Tales of the Springs

From members of the Class of ‘59




(v. 08.0502a)

(from Steve Coleman)

The spot was "Ben's Barn", just down the road from "The Clover Club".

Even rougher than you described it. Lasted until 4-5 years ago, I think.



(from Steve Coleman)

Weren't there some similar stories about Nola's in English Village? I remember going to visit Walter Patton in the summer of '59. John Fuller and Billy Slaughter and Bill King and I drove down to visit because Walter's mother was away. There was a roadhouse kind of place down there, like The Club or Nola's, and it was frequented by a really rough bunch.  Patton, Fuller, Slaughter, King and I went to the place fairly late at night, but they wouldn't go in. Instead, since I was the biggest, I was made to go in and make a purchase "to go".  "Don't look at anybody or speak to anybody but the bartender," they said. "Just go in and buy the beer and leave..." When I came back out they were very relieved, not because I survived, but because I had the beer!  When I think now of the places I went into four or five years later when I was in the Navy, that place seemed pretty tame, but from a teenager's standpoint, it was kinda scary.     Steve



(from Allen Hill) In the meantime, a few memories have crossed my mind which can be shared now. You suggested that we send a few by email. So here are mine:


1.  Occassionally rushing to sit at Mr. Moore's table, taking the last available chair, so that Dik-Dik or Roland Rice would have to sit somewhere else.

2.  Midnight basketball in the gym.

3.  The French tables.

4.  The raft.

5.  Coffee cake.

6.  Roving.

7.  D-Day.

8.  The Cyclotrons and the Trojans. Can't recall the others.

9.  The ripple tank.

10. Mr. Mason's face when he was angry.

11. Dudley McGuire.

12. Coveting a room with a semiprivate bath in the Coburn wing.

13. College Boards, as they were called then.

14. Lights out.

15. Hearts games after lunch.

16. Candy sold through a Dutch door in the gym.

17. Smoking permission.

18. The sound of "Birdie" Baird walking in the library. I can

only describe it as "shish, shish, KLOP,  KLOP, shish,

shish, KLOP, KLOP."


(From M.D. Smith) OK, Allen, you asked for tales we can remember
from our ISS days, here's another one. MDS

I think the Chemistry professor's name was Dr. Eller. He opened up the semester giving us the same lecture that for just doing the requirements, we'd get a "C" and to get a "B" or "A" would depend on enrichment projects and outside work that we did.

Then, not long after that, when we were talking about combining elements to make other things, he made a flat statement that "the first student to make IRON out of Iron Oxide and other elements would get an "A" for the semester. "

I immediately started studying up on what it took to make Iron and got my fair measure of Iron Oxide to take home that weekend. That night, I added some burnt matches for charcoal (which was required) and I knew it would take a LOT of heat. I got out my father's portable Arc-welder (which just happened to have carbon arc tips on it) drew a great arc and started to apply the furious heat to the mixture in a crucible. Well, it was not long before I had a little blob of something hard in the bottom of the crucible. I was sure it was iron.

I took it to school the next day and proudly displayed it to Dr. Eller. He was suitable impressed and walked over to one of the windows in the chem. lab, and dragged it against a window (like you might do a diamond). It did scratch the window.

He was impressed and I was glowing. I had that "A" in my pocket and I beat Rick Crosby to be FIRST with my making of iron from iron ore. Then he asked me how I did it and I explained. He said that was not the "right" process and it should not have worked at all. He said it was probably the carbon tips of the arc welder that had done the trick, but that in any event, it was not the way a chemistry manual would explain how it was done.

Rick came in later or the next day, and demonstrated for the class how he mixed up a batch of iron ore, some kind of powdered carbon and some other chemicals that were flammable, lit the whole thing,  it spewed brightly for a few moments and when it died out in the crucible, there was another little puddle of iron, almost exactly like mine. He said Rick had done it right.

I was furious. He had not said HOW we had to make iron from iron ore, just that we had to do it. I had done it, I did it first and by God I wanted my "A". He told me he could not assure that I would get an A for the class.  Much later in the semester, I asked him what my grade was looking like, and he said a "B" or "B+". I once again reminded him of his promise and my performance at the first of the year. He allowed as how I was a very good chemistry student, seemed to love the work (hell yes, I loved to see things dissolve in Aqua-regia like rings and frogs and stuff - and I learned how to make Nitro and other wonderful explosives) BUT my test grades were just not quite up to an "A" and my outside work was just not quite there either. He encouraged me not to quit all I was doing. I certainly contemplated doing just that. But I did just keep plugging along, resigned that what teachers promised was not always the truth (or that I should always ask to read the fine print and details) about that automatic A. Well, the course ended, and of course, Rick Crosby DID get an A in Chemistry. I was not sure if it was because he made the iron "correctly" or just worked harder.

However... all said and done. I got an "A" in Chemistry.


(from John Badham (’57)  


Was this Dr Sipe that you are referring to? Or Mr Coburn? If there was an Eller he was after my time (class of 57). I could believe your story about either one of those goofballs. 



(From Allen Hill) In our sophomore year, flattop Coburn told us to pick a special project and turn it in by 3:00 P.M. on such and such a date. I decided to draw 4 cavemen on a window shade, Neanderthal, etc.

I drew and drew, copying from various scholarly works. But alas, I was so perfectionistic (not that ISS stressed that) that I did not finish on time. I turned my project in 15 MINUTES late.

Mr. Coburn sucked on his pipe and told me I was " too late." He refused to accept my project at all.  I got a "F."

Obviously, Ted was trying to teach me about the outside world, and the necessity of being on time when you were in business. What did he know of the outside world, I ask?

What I later found was that in the business world, most people and presentations are at least 15 minutes late. So I still say to Ted, GET A REAL JOB, MAN!!

But by the same token, I say, "hey, Ted, I love you man." No hard feelings. Teachers don't know everything. But I do.


(from Allan Cruse)

Thanks for your story about Ted Cobun -- and his reaction to your Neanderthal that he received a few minutes late.  These "Tales of The 'Springs" are great for getting us in the mood for May 15.

Do you remember Joe Payne? He was our Algebra I teacher in ninth grade math class. Like yours, my story isn't a funny one, but it is a true one.

I generally went home to Springville on weekends during my freshman year as a boarding student at ISS, and was taken on these occasions to Sunday School by my parents (whether I needed it or not). A lot of stuff happened at Sunday School that had nothing to do with Jesus or the Ten Commandments.

One Sunday Springville's basketball coach was impressing and amazing all of us 14-year olds, who had been sent to attend his Sunday School lesson, by reciting to us the following arithmetic puzzle:

Think of a number, any number, say between one and ten, but don't tell me what it is.
Now add it to its square. Got it? Now divide that sum by the original number.  Now take away your original number from the answer you just got. Do you think I will be able to guess your result? Yes I can! It's equal to one.

Astounding! How could he guess that result without knowing my original number? everyone was asking.

Later that afternoon my parents drove me back to 'Springs in time for Sunday evening supper at the Dining Hall. All the while my Dad was driving I kept thinking about that puzzle, and even dreamed about it later that night.

The next morning I woke up with a flash of insight. Thanks to Joe Payne's class I had the idea of using 'x' as a symbol to represent the original undisclosed number. When I worked out each step of the puzzle in terms of 'x', all the mystery abruptly disappeared. It was just an algebraical identity, so of course the final answer wouldn't depend in any way on knowing what the original value of 'x' was:

[ ( x + x*x ) / x ] - x = 1

I was quite excited to have figured this out using algebra, and I remember going to tell Joe Payne about it when I got to his class that Monday morning.

He seemed quite pleased to hear my story and said it was an example of "effective thinking" on my part.

I guess what's funny, Allen, if anything, about these small incidents, is how long they seem to stick in memory, for good or for ill. Here it is, more than forty years later, yet a simple remark by a long-ago teacher still is so vivid.


(From Steve Coleman)
One of the things I recall about Ted C. Coburn was that at as mid-year sophomores, we collectively seemed to have developed a negative attitude toward him. I took it upon myself to confer with him about some of his teaching techniques that I thought were alienating him from his students. I went over and met with him in his Commons Room and Mrs. Coburn came in, too. Seeking to be his friend and advisor, I told him a few things he could change that would make the class like him better. He tried to laugh it all off, but I kept going in earnest, and I think it shook him up.

Can you imagine my gall? This could have happened only at ISS!  Anyway, not long after that, he came up with his self-study plan and allowed me and a number of others to work on our own biology projects in our rooms or wherever and not attend class. (Seems I also remember performing a little biological self-study on more than one of those out-of-class occasions.) Anyhow, amazingly, I scored a 96 or so on the standardized biology test at the end of the year and made an A. Coburn didn't return the next year. I never knew how much my little talk with him affected that, but I think it had some small effect on him. Looking back, I'm chagrined at my sophomoric arrogance in giving a teacher a few pointers for improving his personality.
However, it also speaks to the wonderful environment of the Springs. Had there been that kind of communication between the trench coat boys of Littleton and their faculty members, maybe the horrible tragedy of April 20th wouldn't have happened. 


(from Allen Hill) In our freshman year, when Mr. Cruse was editor of the Science Newspaper, T. Cobun was faculty advisor, I was a young cub reporter. I wrote science fiction stories.

I wrote one tale of which I was quite proud about a robot named Klax. Old Ted never said he liked it, but upon passing me on the campus shortly thereafter, he looked at me with that crooked grin on his face. Instead of saying "hi'" he said "Klax."   That was quite a compliment.

And that reminds me of a meeting I had with another faculty member at the University of Alabama in my junior year. The meeting was in the office of Dr. John Blackburn, Dean of Men. He said to me, "what are you trying to do, set a school record for cutting classes!'

I was impressed by both men.


(from Allan Cruse)  I remember Klax -- I'm glad to hear you got some acknowledgement for that submission. It occurs to me that we need an "Unsolved Mysteries" thread to your "Tales of the Springs" archive. For example, what WAS the plot to that short story you wrote for Dick Warren, the one he couldn't believe was reality-based?

Here's another mystery-question for someone out there in classmember land. In our senior year Doc changed the school's policy on athletics, to permit ISS to compete with other schools in basketball and, if I recall, soccer. Coach Cameron was in charge of the basketball, and Mr. Pieh managed the soccer. I have a clear recollection that Robinson and Bibb were on the first basketball team, but I'm less clear about whom the other team-members were. Weren't you one of them, Allen? Wasn't Freeman also on that team? Do I remember correctly that Ehney Camp and Kip Porter also were players? Anyway, aside from the question of who was there, do you realize what a "mystery" that whole basketball experience was to most of us who were not among the chosen? It would be quite interesting to hear from some who were there what they recall about it. For most of us, it was a matter of seeing the team arrive back in the middle of supper from yet another triumphal victory over a team at some nearby county school. I seem to remember that Cameron's boys were pretty much invincible. --ALLAN



(From Allen Hill) No response to your basketball question, so I will respond. The basketball team was Charlie, Ehney, Kip, Jesse, Scotty, Sam, Peyton, Ed Lehman, and, of course, moi.

We won all our games (about 10) until the district finals. At that game, old Chromedome embarrassed the subs leaving another indelible impression on yours truly.

We were getting beat at halftime. When the half was over, Coach Fred told the substitutes --Peyton, Ed, and me -- to stay out on the court and shoot baskets while the 1st team went in to meet with him for the old halftime pep talk. Frankly, old Chrome never ever had a pep talk. And more frankly, old Chrome didn't know a thing about basketball, nor have anything to do with the team's success, as I recall. He was blessed with 5 starting athletes (Charlie, Ehney, Kip, Jesse, Scotty) who could play the game with or without him. I know that's hard talk. But, c'est la vie and c'est la fact!

At any rate, Peyton, Ed and I (the subs) were highly embarrassed to be left on the court in plain view of all the world, and excluded from the team, so to speak. Left out on the floor, we were marked as "substitutes" --losers, peripheral, unneeded members of the squad. In our minds, our relatives, our girlfriends, and the opponents all new we were 2nd best.

So for the rest of the game, we rooted for the opposition. Fat Fred said "stop it." We didn't! We were pissed.


(from Allan Cruse)

Your vivid tale about the "basketball mutiny" is fascinating – maybe because, being a teacher myself, I do live in some degree of dread that one day I'll unwittingly commit the sort of blunder that 'Coach' Cameron stumbled into.

Did Fred learn anything from that episode, or was he forever baffled about why you guys rebelled? Did your rooting for the other team cause a rift among your ISS teammembers, or did they understand the humiliation you, Peyton and Ed had been handed? Did 'Doc' hear all about it? If so, was he able to 'see both sides'? And did he leave it up to Fred to try and mend the hurt feelings, or did he try and fix the situation himself? I'm not asking you to answer -- you already exceeded my expectations -- just letting you know your story was a splendid one for arousing interest!


(from Allen Hill)

No, Doc never said anything. Coach Cameron never brought it up. We weren't exactly boisterously mutinous. Just sort of sarcastically mutinous. Old Fred meant well I know, so in my heart of hearts I say, "Fred, @##@^^%&**)($$!@#"

Your responses to my tales amount to playing me like a fiddle, so here's yet another.

Ol' Charlie Red, Jarhead, and I were out on a date. Charlie with Griffie Glasser, Geerome with Joyce, and me with Lindall Barnes. As we pulled into the parking lot of a local dancehall, juke joint, bar called The Lodge, I spied a guy about our age getting out of his car with his date. He had on blue suede shoes, for God's sake! I couldn't resist singing a few bars of "Don't Step On My Blue Suede Shoes" in recognition of his bad taste.

Charlie, Jerry and I, with our dates, went on into the smoke filled den of inequity and downed a couple of sarsaparillas. When we came out, there were 3 or 4 guys waiting in the parking lot to kick our twats. It seems old blue suedes had gone for reinforcements to defend his honor. These guys then jumped us, and as was the norm in those days, we rolled around on the gravel in the parking lot for awhile. Somebody said "wait a minute," and we all got up. Then someone suggested that old blue suedes pick one of us to fight, and his  compadres would stand guard to ensure fairness. Blue suedes selected Jerry. They went at it, rolled around in the gravel some more and Jerry emerged victorious. No guns, no knives, very little blood.

Oh for the good old days.


RE: Blue suede shoes (From Allan Cruse)
Last night at a faculty dinner party I had to explain why I wouldn't be attending this year's Faculty Awards Banquet, which is a posh affair held annually at Fisherman's Wharf to honor professors who are retiring and to celebrate outstanding achievements in research and teaching by colleagues. This year it will happen on May 15, and I can't be in two places at once.

This created an awkward moment, as it seemed to my colleagues that I was being somehow "disloyal" by missing our college's big occasion, merely to attend a Saturday evening party in Birmingham. So I had to explain.

Which I did by recounting your latest tale: the parking-lot "rumble" outside The Lodge in the late '50s over blue suede shoes!

I'm happy to report that this tale won them over: they were charmed. They could begin to see why our once-every-forty-years ISS reunion might be something truly special and not-to-be-missed.

Just as folks in Alabama have built up a media-fed mythology about Californians and life on the West Coast, the same is true in reverse; and I find that the notions people here have about what goes on back in Dixie are sometimes quite far-fetched and not always flattering.

Yet there are a few themes in the 'Southern myth' that never fail to charm a California audience, and your story tweaks some of those.  One is the legend of Southern gentility, of refined self control – at least among the well-brought-up classes, depicted by the behavior of your teenage protagonists at the rumble. As one lady at dinner remarked, "How sensible of those boys to pick one pair among them to fight it out, rather than have all of them get their get their suits dirty!"

Maybe, if we have the chance, we should talk to John Badham about the opportunity for hollywood to produce some films showing a gentler era, when young people settled their scores without knives, guns and bombs, but with cleverness and restraint (as in cheering-for-the-other team, or rumbling-by-proxy), where youngsters are quite well able to make their points, and all still live to chuckle about it forty years later.


(From M.D. Smith)

Defending yourself in a rumble reminded me of a memory I have not recalled in many, many years. Let me tell you all about it. As many of you will recall, I was in a Fraternity called ASD (I don't Have Greek letters that I know how to access in this program) Alpha Sigma Delta or just "Sigma" fraternity. Well our colors were Blue and Gold. That background, here goes:

I, too, often found myself in downtown Birmingham at night parking in the "free" spots and walking to the movies with a date. Sometimes there'd be "hoods" (guys with black leather jackets) hanging around the parked cars in a deserted parking area as I returned from the movies.  Most of the troubles came as you got into the car, and they'd either block your departure, or start "cat calling" you and your date as you prepared to leave. Now, just one I could handle, but not a gang of two or three.  I wanted to be prepared (and since I'd never even think of carrying my .22 auto pistol in my car - that thought just never crossed my mind) and I would have carried some "brass knucks" if I could have found any.


Since those were not available, I made a miniature baseball bat on my father's lathe. (Thank you Mr. Bob Moore for teaching me how to use a lathe so effectively). After making the little hardwood bat, about 12" long, I drilled out a 1/2" hole in the end, perhaps 5" deep. I melted some old plumber’s lead my dad had, with his acetylene torch and poured it into the hollow end of the little bat. I carefully sanded it flush with the bat and then painted it a nice Royal Blue with a gold "ASD" decal on the side of it. Well, anytime I wanted to brag about being prepared for a "rumble", I just showed everyone my little lead filled bat and said that was as good as any policeman's "night stick". It had a leather loop that fit around my wrist, so it could not be pulled from my grasp in the confusion of a real fight. I wondered if it would split and the lead come out when I had to lay it hard against some hood's head, but I never had the occasion.


I kept it in the glove compartment of my '57 Ford Fairlane 500 (two tone blue and white) that I drove during those years. It was a wonderful conversation piece and I imagined it made my dates feel safe when we were out parking in deserted areas before going home. My dates didn't act like they felt all that safe, but it was not clear if it was concern about the "hoods" rolling up, or ME.



(from Allen Hill)
Those memories just keep punching my buttons. How well I remember the "hoods," M.D. Black leather jackets, turned up collars, slicked back "ducktails." By the way, M.D., is my old roommate Roland Rice coming to the reunion?

M.D., your mention of Alpha Sigma Delta fraternity. brings up another memory and another "rumble." It was the fall of 1958. Charley Red, Lanning and I were Birmingham boys who belonged to a fraternity called Chi Sigma Chi, known as the Chi Sigs. The Alpha Sigma Delta's, called Sigmas, to which M.D., Ehney Camp, Kip Porter, and David Strickland belonged had for years held the championship title for interfraternity football. They were the socially elite, and the physically domineering at the time. The Chi Sigs were a little more diverse socially and in previous years had been known as wusses. Then there were the Kobe's, who were wusses for sure, and to which Bibbo belonged. And the Tau's who were sort of hoodlumish. And the Phi Delta Pi's who were thought of as Homewood boys rather than Mtn. Brook.

Back to the tale. It was the fall of 1958. The Sigmas had won all its football games. The Chi Sigs had won all it had played. The big game for the championship was to be held on a Sunday at the Mountain Brook School football field. This promised to be a knock down, drag out football game with real blocking, real tackling, real referees, and real spectators. Now don't totally get the wrong idea. We still looked like a rag-tag bunch. As I recall, we had no matchiing uniforms; just helmets, pads, jerseys, shoes and pants we each had at home. In the huddle we didn't call plays like, "T47 left on 3." It was more like "everybody go long on 2."

The Chi Sigs to which Jerry, Charley and I belonged were a little nervous. We were about to play the invincible. In fact, the tension got so high that our tailback suddenly came down with an ailment on the day of the game and said he couldn't play. With his cowardly withdrawal, old Charley Red had to step into the spot and play tailback. Jerry played a mean tackle, offense and defense. I played end, both ways also. Everybody played bothways. This was no professional team, you know.

A half hour or so before the game, the Chi Sigs started to arrive at the field. We sort of straggled in, a player here, a couple players there, and so on.  There were no Sigmas to be seen. It got closer and closer to game time, and still no sign of the feared defending champs!!

Suddenly, maybe 10 minutes before the game was to start, a cavalcade of cars appeared, blowing horns and carrying the dreaded Sigmas en masse. It was a giant parade. Some were standing in convertibles, others hanging from windows. And as they drove to the field, they chanted in unison "ODIN, ODIN, ODIN" calling on the Norse god from the Kirk Douglas movie of that year, "The Vikings."

Man, that was tense! This was a complete psych job.  You couldn't have driven a hat pin up my sphincter with a ball peen hammer! We wanted to turn tail and run, but we'd have been called "chicken" so that was out.

We began the game and it was a pretty good struggle.  In the 4th quarter, the Sigmas led 12 to 6. They held us for 3 downs and Charley Red went back to punt on their 40. He blew the kick and the ball went straight up. It came down on the line of scrimmage and landed on its nose. Then it began to tumble end over end toward the goal line the Sigmas were defending. It tumbled and tumbled and we followed it down to the 1 yard line and downed it. The Sigmas let out a howl you could hear in Alabaster. They screamed in the referee's face that a ball couldn't be downed inside the 10 yard line. You know how kids come up with their own rules sometimes. The ref said the ball could be downed inside the 10, and the Sigmas took over at the 1. We held them for 3 downs and they punted. Somehow we managed to get in for a score and the game was tied at 12 to 12. About 15 seconds remained.

We went into the huddle and Charley Red called the crucial play for the extra point. "Hill, buttonhook on 3." I assumed the 3 point stance and Charley began the count. On 3, I took 4 steps and turned. The big boy drilled the ball into my gut and we won the game 13 to 12. (Two point conversions weren't in the rule book back then).

There was no "Odin, Odin, Odin" as the Sigmas left the field. But there were some tears.


(from George BOB Athey)
We did indeed have an interscholastic baseball team our senior year, the first year we had one. I remember some of the positions, but not all.  Others may. Arthur Freeman pitched or played shortstop. Charles Robinson played third base or pitched. I, although I was 5'10 (then) played first base. I forget who was catcher or in the outfield. Sometimes Coach would bring in John Bauerlien to play first and put me in right field (left-handed). Scotty played some on into the season, but was more involved in track early on.

We did not have a tennis team. I had forgotten that Arthur represented us Junior year. However, I represented us Senior year in singles and beat Tuddy Brown 18-16 and 6-4 (no tiebreakers then). I vaguely remember getting some encouragement from Charlie Red through a dehydrated haze somewhere near the end of the first set. I'm not kidding about the dehydration. I had run in the cross-country event earlier that day.

Our cross-country team included Jerry Lanning and myself from our class. I believe we competed for three years, but Jerry would know better about the actual duration of the team. Once Jerry and I were doing our Hard Monday run in the training regime and decided to cross over into Double Oak Mountain area. We got lost and had to run our way back to the Springs by going back to the highway and turning north to the Springs road. We had missed supper and went to eat at Coach Peye's (sp?) house. I think we had run from about 2pm until 7pm, and that is close as I ever want to get to a marathon. The experience was almost hallucinogenic, but how would I know?  I never did drugs.

What I remember about baseball in the lot is that Jim Moncus and I visited your home for an afternoon and played some ball in the lot. It is my hope the memory is not apocryphal, since I hold it fondly.

I keep waiting for David Huggin to remember something about our 4th year
Latin class.

I wonder if anyone knows that Arthur Freeman and I broke into the dining room a night or two before graduation and sacked the ice cream larder? I also wonder if anyone is aware that Jim Moncus and I mastered the art of one-cent drinks from the 11 cent drink machine in the gym and used to get in to get them after lights out? I wonder if anyone wonders if I am now on probation for something? However, you will be comforted to know that part of my work now involves working with those who are. Must have been the early field experience.

Don't know if anything of this is noteworthy for the reunion book, but am
copying it to everyone anyway.



(from Allen Hill to Bob Athey)


Now that last email from you was a memory kicker! You say you beat "Tuddy Brown" in tennis singles? I can't believe I don't remember a guy named "Tuddy."

It is possible that I played on the baseball team. I was what you'd call "good field, no hit." I seem to recall Red playing. And I think I played 3rd base and left field. Did we play other schools?

The only real pitcher at ISS was Tommy Lampkin who was a year ahead of us.

So you and Art -- the "shrinks" -- broke into the larder. And you and Jimmy outwitted the Coke man. Do you realize that Cowach Cameron (as Steve recalls his name) once brought up the "immaturity" of beating the pay phone on L.D. calls? Coke theft fits in the same realm.

And we had a tennis team and a cross country team? Did you guys play and run against other schools like the Siluria Polecats and the Alabaster Skunks? Fill me in.
Who was the Mad Bomber, anyway?


(from Jesse Shearin)

I believe the only violence with which I was involved was inflicted upon Peyton Bibb.  Incident #1: I had some red track shoes with spikes about an inch long. One day I was running some sprints on the track and Peyton wanted to borrow my shoes in order to try them on the high jump. Well, high jump he did and when he came down one of the shoes raked across the calf of one of his legs and laid it wide open. I don't know how many stitches it took to close the wound, but it was nasty.  Incident    (note from M.D. Smith -  Scotty Boggs was sure that it was the new cross-tie enclosure that Coach Cameron had erected around the high jump pit, and he promptly tore it all down after this accident.  Coach Cameron lamented that he thought Scotty had over reacted, but didn’t do or say anything about it.  It was built to be able to fill with sawdust to a much higher level so a jumper didn’t have to come down so far on the landing)  #2: During basketball practice one day Peyton and I went up for a rebound. My elbow came down on his head. Guess what? More stitches!
(From Allen Hill
J )

Date: Wednesday, May 05, 1999 7:07 PM


Now that M.D. says Tales of the Springs will be published, I will get prolific! Naw. Fact is, on Saturday morning I leave for Florida for a week, so this is about it. Don't beg. There's nothing you nor I can do as I won't have my computer.


But here's my tale.


Just before the 30th reunion, I got all sentimental. I wrote a letter to Mac Fleming and told him how much he had affected me positively at ISS. In a kidding sort of way, I also mentioned something he had told me one day at dinner in the dining hall.


You guys remember how "maturity" was always stressed at The Springs. Well, my father loved to read the comics. So being all of 14, I asked Mac if reading the comics would be considered immature. He thought for a minute and finally said, "yes, I think that would be considered immature."


So in this letter complimenting and thanking Mr. Fleming, I jokingly brought this up.


A few days later, I received a note from him saying how much he appreciated my letter. He said that one of the things that kept teachers going was to occasionally have a former student remember and appreciate his efforts. Enclosed was a comic strip he'd cut from the newspaper. He said he'd changed his mind.
:   =========================================
:Perhaps you would want to mention that invitations to :the reunion at Jerry's were mailed to all former :faculty whose address we could get: :Hoggard, Moeck, Cobun, Warren, Fleming, Leverette, :Watkins, Cameron, Cantey, and Baird.

(from Bob Athey)
I do remember you on the baseball team. Left field seems right. The memory I had was another time when we worked together on attempting to improve your bat control for contact. You had a good swing but needed to get your wrists set. As I recall, you had asked for some advice on this from me. Wonder if you recall it. What I passed on was some work that had been done with me in the Mobile Bears Youth Camp. I had played a lot of ball and had been invited to their camp several summers from the sandlot league (no Little League in Mobile).

Incidentally, a little known fact -- in fact, it was little known to me until my father told me the day after I got my college degree -- I think he may have thought I would have been distracted by it: he said that the year before I went to Springs, he had declined an offer from the Bears organization to send me to the Dodgers (then Brooklyn) youth training camp in LA, where they hoped to cultivate future players. He had objected to signing an in loco parentis agreement. In retrospect, he saved me the frustration of aspiring to play pro ball when I was never going to grow any taller than I already was, was going to tear my rotator cuff badly (as I did in intramural ball at Birmingham Southern), would probably have been "no hit" at any further level, and was going to end up more interested in golf (for which my talent remains mediocre) and talking to people.

My contact with the football stuff in Birmingham involved watching one of the games you mentioned. Rode with Robinson and Lanning to one when I was dating some girl named Linda that Robinson had introduced me to. Don't think it was the one in which you scored.


(from Roy Knight – same subject on making iron as earlier tale from M.D.)

Tug-of-War at the lake:

Probably the worlds most animated tug-of-war scene was that at our shallow, spring-fed, algae infested lake. Absolutely no-one wanted to touch the water in the vicinity of the Dining Hall. I am reminded by my 13year old and 15 year old sons how precious boys can be about dirt, germs, and such at that age.  (Just tonight my 15 year old complained when Caroline asked him to use the clean hand towel rather than wasting paper towels. His reply was that the hand towel was unsanitary!) Anyway, the red team would line up n one side of the lake at one end of the rope and the Grey team across the lake at the other end.  Needless to say this never ended in a tie! But in the end and in retrospect after clean clothes and the shower, was great fun.

Anyone remember Pete Kinnear or Billy Cunningham? If not, I can remind you next Saturday.

Then there were the classical music fans, principally in my memory, Rick Crosby, Joe Hamner, Neely Bruce and me, hooked on finding the highest sounding tweeters, and most booming woofers. M.D., if it seems were we less than excited about the current popular rages of the time, it was not because we were not filling our ears with intriguing sound!   (Hey, I loved BIG WOOFERS – MDS)

More memories of Glee Club Spring tours to recall: and performances with the Birmingham Symphony (I recall a rehearsal at which Arthur Bennett Lipkin, much criticized by the group named above, called out to Dr. Hoggard, "Hey Mr. Haggard." Without flinching, but clearly annoyed, he replied "yes, Mr. Lumpkin?" the rest of the session was quite tense of course. But, wow, were the Berlioz and the Orff exciting!

Remember Dr. Eller? Remember the team assignment to make iron? I recall Rick Crosby and I decided to do it the old-fashioned way they did it in Birmingham. While many of you were using the thermite process, Rick remembered there was something left of a blacksmith shop in the shed near Mr. Moore’s office. So with an old clay pot, some scraps of coal found in the shed, a bit of iron ore we had gathered, and limestone which is found all around the grounds at the Springs we conducted the most poorly controlled science experiment in Springs history, I am sure. (I do remember someone blowing up a bottle full of hydrogen in Mr. Cobun's lab one day in class). We then proceeded to make one of the hottest fires the campus has probably ever seen, and somewhere just short of burning the old shed down, our clay pot melted, and the contents as well! Not to worry about the probability that any iron we made was lost. It only took a magnet to find a lump in the remaining mess we had made. Of course we could not be certain it was our iron, not some other bit of iron left behind from legitimate use of the furnace!
We certainly made every effort to convince Dr. Eller, who probably would never have allowed what we did, that this was the iron we made. Somehow he must have guessed we had been doing something quite dangerous: he didn't seem to be too interested in knowing how we did it! He only went so far as to acknowledge that what we had presented was indeed iron. He just did not seem as impressed as we had hoped!

And then there were D-days.

(Jerry Lanning sent an invite to Dr. Lara Hoggard (919-544-4062) and this is what he said when he called Jerry)

This is Dr. Hoggard calling from North Carolina. I got your invitation to the class reunion and I am not well.  I’m 84 years old and I can’t tell you what I would give if I could possibly be there with all of you boys that will be assembling. I did call and had a wonderful visit with your lovely wife, and she urged me to get in touch with you.   I  wanted to just let you know what your invitation meant, and that after all of these years, of  five years of my life, we set aside to try to learn how to improve music education in this country with adolescent boys’ voices and I got in over my head down there and I promised Dr. Armstrong I would just help him out one year and I stayed five.  But I remember you all so vividly, so fondly and with real affection.  And so I felt that your invitation deserved more than just a courtesy of this response and that’s why this call is here.  So, my very best to you; it’s been that way all the way through and it always will be.  You take care now. Bye.”


(from Russell Maulitz, class of ’61)      Hey MD,

Y'know, you and I've been writin' back'n'forth for couple years and I just now, after reading the below, put you together with that famous 1959 Council and your Commissioner of Recreation-hood! Remember the "Loyal Opposition," with Cruse and Lanning hammering away at each other in Town Hall debates?


Them was the days.  I remember the run-up to my own arrival that year, when you guys were seniors. Lanning and Crosby were my "counselors," me rooming across a shared bath from those two guys, with Hugh Thomas's son Madoc as my own room-mate. Steve Coleman, from your class, had kindly ferried me out to the school a few times in the summer before, to hang out around the lake and take some dives off that huge old oversized WWII heavy-vehicle inner-tube that floated serenely in the lake. Those swims, and my first exposure to the Glee Club, at its spring '58 concert at the old Temple Theater, are the happiest memories of childhood.  Remember any of that?


I also remember how getting to Springs literally saved my crappy little pubescent life -- I'd 'a withered on the vine at the crummy schools over in Mountain Brook.

Other anecdotes you might use have to do with the uniqueness of "roving," which was Coach Pieh's big thing; the moniker for Coach Cameron (for which I think I can take credit), "Derf Noremac;" reading existentialism with Mr. Doering in French; Mr. Draper refusing to pass the salt with "Que parlez-vouz, le chinois?"; and (a couple years after you guys left) the math teacher -- I'm blocking on his name -- asking Joe Nonidez "how many members of a null set?" and getting the answer:

"Very few, if any."

I truly wish I could get to this Alumni Day -- as you see, I have vivid memories. Can't do it this year but will surely push to get to my own 40th in a couple years, and hope to see you then, ol' Commish!



(from Allan Cruse) Thanks for your latest message, M.D., about plans for the new Town Hall dedication ceremony next Saturday, to include a musical performance by the alumni choir. Sorry to hear that Lara Hoggard won't be able to attend.

Recently, when Atlanta symphony conductor Robert Shaw died, I started remembering some of our musical experiences at ISS, and I tried doing a web search on 'Lara Hoggard.' I was amazed at the number and variety of references to him that turned up, as quite a few people are proud to mention in their online resume that they 'studied with Lara Hoggard', and he still is celebrated by the musical organizations in Odessa-Midland, in North Carolina, in New York, as well as in Birmingham.

Thanks to Lara, who let me into the Glee Club my junior year, I got interested in music theory -- and learned how to tune pianos, which was how I earned spending money while I was in college in Atlanta.  The president of Atlanta's Piano Technicians' Guild took me on as an apprentice, and on a typical Saturday the two us would tune eight or ten pianos at a local church or make rounds at a few of Atlanta's niteclubs and piano bars.

On one occasion I was hired by fellow ISS alumnus, Harold Johnson, to tune the piano in the living room at his fraternity house at Emory.  Harold was a senior at ISS during our freshman year and was in the ISS Glee Club during Lara Hoggard's first year. Being inspired by that experience, when he got to college Harold volunteered to be the conductor for his fraternity's chorus in the annual 'Interfraternity Sing' competition. The chorus did their rehearsals at the fraternity house where their piano definitely DID need retuning! So I got to watch their practice-sessions (and be amused by how many of Lara's mannerisms Harold would imitate); and by golly he managed to get some marvelous sound from his ragtag volunteers. On the night of the big competition, about a dozen of the fraternities took turns performing their selections at Glenn Memorial Chapel, which was packed for the occasion. Harold was dressed in his tuxedo and led his group in "Shenandoh" and the obligatory "Sweetheart of Sigma Chi." The audience was enthusiastic, and if a vote had been taken, I'm sure Sigma Chi would have won. But unknown to us, campus politics was in play, and the winning chorus I'm afraid had been foreordained, as we only realized afterward.

Later that year Lara Hoggard was invited to Atlanta by a group of the downtown Churches to conduct a music workshop for their choirs.  Harold and I heard about this and we decided to go down and watch Lara from the balcony. He had several hundred singers in his audience and was, as usual, masterful in taking charge and getting them to 'stretch' their accustomed vocal standards. Harold also invited Emory's choral director to join us in observing Lara's workshop, and after the workshop ended, we invited Lara to join the three of us for coffee. This turned out to be a priceless thing to watch! Roy Knight recently recalled the giant clash of egos that erupted when Lara once conducted the Birmingham Symphony ("Mr. Hoggard/Mr. Lumpkin"). Well that's the way went over coffee. Our Emory choral director, who had a Ph.D. in musicology from Harvard, was not inclined to show Lara the kind of deference Lara was accustomed to; and similarly Lara was not at all impressed by a college teacher's Harvard credentials. Their conversation began politely enough, but soon turned into a "one-upsmanship" marathon -- Harold and I had to break in repeatedly to try and change-the-subject just to keep peace.  The lesson I learned: beware of casually mixing celebrity egos!

Finally, on the topic of ISS music and musicians, I received a nice e-mail this morning from Ben Thomas (Class of '62) who recalls some musical and other celebrities among our class members. (Ben now teaches math and computer science at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.) I've attached part of his message below.      --ALLAN

Hello Allan!

I won't be able to make the ISS Homecoming, but I wish I could. Your class, who were seniors when I was a freshman, always seemed a little bit larger than life--especially since my first experience of ISS government was the Town Meeting led by you in which the Faculty were indicted for violating the Constitution over the summer. My guess is that many members of your class would be surprised that they are still so firmly fixed in my memory--Huggins and Craig, my suite-mates, Jim White, Steve Coleman, Jerry Lanning, Dick Morland, Joe Hamner, Jesse Shearin...the list goes on and on. Rinald, recorded in my memory, is still the definitive performance of Orff:

ama me fideliter - - meum amorem nota - - quisquis amat taliter - - volvitur in rota

(Also in there somewhere is Lex Grainger's renditions of "Sentimental Journey"...)
So, my greatest good wishes go with you to Alabama. I hope everyone is prospering.



(from Bob Athey) Allan -- Nice reminiscence. I have begun having some also, but am having limited time to send it out as I try to wrap up work here before heading out of town.  More seriously, I decided to try some of the medication now available to prompt memory as people get older, in the hopes that the pace of my reminiscence would increase. However, when I got to the part where I remembered that Lara Hoggard was actually the older son of Doc Armstrong by a previous marriage, I thought I should take pause. See you in Birmingham.

Bob A.


(from Allen Hill) Funny the thing one remembers.   One weekend, Alan Starcher and I rode into B'ham on the Springs bus and went to a movie at the Alabama theater. We sat behind two girls about our age, one of whom had a ponytail. Alan reached up and took the girls ponytail between thumb and forefinger. He lifted it and said, "Well. there's no hole under it." Cracked me up. She turned around, but found little humor in his remark. We were unsuccessful in our attempt to pick them up.

For those of you considering skipping the reunion, I submit my beliefs in hopes of encouraging your attendance:

1. Sometimes you have only one chance to do something. You have only one chance to go to a 40th reunion.

2. A reunion of classmates at a school with 32 who were seniors together is far more rewarding than a reunion for a class of 500.

3. A class reunion is not in recognition of a school, nor endorsement of a school. It is a gathering of people who have shared common experiences and who shared a common bond. Their friendships and remembrances of each other is relevant. Nothing else.    ---   Selah.  ----  Allen




Perhaps you can use these as a few "roast jokes" which ended up on the cutting room floor, not making the final script. I've limited these to those alumni who have NOT committed to come. You might mention that everyone gets roasted, present or not. You can't run, you can't hide. But it's not really bad.

To Alan Starcher: "Oh my God, Alan -- look at you! Anybody else hurt in the accident?

Peyton Bibb has gotten so set in his ways that his idea of a hot evening is turning up the thermostat.

Rick Crosby doesn't believe in sex over fifty-five. He says it's best to pull over to the side of the road.

Richard Killough had the worst study habits. He highlighted his textbooks with a black Magic Marker.

Mac Fleming once told David Dillard to watch his spelling. David said "Why? What's it doing?"

Dick Morlan was the only kid I knew who could get turned on by undressing in front of a Princess phone.

One night after we'd all had a few beers, Arthur Freeman flashed his date. She said, "Oh! That looks just like a penis, only smaller!"

Jimmy Moncus is a hardworking lawyer, as you might know. Last week he stayed up all night with a widow, trying to break her will.

Roland Rice is a very literate person. All the words on his tatoo are spelled right.

Peter Weuscher was driving home to New Orleans one weekend in 1957. He saw a sign which read "New Orleans Left." So he turned around and drove back to school.

Joe Hamner tried to snort Coke once, but he couldn't get the bottle in his nose.

When Eugene Hawkins was in high school, someone gave him this bad advice: "Be yourself."

Whenever Billy Mack Stinson wants to take his wife on a cruise, they drive round and round the Dairy Queen in Alabaster.