Some Smart Guys: Time to list Merit names on plaque at high school
The recognition of our resident NHS genius, Jonathon Lance, the first National Merit Scholar in many moons has elicited memories by some geezers who actually remember other winners and who say that young Lance is joining elite company.
My own classmate, Jimmy Chandler, was a finalist winner who went to the UofA, thence to UAMS and retired after a career as a physician in the US Navy. Another classmate, Rufus Hallmark, moved away during our senior year. He actually graduated high school in North Carolina but we claim him anyway. He was also a finalist and used his scholarship to go to Davidson College, thence to Boston University and Princeton. He is still a perfessor of music at Rutgers. That would have been two from the class of ’61.
A couple of years before my class, tall J. Hearn Latimer was a finalist winner and got mutiple degrees from MIT. He tracked satellites for MIT and the Smithsonian Institution.
From the class of 1962, Jim McClure used his Merit finalist scholarship to get degrees in engineering from the UofA. Jim, unfortunately, went off to Texas to carve out a career and is therefore ashamed to come home to face his old neighborhood buddies.
Also from the class of 1962, Mike Byrd used his National Merit scholarship to get a bachelors degree in physics and a masters degree in English from MIT. He’s a lawyer in Calfornia now.
One thing each of these gents had in common was music. Latimer played coronet in the Scrapper band, and he even wrote a whimsical piece of music for the band and we tried to play it. Chandler played the flute and piano, and also wrote original music. He also played piano for weekly Rotary Club meetings. McClure played trombone in the Scrapper band, and he was also an athlete. Byrd played clarinet in the band. And Jonathon Lance is also in the Scrapper band.
One of the winners I contacted said he couldn’t remember if he was a finalist or semi-finalist. Another said that if you actually got the scholarship it meant that you were a finalist winner.
Who am me — a person who had to beg to get his high school diploma — to argue with such brilliant minds?
I’ll bet both of my regular readers will remember other National Merit Scholarship finalists from Nashville or Blevins, Murfreesboro, Mineral Springs, Dierks, Lockesburg or Saratoga schools. If you do, please let me know at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d like to mention their names and the year.
It might be a good idea to put a plaque in the hallway of NHS with names of all our National Merit Scholarship winners.
Meanwhile, congratulations to Jonathon Lance. You have made us all very proud.
On my way to give blood at Center Point, last Tuesday, I watched in amazement as a large bald eagle flew overhead. On my way back to Nashville about 90 minutes (and 1/2 gallon of blood) later, I saw more eagles flying overhead at the same spot.
Like me, maybe you’ve notice that our town’s Donny Woods has switched to bowties. He’s always been a fastidious dresser, usually seen at work at his accounting firm wearing a starched white shirt and a colorful tie.
I asked someone at his workplace: Why the change to bowties?
Recently his tie got caught in the paper shredder. It actually happened twice. One tie was destroyed completely; another one was salvaged. I wasn’t told if Donny’s life was ever in danger from the shredder but I can imagine someone frantically trying to undo a Windsor knot as his throat was pulled nearer to the blades. After the second entanglement he made the fashion switch.
Next time you encounter Donny you might compliment him on his choice of bowties. Don’t mention the shredder.
A FIRE RAGES. My mouth is still smoking from chili sampled Friday at the annual Vietnam Veterans Chili Cookoff on the campus of Texarkana College. I go to that event each year with former Nashville Police Chief Larry Yates who was a Military Policeman in Vietnam. This year we decided to sample the chili from a booth sponsored by an East Texas rural fire department. I stoopidly did not ask if their “Roadkill” chili was hot or mild.
Guess which. It was so spicy I had to toss it in the trash and go back for a bowl from a booth manned by some older guys. Their chili was just fine, but it could not put out the fire from the first batch.
It was all valuable training for Saturday’s chili and soup supper at Center Point.
PUNS AND adult truths from my piano friend at Fellowship: If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.
HE SAID: “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” Buddha, philosopher
SHE SAID: “We need to teach the next generation of children from day one that they are responsible for their lives. Mankind’s greatest gift, also its greatest curse, is that we have free choice. We can make our choices built from love or from fear. ” Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, psychiatrist
DO YOU READ THIS COLUMN ONLINE? If so, leave a comment for me and I’ll keep your name out of next week’s Court Docket. Or I’ll be glad to insert it with the crime of your choice.
SWEET DREAMS, Baby