Buildings

The Big Bang of 1980 (The Hailstorm!)

The Big Bang of 1980
(The Hailstorm!)

- or -

Don't Go Outside and Stay Away From the Windows!

By
Tim Carr('82) 
Charles Philipp('80) 
Sam Morrow('83) 
and
Bucky Heard('83)

Talk about cold in the sixties. I remember back in the spring of 1980 the school came under an attack of a large HAILSTORM that broke out just about all the windows. The ice was as large as a golf ball. It look like a snowstorm had hit. Covered the ground about 1 inch.

The storm happened in late March or early April of 1980. I have a photo of the late Kelly Robertson('81)* displaying the size of the hailstones with one in his mouth and one each hand. The exact date of the storm I cannot remember. Before the hailstorm Camp Hill was covered by a snowstorm.

 Kelly Robertson('81) in 1980

*Kelly Robertson('81) and Daniel Vallee('81) were killed in an automobile accident on March 12, 1981 in Anderson S.C. A day I will never forget. It was spring break week-end and they were headed to Kelly's home in Greensboro, N.C.. Kelly was in his senior year, and Daniel was a sophomore.

Story and Photograph by Tim Carr('82)

I REMEMBER IT WELL! ME AND MICHAEL GLUMM('81) WERE WORKING OVER AT THE OLD SUPPLY BUILDING WHEN IT HIT.

WE HEARD THIS WEIRD NOISE COMING THROUGH THE WOODS, AND TO MY ASTONISHMENT I SAW ALL THESE BALLS BOUNCING OFF THE TREES. I JUST STOOD THERE NOT BELIEVING WHAT I WAS SEEING. HOWEVER IT DIDN'T TAKE ME LONG TO RUN FOR COVER AFTER ONE OF THOSE BALLS POUNDED ME ON THE BACK. I HAD A BRUISE THAT LASTED ABOUT A WEEK.

I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT IF ANYONE WOULD HAVE GOT CAUGHT OUT IN THE OPEN IN THAT STORM IT WOULD HAVE PROBABLY KILLED THEM.

Story by Charles Philipp('80)

OH, YEAH! The Hailstorm!

I was in Cpt (George) Pate's 4th period class when it hit. Remember Captain George? I remember that he had always said that in any severe weather situation, to always be calm and not panic.

We had just finished a Physical Science test. A few of us were at the windows in the class. Then we heard it. Sounded like a freight train coming through the woods. Next thing we knew all the windows in the classroom were breaking! Cpt George grabbed his paddle, leapt up from his desk, and began shouting for everyone to get on the floor, cover their heads, etc. Total pandemonium. Scary at the time, but in retrospect, funny as can be.

One of my best memories of 9th grade.

Story by Sam Morrow('83)

I remember the hail storm as well...

I was across the hall from Sam Morrow in Captain Woodward's Algebra Class when I heard glass shattering!!! People were screaming across the hall, but it was mainly Captain Pate....like Sam said, I found it odd that he was raising more Hell than anyone when he always told us to be calm in a dangerous situation!! Ha!! Yes....it was DAMN funny looking back on it!!!

Story by Bucky Heard('83)

SII Dances

Story By Paul Strobel('43)

SII was co-ed when I was there and sometimes on a Saturday night we were allowed to have dances. On one particular night, Earley Macon('44) wished to cut in while I was dancing with Evelyn Bodiford('43). She had previously said that she did not want to dance with him. I never knew why, because Earley was a nice looking fellow and very gentlemanly. Anyway, Earley made the attempt and I, thinking I was certainly a knight destined to honor the lady's wish, indicated that he could not cut in. He immediately asked me to join him on the small stretch of grass just outside of Tallapoosa Hall. I did. In a few minutes I had handily taken the advantage and returned to the dance, elated, pompous,....and for the moment, unaware of how foolish it all was.

Well, the next time we had a dance, the same situation developed, with the same players, and once again, Earley asked me out again. In just a few seconds my new-found prowess as the pugilistic superior of SII vanished!

Fifty-three years later I called Earley one night (he lives in Birmingham) and during the conversation we reminisced about days gone by. Of course, I had to bring up the memory of that encounter. He remembered, and being the constant gentleman, he allowed that it was of no consequence.

I don't think Earley was particularly enamored of the young lady involved; it probably had to do with pride. Anyway, Earley married Josephine ("Jo") Snow ('44) and they continue their SII romance.

I always hoped that Dr. Ward and Mr. Kirkland were never aware of this event. Miss Blaisdell was; I know, because I had to write extra book reports. Wow! It's tough to lose....,but twice?

Russell Hall(early 1970's) (Boys' Dorm(1940's)

Russell Hall(early 1970's)
(Boys' Dorm(1940's)

Russell Hall(1981)

Russell Hall(1981)

This is one of the buildings in which I once lived. Yes, there were dormers on the upper (third) story and alas, they were removed before you took your picture. The dormers, etc were removed after I left. It is also one of the buildings in which I worked (painting interior walls) during holidays when all other students went home. (I lived too far away.) Miss Blaisdell lived in the bottom, left hand side as you face the building.

The large room to the right (opposite Miss Blaisdell's quarters) was a library and it was in this room that we held dances on Saturday night sometimes. In the spring and fall we had dances in the auditorium in Tallapoosa Hall. It would have been too cold for socials in the winter, hence our social activities, few though they were, were held in the library of the dorm.

On Saturday nights - once in a while - we had dances. (The school (SII) was co-ed then.) You had to hold the girl at least 12 inches away from you. The teachers offered a ruler and Dr. Ward offered an "hurrumph" if you disobeyed the rule. Much more could be said about the building...and much, much more about all the good/great memories.

Before we lived in this building we occupied Alabama Hall**. Those students that remained in Alabama Hall were "House Mothered" by Mrs. Smith. (Wesley's mother.) Miss Blaisdell*** was indeed our house mother when we relocated. She was stern and demanded adherence to rules. She was also the most lovable, effective, and mannerly person I have ever known.

Demerits, The Lake, and The Cabin

Some Reflections of
The Southern Industrial Institute
in the Early 1940's

By Paul S. Strobel('43)

Demerits

Phil Potts('63) asked me this question:

As a Military Academy, we were given "demerits" for let's say "uncool performance". At SII what sort of similar things did you have.

My Answer was:

I don't recall that we (at SII) ever had "demerits", per se. Dr. Ward had his very own system of discipline. That system was effective and constructive. It has contributed to whatever maturity and integrity we maintained throughout our lives.

The system was simple. When you misbehaved, you had extra chores. We had regular work schedules, over and above class room activities. Extra work meant just that: extra work. Regular work chores included things like cutting pine trees for heating and cooking purposes, waiting tables in the dining room, assisting in the print shop, helping "Babe" in the kitchen, cleaning the cabin at the lake, and washing windows. Every morning one of us was scheduled to deliver fresh milk, cream, eggs and butter to Dr. Ward's house. The walk wasn't really very long, but it sure seemed long; very early mornings and very cold temperatures really can make a short walk very long.

Not for disciplinary reasons, but because I was too far from home to return during holidays, I stayed in the dormitory and was assigned a work schedule. I remember that it does get cold in the winter in Alabama, and especially in an unheated building. My work assignment was painting the interior of the dormitory.

BUTCHANOWHAT? It was a labor of love!!!

"The Lake" and "The Cabin"

Cabin Erected by the Boys Overlooking Lake Mary (Original caption - From the LWMA History Room)

Cabin Erected by the Boys
Overlooking Lake Mary
(Original caption - From the LWMA History Room)

Cabin with porch. Man siting on porch is Mr. J. Brackin Kirkland.

Cabin with porch.
Man siting on porch is Mr. J. Brackin Kirkland.

Cabin Fireplace 1999 (Taken 10/23/99)

Cabin Fireplace 1999
(Taken 10/23/99)

Brian Brunner('64) asked me this question:

Where was the cabin? "The lake"? Is that the same lake we have on campus now or somewhere else? What was it used for? When was it built? When was it torn down?

My Answer was:

This is in response to your request for information concerning the above captioned. I present all of the following from memory, as I have no written records, so you will please forgive any errors which subsequently arise. Memories, especially those which are 50 + years old, sometimes seem to fade into the mists of time. Yet, the pleasures involved tend to grow.

"The Lake" was (is?) not very large. Mrs. Ward lent her name to it, thus "Lake Mary". It may have covered an acre or more and it was not very deep, however, it did provide great opportunities for fun for growing, healthy boys.

The cabin was located very near the lake - not on the lake's bank, but very near. As I recall, it was not very large. Perhaps about twenty feet by thirty feet. It was build of logs from the school's forest. I don't know when it was built but I believe it was quite some time before I came to SII in the forties. The interior was very plain. Just bare log walls, chinked well. It had a wonderful, large fireplace. We would take our blankets to the cabin sometimes on Friday or Saturday nights. Although the floor was pine and accouterments ranged from exiguous to non-existent, it was a treasure house of fun; pillow fights, stories, and camaraderie. Earley Macon ('44) and Ken Russell ('44) could probably give you additional information. Also, Dorothy Moore('54), I'm sure would be able to provide more information.

When I come down there in May, one of the things I look forward to it visiting Lake Mary. I shall be disappointed if it is no longer there. The cabin, too, would be nice to see although I suspect it has long since departed. Regardless, it will be so wonderful to visit old memories which, in this case, never die but become more poignant with the passing of years.

The Rope in the Clock Tower

By Paul Tate, LWMA Faculty, 1965 - 1983

thetallh3.jpg

I suppose that there are more stories about the ghost(s) in Tallapoosa Hall than anything else. When I was directing plays, we used the attic for storing much of our items (lights, electrical cables, control panels, etc.) that we used annually. It was always very interesting and amusing as I watched the faces of cadets who were about to make their first trips to the attic. After winding up a steep and narrow stairway to get to the attic, one would encounter even steeper stairs to go from the attic into the clock tower. They would always look in the bell tower (actually, the clock tower) for the rope (noose) used by Seven-Toes* who had hanged himself from the rafters. As you know, during your time at LWMA and much of the time I spent there, Tallapoosa Hall was never locked (only classrooms and offices), so many new cadets would go with an older cadet on ghost hunts in the space of time between the close of study hall (in the dorms) and taps.

* "Seven-Toes" was the name someone gave to a seven-toed bum who lived somewhere deep in the back woods.

See the story titled " The Legend of Seven-Toes" for more information.