Sunday, August 31, 2008



I have certainly enjoyed getting acquainted with Patty Hoopes/Pat Preston since we have had the Paradise Blog. She and I have had several e-mail's going back and forth and she has contributed much to the Blog.

Through a few if our conversations, I'm sure you will enjoy knowing what Pat is doing 50 years later . . . . . plus some of her memories.

Her first e-mail came to me on June 5, 2008.
(She e-mailed me, rather than Commenting on the blog. It is great that she contributes with Comments now - and . . . I still enjoy her e-mail's.)

Subject: Are you there?
Enjoyed looking at the pic's and I do remember Jon Bach. He scared us plenty of times. Dad had him help dig a cistern for us, he ate at our table and he was there when I fell into the bottom of the cistern. Mom ran the Paradise Cafe and many of times we had to wait for supper cause he wouldn't leave the cafe so Mom could come home. My mom missed a lot of basketball games and other activities we Hoopes were in because of Bach. But she catered to a lot of people of Paradise. Jon was so dirty all you could see was the white of his eyes and he would just look at you. Many a times we hated to walk home at night after a game because we knew he was down there sitting in front of the cafe or Tom Harrells Hardware store. We ran like the dickens and then we had to cross the old bridge of Paradise with the wooden walk and ran like blazes across it cause there were hobo's that stayed under that thing and the wooden bridge would creak. Does any body remember the old Billy Groover house in Paradise that we use to go in and the old pipe organ and all the stuff that was in there?????Paths all over it.The old house out on some road by the dip where we had our MYF ghost parties????Pat Hoopes Preston

She then sent me a picture of her family, which is on the blog, and I asked her about her family.

Subject: My family
The picture was taken when Jim Grimes died and that's all of the family from the first group that could come. The grand kids and cousins and other were there also Sharon Dwinelle was there also. Of course cousins.

Terry lives in New York. Delphan lives in Fla. Larry lives in Wichita, Kan,Glen and Linda in Colo.Velma lives in Woodston and Jack lives in Russell Kans. I live in Wolfforth Tex. Of course Marjorie died of cancer so that's the lot of the Hoopes Family.. 9 of us. Made Paradise proud for the basketball teams boys and girls.
Talk to you later.
Does any body Remember Mrs Ringler???? Millard ???????Hey wake up !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My response

Subject: Thanks to YOU!
Millard is back to woodcarving. He has a Woodcarving Show coming up in a couple of weeks. Has a lot to do to be able to sell anything. His ole' fingers will be stuck to the knives by the time he gets through.
I taught with Mrs. Ringler. She was there for many years, wasn't she? I think she was probably the only one that had been there for several years when I started teaching. All the rest of us were new.
Pat, we truly appreciate your support and interest in the blog. We don't know whether anyone else is reading it or not. I hate to bug them by repeating so many e-mail's about it.
If you have addresses, we would certainly appreciate it if you would email them about it.
Also . . . . do you have any more pictures? All of our pictures are Harrell or Dodson related. We would like to get pictures of others also.
I'm just about to run out of pictures. I still have pictures from the last Paradise reunion that I will put on in a week or two. Then, I won't have any more . . . . . unless I can dig deeper in some boxes or an old trunk or something.
Thanks again for your comments. And . . . . . . PLEASE keep it up.
I would love to hear more about you and your family.

Subject: Re: Our Family

Oldest -James is a preacher now a District Supt. in Chicago Ill. Has his masters. Over 50 - 60 churches.
2nd Lee is a psychologist and teaches in a college in San Antonio Tex. Also has a private business in the church to help people with problems. Has his masters.
3rd Branda is a teacher of English and has her masters now is a counselor at Eddy Tex schools.

All doing great . All my kids have their Masters, which I have no college education but I worked in the school for 28 yrs teaching computers and running a computer labs of 120 computers. Don't that just ring your bell me running and fixing computers after having a classes of Jr. High kids in the room for a day. I loved it tho. Jr. High students are such a joy their hormones would kick in and one day great kids and next bad day at flat rock.

We have 4 grand children and they are such a joy. But some times I love the red tail lights as they leave Mee Mee 's house. I have a Austic grand son and he is so smart but has a time of keeping friends. Kids don't understand him he so logical and memorizes all the books he reads and knows all about trains, and dinosaurs. We think he got this from his shots as a baby. He wasn't that way when he was a baby and we could see the change in the pictures as he has grown up. He is 11 yrs old. The oldest is 14 and is a girl I worry about her the time gets away from us and it won't be long until she is out of School hope she goes to college. I always wanted my children to go to college because I didn't have the chance.

My husband is semi retired and works for Warren Cat Tractors. Works out of the home.We have been married for 48 going on 49 years the old 50 is coming up soon. We live in Texas a little town called Wolfforth but school goes by Frenship. It growing we live in the country but Lubbock is growing and its almost out to us so our country life may be no longer. Where these people are coming we don't know. As for me I am retired and enjoy being at home and work in yard and work out at the body works. Do water aerobics, which I hate swimming but its a work out for me. We had 3 children and all have their masters and like I said I didn't have the money to go to college and became a beautician first and worked in a shop and put up with ladies from 7am-7pm . When the kids came along I quit and stayed at home until they were school age and started sub teaching in the schools and they offered this job of computer work. I found this very festinating and it turned out to be more of a job and got more interesting to me. I loved the kids (Jr. High) but running these computers and keeping them in tip top shape for 28 years I and my legs wore out. I retired and have really enjoyed it of course miss the kids but we still go to all the foot ball and basket ball games and participate in school functions. We are the Frenship Tigers. My kids all graduated from Frenship. What we did in my time in high school is what they did in grade school and now they have college credits when they graduate. These children are really highly educated and my grand children are taking things in school that we did in high school so it's all much farther along, don't know whether this is good or not but I do know they will be running the country long after we are gone and God help them.

I left home May of 1958. As it was said, my plate was broken and my brother took me in to go to school, which was Beautician school, that summer. Good for my brother to take me in. He was stationed at Reese Air Force base here in Lubbock. The town I live in is where Weldon ( Husband) was raised and its just 10 miles outside of Lubbock. He had gotten out of the Navy in the 1960's. While I was working, my friend introduced us cause she was from here. And the rest of it is history. My husband graduated from this town we live in and was raised here.

You shouldn't ask me to tell you about my family !!!!! Thanks for asking.

Thanks again for the blog I've enjoyed and I know my brothers and sisters have to the ones with computers. Pat

Pat Preston

We have had many other e-mail's, but these are the one's that tells about her family. Through all of these e-mail's, she did not tell me about Larry - that is, what he is like. Since she read about what he did at the reunion though, she said "It sounds just like my brother."
And, she added . . . . . "Oh yes, Larry was a stinker growing up but all the Hoopes were .. but me.. haahaa Pat"

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Onnalee, I just wanted to take this opportunity to say:
Thank you for all the hard work you have put into the blog.

As someone who grew up in Paradise and had to leave between my junior and senior year, I really am grateful for this opportunity to reconnect with my former school mates.
The blog that you and Millard started has brought us a lot of Enjoyment.
I know it takes a lot of time and energy and just want you to know that I do appreciate it.
Hope you will be able to continue this very special work. We have never met. Hopefully someday we will. I always seemed to get close to the music teachers, so I believe if the timeframe was different, we would have been friends.
Looking forward to getting to know you via email until the day we meet face to face.
Iva Byrd

Thank You Iva.
The M&M's and the thoughts are truly appreciated.
I didn't think I could copy this and get it on the blog but it copied fine.
I certainly enjoy the blog - in fact, ask my family . . . Yes! I'm addicted.
Notes like this make it worth it. Thanks again! Onnalee

Friday, August 29, 2008


The Memorials are back on this Blog.
Thanks to two special students of mine
(As soon as they saw my apologies on the blog,
they emailed me and asked what they could do to help.
They both had saved so much information.
It was amazing how easy it was to put most of it back together as it was originally.)
Cheryl was very helpful also.
Thank You, each of you.
Scroll down to a couple of posting
below all of the Paradise Reunion Postings.
Notice on Verlin's and Greg White's Memorials
you can click on their Photo Memories.
They are wonderful Tributes for both of them.
Cheryl gave me permission to use these 2 photo's taken in 2006.
You will also see them on Verlin's Photo Tribute,
which you can click on in his Memorial.

Cheryl's Comments
"Good Morning - I am visiting brother in Plainville, KS so used my laptop with a piggyback connection to send the pictures. You have done a great job with all of the tributes. I can't imagine the time that it has taken you to do this. For that I THANK YOU very much.
Verlin had mentioned that we would be contacting you on one of our visits to Melvern and we were looking forward to it. This trip was our last outing with the little ones before school started. Our next one would have been about the middle of Oct. which is a few days without kids and a couple of days with kids. lol. Thats when we would have had you come out and spend some time with us.
Right now I have no solid plans for the fall. Depends on the 'need to do' stuff around the house, BUT I may just say the heck with it all, and take off by myself AND my dog for a few days and go to the lake. I have no reservations about doing that at Melvern. Do take care, and THANKS again for all the time and talent that you have put into this. Cheryl."

On the posting of "Church Dinner" I had told about our visit with Verlin and visiting them at
Melvern Lake. Those postings were made as soon as we came home from the Paradise Reunion, before Verlin's death.


Verlin and Cheryl's family.
Back row Karen (daughter), Brad (Karen's husband),
Ginger (Darwin's wife) and Darwin (son).
Front row Troy (Karen and Brad's son) Cheryl,
Kaitlyn (Darwin and Ginger's daughter) and Verlin

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Happy Birthday Alice
Cheryl Cronk

This isn't Alice's usual smile, but Wow!
What a wonderful picture!
(In fact, Verlin looks so innocent,
he probably said something funny just before the picture was taken.)
This picture was taken July 6, 2006
when Verlin and Cheryl visited with Jim and Alice
(Thanks Cheryl)

Monday, August 25, 2008



Alice does not have a computer or e-mail address.

Alice Wiggs
P.O. Box 233
Jonesboro, IL 62952

As Alice mentioned to us, the very large eyeglasses
are a dead give-away as to the probable time.
She loves photography, but doesn't take pictures
of herself.

We took this picture of Alice and her family
at Harold Burger's Funeral March, 2003.

Back row - Jimmy (their son) and Jim Wiggs
Front row - Gail (Jim's wife) and Alice

Alice is a very proud Grandmother
of 3 grandchildren.

Jim is a proud Grandfather too

Alice and Annie (the goat)
Annie's sister did not survive the late
snowstorm. Annie was kicked out in the
weather by a mom who would not claim her.

Alice was Annie's Mother and Annie did great
with all of her Tender Loving Care

Back row - Loa Copp (younger sister)
Alice and Thelma Hutchinson (older sister)
Front row - Alice (Dodson) Whitman (aunt),
Helen (Dodson) Burger - Alice's Mother
and Sue Koehler (younger sister)

These 2 pictures were also taken
March, 2003

Thelma, Alice, Millard

Grandpa Dodson
Alice and Millard

We received this letter from Alice. She had no idea that I wanted everything before her birthday. We know she would appreciate a note from several of you at this time.

Millard and Onnalee

Sorry I'm way late getting these pictures to you. Just do not have many recent ones of Jim and me. We need to take more. Some of these were taken at the farm years ago and others taken when Jimmy's children were smaller. Few are recent, probably last year.


Hello Paradise Classmates

It is County Fair time in our community and school as started. Anna-Jonesboro is a combined community near the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio river, population 10,000.

We moved here in 1989 while Jim still worked as an engineer for Amtrak. He retired in 2002 after being injured when the train he was running struck a motor vehicle stalled on the tracks. The resulting fatality was devastating for him.

We live in Jonesboro and enjoy our life here. Jim was born and raised near here and has many friends in the church and community. He played basketball in high school and is being followed with the same interest in the sport by his grandson, who is a sophomore in high school at Woodlawn, IL. Both our son and grandson are tall - 6'8" and 6'10" respectively. We have 2 other grandchildren, Emilee, age 13 and Jacob, age 8. The two older children live with their Dad who has remarried and Jacob lives with his Mother and her husband in LeRoy, IL, near Bloominton, where we began our early married years.

I taught school for 25 years, but retired after we moved to Jonesboro. My main interests are centered around our church, singing, playing piano and becoming an amateur photographer. There is so much wildlife and plant life in this area that I'm never at a loss for subjects. Unfortunately, my allergies do not allow me to wander outdoors for long periods.

A deer tick bite years ago infected me with Lyme's disease and Jim has developed Parkinsons's disease. Needless to say, our ability to travel is limited.

Sure missed seeing everyone at the 50th reunion, but Loa sent some pictures she downloaded from the Paradise Blog. My, have we changed! Don't know how many I would have recognized without help from the accompanying names by the pictures. I'm sure there were some great conversations in corners and tables here and there.

Sorry to hear of the recent passing of Verlin Cronk and Ben Howe.

Our biggest challenge is to travel to Kansas to visit family in the near future. We will need a driver and have volunteered our son. Hopefully it will come about with his help. Jimmy is a railroader for the Canadian National as a conductor. He lives near here in Mt. Vernon, IL with his wife, Gail and his two older children.

Getting redundant in my thinking so will close and post this. Lots of old memories of my fellow classmates from Paradise High School. I have some of the old pictures of "How We Were" in 1958, which are a real "hoot" to look at and remember the characters of 50 years ago. I would like to keep in touch, but don't have an e-mail address. Just keep me posted from time to time. I would love to hear from you.

It is time to do my chores and get on with the day. My best to all of you.

Your classmate. Alice Pfortmiller Wiggs
Proud Grandpa
Jim Wiggs

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


A Note concerning Jay Anderson
Jay and Ann at the Paradise Reunion
Great News from Jay . . . . Sat. - Aug. 23 - 2:44 pm
"Onnalee: Have returned home, will be on oxygen and rest as heart etc heals. Will check in once in awhile. I often think when something like what happened to the Whites, the Larry Hoopes and Diane that that is not the way it is meant to be. I can’t begin to even imagine the depth of their grief. Will update as time goes by. Jay"
I wish to Thank Dan and Mona Hoisington for their updates about Jay.
Great News from Mona - Aug 20 - 4:45 pm
"John Ex just called and reported that he spoke with Jay today. He was released from ICU this morning and had a shower. He will "convalesce slowly over the next few months". Mona"
I just received a note from Dan (Aug. 20 - AM)
He said that Jay seems to be improving - so different from Sunday.
That is wonderful news.
I just received an update from Mona about the information below.
I received this at 2:40 today (Aug. 19).
"John Ex Rodgers just reported that he talked to Jay Anderson for 15 minutes. He is weak and tired but the prognosis looks better at this time. He will remain in ICU for a while yet. This is all I know at this time. Mona"
I believe in prayers and miracles. Onnalee
Information from Dan via Joyce Thompson at noon today. (Aug. 19)
Last week Jay had surgery (prostrate) at KU Medical Center. It seemed to be very successful and they felt that everything was going well. Jay and his wife were on their way home and as they were traveling, Jay collapsed and he was flown to a hospital in Andover. He has been diagnosed with a Pulmonary Embolism and the family has been called. It seems that he is too weak for any kind of surgery.

Please pray for Jay and his family.
They are with him or traveling to be with him.

What Is Pulmonary Embolism?

A pulmonary embolism (PULL-mun-ary EM-bo-lizm), or PE, is a sudden blockage in a lung artery, usually due to a blood clot that traveled to the lung from a vein in the leg. A clot that forms in one part of the body and travels in the bloodstream to another part of the body is called an embolus.

PE is a serious condition that can cause:
Permanent damage to part of your lung from lack of blood flow to lung tissue
Low oxygen levels in your blood
Damage to other organs in your body from not getting enough oxygen
If the blood clot is large, or if there are many clots, PE can cause death.

In most cases, PE is a complication of a condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). In DVT, blood clots form in the deep veins of the body—most often in the legs. These clots can break free, travel through the bloodstream to the lungs, and block an artery.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


The "professional" picture of the Classes of 1958-1959 arrived today.
Back row: Van, Jon, Verlin, Millard, Eric, Gene
Front row: Reva, Dorene, Neva, Roger

When they were 3rd and 4th Graders - 1948

Back Row - Left to Right
Ernest Thacker, Roger Pruter, Jon Anderson, Gary Anschutz,
Van Hoisington,
Phyllis Percival Welling (teacher), Randall Weller,
Patty Hoopes Preston,
Millard Harrell,
Alice Pfortmiller Wiggs, Amy Thacker.

Front Row - Left to Right
Carol Stielow Bryon, Arlin Chesney, Vada Dwinelle Krumwiede,
Elaine Brown Jackson, Gary Miller, Reva Bear Grant,
Dorene Rich Chrisler, Neva Bartlett Anderson, Carol Webster

10th Reunion - 1969 - Class of 1959

Carol Crawford, Elaine Jackson,

Neva Barlett, Charles Landis,
Eric Haberer, Millard Harrell

Senior Graduation Photos - 1959

Please send pictures of YOUR class

Monday, August 11, 2008


They were not at the reunion, but here they are . . . . .

Pat and Weldon Preston

Pat (Patty Hoopes) Preston (58)

I have always heard that everything is larger in Texas.
Well, have you seen tomato plants taller than these?
What lovely tomato's they must be enjoying.

Pat has contibuted so much to the Paradise Blog.
We certainly appreciate her for taking out the time
to send us pictures and information. And . . . . for
making interesting "Comments" on the blog.
Thank You, Pat.

(And to think . . . . she is Larry Hoopes sister!
And . . . . it was because of Pat that I met Larry.)


Remember When?
Click on it to read it

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Class of 1958 and 1959 GUYS

We received these photo's today - Sat. Aug. 9th.
It is too bad that all the 58 and 59 GUYS were not there together, but these are just
natural pictures - unposed . . . . . well, they did stop to smile . . . . but this was the scene
for at least a couple of hours. They seemed to really enjoy themselves and it was such
a neat sight to see them talking and laughing together.

Roger Pruter, Verlin Cronk, Millard Harrell,
Van Hoisington & Jon Anderson

We still didn't receive the class photo,
but I am thrilled to get these from the photographer.
I must be patient.
They were enjoying visiting also.

Dorothy (Mrs. Jon) Anderson

Jeanne (Mrs. Van) Hoisington



Just a few changes the last 60 + years.
Perhaps it is their cowboy hats that make
them look so different. Do you suppose?