Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Kirbyville Texas 1955

We lived in Kirbyville, Texas from 1952 to 1955. The above pictures of me were taken by Bob Stewart in the 25 acres behind our house sometime in the spring of 1955. I was almost 15 years old at the time.
   Kirbyville is famous for being the birthplace of the great singer and musician Ivory Joe Hunter.

    When we lived there the band director was Karl Wadenpfuhl. He ran a tight ship. The band won awards every year. He used to inspect us and our instruments before every football game. I played trumpet. He would remove the mouthpiece and inspect it for cleanliness by holding it up to the light.
 His son Jay now plays french horn in the Boston Symphony.

   Here is an obiturary I found for Karl Wadenpfuhl,Sr.

"Karl H. Wadenpfuhl, Sr. of Kirbyville, Texas, passed from this life Sunday, June 13, 2010, at Harbor Hospice in Beaumont after a lengthy illness of almost three months. He was 88 years old. Karl was born November 26, 1921, in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Jacob and Alma Klos Wadenpfuhl. He was raised in Jefferson Parish during the Depression with his brother Ray and sister Alma. After graduation from high school at age 15, he soon enrolled at Louisiana State University and became a member of the LSU ROTC Cadet Band. He received a Bachelor of Music Education degree as a trumpet player in 1942. During the war, Karl joined the U.S. Army Air Force serving as principal French horn in the Army air Force field bands at Keesler Field, Mississippi, Smyrna, Tennessee, and Blytheville, Arkansas, and then the junior high director in Orange, Texas. Karl met Lottie Starnes at LSU and they married in Jonesboro, Ark. in 1944. They were five days shy of their Sixty-Sixth Wedding Anniversary. In 1949, Karl and Lottie moved to Kirbyville, a small AA school, and organized the band program there. He earned his Masters Degree from Sam Houston State University in 1953. This was to become their home, and Karl taught there until 1964. The Award Winning Kirbyville high School Band exerted considerable influence on school bands throughout Texas during the 50's 60's and 70's, even though it was a very small AA school. The concert band consistently performed difficult literature; the marching drills were challenging and innovative and performed to challenging music. The community took great pride in their band. In 1964, Karl and family moved to Beaumont where he became Assistant director of Bands at Lamar University for six years. He received his Doctorate in Secondary Education in 1970 from McNeese University. During the fall of 1970, Karl and Lottie returned to the failing band program in Kirbyville and restored the program to its previous status, winning many awards. In 1978, Karl started a new business as owner/operator of East Texas Music in Groves, where he remained until 1987 when he sold the successful business. He and Lottie officially retired to busy themselves taking care of their three acre homestead in Kirbyville. Karl's service to music education was bountiful. He served on many state music committees for T.M.E.A., T.B.A. and N.B.A. He was much sought after as a judge and clinician. His professional affiliations include Kappa Kappa Psi, Phi Mu Alpha, Kappa Delta Phi, Phi Beta Mu, TMEA, TBA, and Lions Club International. In 1977, Karl and wife Lottie were named Outstanding Citizens for Service to Youth by the city of Kirbyville, a tribute to almost thirty years of service to that community. In 1997 he was induced into the Texas bandmasters Hall of Fame, a singular honor for a lifetime of work and achievement in music education. Karl was preceded in death by his parents, Jacob and Alma Wadenpfuhl of New Orleans, wife Lottie Jay of Kirbyville, sister, Alma Weber of Decatur, AL. He is survived by brother Ray and wife Mary of Beaumont, son Karl, Jr. and wife Patty of Bevil Oaks, son Jay and wife Michelle of Boston, MA, son Ken and wife Patt of Cleveland OH, daughter Kathy of Austin; grandson Kris Wadenpfuhl and wife Sheila of Spring, granddaughter Karen Cotton and husband Carey Cotton on Beaumont, grandson Jacob and wife Leanne of Cleveland, OH, granddaughters Jennifer and Hana Jun Wadenpfuhl of Cleveland, OH; great-grandchildren Koren and Kylen Wadenpfuhl of Kingwood, Dawson Droll of Spring, Karlee Cotton of Beaumont, and Poppy Anne Wadenpfuhl of Cleveland, OH., numerous nieces and nephews. Funeral Services will be 10:00 a.m. Friday, June 18, at First United Methodist Church in Kirbyville with Rev. Bart Reddoch officiating. Burial will be at Kirbyville Cemetery. Visitation."

Here is another good obituary for Karl Wadenpfuhl.

Karl Wadenphul taught me and many others the beauty of classical music. We had a great marching band also.  We marched in a 1955 Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans. It was on a Sunday afternoon Feb. 20, 1955.
After the parade we walked around the French Quarter.
Some of us tried to walk through The Court of Two Sisters but were told we could not as it was being set up for Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. I always thought it was a scene for a movie. But never could find a movie that fit the time period.

This does: It was The Colgate Comedy Hour broadcast live Sunday Feb. 20, 1955.

The two pictures below are of a handmade baseball card I made in 1955. My brother Bob took the picture and I cut up an Early Wynn baseball card and pasted in my picture.  I typed the information on the back. When I showed it to Allen Ebarb he was not amused since I had made up the little story of striking him out. It never happened. The statistics are those of Early Wynn who had a good year that year.