Classmate Remembrances about Irvin, El Paso
and Our Times in the Late 1960's
General Musings About El Paso
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Classmate Remembrances about Irvin, El Paso
and Our Times in the Late 1960's
Kent Byus '67, August, 2007
Classmates of 1967,
I am Kent Byus, a proud member of the Irvin High School graduating class of
1967. When I first heard from Joie (Jo Ann Campbell) I was tickled at the
thought of being reunited with friends and acquaintances from our most precious
and often innocent years. I enjoyed almost every moment I spent at
Irvin...almost every moment. I am anxious to attend this coming reunion for
many, many reasons, but mostly I am anxious to share your life experiences.
When I sat down to write this letter, I made a promise to myself that I was not
going to look back...rather, I wanted to say thank you and recognize the
accomplishments of a few in anticipation that other members in the class would
provide more insight into the accomplishments of more of our classmates with
whom we were graduated.
As I scanned our class roster, viewed the pictures, and did a little research, I
became really proud by the work and effort of our classmates. I want to mention
a couple in an effort to encourage others to bring us up to speed on the
activities and contributions of others of us.
I want to begin with Russell Hicks, now known as Father Justin. What a wonderful
life of commitment. My son, Joshua is majoring in anthropology at the University
of Texas and when I pointed out the contribution of Father Justin, he filled
with awe and inspiration. I am amazed that OUR classmate Russell is instrumental
in helping preserve the most sacred foundations of Christianity and western
civilization. His spirituality, his discipline, his devotion, his love of human
kind, and his patience are admirable and praiseworthy. Thank
you Father Justin (Russell) for what you love to do.
Then there is Hilda (Green) Heady. Classmates, this is a truly REMARKABLE
person, and she graduated from Irvin with us in 1967. Hilda continues to
exercise her leadership in creating a more compassionate place for this nation's
rural and rapidly aging population. I have read her testimony to Congress
regarding the health opportunities and obstacles facing the rural elderly, and I
am humbled by her sensitivity, her conviction, her strength of purpose, and her
determination to make life better for others. Thank you Hilda for doing what you
love to do.
I am amazed by the work of Don Dungan; this is an exceedingly rare type of
developer. Don is part of a team that has created one of the most
environmentally sensitive business and professional complexes in Texas.
For some time I have studied what is called "new urbanism" and have come to
believe that people like Don are the builders and developers who will lead the
effort in preserving and harmonizing our life and work spaces with the reality
of our fragile environment. Don is entrepreneurial, innovative, practical, and
forward looking; plus he graduated with all of us. Thank you Don for doing what
you love to do.
Last month my wife Nancy and I had the pleasure to share dinner with Taffy
Bagley and Joie while we were in El Paso...what an enjoyable evening of good
food, good wine, and great fellowship. We are a talented bunch, Class of 1967,
and I am anxious to again sit with and share life with you. See you in October.
Regards my friends, Kent Byus '67, August, 2007
Richard Hibbard '67, August
28,2007 From the time I started at Irvin, the football games and
even the basketball games were a big part of our entertainment. From the time I
started driving in '65, going to the Red Rooster and especially the Oasis was
mandatory either after the game or just to go. I remember "Orbiting the OA" to
see who was there and to check out cars and girls (depending on whether you had
a date or not) Stopping for at least a coke was obligatory. My most notable OA
story happened my senior year. My date that night wanted to hang her bra on my
car antenna as we orbited. Exactly why I still have no earthly idea. She was NOT
Pam Gibbs, who would have NEVER done such a thing and had left for California.
I'll never tell who it was...
Even after I graduated and went off to Rice, I would go Orbit the OA when I came
home for holidays. Often it would be with my sisters and her friends,
occasionally with a date. My youngest sister Barbie still fondly remembers going
to the OA for a Coke in my '68 Fiat. None of my other brothers or sister would
take her-it was embarassing to them back then to be seen taking their little
sister to the OA.
My final visit to the OA came back in 1971-72 when Steve McQueen & Ali McGraw
were filming a scene at our Oasis for "The Getaway" There must have been in
excess of 20,000 people there and the closest I could get was by one of the last
stores on the far part of Sunrise center from the OA. I couldn't see anything
from a couple hundred yards away, but I was there. The next time I went to El
Paso the Oasis was gone, torn down and paved over for more parking...Richard
Hibbard '67, August 28,2007
67, June 16, 2007
On El Paso
strange, I remember Teen Burgers @ A&W, Der Wienerschnitzel, & KFC, but not
McDonalds. I do remember a place that had cheap hamburgers (almost nothing but
bread) that my family went to maybe once, but since it took a half dozen burgers
to fill me up, the overall bill probably wasn't cheap. I guess it could have
been MacDonalds. It was probably the same spot as Carolyn's 100 burger place. I
left El Paso in December 67 and spent a year at an Air Force Tech School in
Biloxi, MS then went overseas to Germany and England. They had A&W in Germany
and KFC in England. Other Americans overseas talked about MacDonald's but I
don't remember eating at one until 1971, when I stayed with my brother who had
moved to Abilene, TX. The big thing in Abilene at that time was driving round
and round a Sonic. American Hamburgers are unique and when I lived near London,
Hard Rock opened their very first Cafe to show the rest of the world what they
were missing. German hamburgers are like meatloaf, with all the goodies cooked
in the meat. The British had a chain called Wimpy's. Wimpy is the guy in
Popeye cartoons that's always eating hamburgers. I think they might have
invented the soy burger or it least they tasted like that. They came with
bread, a thin slice of mystery meat, and ketchup.
Letersky 67, June 16, 2007
Don Dungan 67, June 12, 2007
I left El Paso in
1976 and moved to Austin as a professional musician. ( I am now a commercial
real estate developer.) Mike was an inspiration to me to pick up the guitar.
Mike Cancellare just moved back to El Paso. He lived in the Austin area for
quite a while as well. He was one the first really good electric guitar players
that I saw live. He used to play on Hondo Pass at Bobby Fullers Teen Club,
which became The Rendezvous. I THINK he was in The Maggots, Kite, Wailing Wall,
Banana, etc. He has played with a lot of the big names including Chuck Berry.
I recommended him because he is actually an authentic part of our 1960s scene.
He has a broad repertoire which would include stuff like Credence, Cream,
Freddie King, Hendrix, Steely Dan, James Brown, Ray Charles, etc. I think he is
a great fit for this gig. Mike was the oldest (62) from a big Northeast El Paso
family (10 kids). From what I can tell, the other guy (Double Take) is
probably O.K. as well, but my
vote is for Mike. Hows that for an unbiased opinion?
Dungan 67 June 12, 2007
Don Dungan 67, June 11, 2007
Oolibarthy was a fictional character that Steve Crosno, the late El Paso disc
jockey used to refer to. It was just one of those odd things that I find myself
recalling from our collective, odd Northeast El Paso heritage. Crosno used to
have a live TV show called Crosnos Hop and remember watching my brother, David
do the Bop with his slicked back, Brylcreemed ducktails and thin, thin belt
holding up a tight pair of buttoned up Levis. Too cool.
Dungan 67 June 11, 2007
General Musings About El Paso
El Paso from a
Satellite and Irvin Area with Street Name and Normal Homecoming Parade Route
I do and don't remember the green. We had grass and trees growing in the
desert (at our homes) when we were kids and after we left, water became scare
and most homes in our neighborhoods no longer have grass and not many have
trees. The street names are beginning to come back.
many classmates for information on this page including Bill MacDonald,
Don Toland, and many others who have better memory capabilities or proximity
Irvin "I" on the Franklin Mountains Some have told me that it is no more,
but just did a Google map look and here is what I found. The smaller picture is
a close up and the top right corner points to the same spot on the larger map.
The horizontal running road in the large map is Hondo Pass and the diagonal
street on the bottom right corner is Dyer, with the big looking buildings about
half way along that diagonal Dyer street is the Sunrise Center "Mall". The close
up looks like a bunch of white washed rocks. Can one of you locals either check
for me or remind us at the reunion to check with the principal or some of the
A&W Root Beer at Hondo Pass at Diana
Always had the best french fries. And Carhops!
Bowlero Lanes on Dyer Learned
about pinball and some bowling at this place with my buddies and a couple kids a
Casita Linda on Hondo Pass
Opened after we graduated, but my parents loved the place and I have it on good
sources that it is still very good.
Crystal Pool Swimming Pool with the
well water Diving board in the center, ice cold water once a week when
they drained and refilled it from their well. Great nights skinny dipping.
it's Impact on Us Or Vice Versa This one deserves it's own page!
Mt. Cristo Rey, Mexico Can't find
this on the map, but remember seeing it from UTEP.
Northgate Center was renamed to North Park but that didn't help and is now back
to Northgate. The entire place is almost deserted. They built a Walgreens in
the corner, at Dyer and Wren next to that is a combo A&W and KFC.
library building is still there but the library was moved to the old Sears
Building which is now also a police sub-station and court house.
Northgate Theatre Building is
still there, converted to a day care and is now vacant. Friends there used to
sneak me in when I was young, poor and reckless.
Restlawn Cemetery and Funeral Chapel on
Dyer Can't tell all the things about that place, but they sure weren't
about death and cemetery plots!
Red Rooster At Diana and
Dyer, this was the "rougher" drive in compared to the Oasis as I recall. How
fitting, it became a strip club and was subsequently shut down by zoning laws.
Rocket Drive-in Located at
10405 Dyer, this was "our" drive-in. It opened in 1966 and apparently closed in
1975. I remember it being innovative for having the first steel spikes I had
seen, to puncture your tires if you came in the exit. Now if they were willing
to do that, how come they didn't check the trunk? The Del Norte Drive-in
was towards town on Dyer and folks snuck in there in car trunks too.? Went there a lot but just can't pull it back from
the memory banks.
Sunrise Center and the Blue Spear
Looking for a now and then
photo if anyone has one please send. Was told the blue spear came down in the
mid 90's and the fund raiser to put it back didn't make it.
What-A-Burger Ate my first Triple
Meat, Triple Cheese there. Now a car appraisal lot.
The Oasis Does this bring back Memories? Borrowed it from another
website, Austin HS I believe, and if this is a real picture, there must have
been another Oasis in their part of town because I remember the big deal about
covered parking (and carhops). Many fond memories of this place, it was a home
away from home, always telling my folks I was going there to meet friends.
Probably could have bought the place for what I paid for cokes.
Plaza Theatre Premier of Dr. No May 18, 1963.
Many good nights at this theatre.
Scenic Drive Bring back memories? Wonder if it is
as scary now and as well traveled.
As I Recall, the smoke stack was taken down in a demolition
move some years back.
Ft. Bliss - Remember how everyone stopped their car and got
out and saluted when the flag was raised? Assume they still do.