Letters from Alumni and Friends

I occasionally receive nice letters (no nasty ones, so far) from Hillcrest alumni and also from friends and siblings of alumni. I also saved some of the messages that were posted at our now defunct bulletin board. You may enjoy reading them as much as I did.

Jere Nell Norris 8/30/02

Jere Nell Norris got married! The lucky guy is Charles Craig Gorbutt. We live in Collierville. I lost my reunion book during the move, so please keep me up on all the news! Thanks!

Larry Chow (Steven's brother) 8/25/02


Thanks for your time and efforts in starting and maintaining your site on Hillcrest High School. It is done well and very in depth of those who roamed our beloved halls of HHS who were the class of 1968.

The recollections of their memories during high school and the journey which life have taken them is priceless for it is a story of real people and people that we know and grew up with. Like many of my classmates in the class of 1970, we are the younger sisters and brothers of the members of your graduating class, so we have a common bond not only education wise but also as family. As adults, we are now relocated throughout and with the advent of the web, you have made it "one click" away to keep in touch, relive and keep those special times "alive" in our hearts and to know what's on the hearts of our fellow "vikings" wherever we are.

The class of 1968 is a graduating class that's a high-water mark for our school and as the year of 1968 is for our country. As a school, 1968 was a turning point where the legacy and tradition that brought prestige and repect to HHS for years to come that at one time HHS was considered a "laughing stock" of Shelby County whenever I mentioned that I attended Hillcrest before 1968. For our country, there was the Tet offensive in Vietnam and the Chicago Democratic National Convention. As Hillcrest gained respect and dignity within the student body and Shelby County as well across Tennessee, our beloved country began to question and wonder about many things about ourselves and the public policies of our government.

It seems like many years ago, but they also seem like yesterday. Landing on the moon, Leave It To Beaver, Beatles, Monkees, and the list and beat goes on that are classic americana panoramas of our lives. Our parents and grandparents went through the Great Depression, World War II and the Korean War. We grew up with Vietnam, the Cold War, and the space race. And as young adults, we faced Watergate, AIDS, the economic downturns, and the Challenger explosion. Our children and grandchildren have the west nile disease, 9-11, and the middle east. Even the world events may differ for each generation, there is one common experience unique in everyones life in America, this is the never endless days called high school. A time of dreams, hopes and confidence for the future and just enjoying and having fun in life.

A time that will never be repeated or replaced at a place called Hillcrest High School that now lives on in our hearts and memories.

Thank you for rekindling and recreating a special moment and time in life by your web site.

Thanks for the memories and keeping the memories of others who went on to "valhalla".

Larry Chow

Don Bufano 8/12/02


Thanks for the great work on the Hillcrest site. I went to Hillcrest for 8th and 9th grade. In many ways I came of age there. I moved to Memphis from the Philadelphia area in ?63 and then from there to Baltimore in ?65. I was an elementary and later high school history teacher for 24 years in the Washington, DC area. I am now the chairman of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America. I am have been in Sacramento, CA for a year doing that work. I have two children, Nathan 25 and Mikaela 23. Nathan works as an AC technician and he coaches high school baseball and basketball. He went to University of Maryland. Mikaela just graduated from Vassar College. She is a violist. She is working in Manhattan for a law firm while she considers law school. My wife of 26 years, Lynn works in business finance.

I remember the Y dances, Graceland Pool, guitar playing (me listening) with Bobbie Guth and Chris Lovell. I remember Rose and Kenny (AKA Bob Dylan) Houck, Melanie Lasky and her sister Debbie (my first girlfriend), John Bass, Linda K. Jones, Kent Jones, Faye Bryant, Tommy Hardy, Randy Henderson, Bobby Powell, Ernie McCracken, Mike Boyanton, Kathy Burke, Chartres McCoy, Gloria Goode, Pam Caldwell, The Gentrys and Sam The Sham at the Y, being asked if I was Eye-talian, my first McDonald?s and Mexican food, junk food and Coke in a school cafeteria, Beale Street pawn shops, Mr. Kessler and ?Ole Man Ribba?, the day in eighth grade when Kennedy was shot, an assembly was called, and we went home early, Mrs. Gaston and her painless paddle licks, Mrs. Simonton?s eyes in the back of her head, my Yankee shock when Mr. Richter used the N word in his lessons, matching and ?lagging? coins on the steps, basketball mania, McAfee and I being the only ones rooting for the Yankees over the Cards in the ?64 World Series, school being suspended so we could watch the series in study hall, causing the study hall floor to quake by shaking your leg, and more I am sure if I spent some time remembering.

I have an amazing story. About ten years ago I was having some work done on my house in Takoma Park, MD just outside Washington, DC. The city housing inspected needed to come and approve the work. A tall, long-haired, somewhat Native-American looking fellow showed up. I told him he had an interesting accent and asked where was he from. He said Memphis and I told him I had lived there for two years. ?Where?? he asked. Well, as you can probably guess. It was Whitehaven/Graceland and he had gone to Hillcrest. It was Thomas Morris. We had only known of each other, but we had tons of mutual friends. I still see him around DC every now and then. He seems to be doing well.

I know I did not graduate from Hillcrest and I doubt many remember me, but I appreciate looking at the photos and info you have gathered. Feel free to post any of this and good luck with your efforts.

Don Bufano

Judy Johnson 6/13/02

Thank you, Cindy. I'm glad you have time on your hands, and I appreciate your doing this. I have very fond memories of HHS, and found the reunion info wonderful. I'm so sorry I was unable to attend in '99. I am in Atlanta, retired from Delta and working at the High Museum of Art part time and for the Atlanta Braves part time. Both of my boys are grown, and I live almost alone (I do have renters in my downstairs apartment), and I would love to hear from anyone who comes this way. I hope to see you all at future reunions.

[Site Map]