Jan 11 2009
09:13 pm
By: WhitesCreek

By Ray Collett

Hello Readers, This week, I think I will start off with an injury report on some of our readers and classmates. Don Kau, husband of Mary Alexander Kau, (Class of 1955) is recovering at home in Rockwood, following an accident in Indianapolis, In. He slipped on ice and suffered a broken leg. I understand Leland Hill (Class of 1954), husband of Sue Hill is also at home recovering from a broken leg. He fell in his yard while working. While we are on the subject of falling, I fell while watching the Christmas parade in Rockwood and injured my shoulder. I had an MRI done at Park West and meet with the surgeon tomorrow, possibly rotator cuff operation is going to happen. And Bobby Brock, (Class of 1955), husband of Emily Spurling Brock is at UAB hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. He will have triple by-pass surgery Monday or Tuesday.
Bobby was on his way to Florida and had a heart attack in Alabama.

I really received a lot of emails after the column on the Boy Scout tragedy at White's Creek. One in particular came from Evelyn Carson Mankel (Class of 1957.) Here is Evelyn's email that I would like to share


Thanks so much for doing this story of the flood. It is really hard to believe that this coming March it will be 70 years since the flood. My Dad, Judson Carson, was suppose to go on that camping trip. He was going to college at UT in Knoxville, but could not get a ride to Rockwood due to the heavy rain. He was trying to thumb a ride home to Rockwood. I have always believed, since he was a good swimmer and had taken life saving training, that he would have drown trying to save one more person. Evelyn, Martha and Jeanette would not have been born if he had drown that night. Not sure if he had met my Mother by then or not. I am sure he already knew the older of her two brothers by then. Of course many of his close friends in Scouts drown that night. He was an Explorer Scout and went on to be a Boy Scout Leader.

Also thanks for the picture of the Monument and Plaque. They are the best pictures of them that I have ever seen.

Evelyn Carson Mankel
Thanks a lot Evelyn, it is always good to hear from you and George. The "Rockwood Memories" column added a few new readers last week Betty Laughlin (Class of 1952), James Leon Penley (Class of 1957) and Howard Stinnett, (Class of 1964) . Welcome Classmates, and feel free to join right in.
I remember Leon very well since we were the same room together for a few years. He sent me this email that he gave me permission to share with you. It will bring back some memories. Here is what Leon had to say..." It was not easy being 1 of 5 sons, but I made it this far, might not get much farther. I left school in 1955 and went to work for Jr. (Buckeye) Clem, running his pool room. One night I'll never forget is the raid on Buck Tom Scout Camp. This started at the pool room on one of those nights with nothing to do. No excitement at all. So we decided to go to Buck Toms (bad idea). I guess there was 20 to 25 of us, we loaded up in 4 or 5 cars and took off. We got to the Scout Camp and went through the camp making noises, calling the Blue Goose (Scout Master) after about 30 minutes the bushes came alive. We were surrounded by, not Boy Scouts, but by Eagle Scouts (big guys). We were captured, made to sit in a dirt road, names were taken and pictures made. Finally we were released. I think the picture was hung in the courthouse in Oak Ridge for a while. There were guys, I don't remember all the names but Lawrence Willett was one of them. Did you ever hear about the time Mr. Willett gave Lawrence money to go get a haircut? Well, he went to the pool room and somehow he misplaced the money, so "Buckeye" cut his hair. When he got home, his dad hit the ceiling. He told his dad that "Prune" Pierce cut his hair, so father and son went back to the barber shop and his father gave Prune "what for" for the job he did on his son's hair. Well, the son finally confessed to who did such a fine job on his head...."Buckeye". I bet Lawrence's feet did not touch the ground all the way home."
Leon continues to write," There was Recruiting Officer Sgt. Grey. He would come in every Tuesday...could not shoot worth a HOOT. Now I was a darn good pool player, I was up there with Tommy Brown, Donnie Brandon, even B. Boles. Anyway, I told Sgt. Gregy, " Sgt., I'll play you one game of pool and if you beat me, I'll join the Air Force. He got a pool stick, I think I broke to start the game. I thought I'd got a professional, he had to be Willie Hoppe. He beat me like a red-headed step child. My friend Jim Pelfrey was there along with another friend, Jackie Pierce. Pelfrey asked me if I was going to keep my bet and I told him, yes, and he said that he would go with me. Then Jackie pierce came over and said he was going with us too. That made three JPs..Jim Pelfrey, Jackie Pierce, and Jim Penley. So we went on the Buddy Plan. We lost Jackie Pierce in Knoxville (I don't know why), Pelfrey and I went to San Antonio Lackland AFB Texas. Our Buddy Plan lasted for 28 days. We had our basic training - Aptitude Test. They sent Pelfrey to Amarillo, to engine school I guess, and they sent me to Chanute AFB in Rantoul Illinois mechanical and Electronic Instruments Tech School . From there they sent me to Sewart AFB in Smyrna, Tn. right across the hill from home, I came home every weekend. I really had it made ! Then, I got orders to go to France. I went to Falsbourg, France, and the first person I saw was Jack Miles (Class of 1957), we were in the same squadron. Jack was a camera repairman. We went on TDY (temporary duty) together to North Africa (Moracco) to pick up different planes. We had F84's and F86's, (single engines) we also got RF101's Voodoo, these were twin engines. We lost a few of those. A really hot place over there. Once the water main burst while we were there, no shaves or showers. We put big blocks of ice in canvas bags for drinking water. I spent a lot of time in the bowling alley and the swimming pool. Once at the pool, I had to look twice...I saw Lacy Holder Class of 1954) come off the high board. Small world I guess. Anywhere you go you will run into someone from Rockwood or Roane County, maybe even Bill Wilkey and one of his Wampus Cats...James Leon Penley..
Thanks Leon, that email sure brings back a lot of memories...That is about it for this week, I hope I am able to type next week...Don't forget my books "Rockwood Memories", both Volume One and the new Volume Two at "Shacks", "Gail Score's Western and Show Apparel ", (next to Junior's Restaurant), "Yonder Hollow" and David Webb's "Rocky Top General Store", or you can call me at (865) 354-7680
Until next week, keep the emails coming........Ray

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