Link to The Poor Boys courtesy of Richard Porter
Time Is A Funny Thing
DARRELL K ROYAL and Me, plus, Schlemeyer Back To Pass
Ninth Grade Football (1957)
Teen-ager's Sockhops
A Very Good Year
Fabled Fords
B00GIE WITH TRIGG AND Supper With Trigg
Wings Over Notrees
Tribute to Vance Phillips (ANOTHER new story)
The Monahans Sandhills Wagon Train Mystery--TRUTH OR HOAX?
About Me
Contact Me
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Hi Mike,
Thank you so much on behalf of all of us who grew up together. Your website is amazing; I have just spent the evening going down memory lane and you captured the essence of our youth.it was so special.

Carol Jenkins Glasser



My name is Jerry Clay an OHS 1959 Grad.  I was also in the first class at Bonham and the Alamo Elem class that shared the school with the students of the new Sam Houston Elem.  My sister, Martha and brother Johnny, were OHS '61 grads and attended Bonham and Alamo also.  I knew Richard and Carl, Carlton and numerous others noted on your web.


After service in the Navy I came back to Odessa in '63 and began my working life. Odessa College 1965 to 1967 and Tech 1967 till graduation in Summer of 1968.  I left West Texas after graduation for Dallas, then Austin and back to Dallas for good in 1978.  My children and grandchildren have no idea about the unique experience of growing up in the 50's in Odessa.  My sophomore year at OHS even had the Ector High students there. 


I was even at the Schlemeyer football game and can remember it just as clearly as you. (After Carl graduated from UT he was back in Odessa and one winter he ran a Christmas tree lot at the corner of East County Road & 27th.) 


Your web page has provided me with hours of pleasant memories.  I would like to be able to provide all that information for my grandchildren to read in years to come.  I hope that it is still available years from now so that my very young ones can get some insight about "the genesis of rock and roll" the hot rod years and Texas teens of the 50's.


Thanks for the memories.


Gerald "Jerry" Clay

From: Mike Campbell, PHS 65

Thanks for the songs on your site. Just went there, listened to Blue Bayou - at your suggestion - and read some of the football stories. My Dad knew Darrell thru OU football. My Dad played at OU from '39-'42, Darrell a few years later. I got to know Darrell and Edith from the years I worked with the Gatlin bros in the late '80's. I went to Austin last April and sang for Darrell, Edith and friends. He seemed to enjoy the music. It was sad to see his healthy failing him. He and Edith were always very kind to me. I enjoyed the stories about junior high football. When I was in grade school I would watch my older brother Jug play at Crockett. He was in the 8th grade playing on the ninth grade team with guys like Martin Benevides, one of the Paris brothers, guys that would go to OHS. I think Mike Payte was on that team, and then he went to Permian. Jug went to Permian in the ninth grade. I believe Bonham had Harlan Hines and Mike Love was always great. As a kid I always wanted to play like those guys. Those were exciting years. Coach Daniels was one of my coaches at Permian. I really liked him. Thanks again for the support.

From Cynthia Eyssen, (OHS 66) daughter of Frank Green



I loved reading all about Tommy's. Here is some history that you may not know !


My dad, Frank Green, designed and built the restaurant and later sold it to Tommy. It was the first of its kind in Odessa when Dad built it. He researched larger cities and styles and decided Odessa needed a newer look. Hence, it had a slant roof and the first drive -up window. Dad decided to sale to Tommy when he felt he wasn't as successful as he had hoped. Of course, the rest is history for Tommy. 


Dad, also, wanted to venture out and build a big restaurant " The Green's Restaurant" across town on West County Road. Yes, It did burn and our lives were changed forever. Dad had it insured but not for enough money and we pretty much went broke. He came back though with Antler's Coffee Shop. He turned it into a 24 hour, 7 days a week operation and it was highly successful. Dad's last restaurant was "The Barn Door", which was another hugh success. My dad and mom bought the original depot from Pecos, Texas. They had it brought to Odessa to use as a bar next to The Barn Door. Because of it's height the roof had to be removed to fit under the over passes and then put back on. Of course,  the depot and restaurant are still in use and have had several different owners.


Today Dad is 91 yrs old and lives on a ranch in Stephenville, TX. He has always been my hero....my John Wayne....bigger than life to me in so many ways. I learned to dove and deer hunt with him and was part of many fishing trips. We use to go to Joe Chandler's camp south of Odessa ( somewhere near Sheffield, TX) to enjoy the great outdoors and fish. He sponsored many little league baseball teams. Ask Larry Gatlin and he will tell you that dad's sponsorship allowed him to play baseball. Larry and I graduated from Odessa High School in 1966. My father, also, graduated from Odessa High before going to WW II. He was such a Odessa High football fan that he attended every booster club meeting and always brought coffee and donuts and took me along too. He and my mom had the same football seats at the old stadium since before my birth and when they tore down the old stadium my dad went the night before and cut his two seat numbers out. He still displays the rough wood numbers at the ranch. In the early football years he also supported the live Bronco pony when it traveled in and out of town...What a loss that was when the Bronco died. We still have many old photos of those days and times.


More history....Dad was elected "Restaurant Operator of the Year"  by the Texas Restaurant Association back in 1994 or 1995. That year he beat out the owner of Chili's.


Well enough old history from me but I sure wanted you to know who built the original building that Tommy made famous. Thanks for mentioning dad's restaurant that burned. I was a small child but have big memories of those days..


I would love to purchase a print from you for my memories sake! Thanks so much!  Cynthia Green Eyssen   (born in Odessa 1948, Graduated 1966 from OHS, currently living in ugly Abilene, TX : ) 


From:  Bill Cade, OHS 1954

I have just read your story, and like most things about Odessa, my mind starts moving back to the good times.


Troy Moody was my classmate in North Side Elementary, Bowie (Crocket for 4 months), and then  OHS.


We actually were "Bowie Horn Frogs" months before the school opened. We went to class at Crocket then walked up to the Bowie "sticker patch" for practice, sometimes over to the then "new Barrett Stadium".  Our coach was Jim Cooper (TCU Horn Frog).


Coach Daniel, like most of our Coaches and Teachers, were Veterans. He was one of the most "steely eyed" person I ever had the pleasure of knowing, especially if you were in his "study hall"


Sadly we lost Troy at an early age.


Yep, we lost the game in '53, but we did not lose our love and respect for our town, the teachers, and for what we forever owe for our foundation.


I was meeting with Tom Kelley's granddaughter today, and naturally we were bantering about the Broncho's and Panther's. She was telling me about her Dad, Mike Kelley PHS '66, and I told her the best time to pull off a robbery in 1951 Odessa was on Friday night; the town was empty


Thanks for the memories.


Bill Cade

OHS '54 ????

My favorite email is from someone I never knew; I shall name her Miss Anonymous at her request.  She has one of the most creative writing minds of anyone I ever met.  To follow is her great short story.  I wish I had the rights to publish all that she has written because she is a marvelous wordsmith. 
........ Mike Moore.......................
 From: Miss anonymous
 I dated the neatest guy the summer before my senior year. He was quiet and shy and very good to me. He knew how tough my folks were on me, and we both worked long hours. He drove a little blue ford, I think, and often when I got off work at around 8 PM or so he would be waiting for me, all slid down in his seat asleep. One night we were sitting at a local drive in nursing our cokes and people (our friends) kept driving by asking if we wanted to go somewhere. We kept saying no. Finally, he said the only place I really want to go is to the bushes with you. I don't know what in the hell I was thinking. I never was really clear what went on out there anyway but I knew even without thinking I couldn't make my curfew home, and I had a daddy that sat in the front yard and waited on me. He was the kind that wasn't mean but was so good and careful of you that you could not do anything to hurt him. Well, anyway the words OK were hardly out of my mouth when, with one fluid motion, he handed me his drink, started his car, turned to see behind him putting his elbow over the back of the seat, stepped on the gas, shot the car backwards, and knocked his door off on the pole with the speaker. .....Fizzle. I think it is one of the funniest things ever although at the time every repair meant more hours working........ 

Emails from those who shared the past are  a surprising reward .  Enjoy!

From Tony Myers

In the summer of 1963 Billy Moore and I met Sonny Atkinson and Ann Werner in Ruidosa New Mexico for a few days of rest and relaxation.  Everything was lovely until we went for a car ride that first night and got stuck in the mud on an Indian reservation. The girls were scared as there were tales of terror from the indians. Billy and I got out and proceeded to push the car- when Ann hit the gas the car lunged foreward and we both got splattered with mud and spent the rest of that first night at the laundrymat. The next night was not any better/after we took the ladies back to their trailer and we got in my car and started to leave/somehow I got the back bumper caught on a guy wire from a telephone pole and proceeded to pull the pole down on top of the trailer/not much damage to the car or trailer but rather embarrassing/this was our first Adventure away from Odessa for all of us- I was glad to see Ruidosa New Mexico in my rear view mirror. Sadly Sonny is no longer with us except in our memories, I still converse with Billy on a regular basis.


From Ed Gardner phs 61
Mike Your website is really AWESOME!  It brings back a lot of memories.  Thanks for the work you did.  Ed Gardner.

In a letter:
Dear Mike, Just a note to thank you for the picture you sent of  "Tommy's Drive-In."  It looks great and I can't wait to show it to my mom.  I know Daddy would be so proud that you thought that much of him and how much you enjoyed going there during our time.  Hope all is well with with you and wish you the best. Thanks.
~~~~Sherry Lombardo (PHS 62)
Just read your first article--neat!!   Had lunch with Phil and Brenda on Sunday and he was bringing us up to date.  Holler next time you are in the Big "O".
~~~Toby Tripp

Well hello there, read the 1st article in Tuesday’s paper, it was really neat and I’m so happy for you that you're getting the response for all your hard work.

The picture turned out great. Can’t wait for the 2nd and 3rd installments of the paper. I would like a copy of the book  and I will order a print, it’s like I’m seeing Carl all over again. I’m fine, working and keeping busy. My son got married in Sept, so that is a new chapter in my life. Ronnie is fine, selling motorcycles at Golden. I ran into Roland Gladden yesterday.  I asked him if he had seen the article, and we had a long visit about you and Carl. Let me hear from you when you have the time.

~~~Evelyn Goetz King  



Just read the three articles you asked to be sent to us...really enjoyed them!  I realize now that I only got to experience a small part of the Tommy's phenomenon!  We girls at OHS, at least my group, didn't have nearly as much freedom as you guys did ( and perhaps some other girls).

~~~Carole Gene Knowles Norwood


Mike,   My sister sent me the three articles from the Odessa paper.  I had retrieved one.   I loved them all, but the second one is my favorite.   I think many will feel as your son does and  wish they could have been there.   You painted a fabulous picture with your words.   
 ~~~Nancy Leach Bayless

I have often expressed how lucky we were to have grown up when we did.   It was the end of innocence.  Then came the drugs and all the other things you wrote of.  We were blessed.  One special memory I have is the year after you left, my senior year.  We were neck to neck with some other school (probably Midland Lee) for District.  They beat us but they had to beat OHS in order to win District.  I think there were as many Panthers as Broncos in the stands that night.   OHS fought a hard game and won, making us the District champs.  Most of the PHS kids waited out by the Broncos'  bus yelling for them.  As they drove away with the windows down they were singing "What's good enough for the Panthers is good enough for us!"

~~~Betsy Lewis Smith PHS 62


Stumbled across a web site that had your email.  Thought I would see how you are doing. 
~~~Ken Hatch PHS 61
~~~PAULA Briley Goetz BOLES
This is fabulous!  Even though I'm a little younger, I lived all this through Bill & Judy.  And yes, when Tommy's became Nicky's, things changed.  But all of my group remembered Tommy's.  Nicky's became more of an OHS hangout, whereas Danny's (the new place up north on the Andrews highway) became the PHS hangout.  But we still ventured to Nicky's to check up on the OHS girls (several of which I ended up dating). 
~~~ Mike Kelley

I was forwarded your website link by a mutual friend, or at least the brother of one of those you mention by name in the story of the picture.  What a neat thing to do!  I wish I (or someone) had done similar for a little hamburger stand which stood at the sea-wall in Pismo Beach, California when I was a boy.  I guess I am three or four years younger than you, and that place has been gone for so many years now that it is doubtful there exists any sort of illustration from which
an artist could work.  So I regard your work to realize your dream as one top notch job, well done! 
~~~Fred Clark, Iowa

Hey, good to hear from you. Website looks good for a fledgling effort and I'm sure it will only get better. I'm sending the link along to one of my buddies, Bob Glast, who was on the hotrod scene in Odessa, but maybe a bit later than you. But he did some parts business as a kid and knew Goetz and that crew. 
~~~Ken Broadnax

Mike, if you are ever in Odessa you are welcome to come and go back in time looking at my collection of 50 @ 60 carsw there are in the count of close to 90 cars and you are welcome and we will go back in time , sounds like you and I have the same passion for the earilier days. Thanks.

~~~Delmer McAfee 


I grew up in Odessa, OHS class of '62, participated with Goetz, Bradshaw (Bill and Buddy) in hot rodding. Had my first business at age 14 selling speed equipment.  Ken Brodnax with the Odessa American sent me your web link since he knew I would appreciate it.  The only important thing you left out of the article on Tommy's was his daughter Sherry(?) She was hard to miss.
Anyway, I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your entire website. Thanks for the memories. 
~~~Bob Glast
Just wanted you to know how very much I enjoyed your web site and what wonderful memories it brought back.  Kinda like walking down memory lane. :) Absolutely love the picture.  Thanks for sharing.
~~~Charlotte Willard (witty) Parkhurst
I had actually seen the painting before, someone emailed me a copy of it. The site is pretty cool, but my lord, the memories it brings back are even better.
I cannot recall if you and I ever met, I went to Permian, graduated in '62. My brother, Curtis, graduated in '63. 
~~~Mike Webster
Mike,  a real treat finding your work about Tommy's in Odessa.  As I read the descriptions of cars and people,I  was taken WAY back in time.  Name by name, it triggered memories of people from the past.  How special you still can recall so many details about so many of them.
~~~Tony Harries PHS 61
What a pleasure it is to find your site. My name is Shawn Gist, son of Marcus Sprague and Cheryl (Killian) Gist. Dad sent me this site to check out and I have read the stories enraptured from top to bottom.
Thank you for these memories.
Mike, Just got your email that was forwarded from my son Shawn Gist.
My only claim to fame was to have a son that has been interested in
everything Dad {Mark Gist - OHS - 61} and Mom {Cheryl Killian - OHS - 64} did in their teen years. Your website has caused several days of terrific "flashback".  Thanks for the magnificent effort and thanks to Lee Cochran for pointing the finger.
~~~Mark Gist OHS 61

The picture should have a likeness of Boogie Childers in it.

(Not sure the ol’ Chevy’s ever could run with the Gray and White ’52 Olds that lurked around Odessa in the ’54-’58 era—can”t ever remember it being beaten on the 3 mile strip, West 27,th or anywhere else---probably just an old memory.)

If you are still in Round Rock and ever get to the Belton, Harker Heights, Killeen area give me a call, I’ll buy.

Terry Tuggle (OHS ’57)

( I have added Boogie Childers to the photo gallery because I wholeheartedly agree with Terry Tuggle, mike moore)


I was older than you and Butch but I remember him well.  He was a good friend of my Poor Boys drummer, Carl Bunch.  I liked Butch.  He was considered a "good kid".  Carl is now blind and living in California.
About the "Poor Boys", I think we were influencial in setting the mid 50's Rock 'n' Roll.  We used to have the sock hops at West County Park Auditorium and did OHS.  Orbison had the TV show on KOSA and when he and the Teen Kings went on tour, the Poor Boys would do the live show.
Ronnie Smith committed suicide the same week as the historic "Cuban Missle Crises".  Bob Hardwick, bass, lives in Houston and owns an  art gallery and frame shop.  Eddie Williams, lead guitar, still lives in Odessa and I live in Rockwall.
We all get together at the Class of '58 reunions.
I remember just about all the local characters you write about....certainly Goetz and Trigg.  We had Day's and some will remember Frank Green's out on West Country Road.  It was the first of the definitive "drive-ins' of the 50's in Odessa.  Everyone remembers the "shaved" ice which he pioneered.  It made a root beer taste like ambrosia from the gods.
Thanks for the great writing and the good work you are doing.
All the best
P. S.  Anyone remember Otto's Ice Cream?    He recently died.  I worked for him.....double dip ice cream for a nickel....for goodness' sakes...A NICKEL.  And he made money doing it.
Richard Porter
Class of '58
"The Poor Boys"
For more about Richard, see the site below:
What a memory.  I remember the Trigg/Rankin crash like it was yesterday, I was there! 
~~~~Mike Massey    OHS/PHS
         McKinney Texas
Mike Massey told me another wild story about one of his adventures with Trigg that involved him and others of notable reputation, but I have refrained from printing it in order to protect the guilty, until he gives me permission. (this is not uncommon)  MLM



Hey I think that little red convertible on the back right was my old college car!!!

Great article that you did on Tommys Drive-in!!!  It was fun to see you  at the reunion in Grapevine a couple years ago, and hear some of these stories first-hand!

Where is the Heritage of Odessa Foundation located?  What kind of exposure does it get there? 

I think the painting would get the most exposure at the Odessa Chamber of Commerce office

Thanks for keeping our generation remembered,

~~~Jean (Tiner) Rinehart  PHS-61


The picture should find a home at Odessa JC.  They were "closest to the action"  I really enjoyed the article
 ~~~~Larry Lusby  PHS..'63
Awesome essay on Tommy's. I lived through those exciting and angst-driven years here and spent many evenings at Tommy's, experiencing good food, fast cars and best friends. I can't go by Endless Horizons to this day without "seeing" all that fun we had. (With regards to a permanent home for the painting)
Odessa College. It was THERE!...and there's no way you could pick between high schools. Nothing else is around that was there then that I recall.....and I still live here.
        Linda Lusby Belk
From: Jimmie......no last name given...received June 25-07

From: Jerry Wallace
If I find a picture of a good frontal view of Tommy's I will allow you license to post
it on your website, although the painting you commissioned was very well done and serves as an excellent replica. My photos at that time were usually in black and white (I developed and printed many of my own at that time) although there's a chance it could have been color if my uncle took it.
I appreciate the work you have done on the website. It revived a lot of pleasant
memories from half a century ago. And a few memories I'd still like to forget.
C'est la vie.
~~~~~~Jerry Wallace 
 (Permian, Class of '60- but an OHS alumni '57 thru '59. And one who wouldn't   take the proverbial million dollars for being a '50s teenager. It was great and I'd go back in a heartbeat!)
A note forwarded from Ken Hatch that was an email from a photographer friend of his:
Ken, That's cool.  Nice nostalgic website.  I've always thought websites should
be like that. The photo of the pair jumping off the sand dune towards the camera was spectacular.  Odessa texas...I've heard a lot of people mention that town
or maybe some movies were based there.  Any idea why odessa texas is a
well know town?   Paul
I think I will let the Chamber of Commerce answer that one since I know too much....Mike Moore

One of my fondest memories revolves around Glee Lorette.  She was dating Mike Massey, who lived across the street from us.  Well, Glee had this neat Chrysler convertible and I thought she was the most gorgeous woman in the world.  She was a senior at OHS and I was in the 7th or 8th grade at Bonham.  Anyway, I bought the 45 of Fabian's "Turn Me Loose".  She had told me at one time she liked that song.  So, while she was over at Massey's, I gave her that record.  She took me out to her car, had me sit next to her and we cruised all of Odessa.  And yes, we even circled Tommy's.  I was the hottest junior high kid in the whole city that day.  And she even kissed me on the cheek.  I don't think I washed my face for a month!
Great job on the website!!!!
~~~~Mike Kelley
Glee, If you are out there, I wish I had thought of that.  MLM



(Funny, how word gets around)

Dear Michael (or is it Mike?) 

My daughter sent me a link to your website a few weeks ago.  How great to remember all those good times!  And you are right – Odessa in the 50’s was truly a special place.  How lucky we were to live in the very best of times.  It was an age of innocence that ended in the 60’s forever. 

Ever since I read your story I can’t stop think about growing up in Odessa.  I can’t believe all the things I have remembered.  Thank you for being a catalyst and an inspiration.  

I hope to attend the reunion in September.  I graduated from OHS in 1959 a year ahead of my true class of ’60.  1959 was the year before Permian opened so many of my friends graduated from Permian in 1960.  I have always felt like a lame duck OHS graduate because even though I graduated in ’59, my best friends graduated the next year -- many of them from Permian.  So this reunion should allow me to see lots of people I knew.

Thank you again for remembering Odessa. 

Best regards, 

Glee Lorette Greenwood OHS 58 and 59


PS:  You have a picture of a party at Odessa Country Club.  I was there.  My date was Mike Massey, and I believe that the occasion was the annual dinner dance for the Capri’s club.  We sat on the floor and pretended to be Hawaiians.





I was so excited to find your web site about Tommy's Drive In.  Brought back many memories of good times driving around Tommy's looking for "people" and "hanging out." It was so much fun.
I read some the voices from the past and really enjoyed them. Yes, I remember Otto's Ice Cream it was a favorite place as well.
Your web site has been forwarded to my Odessa friends and my mother I know she will like to read and remember.
My Dad was a policeman during that time in Odessa and could have told "Tommy" tales if he were still here.
Thanks for the Memories.
Jency Shinn Long PHS Class 61

````The full remarks by Mark Gist 
Just got your email that was forwarded from my son Shawn Gist. My only claim to fame was to have a son that has been interested in everything Dad {Mark Gist - OHS - 61} and Mom {Cheryl Killian - OHS - 64} did in their teen years.
My association with Odessa speed and custom cars was knowing swim teammate Glen Day and his Father Leonard Day (cool dude).  They were one of the first in the area to modify a Austin-Healey sportster with a Corvette engine.  As his friend, we occasionally got the privilege of taking it on a spin on city
streets.  It mainly was raced by his dad at the rattlesnake raceway between
Odessa-Midland.  The first time Glen showed me the car, it was stored at his
dad's construction company warehouse on east 2nd street.  It had the short
open laker pipes on the side and we just had to hear it inside the building.
Glen racked it up and cracked 2 of the big windows to the office.  One heck
of a ride.
Glen's usual ride was a beautiful blue Ford Crown Victoria.  We double dated in the car a few times and I begged him to let me drive it to impress my first date with Betty Darnell {PHS - 62}.  That is what you call a "good" friend.  My car was a family four door 1955 Chrysler hand me down that I later tried to make a hot-rod out of.  Stanley Mufflers put on dual exhausts with "dumps" underneath that could be opened to make it sound mean anyway.
It did have a huge V-8 but the automatic shift on the dash just never seemed cool to me.  Even the front rake did not over-ride the "old person" four door image.
I enjoyed the story about the Hobbs Drag Raceway and the family outing. That had to be Jamey and Sonny Parker.  My parents were acquainted with them and in later years my mother and Imogene Parker became close friends. Always wished I could have been the one to hang out with the Parkers.  I understand your quip about the burning gut envy.
My best remembrance of Tommy's is the Steak Finger basket with Texas Toast and Gravy.  So if you see Tommy again please tell him his place was not only a fantastic place to hang out but he was a master at those steak fingers. The blue 55 chevy in the picture could have been the Buddy Laird rod with the custom dashwork painting done by artist Jerome Coker.  Your website has caused several days of terrific "flashback".  Thanks for the magnificent effort and thanks to Lee Cochran for pointing the finger.
Mark Gist OHS 61


```````From:  Larry L. Hawkins, OHS 1964
Mike, enjoyed your site.  It was sent to me by a lot of my Classmates (OHS 64).  Not only did it bring back Great Memories it took me to that special place in Odessa.    My older brother played for OHS 62 and I was at the game that Odessa beat Midland so Permian won district.   I think we can say we had the same friends in Alford Smallwood and Roger Rankin.  Alford and I shared a class when I was a sophomore, for some reason he watched over me and became a good friend.   Also at the University of Houston Roger Rankin and I were in Pharmacy together and he became my big brother in Phi Delta Chi.  He was truly a gentleman and friend.  He was a senior my first year in Pharmacy school and have lost track of him until your article.  Again thanks for reminding me what a great childhood I had and for how lucky I am to be in this generation.   Also, when I was in Houston we use to have what we called "THE ODESSA PARTY;"  everyone we knew from Odessa was invited to show up a the Holiday Inn on 610.  The brains behind the party was Jack Littlefield, Charles Armstrong, and about 100 more.  The first year about 140 people showed up.  Next year about 300 attended the party.  It was great. Not sure if they had it after that; I spent the next 15 years in Alaska.  Larry Hawkins

Reuben and Linda Palma found my site and sent it to Dock Sewell, who has created a similar site for the Levelland High School Exes.  He wrote:
"Odessa had its hang-out, TOMMY'S DRIVE IN; browsing it will remind you of KIRK'S DRIVE IN:  http://myweb.cableone.net/dpsewell/kirk's.html  Some of their stories sound strangely familiar."

Dock Sewell, the creator of the Leveland, Texas, website, directed a friend named Austin to my website, and Austin made a remark that I think strongly supports what I said in my writing: Odessa's presentation of the '50s was a bit more glowing due to the prevalence of oil wealth and an oil based economy in those days.  He basically said that the oil patch kids had better toys, and after living in central Texas all these years and getting to know folks my age who grew up in Austin, I can tell you that the majority of them did not have the experience we had in west Texas.  We were lucky to be in that place at that time.  
From: Austin Magers to Dock Sewell

Dock, What a nice web page of Tommy's. Does remind me of your website of Kirk's. The kids in Odessa had better toys but essentially the same as ours.  Austin
Dock's reply:  You're right Austin; it is a great website.

From one of the Kirk Girls
Hello, Mike!

I am one of the 'Kirk' girls from Levelland.

First of all, I thoroughly enjoyed and am very impressed with your website
and remembrances from the '50s and '60s, which I attest was the greatest
era EVER!!!! In fact, I tell those younger than I that we were the most
blessed generation in history.

Your memory is phenomenal!  Dock could have written an entire story, too,
but I butted in and then others were gracious enough to rescue me with
their own. I know each time Dock sent something new and when he did the
site, it was a new and very emotional experience. I literally sat with
tears, which I tried to hide from others, because nobody can understand if
they did not grow up as did we.

My mother was in the early stages of dementia when Dock was doing the site.
I printed everything so I could read it to her. Even tho she didn't have
much short term memory, my sisters and I believe stories shared WERE with
her. Of course, she had no idea the influence and impact both she and Daddy
had on the teens of Levelland. I will tell you, they loved every one of

Oh, one more thing...I would have accepted a date with Dock, although he was
an 'older man' and have no doubt my sisters would have, too.

We have a mutual acquaintance; I know Judy White; we attend the same church
in Grand Prairie, TX. Is that ironic?  I will get her email and send your
website to her; she will be so surprised, and I am sure, will love it.

Thank you for sharing the memories.

Sharon Wilson

~~~~From: Harold Bettes ...PHS 61
I really got a kick out of your website and the stories about Tommy's. I learned
to drive in congested traffic at Tommy's and ever since then whether flying in
formation or in bumber to bumper, LA freeway or inside the Beltway of DC, I have
never felt intimidated. LOL

The story of the Parker Brothers (and family) going to the drag races in Hobbs
was a real hoot. Jamie and Phil Parker were members of the same car club that I
was in (Odessa Quarterhorses). The three cars that you mentioned were named
Granma ('40 Willys), Sneezy ('32 Ford 5-window coupe), and I don't remember if
the 1957 Chevy had a name. Carl Goetz was also a member of the Quarterhorses.

Other members were Buddy Bradshaw and his brother (James) that had the old "goat" Dodge Ram  that you wrote about. Buddy raced mostly Pontiacs, but had a Corvette and for a while that he raced in Modified Sports. One of the folks that wrote to you was also in the Quarterhorses (Bobby Glast) and raced a 1956 Chevy convertible.
 I also remember James Cagle, Stanley and Melvin McCallum, Jack May, Mike Martz, Jimmie Rose, Jerry James, Daniel Gray, Mike Lisenbee, D. Locke, Scooter Lyons, Don Blakenship, Jerry and Bill Norman, and there were lots of others. I wish my memory was sharper to put names with the faces that I remember.
Harold Bettes
Colorado Springs,Colorado


The  following is from an officer and a gentleman, fellow pilot, native of West Texas, who had an outstanding USAF career and flew our best fighters.  I applaud the man that he is today.  MLM



What a pleasure it was to talk with you just now.   Once again, let me tell you how much I enjoyed the stories on your web site, as they brought back some of the best memories of my life.  I’ve appended a tribute to my dad, Bura Handley, that was published this month in the Wellington Leader newspaper during the annual high school reunion held each August in Wellington, Texas.  He was truly a great man and given your appreciation for quality… I think you’ll enjoy the piece.

I forgot to mention when we were talking that I “buzzed” Wellington, Texas in a T-33 on a summer day in 1959, in an almost identical manner as you describe on your web site.  Even now, almost one-half century later, when I visit my old home town, people will still tell me precisely where they were when they observed it.  The stories get better and better with passing years… some so absurd as suggesting that I flew through the legs of the stand pipe.

Best regards,

Phil Handley, Col. USAF Ret.

Midland, Texas (Native of Wellington, Texas,in the panhandle)



~~~~Anita Childress Elms -- OHS '53 She made my day!! 

Mike,  Being from the Class of '53 (and a female,) you might not think I'd be very interested, but your website is mesmerizing!  The cars, the stories, - everything is so familiar - except "our" drive-in was "The Speedway" on east 8th St.  I thought of that poor owner when I was reading about Tommy - and the night he almost went berserk!  He came running out of the kitchen, shaking a big butcher knife at us, saying, "You kids quit hot-rodding it around here!"

Thanks for all your stories, memories, pictures (and descriptions) of cars and events.  I've lived in Odessa almost all my life and was captivated with your site!  You do a great job of writing and bringing memories back to life!  Very vividly!  Thanks for all your work ---- there are LOTS of us out here who'll be in "hog heaven" reading this.  Anita Childress Elms 


~~~From Glenn Petty...OHS 1959
What a flashback!  I graduated OHS in 1959.  My brother Robert fits your dialog to a "T" since he was OHS class of '57 and drove, raced, and street drag-raced a black & white '57 hardtop with Carl and all the other guys. I was so "financially challenged" during the late 50's that I had a clunker and could only watch from the curb, or Tommy's, or some other hangout, but your rendition is right on and I appreciate the effort and results.

~~~From Carole Adams Duncan  OHS-'62
Mike,  your web-site is absolutely wonderful.  Butch Webb sent it to me and it brought back so many wonderful memories.   It had to have been hard work to get this all together but I know it was a labor of love.
Thanks again.  
PS- My sister and I had a 57 red Chevy- it was my brother's-Don Adams..class of OHS 57... We got it when he got a 62 Impala. 

From: Ron Stephens 

Though I am some older than you, (OHS 1953)  I loved the car scene of the '50s. I believe in reading your bio that you started out writing to pass on a memory for your children; I have done the same thing and I keep adding memories to it, and maybe I'll print it someday.  I started driving in a 1930 Model A Ford, and evolved into 50's Fords, then into the road hogs, such as a 51 Lincoln Lido Coupe.  I came home from College (University of Oklahoma) in a 1955 Austin Healey and then purchased a 1956 Lincoln Premier 4dr ( like the picture I am sending you.) 


The Lincoln in the picture is one I bought a few years back and restored. The 53 MG TD  I have owned since 1954 and it only has 40k miles on it.  At my age I find there is nothing like the rumble of an old car or the feel of an old woman.
I enjoyed your web page and envy your talent and enjoyed your memories of the past.  Best Regards.


~~~From Cliff Kight--OHS 1960 
Hello Michael,
I really enjoyed looking over your web site and reading the stories. An old friend of mine from Odessa forwarded me the link this past Friday. These events were all "right on" with my memories of the time. I was in Odessa starting at Crockett Jr High in 1957 (my 9th grade year) and then OHS 58,59 & 60 (my graduation year) on to OC in 61,62 (my OC graduation year with an AS degree as it was a two year Jr College), I married my OHS high school sweetheart (Thresa D Thomason) in 62 in Waco (her family had just relocated from Odessa after her 62 OHS graduation) and we settled in Dallas, still residing in the area today.
I have two boys and a girl and my older boy who turned 40 recently mentioned that the Economics Professor he had at Collin Country Community College in McKinney TX was Tom Lombardo who told the class my son was taking (in ~ 1990) that he had been the owner of Tommy's in Odessa. My son (Bryan) told us at the time he had the former owner of Tommy's as an Economics Professor.  My son mentioned it because he had remembered his Mom and I talking about Tommy's and the good old days in Odessa. My son liked Mr. Lombardo and remembers him as a kind humorous individual as well as a good professor.
Your impression of the car culture of the time is also "right on". When we were making the drag around Odessa to the various drive in's in those days we knew all the cars and models. We also knew all of our friend's specific cars by sight and that is how we could find them in town by seeing their car. I got my car (a 55 Chev) in my Sophomore year at OHS. I always wanted a 57 but never got one.
Thanks for the great stories and the memory refresh. I plan to spend more time on the site.
Best Regards
Cliff G. Kight (Grad 60)     

~~~From Larry Green (the son of the owner of Green's Drive-in, Antler's Coffee Shop, and more.......)
Hi Michael,
This was so interesting and well-done, bringing to mind many good memories.  I want to thank Butch Webb for sending your site about this to me.  We shared many times together at Tommy's, along with other friends, most particularly those eventually of O.H.S.'s class of '63.  Those times were good times.  But of course I also remember some of the fights there, as well as other accidents somewhat similar to Carlton's.  One night, as we were cruising around Tommy's, if my memory serves me right, some of us, including classmate Wayne Bourke, were standing in the back of Butch's (I think) pick-up.  Wayne was lean and tall and was up on the side of the truck hooting and hollering when the truck moved under the drive-in awning.  It nearly took Wayne's head off, cutting his ear badly, but somehow and someway, we all survived those fun days.
There is some historical information about Tommy's that I want to add.  Tommy was not the original owner of the building and property there.  The fact is that Frank Green purchased the property there and built that building, opening Green's Charbroiled Burgers.  I should know because I used to walk there in the 7th grade from Bowie Jr. High for lunch.  I would even play "Good Golly Miss Molly' on his jukebox, and I know because he is my Dad.  Not only that but Tommy made monthly payments to my dad for the place for many years.  Tommy loved the teens, but financially speaking as a teen hang-out, the place struggled.  If you recall, we didn't spend much money there at nights but took up all his parking and cruised mostly, and it eventually became Nicky's.
Before he had the Charbroiled place there (that became Tommy's)  he had the hamburger place on West County road near San Jacinto Elementary.  He also had one of the largest restaurant/drive-ins in town until it burned.  It was located on 7th & 8th St.s and West County Rd.  He had car-hops wearing green satin outfits & hats and soda-jerks for the drinks & burgers, etc. There was the drive-in on one end of the building that housed a full scale dining-in restaurant.  It was called Frank Green's Restaurant and Drive-In.  After it burned he took over the Antler's Coffee Shop.  Later built and opened the above mentioned hamburger places, and then bought and improved the Barn Door Steak House (and later added the Pecos Depot).  With my father being in the food business, I became acquainted with most all the other food operators in the Odessa/Midland area.  I also recall that Roy Orbison came to eat at my dad's places, even before he could afford to do so.  Also, James Garner would eat at the coffee shop before he became a star and was working for a short while in the oil fields there.  And most all the Coliseum wrestlers (like the Funks, the Viking, Rabid Rabbit Ricky Romero, Sputnik Monroe, etc.) would stay and eat at the Antler's motel & coffee shop.  My dad since has been enshrined in the Texas Restaurant Hall of Fame.  He lives in Stephenville, TX and still has a great memory of those days.
Interestingly, when I came back to Odessa to teach at O.H.S in '68 the teens then had memories not of Tommy's but of Nicky's.  As you mentioned, that building now holds few memories for those who enter it.  At least not like we do.!!
Thank you for all your efforts

~~~From the colorful PHILLIP VINCENT...OHS '61 
You know , I had forgotten that Frank G had owned the charburger place before Tommy. I guess that we went to Days until Mr. Day got sick of us and ran the kids off. That is when everyone started going to Tommy's, I think. We used to go to Weldon's, across the street from Roy's Drive in for lunch, but, couldn't stand the"butt whoopins'" dished out there after dark. The Bar x's at Speedway Drive In were my fare as well.
I played Little League baseball for the Frank Greens Drive Inn and remember that Mr. Green would treat us to a malt every game that we won. I think we had 28 malts in the 3 years I played. We had an awesome team. Speaking of Little League, Eddie Thomas and I couldn't hit you if you came rolling down to us, but we were pretty good defensively, so we played. I was a catcher at the time because anyone with any brains or regard for their body wouldn't think of playing that position. We had advanced to the State semi-final in El Paso and were facing a Mexican pitcher that appeared to be 18 or 19. Eddie hit either 8th or 9th as did I
and in that game we hit back to back home runs to ice the game. Mr. Green treated us to a great feed in the restaurant side, quite a treat for 12 yr olds.
Larry was a few years behind us, and a nice guy, as I remember. I have seen him over the years and thought that he had opened a restaurant in Midland for a time. I wonder if he has the recipe for the Lemon Ice Box pie his dad used to serve at Antlers? I don't know if I was with you or not , but I ate a whole pie there one night ---late. Good e-mail from Larry.

~~~~From: John Duckering
Those were the days!  I was born in 1945 and remember cruising around Tommy's (and later Nicky's).  Trolling for chicks and looking for friends and listening to tunes on the AM radio.  And peeling out.  I don't think we actually ever bought anything to eat or drink there at all.  We even got into a rumble with about 50 kids right in front of Odessa College by Nicky's.  A threat of calling the cops from probably Nicky stopped any real fight.  There was also Day's, Park Inn, and Speedway.  And who could forget Smitty's.  I still want to know how he made those Smitty's Specials!  My family owned the Scott and Rio Theaters, and the Plains and Twin Terrace Drive In Theaters.
The painting is outstanding!  It captures an era.  Maybe UTPB would permanently host it.

~~~~~From:  Kenneth Taylor  OHS '61
I Currently live in Plano Tx. I worked with your cousin Don Moore at Bill Sears Grocery while in the  DECA program, a work / school program where we went to school a half of a day, then got credit for working.
I worked with Roy Orbisons Bass player at Bill Sears when Roy won the battles of the Bands contest in Odessa. Roy got a few thousand dollars and a trip to California for a recording try out. (PS) He fired his whole band and kept all the money and when to California by himself. The Bass guy and others were very upset.
I attended the Little Richard show at the West County Park Auditorium in 1955. My folks owned the West County Park Drive Inn located across the street from the Auditorium.
The White 1958 Chevolet in the picture was like one owned by Andre Cadell. It was lowered with Flipper hub caps and lights under the fender wells. I think he had the car named La Bamba.
We may have met at Dance school as my mom signed me up about the same time as you were cutting the rug. That was my first trip to the County Club.

~~~~~From Kenneth Bell  OHS '62
Mike, I have just visited the Tommy's website and the memories it brings back also bring both bitter and sweet tears--God! how I loved those years!  All the names, the times, the characters, the events, the old friends, all the emotions come flooding back!  We were, indeed, a group blessed by the times and the place.  Thanks for taking the time to bring it all back.  Tanner had sent me copies of the articles that had appeared in the OA paper--great job!  Miss talking to you--hope all is well.  Give Jane our best. 
 Warmest regards

`````From: Gary Sands PHS '63
Not sure we ever met as I was from PHS class of 63. My brother still lives in Odessa and sent me an email with the Tommy's Drive-in picture etc. I have worn myself out trying to read everything attached,and included with it.  It is an amazing work.  You should be proud and applauded.
I was amazed at memories you raised in my mind of people, cars, and happenings as I read thru it all. Thank you for your work.
I attended all of the PHS reunions up to and including the joint OHS/PHS reunion.  They were great.   I think another reunion would be great for all of both schools.  As you mentioned,  we aren't getting any younger.
Thank you again for the memories.


Thank you for the wonderful site.  It brought back many happy memories.   
David R. LeMaster
OHS, Class of 1954

~~~~David R. LeMaster OHS '54......sent me an email and when I saw his class year I asked him about the 1953 OHS VS. Woodrow Wilson High School football game.  He sent me back the following email:
Yes, Michael!  That was the 1953-54 school year, and I was in what Mr. Maddox called his Trumpet Trio that year (although we all played cornets rather than trumpets).  Of course, the OHS band was right in place that afternoon just in front of the West Stands at Broncho (later Barrett) Stadium.  Mary Ingles was over by us leading the band in cheers while the other girls were standing around crying (because we were behind).  It was really funny. 
As I remember that was a Saturday afternoon, and OHS was behind by only a touchdown, and we had the ball on our own ten yard line (south end) with only about two minutes to go in the game.  Carl threw the football from inside his own ten, and it went about 60 or more yards in the air (what an arm!).  Troy (Moody) caught the ball over his shoulder and went into the North end zone standing up.  The other coach nearly had a heart attack.     
Troy had been studying most of the night with Dayle Binnion and me on the preceding Thursday evening because we were working on term papers that were due to Ms. Ann Louise Jones on Friday.  Ugg!  We all made the deadline, but it certainly made Troy sleepy the next couple of days.  We all laughed in English class that if the game had been on Friday, we'd have lost.  
Michael, I believe that Troy's touchdown only tied the game, and the penetrations were tied, too.  Thus, we went to the next level based on the fact that we had more first downs than Wilson did.  We held Wilson on downs, and then Carl just fell of the ball the last couple of plays.   
And yes, I was at the Lamar of Houston game the next week, too.  That was the one in which Walter Fondren was allowed to wear a rubberized pair of football pants at Rice Stadium with  the rain pouring down.  Needless to say, it was like trying to catch a greased pig.   

~~~From:  Mary Denker Hilliard OHS '63 
Have loved the stories about Tommy's and growing up in Odessa. I just sent it to a guy I met on the plane the other day who grew up in Ft. Stockton because we had had so much fun talking about West Texas, the 50's and 60's, etc.
I think the idea of a reunion is great and I would be glad to help.   I live in Austin and so would have to participate in the virtual world, but that is certainly doable.
Were you the older brother of two sisters who would have graduated in 62 and 63??  One was named Lea and I can't remember the other's name.  I was thinking they had a big brother named Mike.
I was Mary Denker - went to San Jacinto, Bowie and OHS - graduated in 63.  Am now Mary Hilliard.  I go on a trip every year with my good OHS friends - we call ourselves the "Odessa Girls".  One of them used to live in El Paso and knew Carlton's widow and planned to send her your web site.  I hope you will hear from her.
Good luck and keep me posted on the reunion plans.

~~~From: Anna Margaret Speegle Miller   ( I have known her since the first grade!)
Hey Mike,
Lea sent me the link to the website. First let me say it is AWESOME!!!! Love it!
My update:  I graduated from Southwestern. Have three children, one son, two daughters. 8 g-childern. One g-son is an eagle scout, on another g-daughter is a black belt and flies airplanes and is getting her private pilot's license; both are in college this year.
I worked for a large pharmaceutical company until a few years ago and took early retirement when I found out my mom was terminal and only had 6 weeks or less. It was less.
After she passed away I went back to work and I am the office manager for a risk management co for several large oil and gas companies. 
My husband is the president of the Bluebonnet Scottish Society and we are very active in the Scottish community. We love to travel and just returned from Scotland last month.
I do have some photos that I am forwarding to you now.   I have some others; (my Mom NEVER threw anything away) however I couldn't put my hands on some them so I will continue to look.
The ones of Sandy Whiteley are from Jr High. I have  others of him too, and hopefully I will find them.
Keep it going you are the best!

~~~From Georgia Pat Jones Park
Melvin McCallum, Realtor, sent me your website.  I really enjoyed reading all of it.  I forwarded it on to others on www.texasbob.com .  You will have to read it.  You may already know about it.

Can't wait for a reunion.  They are such fun.  Wish we could have one every year.  I went to the one in Odessa 1991.  It was a lot of fun.  I was at the reunion that Fred did north of the DFW airport. I spent many happy times driving around and around Tommy's Drive In. 

I really had a good time at Tommy's that was the life and it was so much fun!

Harrison Acton, Melvin McCallum, etc. all were members of the car club called Quarter Horses.

Thanks for your website.

Georgia Pat Jones Park OHS1963

From: Glen Wilkerson
Mike, I'd love to get together with the troops another time or two.
What a great website. Thanks for putting it together. 
Vance and Dee Phillips are my first cousins. I miss Vance. Made me cry reading your story about him. I have some good ones to share, with us growing up together in Odessa and working summers at our Dads' store (Vance Supply Company) which they co-owned with our Uncle, J. O. Vance.
Vance was a Wild West character in a 1943 chassis. He was one of a kind--fun-loving, wild as a March hare, and with a heart big as Dallas. I loved him.
Let me know please if there's a reunion.
Glenn Wilkerson, OHS '61.

From: Narita Kunkel Holmes
I enjoyed your website.  Sure brings back the memories.  I, too, lived in Notrees from ages 6-12.  Dad worked for Texaco.  I attended Notrees Elementary. Thanks so much for sharing.

Narita Kunkel Holmes

OHS ‘65


From Dee Phillips, PHS-65, a former neighbor
A great read on Tommy's Drive-in and Carlton Trigg.  I remember when the place first opened about 1955 or so; it was Frank Green that built it.  This was after his restaurant on West County road burned to the ground.  Vance and I ate there one time with our parents when it was new and my parents were talking to Frank about his new venture.  I don't know when he sold out to Tommy Lombardo.  A lot of memories there.
To my recollection I never saw Carlton Trigg's red 57 Chevy.  I do remember the one your brother Butch had in the late 1950s. It had a sweet sound to it when he would decelerate right in front of our house.  I only met Carlton once.  I told you about that. It was at his parents house and with several people there.  My friend Phil Rutledge tried to steal a bottle of whiskey from him.  Carlton probably would have killed him if it hadn't have been for Nancy Hinds ( my future sister-in-law).  I remember the story of Carlton getting mad up in the Golden Rooster and pushing the grand piano out the plate-glass window to the ground eight floors below.  Not someone you would want to tick off.
Love & Kisses baby,

**********From: Karen Wright  PHS '63
I just stumbled into this site while looking up some info about Vance Phillips.  I was captivated -- and totally missed a deadline because I couldn't stop reliving my teen years in Odessa, Texas.  I graduated from Permian in 1963 and my brother, John, graduated in 1961.  So you can imagine that Tommy's was our "home away from home."  Thanks for all you have done to preserve the history of those years....especially the "social" history. Did we have a great time or what!!!!!
Karen Wright
Dublin, Texas 

~~~~~~~~Larry Bradfield--Andrews, Texas
I stumbled onto your website while looking for info on Carl Schlemeyer..Great stuff!!!!  I graduated fromAndrews High in 1956, but spent a fair amount of time in Odessa. Really brings back some memories.
Carl unknowingly  did Andrews a big favor back about 1951 or 52. Living in Odessa was a young, talented quarterback named Leon Chester who, it looked like, was destined to play backup to Carl. Instead he and his mother moved to Andrews where he was all district and led the Mustangs to the district championship and two games deep into the playoffs in 1953. As a spinoff of his move,  another three  talented athletes followed him from Odessa to Andrews and played on the same team. They were Bobby Don Wright ( all state fullback), J.R.Janese ( all district halfback) and Gary O'Rear ( all district end).
Leon Chester was also a champion hurdler who went to Texas Tech on a track scholarship - as did Bob Wright who was also a champion shotputter.
So , we Mustangs of that era owed a lot to Odessa in general and Carl in particular. I correspond with Leon Chester regularly and he enjoys the "old days" memories also. I'll be sure to tell him of your website.
Larry Bradfield

~~~~From Leon Chester  OHS and Andrews--1954
Great website.
I knew Carl Schlemeyer, Johnny Crain, Troy Moody, Dale Sherrod, and most of the other guys. They had a great team.  I listened to that game on the radio that you described since our season ended a game or two sooner.  I will never forget "the pass". I was as thrilled as anyone.
Leon Chester

A note about Leon Chester.  Leon played quarterback for the Andrews, Texas, team that won a state championship  (3A?) the same year OHS lost to Houston Lamar when Carl Schlemeyer was the quarterback. 53-54.  That Andrews team had several Odessa players that transferred to get more playing time.  Always made me wonder if Odessa had kept all those quality players, would it have made a difference?  Leon Chester was also a track star for Andrews.  A talented athlete.

From: Don Ray Williams....OHS 1960-
Mike, I love the site. It really brings back old memories. I moved to Odessa in 1957 with my mom after my dad died.  I went to Bowie Jr. High beginning in 1957 while my mother taught 3rd grade at San Jacinto Elementary. Later I went to OHS and graduated in1960.  I played on the Broncho's basketball team.

Those definitely were great times to grow up and Odessa holds a special place in my heart. Thanks for reviving all the memories.

Don Ray Williams  (now living in Panama)

~~~~~~From Nelda Moore  PHS '61
Hi, Mike...
Thanks for your website trip down memory lane to Tommy's Drive-In and teenage years in Odessa.    My name at that time was Nelda Moore, and I sat behind you in a number of classes at Bonham, and maybe a few at Permian as well.   I, too, have fond memories of those years, and cruising Tommy's.    It was a great time to grow up.    
I really enjoyed your website after clicking on it from Permian.net, especially the Roy Orbison recording.    
I think it's be fun to put together another reunion for the four classes.   As you say, our numbers are beginning to thin.   Let me know how I can help.
(Nelda) Kathleen (Moore) Dunn

From: Cham Chambliss:
Hello Michael,
This morning, when checking my E-Mail, I found a quick note from Cliff Kight telling me that he had discovered your site and he suggested that I might want to check it out. I have been reading your site for the last hour, and was thoroughly immersed in nostalgia the entire time!  My name is  Elton (Cham) Chambless and I was OHS class of 1960, and Tommy's  Drive-In  was  THE  center of my social life during my high school years . Your site brought back memories of the guys I ran with, like Don Branscum, Bill Harris, Buddy Fitch, James Eddy Ingram,Hoot Gibson, Jack Mayfield, Randy Chenault , Robbie Cryer, Lynn Foreman  and  Barrett Bright, to name a few. I had a 1946 Chevy pick-up, so I didn't really quailfy as one of the  cool car group, except for the night of graduation. My girl, Helen ( who is my wife  of 47 years) had an uncle who came in from Washington, D.C. for her graduation . He drove in on Thursday, the day before  Friday graduation ceremonies. He was a Colonel in the AirForce  and he was driving a 1959 Dodge Custom Royale convertible, midnight black with custom  red leather upholstery, and a continental kit.   It had a 440  Hemi and a stick shift. Absolutely  the most gorgeous car you have ever seen. He took Helen and I out to the curb see his car and  when we got through drooling, he handed me the keys and said, "I didn't have time to get you guys a graduation gift, so maybe this will make up for it. I have to leave on Tuesday morning, so I need the car back by Monday night. Until then, it belongs to you and Helen.  So, take care of it, will you? Oh,and by the way the gas tank is full ! "
Would you believe that we put over 1200 miles on that car in 5 days and about 350  to 400 miles of it was around Tommy's! We put the top down and just cruised around town, then back to Tommy's, etc.etc. We made it a point to be seen in that car by everyone we knew and Tommy's was the place for that. As the song says, "Memories are made of this! " 
I'm sure that you've been told many times before, but your website is a fantastic gift to those of us who grew up in Odessa during the Fabulous Fifties. We have many memories that our children can never really relate to, because they grew up in different times, but you have rekindled those memories, and I Thank You for that !!!!!
Sincerely, Cham Chambless

From: Shelly Williams (some remarks are just humbling!)
I have just spent two hours on your web site.  Thank you, sir. Thank you very much.  This is the Odessa I recall and the Odessa that I hope our movie captures at least in part.  I called the actress who is going to direct the movie, Moira Kelly, to tell her to go to Mike Moore's web site to listen to Roy Orbison's Bridge Over Troubled Waters.  Moira said, "Oh Mike, he wrote that great piece on Tommy's didn't he?"  I know that we have been sharing stories for a long time and I want you to know that when and if the film comes out, you will have definitely influenced it. 
Shelly (PHS 1962)

Dear Mr. Moore:  Martin McCarroll sent us the link to your website - haven't gone through much of it yet but enough to realize what a great deal of time and effort it took to put it all together - love the music.  All of us who grew up in the Odessa in the 50's salute your work.  My husband graduated in the class of '57 with McCarroll and I graduated in the class of '58.  Have forwarded the link to several other old friends from the class of '58.  The photo of downtown Odessa reminded me that when I was 12 years old I purchased a set of carnival glasses for my mom at that old Woolworth's store.  It was the first gift I bought for my mom with my own money and I was so proud of myself (I still have the glasses) - they were about .10 each at that time.  I will send you a photo I had just dug up last week of the OHS swim team of 1957.   It will include Charles Porter; Herschell Atkinson, Woody Reaves, Martin McCarroll.  (See Photo Gallery)
Thanks again for all the hard work.
Joyce (Cooper) Porter (class of '58)
Charles Porter(class of '57)

I just read your Tommy’s drive in piece and it was wonderful and brought back great memories of a unique time in our lives.  I have many times thought it was a special time with none before or none since being quite as good.  Thanks for sharing the picture and the piece.  As a 1960 grad of Permian, I knew all of the people you showcased in your story and that really made it come to life. 

Thanks again – it brought back memories that will never be forgotten-ones that I cherish.

Sharron Hargis White    PHS 1960


John Blackmon PHS 61

Just had the opportunity to review your site and bring back all the old memories.  I attended Bowie the year before Bonham was built and then Bonham for two years, OHS in 1959 as a sophomore, and then 60 and 61 at Permian graduating in the class of 61.  I was in the band all the way through with J. R. McEntyre and went to Allstate in 61.  It was a wonderful time to be a teenager and to share all those memories is refreshing beyond belief.  Went to A&M one year, the OC the following year, and then went off to Texas Tech, married Dale Estes, class of ’63 from Permian, and we are still together.  Most enjoyable to relive the moments. 


Don Ray Williams responded to a reunion invitation by sending this link, a great piece of writing about his days in Odessa.  Click on it and enjoy.


From Bill Philpott---OHS 1959 
Talk about nostalgia!!  I was there at Tommy's and remember eating  many of his charcoal burgers!

I found your website tonight, and thought it really neat and totally thought provoking. I lived in Odessa from 52 to oct 59, and left there to join the Navy. I was in the same grade as Carl Bunch  We both went to San Jacinto Elementary, Bowie Jr. Hi. and Odessa High. My name is Bill Philpott and I have a brother, Bo, who is closer to your age  I had some good times in Odessa but left there to go to Houston.  I now live in Shepherd, Texas.  

Seems like you have put into words what I have known all these years. Thanks for putting that site together and I will visit it often.

Bill Philpott

From Johnny Henson...OHS 1958
I just stumbled across your tribute to Tommy's Drive Inn and have been enjoying the wash of memories of my time in Odessa and the obligatory time spent circling Tommy's.  After I graduated from OHS in 1958 I spent some time (more than should have been allowed) at OC while working at the television station Carlton Trigg's dad owned.  God, I had fun through it all!  I'd like to ramble a bit if I may as you described a lot of events that I was told about or witnessed.
Larry Green wrote about his dad's food service ventures, but he didn't mention the place where I thought Frank's food was the best in the world and that was the cafe located at 2nd St. and West County Road.  I remember ordering time after time the hot roast beef sandwich and a cherry phosphate or hamburger and French fries with cream gravy.  Larry's parents were friends with my parents (LB & Gail Henson).  They were all in the Sheriff's Posse together.  I remember them watching my little brother (Joe, OHS '61) and I when my parents had to take care of business somewhere.  As I recall there was Larry and a sister, but that was a looong time ago.
Another couple of cafes that might jog memories are the Club and the Do Drop In.  David Noble's dad had the Do Drop In and his uncle had the Club.  Mr. Noble would call David when the dishwasher got drunk and didn't show up and we would wash dishes and buss tables all day for a few dollars and a hamburger or chicken fried steak.  We thought we were rich.  The Do Drop was torn down in the mid to late 50s and Mr. Noble eventually started the Grand Cafe farther north on Grant.  David and I, as the young are apt to do, sliced our hands open once and became blood brothers when we were about 8 years old.  Probably after seeing some cowboy and Indian movie at the Texas or Lyric theater.
I noticed Sandy Whiteley had something to offer.  He and I went to Fannin and Crockett and worked together at Channel 7.  We grew up in the same neighborhood and we've pretty much been lifelong buddies.  One thing he didn't mention in his note was the 1954 Ford Glass top he drove.  It was a beautiful car.  Originally it was green and cream two-toned, but he had it painted metal flake grey with custom interior.  I know he still wishes he had kept that car.
After I left Odessa for college at Texas Tech and subsequently entering the Navy after graduation, I worked in San Angelo for Mooney Aircraft for a year and headed back to Tech for Graduate school.  Imagine my surprise when one day I stepped on the elevator in the Business Administration Building, looked up and there stood Tommy.  In the short discussion we had I found out he was working on what I recall to be his doctorate.  That was the only time I saw him while I was working on my MBA.  I was glad to finally learn he became a Professor of Economics, but saddened to hear of his passing.
Mike, I noticed you did T-41 instruction in Lubbock at the close of the 60s.  Did Ronnie Oldham (Another Odessa boy) have the contract them?  And if so, do you remember Steve and Wanda Reeves?  He was also a civilian instructor around that time.
I now live in the Granbury area at Pecan Plantation, as do a number of other OHS graduates.  At last count there are seven of us spanning the OHS classes of 1957-1961.  We have been accused of being a cult.  In reality we are all close friends, or related to one another through family ties.  We have maintained our friendship since our days in Odessa.  Growing up there truly was a wonderful experience.  Economic and social lines didn't interfere with our liking one another or even having a best friend.  It was a magical and golden time.  We were able to have the freedom, because of the times and the location, to have almost any adventure we wanted.  The big blue sky urged us to dream well beyond the horizon.  But perhaps we had such a memorable period in our lives because we liked...no, loved and embraced one another's character.  It really was the end of such a short era.
Best Regards,
Johnny Henson
OHS '58

From Drew Holderman  OHS 1958
Great Web Site and a good job with the memories. I am a member of the OHS class of 1958. I had the good fortune to share a couple of classes with Tommy at Texas Tech in 1966-1967. One day I asked him why he would sell such a popular place as Tommy's Drive In with the thousands of customers driving by each night. His response was right out of Economics 101. Lot's of people and no SALES. The gridlock held back new customers from getting in and ordering and those that were in the parking places would order one Coke.

Carlton Trigg was running in our crowd in 56, 57 and 58. Carlton was a very good friend of mine and we made many trips to Mexico in that Red Chevy...you might like to know what happened to that car. Do you remember the curve in the road on North Golder next to Bowie Jr, HIgh? Was Carlton a wild guy? He got up to about 50 miles an hour when he got to the curve and then jumped out the drivers side and the car went over the curb and into the telephone pole. Carlton slid across the street and banged into the curb. Took most of the skin off him but he healed fast and his Dad ordered him a white Plymouth or Dodge Hemi.

Our gang hung out mostly at Day's and later at Tommy's when we would come home from the Service or from College. Roy and the Teen Kings were a great bunch to dance to in the fifties.

Unfortunately, Carlton did the food spitting trick many times in public restaurants, mainly to get free food!

Carlton had an older brother that he was very proud of and had a great deal of respect for. Carlton liked to tell us that while his brother was a student at The University of Miami in Florida that, on the weekends, he would catch a boat to Cuba and fight with Castro, then back to school on Mondays.

Ask any of Carlton's old buddies what he was like after a pint of "Black Bear Wine", his favorite beverage.      

Carlton's Dad was a partner in Trigg Vaughn Enterprises, a 4 station TV Operation. He sold it in the early 60's and Carlton became a rich man in his early 20's.

My name is Drew Holderman, I lived on West 57th St. I now live in Granbury, Texas an a semi retired Certified Public Accountant, 4 children all grown and 7 grandchildren ages 3 to 22.

Keep up the good work on the web site.
Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2008 4:04 PM
Subject: 1950s-1960s Odessa

I got a really tough chewing out by a couple of classmates living in the Granbury community so I thought I'd better rectify the situation ASAP.  So, as directed the former OHS and PHS students living here are:
Linda Sides..............................................'58
Anita Cook New (Cookie)..........................'58
Kenneth New (Cookie's Husband).............'57
Rita Greene (Red's Sister).........................'53
Anita Greene (Red)...................................'58
Joe Henson (My Brother)..........................'61
Diane Woosley Sides (Linda's Cousin).......'64
Steve Sides (Linda's Cousin)......................'61
Bobbie Dixon Adams.................................'57
Ron Anderson...........................................'54?
Jerry Thorpe (Graduation Year Not Verified)
Not all of the listed live in the same neighborhood but they socialize with us on a regular basis.  In addition to those listed there's Drew Holderman and myself, who have already confessed to being the only two perfect angels graduating from OHS.
If you would post this to your comments section I would certainly appreciate it and everyone here in Granbury will lay off.  Thanks.
Johnny Henson
OHS '58
Dear John,
As you can see, your request has been promptly granted.  I cannot imagine two perfect angels (especially undisputed ones like you two) catching so much hell for not mentioning their admirers in print.  Believe me, I know how hard it is to bear a reputation for so long for being a perfect angel,  Sigh, it is a tough job. 
Mike Moore


From: ANN E. SMITH, AKA Betsy Lewis
Dear Perfect Angel,

I seem to read something new every time I visit "Tommy's" .  Not only new
but things I've overlooked before.

Larry Hawkins wrote of  "The Odessa Party"  in Houston in the 70's.   I attended the first one.  It was such fun. The PHS class of '62 did not have a reunion till years later, so that was the first time we had seen old school friends for a long time.

What great memories you have given us and now with with all these people
writing in they are adding to the memories.


From: Linda Sue Patton Alsup....... OHS 59
I probably shouldn't write you at just this moment because I just
finished reading all of the articles and viewing the pictures in your
website.  It  was a totally overwhelming experience and extremely
poignant because of my own experiences in all these places, and my own love of the music. (The songs and thieir words as I went from article to article is what really got me.  I graduated in '59 and attended Fannin Elementary, Crockett Junior High, and Odessa High. I went on to Odessa Junior College, and then on with my life.  Tommy's kept me fed all through Junior College as I rushed from classes to work and back again.  I remember hanging out at Roy's more, especially after joining the Seniorita's at OC.  And I met my future husband, Richard Alsup, there after church one Sunday night.

But what mostly turned me upside down was remembering that my little sister Debby had been an active participant in those years.  Debby Patton had been a ninth grade cheerleader at Crockett Junior High School.  She dated Glen Bigelow in high school and went to all the dances, football games, and drove around the drive-ins with her gang.  I had large collection of 45's that I had bought by doing without lunch and whoever was in the house practiced dancing to them.She died early at 32 so her stories are lost to us, but I know, because we shared a room, how much joy those years had given her.  Her husband Glen probably can tell some of them.  I will forward a message to him about this site.  I dragged that box of '45s around with me for years. Then one day, I discovered that my son, at ten or eleven had been talked into trading them off to a neighbor kid.

I haven't cried for her in years, but that music did me in.

Linda Patton Alsup


From: Melvin McCallum  PHS 61
Hello Mike, I want to share this story with you and your many readers of your great website. 

In the fall (September probably) of 1958, I owned a 1950 Ford 4 door sedan and Alford Smallwood, Don Moore (aka Bitty)  and I went to Tommy’s on a Thursday night about 8:30 or perhaps a wee bit later when your older brother Butch and some more guys and gals started a “Snake Dance” around Tommy’s, and before I knew it we were all holding hands and running around chanting “Beat (some school we were playing football Friday night).  All we could do was follow the person in front, and we went across Andrews Highway (Stopping traffic as we went) and over toward the Broncho Drive In theater. As you will recall, the exit was just west of the huge sign and screen and the apartment below the sign was where the operators lived.(The Broncho was one of the drive in theaters that The Scott’s didn’t own They owned the Plains, and the Twin Terrace at that time. This was before we had the Holiday out south of town. But we did have the Twin Cactus on East 8th.) Anyway, the leaders of the Snake Dance didn’t know (Nor did they care) about the older man who watched the exit for "sneakers" (People who sneak into the exit of drive in theaters with hopes of not getting caught and thus seeing the movie for free). Of course, I knew about him because I worked for Euall Bryan at Permian Ice Company at 17th and Grant and had delivered ice to all the drive in theaters. We usually delivered the ice before the movies started but occasionally we would get calls for ice after the movie had begun and then we would drive in the exit and just flash our headlights at the guard and leave our parking lights on until we reached the concession stands. The guard at the Broncho was especially diligent because he was an old feller and cherished catching people doing illicit things. Anyway, as the snake approached the exit and started through the gate, I saw the guard’s headlights flash, then they came on and stayed on as we passed before him inside his car. All this time, we’re all chanting “BEAT (School Name) and just kept on running and snaking in and out of the cars at the theater whose occupants were trying to watch the movie. Of course, all this snaking and chanting aroused the moviegoers and they all started honking their horns and flashing their headlights as we ran in front and back of them. Finally, the leaders took us out through the entrance and I saw the astonished look on the faces of the money takers as we went by.  Thankfully  they didn’t recognize me then as I was only one of a hundred or so kids and we were still chanting and hollering, and laughing at our great feat. 

Well, even before we got back to Tommy’s the cops were everywhere on Andrews Highway, but what could they do to that many kids all at once? They had their overhead lights flashing and traffic had come to a complete standstill as we ran back into Tommy’s sanctuary. The police took Butch and several others into their cars and started downtown with them. Alarmed at this, several guys and gals began collecting money to bail them all out of jail. Well, they were sure asking for a lot because most of us didn’t have very much money if any at all, but we gave them all we had because of the urgency of the situation, or so we thought at the time. There were several police cars parked all over Tommy’s lot and, someone unscrewed one of the police car’s radio antenna in the melee. The young officer who was driving that particular car got in and tried using his two-way radio when he discovered that he had no signal. That’s when someone suggested to him that he needed an antenna for his radio to operate correctly. There were probably 70-80 guys and gals standing around all the cars and the young officer didn’t have a clue as to how he was going to explain the missing antenna from his patrol car. He just had that look on his face. He got out of the car and started talking to us, pleading for the antenna to be returned!! You know those antennas are just held on to the base with a threaded stud and could be removed with a small wrench. Nearly all the guys (Gearheads) carried a small Cresent wrench or had access to one in their cars. Anyway, the young officer went searching for another older, more experienced officer and when they eventually returned the older officer looked at all of us just standing there with our hands in our pockets and explained the situation that if we didn’t return the antenna, this young feller would likely lose his job. Of course, we all cheered and clapped our hands and the officers just looked around at all of us and shook their heads. They went back towards the front of Tommy’s and all of a sudden we gathered around the car that was missing the antenna and someone, re-installed it. I can’t say who it was for sure, but he did have the antenna screwed back in nothing flat. It was not me. 

Someone was yelling that we all needed to go to the police station on 3rd Street to help bail the leaders out with the money they had collected. So, we all jumped in our cars and started for downtown, only to see the leaders walking down Grant Street, about the 500 block or so, back towards Tommy’s. Of course, the guys and gals who had collected the bail money for the release of the prisoners were the happiest because they had enough money to buy beer for all the leaders, or so we found out later. We also found out later that the police just took the leaders downtown and talked to them and turned them loose and told them to walk back to Tommy’sAll and all, it was a very eventful night. Just one of many in Odessa in those Golden Years. 

I worked for Permian Ice the summer before I started OHS and on through the summer of 1959 was an exciting place because of its’ location, just south of Weldon’s aka Dairy Queen before Weldon bought it in 1960 or so, and it was caddy-cornered from  Roy’s Drive In, where a lot of older kids hung out because they sold beer. We kept the ice house and Texaco service station open until 10PM every night so there was a lot of exciting things happening there and up and down Grant and Andrews Highway. I think I should write a book about my experiences of growing up in Odessa. Boy, did I have some great times or what?!!

From Pam Kuck Brown...OHS 61
I met Dixie Ramsey Clark and Linda Milburn Mier for lunch last Friday in Dallas.  We, of course, shared a lot of memories of people, places, and life during the 50's and early 60's in Odessa.  Vance Phillips' name came up in the course of our conversation and reminded me of his untimely death.  (I especially remember sharing some good times with him when we attended UT in Austin.) Anyway, I did a search and happened upon your beautiful tribute to him.   After crying through the beautifully written bio, I ventured on to the rest of your site and laughed/cried for the next two hours.  I was extremely touched when I read Duane's account about when my late father "souped up" Duane's car. I never knew that story.  The two of them probably kept it quiet!  
Mike, you have done an absolutely fabulous job in this website.  You have preserved a wonderful history of and for all of us to cherish.
Blessings to you.
Pam Kuck Brown

From: Sandra Stephens Dunham

Thank you for all of your work on this site. It truly is a treasure.
I am from the OHS class of 1958, and I  am also a devout fan of Roy's.
I knew him when I was car-hopping at Wendell's drive-in on 17th and Grant.
The music alone on your site is much appreciated.
Michael,   I have spent a good part of this day viewing your website. I have been mesmerized! The history section is great......my grandparents O.G. & Johnnie McPherson came here in 1912 by horse and buggy.  A strange thing about folks from Odessa and also Midland.....We are not just proud to be Americans......proud to be Texans.....but we share a special sense of good fortune in being from West Texas, especially Odessa/Midland.
I attended an Elvis performance in Nov.or Dec. 1955 at the Odessa High School Auditorium. The big name in HUGE letters at the top of the poster that brought us out that night was JOHNNY CASH! Then, here in small print was this unknown someone called Elvis Presley. I was 15 at the time.  Life was never the same after that night.
I might share a few memories of mine about Roy if you are interested. In fact a guy named Larry Banning has just finished a screenplay and it is "on the coast"
now. Anyway I am written into the story of the screenplay. I just cross my fingers he got the story straight......(smile).
As I told you, Roy used to hang out at the Drive-in where I worked.....I got to know him a little myself.
Thanks again,....... BTW, Richard Porter was the one who sent me your web address........I must thank him.

Roy At Weldon's?


From: Tony Myers......PHS '61

 Ref: Billy Moore’s 16 birthday

Billy, Ken Gibson and I were buds growing up in the big O.  On The occasion of Billy’s 16th birthday I went by to pick up the Giblet on the way to OHS.  We all three went there for one year together-we went into Ken’s back yard with a shoebox and obtained a present for Billy that his Boston terrier dog had provided.  When we picked up Billy from Victory Village Ken was in the back seat and he handed Billy his “present” to the tune of happy birthday.  Upon opening his present Billy rolled down the window and threw everything out.   There were verbal exchanges and they were heated.  Billy obviously did not appreciate the present as much as Kenneth and I enjoyed giving it to him.  I have a hundred other stories of life in the big O

Tony Myers

From: Jackie Brown Worthey....PHS 1961

Hello Mike,

I was at the reunion and had a wonderful time. Sharing memories with old friends and making new friends.  It seems that everyone feels the same way I do. We grew up in a very good era. I remember my mother telling me that if she couldn’t find me at home she would just call Tommy’s and I would be there….that was my home away from home.  Thank you so much for the picture, I already have it framed and it is hanging in my home in Lubbock, Texas……. 

We were so lucky to have grown up in the age of innocence, without drugs and without all the horrible things that take place in our country today. I remember going trick or treating with my friends or going Christmas caroling and being invited in by complete strangers for hot coco or popcorn balls…riding my bicycle until dark and not being afraid….Odessa in the 50’s, it was the BEST of times. 

Thank you for the wonderful web site, please keep it going. 

Jackie (Brown) Worthey



From: Don Moore, a cousin, OHS 1961
Thanks again for the great site. Every time I go to it, I find new old memories I have not thought of in years. A few months ago I went to Odessa on business, and after I finished my business I spent 2 or 3 hours driving the streets of Odessa; it was about 2 A.M. Man the memories that came back!  I have not driven the streets of Odessa in those hours in years.  I need to do it every so often.  
It is said that the more things change, the more they stay the same. I guess that is so. After all the years, I am still connected to the Grocery business, and still involved in cars. I am re-storing an old Mercury, and my son in working on 1965 Mustang Fastback as well as  an IMCA race car, plus, my grandson has an old 1967 Ford pick-up. Together we share a race car that we run on dirt tracks every week. The one thing that has not changed is that I am still married and very much in Love with the same Lady.  (Twylah Boyce).
Seems like our families have come together, grew apart, and back involved again several times over the years. Thanks for the memories and take care.
Don Moore

From Oscar, Froggie, Bourg-----OHS 1961 

Mike I had a hard time remembering you.  I did remember you with a lot of hair.  I couldn't really remember you until I saw the picture of you, your wife, Nancy, and Judy.  I lived down the street from Judy, so that is when I met you.  I was just e-mailing Phil Vincent, and I thought I would send him your web site.  I didn't realize he was a star, so I am sure he already knows about it.  Anyway, I decided to explore more, and I didn't realize there was so much on it.  I don't know if you are still collecting info, but one of those pictures you didn't know why you had it is a school picture from San Jacinto.  Some of the people in it are Donita Morton, Donny Donnelly,(his sister introduced George Bush to Laura), Janice Pursley, Ann Henderson, Becky Webb, Wanda DehaHart, and Jack Westerfield.
I really did appreciate your efforts, because so much of our lives was centered around Tommy's.  It really did and does bring back good memories.  Even mentioning Sherry brought back memories.  Do you have any of the E-mail addresses of the people who wrote you?  I hope all is well with and if you ever want to go skiing, you are more than welcome to come to Salt Lake.  I teach skiing at Snowbird. 
Thanks Froggie

From Darlene Brady Kinser.....OHS 1965
Thank you for creating your website.  A friend in Florida (originally from Odessa) sent it to me, and I thoroughly enjoyed the nostalgia.  You certainly captured the time. 
I graduated from OHS in '65, and those cohesive times continued for a few years for those neighborhoods split between Bowie and Bonham (before Hood Jr. High was finished) and then on to OHS.  I had many friends at PHS from my 7th grade at Bonham, and two of my very close friends went with and later married PHS students.  We all had the same experience at Nicky's.  Poor Nicky; I don't think he ever made enough money off of us.  He told us that after the class of '65 graduated, nothing was the same.
I was one of the ones who didn't have her own car.  One night I begged to take our '60 Chevy Impala (white with turquoise interior) to Nicky's.  My dad, who worked in the oilfield and had to have a car to drive on his days, warned me that the battery was getting low and not to sit with the radio on.  Well, you can guess what I did.  I sat at Nicky's with friends, with the radio on.  We all pushed the Chevy out into the circle, and another friend, Jimmy Hill, who drove a '57 Chevy said he would push me to get it started.  As he was pushing me with his car, I hit a deep pothole, my bumper dropped down, and most of the tail light covers (remember, there were many) on  the fins were broken. 
I was scared to death to tell mye dad what I had done because I recalled the rukus after my sister (OHS about '56-'58 but didn't graduate) and her boyfriend wrecked a previous car, a '54 Ford.  She had let the boyfriend drive, but they lied about it and said my sister was driving.  The truth finally came out, and my dad had NO respect for that boy afterward, saying that a man is only as good as his word. Yep, my sister later married him (& later divorced).
I finally went in the house, chin to chest, and confessed my wrongdoing.  Daddy followed me back to the car, surveyed the damage and said, "Oh, don't worry about it.  I can replace those light covers tomorrow."  I knew then and there that my dad and I had a very different relationship that he and my sister had.
Actually, even in my marriage today, I know more about car models than my husband. I had two brothers.  The younger one had a black '68 Mustang, and the older one sanded and painted my mom's a '54 Ford convertible candy apple red and put a new black softtop on it.  The paint cracked all over, and he had to resand and paint it a flat red.  We even had a '59 Chevy (remember that ugly thang)?
Anyway, again, thanks for the memories. 

Hi Mike,  We had supper last sunday with Melvin and Carol McCullum and Melvin sent me the address of your website. It is very nice and most certainly brings back a lot of memories. I am David Hubbard. I moved to Odessa in '47 when my Dad got transferred there by Halliburton. We first lived at the LYNN MOTOR COURT on 2nd street because there were no houses to live in after the war and then we moved to 1212 West 24th Street where we lived from 1954 until 1962 ( when I went into the NAVY).

I remember you and Alford Smallwood very well. I was red headed, and now I am gray and nearly bald. Melvin told me that Alford passed away.

 I drove a '55 Ford that was eventually painted Pontiac Limefire Green. I was a member of the Odessa Quarter Horses. I ran around with Mike Martz, Johnny Green, Bill Lisenbee and others.

We were lucky to have Tommy Lombardo. At the time the city tried several times to cause him some problems which was strange - because Tommy probably did more to keep us all straight as anyone could have. When I first saw the movie AMERICAN GRAFFITI  I just knew that someone had been to Tommys and had written about it. I seemed to be able to put a name on every character in the movie. I spent 4 years, 25 days and 14 hours in the service. Two of those were in Viet Nam. I dreamt many a night about a #8 from TOMMYs. I've always wondered what ever happened to Jay, the cook.

I have so many memories - it's unreal. One day, I was sitting at the front right at the glass eating steak fingers and I got up to go get some more of the ketchup with pickle sauce when a car careened off of the Andrews highway and came through the front glass windows where I had been sitting.  I also remember when ( I think it was you) you stepped in to help Joe Cochran keep from being beaten to death next to the college by the Drive In.  I saw lots of stuff there. It was in fact a second home to a lot of us.

 I have always had a place in my heart for that place.. I like your website - Thanks, David Hubbard

From Dean Cope  OHS 1962
Hello, Mike
I don't know if you remember me or not, but you and I had the same PE period our senior year. One thing I remember was that we were playing football on the same team and you were the quarterback.  We had the ball when it was time the coach called us in.  We ran one more play and I went into the end zone and I bet you threw the ball from the fifty yard line and I dove to catch the ball and had it in my hands when I hit the ground and it bounced out of my hands.   I thought it was a very good throw, but I messed up on it.   Man you could throw the ball.
I love your web site, and man what memories you guys bring back!  I lived in Goldsmith, but I knew many of the guys that have written to you.  I graduated 1962.   I didn't not know you lived in Notrees.   I played Little League baseball in Goldsmith and we played a team from Notrees.  Wayne King played for them at the time and you might have played on the team also. When I played we didn't have a home run fence but we did have lights back there.  I played center field and when King came up to bat, we fielders had to go back behind the lights so we could at least be back there when the ball got there.  I don't think we ever caught the ball, and we couldn't get the ball back to keep him from making a home run.
I do camping, and once I was check into a campground in Ruidosa, NM in 2007; when I gave the girl my check, she asked me if the plant outside of Goldsmith was still running.  I said yes and I then asked her if she was from Goldsmith as I didn't recognize her.  She said she was Judy Brown from Notrees.  What a surpise to run into someone from Notrees.  I didn't know Judy, but I knew her sister Diane.  We had a good visit down memory lane there, too.
I cruised Tommy's, Day's and Speedway.  That was a very good time to grow up and I'm glad I was there.
Anyway, thanks for the memories.
Dean Cope
From: Wayne Bailey, OHS 1957
Enjoyed your site and the stories therein.  Very well written.  I graduated from OHS in 1957.  I remember Carl and all the nifty cars of the time (we couldn't afford one).
I think I know who it was that threw the history book...
My Dad is in the photo of the 1927 Yellowjackets football team.  First row, sitting...last one on the right.
As someone mentioned to my brother sometime ago, "Odessans are....different".

From:  Sharon Hickman Hauerland OHS 1960
Dear Michael,
I want to thank you for writing the piece on life and on firsts (Time Is A Funny Thing). I have often said that if I had known what life was going to bring me, I would have crawled under my bed at age 12 and never come out.  But after reading your piece, I can now be very thankful for all the wonderful things that I have been blessed with and all the exciting "firsts" and I look forward to all the exciting things that are left to be.
Take care!
Like some others, Sharon and I have shared many emails since recently rediscovering one another and  we have shared many stories, some of them include amazing coincidences of knowing many people in common.  Many Odessans have had wildly interesting lives and I have enjoyed hearing about them.  Thank You Sharon, and Thank You to the many others who took time to write and share.  Michael Lewis Moore

From:  Patrick Thompson of El Paso

Hi Michael

I stumbled across your site when I googled Carlton Trigg, a Kappa Sig fraternity brother in the early 60s at Texas Western (now UTEP).  A friend from El Paso, Bluford Sanders, and I were recalling Carlton for some reason the other day and I was curious about what was online. I think his dad sent him to El Paso to see if he could groom him to takeover KROD (KOSA’s sister station) It was 24X7 party time for him instead.  I used to lecture Carlton to no avail about throwing money away.  

Carlton was, as you wrote, one fun-loving hell raiser in the old fashioned sense.  When he got to El Paso in 1962 or 63, he was in a new Thunderbird that his Daddy bought to send him off to college. Who knows what happened to the Red Chevy. ( note from Mike:  I TOLD HIM) In June 1964, Carlton took me home to Odessa and we grilled steaks at his home before we headed back to El Paso. We did not stop at Tommy’s, but at a local honky tonk, of course. 

I was saddened to hear that Carlton died as he lived, on a bender from what I was told.  (I have been sober for 20 years – no doubt could have ended up that way myself.) 

I see you played baseball, my favorite love. I still play in Over 60 and Over 65 tournaments in Arizona (MSBL) and Florida (Roy Hobbs).  I have had teammates from South Dakota (I see your wife is from Rapid City) 

My wife and I have lived in Minnesota since 1968, a long time removed from those wild days in the 60s, and don’t get home to Texas very often.  

Best regards,

Pat Thompson   



Nancy Schwartz, Bluford Sanders, Trigg and Dianne
In El Paso around 62-63, picture by Bluford Sanders

Below is text relating to the above picture
From Bluford Sanders, A college classmate and friend of Trigg's

The attached photo is of carlton, Nancy Schwartz, me (Blu Sanders), and
Dianne. Nancy was from El Paso and she was attending the University of Arizona
along with her friend Dianne. (Can't remember last name) I Don't know where Dianne is from, but she was my "blind" date. Carlton called me and set me for all this.  About a week or so before this Carlton and I went to A.B.Poe Car Dealership which was located on Texas Street in El Paso. Trigg was looking for a new Plymouth, and apparently he bought one. He comes by and picks me up in his a Plymouth convertible with the top down. We picked up our dates and off we went to Juarez. I don't remember where the picture was taken or exactly when, but I would guess it was either the Lobby, or the Kentucky club, or maybe Submarine. It could have even been Maxfim's. We probably drank at all of them that night. The time of the picture is either 1962 or 1963. I remember Dianne and I were in the back seat with Carlton driving and Nancy was next to him with the top still down. By this time we were back in El Paso  and it was around 2 a.m. and Carlton stops the car in the middle of the intersection of Stanton and Rio Grande. He pulls Nancy over close to him and he wants her to kiss him. She refuses, but he insists. Back and forth they go. We're sitting in the back seat watching the show. I don't remember how it turned out, but nobody was arrested!  
Carlton had the "Landshire Sandwich" franchise in El Paso and
maybe even Midland-Odessa. You could pull into the local Circle k or 7/11, pick
out your ready made sandwich, pop it into the microwave at the counter, pay
the attendant and there you have it--a hot lunch. He traveled to Missouri to
meet the franchise owner. I don't remember if carlton was going to buy him
out or expand his franchise interest. He loved the sauce.
Not a month goes by that I don't think of carlton. A beautiful great

From Michael Martin--- PHS 1965 
Hello Michael Lewis Moore,
My name is Michael David Martin and I own The Golden Cue at 14th and North Grant.  I graduated from Permian High School in 1965 and have lived in Odessa since 1951.  I was not part of the crowds that you mention in your article, but I remember quite a bit from the days that you mention.  At The Golden Cue, I have actual pictures of the building when it was Groves Drug across from Day's Drive-in and I have photos of when the Golden Cue was originally on 27th Street, now University, just east of Grant.  I would be very interested in the possibility of displaying your painting in my facility. I have many customers who play pool regularly there and are of the age to be from the same era your article is about.  Please let me know if you are interested or would like to discuss old times.  Oh, just a little tidbit of info, my mother dated Lewis Ashby (the Bonneville Salt Flats racer) in the 60's.
Mike Martin
(From Mike Moore--I furnished him with a poster of Tommy's Drive in for his business to display)

Hi, My name is Ralph Woods, Jr.  I just wanted you to know that I really enjoyed your site.  My mother Hazel Woods and my uncle, Jerry Nealy, both worked for Tommy’s.  My mother spent the majority of the ‘60’s working at Tommy’s successor, Nicky’s Drive-In, owned then by Nicky and Shirley Bean.  Along with “Fabled Fords” you should also have “Fabled Foods” included in your site.  Hamburgers were outstanding, but the steak fingers and steak sandwiches were to die for!  There’s nothing like those fresh, hand-breaded meats.  During one of Shirley Beans’ pregnancys, she had a constant craving for pickles.  Noting this, my mother decided to experiment with some of the other condiments and by chance she invented Pickle Chips!  I wish she had put a patent on those!  I’ve seen those on the menu’s of everything from Sonic’s to steak houses.  My mother would eventually strike out on her own and she opened Hazel’s Big Bee Burger several blocks north of the old Tommy’s site in the early ‘70’s.  She operated the establishment until her untimely death in 1991.   

While we were growing up, whenever a baby-sitter didn’t show up, my mother would have to take us Nicky’s while she worked.  I can remember the huge crowds that would constantly circle the place.  It was a real-life “American Graffitti”.

Again, thanks for your site.    Ralph Woods, Jr.


From: Larry Davisson, OHS 1959

Mike,  I saw the article in the Odessa American this morning (about drag racing in the 50s) and immediately checked your website out.  It brought back lots of memories for sure.  I appreciate your   effort in helping those of us relive some of the best years of our life.  We will be having our 50 year OHS reunion in 'September and  if it is possible,  I want to put your web address on our next mail out to all of our class.


 Larry Davisson

Joyce McCarty Greenlee OHS 1959

I have been reading your "Tommy's" website.  We have a link on our
www.ohs59.com site.  I remember all the fun times at Tommy's, Speedway, Ottos. You have really done a great job of capturing our town in the '50's.  We moved there in 1948.  I remember that there were almost no places available for living.  Our family lived several different places before my dad moved us out to the "camp" at Odessa Natural Gas, west of town.  There were lots of different "camps" out that way and our bus stopped at most of them on the way into school and home again.

Thanks for your hard work and wealth of information you have put together.

Joyce (McCarty) Greenlee
OHS Class of 1959

From:  Ron McCleskey  PHS 1961
It's been 50 years, seems like only yesterday.
Thanks for the memories,
Lt. Colonel R.L. McCleskey, USMC (Retired)


From: Jim Mayo........OHS 1961

Mike,  What an enjoyable website. I graduated from OHS in 1961........I remember Tommy Lombardo as a counselor to many of us trying to make it through our teenage years.......Tommy’s and the 1950s era has had an impact on my career. As a Professor of Urban Planning at the University of Kansas, I teach a course entitled 20th Century American Landscape. My students appreciate my recalling the antics of those days, such as the cars parading around Tommy’s to meet people and the general hubbub of Grant Street as a commercial strip..............I have fond memories of Odessa and those days as do the others who have responded to your efforts here. 

Cheers, Jim

Jim Mayo, Ph.D......Graduate Program in Urban Planning........School of Architecture and Urban Planning.........University of Kansas.

From:  Bruce Porter,,,,,,Odessa and Fort Stockton
Just wanted you to know how much I enjoy you site. I have lived in Odessa for 31 years and it's nice to hear the stories. I was born and raised in Fort Stockton Texas and enjoy reliving some of my old memories...AAAHHH those were the days.


From: Pat Holland McPherson  PHS 61



Your website has brought back many memories of my teenage years in Odessa!   Here’s one…..The Tri-Hi-Y clubs always had an initiation night for new members.  One of our rituals was to pick up the new members and drive around Tommy’s Drive-In for hours…and hours…and hours!  The problem was how to get enough cars and enough drivers for all the new members.  Fortunately (or unfortunately for my brother, Tommy, OHS Class of ’59), my dad owned and operated Holland’s Automotive Service on the Andrews Highway (Talk about cars!  That’s another story for another email.)  Of course, Dad had a pickup.  One year, along with some of my friends such as Pat Hewitt, Linda Gillham, and Glenda Brewer, I convinced my brother to do the driving for our club.  I am sure he was not thrilled, but he did it.  Some of his friends like Buddy New and Punk Cozby may have been with him, but even though Carlton Trigg was one of my brother’s friends, I can guarantee that he was not with us.  Carlton was way too cool for that!  (As a side note, I remember being very nervous around Carlton.  He was definitely a walk on the wild side.)  We piled into the bed of the pickup that night and cruised Tommy’s until our drivers got bored with us and our screaming.................What a great memory! ..................In addition to those characters I’ve mentioned above, my memory’s eye can see many of the teenagers we once were.  I can see Butch and Kay and Bill Jr. and Billy Don Massey, Alecia Hemphill, Tony Harries, Mike Cooper, Larry Meinzer, Pam Forbus, Helen Joyce Wheeler, Janet and Janice Pursley, Ann Henderson and many, many more.  Until I read your website, I didn’t realize how much of those times and how many of those people I can remember.......................My sister, Judye, PHS, Class of ’64, does not have the strong recollections of Tommy’s Drive-In as do my brother and I.  Unfortunately, she missed the golden years, but I think you are absolutely right about Tommy’s.  That special place defined a unique time for a certain group of kids.  I’m happy to have been part of it....................By the way, Pat Hewitt Hatchell and I have maintained a life-long friendship – about 55 years.  We both lost our husbands recently and have found ourselves gathering strength from each other and our shared memories.  Your website has reminded us of how fortunate we were to have met and lived out our young lives in Odessa – a lot of it at Tommy’s Drive-In! ................Thank you!...................One more:  Your piece on the Ector Theater is great. I remember being a young 6th grade girl spending Saturday afternoons there with Billy Don Massey! 

Pat (Holland) McPherson, PHS, Class of ‘61......Sam Houston Elementary, Bowie Junior High, OHS, PHS


From: Darrell Wood OHS 195?
Darrell Wood.....OHS

Hey Mike, Great job on your site.  It brought back names I haven't thought of for years!  Keep up the good work.
Your old Notrees buddy,
Darrell Wood.
From Nancy Best Bradshaw.....OHS 1962
Darlene Byrd Mullenweg put me on to this site.  What fun.  I knew some of the girls from a Capri dinner dance--recognized Ann Henderson on the far right and Ann Griffith is standing next to me.  In the school group picture, I recognized Donita Morton, Ann Henderson and Becky Webb, I think.  Thanks for doing this.  Keep me on your mailing list. 
 Nancy Best Bradshaw 

From: Mike Martin, Owner of the Golden Cue in Odessa
Wow, what a suprise when we opened the Odessa American this morning. (May 17th 2009)  Another two page article about Tommy's and the Golden Cue!  It has a big picture of the post card of the Golden Cue and a color picture of Tommy's. We have been getting a lot of interest in the pictures we have hung up. Everyone stops and looks and reads and startes talking about the old times. There was a man in here yesterday who was in town and came by and was suprised it still looked the same and looked up a guy he went to school with who he hadn't seen in 18 years and he came over and they played pool for several hours. Thanks for helping us keep the "old" times alive. Take care.
 Mike and Sue
(Owner Mike Martin refers to Odessa American reporter Ken Brodnax and the article he wrote on old hangouts in Odessa.  Ken extensively quoted my Day's Drive-In essay on this website and used photos I helped provide.  Needless to say, I enjoy his writing!)

You can read Ken's story by clicking on the link below.  

From: Cathy Hoak, Daughter of the owner of Day's Drive-in
Hi!  A friend passed along your website address to me because she knew I would find it interesting.  I have just spent a great deal of time enjoying it.  My Dad (Lawrence Day) and my uncle (Roy Day) were a part of the drive-in scene in the 50's and 60's.  By the time I reached high school my friends congregated at A & W on 8th street, but I spent many days and evenings sitting in a booth at Day's drive-in watching all of the "older" kids circle the drive-in and hang out and doing my homework.  I also spent many Friday and Saturday nights staying with my Dad to close-up the drive and go to breakfast afterwards.  My friends thought that was a real treat! ha! 
Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for the website.  Having grown up in Odessa, I enjoyed it thoroughly.  I do have a nice picture of Day's Drive-In probably from the very early 60's, if you are interested I can send you a copy.  My Dad passed away in 1987, but my Mom is still going strong at 86.  I can't wait to share your website with her.  Thanks again for the trip down memory lane! 
Cathy Hoak

From Mike Kelley PHS 1965
In reading about Day's Drive In .... I had to smile. 
Sometime during my junior high years, I applied at Day's Drive In for a summer job (not sure of the year).  Lawrence Day hired me to be a soda jerk.  I thought, "That would be easy enough."  And it was, until ......
One day the cook didn't show up.  Mr. Day told me I'd be the cook. I'd never cooked anything .... I only knew how to fix my cereal in the mornings!!  I had no idea what I was doing and he came to the kitchen to help me.  He told me I was worthless as a cook.  I agreed.  So he ended up cooking all day.
Then one day he was short a car hop and told me to head out to the cars and take orders.  I thought, "This should be a snap."  Four guys were in the first car I went out to.  They looked to be OC students ....  much older than me.  When I asked the driver if I could help them, he looked at me and said, "What time do you get off, honey?"  I went in and told Mr. Day ... "I quit!!!"  And I did.
Everytime I drive by that place, I always think of that day.  Funny now, but traumatic to a young junior high kid back then .... 


From: Larry Bradfield..........
You'd probably have to be from West Texas to believe this. When I was growing up, an independent oil operator, D.L.Dorland, lived about three miles down the road from our camp. He had a daughter, Linda, and son, Jimmy, who were about my age - Jimmy a year older and Linda a year younger. Linda and I had a puppy love thing going for several years from about nine years old to fourteen - when I moved to Oklahoma for a year and a half. For Linda's 12th birthday ( I was 13 at the time ) , her dad gave her 1951 starlight roof Ford, V-8. Of course you couldn't get a driver's license until you were 14, but that didn't seem to stop anyone. That car was my first introduction to drive in movies and we were really too young at the time to take advantage of it...that came a couple of years later. Looking back I get the shakes when I think of driving around with a 12 year old girl in charge of a V-8 Ford. What were my parents thinking.?? As you pointed out, we were the first generation with access to cars at a young age and our elders didn't seem to quite have the grasp of it yet. Jimmy, at age 16, had his own Piper Cub....!
A funny nouveau riche story....D.L . had a swimming pool dug for his kids usin the oil field contractors to dig and cement it. It never occurred to anyone to put a drain in the thing, so every month they called in a Halliburton pump truck to pump it out while the kids scrubbed the moss off the cement walls...It's a wonder we all didn't get polio..it was just like swimming in a cow tank most of the time...Chlorine ? What's that?

From:  Eileen Suggs.......PHS 1964
Wow!..What a great site!  Congratulations, and thank you!

From:  Douglas Goodgame,  OHS 1957
Hi Michael.
I was cruising the Web looking for old classmates (OHS '57) and discovered your interesting and memory back-tracking site.  Thanks much for building it. One somewhat coincidental point:  We moved to Odessa in 1948 and bought a house next door to the Smallwood's out on Adams and east 16th street.  Alford  Smallwood and his older brother (Winfred) were dear friends and grade school chums at Alamo elementary.  In about 1952 or 53 they moved to a home north of Odessa College where their parents (Arch and Stella) continued to live out their lives. After they moved I didn't see them much since Winfred dropped out of school and Alford was four grades behind me in school.  I remember one thing quite clearly about the three Smallwood boys: as long as I knew them I never once witnessed them commit a mean or ornery incident, and that I admired.
The last time I saw Alford and Winfred was in Austin, TX back about 1971.  Alford was running a painting contracting business and Winfred was doing cabinet work. We visited at Alford's shop and talked old times one evening.  Eventually all three boys (including Millard the youngest) moved to Austin and vowed to never return to dry West Texas.  In the 1980s, I heard that Alford remarried, moved to Florida and had a child. My aunt and uncle, who still live in Odessa, saved the obituary of Alford's death in Victoria, TX.  Millard, the youngest brother, also died some years ago in Marble Falls, I believe.  Last I heard, Winfred still lives here in Austin and Veda Lee, their sister, still resides in Odessa.  Do you know the circumstances of Alford's death? Was he in poor health?
In that picture of the 7th grade Bowie football team showing Alford, do you know if the McCallum boy was related to Veda Lee's husband? I think her married name is McCallum. If that is true, then I knew this McCallum boy since he hung around with Alford while they lived on Adam street.
I return to that much changed city a couple of times each year to visit the relatives. Perhaps there are others, but I know of only one business still in the same location and selling the same stuff and that is the Southern Made Doughnut shop on 8th street about four blocks east of Grant.
Oh yes, I was going to OC when Trigg hit the ditch at the drive in. I did not know Carlton but I knew his brother Steve (OHS '56).  Steve and I shared a history class and an incident with coach Hayden Fry who taught the class.  Apparently, Steve and his brother were polar opposites in personality.
Regards and thanks again,
Doug Goodgame
Austin, TX

From: Janice Woodson.....OHS 1961
Hi Mike,    
 It took reading your website (in fact couldn’t stop until it was completely read) and looking at the pictures, but I remembered who you are. Our picture is in the Photo Gallery, Odessa Country Club, "Cimbri" Dinner about 1957 or 1958, not sure which.  You are with Judy Childers and I, Janice Woodson, OHS '61, was with Jerry Huffman (Moore) (my first puppy love), and Sissy Childers and John Wayne Gray.  We were all in Junior High at the time.  I went to Bowie and attended San Jacinto Elementary, in fact lived one house from San Jacinto on West 20th Street. My sister, Lynnette Corbell, OHS '69 and brother, Tim Corbell, OHS '79, frequented "Nicky's" during their days in OHS, but Tommy's was still the best.  Lunch at Tommy's was absolutely crazy and we did good to get to eat and make it back to OHS and not be late.  


I saw Elvis at the West County Auditorium too and we used to dance to Roy Orbison at Bonham Jr. High when he played at a few "Assemblies.  I also remember dancing in 1961 to the "Buddy Holly Band with Waylon Jennings” in Lubbock when the Choir went on tour.


 I just spent two days last week (June 16 & 17, 2009) with two of my oldest high school friends, Sue Kerley and Sandra Riggs, both OHS '61.  We talked non-stop for two days and shared memories and old pictures, i.e. "The Bowie Choir".   Sue is the one that sent me your website.  She got it from her older brother, Bill Kerley, but not sure when he graduated, but he did go to OHS.


Your memories are awesome and I remember almost all of the folks you mentioned, i.e., Carlton Trigg – I remember that incident at Tommy's.  The girls, the boys, the schools, Day's Drive Inn, Green's and don't forget Roy's Drive Inn, all are icons never to be forgotten. 


I have forwarded the website to my ex-husband, Mike Ware, OHS 1962-1963, and to our children and grandchildren to keep for part of their "legacy and of their deep Odessa/West Texas roots".


The memories of those days still linger and shall forever remain in my heart.  Thank you for putting it all in writing and photos for all of us to share and re-live. 


If you know of anyone planning a 50 Year Class Reunion (2011), please keep me updated.  That will be another Event to Remember. 


By the way, do you still live in Round Rock?  I have lived in Bastrop since 1999, but before that I lived in Austin from 1976 to 1999. Hope to hear from you and others.


Janice Woodson, OHS 1961  

email: JWoods4380@aol.com  



From: Ida Sue Vaden OHS 1960
Hi Mike,
I was searching the web for info about our 50th OHS reunion (class of 1960) when I came across your website and read your article about Tommy's Drive Inn.  With tears, chills, and laughter, I could not stop reading and hunger for more.  I too love the era we grew up in.  My name was Ida Sue Vaden and I lived in Goldsmith and would take my parents car to "buzz" Tommy's Drive Inn.  It was a long drive, but worth it to see my friends and experience all that was being a teen-ager in those days.  I dated Tommy Thompson at that time and he and Phil Parker were also into cars and racing.  I visited with Phil and Susan (Muns) last week while I was in Midland visiting my Mother.  Nostalgia seems to be all around me lately.
I also remember Roy Orbison singing at the youth center and sock hops.  I do still love that music.  OHS is planning a centennial celebration for Sept. 26, 2009 and my Mother sent me a newpaper clipping requesting memorabilia from those early years.  Today I found my cheerleading outfit, Homecoming picture, commencement program, etc., etc. and got on the internet to see what I could find out about friends.  I am so happy that I could spend this Sunday afternoon reading your memories of those years...while listening to Larry Gatlin and Roy Orbison.
Thank you...and I am going to read more now.  You are a wonderful writer.
Sue Horn
(Ida Sue Vaden)

From: Kris Donley
Hi...Just saw your site and I wanted to say "Thanks"! What a nostalgic trip!
I moved to Odessa with my parents in 1953 when I was 3 mos. old; so I do not remember too much until 4th birthday party at the house that my mother lives in to this day.
I and my cousins spent most of our youth and adolescence in Odessa.  They were there all of their lives; while I was there through most of Jr. High before moving to Central Texas and on to Austin for college.
The drag racing phenomena was something in the early 60's and I remember walking to Crest Drug (earlier Gay Drug) at the corner of 36th and now Dixie having some sort of race track in its soda fountain area for
kids to race their model dragsters.  I have to admit, I was there mainly as my interest in boys increased and the Drug store had a respectable array of troll dolls and toys by hasbro.  But where there were drag car models,
there were boys my age hovering about, and my girlfriends and I learned pretty quickly, that in spite, of our developmental rythmn differences, if you acted the least bit interested in their cars, the boys seemed more
interested in you.  ---good to know....
But my cousins were older, and I do remember the drive-ins.  They had cars and were often saddled with babysitting my latency aged self--so, we'd head to some drive-in somewhere.  I would be bribed with short order items in exchange for dumbing up as they flirted with their intended crush du jour.   More than a couple of times, I spilled too many beans and paid dearly for it at the next family gathering.
Anyway, besides a Gratitude note...I do have a question for you.
There was a sheet music store at the corner of University (then 27th street) and Dixie (then East County Rd).  The northwest corner to be exact and I've often tried to remember the name
of that store.  Any memory of such a place?  It was on the corner of the strip with the Piggly Wiggly (now a Mason lodge I believe)
I'd appreciate some help on this one.  And if not, well se la vi...the sentimental journey was worth the effort!  Thanks again for the memory jog and the tribute to a town that I learned a long time ago to dig a little beneath the
surface of in order to find its beauty!
Kris Donley
Austin Texas

From: Charlotte Willard Parkhurst  PHS 1961
Just went back and looked at your page again and love it.  Brings back so many memories.  They really were wonderful days and we made lots of memories.  Thank you for taking the time to put it together for all of us to enjoy.  What a treasure. 
Hi Mike
Just a quick update on  your "Voices from the Past".  I had reported that Bob Hardwick who played bass for the Poor Boys was alive and well and living in Houston.  Bob died on 22 April.  One of his closest friends, who also has a note posted on this site, Jerry Wallace (Wallace Signs) died two days later.  I still speak with Carl Bunch on occasion.  He is in fairly good health altho' his sight is gone.  Also spoke with Stan Campbell, who lives in Oklahoma.  He seems to be doing well.
We are in Rockwall, just outside Dallas and are hosting a mini-reunion on 24 Oct at our home on the banks of beautiful Lake Ray Hubbard.  It's primarily for the Dallas gang of the OHS '58 but after 50 years, who's checking ID's at the door.  Anyone from OHS/PHS who wants to come just email me rlp4129@aol.com so I can have enough brisket.
Warm regards
Richard Porter


From:  Sally Smith  OHS 1963
I think I am sitting here writing to Mike Moore, the site was sooooo 
much fun, I for one, spent endless hours at Tommy's driving my "hot" 
white 59 ford convertible, wow that car was awesome.

I went to San Jacinto, Bowie and OHS......go Broncos.  I have an older 
sister Susan who lives in McKinney, Tx.  I lived in Dallas for years 
and now live in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico but I go back and forth a lot.

I would love to hear from you and to know what you are doing and how 
you are.

Kindest Regards,
Sally Smith

From:  Fred Forster III 
I certainly enjoyed the article about Tommy's Drive-In in today's Odessa American and visiting the website which was a huge trip down "Memory Lane" for me. I remember having to duck down in the back seat of the car when my sister, Elaine Forster, and her friends would circled the place. They didn't want to be seen with her little brother in the car. Also, I read the tribute to Vance. My family moved to 3103 Windsor in 1961, when I was 10. Dee and I were friends and I helped him roll the OA and then would go with him in the TR-3 to deliver the papers in the neighborhood. I still see Dee on occasions in Ruidoso at the race track.
Elaine passed away in December 2007, after a long bout with cancer. She graduated from St Mary's Hall in 1961, and never left San Antonio. I have no idea where her Odessa friends are i.e. Beth (?)Griffith, Joyce Hull, Jeannie Matthews, Tanner Mayhan, etc.  She went to San Jacinto & Bowie before heading off to SA in the 10th grade. I went to San Jacinto, Burnet, Bonham, and was in the last 9th grade class at Permian before I headed off to NMMI.
 I would like to buy a print of your Tommy's painting if they are available and I am looking forward to updates,
Fred Forster III

From: Michelle Abel
Great site.
Found out about it in the Odessa American
I noticed your piece on Grandfalls. My son played basketball at Grandfalls last year. It was alot of fun. He was on a homeschool team from the Midland/Odessa area and we drove to Grandfalls a couple of times. They have a new/ modern gym but the kids also played in the older gym in the other building. Beautiful building with wooden bleachers.
I will take pictures and send them to you if we make it there again. I wish there was a soda shop there still. I did see a library though.
Thanks for all of your hard work on recording your memories. That is a real blessing to others. Thanks.
Michelle Abel

From: Sally Smith Ochoa.........OHS 1963
I think I am sitting here writing to Mike Moore; the site was sooooo 
much fun, and I for one, spent endless hours at Tommy's driving my "hot" 
white 59 ford convertible, wow that car was awesome.

I went to San Jacinto, Bowie and OHS......go Broncos.  I have an older 
sister Susan who lives in McKinney, Tx.  I lived in Dallas for years 
and now live in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico but I go back and forth a lot.

I would love to hear from you and to know what you are doing and how 
you are.

Kindest Regards,
Sally Smith


From: Pam Jarrell Floyd.....PHS 1964

Mike, ILoved your website and all the artwork, stories, etc.  My one question is, as a driving member of Tommy’s (PHS ’64), who was Tommy’s cook?  Even though our sole purpose was to cruise around and hunt for friends, we did love to indulge in Tommy’s steak fingers.  Would be nice to know the name of the cook. 

Thank you for all the nostalgia, 

Pam “Jarrell” Floyd

(Of course she is asking about Hazel Woods) 


From:  Billy Puckett...OHS 1960

Mike, thank you for the site.  Or as we would say, the cool site.  I am a 1960 graduate of OHS but also consider PHS a great school as a lot of my friends graduated from there.  You rightfully brought up the point that we were the first teenagers to have our own cars and we cherished them.  Teens today do not understand how much we really knew about them as cars today are so difficult to work on.  We had to keep them running if we were going to cruise Tommy's.  As most have pointed out, this was a special time and a special place and I am so glad I was a part of it. 

Bill Puckett
From  a momma
As a senior adult that had a daughter that grew up during this era and attended Odessa High School, I have thoroughly enjoyed going down memory lane and remembering events, places and people.
Thank you for a great documentary.  Dorothy McKelvey, Odessa, Texas.  Daughter:  Donna McKelvey. 
 From Gerry Page
Hi Mike,
Just ran across your site, all I can say is awesome great site. I spent a good portion of my youth in and around Odessa. I am sure that our paths crossed once or twice during that time. My mother was a single mom and we moved around a lot. I went to either Alamo or Austin elementary 5-6th then to Bonham 7th   grade, even went out for football but moved before the first game. The only guy I
remember was Johnny Carruth. One of the wild ones. I do remember a guy lived
down the block from us only had one arm but he tried out for football also.
Don't remember his name.    At one time or another I was enrolled in every Jr. High in Odessa ending up at Crockett finish out 8th grade then on to OHS where I almost finished my junior year but dropped out. I was one of the walking, at the mercy of my friend Tommy Curtis Scott who had a 50 Ford and we made Tommy's our second home. I left Odessa in 61 and hitch hiked out to Ca.  

I finally got my dream car after I joined the Army. I have attached a
photo I think you will appreciate it. Taken at Fort Bragg early 63. (shown below) 

Mike you have a great site and I am still enjoying it. Thank you.  

Notice Austin.rr on your email address Do you live in Austin?  My
wife and I will be taking a nation wide road trip later this year and will
be spending time in Texas. Maybe we could meet for a drink or something.  
"Thanks for the memories"  

Best wishes and God Bless  

Gerry Page

taken in 1963

From: Mike Wiese  PHS 62

Just a little bit of trivia here. It's obvious that you are still a big Roy Orbison fan from way back, and I can understand why as Roy was a hell of an artist with that very rare and unique gift of voice that allowed him to span multiple octaves in a song. Akin to opera singers, really. And when I  say hell of an artist, I mean an artist that is rarely seen today in the sense that Roy wrote much of his own material - not only for himself, but for others -- and he did ( at first) all of his own arranging. Plus he could play a very good lead guitar himself on a lot of his recordings. Very few out there today who can do it all as Roy did. Buddy was another one like Roy who was the complete artist in my opinion.
I ran across an Orbison site that brought back a lot of childhood memories for me. And it was when Roy  & his band were just beginning to make a name for themselves around Odessa.
When my family first moved to Odessa, we lived in the Walnut Apartments on Walnut street in Odessa. Don't know if you recall these apartments, but they were just north of and right across the street from Bellaire Park on 31st street.
 My family and I had moved from these apartments to our first home, but I had many old chums and friends who still lived in the Walnut Apartments at that time. I would go back and hang around there and see these old chums every so often. One evening,  we all heard this great noise coming from the very end duplex on Walnut just right across from the park. We all went down there to see what in the hell was going on, and there was Roy and his band out on the front porch of their duplex just jamming away and singing to beat hell. Now this was some great music. New music. Soon to be our music, and ours alone.  We were mesmerized, and we just stood there transfixed listening to all of this great music. I will never forget that some people at the Little League baseball game that was also going on in the park at the time left the game to wander on over across the park and take all of this in, too.
Several times after that,  we all would gather around that duplex of theirs and watch and listen to this great little band practicing and going through one number after another. Those great memories are all still so clear after all these years.
Will never forget that they had a little bitty guy called " Little Johnny" ( I think .... oh, the years !) )who played this huge acoustic guitar.Man, he could bang away on that thing with such energy.  Reminds me of little Paul Simon playing that huge, black acoustic guitar of his on a lot of his hits during his heyday that came years later. Roy and his bunch were great guys, too, and they all seemed to enjoy these impromptu gatherings of soon-to-be fans and followers.
Buddy is / was my favorite of all time, and I have read a couple of books about him. Try to read anything I can about him and his tragic, short life. Damn, that was a shame he had to go so soon. And after all of these years, I still miss him in a big way. Got into classical music several years back, but all that old stuff by those great artists is just as classical as any of the great classical composers in my opinion. I'll listen to several hours of classical stuff, and then put on some Buddy and crank it up. Sounds as good today as when I first heard it as a horny young buck. Like that eternal ' 57 Chevy, that music will never go out of style. Never.
I want to commend you on the exceptional web site that you put together. A work of love for you, I know, but also a great gift from you to us that is greatly appreciated by all of us guys & gals who were there during those great days of the 50's.
I've always felt, and now I have become convinced in my old age, that this country, or anywhere else in this old world for that matter, will probably never again have that golden, special, unique time that we had growing up in the 50's - very early 60's. .......  Bye Bye Miss American Pie, but we will always cherish those times.
mike wiese - Permian Class '62


From: Ed Snead..........PHS 1960
Just a few words to say how I appreciate and enjoy your website..the 50's were something!  And a special THANKS to our wonderful friend Betsy Lewis Smith for keeping me up on things....she's a special and very funny lady.  Hope to visit with all you guys in August.  Edward Snead, Permian 1960.

PS......as for that group picture of the Bonham football/Basketball/Track? team........I haven't a clue who that boy is in the upper right corner!!!!

From: Dale Falk OHS '69

Thank you so much for all this information about Odessa in the late ‘50’s and early ‘60’s. I have always been concerned all of my youth would be forgotten and to date that part of my life has been the best.

I am a 1969 graduate of OHS and very proud of that fact. I left and came back twice. I have lived in Alaska, Mississippi, Georgia and several other states in my life and been in Georgia for 16 years. But no matter where I am if asked where I am from I always say the same thing, I was raised in Odessa, Texas. I think this is only understood by people from Odessa and the proud heritage that the city gives to it’s participants. Sure football is a big part of that heritage and I still get reports each year after that Friday night game versus Permian. Even more important is the special “club” that I have always felt a part of because of my youth there. Thanks again. 

Dale Falk

My response to Dale and others:

I know so pitifully little about my parents' lives and next to nothing about their parents, so I decided I would not burden my kids with not knowing at least something about their family history.  I encourage everyone to do their little heirs a favor and at least leave them a legacy of knowing  what you know through you and what you wrote to them.  It is a gratifying thing to do.  MIchael Lewis Moore


From Richard Cummings, Curator, Parker House Museum, Odessa, Texas
Michael,  You may rest assured that I will both protect and promote the painting.  I, obviously, love it.  I forgot to mention that at our annual fundraiser event last month, I did a small local history exhibit at the back of the building that virtually everyone present checked out.  We had about 600 folks there and many of them had not been to the museum, so a whole new group got to see the painting.  Gatlin and his brothers were our featured entertainers and they looked at everything before they went onstage. Larry immediately told the story about meeting his wife, Janice at the Drive-in which was Nicky's by that time.  It was the first time he remembers seeing her and he told her then that he was going to marry her.  Several years later that statement became reality and they are still married.  She also came to party and laughed when she saw the painting and told her version of the story.  It was close to his, but funnier.  You may remember her older sister, Cheryl Moss.  They went to Ector and to O. C. and were cheerleaders and tennis players at both schools.


From:  Mary Jo Green, Ector High 1961, and Notrees 1951!


Hi Mike, this is Mary Jo (Green) Rice.  I lived in Notrees around 1951. I think we rode the same school bus. I moved into Odessa in the 4th grade. We moved around a lot for several years and I graduated from Ector in 1961. This is a hello again.   Mary Jo Rice


(I had not heard from his person since we were in elementary school together.)

From: Johnny Boone  OHS 1963

Presently sitting in a hotel room in Singapore and found your site by accident.  I have just spent the better part of 2 hours reading, remembering and enjoyed the trip back in time very much.
The names, places, events and pictures - I think I remember them all.

Thanks for the trip back in time.  I graduated from OHS in 1963, have circled Tommy's more than once and have made more than one trip through Notrees.

Thanks for making my morning,

John Boone

OHS 1963



From: Ida Sue Vaden Horn--OHS 1960



It was so good visiting with you at our reunion a couple of weeks ago.  And thank you again for the picture you gave me of Tommy's Drive in.  I am enjoying listening to Roy Orbison as I write this so I don't even want to leave the website.  I played his music as I drove from San Antonio to Odessa for the reunion so was really in the mood for all of the wonderful nostalgia that weekend.  Your website is great and thank you for all you do to keep us linked to our roots.

Sue Horn (Ida Sue Vaden)


I was doing a little bit of Research on Bonham Junior High School and came across your website.  I am presently a teacher at Bonham and the current web-master for the campus.  Do you have any pictures of the campus from its early days? Do you know when it first opened for business?  Any information would be helpful.
Tammy Owen, Bonham Juniro High
(From Mike Moore....I emailed her my memories of those opening days in the fall of 1955 and I had a couple of pictures taken on campus that I emailed her.  There were no yearbooks from those days, so if any of you have pictures of team sports or bands, or other activities you can email them here or to her at the above address.  Cheer leading pictures, etc.  This is our chance to have some of our history preserved at the old junior high school, maybe!)

From Dick Wagman, a DJ from the '50s and early '60s in Odessa.
I just love this site.  I was a DJ at radio station KOSA in the late '50s and early '60s.  On Saturday night, I would record 30 minutes of my show at 6 PM then at 10 PM, I  would play it back on the air and go to Day's Drive-inn.  Alfred always had it on the outside speakers, and I would leave when it got close to being over and go back to the the station.  Thanks again for the great site.  If I can help you add something, let me know.  Dick Wagman  


From Steve Drummond, another DJ


Richard Porter introduced me to your site.  I can relate growing up in Midland but working in radio in Odessa from 1960 thru 1967.  I spent a lot of time at Day's drive in.  Thanks for a wonderful memory making website.   Steve Drummond.    



From Sherry Martin OHS Class of 62


I grew up at Tommy's.....and all points on your site!  I have spent the afternoon reliving my wonderful teen years in one of the most unique places in the world.  No one believes me about how really different it and we were, but you know what I mean. :)  Thank you so much for this walk down memory lane.

Sherry Martin Gaillard 

Class of '62

From: David Hubbard OHS 62

Mike, I was looking at the picture of the slide rule club at Bowie Junior High;  most I can't remember, but the kid in the middle row, third from the left is Winston Belcher.  Althought Winston was a meek kid and I never saw him except at school, coming and going, he now the head of the Physics Department at MIT. 

 Winston is the person that plotted the trajectory of the space craft that went to the moon. He is a pretty famous person.

David Hubbard

From Vernon Colvin  PHS 61

Dear Michael,

I guess you got in touch with Johnny Bates who was a roommate of mine part of the time I was at UT.  After UT and some time at Texas Tech, I joined the Air Force and went to officer training school.  There I found Vance Phillips.  I was a class or so ahead of him but I did go see him.  Not that we were good friends, but we were both from Odessa.  After OTS, I went to undergraduate pilot training at Craig Air Force Base, Selma, Alabama.  A class or two later, Vance Phillips came to the same base.  Since we were not in the same class I do not have much knowledge about him, but I do have a good contact of someone who might be able to give you some stories.  He was Vance Phillip's T-38 instructor pilot.  Bob told me that Vance was probably one of the best pilots he had ever flown with but that he was almost too fearless.    I am sure he would love to give you some good stories about him. 


From Tommy McIntyre
Hello Mike!!  I hope things are going well for you and it was great to visit with you at the last reunion. I was fascinated by reading the articles about Vance Phillips.   Did you know Dan Biggs who graduated with us also won the Distinguished Flying Cross for combat in Vietnam.  He was a Gun Ship pilot and ran into Vance several different times while serving.  He also ran in to Tommy Lombardo at North Texas when Tommy was teaching there after leaving Odessa.  Dan now lives in Waco on his houseboat and I know he would like to swap stories with you.