Mustang Roundup
Alumni Edition
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Monthly The East High Alumni Page July, 1999

Mustang Roundup
Alumni Edition Expands
Co-Editor(s) Needed

This is the first edition of an expanded Mustang Roundup Alumni Edition. It is an expansion of the smaller headline space which has gone by the same title on The East High Alumni Page's home page.

The idea behind the expansion is to highlight in more detail some of the major events regarding East and East alumni. If you have news about yourself or know of news about a fellow alumnus, send it to us. In many cases, further details on the same subject will still be found on other pages within The East High Alumni Page. However, our Web site has grown to have so many pages with various features, new items might be difficult to find so we thought it might be beneficial to highlight the significant news for alumni. Links to more detailed information, if available, will be provided within the text here.

Co-Editor(s) Sought
With the expansion of the Mustang Roundup Alumni Edition comes the need for help to produce it on a monthly basis in conjunction with the alumni page's Webmaster, who will serve as a co-editor. This position, as are all others with The East High Alumni Page, is a voluntary one with no pay or benefits, other than your name being listed as an editor. Responsibilities essentially are keeping up with what might be of interest to East alumni and writing about it in a factual manner. Your interest in East, alumni affairs, and potential enjoyment of gathering such information and reporting it is important.
If you are an East alumnus, including former faculty, and would like to be considered for a co-editor's position, e-mail us at and let us know.

News Needed
Everyone is encouraged to bring to our attention any information which might be of significant interest to the East High alumni community. If you have something you think might be interesting or important to East alumni, let us know. You may e-mail us at the same address,


In addition to a co-editor(s) for the Mustang Roundup Alumni Edition, The East High Alumni Page is also looking for additional co-editors to help put the Web site together on a continuing basis. At the present, additional editors for the following sections are being sought: East In the News, Vital Statistics, and In the Beginning.
East In the News is a section designed to report on our alumni page when East makes the news. It includes stories that might be considered favorable and unfavorable, and sports.
Vital Statistics is a section for which you won't find a title (yet) on our Web page. At the moment, we define Vital Statistics as covering the obituary page, the In the Hospital page, and the Sympathy page. We certainly could see Vital Statistics expanding if an editor wanted to take it in that direction, though that could be a difficult task.
In the Beginning is our history page. Or to be more precise, our history pages (plural). Although our history section is only about a year old, it is one of the favorites of the Webmaster. We think a lot can be done with the history section in the coming years.
East alumni who have an interest in possibly co-editing any of these sections are encouraged to contact us at All co-editor positions are voluntary and unpaid positions.

Counting Mustangs
In the month of June, 14 new alumni profiles were added to The East High Alumni Page. New profiles are tagged as such for about a month on our alphabetical listing page.

Vital Statistics

During the previous month, we received the following notices:

The death of William D. Holt, May 10, 1999, father of Bill Holt ('68) and Bubba Holt ('70).

The East High Alumni Page maintains pages for alumni obituaries, hospitalizations, and sympathy for alumni who have lost family members.

The Mustang Roundup Alumni Edition is planned for monthly publication on the World Wide Web by The East High Alumni Page ( and is an independent Web publication. Neither the Alumni Edition nor The East High Alumni Page is officially associated with East High School or Memphis City Schools.

Mustang Roundup
Alumni Editon

An on-line publication of The East High Alumni Page
Volume I      Number 1
Editor: K. Welch
In this Edition
June Reunions Reviewed
Retired Teacher Donates Material
Oldies Radio Hit with Alumni
Controversy for Alumni
Editors Wanted
Full Page Alumni Edition

For current updates, see the Alumni Edition Top Stories & Updates at the top of the home page and the East In the News page.
Summer Brings Reunions

Count the smiles, Class of 1959

Summer has long been a joyous time. Despite our love for East High School now, recollections from when we were students there don't include too many of our being terribly sad when summer vacation arrived. Now, however, rather than separation from our high school friends, summer brings reunions of high school classes. Despite the different cause, the approach of summer still brings excitement for those alumni involved in class reunions.
June featured two major reunions, the Class of 1959 held its "second twenty year reunion" June 11 and 12. The same weekend, a joint reunion of the classes of 1973, 1974, and 1975 was held. A mini-reunion for the Class of 1968 occurred June 19.
The outstanding success of these three reunions was that of the Class of 1959. About fifty members of the class of 159 attended the gatherings which were billed as the class' "second twenty year reunion."
Class of 1959 Reunion Patio PartyFriday night featured a casual patio party at the home of Dr. Charles Safley, soundly located in the heart of the old East High school district.
Saturday night the party moved to Justine's. A barbecue dinner and dancing to '50's music were in the enclosed and air conditioned pavilion in the back of the main building. Attendance was about the same for both days' events.
Attending from Seattle, Washington, was Toni Madden Peters, who may have been the alumnus to travel the farthest for the reunion.
Both parties were graced by the presence of a valued friend and former East faculty member. Friday night Mrs. Margaret Taylor was enjoying seeing former students and they were enjoying seeing her. On Saturday night, Mrs. Lilburne Vollmer attended to the delight of her former students.
The Class of 1959 Reunion Committee organized a very successful reunion. As with all such events, considerable work goes into them. Committee members Joan Jefferson Kling, Kay Valvik McQueen, Jean Elder Valentine, Charles Safley, Larry Weiss, Mary Alice Hall Fisher, T.J. Oden, Jack Fisher, Rhitt Fraser, and Frances Taylor. are to be congratulated.
Additional coverage and many more pictures of the Class of 1959's reunion are available from links on The East High Alumni Page's
reunion section.

About 35 alumni showed up for the Joint Reunion of the Classes of 1973, 1974, and 1975. The turnout was quite a disappointment for class members and for the commercial reunion firm which had been hired to organize the events, KCK Promotions. The company reported they had sent out more than 500 invitations.73-75 Joint Reunion A Friday night get acquainted session was held downtown, with perhaps 15 class members in attendance. A planned picnic was converted to a restaurant lunch on Saturday, but only a handful participated.
Saturday night's dinner and dancing was at the Marriott Hotel in east Memphis. This event drew the largest turnout, about 35 alumni from the three classes.
Discussions as to the possible reasons for the low attendance revolved around the lack of personal contact among class members encouraging classmates to attend. One graduate said that a personal note on an invitation makes a big difference. Others speculated that perhaps class unity was not what it was for other class years because of the changes taking place in attendance zones for East during the years these classes were graduating.
Despite the small numbers, those in attendance seemed to be in good spirits. Although this writer did not observe the entire evening, highlights seemed to be when the class picture was taken and especially when a significant percentage of those attending took to the dance floor shortly after the photograph.
An additional story and photographs are available from links on The East High Alumni Page reunions page.
The East High Alumni Page provided limited coverage for both major reunions in our Reunions section, including photographs.

The Class of 1968 held a class party and its first mini-reunion June 19 at a clubhouse in east Memphis. The event drew about 25 people, in the range of what was expected. The class had 204 graduates and about half that number are believed to live in the Memphis area. The mini-reunion featured a barbecue dinner, but getting even more attention than the BBQ were the school Annuals that were circulated, along with pictures from the 30-year reunion the class held last summer.
A text story about the reunion is accessible from our Reunions section.
We have heard, after the fact, of one or two other reunions this year. If you were involved in an East High reunion in 1999, we invite you to submit a story and/or pictures for posting on The East High Alumni Page.

Mrs. Vollmer Donates Memorabilia

The East High Alumni Page is extremely grateful to Mrs. Lilburne Vollmer for donating a significant amount of important East High memorabilia for preservation and use on our alumni page.
Mrs. Lilburne Vollmer at a reunion in
1999Mrs. Vollmer began teaching at East in 1949, just one year after the school opened and continued until she retired in 1980. She focused on office and business skills and technologies. Many of us learned to type, or as they say now in regards to computers, to "keyboard," from Mrs. Vollmer.
Mrs. Vollmer's donation of East High related materials to The East High Alumni Page is a gracious act of sharing the memories of our high school with all of us. We hope to be able to preserve the material and develop means to make it available in part or whole to all of you in one form or another over time.
Mrs. Vollmer is active on the class reunion circuit for those years she taught.
The administrator of The East High Alumni Page suggested, "alumni might want express an extra bit of appreciation not only for Mrs. Vollmer's long dedicated service to the students of East and her friendship now, but also her contribution to the preservation and the sharing of our history. I know I can't say thank you enough."

Private Lives Stir Public Controversy for Alumni

Two East High alumni have been prominently mentioned in news stories in Mississippi, Memphis, and the mid-south, and to a lesser degree, nationwide. The East High association was played up in the Memphis media. Mississippi Governor Kirk Fordice (East '52) in June announced his intention to divorce his wife of nearly 44 years and to then marry his East High sweetheart, Ann Garber Creson (East '52) of Memphis.
Governor Fordice's private life has been a matter of speculation for at least three years
In a meeting with reporters, the Governor said he had asked his wife for a divorce but that she had refused.
Controversy stems from the possibility of the first sitting governor in Mississippi to divorce and from Mr. Fordice's family values position and criticism of President Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky. Some critics have called for Governor Fordice to resign. He has responded that he has no intention of doing so. Mr. Fordice has only six months remaining in his final term as governor and has indicated he does not plan to serve in elected office in the future.
More detailed summaries of media reports are available in The East High Alumni Page
"In the News" section.

Music Reminds Alumni
Of Old Days

It's no secret that most of us are taken back in our minds to the old days when we hear music that was popular as we grew up. For reasons this correspondent cannot always explain, those memories are frequently good ones, even if the music may remind us of times that may have been difficult, like when our steady date broke up with us or we lost the big game.
Until recently, one had to get out the 45 RPM records to hear the popular music of the mid to late 1950's and early 1960's. But since April, a Memphis radio station has been playing those tunes. WOTO, Olive Branch/Memphis, is on the FM dial at 95.7. Its format change was rather dramatic and disheartening for quite a few. Previously the station billed itself as 96X and played "alternative" rock music. For those who were growing up in the 50's and 60's though, the station now seems to be a winner. More than one East alumni has said, "I love it!"
A columnist in The Memphis Flyer criticized the station's format change, claiming Memphis had enough oldies stations. However, that writer seems to have missed the point. While there are stations playing oldies, or "classic rock," none are reaching back to the time period covered by WOTO. In fact, it could be said that most of the oldies stations other than WOTO generally start their playlist in the years at which WOTO stops its music selection. To be sure, WOTO plays early tunes from The Beatles, and it seems the playlist may be weighted toward the 60's, but listeners can also hear songs from the mid 1950's.
It is certainly difficult to relate the nature of station's playlist by listing only a few recordings, but to give a flavor of the station's music, these songs were heard on the station over a few hour period: Shop Around, This Magic Moment, Palisades Park, Dream Lover, No Particular Place to Go, Stay (just a bit longer), Do You Believe in Magic, Twist and Shout (The Beatles version, an older version is also played), What a Wonderful World, Sugar Shack, Say a Little Prayer for Me, He Don't Love You (Like I Love You), Breaking Up is Hard to Do, Rip Tide, Keep On Dancing (The Gentrys, a Memphis band!!), and Peggy Sue. Our apologies if we got any titles wrong, the station didn't have announcers initially and didn't announce song titles or artists, though they now have added announcing staff, apparently as new staff comes on board. Unfortunately for the announcers, the music is definitely the key to this station's success and it seemed better before there were any disk jockeys.
If you were a student at East in the 1950's and/or 1960's, there's a good chance you'll be delighted by the music the station is playing. A word of caution, WOTO is only a 5,000 watt station, which means it really isn't very strong. According to FCC maps available to us, the transmission tower is in southeast Shelby County. If your reception isn't very good, you may need an external antenna (or to pull the antenna on your car out longer).

You can listen over the Internet!
For those of you who live outside of the Memphis area, or get lousy reception locally, you can still listen. The station is Webcast over the Internet, and the quality can be better than that of those old 45's. WOTO's Web site is at From there you can follow the links to hear the station. Don't be fooled, you may see the terms 96X and the old call letters of WRXQ on the site from which you'll actually get the audio, it's the same station but the information just hasn't been updated. The music has, or maybe we could call it backdated.
For this writer, it has been only the second time news of a radio station has spread by excited word-of-mouth announcements. The last time was in the early 1960's when a station called WHHM made a big splash in the Memphis market among teenagers. Anyone remember that station and its dedication line?
Give WOTO a listen. If you're of the appropriate generation, you'll probably have fun.

The Next full page edition of the Mustang Roundup Alumni Edition is scheduled for publication August 1, 1999.

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