 reunion could remember the name of the play. Can you? It had to be a hoot.

A fitting way to end these pictures from 1965 would be to show some graduation pictures for the Class of '65.

The graduation was held in the Lyons High School Gym with only fans for cooling. There wasn't a lot of air conditioning available in those days. We were accustomed to the heat.

My brother Johnny Griggers marches in to sit with his class.