Charles Simmons

Your well written article moved me. The shot of your husband and his son standing by that lone cross among thousands says it all. Also, your mention of the PAC-MAC, as it was called at Braniff, brought back memories of many stories told by my fellow Braniff airmen and flight attendants. Braniff flew a canary yellow 707 out of Travis. It cheered the homeward bound men to see that airplane coming for them. Thanks for the piece. Well done!

John Echoff

Where would I begin to express my thanks to the millions of veterans who served so that we could remain free. My family has never been wealthy in a monetary sense, but we are rich in heritage! My family arrived in the New World in 1640 and has served our wonderful country ever since. The Revolutionary War, the Indian Wars, two great uncles in the Civil War, one on each side. My Great-Great Grandfather, John Duncan fought for Texas Independence at San Jacinto with Sam Houston. Another uncle served in the Spanish-American War, my foster dad and an uncle in WWI in France. WWII called more family to serve, as did Korea. The unrest in the Middle East (Lebonan) resulted in a brother being wounded, and then Viet Nam same brother served 7 tours and was wounded 6 times, received a chest full of medals-retired from the Army only to die of a heart attack at age 40. I was put on stand-by for Desert Storm, but not called up. My wife's youngest brother has been to Iraq two tours and Don Hannsz' boy, Skipper is serving at present in the UAE, escorting ships thru the Straights of Harmuz.

To all past and present, I salute you and give you a heart felt "Semper Fi"...

God Bless America

John Echoff

Billy Carter, you mention the mess at TSU. I was there the night it all went out of control. As a member of the Sheriff's Reserve Force, I was called out and took part in putting down the disturbance. If memory serves me correctly, I believe we put 340 male students in jail that night, one police officer (HPD) was killed and one Sheriff's Deputy was wounded (me). I went on to help in several other civil disturbances during the turbulent times of civil unrest. Surrounded by mobs and threatened several times, those were some of the scariest times of my career!

Doris Simmons


My Dad was in the Army Air Corps and trained at Ellington Field. I remember riding the bus out to see him and that he always came home with lots of candy from the Commissary. When he was transferred to Japan as part of the occupation troops following the end of World War II, he asked my grandparents to buy us a house so we wouldn’t need to live in Army housing while he was gone. Thankfully, my grandparents were in the position to do just that and we moved into our house on Linden Street in Pecan Park. This was a good thing. There was even talk of us joining him in Japan.

Unfortunately, however, he was killed on May 29, 1947 when his plane crashed into the side of a mountain. This was a shock from which my mother never recovered. I remember the phone call ---- no soldiers at the front door --- nothing gentle. A reporter on the phone gave her the news. I can still hear her scream and see her throwing the phone. “My Daddy is dead” was my comment to another reporter that came to our house. The article stated that “the oldest” child seemed to know what happened. Certainly nothing was ever the same.

Because of the area where his plane crashed and the number of passengers, it took the Army all summer before his remains were returned to the States. He was finally buried at Forrest Park Lawndale on November 11, 1947. Everyone says that my Mother loved my Dad so much that she was never the same.

The details of my life after that are like “the 6 o’clock” news. But I must say that I was saved by my belief in God and knowing He loved me. When I was little, and still today, when I see the moon at the point it looks like a silver sliver at the bottom of the circle, it looks like a desk to me. And if you look hard, you can see the slightest shadow of a circle which looks as if you can see right into Heaven. So, I felt like God sat at that desk and marked “who was naughty and who was nice” and that my Dad was with him --- watching! Because of that --- I tried always to be good, but especially good during that time.

Our lives are so incredibly shaped by so many things. But I do find it ironic now that, May 29th is often Memorial Day and November 11th is Veteran’s Day. These are very important days to many Americans, but especially for me.

Hug your Soldier if you have one!!

John Echoff

Sadly, I report the loss of a great American, and a legendary Marine. Colonel Jim Yawn USMC (ret.) passed on to his final reward Wednesday, November 12, 2008. Colonel Yawn was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions in WWII, as a pilot in the Pacific Theater, Col. Yawn was instrumental in the defeat of the Japanese Fleet at the Battle of Midway. Col. Yawn found the enemy fleet and maintained surveillance until Admiral Hulsey's command could intercept and defeat the enemy, which in turn led to Victory in the Pacific. It is with a heavy heart that I announce the loss of my friend, may God Bless him...

Semper Fi

Ray Prichard

After reading the postings about veterans and military service from so many of our classmates, I am moved to tears of joy and tears of sadness. Joy and admiration for their military service and that of their family and friends. Tears of sadness for the family members lost.

In 1968 my father and I took a trip to Washington, DC. We visited Arlington Military Cemetery, walking around enjoying the serene beauty yet the sadness of the rolling hills and endless grave markers. Suddenly, across one of the hills came the sound of a military bugler playing Taps. Our eyes were drawn to a sad spectacle of a military funeral on a nearby hillside. Though it was taking place several hundred yards across the hills, I felt like an intruder, watching that small group of mourners huddled around that flag draped coffin. Their grief was so heartfelt and so evident, even from that distance. I felt I should look away to give them privacy. I could not look away however. I could only offer a silent prayer for that fallen warrior and wish him God Speed to his eternal reward.

Over the ensuing war years, every time I read in the paper about a local fallen Viet Nam veteran, that scene came flooding back into my mind and heart. I am humbled to hear our Milby Class' veterans stories and I salute you all. God Bless you for your sacrifice and your selfless service in the behalf of all of our Milby classmates and families and friends.

Clyde ( Sonny ) Jones

You've got a real special talent for saying everything that needs to be said in an eloquent and moving way. Your stories are terrific, and I, for one, hope you never run dry.

Thanks for sharing

John Echoff

As we enter November, we should take a moment to observe three very important dates coming up: November 10th, the birthday of the United States Marine Corps, November 11th, originally called Armistice Day (now simply Veteran's Day), and of course the third, and in some circles the most important, November 25th, Thanksgiving Day.

I am particularly fond of all three for different reasons. Being a FORMER Marine, the 10th of November is very special to me. Having been raised by a World War I foster dad, Armistice Day was always very important to me. Third, but absolutely not last, is Thanksgiving Day. The fond memories of those wonderful family gatherings around the table, the delicious food (even in the Corps there was always a "semblance" of good holiday food). At home, after the meal, there was always the big football game.

Mainly, this time of year makes me remember the splendid time spent with family, most of whom have passed on now, but that does not lessen the memories. I especially think of my two brothers, both deceased. One served during the Korean Conflict, and the other served numerous tours in Viet Nam. He was wounded so many times I lost count of his injuries. I was indeed blessed to have two wonderful guys as brothers and they were brothers in every sense of the word.

My brother Jackie (youngest of the two) was a sergeant, stationed at the US Army Recruiting Station in downtown Houston for a while, and used to take particular delight in calling me when I worked at the Academy. He would ask to speak to "Sergeant Echoff" and the clerk would politely ask who was calling and he would reply simply "Sergeant Echoff". This would go on several times until she finally got wise to him and would just transfer the call.

Semper Fi! John

Mike Roberts

Happy Veterans Day to all. May I take a moment to express exaggerated gratitude for the service of all our military personnel who have so gallantly protected OUR FRAGILE FREEDOMS from enemies both foreign and domestic for 240 some years?

I would also pray to the hearts of those who abuse their FREEDOM, WON SOLELY by each of these FAVORED AMERICAN PATRIOTS, by attending funerals of OUR FALLEN HEROES, not to HONOR but to reflect the strange indifference FREEDOM brings forth in a politically correct society. I would pray that our FAMILY UNITS will continue to survive and lift our PRESENT service members, our VETERANS and our FALLEN comrades beyond the reach of the politically correct crowd so as to eventually eliminate any justification of judgment these misguided souls may embrace and promote!

I’m sorry if this offends anyone but I had to return to it TODAY and rethink my reason for thinking and writing it on VETERANS DAY, just to post to OUR BLOG. You see, it is MY belief that a family in mourning for a loved one, especially a FALLEN SOLDIER, should be shown an elevated sense of courtesy and not be subjected to the WHIMS of those enamored with SOCIETY and the POLITICAL SCENE!

I am taken aback by the REMOVAL/attempted REMOVAL of all that we knew as TRADITION (you get the picture)! When this country (we patriots) ALLOW ANYONE to tell a child it is not OKAY to display “OLD GLORY “on his bicycle, on VETERANS DAY, something is TERRIBLY WRONG!

That is my OPINION, I would be more than happy to entertain YOURS!

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

THE SHOOTOUT: Part Deaux (June 2009)

  • Ga - A Happy Bunch of Buffalo
    June 6, 2009 - Eight Milby Buffs and their spouses gathered at the home of Larry and Charlene Smith for a little target practice and a lot of eating and visiting. A great time was had by all!!! Click on title or thumbnails to view and read more.

Charleen's Beautiful Crazy Quilt (June 2009)

  • B - And Then the Quilts Came Out
    One of the REAL treats at "The SHOOTOUT, Part Deaux" was the viewing of Charleen's quilts. Click thumbnail or title to see photos. Once inside be sure to read the captions.

Echoffs in Colorado

  • C) Crossing the Continental Divide
    John and Linn Echoff recently had an exciting expedition northward into Colorado. Click on title or thumbnail to read the narrative and view the sights they saw.

Wilson's 50th Anniversary

  • A) Laura and Loyd in 1960
    Laura (Striegler) and Loyd Wilson recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Click on titles or thumbnails to view photos and read the narrative.

Ladies Luncheon July 27, 2010

  • A) The Gathering at the Black Lab
    Once again the invitation went out - and was answered by 17 of our classmates. Click on the title or thumbnail to view photos and read the captions.

Barker/Davis Reunion, 7/26/2010

  • A) Ed, Karla, Cathie, and Thurburn
    Enroute from their home in North Carolina to a conference in Colorado, Thurburn and Cathie Barker stop for a visit with Ed and Karla Davis in Waco, Texas. Click on title or thumbnail to view photos and read narrative of this reunion.

Charles and Dolly in Hawaii, May 2010

  • B) The Oahu Beaches
    Charles Crider wrote, "In mid-May, we departed Houston and flew to Honolulu for a duel celebration of Dolly’s birthday and our 45th anniversary." Click on the title or thumbnail to see enlarged photos and read the captions.

John Echoff's Retirement Celebration

  • B) The Echoffs - Looking Mighty Happy!
    May 15, 2010 was the date for a grand retirement celebration for John Echoff. Click on titles or photos to enlarge the photos and read the captions.

Ladies' Luncheon Held May 13, 2010

  • A) Millby Girls Gathered May 13
    Jody Bugg orchestrated the May 13, 2010 luncheon and wrote: “We had 19 attend the luncheon today. We had a great time.” Click on thumbnails or titles to enlarge the photos and read the captions - more narrative to follow.

50th Reunion Friday Night "Meet and Greet"

  • G) Milby 50th Reunion Friday Night 016
    Here are the First Photos of the Milby 1960 50th Reunion - much more to come, including captions!!! Click on photos to open and enlarge.

50th Reunion Saturday Lunch

  • Milby 50th Reunion Saturday Lunch  064
    The threat of inclement weather dictated a change of venue. However, that did not in any way change our enjoyment of the company. Click on photos to open and enlarge. (Captions will follow)

50th Reunion Saturday Night Dinner and Dance

  • Milby 50th Reunion Dinner Dance
    Glamorous duds and a four course meal were advertised for the Saturday evening gala, but laughter and love were the main attractions. Click on photos to open and view. (captions will follow)

50th Reunion Sunday Morning Brunch

  • Milby 50th Reunion Sunday Brunch 142
    It was difficult to say farewell on Sunday morning, but already there was talk of "the next time we get together..." Click on thumbnails to enlarge photos. (captions will follow)

Criders' Albino Bluebonnets

  • D) Rare Occurence
    Charles and Dolly Crider enjoy the flora near their Marble Falls cabin. Click on thumbnails to read captions and view enlarged photos of rare albino bluebonnets.

Click on Links to Pages and BIOGRAPHIES

Brenda Burnett's Elementary Photos

  • 7) Bob Neal - Park Place Elementary 1950
    Brenda Collins Burnett has sent the photos from her elementary years. She started school at Park Place Elementary (2 years) and finished at Southmayd Elementary. Can you find yourself in any of these photos? Perhaps you can help her fill in the gaps on her identification. Post your info via a comment under the post "Photo Albums". Now click on this thumbnail to open the album. and then click on each thumbnail inside to see the enlarged photos and descriptions.

The Kids in Our Lives

  • 1A) Charlene Hickman Family
    We all have them - whether sons and daughters, grandkids (or great grandkids), nieces and nephews, or the kids next door. And we all love them - especially when they are being their best selves and looking adorable. So how about sending some photos of the kids in your life!?!?! (Click on each photo to open.)

Reunion Planning Committee

  • EA) A Quorum Assembled
    Click on thumbnails or titles to see photos from recent gatherings of the Milby 1960 Reunion Planning Committee. To return to the main post, click on the phrase "" at the top left of this album.

Beverly's Valentine's Day Concert (2010)

  • B) Milbyites in Attendance
    Beverly Frankinson Allison invited us all to attend her Amadeus Woodwind Quintet concert on Feb. 14. Click on thumbnails or titles to see photos of the event.

Feb First Lunch Bunch 2010

  • Conclusion
    Jody Bugg invited the Ladies of the Milby Class of 1960 to meet for lunch on Monday, February 1. Click on titles or thumbnails to see the photos of this occasion and read the narrative.

Milby Class of '59 Reunion

  • Zc
    October 16-18, 2009 was the weekend for the 50th Reunion of the Milby Class of 1959. These guys were our heroes - the "older" classes always are! Click on titles or thumbnail to see photos of that great group of Buffalo.

Current Photos of 1960 Milby Grads - Photo Album

  • Ac) Alton Couvillon
    Current photos of Milby grads and their friends and families (especially grandkids and great grandkids and/or other 2nd and 3rd generation youngsters). Click on album title to open. Once inside the album, click on individual thumbnails to view larger images. Send your photos and narrative to your blogmeister. ([email protected])

Milby's Jim Post in Concert, November 2009

  • S - Jim and Karla
    Going back in time to make a new set of memories, Ed and Karla joined Randy and Jeanine on a pleasant 2 hour drive in the country to the sleepy little town of Crockett. Click thumbnails or titles to see the photos and read the narrative.

John, Larry & Charles ~ Just Hanging Out, Oct 2009

  • F - Tasha
    Three Buffs and their brides had a great time hanging out at a campground "somewhere in East Texas". Click on titles or thumbnails to view and read.

Charlotte's Wedding Album (Oct. 2009)

  • J - God's Plans
    Remember the lovely Cinderella Story Charlotte shared with us a while back? Well, here's the beginning of the next chapter - HER Wedding!!!. Click on the titles or thumbnails for a larger view and narrative.

Sonny Jones & "American Boogie" ~ June 2009

  • D) The Pastels circa 1960
    A group of Milby Buffs gathered in Kemah to enjoy Sonny Jones and the band "American Boogie" perform. Click on titles or thumbnails to view photos and read captions. June 27, 2009

Karla's African Adventure in the 60's

  • Sb) Shopping with Masai Along the Road
    Check out the adventurous life Karla and Ed Davis lived in Africa in the 60's. Made memories to last a lifetime! Click on titles or thumbnails to enlarge photos and read captions.

Kemah and Galveston After Ike, March '09

  • Zm) An Encouraging Symbol
    While there is still much devastation, and much more work to be done, the rebuilding efforts along the Gulf Coast are in full swing. Click on title or thumbnail to see photos and read narrative of the trip Karla and Ed Davis took to that area during Spring Break.

What I Did This Summer ~ 2009

  • Z) Charlotte, Bo, and Gladys at a Luau
    Do you remember this favorite topic teachers assigned for a first writing project when school started each fall? Let's revisit it through our classmates' photos and captions. Click photos to open/enlarge and to read narrative.

Holiday Gatherings, 2008

  • (Od) Icicles
    Click on each title or thumbnail to enter the album and see enlarged views. Then send us some photos of your Holiday Gatherings (folks and activities) so we can e-congregate with you! (send to Karla as e-mail attachments).

Favorite Fall Photos 2008

  • (Ace) - Sunrise in Marble Falls
    Click on titles or thumbnails to view enlarged images and read captions for these often gorgeous, sometimes humorous, and usually informative Favorite Fall Photos submitted by our classmates.

Bikers and Babes (2008)

  • B - Bikers and Babes
    Enjoy this report of a party hosted by Charlotte Vann Casselberry. Click on titles or thumbnails to view enlarged images.

Hurricane Ike Scenes

  • A - Kemah after Ike
    Click on the titles or thumbnails to show enlarged views of these photos of the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. September 13th, 2008

Sheila's Flora and Fauna ~ 2007

  • E - Honey Bees and Bumble Bees
    Click on titles or thumbnails to enlarge photos and read comments about "the animals that visit us at our place in the country".

Larry's Nightly Visitors, '08 & '09

  • H - The Whole Gang Came Along
    Click on titles or thumbnails to enlarge photos and read comments about the Raccoons in Larry's world.

Larry's Incredible Century Plant, Spring 2009

  • N - All But the Top Four in Bloom - June 28, 09
    Throughout the Spring and into the Summer we have watched as Larry Smith's Century plant "does its thing"! Click on thumbnails or titles to see this incredible sight. Read captions for details.

Destination Kenney (AKA Sheila's TAG SALE) 2008

  • G - A Gathering of the Herd
    The idea is conceived, the adventure ensues, the saga unfolds... On 5/9/2008, Sheila Steele Howard sent an e-mail to this blogmeister, inquiring about the possibility of advertising a TAG SALE that was to be held in the Ag Hall in Kenney, Texas on June 6 & 7. Click on this title or image to view more on this topic. Then click on the thumbnail of each photo to view the enlarged picture.

On the Road with John and Linn, June 2008

  • A - John and Linn, "Partners" on the Road
    John and Linn Echoff recently returned from a 3492 mile road trip, taking time to “smell the roses” throughout the heartland of America. Click on this title or image to view some of the sights they saw and to read John’s narrative. Then click on the thumbnail of each photo to view the enlarged picture.

Travel with Gladys

  • O - Versailles
    "Bo and I have been blessed to travel to a lot of different countries over the last 17 years. What a joy to see so many of the beautiful places in this world." Click on this title to see the places in the world that Gladys Payne Bohac has been privileged to visit. Once inside the album, click on each thumbnail for an enlarged view and the accompanying narrative.

"Holiday Expressions", Charlotte and Gladys (2007)

  • "Razzle Dazzle Red"
    Charlotte Vann Casselberry Dew and Gladys Payne Bohac create beautiful Christmas decorations and gifts and sell them through their business, "Holiday Expressions". Click on the title or thumbnail to open the album. Once in, click on each thumbnail to see an enlarged view of some of their creations and to read other information about their business.

Karla's Projects

  • AD - Kaleidoscope of Ryan
    My sense of personal fulfillment seems to be somewhat dependent on having a creative project in progress. My projects seldom conform to anything seen in hobby shops or magazines. They are, however, creative, and they are all mine! Double click on this title to open. Inside, double click on any thumbnail to see an enlarged image and read about the project. (Then - as always - send me your stuff so I can create a project photo album on the blog for YOU!)

Ken Corey - Our Man in Macedonia, 2008

  • 01 - Ken Corey on the "Boardwalk" in Macedonia
    Ken Corey and his wife Carole spent a few years in the beautiful city of Skopje, Macedonia while Ken managed a building project. Let's view this part of the world through their eyes and experiences! To open this album, click on the title or the photo. Once inside, be sure to click on thumbnails to view larger images and read narrative.

Paul Schrader's Gorilla Trek, July 2007

  • A Bit of Paul's Bio
    Paul Schrader and his wife, Carolyn, recently (July 2007) returned from a trip to Africa during which they were privileged to engage in a trek to view the mountain gorillas of Uganda . Click on this album title to view the pictures and read Paul's commentary. When viewing the photos, click on the thumbnails for an enlarged image.

Christmas 2007 Photo Album

  • P - Larry Smith Family, Christmas 2007
    Let's share the photos that we took at Thanksgiving or over the Christmas Holidays this year (2007). Click on this title or thumbnail to open this album. Then, as you look at each image, double click on the thumbnail for an enlarged view.

Elementary Class Photos

  • Immaculate Conception Catholic School
    These will take you WAY BACK! Here are photos from our elementary school classes. (Click on album title to open. Once inside the album, click on individual thumbnails to view larger images.) If you can supply more info or other photos, contact your blogmeister. ([email protected])

Photos from Deady Junior High

  • Deady Band - Our 8th Grade Year
    For most of us, this age was pretty awkward as we were continually changing in every way. But it was an exciting time too, as we met and made new friends from the other elementary schools that fed into Deady. See if you recognize the Milby 1960 graduates among these smiling faces. (Click on album title to open. Once inside the album, click on individual thumbnails to view larger images.) Submit other photos or information to your blogmeister. [email protected]

Various Milby Era Photos (1957-60)

  • Austin 1961
    Our Milby Buffalo yearbooks contain many photographs that serve as the basis for memories of our days at Milby. Some of us have other photos of various activities and events during the years we were in high school that were not in the Buffalo. This album contains photos that fit in that category. (Click on album title to open. Once inside the album, click on individual thumbnails to view larger images.) Send your photos and info to your blogmeister. [email protected]

1958 Carats Program

  • '58 Carats Program Cover
    We all have memories of various plays and programs participated in or attended during our high school days. Here are some photos of the 1958 Carats Program to embellish those memories. (Click on album title to open. Once inside the album, click on individual thumbnails to view larger images.)

1959 Carats Program

  • '59 Carats Cover
    We all have memories of various plays and programs participated in or attended during our high school days. Here are some photos of the 1959 Carats Program to embellish those memories. (Click on album title to open. Once inside the album, click on individual thumbnails to view larger images.)

1960 Carats Program

  • '60 Carats Show Cover
    We all have memories of various plays and programs participated in or attended during our high school days. Here are some photos of the 1960 Carats Program to embellish those memories. (Click on album title to open. Once inside the album, click on individual thumbnails to view larger images.)

Milby Kaleidoscope Programs

  • Kaleidoscope Stars, 1959
    We all have memories of various plays and programs participated in or attended during our high school days. Here are some photos from the Plainsman produced Kaleidoscope Program to embellish those memories. (Click on album title to open. Once inside the album, click on individual thumbnails to view larger images.) Please send any related photos that you have to add to this collection. [email protected]

Milby Drama Department Productions

  • "The Good Hope", Stage 59
    We all have memories of various plays and programs participated in or attended during our high school days. Here are some photos from various productions and activities related to the Milby Drama Department to embellish those memories. (Click on album title to open. Once inside the album, click on individual thumbnails to view larger images.) Please send any related photos that you have to add to this collection. [email protected]
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