Bisonalities, Again

FLBHS                                    WHS

A quarterly Newsletter dedicated to the Alumni of Waterford and Fort LeBoeuf High Schools
July 2010------------------------------------------ Summer Issue ------------------------ Volume 11 - Number 4
                     INSIDE THIS ISSUE
     Cat's Corner
     Death of Jim McDowell
     Death of Charlotte Cole Lewis
     Death of Hap Peters
     Death of Betty Patricia Bartholme
     Death of Larry Hurst
     Death of Lowell Potter
     Penny and I went to Nigeria
     Waterford High School Memories
     They too will get old

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

Cat's Corner will now, and in the future, include obituaries of alumni who passed during the quarterly period covered by that issue. This information was requested by one of the alumni who doesn't get to the web site ( ) often enough to catch all the obituaries before I delete them.

April brought on a typical Washington area spring. The weekend of the 4th and 5th of April the cherry blossoms were in full bloom, as well as many of the other flowering trees in this area. The daffodils, tulips, crocus, bleeding hearts, and other spring flowering plants were also in full bloom. It is one of my favorite times of the year for this area.

Along with all the flowers being in bloom, fishing has really picked up. I have been fishing 60 times (or more) by the time you read this issue. Now that the temperatures have risen to over 80 degrees, and sometimes over 90 degrees, I go out fishing twice a day. The first time early in the morning before it gets too hot and then I come home and take care of the chores and after supper I go out for another three hours. I love to fish!

The one-liners used in this issue were received (in 2006) from Elizabeth Faulhaber Demmery-Potter, WHS class of 1955.

Death of Earl James (Jim) McDowell
FLBHS Class of 1956

Jim McDowell

It is with deep regret and sadness that I inform you of the death of Jim McDowell. I received the following information from Martha (Himrod) Smith:

Jim died at the end of September 2009. Jim and I married in 1960 and had two daughters and then divorced in 1971. He remarried later (I'm not sure of the year.) and he and Lynn had one daughter. He also leaves two grandsons and one granddaughter. He never returned to Waterford after 1959. He spent the last 51 years in Phoenix.

Martha (Himrod) Smith - FLBHS Class of 1958

Death of Charlotte Cole Lewis
Mother of
Bill Lewis - FLBHS Class of 1957
Janice Lewis Thiem - FLBHS Class of 1961
Linda Lewis Church - FLBHS Class of 1964

Charlotte (Cole) Lewis, 91, of Waterford, Pa. passed away on Thursday, April 29, 2010, at Millcreek Community Hospital. She was born May 31, 1918 at Millers Station in Crawford County the daughter of the late Nathan and Nellie (Smith) Cole. She worked for the former Eastman Manufacturing Co. in Union City, Pa. along side her husband for many years and later retired from Huber Reversible Fan Company of Erie, Pa. Charlotte still lived with her husband on the farm on Stone Quarry Road that they purchased after World War II, and she loved tending to yard work, and caring for many pets over the years. She was known for baking and cooking the "old fashioned way".

She was the last of her immediate family, preceded in death by her parents, five sisters, Helen Bickerstaff, Pearl Borstorff, Annabelle Laughery, Thelma Bennett and Mildred Martin, three brothers, Merle Cole, Malvin Cole, and Lawrence Cole. Survivors include her husband Ralph Lewis of 73 years, two daughters, Janice Thiem and her husband Jerrold of Virginia, and Linda Church and her husband David of Arizona, one son, Bill Lewis and his wife Karen of Waterford, PA, seven grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Friends were invited to call at the New Ireland United Methodist Church, Route 6, Union City, PA on Monday, May 3, 2010 from 11:00 A.M. until 6:00 P.M. and attended funeral services there on Tuesday at 10:00 A.M. with Rev. John Miller officiating. Interment was at Mill Village Cemetery, Mill Village, PA.

Death of Norman (Hap) Peters
WHS Class of 1953

Hap Peters

Norman (Hap) Peters, age 74, of Canadohta Lake, died on Friday, May 21, 2010 at Saint Vincent Health Center after a short illness. Born in Erie on September 7, 1935, he was the son of the late Orla and Mary Haapa Peters. Norman served in the United States Army during the Korean War, and after returning home, went to work for GTE where he was employed until his retirement 35 years later. He was a member of the Titusville Veterans of Foreign Wars and was a literacy advocate serving with the Crawford County Adult reading program. For many years, he was a Little League coach, was president of the Mill Village Little League, and was a Cub Scout leader. In his leisure time, he enjoyed playing modified pitch softball as a pitcher for local teams, and fishing, golfing, and hunting. He was preceded in death by his wife Patricia Ann Mulvin Peters. Survivors in his family include four children: Karen Chaffee and her husband Dale of Wattsburg, Mark Peters and his wife Danette of Spring Grove, Pa., Michael Peters and his wife Denise of Conneaut Lake, and Norm Peters Jr. (Skip) and his wife Melissa of Centerville; also, eight grandchildren: Steven, Rose Marie, Hunter, Tommy, Levi, Katrina, Sean, and Emily; and his loving companion, Elaine Jordan. Friends may call at the Van Matre Funeral Home of Waterford, 105 Walnut Street, on Monday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. and may attend funeral services there on Tuesday morning at 11:00 a.m. Reverend Betty Hollabaugh, pastor of Mill Village United Methodist Church, will officiate. Interment will be in Mill Village Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorials can be made to the American Heart Association, Disabled Vets, or Mill Village United Methodist Church.

Thanks to Nancy Dorman Swanson for furnishing this obituary.

Death of Betty Patricia Bartholme
Fort LeBoeuf School District Kindergarten Teacher

Betty Bartholme

Betty Patricia Bartholme, 85, of Waterford, Pa., went to be with her Lord and Savior on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 surrounded by her loving family. Betty was born August 19, 1924 in Larabee, PA to the late Raymond D. and Kathleen E. (Johnson) Raszman. Betty is also preceded in death by her loving husband of 40 years, Neil Bartholme. She is survived by her children, Gail Calise (Dennis) Brogdon, Joan Carol (Andrew) Doehrel, Susan Elaine (Mark) Peters, Brian Neil (Pati) Bartholme; grandchildren, Aaron, Ryan, Kira, Amber, Grant, Adam, Jordan, Kesha, Neil; eight great-grandchildren; sister, Nancy Vinal and very dear friend, Lois Wiley. Betty received her B.S. in Education from Edinboro State College and enjoyed teaching kindergarten for over 28 years in the Fort LeBoeuf School District. In her years as a kindergarten teacher, she and her students planted many trees in Waterford. She was an avid reader of history, geography and loved diving into genealogy. Teaching was a way of life but her passion was of international travel and art. Betty loved being outdoors and that was often reflected in her nationally recognized watercolors. Through her international travels, she enjoyed some of the most beautiful places one could imagine but her favorite trip was to Chartres, France where her husband, Neil was shot down as an Air Force pilot during WW II. Betty was a veteran of the US Navy, serving during WW II and a Past Worthy Matron in the Order of Eastern Star. She was a devoted mother, grandmother and great-grandmother whose creative imagination and energetic personality, along with her love of teaching and learning was shared with everyone around her. A memorial service and a celebration of her life will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, May 22, 2010 at the Asbury United Methodist Church, 27 W. 2nd St., Waterford, PA 16441. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Waterford Public Library, 24 S. Park Row, Waterford, PA 16441, or to the Waterford Elementary Library or Art Department in care of the Waterford Elementary School, 323 Cherry St., Waterford, PA 16441. Arrangements entrusted to Schoedinger Midtown Chapel.

Death of Larry Hurst
Member Fort LeBoeuf School Board

Larry Hurst

Lawrence E. (Larry) Hurst, age 80, of Waterford, loving husband of Thelma (Troyer) Hurst for 59 years, left this life to be with his heavenly Father on June 2, 2010. Larry was born in Wadsworth, Ohio on October 12, 1929. After graduating from Goshen College, where he met his wife Thelma, he moved to her hometown of Waterford. In Waterford, Larry founded and operated Hurst Potato Sales for 35 years until his retirement in 1995. During this time he also was co-owner of several John Deere Equipment Dealerships, and he built and leased commercial real estate. Larry's love of aviation enabled him to travel throughout the United States and Canada, piloting his own airplane for both business and pleasure. Also, a great enjoyment for him was his yearly elk hunting trip to Idaho. Larry was a past member of numerous agriculture organizations and was the former treasurer of the Fort LeBoeuf School Board. He was a member of the Beaverdam Mennonite Church for 55 years and attended Bahia Vista Mennonite Church in Sarasota, Fla. during the winter months. Besides his loving wife Thelma, Larry is survived by three sons, Bryan Hurst and his wife Vicki of Waterford, Gordon Hurst of Apex, N.C., and Jon Hurst and his wife Mary of Erie; a daughter, Valerie Hurst of Sharon, Pa.; and his grandchildren, Emily, Andrew and Jacob Hurst, Rebecca and Timothy Hurst, Laura and Peter Hurst, and Jared Hurst and Juliann Tamura. The eldest of six children, Larry is also survived by four brothers and one sister, Leonard, Carl, Ronald, and Gerald Hurst, and Violet Miller. Friends may call at the Van Matre Funeral Home of Waterford, 105 Walnut Street, on Saturday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. The funeral service will take place at the Beaverdam Mennonite Church on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. officiated by Pastor Jay Conn. Interment will follow at Lawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Stancliff Hose Company, P.O. Box 275, Waterford, PA 16441, or to a charity of one's choice.

Death of Lowell Potter

It is with deep regret and sadness that I inform you of the death of Lowell Potter, beloved husband for 35+ years of Elizabeth Faulhaber Demmery-Potter, WHS Class of 1955.

I received word from Elizabeth that her husband died on Saturday while out in the field baling hay.

Anyone wishing to send condolences to Elizabeth the following is furnished:

Elizabeth Faulhaber Demmery-Potter
2911 Highway 75
Wetumka, OK 74883-6222

Little Tommy had been to a birthday party at a friend's house. Knowing his sweet tooth, Tommy's mother looked straight into his eyes and said, "I hope you didn't ask for a second piece of cake."
"No, but I asked Mrs. Smith for the recipe so you could make some like it, and she gave me two more pieces without asking."


Penny and I went to Nigeria
By Victoria Malinowski Brogdon
FLBHS class of 1966

Victoria and Penny

Victoria and Penny

My sister Penny and I went to Nigeria for her nephew's wedding. Penny and I traveled together from Atlanta, only a 12-hour direct flight. We met Penny's husband, Bayo, who was already in Nigeria, his homeland. The joyfully wedded couple, Omolara and Olusunmade Ejiwunmi, live in London but their parents live in Lagos, Nigeria.

Lagos is the 7th largest city in the world (about 19M people) and Nigeria is the 9th largest county in the world! So our first experience in Nigeria, just outside the airport, was to be caught in a grid-locked traffic jam. We sat for two hours watching them figure out how to undo the mess. It was fascinating to see the police allow the citizens to untangle all the cars and trucks. Some visitors to Nigeria dare not drive. Painted lines on the highway are a recent innovation and there are almost no traffic lights. At intersections traffic police control the flow of traffic, if there isn't a grid-lock.

During our visit we had hired drivers who were most patient and excellent divers who could maneuver a van into a small opening that I wouldn't attempt with my little S60.

The clothes we wore for the wedding, as you can see in the picture, were made for us to match the family selected fabric - a custom for wedding outfits in Nigeria. There are very few ready-made clothes for special occasions like a wedding, except for the bride and groom and the wedding party at the church wedding. A family buys a bolt of fabric and clothing is made by a tailor to fit every member and friends of the family participating or attending the wedding. I sent my measurements a few months before traveling. It's a great custom; you can tell who belongs with which family! Out on the streets of Nigeria, you can tell which kids belong to which parents. The headdress is called a Gele ("Gal - lay") and everyone wears them everywhere. It's great for bad hair days (especially in the rain) and for balding women like me! The rainy season is June to September so it was HUMID and about 85 degrees. The sun peeked out for about three seconds and it felt like a burning poke so I was glad it was cloudy.

The wedding solemnization was in Patriarch Bolaji Methodist Cathedral in Ikorodu and the thanksgiving service on Sunday was in a Pentecostal church called City of the Lord Church in Mushin.

A few days later we stopped on Victoria Island at the Catholic Church of the Assumption where Pope John Paul II visited in Feb 1982. I have never seen so many Christian Churches; there was at least three on every block. There is a chapel in Adedayo and Buki's home and they have a prayer service every morning at 7:00 a.m. Reverend Adedayo is an Anglican reverend. I only saw one mosque but Muslims pray at home, at work, or even a courtyard or public square.

One day, while we were visiting Victoria Island, the area where the British segregated themselves when they colonized the country, we saw a big black cloud along the beach. There had been a bombing of an oil transfer station and the credit was given to MEND (Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta.) This militant organization alleges exploitation and oppression of the peoples of the Niger Valley and destruction of its environment because of the extraction of oil. Oil is the No. 1 export of Nigeria (5th in the world) and there is a clash occurring because of the unfair distribution of wealth - all going to Lagos in the southwest and Abuja (the new capital) in the north, instead of the East where the oil wells are located. Nigeria was once primarily an agricultural country but oil is easier to produce and brings a higher price on the world market. Agriculture is still taught in the primary and secondary schools as it was at Bethany Hall School.

Penny, Bayo, and Victoria
Penny, Bayo, and Victoria

We toured Bethany Hall, a Christian school owned by Bayo's sister and her husband. The students attending the school were about 50% Christian students and 50% Muslim. This is the way that we learn tolerance of others, by playing and learning together. Through daily contact, we learn that people are all the same, with the same joys and sorrows, the same goals and ambitions. Here in the USA, we would be much less fearful if we would mingle with our neighbors who seem so different from us on the surface! Some eight to ten year old students gave us a presentation of what they could do on computer using PowerPoint, Access, Excel, HTML and a graphics program. Very impressive! When I went to various classrooms, the students found it hard to answer my questions because their jaws were dropped open in surprise about seeing a white woman in Nigerian attire.

Most of the food we ate at the wedding was made over open fires in the back yard or beside the reception hall. I have often wondered why I feel better traveling in Asia and Africa than at home. I have come to the conclusion that eating natural, fresh food instead of processed food is the secret. We ate pounded yams; the yam being a totally different root vegetable from the sweet potato that we call yam. Yam is part of the staple diet of most Nigerians like potatoes would be to Americans. Yam potage was made with various additions of dried and fresh fish and prawn, cow hide, and other surprisingly delicious ingredients. We often had fried plantain, a member of the banana family, served with any meal of the day. Jollof rice is a spicy dish made with fried red tomatoes and red pepper which also includes morsels of cooked chicken or beef. The baked chicken is not at all like the over-fattened chicken we eat here. We saw live chickens for sale at the market. The corn-on-the-cob was quite different from our sweet corn; it wasn't sweet and it was very chewy. We laughingly called it field corn but they call it maize and it was delicious. Moyin-Moyin is a bean-cake made from black eyed beans that are skinned, ground and then mixed with pieces of prawn, hard-boiled egg, and other dried meats. It was moist and delicious when wrapped in a large green banana leaf and steamed. I have eaten many of these foods in the US prepared by Penny's husband, Bayo Jegede. But the best discovery of all was a comfort food made from boiled egg and sardines mixed with mayonnaise. Wow! I now make it at home and even my little granddaughter, Isabella, gobbles it up saying, Yummy.

We may go back next year for another wedding! But this time we would like to tour the country despite the reputed kidnappings and pirates. P.S. Here's a hint for those readers who travel across time zones. I have discovered a product that stopped my usual suffering from jet-lag. It's a homeopathic product called "No Jet Lag" that I learned about in Malaysia from some ladies from New Zealand where it is made. Its ingredients are leopard's bane, chamomile, daisy, club moss, and ipecac. It was a miracle to me. Although Nigeria is five hours earlier than the East Coast of the US, I had no trouble sleeping or eating. In fact, I felt Gr-r-r-r-reat!

As my five year old son and I were headed to McDonald's one day, we passed a car accident. Usually when we see something terrible like that, we say a prayer for those who might be hurt, so I pointed and said to my son, "We should pray."
From the back seat I heard his earnest request: "Please, God, don't let those cars block the entrance to McDonald's."

Waterford high school memories
By Bernard Cowley
WHS Class of 1950

In the 1948/49 school year I was a junior at Waterford High School. I did not like school very well, but there were several incidents that took place that stand out in my memory that made it almost tolerable.

One day I was attending a class on the third floor of the school. The students were all there, but the teacher did not show up. We thought this was great! No one even thought of going to the office to report this incident. At one point someone opened the window, but it would not stay open so someone pushed a table under the window to hold it open. The windows in this room went all the way to about six inches from the floor and almost all the way to the ceiling. Below the window was the roof of the shop building. For some mysterious reason the table slid out the window and down to the roof of the shop building, smashing the table and punching a hole in the roof of the shop building. Can you imagine what it must have been like to have been in the shop at that time? About five minutes later we not only had one teacher but several teachers, including the principal. Everyone was seated in a chair, the window was closed, and we all looked innocent. Everything looked normal except for the big empty space where the table used to sit. To this day I can't figure out how a perfectly ordinary table could take it upon itself to just decide to fly out the window and crash into the shop building roof, but that's the way it happened. That was our story and I'm sticking to it. It turned out that the table was not the major problem, but the main problem was, just where was the teacher? He's the one that had the problem, as it turned out. I don't think anyone believed any of our stories, any way. I believe that there were some mysterious forces at work in the school that we could not see. We never got punished in any way. I don't remember when the roof was fixed or if the table was ever replaced.

We had a teacher that taught a civics class and his eyesight was so bad that he could not see across the room. In fact, if you were seated in the back of the room during a test you could open your book and get the answers and he would not know the difference. Of course no one would ever do that. His students were almost all A students so they had no reason to even think of cheating. One day this teacher was killed in a tragic accident. This class was so traumatized by this incident that almost the whole class went from being A students to C students. We had a new teacher of course and this one had good vision. I think that those mysterious forces were involved somehow. How else could the whole class go down hill so fast? I really did miss our old teacher, as he really was a nice guy.

One day while I was in study hall, I noticed a guy shooting spitballs through a straw at some students in the front row. I thought that was pretty neat, and he wasn't shooting them at me because I was right beside him. What he didn't know, however, was that the principal had come out of his office and was standing right behind him. I wish I could have warned him, but he soon found out. The principal's name was C. W. Dingle. I don't know what C. W. stood for, but us kids had some names that we thought fit those initials, none of which I care to put in print. To the general public he always came across as a mild polite man, and he probably was. He was a round, bald man that always wore a black suit. He was short and quite heavy, as I recall. Any way he proceeded by grabbing the student by the shoulders and dragging him out of his seat and then marched him to his office, which was right behind the study hall. Everyone in the study hall that day heard the noise coming from his office. There was shouting and the sound of things banging up against the wall. After some time the student came out of the office. His clothes were quite disheveled, and he looked quite upset. I don't know what happened in that office that day, but I do not recall anyone ever shooting spitballs in study hall again. Can you imagine what would happen today if that incident occurred? (Maybe it should.) I guess that was perceived as appropriate punishment for shooting spitballs back then. All I know is that it worked. I do not know what kind of a person Mr. Dingle really was I only know what I saw and thought of him from a student's perspective. Then again maybe I only knew half of the story.

I didn't have many favorite teachers, but one of them would have to be a man named Harold August. He taught the science class. He liked to hunt and fish and so did I. I lived on a farm so I invited him out quite often to go hunting with me. We hit it off quite well and I always got As in his class. I wonder if those mysterious forces had anything to do with that. I doubt it as they usually showed up when something bad happened. I think I was just smarter in science.

I graduated in 1950 and a few years later they tore down the school and built a new one somewhere else. I wonder if they ever got rid of the mysterious forces that roamed the halls. I doubt it very much as I think they exist in the new school and in every school. Where ever there are kids there will be some mysterious force to blame for the things that go wrong.

Frustration is trying to find your glasses without your glasses.

They too will get old!
By Val Albernathy

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, and my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 50's and 60's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love . . . I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when a beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face.

So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore.

I've even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it).

I was always taught to respect my elders, but it keeps getting harder to find one (and that's no joke).

See you all next issue!
Have a great Summer!
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