Bisonalities, Again

FLBHS                                    WHS

A quarterly Newsletter dedicated to the Alumni of Waterford and Fort LeBoeuf High Schools

July 2009----------------------------------------- Summer Issue --------------------- Volume 10 - Number 4


Cat's Corner - by the Editor
Humor - I'm my own Grandpa
Meaning of the flag draped coffin
Tribute to Walley Mahle

Welcome to the Bisonalities, Again, a 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 January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1.

The Bisonalities, Again 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 former classmates? If you do, please send it to me at the following e-mail address:
or at my snail-mail address:
Robert J. Catlin, Sr.
2670 Dakota Street
Bryans Road, MD 20616-3062
Tel: (301) 283-6549
Fax: (301) 375-9250

Please, NO handwritten submissions.

The Bisonalities, Again Newsletter is available to any and all alumni, teachers, and administrators of Waterford or Fort LeBoeuf High Schools on the Web site, free.

If you know an alumnus, teacher, or administrator who would be interested, tell them about the Web site. None of the material in this newsletter has a copyright unless otherwise noted. If you wish to make copies of this newsletter and distribute it to other Alumni or friends, please feel free to do so.

If you are reading this newsletter on-line and would like a printable version of it, a PDF version is available on the web site. That is, a file that can be read and displayed by the FREE Adobe File Reader. This will allow you to print the newsletter exactly as if you had received it by snail-mail. If you would like a PDF copy of the newsletter, it is located on the Main Menu under "Past Issues Bisonalities Again."

Bob Catlin - Class of 1956

Cat's Corner

Well, winter and spring are FINALLY over. As I get older I find I hate cold, rainy weather more and more. This winter and spring have really added to that hatred. Of course, I realize that a cold and wet winter in Southern Maryland has no match for cold and wet winters where many of you who are reading this live, but it is still too cold and wet for me. This winter and spring we averaged 3.5 degrees cooler than our normal temperatures and more rain than normal.

April brought us 6 inches of rain, May brought us 10 inches of rain and then June added another 12 inches. At the present we are 5 inches above our total rain fall for the year.

We did not get the rain all at once, but small amounts of rain, day after day. This spring we saw days with highs in the 90s only to have the next day not make it into the 50s. There were temperature swings of as much as 40 degrees in a 24-hour period.

You will note there is only one story written by our Alumni. Please, I need stories to keep this publication going. Take time out of your busy schedules and send me your stories about your life, or in tribute to a teacher or friend. Thanks in advance!


I'm My Own Grandpa

Written and sung by Ray Stevens

Many, many years ago when I was twenty-three
I was married to a widow who was pretty as could be
This widow had a grownup daughter who had hair of red
My father fell in love with her, and soon they too were wed

This made my Dad my son-in-law and really changed my life
For now my daughter was my mother, 'cause she was my father's wife
And to complicate the matter, even though it brought me joy,
I soon became the father of a bouncing baby boy

My little baby then became a brother-in-law to Dad
And so became my uncle, though it made me very sad
For if he were my uncle, then that also made him my brother
Of the widow's grownup daughter, who was of course my step-mother.

Father's wife then had a son who kept them on the run
And he became my grandchild, for he was my daughter's son
My wife is now my mother's mother, and it makes me blue
Because although she is my wife, she's my grandmother too

Now if my wife is my grandmother, then I'm her grandchild
And every time I think of it, it nearly drives me wild
'Cause now I have become the strangest case you ever saw
As husband of my grandmother, I am my own grandpa

I'm my own grandpa,
I'm my own grandpa,
It sounds funny, I know
But it really is so
I'm my own grand

Meaning of the flag draped coffin

The following was received from Jane Rossey Morrow, FLB class of 1956.

Editor's note: Although the meanings of the 13 steps in folding the American flag were not assigned when it first began, they have become a symbolic meaning over the years. The original reason for folding the flag in this manner was to distinguish the folding of the flag from that of folding an ordinary bed sheet. End of note.

Have you ever noticed the honor guard pays meticulous attention to correctly folding the United States of America Flag 13 times? You may have thought it was to symbolize the original 13 colonies, but we learn something new every day!

The 1st fold of the flag is a symbol of life.

The 2nd fold is a symbol of the belief in eternal life.

The 3rd fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing the ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of the country to attain peace throughout the world.

The 4th fold represents the weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance.

The 5th fold is a tribute to the country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, 'Our Country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong.'

The 6th fold is for where people's hearts lie. It is with their heart that they pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

The 7th fold is a tribute to its Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that they protect their country and their flag against all her enemies, whether they are found within or without the boundaries of their republic.

The 8th fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day.

The 9th fold is a tribute to womanhood, and Mothers. For it has been through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great has been molded.

The 10th fold is a tribute to the Father, for He, too, has given His sons and daughters for the defense of their country since they were first born.

The 11th fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies in the Hebrews eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The 12th fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in the Christians eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.

The 13th fold, or when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding them of their nations motto, 'In God We Trust'!

After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington, and the Sailors and Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for them the rights, privileges and freedoms they enjoy today.

A tribute to Walley Mahle, our teammate and friend

Dave, Harry, Buck, and Walley

This picture shows four teammates from the 1958-59 FLBHS football team. Standing from left to right are myself (Dave Pifer), Harry Thomas, and Buck Davis. Seated is our friend, Walley Mahle. We have been friends for over 50 years and have gotten together several times a year to reminisce about our high school days and to talk sports. I was the only one to move away from Erie County, PA, although Walley left for many years but returned in the '90's. Peg (spouse) and I relocated in 1964 to Melbourne, FL where we took teaching positions and where I also coached for 39 years in the Palm Bay H. S. football program. Because of our mutual coaching careers, Walley and I shared many stories about our football experiences, as well as to give our usual critique of other coaches, players and big games.

Every summer since the early 1980's, Peg and I would return to vacation in Waterford and get together many times with my three longtime friends. The one thing all us, and many of you, really enjoy each July is Waterford Heritage Days and meeting schoolmates, both older and younger, at the Waterford Hotel on Friday nights.

Harry, Buck, and I had the privilege to be invited by Walley Mahle, our quarterback, to join him as his guests at his induction into Syracuse University's very distinguished Letter of Distinction Club awards banquet held in September, 2008. The picture above was taken at that event. The ceremony was a very emotional and spiritual experience for the three of us to be there with Walley and his family. He could hardly stand because he was very weak, and he had almost no voice. But his strong will and determination drove him as he insisted on getting up and personally thanking the University for the award and to tell his story of gratitude for not only being a student and player at SU, but for his years on the coaching staff. Only forced whispers and three word sentences could be heard while he spoke. Walley was the only one of the six inductees to receive not one, but TWO . . . standing ovations.

It was a great honor for Harry, Buck, and me to experience this tribute to one of the greatest men that we have had the privilege to call our friend. We really did not realize the scope of the many, many lives that he and his wife, Eileen, have touched over the years, which includes their three sons, Clint, Scott, and Lee.

Walley struggled for two years with his cancer and while we were with him at Syracuse, we knew we would not see him again. He had fought the good fight, but I guess the Lord wanted him for bigger and better things.

We love you and miss you Walley.

Teammates and Friends forever,
Dave (Harry, and Buck)

See you all next issue!
Be safe and stay well!

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