1996

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Musings Of the 50-60's Reunion in 1996

(Webmaster's note: Billy Yarbrough ran across this diddy on the Internet. It was posted by former WBBT Disc Jockey, Joe Phillips.)

Joe Phillips . . . DEAR ME . . . 12/1/96

I called the paramedics.

My old friend Martin Moses was suffering a 50th birthday when the two "seen-it-all" veteran paramedics walked briskly into the room.

They checked his vital signs, or the lack of them, admonished caution on darkened steps and sidewalks, took a cookie and left.

I adore gatherings of this type. Few things warm me as snugly as meeting old friends, or putting faces to names.

The birthday party was winding down, so I took a walk. Down the hallway I peeked through an open door and saw other people I hadn't seen in years. Ann Odum Todd waved me inside.

The sign on the door indicated a reunion of Lyons, (Georgia) High School from the years 1950's-60's.

Well, I worked at the Lyons radio station, was the local disc jockey for these people. Folks never guessed that the guy reading the six o'clock news was driven to the studios by his mother. I was shy of my 16th birthday when I signed on at WBBT.

When my eyes adjusted to the dark I discovered two old WBBT D.J.'s; Larry Griggers and H.G. Ridgedale.

I had a grand reunion with Fred Alexander. We played in the same dance band, but at different times, and knew the same songs and stories from Pee Dee Hester.

In the middle of the room stood the high school bully. I wanted to ask his present wife if he had out-grown the abusive nature his former wives and girl friends have told me about.

There were yearbooks and photographs of school days at Lyons High School. I flipped the pages and faces jumped out.

My memory re-wound to hearing the cheerleaders yell; "Kill'um, Kill'um we don't care, We've got a grave-yard over there." (The football stadium is [adjacent to] the city cemetery.)

My buddy, Joyce Kitchens, disappeared into marriagedom with a puppy I gave as a wedding gift. She named him "Mickey." I haven't seen either of them since, and Joyce didn't make the reunion.

In the 1960's I spent Saturday afternoons playing jazz with Dan Miot, a superb trombone player, who toured with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, and performed with other fine organizations. I'm relieved to know where to find him now.

By the light of Sunday morning I drove from my motel to WBBT. It was like viewing a house where I once lived; once so common and familiar, now someone else's domain.

Back through town by the Pal Theater and a left turn at Kavakos' Drug Store, I found nothing left of the "Snack Ship." What great food and fun we had there.

Mrs. Sallie Davis kept late hours supervising former students. I remember her more as a friend than teacher.

I can't thank those "grown kids" from Lyons High School for inviting me to their party, but I can thank them for allowing me to crash it, and enjoy their splendid company.

It was great, dear friends, to be among you again.