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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)


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


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    


Rich Eubanks

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

07/01/19 09:32 PM #32    

Carol Hickman (Haynes)

I too have great memories of James Garner and the Bumgaer and Stogner families, all who were related. I too remember when he came to Woodrow Wilson Grade School when I was in the third grade with Miss Stogner as my teacher. Miss Stogner was Jim’s aunt, so he gave Miss Stogner and her class some special attention. He drove up in his limo with cow horns on the front. And the horn sounded with some kind of special western sound,  which escapes my memory now. When he got out of his limo the school erupted into Happy appreciation. He came right over to Miss Stogner and hugged her and shook each of our hands. He was so handsome that all of us girls were starstruck and the little boys were so impressed that he was dressed as Maverick including his gun. My other favorite memory was when my mom and dad were at their class reunion (I believe it might have been their 45th or 50th) that Jim came and asked my mom to dance a waltz with him. I think my dad was as excited about it as my mom was.  They were all friends in school growing up. James Garner will always be Norman’s favorite son. He was so kind to share a thrill of meeting him at all of the grade schools he visited. RIP James Garner, aka Bumgarner.

07/01/19 10:51 PM #33    

Becky Merliss (Sieg)

Was Aggie McDade the Biology teacher at NHS?

07/02/19 01:55 AM #34    


Rich Eubanks

Hi Becky, I believe that Ms. McCade was a school secretary.  The biology teacher was Ms. Brandt.  If you recall, she demanded that everyone make an insect collection.  I just didn't want to go out collecting bugs so I didn't.  The only way I passed her class, without that collection, was when I hitch-hiked to Galveston for a week or so during the Thanksgiving break that year, I managed to hitch back with a live crab I'd caught and gave it to her.  





07/02/19 08:11 AM #35    

Susan Hollon

 Do any of you what happened to Kathleen Lester, Charolette Dillard or Rosemary Thomas? I would love to be touch with them again. Susan Hollon



07/02/19 08:31 AM #36    

Joyce Block (Gornall)

James Garner also came to St. Joseph’s grade school just across the street from Central.  We all came out to the playground where we saw him.  You’re right, Carol, we were pretty star struck to see him!  I’m sure it was probably the same time he went to the other schools in Norman.  

04/27/21 02:37 PM #37    

Douglas Davis

Our Classmate, Gordon Hoffman, 73, of Lubbock, Texas passed on April 24, 2021. Gordon was born on March 30, 1948 in Mankato, Minnesota to Clifford J. Hoffman and Jimmye V. Lowe.


This is a link to his Obituary:

06/25/22 04:46 PM #38    

Barbara Orth (Boggs)

Welcome home, Karen!!

03/15/23 05:41 PM #39    

Jim Sandefer

It's unfortunate that very few of us/our classmates have stayed in touch over the years.

Most of us have come to the non-desirable conclusion that our class of '66 will never have another reunion and we will likely never see any of our friends/classmates again. 

This site can, and it does for me, serve as a tool for staying in touch with a couple of my closest friends/classmates. I encourage anyone who hasn't used this site or rarely uses it to please give it a try. I'm confident that you'll be glad you did and may reconnect with some, or at least one, of your long lost high school friends.

All the best to my class of '66 classmates, and please feel free to contact me whenever you get the urge. I will respond...retirement has a tendency to become a massive bore.

05/03/24 05:24 PM #40    

Greg Owings

What was the grade school on Flood just south of Main that's now the Ad Building?

05/03/24 09:51 PM #41    

Robert Roesler

The name of the grade school was Washington I went there 1 thur 3 then to John Adams4 thur 6

05/05/24 10:51 PM #42    

Lynda McGee (Barksdale)

I taught at Washington Elementary for 2 years, 1972 and 1973.  The school was closed after 1973 and became an administrative facility.  Enrollment was down and students were transferred to other buildings.  It was a cozy, small school environment and had a very connected staff. I left Norman in 1973 so I didn't have to worry about a transfer. Greg, I understand you met Paula Brydges, my friend from Okmulgee.  She was our spin class instructor at the YMCA.  Great spin teacher!  Small world.




05/06/24 12:53 PM #43    

Steve Ayers

I attended Washington from grades 4-6. A lot of great memories. My favorite teacher was Mrs Hybarger (? spelling) in 5th grade. Anyone remember our janitor Mr. Duty or the basement we went to for tornados? What a trip. 

05/07/24 09:03 AM #44    


Mike Bagby

I also attended Washinton Grade School.  We lived three house.  My favorite teacher was Mrs White in the 3rd grade.   I remember James's Graners many trips to vist, usualy starting with a big for for the Principal Helen Olander.


05/08/24 03:51 PM #45    

Gary Adams

I also attended Washington Elementary school in 6th grade, Fall 1959-Spring 1960. James Garner came that year. Then on to West Jr High and NHS. I think my teacher was Mrs Kilpatrick, but I'm not 100% sure. I had attended Andrew Jackson in 4th and a couple of weeks in the 5th grade, but my sisters and I were moved all over the place (Ponca City, Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Lebanon, New Hampshire) until landing back in Norman in Summer of '59. That's a year I will never forget even though I'd like to. But I will always remember Norman as a great place.

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