A quarterly Newsletter dedicated to the Alumni of Waterford and Fort LeBoeuf High Schools
April 2003 ----------------------------------------- Spring -------------------------------------- Volume 4 - Number 3
Welcome to the spring issue of the Newsletter dedicated to the alumni (students, teachers, and administrators) of Waterford and Fort LeBoeuf High Schools. This newsletter will be issued quarterly. New issues will be posted for viewing on the Web site on, or about, October 5, January 5, April 5, and July 5.
The Web site may be viewed by going to:
The success of this newsletter will depend on you. I need contributors. Do you have an interesting article, a nostalgia item, a real life story, or a picture you would like to share with other alumni? Do you have a snail-mail or an e-mail address of one of your classmates? Send it to me at the following e-mail address:
or at my snail-mail address.
Robert J. Catlin, Sr.
Please, NO handwritten submissions.
The Bisonalities, Again Newsletter is available to any and all alumni, teachers, and administrators of Waterford or FLBHS on the Web site, free. If you know an alumnus, teacher, or administrator who would be interested, please ask them to contact me.
None of the material in this newsletter has a copyright. If you wish to make copies of this newsletter and distribute it to other Alumni or friends, please feel free to do so.
Death - Edward K. Leslie - Class of 1966
It is with deep regret I inform you of the Death of Edward K. Leslie, Graduate of the Class of 1966.
Edward K. Leslie, 54, of 8970 Footmill Road, died Wed., February 19, 2003 at Hamot Medical Center. Father of Adam M. Leslie of Blacksburg, VA and Seth E. Leslie of State College. Also survived by many cousins and several nieces and nephews. A service was held Saturday at 9:15 a.m. followed at 10 o'clock by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Matthew in the Woods Catholic Church, 1390 Townhall Road. Interment was in Erie County Memorial Gardens. Memorials may be made to a charity of the donors choice.
Death - Richard Milton Hershey - Class of 1961
It is with regret that I inform you of the death of Richard Milton Hershey of the class of 1961.
Richard Milton Hershey, 59, of Old Rt. 99, McKean died Wednesday, March 12, 2003 at the VA Medical Center in Oakland, Pittsburgh after an extended illness. Survivors include his mother, Jane Hershey Ross of Brandon, FL, his wife, Judy Carrier Pasold Hershey, three stepchildren, Mark Pasold of Erie, Rodd Pasold of Saegertown, Heidi Rutkowski of Waterford, a daughter, Jeanine Schultz of Cleveland, four brothers, Jerry Hershey of Fla., John Hershey of Cleveland, Tom Hershey of Erie, and Tony Ross of Fla. Friends and family were invited to a gathering to honor Richard Hershey at the Valley Inn, 10107 Old Rt. 99, McKean. The Glunt Funeral Home, 210 Erie St., Edinboro, were in charge of funeral arrangements.
The drought is finally over here in Southern Maryland. We entered the month of November with a deficit of 14 inches in our rainfall for the previous 12 months. It is now early Spring and in the last five months, we have not only made up that deficit, but have added an additional three inches to our water table. This included a 23-inch snow fall on February 15, 16, and 17. You people from the snow belt area of the country are probably saying, so what. But for an area that averages only 23 inches of snow a year, 23 inches all at once is a real problem.
The following was received from Buster Davis in reference to Mrs. Bette Davis.
Mom has arrived at her winter retreat in Florida, after having some major difficulties. On Thanksgiving weekend she fell and broke her leg while she was visiting Judy and family in Michigan. For two and a half weeks she convinced all of us that it was only a bad bruise. Finally I took her to an orthopedic specialist who reviewed his x-rays and immediately admitted her into St. Vincents. The next day he operated and put three screws in to hold it together. Two days later she was back home and tending to herself. That was Dec. 23rd. They kept her an extra day due to breathing problems resulting from her emphysema. Judy and Jer came in from Michigan and loaded her and her car up and left for Florida on the 28th. She wanted to be there to celebrate her 86th birthday on the 31st. She has some tremendous friends in her little community who watch over her constantly. I know she would love to hear from people so give her a call 727-868-5844.
Buck (Buster) Davis
Editors' note: It is now early spring and Mrs. Davis is back at her home in Erie. I talked to her the day before she left Florida and although fighting a cold, she was doing well.
Within This Vale
Your Head Grows Bald
But Not Your Chin
Welcome Sweet Springtime
by Bernard Cowley
The years of my youth were spent on a farm in Waterford, Pennsylvania, located on a dirt road that became a sea of mud and sink holes in the spring when the frost went out.
So many pleasant memories of these years fill my mind that it would be difficult to choose a favorite.
Springtime on the farm, however was a special time of year. It seemed like it always came suddenly. One morning you would wake up and the temperature would be a balmy forty degrees.
An overwhelming sense of restlessness always seemed to overcome me in the spring, and I never quite knew what to do about it. Wandering through the woods and fields, I would watch as the world came alive. The ever-changing patchwork design of the melting snow created weird shapes that fueled the imagination of a young boy.
Stomping through the snow I severed the head of a giant dinosaur and changed it into a four-stemmed mushroom. With a swift kick I "smushed" the rear end off an alligator. Running and sloshing I created and destroyed animals and monsters alike.
The aroma that filled the air was also ever changing as the balmy breezes gently removed the white blanket from the "good mother earth" uncovering memories of yesterday and exposing a promise of tomorrow. The smell of the wet leaves, the piney odor of the hemlock, and the cold wet smell of the saturated snow, filled the air and stirred a restive anticipation within me.
One of the rituals of springtime is the tapping of the hard maple "sugar bush." The sugar bush, a wooded area made up of mostly hard maple, is tapped every spring and the sap is boiled in a large evaporator to make maple syrup.
One evening in late February of 1945 or 46, I don't remember which, Raymond Terrell, our nearest neighbor, came down after chores for a visit. He always came down this time of year when he needed help making syrup.
"I came down to talk a little business with you," he announced, very seriously, to my dad.
Ray Terrell, a short stocky man with a perpetual scraggly three-day growth of whiskers, bib overalls, a flannel shirt and hip boots folded down, and walked like a duck, was hard to take seriously.
"What kind of business you got in mind, Ray?" Dad asked as usual.
"Wondering if I could trade some syrup for some help this spring?" Ray asked.
I'm sure Dad was as anxious to help as I was but I was relieved when he, very seriously this year as always, said, " I guess so." Grown ups were always so serious it seemed and the funny part was they never even discussed how much syrup we would get for our help.
"If the weather holds out we'll tap tomorrow," Ray slurped, as he walked to the door and spat about a half a pint of tobacco juice out the back door over the head of the dog that was lying just outside.
Shaking off the over spray, the dog lazily got up and moved out of range in expectation of the next shot.
"We can get started right after chores, probably eight or eight thirty" he continued, wiping a trickle of juice off his chin with his sleeve.
The next hour or so was filled with a lot of talk about nothing, interrupted by six or seven trips to the back door. You could always tell when he was about ready to spit, his chin would get higher and higher, and he would waddle to the door like a penguin with his beak in the air.
Ray was hitching a team of misfit horses to a bobsled loaded with sap buckets when we arrived the next morning.
One horse, a big gray gelding, about four years old pranced and stomped constantly and just generally made a nuisance of himself. The other horse, a chestnut mare, about half his size and twice his age, stood serenely nodding off as the flies buzzed around her ears.
After a little cussin', and a lot of spittin', we were finally ready.
The next ten or twelve hours were spent drilling holes, and tapping metal spiles into maple trees. Once or twice I was reminded that sap from a cherry tree wouldn't make good syrup.
The buckets were then hung on the spiles, and the covers were put on to keep the rain out. Finally, when the last bucket was hung we wearily made our way home.
I felt sorry for Ray, we just went home and collapsed but he still had cows to milk and chores to do.
The warm days and cold nights were ideal, and the sap ran freely all the next day.
On the third day we hitched the team to a sled with a large round tank on it. The whole contraption looked like the old warship "monitor" except it was horse drawn. The top was concave with a large hole in the middle. A pipe stuck out in the back that hinged down at right angles.
We gathered the sap in buckets and poured it into this gathering tank and hauled it to the sugar house where it was poured into a huge tank out behind the sugar house. Finally after six or seven hours of slipping and tripping through the slush, carrying buckets filled with sap, and many trips to the sugar house with the gathering tank, we finished, and went home for supper.
After chores that night dad lit the old kerosene lantern and we walked up the road to the sugar house. Ray was already there and was splitting some kindling wood for the fire. He had already opened the valves that let sap into the evaporator pans and they were about half full.
The evaporator had four pans. The back three pans were about five feet long and four feet wide with deep corrugated bottoms. The front pan was about the same size, except that it had a flat bottom. The pans were connected together with removable pipes on the side. A fire was built in a fire box under the front pan and the heat was carried under all the pans to the stack in the back of the building. The only light came from our kerosene lantern, as there was no electricity. Along the wall, worn smooth from many years of use, was a wooden bench.
Soon the pans were filled and a roaring fire was crackling in the fire box and we settled down on the bench to watch, as the sap simmered and stared to boil.
This was the time I enjoyed most. It was a time of story telling when Ray and Dad would swap tales. They told of adventures of the past when life was filled with excitement and fun, or so it seemed. The smell of the wood smoke and the sweet aroma of the steam as it filled the room and spilled out through the openings in the raised roof, the flickering of the kerosene lamps, the rolling bubbling boiling sap, the dirt floor of the sugar house, the warmth coming from the now cherry red fire box, with its snapping crackling fire, and the darkness that surrounded us, created an atmosphere that was truly unforgettable.
Totally fascinated by this experience the hours passed swiftly.
About one o'clock in the morning the sap in the front pan took on a dark mahogany colored sheen, and looked like molten lava. It rolled and bubbled, becoming thicker and thicker as it neared the sweetness of syrup. The critical moment drew closer and Ray disconnected the front pan from the rest stopping the flow of fresh sap. He checked the specific gravity with a gadget I think he called a Hygrometer. Timing was very important. The fire must be just right! The specific gravity must be exact.
Very Quickly! Things were happening now! Checking and rechecking.
Almost ready! -- Now! Quickly!, Ray threw open the doors of the fire box to bring in the cool air to stop the boiling of the syrup.
A valve was opened on the side of the pan and the sweet hot nectar flowed into a milk can with a felt strainer on the top. The pan was then propped up on edge so that all the syrup would run out.
Soon it was all out, the pan was refilled with fresh sap and the pipe was reconnected.
The fire was allowed to die down and we then poured the hot syrup through a filter into one gallon cans and sealed the tops.
Finally everything was buttoned up and we walked down the road toward home. The moon reflecting it's light on the patches of snow, was so bright, that we turned off the lanterns.
The sweet smell of the sugar house still lingered in my nostrils, as the fresh, cold, aroma of the spring night took over. The only sound now was the crackling crunching sound of the newly frozen puddles, as our footsteps led us home, tired but happy.
Editor's Footnote: Bernard graduated with the Waterford High School class of 1950 and presently lives in Florida.
Professor Retires after 35 Years
by Russell Koenig
Glenn (Alan) Hazen grew up just South of Erie, Pa. He graduated from Fort LeBoeuf High School in 1956 and left to attend the University of Detroit. After graduating in 1961 with a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering, he pursued his Ph.D. at Pennsylvania State University, which he earned in 1966.
Dr. Glenn Hazen began his post doctorate at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD.
In 1967, he and his wife, Susan moved to Athens, OH with their two small children to begin a thirty-five-year career as an Ohio University engineering professor. While growing up and going to school, he never thought he would become a teacher. He went to college on a loan from the Ford Foundation, which is considered "forgivable" if you go into teaching. "It's interesting how little things can affect your career," he said.
He chose OU because a friend of his, Gene Adams, was already a member of its mechanical engineering faculty. At the time, many of the civil engineering courses, such a statics and strength of materials, were taught by the ME department. A typical quarter for Hazen in his early years consisted of dynamics and two ME graduate student courses, with the occasional CE course thrown in.
There have been many changes to the engineering program since Dr. Hazen began teaching. He says the biggest change has been computer technology. When he began, computer programming was all done in machine language, then FORTRAN. "You learn a lot of things you'll never forget, but never really use," he said as he recounts using a slide rule.
When Dr. Hazen first went to Athens to interview for the teaching position, the CE department chair, Carl Shermer, took him to the top of the engineering building (which is now OU's Research Technology building) to point out where all of the CE faculty lived around town. Oddly enough, they all lived on tops of hills. Shermer assured him that there was no significance to this. But in 1968 and again in 1969, the Hocking River rose over its banks and flooded the surrounding area, including the engineering building. Dr. Hazen remembers two students coming into class saying that they arrived in row boats.
Research has always been a large part of Dr. Hazen's career. The majority of the 53 technical articles and papers which he wrote over the years deal with box, concrete, and thermoplastic culverts. Another portion comes from his nearly fifteen years of studying coal mines. In 1986, he was awarded the Russ Research Award from OU for a paper he wrote with CE professor Y. C. Das, whom Hazen calls "the smartest guy I've ever known," regarding cylindrical ring embedded in a transversely isotropic mediam subjected to uniaxial loading. Between 1990 and 1995, Hazen was the chair of the CE department at OU, but this took away too much time from his research.
Engineering is a family business for Hazen. His younger brother holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering. His two sons are also engineers. "I always let them choose," he said. "I told them they could go into any kind of engineering, as long as they went to OU." Only his oldest child escaped the bug; she studied physical therapy at Ohio State University.
Dr. Hazen is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the National Society of Professional Engineers, and Sigma Psi Honorary Society. He is also the chair of NCEES, the group that creates the Fundamentals of Engineering examinations.
Toward the end of his career, there were some things that he wanted to be made public. So for the past three years, he has served on OU's Faculty Senate as a member of the Finance and Facilities committee. His reason for running for this position was that he doesn't see OU as a typical engineering school. "It's seen more of a hobby than a career, and it needed to be defended and made public," he said. Hobby or career, he believes that OU's civil engineering program is the best in the state.
Almost everyone has a "Dr. Hazen story." Near the end of his final quarter, the CE faculty hosted a party for him. Colleagues spoke on his behalf, recalling his words of wisdom throughout the years. One such professor, Lloyd Herman, remembered the advice Dr. Hazen gave him while searching for a bride. "Choose someone you would steal horses with" was what Dr. Hazen said. To this day, Herman says he still can't interpret the phrase.
For Dr. Hazen, the students have been the most rewarding part of teaching, "I've enjoyed the students, although I'm not sure the students have enjoyed me," he said. He recalls one dynamics examination he administered in his first years. A train went rolling by, and he made a comment on the train's acceleration. One annoyed student remarked, "Maybe we should tie you up and put you on the tracks."
With his retirement, Dr. Hazen plans on getting back to his childhood roots. He grew up on a dairy farm two miles north of Waterford, Pa, and a couple of years ago, he bought a run-down farm in the outer area of Athens County. He says it's just a place for his eight grand kids to ride their ATV's. But for now, he's retired and still living on a hill in Athens.
Editor's Note: Alan retired last June. A CE student interviewed him for this article in the Departmental newsletter.
Is Your Sport
Trade In Your Car
For A Davenport
Those of you who attended Fort LeBoeuf High in 1956 will probably remember this event. It occurred on May 18, 1956 at 8:15 p.m., in the High School Auditorium. It was titled "Moments to Remember."
The program for this event read as follows:
Narrator - Joan Markham
"Moments to Remember"
7th Grade Models
Costumes of our Neighbors
8th Grade Models
Tap Dancing - Pauline San Fratello
Skating Skirt Models
10th, 11th, 12th Grade Models
Acrobatic Act - Joyce Manross
Square Dance Models
Homer and Jethro Version of Mother
Judy Davis and Clara Mae Shields
Typical Teen-Age Togs
"Memories Are Made of This"
YESTERDAY AND TODAY
Barber Shop Quartet - SCOTCH FOUR
Bride and Groom of Yesterday and Today
"That's All" - - - - - - - - - - - - Herb Walden
Mrs. Howard Markham
Betty Lou Eliason
We wish to express thanks to Miss Zerelda Young, Miss Pearle Malone, Miss Lois Byers, Mr. Carl Olsen, Mr. Robert McCubbin, Mrs. Mary Crooker, the Stage Crew, and everyone who had assisted us in presenting this program.
Mrs. Elizabeth Davis
Miss Leila Ruland
Thanks to Herb Walden for furnishing a copy of the program for the fashion show for this Nostalgia piece.
A Change of Plans
by Herb Walden
Time has been marching on while I haven't been paying attention. Now, I am suddenly aware of some changes that have taken place in my life. Unexpected changes. Things like retirement, Social Security, and Medicare. These alternations in my life have been so subtle that I haven't really though about them. I certainly haven't felt ready for them. And then I got an automatic senior citizen discount at the store. That did it! It all came to me in a rush!
I am old!
Now I find I have face up to some hard facts about my life and make some equally hard decisions concerning it. The major decision is something I don't like to think about, but I've put it off long enough. Too long, in fact. Much as I hate coming to grips with it, I must. It is even more painful to say than to think about, but I have to say it. I have to admit it. I have to change my plans for my life. I am beginning to comprehend my own mortality, and I must get this out in the open no matter how much it hurts. So here goes:
I am never going to be a cowboy!
There! I've said it! I've admitted it, and it almost breaks my heart. You see, I've been planning a cowboy career since I was five or six years old. Gene Autry was my hero back then. I even had a Gene Autry cowboy outfit, although I never saw him wear anything quite like it. I think it was the yellow hat that just wasn't right.
As I grew older, I became a loyal follower to the Lone Ranger. At least I was on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 7:30 p.m. when the Lone Ranger and the great horse, Silver, came galloping out of my radio.
Later in my early teen years, I switched my allegiance to Randolph Scott. I saw every one of his movies that the Sunset drive-in ran, back in 1950s Waterford. Oh, I watched others that played cowboys, too. I liked a lot of them, like Alan Ladd in "Shane." Remember the end of that movie? Remember the kid, Brandon DeWilde? Remember him calling, "Shane! Shane! Come back, Shane!" Remember that? I was Shane for two weeks after I saw that film!
And then there was "Winchester 73" with James Stewart and "High Noon" with Gary Cooper and "The Magnificent Seven" with everybody. They were all great, but nobody was like Randolph Scott, He was my idol --- until I got acquainted with John Wayne.
John Wayne was the ultimate cowboy. He was at his best in "The Searchers." He was also at his best in "The Cowboys" and "True Grit." Come to think of it, John Wayne was always at his best. I decided when I grew up, I would be John Wayne. However, when I did finish growing, I was only half his size. That was disappointing. I figured I'd just have to modify my plans somewhat.
It wasn't like I'd be entering the cowboy business blindly. When I was 10 or 11 or so, my friends and cousins and I played cowboy all the time --- outdoors in the summer and down in the basement on cold, winter days. That went on for a couple years or more, so you see I was well versed in cowboying at an early age.
Then came the era of TV westerns. There were more than 50 weekly westerns on the networks back in the fifties, and I watched them all! "Wagon Train," Bonanza," "Bat Masterson," "Wells Fargo," --- the list goes on and on. Nobody knew more about a cowboy career than I did!
I even learned to speak cowboy. I knew the lingo by the time I was twelve --- words like "dogie," "grub," "hoss," Pecos," "cayuse," "yippee," and "ya-hoo." My vocabulary was extensive. I recon I was plumb fluent.
Why the interest in the old west? It's generic, I think. My Dad read every book Zane Grey wrote. Five or six times. Maybe more. You can't get more cowboyish than that. Obviously then, it's in my blood.
All during the decade of my twenties, I was still preparing myself for life as a cowboy. By then, I had two or three cowboy hats and a pair of ill-fitting boots. I had already learned to play the guitar, and I could sing all the real cowboy songs: "Cool Water," "Streets of Laredo," "Tumbling Tumbleweeds," "Ragtime Cowboy Joe." Yes sir, I knew them all! And then when I bought an honest-to-goodness six-shooter, I felt I was well on the way.
With hours and hours of practice, I got pretty good with the gun. I could quick-draw and do some fancy spins, and all that. I felt good when I walked around with the gun holstered and strapped around my waist. It looked really cool, too. But then it came to actual shooting, I found I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. From inside the barn! Also, I was scared of the gun when it was loaded, and I didn't like the loud noise it made when I fired it.
I made my first major decision about cowboying at that time: I decided I would not be a gunslinger.
As time wore on, I had another rude awakening. I discovered that I do not like cows. They are big and dumb, and given half a chance, they will step on your feet and even run over you.
So I made up my mind that I would be a drifter. Drifters always seemed okay in the movies. They didn't work much. They didn't get into gunfights. I never saw drifters messing around with cows. They were just sort of in the background. That seemed perfect for me!
While all this was going on, I went to college. I wanted to major in "Cowboy' and minor in "Drifting," but for some reason, neither was a college offering. So I became a teacher.
My plan was to save up all the big money I'd make teaching. Then after a few years, I'd quit and go to cowboy-drifting. I could just drift all over and not have to worry about money. I'd just tap into that big bank account back home whenever I needed to. See, there's not a big call for drifters, so there's not much money in it.
By the time I reached age thirty, I had discovered something else about myself that really threw me for a loop. I found out I was afraid of horses! Talk about devastating!
For a long time, I could hardly eat or sleep. I was so upset, I didn't know what to do. Then one day it came to me: On the old Roy Rogers TV show, Pat Brady didn't ride a horse --- he drove a Jeep! Remember "Nellybelle?" I could do that! I could drift in a Jeep! I'm not afraid of Jeeps!
And so, I was back on track again.
But as the decades flew by, things just naturally went awry. The big bank account never materialized. My gun got rained on a couple times and rusted in its holster. My boots hurt so much at I threw them away. My hats got smashed beyond repair underneath other junk in the closed. John Wayne died. I couldn't afford a Jeep.
Then this senior citizen business came along, and although it hurts me deeply, I'll say it again: I'm never going to be a cowboy.
You know what? It's a relief to get that out in the open. It lifts a great burden from my shoulders. I really feel better. No more cowboy stuff to worry about. That's a good thing! Now I am free!
And now I can spend more time on becoming an astronaut.