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07/22/14 11:07 AM #7    

 

David Walters

During the 9th grade at Central, I used to walk Linda Bumgarner (John's daughter/Principal at West), home after school.  I met her Uncle a couple of times, and as instructed by Linda and her older sister (can't remember her name), never made a big deal about it, but I was in awe and really star struck.  He was one hell of a nice guy.


07/22/14 12:20 PM #8    

Francie Reeves (Herring)

He didn't discriminate.  James Garner also visited St. Joeseph School, which no longer exists.  He gave us all Maverick playing cards.  I have shared that over the years with anyone who would listen.  He was a great actor with a tremendous sense of humor.

Francie Reeves Herring

 


07/22/14 03:25 PM #9    

 

Mike Bagby

James Garner came to Washington grade school as well and visited with his former principal Helen Olander.   He was a class act.   I thought he went to Washington, but I could be mistaken.

 

Mike Bagby

 

 


07/22/14 06:46 PM #10    

Judy Pannell (Elkins)

So good to see friends from 55 years ago on here! 

Yes, Mike, James Garner attended Washington. That's why he hugged Miss Olander. 

Didn't finsh school at Norman High but got his GED in the military.  

I hadn't realized that he visited every school in Norman that week. It was such a treat for all of us kids.

What a guy.  

Rainy week here in Charlotte. 


07/23/14 10:12 AM #11    

William Wiles

Hello all,

James Garner's grandparents lived on Garfield street and I mowed their lawn.  Hope everyone is doing OK.


07/23/14 10:15 AM #12    

Nina Bettis (Williams)

I still have the card he gave us that day at Jackson. In the 80's he bought his brother,Charlie, a new Jeep. It was delivered to the maintenance building and bus barn on 12th street.Everyone loved Charlie as much as his brothers.They are all together again.


07/23/14 10:24 AM #13    

 

Mel Baxter

Gotta love the statue of him at the train station!  smiley

 


07/23/14 09:59 PM #14    

Gary Adams

I was in 6th grade @ Washington elementary and remember he came dressed as Maverick.  Kids had our guns!


07/23/14 10:05 PM #15    

Gary Adams

Anyone seen or heard from Lee Jennings?  Colleen Coughlin?  Ann Alley?


07/24/14 12:07 PM #16    

Susan Hollon

Ann Alley (Hall) lives in Austin, Texas and I see her from time to time. She retired a couple of years ago.

 


07/24/14 05:28 PM #17    

Don Harral

My son worked in the stadium donor suites when he went to OU and J Garner was in Boren's suite for one game.  I asked my son what he was like and he said "He didn't talk much.  He drank coffee and chain smoked."  I guess Boren relaxed the campus NO Smoking rules for him. LOL


07/24/14 06:56 PM #18    

John Powell

I must agree with all the James Garner comments.  He was a class act.  I remember well the visit to Washington, it was a big deal.  I had a chance to talk to him when he returned to Norman to be the Grand Marshall for the 89er Day Parade a few years back.

In case a good article did not make your local paper, there is an excellent article by AP writer Frazier Moore that treats his story well.  Covers most of his career well and some of his Norman life, although no mention of his OU ties.

If I remember correctly, Charles was the West principal, and he was a cousin to the brothers.  Andy Rieger has had some good articles in the past, I'm looking forward to seeing what he prints about James, it should be good.

Great to see some familiar names here.


07/25/14 11:18 AM #19    

Jim Sandefer

James Garner was actually the brother of our principal at West, and his birth name was Bumgarner.

We learned about his actual name when he visited our school the first time. He used to pop in to watch some of our sporting events, and he even came into the locker room one evening to offer a few supportive comments. As everyone has mentioned, he seemed like a genuinely nice guy.


07/26/14 08:39 PM #20    

Nina Bettis (Williams)

I checked the Transcript.Charles was the oldest died in '84, unexpectedly heart attack. (Ervin Roley took over his job as asst. Supt. of construction) John was the middle son. ;passed in 2011.Jim was the youngest. They are buried at IOOF  in Norman.Still awesome family.


07/27/14 08:23 AM #21    

Wanda Reedy (Cook)

Fantastic 1966 graduates Judy, Jim S, mike B and Mike E, Nina, William, Francie, David, and Gordon!!!
So much fun to stroll down memory lane through your comments about
Norman's Favorite son James Bumgarner!
My mom Mildred Wilkerson Reedy was a
Friend of his-they grew up in the communities of
DENVER and Clearbrook. I am blessed to be
Sharing coffee with her in the cool country side this morning as she shares her fond memories of this very special man.
"Norman Living" magazine published an article about James last year and quoted my mom concerning the Bumgarner grocery store in the Denver community. James remembered my mom and sent his warmest regards to her in 2013! We also joined the jubilant crowd for his statue dedication:)

07/27/14 08:55 AM #22    

Mike Holland

Clearing up information about James Garner and family: 

Linda Bumgarner (Lippe) is John Bumgarner's daughter (class of '67), and she gave me this information last week about the Bumgarner family which I thought worthy of sharing with you guys.  Note Linda has a sister Mary June Bumgarner Joseph (class of 65).  

John was the principle at McKinley grade school where I attended grades 3-6.  He was the first principle at West Jr. High where I attended grades 7-9 along with many of our classmates.  John left West and went back to McKinley and retired about 1982. John had five siblings Betty, Helen, Mary Ann, Robert and Phillip. He was first cousins with James Bumgarner (Garner) and his two siblings, Charles and Jack.  They all grew up together in the home of John's father and mother due to unusual circumstances.

Charles (Bum) was oldest of his siblings and was the maintenance superintendant at Norman Public Schools. He had a daughter named Susy B some of you may remember.  Jack was the middle child and became a pro golfer and also changed his last name to Garner.  James was the youngest and they were all about two years apart.  John was two years older than James.  Jame's mother died when they were very young and because of a "wicked stepmother" they were taken in to live with John's family.  John's father John Lee Bumgarner Sr. and Jame's father William Bumgarner were brothers.  So the children of the two were often mistaken for brothers since they all grew up together in the home of John Bumgarner Sr. and Leona Elizabeth Stogner Bumgarner.  

John was in WWII and Jim served in Korea.  Most of the boys went to war.

Linda Bumgarner Lippe has lived in Austin since 1972 and was married to John Ward (class 66).  She is divorced from John and married to Dennis Lippe whom she met in Austin.  My first job out of college was in Austin at Texas Instruments, and my good friend John Ward and wife Linda soon followed after I told him about an opening there.   

I hope this clears up some confusion.  It did for me.  

Mike Holland

 


07/27/14 08:52 PM #23    

Albina Holasek (Luther)

My husband, Jim, and I both remember James Garner coming to John Adams School to visit us.  He was a fantastic person who really cared about the people of Norman.  We will surely miss him.

John Bumgarner was also our principal at West.  Jim remembers his nickname as "Rack" because he played pool alot at the Golden Cue on Campus!

Nice to hear from all of you.


07/28/14 09:43 AM #24    

John Creveling

I also remember James Garner's visit to McKinley when I was there.  I remember him showing up with a cavalcade of cars including police cars with sirens blaring.  I also clearly remember encountering him in the boy's room (guess it was men's room also:)  that day and one of the kids touched his gun while he was in there.  He was dressed in his Maverick outfit.  I'm sure the gun wasn't real and/ or loaded.   I remember him having some words with the youngster who touched his gun about respecting firearms.  What a cool guy. Won't ever forget that visit.  By the way, my Dad went to McKinley as well.  ;)

John Creveling


07/28/14 03:53 PM #25    

Donna Clark (Cook)

Hi Mike Holland-

I am so glad that you cleared all that up.  It was driving me crazy reading all the misinformaton that was going around.  I knew that someone would finally get it all straightened out.

Donna J Cook


07/28/14 03:54 PM #26    

Donna Clark (Cook)

Albina-

"Rack" was the nickname for Ansel Young, our vice-principal at Norman High.

Donna


07/29/14 08:54 AM #27    

Wanda Reedy (Cook)

Did anyone catch the James Garner movies last night? The host
Of AMC quoted Garner saying that if he had not been married, he would have pursued Doris Day off camera!
Another testament to his character-I think they said he was married 59 years.
It was fun for me to see him playing my favorite game-Bridge in
"the Americanization of Emily" with Julie Andrews:)

07/29/14 11:43 AM #28    

David James

Fun to read all the memories of folks of James Garner. Most of you have much more specific memories than I have. I agree he was a class act and one of my heros as a boy. I often would do a quick draw in the mirror and imagine that I was as fast as Maverick! I do remember his visit to Mckinley grade school when John Bumgardner was principal but not as specific as John Creveling's memory.

Sorry I have missed most of the reunions but Alaska is a bit far....


10/19/14 06:08 PM #29    

Nina Bettis (Williams)

Aggie McDade,92, passed away last Thursday. Services are tomorrow in Norman. She knew every single one of us,probably our siblings, and maybe even our parents. I have feeling she could written volumes of stories about us.Surely,she is resting in peace now with that pretty smile we each knew.


10/21/14 07:05 PM #30    

Steve Henderson

my name is steve henderson i remember Jim Garner visting Wilson Grade school i don't remember what grade i was in but when i went home he was at my house visiting with my mom who spent 21 years in a iron lung there on acres street a great mom i remember Jim setting on his lap in his cowboy suite he was pure class he didn't have to do that back then a lot of people were afraid of us they thought they would catch polio!!!!!!!!


06/09/15 02:18 AM #31    

 

Mike Eubanks

I just found this and thought I'd share it here;

http://www.afcfcare.com/obits/obituaries.php/obitID/700849


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