Goldwater Signs and Ugly Negatives

Central High School Auditorium c 1964These negatives were so gnarly I almost didn’t post them, but there are lots of familiar faces, so I’ll just have to ask you to overlook the spots and amoebas eating our classmates. This looks like some kind of debate function, but I don’t understand all the Goldwater signs.

Click on the photo to make it larger and see who you can spot. I see Laura Folsom, Margaret Randol, Skip Stiver, Linda Stone, Pat Sommers, Mike Seabaugh, Chuck Dockins, Georganne Penzel, Joni Tickel, Kathy Slinkard, Bill East and Joe Snell, among others. Based on the mix, I’m going to guess this was taken in the fall of 1964 and is made up of the classes of ’65 and ’66 and ’67.

Ueleke, Folsom and Randol

Central High School Auditorium c 1964The only ones I’m going to venture a guess on are John Ueleke, Laura Folsom and Margaret Randol. I don’t know if the older women were teachers.

Goldwater and green file boxes

Central High School Auditorium c 1964Lots of Goldwater buttons and bumper stickers. I was a Barry fan and got to shoot his campaign stop in Cairo. The girl in the center must have been a debater. I still have a dozen or more of those green metal 3×5 and 4×6 file boxes full of notes and arguments.

 Amoeba revenge

Central High School Auditorium c 1964This young lady’s legs are being eaten by film amoebas for the way she is disrespecting the photographer. The bemused blonde has held up quite well, but actually laughing, well, that’ll earn you the photographer’s revenge.

I KNOW I should know the boy in the left background, but I can’t pull his name out of the mist.

Mystery man

Central High School Auditorium c 1964The man on the right is another one of those faces I recognize but can’t ID. Ideas?

Mary Z. Reed: Gentle Soul

Mary Z Reed, CHS English teacher, c 1964Mary Z. Reed was at Central High School when Dad was a student.

When I ran photos of the teachers who bridged the generations, Bill East remembered Miss Reed, “I’m sure anyone who knew her remembers her affection for trees. It may be apocryphal, but supposedly at the beginning of the year, she always asked students what they did during the summer. As the story goes, there was always one guy who said he was a lumberjack to upset her. I guess she was one of the original ‘tree huggers.’

Bill and Miss Reed have both graduated to The Other Side, so she’ll be able to give him his bonus points for using the word “apocryphal” in a sentence in person.

Alene Sadler “most influential”

Alene Sadler 1963We were blessed with some excellent English teachers at Central. Miss Alene Sadler was one of the most demanding teachers I ever had – in college or high school – but she was rated “most influential” by her students in their later years.

Miss Reed was less intimidating, but she was still able to convey her passion for language and literature to her uncouth and uncivilized students. I bet even the “lumberjack” felt bad by the end of the semester.

A Pie Sale?

Girardot picture saleThe negative sleeve said “Pie sale, but I couldn’t imagine a pie sale generating this big a crowd.

Well, it turned out to be either a piece of bad handwriting on my part (or a piece of bad reading). It actually said “pic sale,” as in “picture sale.” The Girardot yearbook staff was selling leftover photos after the final deadline was met, setting off a mad scramble.

My internal facial recognition software in woefully inadequate. Wife Lila and her yearbooks help put some names to faces – Jane Coile and Joe Snell, for two. The girl in the middle who is looking at the camera is driving me crazy. I know her face, but I can’t think of her name to save myself.

Please excuse the dust spots

Girardot picture saleThe film was in pretty bad shape, so I gave up after getting most of the spots off faces. (Sorry for missing a spot on your nose, Margaret.)

There’s an interesting mix of students here. I think Rick Meinz, Class of ’64 is on the left, Joe Snell, Class of 65 has his back to the camera, and Margaret Randol and Bill East, Class of ’66 are on the right.

Photographic feeding frenzy

Girardot picture saleI can’t believe how many people showed up to look through the photos. Names I am willing to guess on include Diane Meystedt, Jane Coile, Bob Swaim and Susan Welker. You’re going to have to fill in the rest.

You can make the photos larger by clicking on them.

Cpl. Robert Taylor 1947-1968

When I wrote about ’64 classmate Gary Schemel being killed in Vietnam, Bill East quickly pointed out that the Class of 1964 had also lost Bobby Taylor in the war.

Sondra Cook chimed in, “Both Gary and Bobby were great guys. Bobby went to Washington Elem. and was a one semester behind me until the infamous Cape summer school when the “B” classes made up the semester of work. Gary moved to Cape when we were in Jr. High. My eyes still tear every time I go to the Vietnam Memorial or see the Visiting Wall and find their names.”

Bob’s name on Freedom Corner

A plaque on a pillar in Capaha Park’s Freedom Corner lists some of Cape Girardeau’s Vietnam casualties. There was some discussion here about other Cape names.

Larry Saddler: “[Gary] was a great guy. I lived within blocks of both Gary and Bob Taylor (also a great guy). Looking back I think they both died for absolutely nothing. I’m a big flag waver, but I think we wasted many lives with that war and I wonder if in the future many supporters will think we are wasting lives in our current conflicts. I think of Gary, Bob, and also Earl Tharp often, wondering what their lives cold have been if they had lived. I’m also thankful they were willing to serve. God bless them all.

[A Missourian story reported Earl Tharp, the 20-year-old son of a Cape Girardeau minister, was killed in June 1970 when enemy mortal fire hit his base camp in Vietnam.]

Burt Lehman: “I remember them both. Bob Taylor was like an older brother. We had great times together. I served in Vietnam and I am proud of my service to my country. The war was won after Tet of 1968, but somehow turned into defeat by media and politics. Gave the NVA and Viet Cong just enough encouragement to carry on the war. We were ultimately fighting “for” each other so I don’t believe that any of us died in vain. We still embrace as brothers no matter what our politics are. I have the greatest respect for Gary and Bob for the sacrifice they made.”

 First flag for Parade of Flags

A Missourian Out of the Past column about a 1987 story said “Early response has been good for a Parade of Flags that will be on display near the war memorial in Cape County Park on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day; the first burial flag turned in as part of the display honored Robert L. Taylor Jr., who was killed in the Vietnam War.

Bob’s brother, Tom, honored his memory

Tom Taylor posted a tribute to his brother on his Facebook page. I asked for permission to reprint the photos and some of Tom’s remarks. Most of these were downloaded from Facebook. Here’s Bob as a Troop 15 Eagle Scout in 1963.

Bob as SEMO student

Tom said that Bob attended Southeast Missouri State College in 1966-67.

Worked as a lineman

Bob’s deep tan was a result of his work as a lineman the summer before he joined the military, Tom said. The picture was taken at his home, probably in 1966.

Bob Taylor in Vietnam

From Tom: Bobby (far right) with his squadmates in Vietnam; probably the last photo of him before his death.

In the 1986 movie  “Platoon,” actor Willam Dafoe played Sgt. Elias and actor Tom Berenger played the scar-faced Sgt. Barnes. Elias treated his men with respect, and took new soldiers under his wing, teaching them how to stay alive. Barnes treated his men with contempt, putting the newest soldiers out front like cannon fodder.

From all accounts, Bobby was like Elias. He always took new soldiers under his wing and taught them how to survive.

Virtual Wall profile

Here is the Bob’s profile on the Virtual Wall. It’s an incredible resource. [The following information is Copyright 1997-2012 www.VirtualWall.org, Ltd.]

PERSONAL DATA: Home of Record: Cape Girardeau, MO; Date of birth: 03/10/1947

MILITARY DATA: Service: Army of the United States; Grade at loss: E3; Rank: Corporal; Note: Posthumous Promotion as indicated; ID No: 56586679; MOS: 11B10: Infantryman; Unit: C CO, 3RD BN, 60TH INFANTRY, 9TH INF DIV, USARV

CASUALTY DATA: Start Tour: 10/31/1967; Incident Date: 03/08/1968; Casualty Date: 03/08/1968; Age at Loss: 20; Location: Dinh Tuong Province, South Vietnam; Remains: Body recovered; Casualty Type: Hostile, died outright; Casualty Reason: Ground casualty; Casualty Detail: Gun or small arms fire

ON THE WALL: Panel 43E Line 062

Bob was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. His citation says, in part, “Through his untiring efforts and professional ability, he consistently obtained outstanding results. He was quick to grasp the implications of new problems with which he faced as a result of the ever changing situations inherent in a counterinsurgency operation and to find ways and means to solve those problems. The energetic application of his extensive knowledge has materially contributed to the efforts of the United States mission to the Republic of Vietnam to assist that country in ridding itself of the Communist threat to its freedom.

“His initiative, zeal, sound judgement and devotion to duty have been in the highest tradition of the Unite States Army and reflect great credit on him and the military service.”