Edited 9-27-2015 (added obit)
For all the wonderful people I met in Newfoundland.
http://www.petesmemories.com/nfld.html has photos that were unavailable at the time of publication.
This is a special edition of my memoir.
We were all happy when dad got orders to go overseas. The folks put the house on Lankershim up for sale, and it sold so fast that we had to take temporary housing in the base housing area. Iriquois Court was the street. I don't remember the number, or anything else about that place. I was yanked out of Junior High School, and plopped back into grade school (8th grade). I had a lot of trouble at the new school with bullies, and cliques, and I didn't fit in. The only good time I remember there was when one of my teachers, bless her heart, rounded up an old piano, and we took the doors off, and put tacks in the felt of the hammers, and made an old time, ragtime sounding piano. I was in a fight every day, and I knew I couldn't keep going on like this. It's time for some drastic changes. We sign out of school, pack our belongings, and begin the trip.
Traveling in the car was one of my favorite things. We always stopped often to eat, and if there was a sight to see along the way, we could usually talk dad into stopping.
What the hell is "Burma Shave”?
The farther north we went, the cooler the weather got. The highways are littered with billboards, advertising places to stop and get gas, and eat, and be entertained. My favorite were the "Burma Shave signs". They were everywhere, and every one had a different, clever rhyme. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burma-Shave#Roadside_billboards
We were driving across America, and stopping at all the roadside attractions, like Wall Drugstore(Wall, South Dakota), http://www.walldrug.com/default.aspx
and the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore
and farther down the road was "The Reptile Pit",
the largest ball of twine, and that kind of stuff.
When we got to Michigan, dad had a relative there, with a farm, and I remember taking a ride on the tractor, and seeing a huge bull, with a ring in its nose.
The whole purpose for the trip to Michigan was to pick up our new car. Dad had found that he could save a ton of money by picking our brand new ’59 Plymouth station wagon from the factory.
The weather has really cooled off. Now this next part of the trip seemed way out of our way, because we dropped south to see Washington D.C. I remember the circular drives around the White House, and the traffic was unreal. We got a close look at all the monuments, and I particularly remember climbing endless flights of steps in the Washington Monument.
As we headed north again, the traffic got worse, all the way to New York City, where we went to the top of the Empire State Building. I remember staying in motels, and getting up and having pancake, bacon and egg breakfasts, and I remember how strange the beaches and the ocean looked in Maine, and we crossed the border into Canada, and visited the bay of Funday where there is this neat tidal bore. http://vimeo.com/4833270 I know where they got the name "bore", as we waited for the tide to come in, when there came this sound of rumbling, and this huge wave of water, traveling amazingly fast, went by us, and suddenly the water in the river went from one foot deep and nearly still, to twenty feet deep, and flowing upriver at an amazing speed. I was trying to think of something to compare it to, when, ironically, as I am writing, the Japan quake story is unfolding (March 2011), the incoming tsunami wave was eerily reminiscent of the tidal bore. I digress.
The adventure hadn't begun yet, and we get to Nova Scotia, where our car goes on a ferry boat, along with us, and we make the crossing to the island. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newfoundland_(island)
We arrived in early spring, and I had enough credits from school, that it wasn’t necessary for me to attend classes which were due to end soon anyway, so I spent time fishing off the pier, on the base, not far from the house. We were near the Arctic Circle, and it is really cold for early spring, and I haven't got warm clothing yet, so I have double everything on to stay warm, double jeans, double sox, double sweatshirts, and a light jacket. Somehow I managed to fall off that pier into the icy water. My parents had just arrived to take me home, and I had to have one final troll before I left. I wasn’t watching where I was walking, and I stepped into a gap in the pavement, and fell 20, into 40 feet of water. I went so deep, I didn’t think I was ever coming up. Dad wanted to jump in, but I hollered that I was O.K., and he climbed down a rope, and he had me out so fast, my number two sweatshirt was still dry. Jay Seddel (Harold) , with his odd gait, was there that day, and if I remember correctly, Joe Bonvie was there also, with his bushy red hair, and his knit pullover sweater, I can close my eyes and see him.
The people here are really friendly, and in no time, I have a bunch of friends, and we play sports at the base gym. I was really strong, and I loved to wrestle. My dad also signed me up for a course in judo. I attended the classes with Mickey Roberts. Okie O’Henly attended, also, but his dad was up for rotation, and he was gone, before I was there very long. We were the only school kids in the class. The rest were airmen, anywhere from four years older, and up. We had a really good teacher, and before long, we were tossing around 200 lb. grown men. Between that, and lifting weights, I really started to develop physically. I could beat everybody on base, wrestling, but when I met the Cutler boys, I had met my match. David was my age, and being raised in the woods, and raised cutting firewood, and doing farming chores, we wrestled many times, and I never beat him. This was people my mother had religious ties with, and we drove to St. Georges, twice a week to attend meetings there. I fell in love at first sight of Anita Cutler, David’s sister, and I will always cherish every minute I ever spent with her. Back on base, one of my friends, Joe Dixon, was going out with Louetta Carroll, and this girl by name of Janie Lowther, took a liking to me. She was a senior in high school, and I was a freshman, so she was experienced, and I wasn't, and I learned how to kiss from her. Joe had a car, and we would go and park and neck, and this was all new to me, and very exciting.
When she went away to college, and had to leave me, which broke my heart, she passed me off to her younger sister, Mary, who I adored. It wasn’t long before her dad rotated out, and she was gone, too. But I couldn't wait to see Anita, my “Newfie” girlfriend, who was the most beautiful of them all, and the one I spent the most time with. I really liked girls, and there were a lot of them, so I was always busy, at least, girl watching. I had a little bit of a crush on all of the girls, but I was so shy, I never spoke to some of my favorites.
Much of my material references websites. Many websites have disappeared during this writing. I want to include some photos here, in the event that their source should cease to exist.
Our hormones are so raging that we are even in love with our gorgeous school teachers, Senorita Obregon, and Ms. Liebowicz, to name two, real fast. Miss Reese, my geometry teacher wasn’t a knockout, but I loved her because she really got through to me, and math became one of my strong features. Mr. Wolf had a sports car that four of us could scoot around, and we loved to turn him sideways in his parking place. My school principal, J.C. McCormack, took a liking to me and he and Mr. Leavitt, one of my teachers took me fishing one day.
****Excerpt from wikipedia-
On September 4, 1956 the base high school officially opened in building number T-394, the old elementary school building. In 1958, the same year that Stephenville received its first traffic light and television celebrated its first birthday, Harmon High established its own newspaper, The Harmon Highlight. In June 1960 the elementary school was located to a building with large play areas for the children. There were 29 elementary teachers and Mrs. Anna Barnett was the secretary. Joseph C. McCormack was the high school principal in 1961 and Mr. Harvey Bodiford was the superintendent of both Harmon and Goose Bay US military schools with his main office at Goose Bay.
In 1961 Cecil Haddox was promoted to superintendent of schools at Ernest Harmon AFB and he was also appointed principal of the junior-senior high schools. Mr. Haddox had previously taught at Pepperrell AFB from 1957-1960 before being transferred to Harmon that year. In 1961 several new programs were started due to his perseverance and the National Honor Society was formed as well as several new classes such as art, music and physical education.
The base's civilian dependent population continued to grow during the early 1960s and the schools expanded along with them. A new high school (now being used by Newfoundland and Labrador's community college, the College of the North Atlantic) was opened and in 1962/63, the high school teaching staff increased to 25 while the elementary-middle school staff of teachers jumped to 42.
By 1965/66, the last year of military operations at Ernest Harmon AFB, the total school population had now grown to over 1000 elementary students and 38 teachers and the high school had a population of 171 junior high and 235 high school students with 28 teachers. When the base closed in 1966, so did the school system, which had 1,175 elementary students and 43 teachers and 405 junior and high school students and 26 teachers upon closure.
End excerpt. Popups omitted
The house we were assigned was a duplex. It sat on the side of a hill, and we had pine trees in the front yard. This picture shows what they looked like.
All the married officers with children got one of these. If this was actually my old place, I would have been in the left portion of the duplex, Shala Mahaffee, a girl I had a major crush on, lived in the farther duplex, and Tana Love lived across the street. The yearbooks are available at website http://perachit.bravepages.com/library.htm . She was dating Bob Thacker, who, oddly enough, became a close friend, after he was set up to get busted, and I warned him, and saved him from enormous trouble. Up the hill from the Loves was another house, about at the top. Behind that, across the way, was John Young, my brother’s friend. The Youngs would leave the garden hose run, in the winter time, and that would create a huge skating rink. We would play hockey, and practice barrel jumping, and smooch on our girlfriends. Bachelor officers had their own quarters, and the enlisted men, (single), lived in barracks.
I remember terrorizing the barracks, up by the hospital, and raiding the vending machines, and being a punk, in general. This picture is looking at the hospital from “hospital hill”. In the winter, we would ski, and sled down this hill, into the hospital parking lot.
Bob Bennett's dad was base commander, and he got this beautiful place to live.
It seemed like the higher rank you were, the higher up the hill you lived. There were all branches of service there. From the Navy, Commander Brady lived farther up the hill, just past Col. Hall, whose son, Roger, was an awesome piano player, and I’ll bet that not too many people ever knew that.
It seemed like my dad was gone a lot. Most of his "on duty" time was spent on the "hill", where the 640A.C.R.O.N. squadron maintained, and operated early warning radar.
I would go with him, at times, and spend the day with him, and I would shoot pool with the guys, and hang out at the B.X., where I made friends with the staff sergeant that ran the B.X. He talked me into buying my first fly fishing outfit, and he picked out a hunting knife set that my dad bought for me as a gift. I lost it in the river, when we went on our 70 mile hike to set Kerry’s trap lines. Kerry went back to look for it but we never found it, and I was heartbroken.
I learned my first lesson about gambling. All the buildings had at least one slot machine, and I would always see the same guy feeding them. My dad said that most of his money went to the slots, and he was always asking for an advance. As an example, my father would put in one coin, and walk away, no matter what came up. Later in life, when I caught myself trying to make up for a loss, I remembered this lesson, and my attitude towards gambling changed, and I find it difficult to risk anything in games of chance.
I make a genuine effort to become athletic, and our gym coach tried to have patience with me, but I was so ignorant of the rules of most sports, people took for granted that I knew the basics, when I really didn't. I was especially good at baseball, and I was a good catcher, and batter, but when told to "take" a pitch, I thought that meant swing. Simple stuff like that. I lettered in basketball, only because I never missed a practice, or a game, and I hardly ever got to play, 'cause I was so crappy. I got a token bronze medal for weight lifting, which boosted my ego, 'cause there was a lot of really big guys to compete with. If I remember correctly, Kip Tolhurst won gold, Ken Swearengen won silver, and Tucker Tolhurst, won bronze. Mr. Houston got an extra bronze for me, and that really made my day. I was so close behind Tuck, I guess he felt sorry for me.
All of the pictures are available at http://perachit.bravepages.com/index.htm
To Base or not to Base?
This gorgeous shot comes from a Harmon website, http://www.angelfire.com/tn/petrafirst/Harmon.html
There is so much to do here, I never had a boring moment, except when the weather got so bad, we were stuck in the house. There was bowling, and I'm trying to remember where the music room was, I think they called it "special services", and they had pool tables, just check out balls, chalk and cue, and musical instruments, and all kinds of entertainment for the G.I.s, and this is a base, remember, and there is bus service to everywhere, except when the roads are blocked with snow. And as soon as the plows can clear them, the busses run again. I have never had so much freedom, with no real responsibilities.
And the teen club, with so many things to do. We had a "teen club" with pool tables, sodas and food, dance floor, and juke box, and when I hear "In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps", I can close my eyes and I'm right back there again.
I think that everybody spent more time there than anywhere else. There was this marvelous woman that went by the name of “Ma Moose”. She was in charge of the club, and had a miraculous way of maintaining order without ever raising her voice. She was someone to talk to if you had a problem, and she always had a kind word for everyone. When I hear the music from that time period, I can close my eyes, and picture myself in the teen club.
A friend sent a website in an email. It is a jukebox that can be programmed to play the top twenty numbers from any year. I hit on 1961, and, there they were, all the tunes we used to listen to. If you are one of the lucky people to have experienced Harmon High in the sixties, then you should try this for yourself.
Click on 1961 , and close your eyes and join me in the teen club.
I also spent an amazing amount of time in St. Georges with Kerry and David. David's older brother, Kerry is now a famous Newfoundland Hunting and Tour guide. We hiked incredible distances on foot. I remember a seventy mile hike, which would be unbelievable, except, we were picked up seventy miles from where we started. My mom was always so worried, because we carried guns, and fishing poles, and almost no food, and I would come back, not having had a bath for two weeks, and she would just shake her head. There was so much fish and game there, I really got into fishing and hunting, and George Cutler (and Lydia) gave me my first rifle, a Remington 511 Target Master, and I still have it today, in perfect working order. This rifle is amazing to me because I had seen Kerry kill a two thousand pound bull moose with it. He was an incredible marksman, and he would make one fantastic shot after another. When I was leaving, and he put it in my hands, and said it was mine, I was overjoyed, and to this day, I treasure it as one of my most prized possessions.
We also did a lot of fishing right there in St. Georges Bay, off the dock, or off one of the dories that every family seemed to own at least one dory.
And jigging for cod fish with a lead weight with hooks, and swimming from the beach to Sandy Point, a little over a mile, and learning to row a boat, and set lobster pots, and chop firewood.
Dad made sure I got to do all the fishing I wanted. The military had gone out in the woods, and found this beautiful place, called "camp 33", and they built cabins, and a boat rental marina, where you could get licenses. We all went fishing together, and when I got the chance, I would take the boat to a place where a small river ran into the lake. I would land the boat and walk up the river to a spot I had found, where I could catch a nice trout on every cast. Later that year, I lost a school friend in that very lake. Richard McGray and his father were fishing out of a boat at camp 33, when something happened, and they were never found.
It took a lot of money to do all the things I wanted to do, so to finance all this stuff, I held down two jobs. I worked at the air terminal as a busboy, and short order cook, usually when the snow was deep. When it wasn't deep, I worked at the commissary, sacking groceries. I always had plenty of money, and I decided to take up smoking. Whenever I was with David Cutler, We always had a sack of tobacco, and some rolling papers. Soon I was buying cigarettes on base, (ten cents a pack, ninety cents a carton) and hiding this from my parents got harder and harder. I was brought up very strict, and very religious, and I am out of control. I tried so hard to drink alcohol, and do all the things my parents didn't want me to do.
When I worked at the terminal, the pace was determined by incoming and outgoing flights, and the terminal was open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A lot of time, there was nothing to do, and I would visit with Nita Pickering. For some reason, it seemed like she was always there. She was dating a young airman, whom I never met, but she always seemed to be lonely. Then, a flight would roll in, and I would get real busy, whether I was cooking, or bussing, for about an hour, then I could sit back down with Nita again. I especially remember her, because we were visiting together when we heard the news about Buddy Holly being killed in an airplane crash. (Buddy Holly September 7, 1936-February 3, 1959. We heard the news on an anniversary???)
A picture of the airstrip where the terminal was located.
I wanted to start school in Washington state at the beginning of the year, so my parents sent me to stay with friends until they finally rotated.
Some photos from website http://www.angelfire.com/tn/petrafirst/pic.html/
At the time of this writing, many have passed. This is to honor their memory. I will update. Please excuse omissions, and errors. Special thanks to the creators of this web site for making this possible.
----- Original Message -----
From: Terry Peterson
Sent: 12/29/11 09:11 AM
To: Denise Jenkins
Subject: Emailing: Memorial.htm
This version may differ from original website. It was hand-entered, in the event that the web site “goes away”
Obituary provided by N.W.Croom Jr. through Rocket Trails.
Ansel Crisp Passing
Email from Norris Croom: Ansel Crisp Passing
9/25/2015 5:05 PM
Dear Classmates, thought you might want to know that our dear friend Ansel Crisp, EHHS Class of 1961, passed away peacefully yesterday, about 4:45pm, at his home in York, SC. Ansel’s son, Clay, called me yesterday evening with the sad news. Our hearts go out to Lynda, Clay, and the entire Crisp family. May God bless them all!
If you would like Lynda’s address is it as follows:
Mrs. Lynda Crisp
329 E. Liberty St.
York, SC 29745
I’ll be happy to pass on any service arrangement details, once known, to those who would like to have them.
The Hill by John Chaulk
Date/Time of Posting: Jul 29 2010/16:08:52 name=John Chaulk where=Stephenville, Newfoundland (EHAFB) Harmon_Memories=I grew up in Whites Trailer Park. I met many American and had many American friends. We were all kids back then. If anyone would like photos taken of specific areas, I’m still here, working and living and would love to rekindle any memories that ya’ll have with the town.My dad was employed as a baker with the USAF in Goose Bay, Labrador. I work with the local telephone companyand frequent the 640thACWRON Pinetree Radar Site (The Hill.) We have cell towers there. Would love to hear from anyone that served our little town back then. And, hey, Thank you for your service. Stephenville will not forget you…Ever!
Date/Time of Posting:Aug 22 2010/08:48:35 name= JC Williams where=Federal Way, Washington Harmon_Memories=Stationed at Harmon from April of ’65 to December of ’66. Was in the 4081st Combat Defense Squadron. Here is a video of the base that was made in July of 2002.
This is a must see! The memories are almost overwhelming.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=aws8gVXdjw0 St. Georges, Shallop Cove
Related web site:
Other photos are credited at the source.
This page has been modified.
It originally showed the “Harmon Rocket, 1962” in its entirety.
The original content of this page has been divided into two parts.
The first half is the class photos, and shows all the classes from kindergarten to twelfth grade.
http://www.petesmemories.com/nfld1.html pages 1-108
The distorted pages have been fixed.
The second half is the activities of the high school students.
http://www.petesmemories.com/nfld2.html pages 109-end
Sorry for the inconvenience, but this loads much faster than before.
This seems like a good place to put all of my personal photos from Newfoundland.
Whole fam damly. Gloria age 7, Dale age 12, Terry age 15, Irma and Harold Peterson.
Looking north from our back yard. My sister Gloria.
Back of the house.
My Grannie Johnson came to visit us. Looks like I had something smartass to say about that.
My Newfie friend, Gary Major And his dad and mom Frank and Annie Major
Another photo of Frank and Annie
With Huett and Dinah cutler in front Frank and Annie with mom
These photos were taken in 1976, when my folks made a return trip to Newfoundland.These are Newfie kids, with St. Georges in the background. Children of my friends.
These were taken in late 1962 after I had returned to the states.
My granny with the church people. Church ladies
And last of all, my favorite place, “Camp 33”. This is where Richard McCray lost his life, fishing with his dad. It was a very sad time at school.
I have temporarily uploaded a chapter from my autobiography, entitled, “Newfoundland”.
Find it at http://www.petesmemories.com/memoir.html.
For an index of family pages see http://www.petesmemories.com .