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11/11/14 01:15 PM #11    


Debbi Self (Norris)

Robert, I saw this on facebook and immediatel said a prayer for your sister and the family of her husband Matt. My heart goes out to her on this Veterans Day as we celebrate all the men and women who have served our country. My son is a medically retired vet as of last July and I am so happy to have him home after 2 deployments to Iraq.  It is hard enough to have a loved one survive combat and then to lose their life when on home soil. Matt is a hero in all of our eyes and I will continue to pray for Tina and the family during this time of loss.

Debbi Norris

11/18/14 09:12 AM #12    


Shirley Burleson (Espinosa)

Congrats to Jenice Graham Benedict for posting a super narrative about her days at elementary school, complete with lots of details and descriptions.  She really recreated the world that we lived in.  We have heard from Wilshire and now Oak Grove.   Any Serna or Coker people out there who can share?  We would love to hear about it.

11/18/14 12:24 PM #13    


Shirley Burleson (Espinosa)

I love it!  It's an avalanche of new postings.  Jenice talks about Oak Grove.  Steve Clark lets us in on his belching talent.  Did you do it in college too, Steve?  I'll bet you did.  Robert Cuddy outlines his first year at Lamar University.  I'm sure glad your mother straightened you out when you wanted to quit and come home.  And yes, it is HOT and muggy in east Texas.  The mosquitoes grow big enough to carry off untended infants.

Keep it up and we need some newbies.

11/18/14 04:05 PM #14    


Carla Thrasher (Daws)

I did second grade at Serna Elementary after first grade at Coker and before going on to Oak Grove. That is where I had my first love, Jack Holmgreen (he went to another junior high and high school). I ran into him a few years ago and we discovered we had parallel lives. Married about the same time, kids the same age, and we were even both in various aspects of the water business which resulted in our paths crossing several times without even knowing it. He still made my heart go pitty pat!

Mrs. Smith was my teacher. I liked her because she and I were the only ones who wanted JFK to win the election. I remember she spent a lot of time smoking in the teachers' lounge which was right next to our room. She had a way of listening in through the intercom. I think she spent more time in there than she did in the classroom!


Carla Thrasher Daws

11/20/14 09:33 AM #15    


Shirley Burleson (Espinosa)

Yay to Carla Daws for posting about Serna, Coker, and Oak Forest.  You got around Carla, didn't you?  Be sure to check out Steve Clark's post in the user forums about his pre-Mac childhood.  

11/23/14 12:48 PM #16    


Bob Abel

Thanks Robert Cuddy... great to hear from you! So special thanks to Jenice Graham Benedict!!! You both, as well as many others, do so much for the reunion & contacts! I wish I had more time to help & visit, etc., but owning my masonry construction business is a 7 days/70 hours per week baby to take care of. Don't want it to get any bigger & hire more people...just want to have a life before I sell it & retire one day, haha.

I hear San Antonio is about the only place, even in Texas, that calls em' "Icehouses"...I hear it all started from Lone Star Icehouse chain's name. You are right about that Lone Star Ice House & also the Texas Icehouse ...they're still there I believe. When we were slightly under-aged & in Mac, we would buy a quart each of Lone Star beer at another hidden icehouse on a seedier part of town...will not mention names!! hehe.

I just saw a message from Jenice about the user-forum that I had never checked out before...hi Jenice! Thanks for the old pics & just skimmed thru your Oak Grove stories...great!! I remember Principal Potts & remember your Mom & all. I'm sorry I pulled your hair on the playground in 3rd grade or so....only if you are sorry you pinched me. Hahahahaha. You were/are a good person to be around. Like your Mom, my Mom would walk us to school many times, until she got her Citizenship(she was from England) & learned to drive...walked uphill both ways as the old folks the snow. LOL I do remember walking to school with it being so cold we would run to those old heaters until we thawed out. Then, like you said, had to open windows as no air cond.

I'll never forget at Mac, while taking a difficult science finals test one May, from teacher Mr. Dawson, it seemed like 100 degrees in the class even with all windows Mr. Dawson turned off the lights saying "light makes heat". That's all the science I ever remember, hehe.

Gotta run finish job estimates...greetings & good blessings to all!


11/23/14 01:50 PM #17    


Debbi Self (Norris)

While reading the posts of days in elementary school my only strong memory of Coker was getting locked in the clinic.  I had gone to the clinic I guess feeling bad and the nurse left me in the room on the little cot and locked up for the night.  I had fallen asleep and when I woke it was pretty dark in the school. However, it wasn't outside (lol) I know I was scared.  I was able to call my mom from the phone in the clinic and can't remember how long it took them to rescue me but it was second grade and I bet I didnt go to the clinic again for many years. After Coker, I moved and went to Walzem then boundary changes put me at Windcrest. I can remember all my teachers from 3rd grade on but seemed to have a memory block of Coker. I saw the pictures of our class while planning the last reunion.  As for the icehouse I still call it that as some habits are hard to break. While living in Oklahomas I found when I used the term that they really had icehouses where people went to buy ice. I guess like our Mission Ice here so people would always correct me and say convenience store. It is really fun to read old class mates posts so keep them coming. 

Debbi Self Norris

11/26/14 07:01 AM #18    


Bob Abel

Good posts Debbi! Being locked in the clinic would be a nightmare. I hated seeing the nurse for 5 minutes even.... unless I got sent home that is!

Nowadays, people would call lawyers on the school. Especially if they still whacked the kids in PE class(at Mac HS) with that wood paddle with holes drilled in it to brand us like cattle on the King Ranch. One day in Mac PE, I kicked a rolling basketball while messing around in the gym & it hit coach Fox(?) hard in the face. Ooops! Then more bad boy paddle licks...but the revenge of seeing his face red from the basketball slap was great at the time! hehe Sorryyyyy. LOL

Take care,


12/05/15 06:53 PM #19    

Barbara Cheal (Hill)


When attending Garner Jr. High, I took the bus to school.  At our Bus stop we were picked up at a little area that had spear grass.  Brian Hangan (spelling?) I think introduced me to these instruments of war!  Coming from a family of all girls this was a new game, combat!  We would get quite a work out before school chasing and being chased trying to avoid these little grass arrows that stung a little when you got hit and clung to your clothes.

I also remember P.E. At Garner that was last period.  A couple of the girls and I were laughing and playing around and pushed each other into the shower fully clothed.  The P.E. Teacher thought it was so funny she took us to the principals office.  We managed to get scolded, and I managed to miss my bus!  I got to walk home in wet clothes all the way back to the Mac Arthur area.

12/05/15 08:06 PM #20    

Barbara Cheal (Hill)

By the way, my husband grew up in East/West Columbia Texas.  He was born in 45 and tells me, No, Ice house was a term coined in Pasadena!  While I don't actually buy this, we seem to have a regional term here!


I found this article in Texas Monthly, and thought you might be interested.

there is another site, 7-11 in which they talk about a Johnny Thompson who in 1927 started provideding ice cit in blocks, milk, eggs and bread that was usually sold on Sunday's when the grocery was closed.  They became known as Totem stores, and UTotem, which they used to restock their refrigerator, not electrified, when needed.  ( I actually think there were ice trucks that delivered to homes for the old fridges.)  Anyway, Totem became 7-11 at some point and because they figured out that this was a store for convenience, it was named that as well. 

03/30/16 11:40 AM #21    


Shirley Burleson (Espinosa)

Hope a lot of you are enjoying my blog:, which is about growing up in San Antonio.  I have included a lot of your memories which were shared with me, especially Debby Large, Steve Clark, Jenice Graham Benedict, Mandy Crowley Rohmiller, Robert Cuddy, the late Chester Slimp, Larry Sowle and Jim Berry.  Special thanks go to Barbara Cheal Hill who has been busy commenting on some of the chapters and enhancing them with her own memories.  I hope more will do that.  I am not the only one out there who remembers this stuff!

11/06/16 09:52 AM #22    


Carol Carnes (Rakowski)

I will add my voice to the chorus of "thank you's" for the wonderful reunion! Many of you put in a lot of time and effort, and it is much appreciated. It was wonderful to see everyone...and I'm hoping that for the big Five-O that even more of our classmates will attend!

Carol (Carnes) Rakowski



11/06/16 11:54 AM #23    


Shirley Burleson (Espinosa)

I especially enjoyed the "couples" shots taken on Friday (?) night and getting to see who belonged with who.  The 40th reunion was great.  It let me reestablish meaningful contact with a lot of high school friends.  But this 45th was more magical.  We were no longer feeling our way with people we had not seen in 40 years.  We have been in contact and seeing each other for five years now.  I think it's just going to get better and better.  It was especially good to hear from people who were afraid to come because they weren't the most attractive or popular (as most of us were not).  But they came and had a great time.  It's a big compliment to everyone.  So here's to our 65th birthday, and the 50th!




11/06/16 07:15 PM #24    


Jenice Graham (Benedict)

Hi Classmates, 

I also want to give a big 'shout-out' to the devoted classmates who met numerous times in SATX at breakfast, to plan our 45th Reunion. I thought the locations for both parties were great choices. The Saturday night dinner menu was healthy and tasted good, enjoyable along with table cloths and blue napkins, large size of the room, and adequate waitstaff help. We know it is a lot of work to plan the reunions, and we appreciate your efforts.- Also, Neal Willard did a good job on the invocation and short synopsis of our 45 years since graduation. Walter Thorman told some funny jokes. The MAC decorations were festive. We had classmates that traveled all the way from California (Mark Richard Beaulieu) and from France (Jim Crowley) to come to the reunion! Some attendees had not been to a reunion since our 10th! - Lots of photos were taken and shared. The Memorial Board was honored by all. The conversations were sincere, loving and genuine.  -  All Great Fun! 
Again,' thank you ' to Bob Cuddy and Marilyn Dyer Jones for continually managing our MAC '71 website and updating it with photos and information. I am thankful we have this site and everyone needs to use it to keep in touch. The stories submitted on the User Forum are priceless memories shared. Check those out if you haven't done so yet, and please submit some of your own. 
Remember, "We Are Best And Second To None, Cause We're the Class of 71!"

- Jenice Graham Benedict

07/25/20 03:07 PM #25    


Steve Clark


It seems to me a rather odd retrospection on life that all of us must experience innumerable graduations as we find our own way . By that I mean a physical graduation from childhood to adulthood, an educational graduation through various levels of knowledge acquisition, by intellectual graduation through maturation and experience, and emotional graduation again through existential experience. Through all of these innumerable moments of challenge I think I find the most difficult and complicated to assimilate are those related to emotion.

Just when I think I have steeled myself against the recurrence of countless gut wrenching, heart rending past events that all of us have had to deal with by this stage in our lives (and I refer to my fellow classmates here). I find myself gasping for air like a newborn taking its first breath as my sight lands upon those shocking words announcing the passing of one more member of our ever decreasing class of '71. My mind immediately fills with flashes of memory like excerpts in a streaming collage of scenes from an old movie. Everything I remembered about that person comes crashing in all at once in an avalanche of sentiment and thought that are virtually enveloping and overwhelming. That is how I felt when I received the news that Chris Endicott Mazurek had left us.

I continue to feel rather inadequate in these moments as I can only but offer my sincere condolences to friends and family and not much more. That's a poor consideration for having lost someone as dear and as joyous a soul as has now been taken from us. I will mourn her passing , but I will also celebrate the short time I had to know her and call her my friend. I shed a tear and offer a toast to you, Chris! God bless.

07/26/20 10:18 AM #26    

Elaine Willmann (Hitzfelder)

Steve - this is one of the most beautiful expressions of life and love. Thank you. 

07/26/20 11:11 AM #27    


Shirley Burleson (Espinosa)

As I said in FB, a sensitive, thoughtful tribute to a life lost too early.

07/26/20 12:15 PM #28    


Neal Willard

Steve thank you for the perfect sentiment about Chris. You are not alone in the way we all are beginning to feel as we realize “it is true that if we live long enough life has a way on presenting the inevitable. That being the inevitability of the loss of the people who mean so much to us; the inevitable diminishing of our personal worlds that once were.

In the last several years many of our old friends have passed on.  Although their passing may not have been entirely unexpected, we still hold to our hope, don't we? Let’ face it, we can't help ourselves.

Nevertheless, when hope is shattered, we are left to mourn. Each in our own way. Even before we were old many of us have had to say goodbye to too many friends.  Through those years and sadness, perhaps we might have noticed a strange and wonderful thing in regard to those old friends when they died.  Although we may not have visited each other in a long while, or for some since our school day, does it not continue to feel they are still there?

When Lord Byron wrote in Childe Harold's Pilgrimage:

What is the worst of woes that wait on age?

What stamps the wrinkle deeper on the brow?

To view each loved one blotted from life's page,

And be alone on earth, as I am now.

We may know perfectly well our friends are gone, that another piece of our life has gone permanently missing, but fortunately our memories of them and old times remain. The sadness in losing old friends is that there is now much less of the memories created together and we can no longer say, “Remember when we...” and laugh or, sometimes, cry together.

That is gone now. We may question, “is there any point in trying to tell someone else about what happened back then.”  Those are the special memories in which you had to be there. Will we now wonder, when we are the only one left to recall those memories if they really happened?  Now that is an existential indulgence we should now try to avoid.

 So, as we trudge forward, wading through our sadness one more time knowing it will not be the last and that we are a little bit more alone in the world than we were just a few months ago. Let us not say of Chris and our other classmates and friends as most people almost always say, “we loved them so much,” “ we remember when” or “How can that be,” spoken in the past tense? Do not we still love them all?  Do not we still remember them all?  They and their memory, that is the part of our life that never ends.

Reach out to that old friend, classmate or family member and start remembering now before it is too late.

Mike our prayers are with you.

07/27/20 03:44 PM #29    


Jenice Graham (Benedict)

Thank you Steve and Neal for writing your feelings and thoughts after the passing of yet another treasured MAC classmate. Agreeing with Steve, at times I also feel inadequate to offer condolences to others because strong emotions surface making it painful to put meaningful feelings down in words. But past the pain of loss, I always find there's a feeling of gratefulness for having known that person and recognizing they were a blessing or a lesson in my life, however short or long their acquaintance was in time. It's all a gift. 

In the days ahead, I wish all of our MAC friends good health and a long life with this old Irish blessing -  "May your days be many and your troubles be few, May all God’s blessings descend upon you, May peace be within you, May your heart be strong, May you find what you’re seeking wherever you roam."

Brahma love to all,

Jenice Graham Benedict


05/27/21 11:47 AM #30    


Janey Whyborn (Bibb)

Holy cow!  We graduated 50 YEARS AGO TODAY!!   Just unbelievable and where has that time gone?? Looking forward to seeing everyone at the reunion in October!

05/28/21 05:33 AM #31    


James Crowley

Holy Cow, indeed!   (Gawd, I miss Texas. )

Looking forward to a visit in July, now that I'm vaccinated.

Y'all stay safe now, hear.


05/29/21 12:21 PM #32    


Curtis Cook

This message is from Curtis Cook. Is Shirley Burleson (Espinosa) the sister of Drew Espinosa?

05/29/21 12:41 PM #33    


Curtis Cook

Shirley Burleson (Espinosa), in case you're wondering I used to hang out with Drew Espinosa and so did Chip Otto.

05/13/22 10:16 PM #34    


Curtis Cook

Update on Curtis Cook: he has a growth on his right kidney. It is the size of a small golf ball. It is cancerous. He will have surgery on May 26, 2022. He will be staying overnight at the hospital. Please pray that the doctors get all the cancer and it never comes back. Thank you for your prayers.

05/17/22 04:19 PM #35    

Robert Tomasini

Praying for you Curtis

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