PHS mascot: Phillips Blackhawks

Phillips High School
Alumni Association
P.O. Box 1710, Borger TX 79008

PHS mascot: Phillips Blackhawks


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Memories Shared in 2008

08-1: When I was a teenager, I lived in a small town in Idaho.  It was so small that there wasn't a police force in town & there weren't enough boys in high school to have a football team.  At that time I was in love with football.  I started a plot that I hoped would result in my being able to play my favorite sport. 
My uncle lived on the outskirts of a somewhat larger town in the Texas panhandle & the school in his district did have a football team.  So I worked on my parents & my uncle to spend some summer months at his dairy.  With some reluctance, permission was granted & I was off to Texas.  The next step was to get permission to stay with my uncle & go to high school there the following year.  This was somewhat more difficult to arrange but I finally was allowed to do so. 
My uncle had his dairy on leased land in the breaks of the Canadian River.  In addition to his barns, cattle pens & milk processing center, he had three small houses.  He lived in one of these & the others were occupied by people who worked for him.  Next door to his house was a house occupied by a field superintendent for the oil company.  There was also a combination office & warehouse used by the oil company for supplies & recordkeeping.  Fortunately for me, the field superintendent had a family which included a boy just a year younger than I who attended the high school that I would attend. 
That fall I entered the third year of high school there & was allowed to practice football although I wasn't eligible to play in any games.  During my fourth year, I played in all the school's games & had a most enjoyable time.  That spring I graduated from high school & left town.  I only returned occasionally & briefly over the next years.  The school had a great reunion program which was attended by many alumni each year.  Finally I decided to attend a reunion when I had been out of school for 45 years.
While I was at the reunion, I had a desire to find my old stomping ground where the diary had been.  All of my old landmarks had been changed.  There was a golf course where open land had been before.  The main highway had been widened & rerouted.  I couldn't find the old dirt road that led to the dairy.  There were no houses or buildings around at all.  After riding around for some time I found a spot that looked vaguely familiar & walked out in a field overgrown with weeds.  After looking around a bit, I found an old concrete slab with a pile of broken milk bottles near by.  I couldn't tell for sure but assumed that those relics were the last remains of the place that had been home for me for two years. 
As I gazed at the pile of broken milk bottles, memories of the past came rushing by.  My special memories were of the teenage boy next door & the many funny things that had happened while I lived there.  His name was Harold Hope.  He was in love with life & everything that happened was hilarious.  If things didn't happen, he would stir things up so that something would happen.  He was a very intelligent boy but made poor grades because he was too busy having fun.  While almost all of the boys went bare headed, he always wore a hat cocked at an outlandish angle.  So many amusing things happened when he was around that he was given the name "Hopeless." 
When the cows passed through my uncle’s "parlor," they were each given a portion of grain to eat.  This naturally was an attraction for rats.  If you went in the parlor at night & turned the lights on, rats would scurry in every direction trying to find a hiding place.  Sometimes when things were slow in the evenings, Hopeless, my younger cousin Jim, my uncle's German shepherd Rowdy, & I would sneak into the barn armed with clubs, plug some of the escape routes, turn on the lights & kill as many rats as possible.  On a good night we would kill 15 or 20 rats.  One night in the middle of this orgy, a rat ran up the pant leg of, of course, Hopeless.  I have never seen anyone get out of a pair of pants faster in all my life. 
Hopeless played the saxophone in the high school marching band.  He was rather sweet on the young lady who was the majorette.  One fall day the band was practicing for a half-time performance at the next football game.  The band director was called away & left the majorette in charge of the practice.  Marching directions were given by signals with a whistle & movements of the baton.  Hopeless had a whistle in his possession & used it to evil purposes.  He would blow his whistle at inappropriate times & band members were marching off in all directions. The majorette watched in frustration & finally located the source of the problem.  The next time he came marching by, she hit him over the head & broke her baton.  At least order had been restored. 
The second summer I was in Texas, Hopeless & I decided to fix up living quarters of our own.  Behind his folks house was an old car garage that was not in use.  My uncle had a pile of junk lumber from some modifications in the milk processing unit.  We used that to build walls inside the shell of the building, put in a floor, built bunk beds, installed a shower, & even ran electrical wiring for our lighting system.  The only thing we lacked was an inside toilet.  We lived in our apartment all that school year.  When I left that spring after graduation, Hopeless moved back in his folks' house. 
Sometime that summer, some friends of the Hopes came to visit them.  Harold gave up his room to the visitors & moved back in our old apartment for a few days.  One evening the entire family & their visitors went into town to have a special dinner at a restaurant.  In honor of the occasion, Hopeless wore a new suit that he had worn only once before.  When they came home after dinner, he retired to the apartment for a good night's rest. 
Early the next morning Hopeless awoke with a serious need to use the bathroom.  He didn't want to bother his family or the guests so he went to the outhouse located next to the oil field office.  Now Hopeless loved to smoke although he didn't smoke around his folks.  When he flopped down on the toilet seat, he pulled out a cigarette & lit it with a match.  Then he threw the match down the hole.  The day before, the clerk in the oil field office had seen some black widow spiders in the toilet.  He had poured a quart of gasoline down the hole to kill the spiders. The gasoline had evaporated slowly & conditions were just right so that there was a tremendous explosion when the match neared the bottom of the pit. 
Hopeless was blown out through the locked door of the outhouse.  His suit pants were blown to shreds & he was burned rather severely in his sensitive parts.  He wrote me a letter to tell all about what had happened.  I passed through town about a month later & stopped to see him.  His burns still weren't completely healed & some of his parts were packed in vaseline. 
Things did heal up eventually & Hopeless graduated from high school the next spring.  That fall he went off to college & seemed to be doing okay.  However, he was having some kind of love problems with a sweet young thing he had met at school.  When he was home for Christmas (1940), he decided he would go in military service to avoid his problems.  For some reason he enlisted in the Marines.  He must have given his drill instructors fits but he made it through boot camp.  He was assigned as a guard on a battleship & seemed to be enjoying the military life.   However, he was still a teenager & he was looking forward to getting home for Christmas (1941). 
On Sunday, December 7, 1941, the USS Oklahoma was tied up in Pearl Harbor.  That morning before the ship's crew had started their daily routine, Japanese planes arrived & bombed the ships tied up along battleship row.  One of the first ones to be blasted was the Oklahoma & it was sunk in place with the loss of a very large part of its crew.  The ship is still in place with the bodies of its crew still aboard.  It has been made into a memorial for those who were killed.  If you visit the Oklahoma Memorial, you will find listed among its crew Marine PFC Harold Hope.  He managed to survive one blast in his young life but didn't survive the second one. 

By Dave Goldsmith (1921-2006), Class of '39, Phillips High School, Whittenburg, Texas 

Submitted by Dave Jr. goldsmithd_AT_ggc


The championship won over Killeen in Dec 1954 was after I had already graduated.  But brother Harry was on the team.  I did go to the game on the special train from Borger to Wichita Falls.  Coming back all I remember was that I encountered an old girl friend, a cute blonde.  Even though her "steady" boyfriend was on the team, she and I had a great time "smooching" in the hallways between the cars.
   I well remember the Sunday the old high school burned.  Firemen managed to save the new gymnasium, but the rest was a total loss.  People said it had started in Mr Harris' chem lab (not confirmed).  The next fall I started as a freshman with the library and study hall in the basement of the Phillips Methodist Church.  That's where I found several of the Mickey Spillane detective novels and had already read most of them until one day Mrs Thompson (a nice looking lady married to the Borger banker, Fritz Thompson) came over to me and said, rather apologetically, "I'll have to take that book away from you...The school board has voted to recall all of those Spillane books..." I gave it back, of course, because I knew I could also get the books at the Borger public library.  Mike Hammer and his exploits were too raw for the tastes of the fundamentalists in those days.
    Chesty Walker was a perfectionist and I didn't like him very much, but he did get great results.  We boys weren't any better athletes than those in Dumas or Hereford, but Chesty produced consistently winning teams and they did not.  His "football rules" would make a pretty good guide for boys and girls today, and his nutrition advice is surprisingly up to date with regard to avoiding fats.
   I looked at the photo of the cub scouts, but I could not find one whom Pappy always claimed to be the absolutely typical all-time cub scout.  He didn't mean that as a compliment either.
                      Love to all, and again, "Great Job!"
Marjo, Joel Kirkpatrick, PHS 1954



    I went to Phillips schools from the 1st grade to 9th grade then my folks moved to Okla. & then back to Borger in 1964. I would very much like to get in touch with some of my old class mates. I lived in Electric City and rode the bus into school every day no matter what the weather was. I remember I rode the bus with: the Bell boys, Mike & Gary; Dale Oswalt; Gary Phares; the McNally's, Sally Freda & Floyd; Larry Talley. By the time we got on the bus it was full as we were the last ones on and the last ones off as well. I remember how full it was most days. With the skirts girls wore back then with the can can's, we could hardly get on the bus much less get a seat. I remember Larry Morton would always find a seat for me and the other girls -- he would make the little kids sit closer so we all could get in.

    When I was in the 8th grade, I was in choir and one day I was talking like I always did and still do. The teacher had me stand up and put both my arms out to my side and then he put a book in each hand. I had to stand until class was over. This was very hard to do and not drop them, as they were heavy. But I did not learn my lesson and I still talked in class. So the next time he had me go to the chalk board and draw a small circle up high. I had to stand with my nose in the circle until class was over. I'm tall but I still had to stand on tip toes to do this. It worked and I never did talk in class again -- well at least not his... 
    One day at High School when I was in the 9th grade, I wore a skirt to class which Mr. K. said was too short and I would have to go home or get something else to wear. My Mom managed Berg's Tot to Teen in Borger and I phoned her from Mr. K's office. She was so mad, but she brought me out a new skirt and they all made sure it was the right length on me.  Thank you Mr. K. for the new skirt I got out of that deal. When I got home there was heck to pay and from then on I was checked each day to make sure I had the right hem length. 
    My Daughter is a teacher in Baltimore MD and she thinks this is the funniest thing she ever heard. Times have changed and now girls are lucky if their underwear is not showing. Sharon Ann Stillwell (Colvert) Class of 1965



i remember the cut rate food store. when i was a freshman, i would walk to the store and get all sorts of candy and gum chips and etc. And when anyone wanted something to chew or eat they asked me! i kept all that in my purse!  and some one spoke of sliding down the tank dikes in card board boxes! i remember that! my big brother used to do that with his friends! we lived on 3rd and i remember walking from there to phiilips avenue! and playing basketball in the streets! i also remeber when mr.burger was bulit! it was famous for limeades! Patti Strickland PHS 1980



I remember the Algebra class that Chesty Walker taught.  Joel Kirkpatrick and I were together in that class and enjoyed teasing each other since he played football and I played basketball. One of the students delivered papers and was all the time falling asleep sitting in the back of the class.  When Chesty noticed -- zing would go an eraser in his direction and those of us who might be in-between really had to stay alert.  Those were the good ole days and we didn't even know it. Stanley White Class of 1954


I guess I could be called one of the 3rd Street gang.  I do not remember sliding down the tank dikes in cardboard boxes (my dad said we did).  We did make various wheeled vehicles to be tested on the dikes.  I do remember catching horny toads, mountain boomers, and lots of snakes.  I did catch crawdads with bacon at the creek.  My family did not attend school in Phillips. Our parents wanted us to be good Catholics and we went to St. John's in Borger. We left Texas in 69 and still miss it.  I will always be a Texan. John (Jock) Reilly



In my 4th grade classroom in and around 1959, there was a "rocking the walls" event which I remember.
Only to look out the window for about a minute or two and pray: "I hope daddy isn't on his shift right now".
I don't recall any injuries that we were notified of and life went on as we practiced cursive writing or went to the board for an arithmetic relay. Great Memories! Nikki Tisdale Acker '69

I always remember the Friday night football games for Phillips. After my kids graduated, I told them the only reason I went to school was to play football for the Blackhawks! What a honor that was! I also remember that it seemed like Phillips had more beautiful girls than any school I have ever seen. Three of the most beautiful Phillips gals were Kathy Williams and Patty Pendleton (Class of ’70) and Cheryl Blankenship (Class of ’75). Jackie Lawson '70




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