popular request, here's space to place memories of the olden days
at AHS and El Paso. Email your memories or commentaries to
1946 - El Paso
Ted & Bob Gemoets
and their Grandfather Gemoets in his 1928 Packard [Click on Photo to return to News Page]
July 2011 Email Exchange:
Bob Gemoets: Ted and
I are in the car along with several of the neighbor kids. My
grandpa died in 1949 and he left the car to a relative. The last
I saw, it was in the late 1950's I believe, at Dawson Motors.
We understand from my niece that the car was restored and was
seen in the Sun Bowl parade. Maybe someone who lives in EP
might know where it is today.
you identify where you and Ted are sitting?
Bob: Ted and I are sitting in the right front seat and the
right side of the rumble seat. I don't know who is who -- I
think that is Paul Talbott (he was a year ahead of us at AHS) in
the center of the back, and I don't know who is in the left. My
grandfather would take all the kids in the neighborhood for
rides when he came to the house. This picture is in front of our
house on Oxford Street.
Neat car. I've zoomed in on the photo, and for what it's
worth: The boy in the front seat has more prominent ears than
the boy in the back. Also, the boy in the front has a big
grin, and the boy in the back is looking a little serious.
Ted Gemoets: Bob or me right side rear,
Bob or me right side front. I think Paul Talbott and
neighbor Jackie Aguirre are in the center and left side rear. Our
grandfather, we called him Dony, rebuilt the motor several
Hap: Ted, from the looks as
zoomed-in, I think Bob is in front and you are in the rumble
seat. I got intrigued with your
Grandfather's car.. it appears to be a "convertible coupe"; and
with the length of the snout, probably a six. I've looked
around on the internet, and can't find any with the tool box or
the spoke wheels; seems to be very rare. As
far as I can tell by photo comparison on the internet, this car
is a 1928 model. Looks like fancier models have cowl doors and
big radiator cap ornaments. Interestingly, there seem to be a
lot of old Packards in Spain!
Ted: Yes it is a 1928. Straight 8
flathead. Transmission was a three speed, non synchronized,
similar to the Ford Model A. Bob and I learned to drive in
Bob: This photo was taken
from our front yard looking across the street. The half of
the street across from our house was never paved because the
owner of the house never paid his taxes. We lived at 4126
Oxford. The car's right front fender was black because our
grandfather replaced it after hitting a cow. Yes the car has
wood spoke wheels and is a convertible. Our grandfather never
put the top down. He probably added the tool box since he was
always working on the car. I remember when he replaced the motor
in his garage. Our grandfather would sometimes take us to
school so the kids that went to Coldwell grade school may
remember the car. Ted may remember more details.
Hap: Interesting about the
street paving. These days the "city" usually just paves or
repaves the street and simply assesses the owner!
This article was sent to me by
my niece in EP, might be of some interest to our AHS '56
classmates. I remember my mother talking about "Aunt
Paso Times - January 16, 2012
Larger print for old
Sister Adeline Gemoets Was
a Loretto Pioneer
By Sister Mary E. Boesen
SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
One of the earliest local
women to enter the Sisters of Loretto was Sister
Adeline Gemoets, born in March 1892. She was
the gifted daughter of Ferdinand Leon Gemoets
and his wife, Jeannet Schuyten. Ferdinand was
in the French army in Mexico in 1863-64, serving
as a personal guard to Carlotta, wife of
Maximillian. He returned to Europe after the
French expulsion from Mexico and served under
The Gemoets had seven children when they
immigrated: Adeline, their precious last
living girl, was baptized on November 28, 1897,
at Immaculate Conception Church, which is now
engulfed by the new federal courthouse in EI
Paso. A stained glass window of Joan of Arc
facing the courthouse memorializes Jeannet.
The Gemoets family lived in and operated the
Belgian Bakery at various locations,
including 110 S. Oregon. The musically talented
Adeline took her first
vows as a Sister of Loretto in 1910. A pianist
with a master's degree from the American
Conservatory in Chicago, Sister Adeline headed
of schools in Santa Fe, EI Paso, and was at
Webster College in St. Louis from 1926 to 1960.
Sister Adeline was grateful to return to EI Paso
in 1960 and, in 1962,was one of the first nuns
to retire in the newly-opened Nazareth Hall.
Selinda Gemoets Russell, the
great-great niece of Sister Adeline Gemoets,
knew she had done a good job when the
parishioners at St. Matthew's Saturday
folk-guitar Mass sang along with the choir.
One of Selinda's most
treasured possessions is Sister Adeline's
upright baby grand piano.
Selinda played drums in the
Loretto orchestra in 1962 and then went on to
win All-State vocal music awards when she
graduated from Ysleta High School.
A band scholarship sent her to UTEP. Selinda
led the St. Matthew's Catholic Church choir.
Ana Gemoets, Loretto class of 1998, and
Christina Gemoets, class of 1995, continue the
family tradition of loyalty to the Sisters of
Loretto Academy gladly
celebrates each woman's contributions to EI Paso
as they celebrate the 200-year anniversary of
the order in 2012.
Sister Mary B. (Buffy) Boesen, SL, is
president of Loretto Academy.
Niece Kathryn: This was in our newspaper as part
of a centennial celebration of Loretto Academy (the
oldest Catholic girls school in El Paso, known for its
rigorous standards on education and discipline). Sister
Buffy wrote weekly articles about different women who
had been part of Loretto. (I think Buffy and Tootsie
are both great names for nuns, don't you?) I wrote a
note to Sister Buffy thanking her for the article about
Sister Adeline, and told her what Sister Adeline's
family alias was.
Most of us were more familiar with Juárez en la noche:
Hap: Photos from Juarez in the 50s -- maybe a few memories
John Passero: HL-GRATIS MEMORIES!!!
Thanks for the beautiful pictures of colorful Juarez. Even
though I grew up in El Paso I never got the chance to visit
Juarez in person. Perhaps you can tell me what I missed by
never going there between the ages of 12-18? Thanks.
PS I also have a bridge in Arizona if anyone is interested.
Bobby Jones (to Jack
Valdespino): Jacko, I wonder who that was that
always sat next to us at the Lobby? I remember he had
Ed: I think her name was Burtha. At least
that's what Jack told me in 1954. But her hair was
Ed, would you take a Gunning Casteel credit card for the
(Malcolm) Mike Newbill: Ed, well,
there were these kids that caught pennies in these
things... and great food on the street..
and these sons of virgins all over the place... and
really cheap gas... and the most fantastic paintings
on velvet that anyone had ever seen...and hard assed
entrepreneurs that held the line on the cost of
leather goods 'n shit. Ah, Juarez. But the
best was XELO -- equis e le O, Chihuahua Juarez,
Republica de Mexico. 5 million watts of
quality radio, bringing us great country music and
deal after deal that could not be passed up. The
autographed pics of Jesus, with the gospel ball
point pen for the first 50 orders, and 10 (count em)
rose bushes for 2.98, and fool proof harmonica
lessons (with harmonica) for the same price. C L I
N T, that's C L I N T,
Texas, folks.... sniff.
Ed: Hi Malcolm! Thanks
for the update---- I may be wrong about
never being there because I can vaguely
remember some of those things. XELO
was great--- Dallas just recently dropped
their exclusive Western Station and that
Charlie McBeath: ....Wasn't
XELO in Del Rio instead of Clint? How well
I remember Juarez.. Anybody see or hear from
Billy Russell or George Doolittle, they
should have some good stories of times in
the border city....
Hap: Ed/All, Someone ought to
collect and edit biographical sketches on the
subject from those of our era... there is
probably a best selling book there!
P.S. Ed could just use his imagination for his
I heard they had a language school over there for
people with money. You would put your twelve year
old son in this school and he would be assigned a
special complex complete with servants and triplet
14 year old girls. After 2 years your son would be
able to speak Chinese! Of course it did not make
any sense but it sounded like Chinese and he would
never shut up!! My family never had enough
money for this luxury.
Jack Valdespino: Ed, your
memory did lapse, I got arrested with you
coming back from sin city when we were 17.
Ed: Jack, arrested! Are
you sure? Just last Sunday I told my
preacher I had led
almosta perfect life... Please do not
tell him. Arrested? How could that
slip my mind? Btw, how is your
back? What is your handicap now?
Cook: That's what they
say ED. You'll go to hell for
lying, same as you will stealin!
Jack: Yea in rev
Choir boy? Hey it works both
hell Bobby J. I haven't
lied in a long, long,
long, time and I took
back things I didn't
Ed, New hip doing
well, golf game
getting much better
only playing 4 days
a week did you read
what is happening in
Juarez now? i
hope your business
is going good, you
are the only one
Thanks to Hap Lamberth for this photo, also
Postcard emailed to Clyde Hooten ('57) from
Carolyn Stovall Ryan ('60):
Clyde Hooten: How cool is this! Heins, at
Chelsea and Montana was just down the street from my parents'
house at 5421 Olson St.
We (neighborhood kids) used to play in a triangular shaped
lot across the street from Heins as 10 - 12 year old kids. The
lot was bordered by Trowbridge, Chelsea and Montana, and a big
old tall billboard that faced both ways on Montana Street was
directly across the street from Heins. They eventually leveled
that lot and built a grocery store--Food Mart, I think, where we
used to play.
Some of my playmates there were Robert & Ralph Brooks, Bill
and Glen Sharp, Eddie Brewer and Hap Lamberth. As kids,
we'd climb up between the billboards and play. We made a sort of
tree house out of cardboard up there. I remember watching Heins
progress from its humble beginning as a surplus Army
building purchased and moved to Montana & Chelsea to what it
later became. Too bad it no longer exists.
Later as a young adult, I had some good meals in their dining
area and (sorry to say) I spent quite a few hours in their bar
too, nursing a broken heart and some hangovers too in the
1960's. The bar maids, Margo and Schotzie knew me pretty well.
Thanks Carolyn. This is one of the neatest postcards yet.
Hap Lamberth: I came along too late to
participate in the billboard treehouse described!
Jones: My parents used to love eating at Pappy
Heins' place. I believe the son owns "Greenery" Restaurant
at Sunland Mall on the west side of town just north of the
race track, north side of freeway. Good place to eat, good
My dad's garage
was just down Montana from the restaurant, and when I was in the
7th grade, I started working there, then throughout most of HS.
Old Pappy Heins knew us well, and at that time his son Jay also
worked there. Jay and I got together later in life playing
tennis, but haven't seen him in a few years now, since he's over
80 and doesn't play anymore. His son Mark is the one that owns
the Greenery (and now has expanded to other restaurants in
town). The food there is good, but more expensive than I
remember paying at Pappy's place. Could be time is expensive??
Martha Delgado Bostwick:
"This is the El Paso and S.W. Railroad Building. I have
a few old postcards from the old days. My dad kept a lot of the
things from old El Paso, especially newspaper clippings, and I still
have a large box full of clippings of the history of El Paso. My
Great-Grandfather painted the railroad depot. He always had a pain
in his leg when it got cold. He fell painting the ceiling of the
depot. Martha (Poopy)
Hola Classmates…. Some of you might enjoy seeing this
1953 photo of the entrance to the downtown Juarez Bullring
-- and check out the ad on the wall that mentions my dad, Dr.
Frank J. Devlyn, optometrist in Juarez, whose optical
offices were in
front of the Juarez City Market.
My father was originally from the Chicago
Area and married my mother, who was from northern Mexico, and thus the
reason they opened up the first optical clinic in Ciudad Juarez,
Chihuahua, in 1936, our home in that border city with El
Paso. My father and mother were both optometrists and had many
patients/customers who came to Juarez to save money on
eyeglasses, like many El Pasoans who visited Juarez for
economical dental services, besides getting the Mexico
Experience by shopping and dining at various restaurants,
nightclubs, stores, curio shops, etc. Our Optical
clinic was right in
front of the Juarez City Market.. this was of course before
the current mayhem that drug mafias have caused, making
Juarez one of the most dangerous cities of Mexico, now
the case for most border cities. Yet El Paso,
thankfully, just across on the other side,
is the 6th safest city in the U.S.A.
Re one of the other ads in the photo above, many of
you also well remember our late classmate Juan Stockmeyer, whose family
owned the famous Cruz Blanca & Carta Blanca Brewery in
For a time from 1949 to 1959 Dad also had 3 optical clinics in El
Paso…. Some of you will recall the last one in El Paso,
on Montana Street. In the early 1950’s dad had a
clinic on Texas
Street downtown, another on South El Paso Street and one
on Alameda Street -- this was before the era of
Shopping Centers... all of Downtown El Paso was like one big
Shopping Center. Boy, has the business world changed all
over the world.
I used to take this streetcar
every day to Juarez after classes at Austin High:
In 1959 my father, mother and I decided that
we would focus our optical business only in Mexico, and we
have become the largest in Mexico and Latin America. You
can consider us the Lenscrafters of Mexico.
Check out our website
in Spanish…. The pictures tell a thousand words for those
who did not study Spanish with Mrs. Brown at Austin High.
Milt Womack to Richard Cook: I know that
you are a lot older than me but I can appreciate your concerns about
getting so old. Use WD-40 on the joints and take lots of
Metamucil. Just dream about the studs that still can see something
above two hands! Capt. Empath
Richard Cook: I appreciate
those consoling words Capt. Actually, if I am older than you, it
isn't by much. Do you remember Milt when your dad wiped out your stash of
beer you'd hidden in the garage fridge? He never looked in the
fridge in the garage, never even went out there, but that day he did for
some reason, and when Milton came by with his crew, there was Hugh
stabbing beer cans with a screwdriver and throwing them in the
trash. "Well, so much for the Happy Hour today boys." My
dad was a postman, he rode the bus to work when he was working at
Station A in Five Points. He came by on the bus while we were at the
Oasis. He told me later, " If I was out shooting hoodlums, I would
have shot you first." He spoke often about me and my hoodlum
friends. My mother would let me go to the show on Sunday with
Norman Lane, but they wouldn't let me go even to Dairy Queen with
Milton Womack or Bobby Jones. But my mother and my dad later
raved about Bobby Jones, they always had to stop in Van Horn when
Bobby had the Bar-B-Q place. They didn't see Milton after high
school but they would've been proud of him also. They saw the video
that we made at the 40th Reunion, I showed them all of my hoodlum
friends grown up, my dad couldn't believe we all made it that far.
"Just tell your hoodlum friends outside, You ain't got time to take
Bobby Jones: yep, back
then somebody had to take the fall for all the pranks and it was
usually me and milty. it happened at pep rallys, at the lockers -
and of course at the oasis. we usually had the most dates too.
Richard Cook: Bowman and
I take exception about who had the most dates. We didn't do too bad.
However ours were pretty steady, I was with Nona the first three
years of high school. But I made up for lost time after that.
Fran Johnson Redwine:
Yeah you did. I remember you boys had some killer ducktails. And
how you wore your levis, just a hair away from losing them?
You all often 'pantsed' and got pantsed. Guys wear them that way again now. You know, if Milton owned a
hotel instead of a boat, there'd be a Milton Hilton.
Bobby Jones: if tuesday
weld had married hal march jr. her name would have been tuesday
march the 2nd.
Some New Year poems by Esteemed Classmates:
Happy Happiest New Year to you
beautifully aged A's
How dear it would be if tonight I could gaze
Into your green, brown and blue orbs as in the olden days
When we did the Freeze, took an Oasis cruise and drank to a
Playin chicken, lookin hot & actin cool, goin through our James
Cheering our guys at the games, bopping to Annie songs (till
Appleby ended the craze)
Then off we'd go to Juarez' boogy woogy clubs and sleazy strip
In those days News Year's Eve was a night to set ablaze
And New Year's Day was meant to be spent in a nauseous
We're wiser now, we've changed a lot since those partyhearty
Now most of us bring New Year in while snoring in a chaise
Or watching chilled crowds count down in televised displays
While we're snugly nestled, sipping nog, warmed by hearthfire's
Some of you might be massaged and steamed in hot jacuzzi sprays
And some of you A's will be steppin out to sway and play
Whatever's happening with you tonight,
May it be outta sight, a Panther delight;
Here's a New Year's toast to Each and All,
Have an acey groovy night!
~Fran Johnson Redwine
To the Austin Panthers, I raise my glass
Back in the 50's We had a blast.
From working on cars to doing the "freeze"
We had it made, Life was a breeze.
Beautiful girls all over the place,
Just two kinds of girls then, "nice" or "fast"
Never decided which kind surpassed,
They all felt good in an embrace.
We cruised the OA by day, Waszoo by night
We raised a lot of hell and we did it right.
Ole Bodog made us all laugh
With the stories he'd tell of his Army brat past
We had only really good times that I recall,
Life was a blast.
Bobby, Carol, MR and I took turn-about,
Bird-dogging each other, without a doubt,
Just when I was in love, he'd steal her away
So I'd go to the next pretty maiden waiting,
It was OK, Life was great.
Milton was cool, kind of in a different bracket
Especially when he showed up in the famous "Red Jacket"
He had James Dean down to a T
Though not any better'n me, except I didn't have a Mercury.
So here's to old time memories,
We had good times that'll last all our days
In memories of friends and fun,
With lots more fun to come.
My fellow Panthers are a rowdy crowd
But we are as one for we have vowed
To always be there if one should call
It's all for one and one for all
So hoist your drinks my kindred friends
We can set our sails in the worst of winds
Optimistic and fearless like the days of yore
We know together we can reach any shore
We have ranches, boats and golden triangles too
We write for the movies and make great Mexican stew
We can run like the wind but still drink like a fish
To be part of our gang would be anyone's wish
We'll always have fun and keep our spirits high
Let others be amazed and keep asking why and
How did these Panthers reach such a lofty plateau?
We'll say, "Just catch our act on our website show.''