WEST WIND BLUE JAYS HELPING BLUE JAYS NEWSLETTER FOR WEST END HIGH ALUMNI

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1 NEWSLETTER FOR WEST END HIGH ALUMNI WEST WIND VOLUME 2, ISSUE 3 17 APRIL 2015 BLUE JAYS HELPING BLUE JAYS Your alumni association is looking for some helping hands, some on a regular basis, some on an as needed bases. First let s talk about committees. We are forming several new committees and need people to help out. These committees in most instances would not require a lot of time on your part, but would be a big help to us and your fellow alums. All Class Reunion Committee We need two or three folks with great planning skills who enjoy planning events. Sunshine Committee We need three or four people to help us reach out to our fellow alums who are under the weather, in the hospital or suffering from the loss of a loved one. This would involve sending out cards, making phone calls, etc. Merchandising Need two or three folks with a real flair for merchandising to help us come up with a terrific new line of merchandise related to West. Fund Raising Two or three folks who know their way away soliciting funds, both for specific projects and general association needs. C o m m u n i c a - tions Verbal, written and design skills for helping us take our communications to a new, higher level. Also, for the last couple of years, we have had a great group of people step up and help out with concession sales at the Middle School ballgames and this year, we are looking at doing a little more. First ball game in four months, so if you have helped out before and want to continue, or have never helped but might want to give it a try, let me know soon as I want to get the team in place before summer. We are also looking to create some great new signage for the West football stadium to not only let everyone know who the school is, but also to welcome them to the home of the Blue Jays. If you have the skills or interest, please let me know asap. This is one of the most pressing needs right now. Thanks for your consideration! SPECIAL POINTS OF INTEREST: Whit Says Farewell New at Lunch Bunch Remember When? Goodbye and thanks Ray Sharer I m looking Over a Four Leaf Clover... INSIDE THIS ISSUE: WEST HISTORY 2 THANKS TO WHIT 3 CALENDAR 4 BOOK ORDER 5 MISSION 8 THANKS TO RAY 8

2 PAGE 2 WEST WIND Actually, it s been a little more than a year since I suggested to Burton Dietz that I would be interested in writing a history column for the West Wind as he was starting a newsletter for the Alumni Association. After nine submissions I think it s time to let someone else have a chance to tell their stories about the school. You don t have to be a historian to do so. I m not. I m just a guy who is interested in history and likes to write. At this time I m caught between two extremes when it comes to what to write about next. (1) I m about out of ideas. (2) I have enough possible topics to last a lifetime. Those thoughts may seem contradictory, but they ve been true since my first column back in January The title Was it Always West End High School? seemed like an obvious place to start. I hope it A Year of Columns Whit Stokes told readers something they did not know before, but if they had read Stan Tyson s book, Those Were The Glory Years, it wasn t telling them anything they had not already read. The same was true about the next issue when I wrote Were They Always Blue Jays? At least in number three I quit plagiarizing Stan and did some actual research about Which Came First, The Park, Or The School? By that time people were suggesting topics and they usually involved indiv i d u a l s, D o c Yarbrough, Coach Strickland, Mr. Oliver, Coach Shapiro, and other faculty members. I knew any one of the people suggested would be a good choice, but it would also invite questions about why I wrote about someone f i r s t, e. g. D r. Yarbrough, before I wrote about Mr. Oliver. Besides all of the principals (there were only two) and coaches had lengthy biographical treatments in the Tyson book and one I was in the process of writing which has since been published (The Transition Years). And while there were certainly some colorful characters on the faculty, there really isn t much information available about them. If there was there is a certain red-haired English teacher I m sure a lot of people would like to read about. But, I did write about three individuals in later issues and they were selected for very different reasons. (1) Admiral William Lawrence is someone about whom much has been written, including a book, Tennessee Patriot. Any history of the school, especially the first decade ( ) is incomplete without listing his accomplishments as a student and athlete. However, what he did after leaving West for a Navy career is even more noteworthy and not at all surprising to those who knew him as a young boy. (2) A second selection was made about a person who never attended the school. Jane May served as the librarian at West End Junior High and later West End Middle School from 1978 to It is also solely through her efforts as a librarian/ historian in preserving and cataloging the archives of the school that made possible the Alumni Room at the school. Certainly without her efforts the books Stan Tyson and I wrote would never have been written because we would have no place to look for the necessary information. (3) The story about Nancy Reed winn ing t h e N CAA

3 VOLUME 2, ISSUE 3 PAGE 3 A Year of Columns Whit Stokes Women s Golf Championship in 1954 took place after she graduated, but it is one of the most underreported stories in the history of the school, if not Nashville sports history, in my opinion. I felt it deserved to be told again because unlike the exploits of Admiral Lawrence it was something very few people were even aware of. There were two columns about school songs, Four Leaf Clover and the Alma Mater, but there was very little research involved because I had already written about the two songs in an earlier book, All The Way For Doc. There was one reader who disputed my version of how Four Leaf Clover became the Blue Jay fight song. In Stan Tyson s book, Those Were The Glory Years, he referred to three students who brought trumpets to a basketball game and began playing the song which was popular at the time. And there was a picture in the yearbook that year (1948) showing the three boys with their instruments at a game. However I said it started with a lone trumpeter who was later joined by the others at a later game. My version was based on memory of a conversation sixty-five years ago with two cousins who attended West at that time. Unfortunately, this cannot be verified today because I seem to be the only Whit and Friends person who remembers the conversation, plus the people who actually played the song are no longer available either. Trying to resurrect history correctly can be a challenge. Whichever version is correct it is still a surprise that such an unlikely song survived to the end of the 1948 basketball season. However, it is more surprising that the song is still played today at Middle School games! What turns out to be my next to final column, Shakespeare Comes to West High was simply triggered by several conversations that took place at the 60 th reunion of the Class of 1954 this past summer. At the time I thought that might be fun to write about. I m sure others have similar experiences and ideas about what might be fun to write about so I ll step aside and let others have a chance. It s been fun writing this column and I look forward to what others may have to say in the future. EDITOR S NOTE Whit has been a vital part of the West Wind since it was revised early last year. His columns have generated a huge amount of response from you as you have read them and each has been informational and entertaining. I hope that Whit will contribute again soon, whether on a regular monthly basis or in the issues of his choosing. He is always welcome. There is information on Page 5 as to how you can order his book The Transition Years

4 PAGE 4 WEST WIND MAY 2015 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Thursday May 7h Class of 1960 lunch at Carrabba s in Green Hills at 11:30. Thursday May 14th Lunch Bunch, 11:15, Hillwood Country Club Monday May 25th Memorial Day May s Lunch Bunch will be hosted by two new faces Ted and Larry Wilson. Ray Sharer decided to step down and April was his last to emcee. Ted and Larry stepped up and volunteered to succeed Ray and were subsequently approved by those in attendance. LUNCH BUNCH tinuously now for more than 30 years. April was also the first back at Hillwood Country Club this year, after Hillwood undertook major renovations of their public meeting rooms to update their appearance. Hillwood also did an amazing job of renovating their hallways and public waiting areas with light, new colors that just seemed to breathe a new life into them. If you have not seen the renovations, they are cer- Lunch Bunch has become a true tradition for us Blue Jays as it has run containly worth a visit to check them out. As always, Lunch Bunch meets the second Thursday of every month at 11:15 at Hillwood Country Club. If you have not attended why not start a new Blue Jay tradition of your own and join your fellow Blue Jays for great stories, laughter and good times? Hope to see you there!

5 VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2 PAGE 5 HOW TO ORDER WHIT S BOOK THE TRANSITION YEARS The history of West End High School from 1954 to 1968 under Principal John Oliver. This book is a sequel to Those Were The Glory Years written by West graduate Wallace Tyson (1948) and published in Tyson told the story of the school from its inception in 1937 to the final year (1954) W.H. Yarbrough (Doc) was principal. Whit Stokes (1954) has updated the story to the final year that West was a high school (1968). Copies can be ordered for $20.00 which includes mailing costs. Whitworth Stokes 1500 Rufer Avenue Louisville, KY (502) The most beautiful school in the city!

6 REMEMBER WHEN? NERO S WAS AN INCREDIBLE GATHERING PLACE FOR BLUE JAYS

7 HOW MANY CAN YOU IDENTIFY? Blue Jays sharing great times with fellow Blue Jays!

8 Goals for Alumni WEST END HIGH SCHOOL ALUMNI P.O. Box Nashville, TN Phone; I T S HERE! W ESTH IGHB LU EJAYS. COM Foster mutual support among the Alumni of West End High School and West End Middle School, Nashville, Tennessee including alumni gatherings, support for those in ill health and passing of WESA participants. Continue the preservation of the West End physical facility and grounds. Support the ongoing educational program at West End School by working with the Parent Teacher Student Organization, faculty, students or other interested parties in school activities, fund raising, and mentoring students. To set an example to all as to why West is Best. BLUEJAYS CARRYING FORWARD A GREAT TRADITION! THANKS RAY SHARER FOR A GREAT JOB! April 9th was Ray Sharer s last day to head up the West High Lunch Bunch and all Blue Jays should give him a huge THANK YOU for everything that he did during his tenure with us. He brought a large increase in attendees, brought women into the group for the first time ever and generally kept a nearly 30 year tradition going when it was on the verge of dying. My hat is off to Ray and a HUGE Thank You is on the way, I hope that all of you give him the thanks he deserves Bunch as Ray s successors. They have been regular attendees for several years and knowing both of them as great people and rock solid Blue Jays, I know they will do an outstanding job in Ray s footsteps. I heartily support them and wish them the best of luck as they move our group forward. I will continue to Ray Sharer as well. offer gentle reminders and Now, a HUGE ask for your signups every WELCOME to Larry and month, so please get out Ted Wilson. They have and show them what that volunteered and been chosen to continue the Lunch Blue Jay spirit is all about, they deserve your support! W h i l e this is not the year for an all class gathering in the summer, we will be hosting quarterly dinners here in Nashville and might even try for another picnic this summer for any alum who can make it (we started a summer picnic four years ago to help fill the year between the BIG dinner and it has been a huge success with 100 turning out for each one we have done.) Thanks! Burton Burton Dietz

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