NCSD Class of 1970  Welcome, Ole Bears of '70 

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                                Reunion Highlights
                                       40th Class Reunion Weekend
                                                                                           October 2, 2010's that time...

Highlights of the Banquet Event
(October, 2010) Oh, What a Night!
with apologies to the Four Seasons
titled (December 1963) Oh, What a Night!

After we had dinner but before the Class meeting, Don Crump gleefully sampled a
pie in the face by Classmates Louise Isenhour Luther and Steve Warren.

The Pied Piper
...since this is the Reunion Tradition,

1- First Order of Business:
Silent moment for departed Classmates' Spirits in the Sky and the remaining
Classmates who couldn't be with us today.

2 – Unfortunately, Randy’s not here and we were going to Honor him and his
wife, Una, with a free dinner tonight for his dedicated service as President of
our Class for nine years. I also wanted to take this time to Honor him by presenting
him with this Certificate of Appreciation.

Courtesy WikiCourtesy WikiCourtesy Wiki
3 – And last but not least, let us give a big hand to MamaPat for the wonderful
work in decorations and Memorial table and let us also thank Louise, Sandra,
Brenda, and DC for helping us set up tonight. Thanky, thanky, thanky.

4 – I think we have a exciting program tonight, so I’m going try to make our
Class business short, so I’m going to go fast. (Lester fake signs fast).

After Lester conducts Class business, he adjourns the Class Meeting.

And now the fun begins:

(Lester performs skit on how to spell his family's last name).

~   ~   ~   ~

As you know, some of students that we know had brothers and sisters who went
to NCSD, Marion Parris’s wife, Jean Spence had a sister. Everyone knows Worth
Little had two sisters, Donna and Diane. Fred Ballew’s wife, Shirley Oakley, had
brothers….that’s just a few. Our classmate Lewis Suggs brother Mike Suggs
graduated 1968.

Now, you are looking at me….I have 2 brothers who were also some of the first
students that joined E-NCSD in 1965…the same fall that I joined NCSD.

Now, the Class of 1970 can brag that one of their Classmates belong to the
famous Latkowski family. David, was the one who re-discovered the “caves”,
actually the food cellar from the old farming days here at NCSD.

Many years ago, my other brother Kim, married a cousin of our classmate, Richard

Please welcome, David and Kim:


I have very little speaking experience if any so bear with me. When Lester asked me to be the speaker at the class of 1970’s 40th class reunion I was a little perplexed. I didn’t have a clue as to what to speak about and I was thinking "Why me?" So I asked Lester and when he told me the theme of the class reunion was "Memories" and since us Latkowskis were "well known" with this class and our mother was an Honorary Member of the Class. He thought, "well, why not, David?" . Lester told me to speak about my memories growing up at the Deaf schools. Ill do my best…
The faintest waft is sometimes enough to induce feelings of hunger, or anticipation, or to transport you back through time and space to a long-forgotten moment in your childhood. It can overwhelm you in an instant or simply tease you, creeping into your consciousness slowly and evaporating almost the moment it is detected. ~Stephen Lacey, "Scent in Your Garden", 1991
I started school at a public school in Raleigh, NC before attending the Eastern NC School for the Deaf that opened for the school year 64 and 65 in Wilson N.C. Lester, my oldest brother went to NCSD in Morganton, NC. My younger brother, Kim, also attended school at ENCSD. Going to Wilson, may have been a good thing and saved my life. My brother, Lester, used to play a trick on me when I was little at home in Raleigh, NC. He would take a lamp, remove the light bulb and ask me to stick my finger in the light socket. I think he tried that 3 times with me. So I guess we now know how Lester became interested in electronics. I was, along with my brother Kim, were the only students who started at ENCSD who were not from the school in Morganton at NCSD. Going to ENCSD was a different environment from what I was used to living at home and going to public school. For me living in the dormitory, eating at the cafeteria and going to school rather than being at home was quite scary because I didn’t really understand what was going on. I was confused at the fact that the other kids were different from what I knew from public school. They were Deaf, and their attempt to communicate with me was strange. With the help of Mr. James Massey, who was the dorm counselor at the time along with Mrs. Lovett and Mrs. Cole, I was able to conform to the new environment of living with the hearing impaired and in a dormitory life.

Sign language came easy for me. I remember especially Debbie Lane Ketner, she had always tried to talk with me. She amazingly showed me a few signs and then on I understood the idea of sign language and learned quickly from the other kids. It seemed it just came natural to me as I picked up more from listening to James Massey when he would have group meetings and such watching him use sign language. I remember we used to have to wear headphones that were attached to a blue box that we wore over on our necks. We were required to listen to our teachers speak with no sign language as the teachers speak the lessons in our classrooms. I remember once getting a scolding from asking one of the teachers that if we could not hear, how can we understand what they are saying?

I have good memories becoming friends with Nat Wilson. He came over with a bunch of model cars. And he would put them on the wall that separated the rooms we shared with 12 other boys. I had a love for cars and we became fast friends and on a few occasions rode home from school together. I was fascinated that he could name make year and model of every car on the road and through him I learned my skills with communicating with signs.

"A moment last all of a second, but the memory lives on forever"
This is something that I will never forget. One evening at Eagle Hall at Wilson, while we boys were getting ready to shower before going to bed, we started playing around, as 10-year-old boys will do. We were snapping towels at each other with the towels we would to wrap around our waist on the way to the shower. If I remember right, one of the boys was Dale. Dale Rambeaut, and the others were Steve Tant, and maybe Phil Wilborn, again if my memory serves me well. We were running around, chasing each other and snapping the towels. I remember chasing one of these guys, I think was Phil and to escape me Phil ran out into the hallway. Into the hallway he went with me chasing behind him, there was Mrs. Lovett walking down the hall to check on us boys to see if we were behaving. Phil, who was buck naked upon seeing Mrs. Lovett tried to get himself turned around and return to the dorm room. He slipped and fell between Mrs. Lovett’s legs looking up her dress. I ran back into the dorm room laughing so hard, I thought Id never stop. I don’t remember what happened after that whether we were punished or not. But I will never forget that look on Mrs. Lovett’s face.

These memories will always stay with me. I learned to love hiking as Mr. James Massey often took us boys on hiking trips through the woods near the school and eventually when I joined the Boy Scouts I learned to love the outdoors. Mr James Massey had introduced me to baseball and football and football became my favorite sport.
"Memory... is the diary that we all carry about with us." ~Oscar Wilde, "The Importance of Being Earnest"
I am sure many of you remember when the schools were integrated with the black students who came from Raleigh N.C. Now when they came to ENCSD, we had this problem. We didn’t like each other. Dean Perry and I despised each other. I don’t really know why, but we just could not get along with each other. It was actually my first experience with a different race. These guys were a different color from what I was and it was strange to me. I did not understand that there were different kinds of people in this world. So because of that I was shy and would not mingle together with them as well as the other kids. As the case was that year, we stayed away from each other. The blacks were on this side of the room and the whites would stay on the other. It was like that about everywhere we went. Mr. Charles Williams was our counselor at the time of integration. One day he took us all into the TV room. He stood there and asked us, "WHAT IS THE PROBLEM, BOYS?" with his loud voice that would make a Deaf man go Deaf! "WE ARE ALL THE SAME!". Then he took out his white handkerchief and waved it like a white flag. After that meeting in the TV room I became friends with Dean Perry and actually we all became the best of friends. We had just started a football team that year and we played well together. We had our best year at football. We became the first football team at ENCSD coached by Charles Crowe and thus we became the ENCSD Fighting Hornets. I often dreamed that one day we would have a reunion and if the old films is still available and that we could watch them with our coach Charles Crowe.

"Leftovers in their less visible form are called memories. Stored in the refrigerator of the mind and the cupboard of the heart." ~Thomas Fuller
In my memories of the "Glory Days at NCSD", I started in the fall of '72. I was glad to be away from ENCSD. I went for the football team that first year at NCSD. It was tough for me. I loved football. Though I couldn’t keep my number 65 from my ENCSD Fighting Hornet days. I worked hard, practiced hard on the new to me, Bears team. I didn’t get to play the first few games. That upset me because at ENCSD I was the a valuable player on the team and I thought I would and could do the same at NCSD. One night we played a game against the Morganton H.S. I was finally put on a play on the defense line, without a clue of what I was suppose to do. I played one play and then I was called back on the line. That was totally frustrating and embarrassing to me. I didn’t have a clue as to what I was suppose to do and I was confused. I didn’t have a playbook I didn’t know what play of position I was to play. We did not have a team meeting to teach us football like we did at ENCSD. At ENCSD the coach always had team meetings and movie replays after the game. I was so discouraged I quit the team. I regret it to this day because I miss playing football and being a part of NCSD. This is not something I want to remember in my memories.

"Every man’s memory is his private literature"…Aldus Huxley
While I was at NCSD, I didn’t do much and I wasn’t involved in much my H.S. years. Although I studied a lot listened to music, climbed out the window, walked the campus, and often times walked into town. One of my favorite things to do on my outings around the campus was to sit behind the big red barn and smoke cigarettes. For some reason I never went into the barn to see what was in there. I wish I had. I understand that there is a lot of history in the barn, but I just wanted to sit smoke cigarettes and day dream, looking out into the field and just wonder about things. One of the other things I often did was hanging out with my buddies Tim Apperson and Steve Morris. We would ride around town in Steve’s cool green '69 Mustang Mach I and hang out at the McDonald's among the other things we did. I loved that Mustang and when I see one of those cars it triggers my mind down memory lane of those days.

On one of my outings on the NCSD campus I come upon a cave located somewhere between the Main building and one of the other buildings. My memory does not serve me well as to the exact location. Some kind of work was being done there. Billy Ed Melvin had told me about the cave and I had this idea that we would go out there to explore the cave. We found the cave, which was a hole in the ground at first glance. We slipped into the hole, which was not very deep that you could almost down walk into. You could not stand up straight but we found it to be at least 20 or so feet long with 4 or 6 small rooms. The idea of exploring the cave was that we thought we could find some artifact in the cave. All we could find were ceramic pieces that we guessed were from a bowl or a plate. There was an article later in the Morganton paper about the cave and it was believed to be a storage cell to keep food cool back in the early 1900s when the students farmed and raised cattle.

Life during the "glory days" at NCSD, I was fortunate to have had two great teachers . One was Mrs. Anne Starret and the other was Mrs. Jane Taylor. These two teachers had a great impact on my life at NCSD. I enjoyed their classes tremendously and I remember the most, Mrs Taylor, who complained a lot about Pres. Richard Nixon which incited my interest in politics. Mrs. Starret was a trip. For some reason we always played tricks on her but I always loved hearing her stories at the end of class on Fridays.
The leaves of memory seemed to make a mournful rustling in the dark… Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
During my Jr. year at NCSD I was itching to leave and start college because at my age of 20. I was embarrassed to be still in high school. I had an opportunity to take the entrance exam to enter at Gallaudet. I had just barely passed the entrance exam, my point’s grade was not enough to enter the freshman year at Gallaudet. I was quite disappointed, then I was told of an opportunity to enter at Gallaudet my Sr. year. Though I could not go to Gallaudet at the college level, I was allowed to apply for the "prep school" and thus had to return to NCSD to graduate with my class.. so In 1975 I entered Gallaudet and returned to NCSD to graduate with my class of '76. There are times I wished I had stayed that last year at NCSD as a Senior. I would have loved to have the memories of the last year at NCSD with my classmates.

"We do not remember days; we remember moments." ~Cesare Pavese, "The Burning Brand"
When it came time for me to graduate with my class in 1976, I had come down to Morganton instead of going home to my parent’s house. I stayed with a bunch of my buddies at a cabin belonging to one of them. On graduation day, I had missed the commencement address that morning. What happened was that when we were ready to leave, the car we were driving had a flat tire. Incidentally, the spare tire was also flat. My buddies being what they were, stole a tire from a car down the street parked at another cabin and if it were not for them, they helped me make it to my graduation. I knew then that Mom and Dad would not believe that story but they were disappointed in me for being late. It was embarrassing but what could I have done? By the way, we returned the tire back to the vehicle we stole the tire from. What memories those were? I will always remember that day.

"Memories are a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose." From the Television show, The "Wonder Years"
Memories are important in our lives as they are precious. They are for me. "They (memories) give us the opportunity to prove to ourselves that we exist". Memories is the mental capacity of retaining and reviving facts, events, impressions, of recalling previous or long ago experiences. We don’t remember days but we remember moments. I have had the chance on many occasions to look back and remember the things in my life growing up at ENCSD and the "glory days" at NCSD. On the long and lonely days when I was driving my trusty ole Peterbilt, "Ole’ 512", on the long ago trucking days on the road, I reminisced, mediated on the good old days as I like to call them. We’ve had a chance, really, you guys of the class of 70 have had a chance at great memories of those old days growing up together. You saw the hippie generation, the race to space, the race to the moon, and many of you may remember the Korean War, the Vietnam war, the draft, the advent of color TVs, the electronic age. I love the memories of the muscle car days. The age of rock and roll, President Kennedy, Nixon and on and on. I believe you guys of the Class of '70 have had some of the greatest memories from the 50’s till now that made this country so great. Those were great times and the best of times.

Thank you.

Thank you, David, that was far out, man!

Kim is the shy one so he says thanks for the invite!

DC surprised us by introducing us to our Creative Writing teacher
Marilyn Williams Gordon

Picture credits: Large top picture, Louise
Pied Piper's pictures are from Sandra
Three pictures of Lester are from Louise

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This page was last updated on 03/23/2011.


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