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: Postings 61-90

[from the original website; lightly edited. Listed in reverse order]

Probably my least favorite memory of attending Phillips schools was during those "notorious" dust storms in the '50s, when it looked like midnight at noon time. We still had to attend classes and inhale all of the thick dust. I recall the custodian taking a shovel and digging accumulated dust out of the corners of the classrooms. I remember having to walk to school with a handkerchief over my face. Considering the dust and the chemical odors from the refinery, I always wondered why some of us had respiratory problems. Those were the good old days in the Texas Panhandle!

I love coming back to this site and reading all the stories and the pictures are great. Whoever put those in thanx. As I am typing want to thank Mrs. Cox for all those typing lessons. Also remember all of the girls had to take home ec. I told my daughter (who is 8) and she could not believe it. I remember Mrs, Smith 7th grade English I believe, I was talking too much in class and she wrapped masking tape all around my head (had long hair too) and stuck me under her desk for the rest of the class. I sure loved that lady, I still remember my prepositions! I had such a great time in Music Makers. The trips were great. Also all of the basketball trips and singing to Merle Haggard. You had to know all of the words or you were not COOL. Loved living in Phillips and I love this site -- thanx. Anyone from class of 77?

Do any of you guys remember the let's skip school the last period & everybody meet at the Boy Scout camp at Jim's lake and everybody bring (booze). Boy did we get hammered. Fights, burned up Levi's, and destroyed Jimmy McClellen's car. Monday morn., it looked like Mother's Day at school getting us back in. So I say ( How about it Boyd White ) do you remember? 

Here's one about a friend who has since passed away, but I don't think he'd mind my sharing it. It involves Miss Boyd and Chuck Sewell. Miss Boyd didn't care for Chuck and the feeling was well shared. She stayed on him constantly to improve his penmanship, his compositional skills and his decorum in her class. Chuck would have none of it and resisted at every turn, especially on the penmanship issue. One afternoon, Chuck dozed off to sleep in one of Miss Boyd's classic 45 minute lectures which kept the rest of the class spellbound, or something like that. I sat on the next aisle and two seats behind Chuck and saw him as he began listing to port. I wanted to wake him up, but Miss Boyd was glaring at him and I didn't want to get in the line of fire. So I watched helplessly as my friend slid off the chair and fell flat off his rear end on the floor. To make matters worse, the shock of hitting the cold, hard floor forced a brief expletive from Chuck's barely conscious lips. Miss Boyd was surprised and horrified for only a moment before the fire of retribution flamed brightly in her eyes. I had never seen smoke come from anyone's ears until that moment. We didn't see Chuck for a while after that... 

One Halloween, a group of us decided we would slow traffic down on Phillips Avenue. Several people had the unnerving habit of driving well over 80 MPH while kids were trick-or-treating and, frankly, it was pretty dangerous. We didn't want to destroy anything of particular value; damage it, perhaps, but not completely destroy. Our approach was two fold: a diversion and a solid forward attack. First, we poured a strip of gasoline across the road from a 1 lb coffee can. Then, we made a dummy out of Lynn Railsback's old clothes and coated the entire thing with shaving cream. A car came screaming down the street at high speed. Mike Finley lit the gasoline and it put up a four foot wall of fire (we didn't expect that tall a flame). The rest of us were grouped around the dummy and as the car came to a screeching halt, we pushed the dummy out as though we had thrown someone in front of the car. The "body" hit and shaving cream flew everywhere. The car suddenly took off leaving rubber for 50 yards, right through the fire. Rumor has it that was the only time in history Scott Sutphen wet his pants while driving. (We did recover the dummy, and traffic slowed considerably on Phillips Avenue after that -- mission accomplished.)

When I sometimes have the time to sit down and think about those nostalgic days of my childhood in Phillips, Texas, I remember my parents, our educators, and all of the wonderful people in the Phillips community. I vividly recall mowing yards for small amounts of money (I can still smell the green, freshly-cut grass), delivering circulars for Ostrom's once a week, looking for coke bottles to return to the grocery store, attending Boy Scout meetings, swimming nearly every summer day at the Phillips pool, playing football, attending the "free fair" during the summer, fishing, hiking the canyons near the Canadian River, taking the trash out to the "incinerator" every day, attending church services and trying my best to achieve decent grades. The events that I recall the most, however, are the explosions at the nearby refinery. I remember once standing in our front yard when the ground underneath my feet seemed to heave up and down, nearly knocking me off my feet. The noise from the explosion was unbelievable. I remember how upset my mother was and how she worried about my father. Does anyone else remember those Phillips explosions?

It's Friday afternoon and I should be working, but reading these stories is much more entertaining. Special thanks to Hickox for the story about my brother, Riddick Grooters. I hadn't heard that one before and sure didn't know that he had been expelled for three days. The story I grew up with was that Riddick blew up the chemistry lab at some point. Does anyone know that story? and did he really?

Phillips Pool I guess its time to tell about the holes in the basket room behind the top shelf that gave a complete view of the girls dressing room. If you ever went to a swimming party and the doors to the basket room were closed. Well, some lucky guys got to see a lot.

I recall a road out in the tank dikes that was nicknamed 'bullet road' because we would go out there in 'dune buggies', the old cars or trucks cut down to nothing, and go as fast as we could down it. crazy Frank told us it was 'bullet road' but he must have been having a few cold ones that night and we thought he said *BS* so we ended up calling it BS Road from then on.

I spent 4 years working at Jolly drug from 4 to 10 every night. Jolly I believe is still alive and over 100 years young. I think this is one great web site

Who in the class of Class of '63 remembers walking around the school one night smoking cigars and getting caught by coach Means? There were 4 or 5 of us if I remember right.

Sitting in libary one fine spring day. I remember Miss Harrell having a "fit"...seems someone changed the title of the book SARGENT PRESTON TO THE JIM DANDY TO THE RESCUE....Jim Dandy was a very popular song at that time, but she just couldn't see the humor...I think Kenny Ward did the honors. If you didn't Kenny, so sorry I gave you the honors...cause no one wanted to read the book & it sure gave us all a good laugh.

I had almost forgotten about marching in the Cotton Bowl. It was 1967 (I was a freshman and now I realize that I was probably a little too young to be going to Dallas). The band, supervised by Mr. Robbins, began practising before school in the morning several months before the bowl game. I remember that was the first time I ever saw a mall. I think it was Northpark. Who remembers going to Shakeys in Dallas and being served draft beer at age 14? Also, I think it was probably the coldest Cotton Bowl in history. One more thing: it was the border of North Dakota and Canada that the Blackhawk band formed.

Why hasn't someone from the class of 50 sent in the story of their Senior Trip-- especially leaving Mr. Kimmins behind!!

I have a Harley Blackhawk story I would like to share with everyone: My husband, Mike Roberts, worked 26 years for Phillips and the last several years he has been giving training programs in our old Phillips High School building where his office was located as you come in the front doors (remember not to step on the Blackhawk as you go by). We have traveled coast to coast and border to border through the years on a Harley motorcycle so one day when Mr. P tells me he is going on a special "ride" THAT doesn't surprise me but when he tells me that a ramp has to be built first, then I become somewhat surprised. Then when he tells me he will be riding the "Fat Boy" in the front doors of the Phillips Auditorium, down the aisle, up the ramp onto the stage.....well, I am can't do that; you'll get FIRED. Sure enough the day comes that the ramp is ready....the Fat Boy is all shined up ...and there I sat in a front row seat in the auditorium (just like in my old school days)....................the NOISE OF A HARLEY INSIDE THE BUILDING.....I can't even begin to describe it, but it was a beautiful sight when it landed on the stage vibrating the floor boards... Seems it was just one of those "motivational programs" for the workers at the Phillips Refinery. I wouldn't have missed it for the world. Do we have any more Blackhawk Harley riders?

Regarding the eating of Phillips crawdads, I don't think it would have been a good idea. I would no more have wanted to eat a crawdad from there than to drink the water. Remember those smelly and strange chemicals that were dumped into or otherwise found their way into the stream that was in the canyon on the plant side of town? It was not for nothing that we called it a "sewer." Looking back, I am surprised that we didn't see mutated crayfish -- with two heads or 10 claws. Or, in a throwback to 50's horror movies, the chemical reaction involved in the combination of the smelly chemicals could have caused them to grow to tremendous sizes. Just imagine some Phillips kids hiking in the canyons and suddenly seeing a six-foot claw coming out of the sewer! It would have been a great movie...

In response to the question about the "crawdads", I can only speak for myself. No, we were only fascinated by catching crawdads on the bacon attached to string. We promptly returned our "catch of the day" to the "sewer". It was great "sport" and a pleasant way to pass the time. We also caught "tadpoles" in various stages of development in the water surrounding the tank farms. Sometimes we would go out late at night in creek areas around Phillips and Borger with our trusty flashlights and catch leopard frogs. We cooked a few frog legs and enjoyed watching the legs "hop around" in the pan. The legs tasted good, too. Those were the good ole' Phillips days! I do remember that one time encounter with the rattlesnake....

I have a question. Did anyone ever eat those crawdads from the "creek" in the park? Now that I'm down here in Houston where people think it's such a treat to go to a crawfish boil, I keep thinking about the ones caught in Phillips.

Mrs. Forbus, the math teacher, always wore a rubber glove when she wrote on the blackboard, and she always had a pitcher of water and glass on her desk. On April 1, 1969, which happened to be Kid's Day for the seniors, Sam Campbell put a goldfish in Mrs. Forbus' water pitcher. An interesting note about it was that Mrs. Forbus was distracted during the prank by her daughter, Mary Cole, who was standing in the hall talking to her mother. We had Mrs. Forbus for Trig, which was, I believe, second period, and College Algebra, which was two periods later. Sam dropped the goldfish at the start of second period. We sat in suspense all through the class, but Mrs. Forbus never took a drink. We could only hope that she would not get thirsty during third period and that she would discover the fish during our fourth-period class. It didn't happen that way. When we came into our fourth-period class, she was laughing about the prank. She said she had actually poured the goldfish into her glass. When she raised the glass to her mouth, she saw the fish looking at her, she said. She also expressed regret for keeping us in suspense in vain through second period and for causing us to miss her fishy discovery, which a junior algebra class got to witness. Mrs. Forbus was not only an excellent math teacher, she was a very nice lady with a good sense of humor.

In l941 two studious young men seniors took two firecrackers away form a freshman. They then proceeded to ignite them in library. Mr Kendricks the principle said it was hard to discover who did it because two kids were studying when he arrived He did however know Bobby Grantham and Bernard Hartley needed their butts busted with his trusty paddle!!!! He was biased!

Remember not being able to leave the gym once you'd gone there after lunch?? Well, Sherry (Bugg) Hopkins & I decided to go to Cut-Rate grocery store for a candy bar, but we were already in the gym. The plan was to watch for Mr. Kimmins & other teachers & when the coast was clear- - run like heck. I ran - - Sherry didn't. Why??? There was Mr. Kimmins & he took off in hot pursuit right behind me yelling "stop that girl, stop that girl". I made it (proudly, at the time) to Cut Rate, bought my candy & snuck back in the gym. Guess who was called out of her next class - yep, me! I knew I was getting busted for sure, I didn't, but there was a LONG discussion of rules & how to follow them & why!!

In this day of massive testing can you remember when the biggest test of your life was swimming the length of the pool so you could go to the deep end and go off the diving board. Then Mrs. Holder would kick you out for three days. Remember it only cost a dime to swim and it was so croweded with people from Borger you could hardly get wet. Of course, it seemed as many were there at night as the day time. If you were kicked out, one could go to the Pantex cafe and eat fries and gravy.

Hi out there to all you Phillips exe's. This is Bill Rawlings --class of 50 I found the Phillips e-mail address and had to take a peek. I lived at Sanford and rode a bus during my school days. I was elected as your first boy cheer leader and boy!--did that ever draw some remarks from the boys! It was difficult, but I enjoyed it. I gave some pictures of the old high school building right after we put the fire out to the Heritage center in Stinnett, so take a look at them the next time you go there. I heard it was on fire and drove all the way over and manned a hose, being careful not to get any water on JIK's office area. I am proud of this site and wish I had found it earlier.

Man, I really enjoyed reading Bill Evans' Phillips memories. I, too, recall taking a paper bag and placing it over the open end of our clothes line pole. We then struck the pole with a broom handle. As a result, the bird flew into the bag. We took the captive bird to a house late at night, placed the creature between the screen door and front door. We quickly knocked on the door and ran like heck! Probably the most dangerous thing we did was to take a flash camera, usually around midnight, prowl the known parking places and quickly pull up beside a parked car, snap a photo or two and race away. The last time we did that, we were chased but got away. I really didn't anticipate a very long life expectancy for me at that age! In my view, the best time to grow up in Phillips was during the '40s and '50s. We certainly enjoyed a "spartan" existence!

Few memories from Bill Evans, '49: Midnight swims in pool after scaling fence with Johnny Ussery, Billy Hughes, Pork McClellan, others; popping popcorn on my first job at the Phillips theater (old quonset hut); walking home barefoot in snow at night from theater job, carrying my prized new cowboy boots in my hand so they wouldn't be damaged; poking birds out of nests in t-poles (clotheslines poles), catching them in sack at other end and tossing sack of birds into home, or theater; hanging onto car bumpers during snow and ice at red light corner in downtown Phillips; Phillips Free Fairs; two-a-day August football workouts under Chesty Walker (deliberately falling into puddle of muddy water during laps around field to get a drink); hoeing weeds around tanks on tank farm during summer with other football guys (and getting first chew of tobacco, and throwing up, of course); eating pomegranites at Ostrom's during lunch break at school; sneaking cigarettes and beer whenever we could (outside Community Center at times); parking on tank farms; wonderful dates with Peggy Covington, Delores Autry, Bonita Faye Holmes, Wanda Jean Alexander; shooting prairie dogs, rattlesnakes in the canyons and near the Canadian; spending night in White Deer car agency after getting caught in snowstorm on football bus following bi-district game against Lefors in Pampa; being lucky to ever get to play on Blackhawks football team in '48 season with such a group as Jimmy Williams, Ussery, Hughes (before he broke his arm), Melvin Eldridge, Billy Joe Snider, Bill Braden, others (Chesty took pity on me my senior year and put me in for some defensive plays). Thanks for providing forum for exchanging memories.

I remember Mr. and Mrs. Cox. I had Mr. Cox for Science and Mrs. Cox for English. She always walked around with one earring. I loved Mr. Cox but didn't like being in Mrs. Cox' class, probably because I hated English. Mr. and Mrs. Cox turned out to be very good friends of my now ex-husband's family. They still are. They love my daughter and her family. My son-in-law hunts on their property at times.

I remember eating at the place across the street from the school. Can't remember the name of it. Someone that lived there turned their garage into a hamburger place. I was so excited and that it was a big deal to be of age to be able to leave campus.

I was in the club (SF). I hated going to the park and eating raw eggs, onions and slim okra. Jolly's was a great place. Good memories. 

This reminds me of my only spanking that I received in school. The corporal punishment happened during my second grade year, administered by Mildred McGee, Phillips Elementary Principal. I got into a fight with a great friend on the playground and we both took a "brutal beating". We were subsequently hauled into Mrs. McGee's office and she listened to both our stories as to who started the altercation. Without so much as smile or a hit of sympathy, she pulled out her notorious paddle and the paddlings commenced. I still vividly recall that I was the last to get it and I had my tongue sticking out. She said, "Young man, stick that tongue back inside your mouth!" Whack! Whack! Whack! I learned to avoid her office the rest of my school career. The bad part about the experience was that school photos were taken the next day and I still laugh when I look at that photo with my scar and a fat lip on my smiling face. Needless to say, my mother was mortified.


I have so many good memories of being raised in Phillips. Now in my later years, I realize just how great the school was, and the people (so good). the teachers were great. Thank you Mr. Kimmins for caring.

Continue on to Memories Page 4


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