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 121-151

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

I remember Mr. Kimmins quite well but I have never heard about the paddle before now. I was sent home once for wearing a boatneck shirt but that was no big deal. I think Mr. Kimmins was a big part of what made PHS one of the best high schools in the USA.

I was at the all-school reunion held in the middle 80s and wanted my street sign like Karla's dad had gotten for her and Pat Dewey. Mike Webb went with me to get the piece of sheet metal with New Mechanic stenciled on it that was my street sign. Unfortunately, the sign had rusted to the pole and there was no way we could get it loose so I had to go home back to Oklahoma without my sign.

News that I wanted my street sign made it to my first love from high school days and he mailed that street sign to me, after using industrial strength rust remover on the pole.

Many months later, when the houses were being moved or torn down for scrap lumber, I was back at Phillips with a very dear friend. We parked at my old house which was being torn down - how sad. We were walking to the school, taking the same path I took many years before. About the time we got to the Caufields and Caviness house, a car stopped us and asked "Where the heck is New Mechanic street? All the street signs are gone!!" We laughed so hard ......... What a trip!

In the late 1980s I was transferred to my company's home office in Houston. Being a single mom I was once again trying the dating scene at the time. I had a lunch date one day with possible new love interest and our conversation turned to where we each grew up. When I told him about Phillips it reminded him that he had a friend that had also gone to PHS and that friend worked for the same company as I and in the same building, but his friend graduated about 15 years before me from Phillips. I did not know his friend, but when I got back to the office I sent an email to my fellow employee. All the email said was "Once a Blackhawk, always a Blackhawk" and I signed it "Sharon, Class of '65". Within 2 minutes that man was in my office and stayed for 2 hours rehashing all our wonderful old memories.

Played football on Phillips first team under Chesty Walker and was valedictorian of the 36 Class. Lived in Alaska for the past 40 years after retiring here from the US Army. Married former Borger High grad Kathryn Jean Shadbolt and we are still together. Like to hear from anyone. Bill Sargent

i remember when i was in the 7th grade and i had miss smith as an english teacher...hmmm i know alot of you know how much fun that was. IT WAS for way she had that darn "oscar" the dinosaur looking stick that would eat your paper if she seen a mistake on it! and naturally ME being mike strickland's little sister i had MESS up....well my paper got eaten more times than anyone i believe! BUT in that class we ALL knew what a action verb was REAL quick! thanks for all the great cherished memories PHS..oh yeah and powder puff football OH no...i believe the fastest girl in PHS was bound to have donita huff...gesh was speedy mouse on TV...and i couldn't get by with too much having 2 brothers in HIGH school....and wow the set out of 1978 i believe..the dress code was changed..gesh that was wild...thanks again PHS I WILL ALWAYS have great memories of YOU and all who attended!

I'm not sure how that club spelled its name [OFA-AFO], but it was one of the strangest organizations I've known. I lived close to Dixon Creek Hill and remember hearing a racket one night around the end of the Phillips Free Fair. When I went out to investigate, I found several boys running in front of a few cars and older boys. The older boys in back were tormenting the younger boys in front whom I concluded were the new pledges to the club. I followed them all the way to Dixon Creek and was rather entertained with the antics involved.

Upon arriving at the sandy creek bed, the pledges had to strip their clothes and each was given a weenie. What proceeded was rather comical to me, but I shouldn't go into much detail concerning the race involving the weenies. I've always wondered what the purpose of that club was. If anybody knows, I'd certainly be interested.

During the senior class trip of 1966, the now High Sheriff of Moore County, Texas, dozed off , mouth agape, enroute to Colorado Springs. Someone, I believe it was Gary Lynn Smyrl, acquired a can of shaving cream and squirted it into Ted's open mouth. Ted chewed it for a few moments before awaking. Needless to say, he was not a happy camper. During that same trip some of us got to wrestling in the motel room and Ted picked me up and threw me onto the bed. The wooden bed frame was not made for gymnastics and it broke in several places. In addition to sleeping on a much tilted bed that night, we had to "face up and fess up" the next morning and tell Coach Lynch what we had done. The man who owned the place remarked that it was unusual for kids to admit to doing something wrong and that the beds were old and worn out and not to worry about it. I had spent a very sleepless night trying to figure out how I was going to buy that bed frame so that was great news.

I remember going into the boys' restroom upstairs between class and noticing the smokers had the last stall clouded with smoke as I ambled toward the urinals. Mr. Hawthorne was in the second urinal from the right so I moved in on the urinal to his left as Tommy Culwell moved in to his right. While relieving myself, I noticed Mr. Hawthorn stretching his neck back and to his right to try to determine who was smoking. He stretched and stretched until I heard Tommy scream, "Hey, You're (pissing) on my leg!" The smokers looked around the corner and quickly dispersed as Hollywood Harold tried to stop peeing, all the while soaking Tommy's Levis. To make a long story short, Mr. Hawthorn got called to the office to explain why he had urinated on Culwell's pants and the rest of us got a reprieve from Chemistry that day.

This is Reggie Parsons. I graduated from Borger but I have been married to Jan Lawson for 26 years and she is a graduate from Phillips. This story is about having good Phillips friends. In about 1972 I was sitting in the round-a-clock around midnight with Jerry McClure and Roger Gerner. About 7 boys from Dumas came in with some wearing there football letter jackets. One of them bumped Jerry's chair and words were exchanged. Our food came about the same time theirs did and I had a feeling trouble was going to happen. I knew they would leave when we did. I went to the pay phone in the restroom hall and called Teddy Buckland. I told him to get help and come quick. We stalled about as long as we could and after about 30 minutes we got up to pay. Sure enough they did to. We went out the front door and turned right to get to the parking on the side. We didn't see anybody. When we got in the middle of the street the Dumas guys hollered at us then started to circle around us. About that time Teddy and about 10 Phillips boys came out from behind the cars. The biggest kid from Dumas decided that he would take the baddest of us on. Teddy stepped up and said that would be him. Teddy stuck his head in a headlight and convinced him to give up. The rest of them decided to take him and leave. We were very appreciative of the help we got. Thanks Teddy.

Feeny, was great to hear your upbeat descriptions of PHS. The members of my Class of 1960 occasionally get on a trip down memory lane via email and it's always a hoot. Some of us even had time to go home for a hot lunch-the Phillips Free Fair-rubber roads and the best damn High School in the State. I have trouble too getting people to believe how we all participated in so many different things-but we did. In 1960 Texas City went to Enid OK for the first time and one of their directors apologized to Ada Creel because with their having a symphony there was no way for us to win Sweepstakes. Guess what-we kicked their ass. 

This is a continuation of an earlier post (I hit the enter key by mistake--don't you just love computers). Speaking of drive-ins--I do remember taking turns in the trunk of the "Goose" to avoid paying the $1.00 per person fee--or was it a "dollar a car." Do you remember that the last three rows had no speakers? When I first moved to Los Angeles, I couldn't believe people actually went to drive-ins to see first-run movies.

We always heard the rumors about Phillips transferring families with boys who played football to Phillips. Let me assure you that any new boys entering PHS would have been noticed. We could hardly wait for the Fritch and Stanford additions freshman year. Anyone else was in my first grade picture with me.

More memories: the Monahans play-off game in Amarillo when the temperature was 20 with a good wind. The game ended with a 20-20 tie so after going through the first 4 levels to determine a winner, Phillips won because of the number of times inside the 20 yd line. What a game!! I also remember the regional in Lubbock(?) with over 5,000 supporters. The largest pop. Phillips can claim is 3,000. I miss those Friday night games.

I especially miss the food--Open the side of a Frito bag and fill with chili--What was that called? Corn dogs from the Post drive-in, ribs from Sutphen's etc. We always had to work in the booths during the Phillips fair--the secret to Mrs. Verna Mae Webb's chili was oatmeal. That was the best chili. Thanks for the memories.

It is a special experience to read these splendid comments by Phillips High alums about their recollections of growing up in Phillips. I especially enjoyed reading Feeny Krejci Doyen's memories. I have often thought about how fortunate we were to have such high quality, intelligent and above average athletic childhood friends in our neighborhoods. For me, it was truly a positive, "Spartan" childhood. For example, just think about the percentage of some of our friends who became teachers and coaches in high school and college. I know that my father worked for Phillips several years in Oklahoma and was transferred, along with a number of other Phillips employees in those very early years, to the Phillips, Texas gasoline plant. In recent years, I have heard and read allegations that Phillips Petroleum Company would "transfer" some Phillips employees, who had sons with promising athletic abilities, from other Phillips refinery facilities. Former legendary high school Coach Gordon Wood mentioned this allegation about Phillips High School in his recent book. These comments sound absurd and are extremely difficult for me to believe. I remember that during the '40s and '50s most all of our classmates lived in Phillips for most of their lives and I do not recall any "standout" athlete being "transferred to the Phillips Independent School District" in later school years. One thing is for certain, we had an "exemplary" school loaded with the very best educators!

The Summer Recreation Wednesday morning movies were a great tradition in Phillips and a fun treat each week. We called them "the free show" even though they cost a dime to go. We would assemble at the Phillips park, and Mr. Kimmins would collect the dimes from a line of kids as they filed onto the school bus to take the trip to the Morley Theater in Borger.

There was an especially memorable incident that I recall from one of those Wednesday mornings. Many kids, including my brother Dave and myself, would arrive early and play on the playground equipment at the park before the trip into Borger. Well, one fateful day when we were at the park before the free show, Dave began sliding down the slide and noticed to his horror that ahead of him lay a big puddle of vomit. The puke was a disaster waiting to happen at the bottom of the slide.

Apparently, an unlucky kid (somehow I don't think it was an adult) had been in the park and felt he had to toss his cookies. Rather than unloading anywhere on the approximately one acre of grass at the park, he instead chose to lean over the slide and ralph on it, thereby creating one heck of a booby trap for some poor unsuspecting kid -- which, as it happened, was Dave.

So Dave had already committed to the slide and was well under the pull of gravity when he noticed the partially digested surprise awaiting him. He quickly spread his arms and legs and put them against the sides of the slide to act as brakes. His tactic worked, and he stopped just short of sliding through the vomit. He got some friction burns on his arms and legs that were similar to rug burns, but he believed that they were better than the alternative. I agreed with him. I don't think I would have wanted to have sat next to him at the Morley if he had not averted the disaster with his quick thinking!

Incidentally, please don't think me sexist for assuming that the barfer was a boy. Just as I doubt that it was an adult, I also assume it was not a girl -- girls are much too smart and too classy to hurl on a slide.

The lesson to be learned from this is "look before you slide." This should be taught to your children and grandchildren.

I have loved reading your Phillips memories. I am Class of '59. My memories start with life at the end of Phillips Ave with lots of neighbors mentioned in your articles--Grooters, Steidhams, Forbus's (Mary Cole), Fortunes, Evans, Bybees, Penningtons, Baileys, etc., etc. I remember the dust storms in the 50s--everyone was sent home one day when the sun was totally blotted out, the Phillips Free Fair, swimming every day for as long as the pool was open, football games, band practice, Post Drive-In, Sutphen's, Jolly's drug store (the vanilla malts were the best), community dances after football games, and much more.

People don't believe me when I mention a high school with 500 students having 150 in band, as many in choir, 100 football players, etc. I loved Mr. Robbins and Ms. Creel greeting us in 4th grade with an instrument demonstration--we had to choose and from then on I played a clarinet--everyone had lessons. What a great way to introduce music and instruments to an entire student body.

So many memories in high school--detention in the study hall below the library, before school in Mr. K's office--Our terrific band trips and regionals in all sorts of activies (my speciality was typing.) And especially our Senior trip with my favorite PHS employee--Dub Turner--the bus driver. I think is was the '58 class trip that brought him to tears with the searching of all the suitcases for contraband and breaking the bottles on the railroad tracks outside Dumas. Our class was guilty of shoplifting and spent several hours on the bus until the guilty returned the items. There was a mixed bus, a girl and a boy bus, I think with chaperones (Miss Boyd and Mrs. Atkins) Mr. Turner called her 'Ole Blue" (Hair color). And he spent our entire trip making life miserable for her and fun for us--woke her up first every morning, would deliberately pass her by on the way to dinner after nearly running her down with the bus, helping us sneak out, etc. Ms. Boyd and I used to sneak off to smoke--can't believe that since I hate smoking now.

Class of 1960. Great memories of the 50's growing up in Phillips. Every night was really right out of "Leave it To Beaver TV show". My mom in an apron with a fully cooked meal awaiting my father @ 5pm every night. How about those great Trips with the Band to The Tri-State Band Festival in Enid. Just went thru Enid in April 2003. Enid's downtown has evaporated. What a disappointment. Anyone remember the school being closed in 54 or 55 because of the Dust Storms? Loved growing up in Phillips, Texas.. it was the best @ the time.

Class of 85 or 84, do any of you remember when Mrs. Smith dropped the puppy out of the window when it happened to find its way into her classroom and the science project that she flushed down the commode?

Recently, I read in a book the following, "Middle-class teenagers of the '50s lived in a small, comfortable world whose boundaries were the high school, the movie theater, the football field and the drive-in". Immediately, I started having "flashbacks". This quote sounds as if it came from someone who grew up in Phillips. I remember those hours, days, weeks and years practicing on the Blackhawk football field. I recall my first date after receiving my driver's license and going to the Bunavista drive-in movie. Well, I was so nervous that I accidentally "scraped" the speaker post with my father's brand new, shiny 1956 Buick. I will not describe the horrific aftermath and colorful words caused by my father's adverse reaction. Does anyone remember sneaking into the drive-in in the trunk of a car? I did that only once with my "crazy" date (it was her suggestion). Bad idea! I also remember countless evenings driving in circles around Borger's Post drive-in. Of course, the four years attending classes, participating in extracurricular activities and walking the halls of Phillips High School provided many interesting experiences and memories. We were indeed very fortunate that our fathers worked for Phillips Petroleum Company which enabled us to live in the lively Phillips community.

Ah! The class of 63: How many remember the problems there were on the night of the band king and queen ceremony?? The broken clarinet and the wrecked new convertible loaned from a Borger dealership?

Sports have been my life! In fact, my life has been one big football game. However, my father would not, initially, give me permission to play Phillips football in grade school. He told me that I was too small and would suffer multiple fractures, possible brain damage, or even die. So, I went with my friends to the Phillips swimming pool to watch them sign up and receive their equipment. I stood in line with these guys complaining about my disappointment when all of a sudden I was at the front of the line being asked what my sizes were. I gave my sizes, but before I could explain that I couldn't participate, the coach placed the equipment in my arms and told me to move on. I took one look at the "spiffy" 30's-style football helmet that didn't have any face mask protection and I was a goner. With a considerable amount of guilt and fear about what my dad was going to do to me, I suited up and was amazed to find myself with my friends practicing on the awesome Phillips football field! Of course, I was late for our family evening meal and at the dinner table I confessed about my situation in great detail and experienced a feeling of impending doom since I had been disobedient. But, my father just grinned and never said a word, except to pass the salt and pepper. He never mentioned the matter again.

I have often wondered what motivated me to decide to register for some of the courses that I did in high school. For example, metal shop was my first class of the day during my freshman year. What motivated me to register for this course? I am unable to explain it! I will tell you that it was quite an experience for my young, uneducated mind. I remember that the first day of class, I sat in the front chair of the only row in the classroom. Mr. W.E. Adams, metal shop teacher, came in and began to talk about a Borger machinist who had the misfortune of having his hand caught in heavy machinery and suffered a horrible mangled hand injury. Mr. Adams then took a newspaper article and the work glove that he claimed the worker was wearing when he had the accident and threw it on my desk with a directive to "pass it around". The glove was a mess and I was immediately traumatized. I do recall that I worked diligently to be accurate when operating my lathe in making tools such as a hammer. I recall that Mr. Adams became so enraged at a student that he threw the poor student's hammer through a classroom window. I do not recall asking Mr. Adams any questions during the entire year, but I did, quickly, follow all of his instructions. I somehow decided that working with machines, welding and making tools was not in my future. Does anyone remember the metal shop classes at PHS? I also remember a few other "horror" stories! I must admit that I learned a lot from Mr. Adams and that he was a good teacher. Metal shop was just not one of my favorite classes.

Riddick Grooters and I tried to make nitro in Mrs. Nicklson's Chemistry lab one time. We thought we didn't succeed but when we brushed the evidence to the floor to hide it, we found that it was fairly effective. The first location of Sutphen's Barbecue was in Phillips.

Sutphen's BBQ ham sandwich was thirty-five (35) cents in about 1949. It sure was good and was served on hamburger bun. BBQ pit was on covered back porch at residence. Smelled much better than the refinery. 35 cents plus nickel for coke from across street totalled 40 cents (taxed?) Good deal. "They might have BBQ'd beef," but the ham ranked fantastick! Speegle's Garage was close by  Don't mind arguing, just won't bet.

Before our senior trip - the year of which shall remain a mystery except to those very few who were participants - we were sternly and thoroughly forewarned about trying to bring alcoholic beverages onto the bus and we were also warned that possession or consumption during the trip was about the worst thing we could addition to probably not being allowed to graduate, we would be put off the bus and made to find our own way home. Nonetheless, my "associate" and I used a vet's hypo needle and injected vodka into several oranges and brought them with us on the bus. Not only did eating about 8 or 10 oranges enroute make the trip to Colorado more mellow, one of the sponsors, a favorite coach, knew we were up to something but he couldn't quite pin it down. He even told us that he knew we were up to "no good" but he wasn't sure exactly what, and I think that was the best part of the whole deal. It has been many years since this occurred and I haven't shared this with many! . Do you suppose Mr. Kimmins could still rescind my diploma?

Class of 1982: I remember having pop bottle wars in the park at the end of 2nd street. We would line up all around the park and shoot them at each other. I remember going shaving cream fighting on Halloween- good clean fun! I remember making a spirit chain that was put all over the school that contained some spirit sayings that were not very nice, for example Coach Lynch is very bald! or Freshman stink like fish! It just happened that we (cheerleaders) would put something that we thought was witty every so often in the chain. After hanging the chain from one end of the hall to the other we noticed one of the questionable links was hanging right over his door, it said, "Mr. Lynch..." we quickly tore that link out and put in a new one... what were the odds of that link showing up just above his door?

In response to Cotton Bowl Stories: Oh my gosh! No wonder my children call me a worry wart!! I have had a long history of practice, haven't I! I remember vividly the trip to the Cotton Bowl, but I forgot about this incident until now--must have been in a state of denial!

In reading about Mr. Kimmins, I remember an "incident" that occurred while I was a Senior. A girl I knew in Borger had gotten a brand new VW beetle for graduation and she brought it out to Phillips and I immediately took control and we drove all over Phillips. I found that I could drive onto the sidewalk at Cut Rate Foods and then down the ramp to get inside the pipe barrier that ran pretty much around the school - to prevent exactly what I was doing. We drove around the flag grounds and down to the grade school and then I thought I could get out by going by the band hall - directly behind Mr. Kimmins' home. Alas, the passage was too narrow and I had to back the "bug" off into the grass to turn around and make my escape. The ground was a little soft and I left some deep ruts in the grass but the biggest problem was when I got turned around, Mr. Kimmins was standing in front of the car! I knew I was in deep, chicken-fat trouble! He walked up to the window, saw who it was and told me firmly (1) get that car off the school grounds, and (2) that he expected those ruts to be completely repaired. I went home, got a shovel and a rake, and at 10:30 PM, in the dark, I did my very best to return that grass to it's original condition. On Monday as I was walking down the hall Mr. Kimmins was standing there. He just winked at me when I passed. He never mentioned what I had done, and I had truly expected the end of the world when I walked down that hall. As I look back on those wondeful years, I truly realize that he was an amazing man then and is still today. Hearing him speak at our reunion just a couple of years ago, I was quite impressed with his clarity of thought and ease with which he spoke. Thank you Mr. Kimmins - from a very fortunate PHS grad - from the class of '66.


I vividly remember Mr. George's animated, colorful comments during his class lectures. The one historical event that he loved to describe was Pickett's charge at Gettysburg. I know that my eyes were as big as saucers and I never forgot his enthusiasm and verbalization. Mr. George's students really didn't need a television monitor to actually see the Civil War battlefield fighting in progress. Mr. George just had that great ability to spark his students' imaginations. Ironically, one of my wife's illustrious family ancestors was the Brig. General who led the historic Pickett's charge. I can still hear Mr. George say something to the effect, "After climbing over that stone wall, he led what was left of his Confederates and died with one hand on his saber and the other hand on the muzzle of a hot Yankee cannon!". Mr. George was the best! I do not know how the Phillips Independent School District was able to hire such outstanding educators.

Famous quotes from Mr. George: "That's all for you, Alice Marie!" and "Pandemonium reigned supreme!" I remember those along with some of his favorites while playing on his baseball team: "Hump back liner," "Can of Corn," and when somebody didn't show up for practice he would say, "Oh he's probably sitting under a shade tree playing mumble peg with the girls." He also referred to the ole school bus that he drove us to practice in as his "Ford-Cadillac." When he dropped us off from practice, he would always say, "Don't take any wooden nickels." Another of Mr. George's baseball sayings for a weak throw was "candy arm"!

Concerning the Phillips Sutphen's Barbecue restaurant, most of us have fond memories and anecdotes about this successful Phillips enterprise. Joe Sutphen was in our Class of 1958. I remember attending a couple of class gatherings in Sutphen's, particularly on the evening of our '58 high school graduation. One thing that I recall about Mrs. Sutphen was her unique talent to read out loud passages from books during a few of our high school assemblies.

I have been thinking about all of the activities that I participated in during my childhood just to kill time. I spent hours with my Phillips friends playing sandlot football, swimming in the Phillips pool, prowling the canyons and shooting hoops on any dirt basketball court that I could find in the neighborhood. I tried most anything to keep from being bored. But, the most frustrating activity that I recall as a youngster was trying to learn all of the tricks in mastering my official, "genuine Duncan Yo-Yo"! Remember that little toy? I can still see the boxes full of colorful yo yos in Ostrom's. I really became excited when I put the string on my finger and I successfully completed the "around the world" trick while in the store. I remember buying a couple of these yo yos with paper packets of extra string. I practiced for hours all of the contest tricks; i.e., walking the dog, loop-the-loop, rocking the baby, the ever popular, the spinner, and the pin wheel, et al. I recall the Duncan Yo-Yo demonstrators or representatives who came to school to promote the product. I remember one or two Filipinos who would carve palm trees on our yo-yos and entice us to purchase yo-yos by talking about tournament contests. But, I don't recall any Phillips classmates actually competing. It was fun and entertaining just to see these guys professionally demonstrate all of the tricks. I believe that my parents were somewhat relieved when I retired my yo-yos. I think that was about the time that I became aware of Phillips girls.

Continue on to Memories 2008

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