We Are Fami-LEE!
Est. March 31, 2000                54,139 Previous Hits                             March 8, 2004

Editor:Tommy Towery                                                        http://www.leealumni.com
Class of 1964                           Page Hits This Issue     e-mail ttowery@memphis.edu
Staff Writers :
        Barbara Wilkerson Donnelly , Joy Rubins Morris, Paula Spencer Kephart,
        Rainer Klauss, Bobby Cochran, Collins (CE) Wynn, Eddie Sykes, Cherri Polly
Staff Photographers:  Fred & Lynn Sanders
Contributers: The Members of Lee High School Classes of 64-65-66
Working on the ring story cut me short of time this week. I have also been coordinating a story to be published in the Huntsville Times about it.

A few of you have sent some stuff that will be included in next week's issue. Fret not, we'll keep up with it until then.

Hope you all have a great Spring Break!

T. Tommy
Click here to add text.
Last Week's Mystery Item
This Week's Mystery Item
Again, most of you should know what these are, but mabye you haven't thought about them in years. If anyone would care to share the photo with their grandkids and e-mail us their answers, that would be fun. Also, if you have any hints that you learned from someone else or by experience about using these that you remember, then send them in as well. Any idea why there are two different colors?
Mystery Classmate

This outlaw goes free. No one recognized the mug shot of David Lemaster.

Urban Legend or Not?
by Collins (CE) Wynn
Class of '64

I have been working on a project here at my school having to do with urban legends and I recalled that I had not thanked you for straightening me out on the one involving “Jesse James”.  So, now that I have sufficiently ingratiated myself, let me ask about another early Huntsville legend I heard many times.

As a boy I was told a story repeatedly about a painter/laborer who plunged to his (not possible for a ’her’ at that time) death from the top of the steeple of the First United Methodist Church in downtown Huntsville.  If memory serves, the church was/is diagonally across the street from the downtown YMCA facing onto Randolph Avenue (corner of Green Street).  It was even said the unlucky soul left a bloody footprint hear the top of the steeple that a kid could see if he squinted just right into the afternoon sun. I have no idea why the footprint would be bloody.

Any truth to this one, you think?

Last Week's Mystery Car

In last week's article by Collin's on make-out spots, we used the photo above and asked for a guess as to the year and make of car.  It was actually an ad for the "new 1953" Ford Customline. We had two guesses that got Ford right, and one that guessed the right year (out of a two year span.)

Harold Shepard, Class of '67

Not certain, but it looks to be a 52 or 53 Ford by the dash. Not sure how you could drive the one pictured without a brake or gas pedal though.

Escoe German Beatty, Class of '65
Comments        Okay... I'm going to take a wild stab that the car interior is a 1957 Ford...

Gary Hatcher, Class of '66

I think the mystery items are the holders for cone shaped paper cups for ice cream.

Don Blaise, Class of '64

The mystery item is something a soda-jerk used to use to make shakes or malts with.

Jennifer Bannecke Class of '66

I believe the mystery item was used to hold snowcones.  They had white paper cones that the
snowcone was served in. I am just guessing so I may be way off.

Alice Brigman

Tommy, this looks like a holder for a paper cone for serving ice cream.

Randy Goodpasture '66

These look like holders for paper cups that water was served in in restaurants.   They would be placed down on a stack of cone shaped cups and would neatly pick one up and ice water would be served in them. They are still used by a place called Johnny Rocket's here in Atlanta which is a great place for a hamburbger. The juke box is still a nickel too.

John Nelson, Class of '64

Is the mystery item of this week, a cup holder  for an ice cream cup?

The Fellowship of
The Lee Ring
by Tommy Towery
Class of '64

The e-mail started out like many others in my computer’s mailbox. “I hope you can help me.” But, unlike the dozens I have received from lawyers, widows, and orphans of Nigerian diplomats who have 26 million dollars that are willing to share with me if I would only give them my bank account number to receive the transferred funds, this one was different.

The message continued “I found a 1971 Lee ring two years ago while digging around up at Monte Sano playground with my kids.” A full description of the ring was included in the message along with the story of how the finder had tried for two years to find the owner. It was concluded with “Thanks in advance for any assistance!”

I don’t know if I was more shocked at the request being directed at me, or at the fact that in these troubled times, someone was honest enough and concerned enough to try to find the owner of a 33-year-old ring rather than selling it at a yard sale or pawn shop.

I was excited about the challenge of the request. This season I have thoroughly enjoyed a new TV show named “Cold Case.” Each week we watch the main characters of the show as they are presented with a mystery to solve about crimes that had gone unsolved for so long they were declared cold case files. To help someone find the owner of a ring that was lost so many years ago presented me with my very own cold case to work.

This mystery actually started back in 1970, with a 17-year-old Lee High senior enjoying an afternoon with some of her friends. She was up on the mountain the fall after she had received her ring and before her graduation. She and a bunch of friends were scooping up leaves and throwing them at each other, chasing each other, and having a good time. When the activity was over, she looked down and her new ring was gone.  She recruited the group to help her search for it, but it was in vain.  She went back for the next couple of days looking, but finally realized that she would never see her ring again. It was lost.

Thirty-four years later, the e-mail from Anna Raebel arrives in my inbox. She recalls this about finding the ring:

"A friend and I had taken our kids up to Monte Sano to the Jazz fest the summer before last.  Of course the little ones were more interested with playing on the playground than the music, so we let the older ones take them over to play.  About halfway through the concert, one of the concertgoers collapsed in the front row of the amphitheatre.  Doctors and nurses came out of the crowd to work on resuscitating this poor lady.  While everyone waited for the ambulance, I went to check on the kids.  The ambulance arrived, and my youngest and I followed its progress back around the playground to the amphitheatre, where I had left my friend.  By now, the paramedics had joined the group gathered in the front row, who were performing CPR and rescue breathing. 

To distract my son, I started picking around in the dirt on the backside of the theatre hill.  As we were playing, something glittery caught my eye.  When I picked it up, it was caked with mud.  I could not tell what it was until a chunk of mud fell from the center.  I looked around, but no one was nearby.  As far as I could tell, the ring seemed to have been there for some time.  As soon as we got home that afternoon, I started to search using the internet’s help.  I never got too far, though. We’ve moved twice since then; each time, I made sure the ring made it to my desk, where it would remind me to keep trying.  Whenever I had some spare time, I would surf the net, looking for information that might lead me to the ring’s owner.  That’s how I eventually found your site…And here we are! 

I’m not a native Huntsvillian – We moved here 10 years ago courtesy of the Army, but liked it enough to stay…  Most of the folks we know are transplants like ourselves, or graduates of the other local High schools.   I am really happy that I found your website, and that you have been so helpful.  I have faith that if the right people get networking, eventually someone will get word to the right person about the ring."

Over a two day period I sent out about two dozen e-mails to classmates either known personally by me or from the list for Lee High School class of 1971 at the Classmates.com website .

I also ran an article about the ring in our weekly 64-65-66 Lee Alumni web site's newspaper. I reported the find and asked for assistance from anyone in finding the owner. We had a few suggestions the first week of our search, but no positive identification.

I sent one e-mail to Janice Titsworth Barnett, an alumni from LHS Class of '66, who still works at the Lee library.  She checked the yearbooks in the library and found no match for "SNS", but five girls who were seniors in 1971 who had first names and last names beginning with "S".  She forwarded the request to a friend who works in the Huntsville City School system who checked on the permanent records of those five. One,
Susan Sanders, was listed as no-middle-name. Her friend called the phone number that was listed in 1971 and there was still a Sanders living there (her brother Fred now lives in the family home). Suzanne's sister-in-law (Fred's wife Lynn) took the call and checked with Fred's and Suzanne's mom.  She called Suzanne in Virginia and confirmed that it was her ring. Last week Lynn and Suzanne's and Fred's mom went over to Anna's house and retrieved the ring.

One funny sidebar came from trying to figure out the initials in the ring. The initials inside the ring were “SNS”. Checking the 1971 seniors in the Lee High Yearbook, no female graduate was found with those initials. Suzanne now laughs about how those three letters ended up engraved in her ring. “I didn’t have a middle name,” She explains. “I was only Suzanne Sanders.” On the order form, I was instructed to write NMN which stood for ‘No Middle Name.” Whoever processed the order at the factory and prepared the engraving must not have understood the meaning, for when I took it out of the box and examined it, there were the initials ‘SNS’ engraved inside the band.

I contacted the Huntsville Time's and suggested that this story would be interesting reading for many folks.  A feature writer, Patricia Stumb, replied to my inquiry and is now doing an article for the Times. It should be published on Saturday, March 12th. You can read the rest of the story there.

My last e-mail from Anna stated the following:

"Ms. Stumb called yesterday, and I gave her my side of the story.  I hope she does you and the Lee Alumni justice, as you guys are the real heroes of this story in my book!

P.S.  I love your website - wish someone would do the same for my old alma mater...."
- Anna

Mary Sander's (L) accepts
the found ring from Anna
Raebel (R).
Suzanne Sanders Pratt at
Monte Sano Kids Reunion.