Category Archives: Still Magnolias

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 – Way Back Wednesday and Where’s Wanda?

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 – Way Back Wednesday and Where’s Wanda?

Let’s get in the Wayback Machine and return to Magnolia, Texas to the year 1957. We are sitting in Mrs. Shannon’s second grade classroom. It is an ordinary day of arithmetic, coloring and reading groups according to one’s reading level. (Blue Birds, Red Birds and Black Birds – aka Buzzards.)

Suddenly striking fear in to the heart of every child, standing at the classroom door – NOOOOO! – IT’S NURSE RUBY BRASWELL! She was the original Nurse Ratchet. Time for immunizations!

There we stood – lined up in alphabetical order – Carraway, Day, Dean, Duffey… Harper, Lloyd, Rickett and Wade.

The MHS Class of 1967 – Began Grade 1 and graduated from Grade 12 – Magnolia ISD. Photo 2007.

The Bingles, Bundages, Calverts, Carringtons, Clarks, The Glass Twins, the Jacobs, the Horaces, the Lyons, the Millings, the Townsends, the Rosses and the others would join us later in our fear or at least tales of Nurse Braswell. But back to the Grade Two.

In the second grade you are old enough to know that crying upon being stabbed in the arm with an ice pick in the rough, field, looking hands of Nurse Ruby is not an option. Slowly we marched single file down the dark cool hallway of Magnolia Elementary School awaiting our fate and trying not to pee in our pants out of fear.

The line was to stop just outside Nurse B’s office. She would step into her office, get our student record folder, and grab the shot needle. As our name was called, we were to step forward, take the giant hypodermic needle in our left arm and not flinch or scream and then return to our classroom.

Nurse called “Carroway,” and Lucille stepped bravely forward and stoically thrust out her left bicep. As she did, Day, very calmly walked out the front door out of the building, down the cement steps, down the red brick sidewalk, around the creosote post and was calmly walking across the parking lot when Nurse Braswell, folder and needle in hand yelled, “DAY? WANDA DAY? Where’s Wanda?”

At this point, Nurse Braswell makes a wrong decision and goes back to the hallway looking for Wanda. Not finding her Nurse B. returns to the silent line of second graders demanding to know “Where is Wanda?” As if choreographed, the entire line lifts right arms and point out side.

There’s Wanda. By this time, Wanda was almost in front of my old house (now the Catholic Church) continuing to calmly walk down the highway.

I do not remember what happened after that. Poor Wanda was probably caught, returned to the principal’s, office and still got shot in the arm. I just remember thinking “Go Wanda. I hope you make it.”  I do not think the rest of us were immunized that day. If no one has ever thanked you, Wanda, I am thanking you now for no shots that day and such a great memory.

And we’re back to the present.

I hope wherever you are Wanda, that you are still as brave today as you were back then.

Page from 1966 MHS Yearbook. Nurse Braswell in the lower left – still torturing children – now with electric things.

Friday, December 24, 2017 – The Assist. BA, Curtyce Knox and Still Magnolias.

Friday, February 24, 2017 – The Assist. BA, Curtyce Knox and Still Magnolias.

1.1 seconds left in the game; Tigers behind by one. BA inbounds the ball to Petey; HE SHOOTS; HE SCORES! TIGERS WIN! TIGERS WIN! Their first bi-district championship in ten years. Petey is mobbed by his teammates in victory.

Few people remember “the assist.” It is like life. People only remember the virtuoso piano player and not the piano tuner. Petey scored the winning basket, but it was the perfect inbounds pass that allowed Petey to win the game for the team. It is about the assists in life that matter.

This is Curtyce Knox, point guard of the Texas Aggie Women’s Basketball team.

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Last night she set a record for all time assists in women’s basketball at Texas A&M. She currently leads the SEC in assists per game with 9.5. She also leads the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball teams in assists per game. And currently there are only three NBA players who have more assists per game. She is a finalist for the Lieberman Award for best point guard in women’s basketball.

Like many of us, Curtyce could be living a very different life had it not been for assists along the way to help her stay on course, achieve her goals and dreams and become the graduate of Texas A&M she is today. Curtyce is currently in graduate school. You can read more about Curtyce at: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/aggies/article/Curtyce-Knox-and-daughter-a-welcome-sight-at-10952286.php

And this brings us to Still Magnolias. There are many students in today’s high schools like Petey and Curtyce. The BAs in school have opportunities and the assistance to take advantage of them. The Petey’s and Curtyce’s are fragile. Opportunities are sometimes limited at best. A social upheaval of any kind can take those away in an instance.

Unless someone can step in to assist. That is what Still Magnolias is all about. Funds to the Magnolia Education Foundation to Still Magnolias provide assistance that can provide opportunities for students at Magnolia High School to stay on target to achieve their goals.

If you graduated from Magnolia High School, you are a Still Magnolia. Please consider helping with ideas, suggestions, and of course dollars. It all goes to assist a future Still Magnolia.

The BA is Baylor bound gnephew # 3. WTG BA.

Curtyce is bound for the WNBA or overseas basketball ball and then a career of whatever she wants to do.

Petey – we’ll see.

Still Magnolias – you can help in many ways. Let us hear from you.

Thursday, February 16, 2017 – Watch This Space

Thursday, February 16, 2017 – Watch This Space and Trivia: What year was the town of Magnolia incorporated?

I am off to a lunch with The Still Magnolias. Still Magnolias represented all graduates from Magnolia High School in Magnolia, Texas.

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These are fun times filled with laugher and great stories. Stay tuned andperhaps I will relate a Magnolia story later.

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Answer to trivia: The town of Magnolia was incorporated in 1968.

Thursday, January 19, 2017 – Get a Cause Because. Happy Birthday, Dolly Parton!

Thursday, January 19, 2017 – Get a Cause Because. Happy Birthday, Dolly Parton!

Here’s what I’m thinking today. You should get a cause and support it in the best ways you can. Two of my causes are We Back Pat and Still Magnolias.

Thank you Algers, for being in Tennessee the day it after Coach Summitt's announcement and buying me this shirt.

Thank you Algers, for being in Tennessee the day it after Coach Summitt’s announcement and buying me this shirt.

We Back Pat honors the legendary Tennessee basketball coach Pat Summitt. This week SEC women’s basketball teams honor Coach Summitt with all teams wearing We Back Pat shirts. This week also announces the opening of the Pat Summitt Foundation. Please join me in this cause to find treatment and more importantly a cure for Alzheimers. http://patsummitt.org/

If you can’t find a cause you like, then start one you do like. Let’s hear for the Still Magnolias!!! It all starts with an idea. The Still Magnolias started with “wouldn’t it be nice if we could do something for our high school and 50th year of graduation?”

Because of your faith in us and your generosity and with the help of the Magnolia Independent School District and the Magnolia Education Foundation, The Still Magnolias were able to award two academic scholarships to Magnolia High School graduating seniors AND to start a program at MHS to provide assistance to current students. We named the program The Molly Memorial although the name could have been any classmate. This year we want to do more to help make the world a better place for those MHS students who now walk the hallways with the same Bulldog tenacity and spirit we once did. It is a chance to honor and/or remember someone who made a difference in your life in Magnolia, Texas by influencing others.

There are many ways you can get involved. When scholarship applications arrive this spring, we will need reviewers. Last year Still Magnolias were the only group who also awarded T-shirts to the kids’ chosen college. They loved it! We are always looking for ideas, directions, thoughts and most of all prayers.

Of course the bottom line always comes down to money. If you have a few spare dollars or that change in the jar, please consider donating to The Molly Memorial. Message me for submission and tax deductible forms.

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Ann Richards Inauguration – Frank Erwin Center – Austin, Texas – date: long ago when Texas was Blue. Photo by me.

Happy Birthday Dolly Parton! Them girls from Tennessee are tough ain’t they?

 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 – The Breakfast Club and J. L. McCullough High School -1976-1980

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 – The Breakfast Club and J. L. McCullough High School -1976-1980

Let’s get in the Way Back Machine and get our plaid on and go back to the REALLY bright and colorful halls of J. L. McCullough High School during the 1970’s. Stay calm, there will not be photographs.

I usually do not like movies about public schools because they tend to be unrealistic. Of course with Bad Teacher being an exception. I love the movie The Breakfast Club directed by the great John Hughes. It reminds me of every student who attended McC. It also reminds me of the first time I saw the movie with so many McC teachers who screamed “Karl” when the AP appears in his leisure suit – except it was not lime green.

Actually the movie reminds me of every student then and now and how many are forgotten for so many reasons.

Dear Mr. Vernon, We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it is we did wrong, but we think you’re crazy for making us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us, in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out, is that each one of us is a

brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal. Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, The Breakfast Club

Bonus Question: Who sang Don’t You Forget About Me?

Answer: Simple Minds.

Speaking of simple minds, I wonder if the proposed Secretary of Education has ever seen The Breakfast Club?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 – Still Magnolias are Gathering for Fun, Food and Fellowship

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 – Still Magnolias are Gathering for Fun, Food and Fellowship

“I am so excited; I just can’t hide it; I’m about to lose control and I think I like it” I’m so excited I might be a Pointer Sister. There are so many Magnolia High School graduates planning to attend an upcoming function. If you haven’t heard about it, here is a big Bulldog reminder – Pretend you hear Mr. Lyon over the speaker system:

Still Magnolias, graduates from any year from Magnolia High School, are gathering for a fun lunch at The Farmhouse Café in Huntsville, Texas (by The Walls) on Thursday, January 26 at 11:30.

Please give an RSVP so Pat H. can get a head count. This will also ensure there is plenty of the special of the day – roast beef and potatoes and that there is plenty of lemon pie.

Also, spread the word; let others know. If you are unable to make this lunch, we will catch you next time. These get togethers are good for the soul. They are like a giant high school reunion on a band trip. We hope you can attend. Pat, Dyan, Linda, Karen, and Dianne J. will twirl fire batons after the lunch in the parking lot.

One more announcement, Delia, your purse is hanging outside Mr. Wax’s room. Please get it before you go home.

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The Class of 1967 in 2004 (?) Look at my angelic pose – What the hell was that all about?

 

Thursday, August 25, 2016 – Pick up Your Class Schedule in Mr. Lyon’s Office. Or Girls Don’t Take Physics!

Thursday, August 25, 2016 – Pick up Your Class Schedule in Mr. Lyon’s Office. Or Girls Don’t Take Physics!

The way back school bus takes us back to August 1966 to Magnolia High School, Magnolia, Texas.

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To register for your classes at MHS one stopped by Mr. Lyon’s office and picked up the class schedule he had prepared for you. When you walked in he handed you a form that listed (in cursive handwriting) what classes you would take. Mine looked something like:

Homemaking IV – Brown

Civics – Forgot the coach’s name

Typing II – Traugh

Bookkeeping – Coach Jackson

Shorthand – Graves

English IV – Traugh

And

Band – Ayers.

As Paul Harvey used to say “And now the rest of the story.”

I stared at the classes listed. Mr. Lyon asked “Is something wrong?” To this day I get a lump in my throat same as the day 50 years ago when I timidly replied “I want to take Mr. Michael’s physics class.”

Mr. L. – Why? Girls don’t take or need physics. You will be better served taking girl type classes like bookkeeping, typing and shorthand. Why on earth would you want to take physics?

Me: (Stammering and about to throw up) – I like science. I am going to college and want to be a doctor and I think physics might be more helpful.

Mr. L – (Smiling) – No, girls do not need math or physics.

I held back the tears until I walked out of his office and down the hallway passed Mr. Michael’s classroom. By the time I was over the little steps, to my house and almost to my room I was in full fledge teenage girl hysterical mode. My mother was right behind me.

Mama: What’s wrong?

Me: Mr. Lyon will not let me take physics!

Mama: Why not?

Me: Because I am a girl!

I doubt Mama even knew what physics was. All she knew was that the Princess was not getting to do something she wanted to do. Within minutes she had changed from her duster, changed from her house shoes into real shoes and she and I were headed over the little steps and back to Mr. L’s office.

I have no recollection of the discussion – only the result.

Mr. L – OK, Delia, you can take physics if you get another girl to take it with you and you have to go across the hall and tell Celeste why you are not taking her shorthand class. Sidebar: I can still see and hear Celeste say “What do you mean, Rosie, you are not taking my shorthand class?” That was scarier than Mr. Lyon and my mother made me go alone to tell her. FYI – Only Celeste is allowed to call me Rosie.

The other girl? Molly Harper who BTW did take Celeste’s shorthand class.

Today I look back and remember Molly and the two of us taking physics together. I realize just how gifted and talented Molly was. We would have made a great Leonard Hofstadter and Sheldon Cooper – the experimental physicist and the theoretical physicist. This is in spite of the fact the other five or six people in the physics class usually sabotaged our experiments. They shall remain nameless, but had last names that rhymed with: Lyon, Dean, Glass, Glass, and Clark.

Mr. Lyon  – up there in Principal Heaven – I would go on to take three college level physics courses – 3 hours shy from a minor. One of my professors was female. I did become a doctor, but not the kind that gives shots – the kind I originally want to be. I am the kind that reads and writes.

When I relate this story to great nieces and other young girls, they stare at me in disbelief. This is not to be confused with great nephew # 3 – Conroe High Graduating Class of 2017. He picked up a CD in my car one day and asked “What is Motown?” I cannot begin to describe the look of disbelief on his face when I said “At one time black and white people did not listen to the same type of music. Motown changed all of that.”

The years 1966 and 1967. “ For the times they were a changin.” Even in Magnolia, Texas. We are now at your bus stop. Step off carefully.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 –Band Talk – Eight to Five. Six to Five and Step Off with Your Left Foot or Dear Mr. Ayers.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 –Band Talk – Eight to Five. Six to Five and Step Off with Your Left Foot or Dear Mr. Ayers.

Dear Mr. Ayers,

After 50 years, please accept my apology for cutting band practice that night and going to the football scrimmage in Montgomery that Friday. Drum Major made me do it! For the other five girls I cannot offer an excuse as why they were crammed into her car that evening.

I also do not know whose bright idea it was for all of us to march in single file and sit on the 50 yard line in the bleachers at the scrimmage – directly in front of Mr. Lyon. Please know, Mr. A. that I have probably repressed which one of us tried to answer Mr. L. when he leaned forward and tapped Drum Major on the shoulder and asked “Aren’t you girls supposed to be at band practice?” I seem to recall the response was “Uhhhh….?” Therefore, it is likely I was the one trying to speak.

Of course, you know that by nine o’clock that evening everybody but me was grounded and expelled from school for two weeks. I wasn’t grounded because Princess’ mother was out of town and would not be back until Sunday. Thank goodness there was no texting at the time. Before Bonanza came on TV on Sunday night she knew the whole story though. We were already in trouble and had not even been to class. School started the next day.

News travelled faster than the time Drum Major made me skip Sunday School and go to Yancy’s Café and drink a co-cola from the fountain with our church money. “We would only be gone about 30 minutes,” she said. Half an hour later at the front door on the steps of the Magnolia Methodist Church watching us return from Yancy’s stood our mothers. This was why we sang in choir. Our mothers could see us.

This is not to be confused with the fact that my father was the treasurer for the church and pretty much knew before the collection plates went up and down the pews exactly how much money would be in the total for each Sunday. He would miss my Methodist 10% tithe and offering.

I don’t know who had the bright idea to reduce the expulsion from school for two weeks to “expelled” from band for two weeks. I am pretty confident it was not you, Mr. A. I was really looking forward to starting school toward the end of September. Wonder who it might have been? Traugh? Burnside? Wax? Michael? Kitty Brown? Mr. Lyon? Check my John Wax math. If there were 120 students in grades 9 through 12 and seven were not present for the first two weeks of school, what is the closest percentage of the high school that would be missing? Hint: 10 school days. I hope you are not waiting for me to figure this out. Remember? Back then, girls did not need to know math or physics. I will choose answer C – almost 16% of the high school would be absent.

Obviously it was Drum Major’s fault that I skipped events when I should have been in attendance. To paraphrase from Young Frankenstein – “It could have been worse. It could have been raining.” Oh wait. It was. It rained the night of the first football game. Magnolia v. Tomball at Magnolia. As if we weren’t being punished enough by parental units and school units, God stopped the light rain just before half-time so the band could march. Drum Major and I sat on the bench side by side in uniform surrounded by the rest on the 50 Yard line so all of Magnolia and Tomball Texas could ask “How come they aren’t marching?”

As I said, you can always tell a Senior, but you cannot tell one much. Thank you teachers. Sometimes you can fix stupid if you are not too ignorant to learn.

Go Bulldogs,

Miss Magnolia, 1967

PS – Here is a photo of my clarinet.

Clarinet lamp (511x772)It plays much better as a lamp. Please know that within the first six weeks of college at SFA, I discovered I could play something on any instrument with strings in just a matter of weeks. Oh no. How I learned to play guitar is a result of being somewhere I was not supposed to be too. Maybe another time for that story.

 

Monday, August 22, 2016 – What Were You Doing 50 Years Ago Today? School Starts Today! Climb Aboard The Way Back School Bus.

Monday, August 22, 2016 – What Were You Doing 50 Years Ago Today? School Starts Today! Climb Aboard The Way Back School Bus.

If you lived in Magnolia, Texas you were about to start your senior year in high school at Magnolia High School. Seniors of what would become the Magnolia High School Graduating Class of 1967 were participating in one of the following activities two weeks before classes began. Sidebar: This was back in the day when people had good sense and schools started after Labor Day.

Rolling down the sacred halls of memories, the MHS Seniors were doing one of the following.

  1. Practicing marching band on the gravel in the hot sun behind the band hall.
  2. Practicing new twirling routines in front of the auditorium in the shade.
  3. Practicing new cheers in front of the band hall in the shade.
  4. Practicing football on the practice field in the sun. It was actually called the baseball field, but MHS did not have a baseball team. It was mostly a dusty pasture like area.
  5. Practicing what every high school student knows. You can always tell a Senior, but you cannot tell one much.

I suppose The MHS Class of 67 was like all 17 and 18 year olds. We knew everything worth knowing and our parents were as stupid as a box of rocks. We knew everything from three TV channels that went off the air at midnight and returned at some unholy hour of the morning like 6:00 AM. We also knew everything because there were these things that were called books and magazines and other items that did not plug in a wall socket or need to charge at night.

We walked to school five miles one way in sleet and snow … OK I walked to school when the sun was shining. If you lived in Magnolia between 1956 and 1967, you know where I lived. Sidebar: We lived at The Sawmill in 1955 in case you were trying to do the John Wax math.

Many have since reminded me – “Your bedroom was almost in Room 10.”

If it was cold or raining, my mother took the princess to school. By the time we got to the detached garage and in the car, I could have been on the front row in Room 10. By the time she drove me the equivalent of one half football field in length to the front of the high school building, I could have already been on the front row of Mrs. Traugh’s classroom or Mr. Wax’s classroom down by the auditorium – the length of the high school hallway. Actually, there was only one hallway. It was the length of the entire building except for the auditorium.

Fifty years ago. As the great 20th Century philosopher Jimmy Buffet says: We are the people our parents warned us about.

Car Plate

Note the handicap license plate. Jimmy Buffet concert, Austin, Tx 2013. Photo by me.

Wow. If I knew then what I know now. I knew everything in August of 1966. To the Magnolia High School Graduating Class of 1967 and the Magnolia High School Graduating Class of 2017 here are some back to school words of wisdom. They come from another great 20th century philosopher who said in 1964…

“…you better start swimmin’

Or you’ll sink like a stone

For the times they are a-changin’”

Had I only listened. You can always tell a Senior, but you cannot tell one much.

OK – Everybody off the bus. Go Bulldogs!

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A corner in my office.