BYNG — Several people in the area have had some problems but have wound up saying, “Well,  thank goodness, it was no worse than it was.”

Jodi Jackson was literally in the middle of an auto accident. Two trucks collided and Jodi was too near for comfort.  She was not hurt in the least but her beloved Lincoln Town Car was totaled.  The car had belonged to her late sister-in-law, Betty Jo Vogt, and it had value far beyond  anything the Blue Book will admit. Jodi keeps thinking, “What if I’d been in a smaller car,” and she’s grateful for her “Old Faithful.”

Vestel and Bette Cole made a sudden early morning run to OKJC because Bette’s son, Jim Perkey, had checked into the hospital with symptoms of a heart attack. The doctors remedied that with a stent. However, the Coles didn’t relax until a full 24 hours later because the scene was essentially a re-play of another emergency two years ago when doctors put  a stent into Jim’s heart, but it failed in less than 24 hours and the surgeons had to resort to a double by-pass. This time, however, the stent held, and the Coles went up last Saturday for an important birthday lunch with the son and daughter-in-law. Jim is feeling fine and was delighted to be celebrating his birthday.

Vestel’s son-in-law, Dan Dunagan, gave the Coles a fright at about the same time. A colonoscopy brought the bad news that he had colon cancer, but the doctor was optimistic after surgery that the cancer was small and contained. Lab reports confirmed that no cancer remained even at the site of the operation. 

Jerry West, Francis, is the husband of Linda and the son-in-law of  Richard Watson, Byng.   He gave the family quite a scare when he fell from the top of an oil drilling rig last week. On his way down, Jerry’s leg became entangled in a rope. His heel was severely damaged, and next week surgeons will attempt to repair it.  Witnesses say that if the rope had not entangled him, Jerry’s fall probably would have been fatal.

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Ruth Ann Taylor is home from England after ten days.  With her brother and sister-in-law, Wyman and Suzi Grindstaff, Springfield, Mo.., she had a delightful visit in London. 

Attending service at St. Paul’s Cathedral last Sunday was a high point for them. They enjoyed the worship service which included a 15-minute message but was mostly music by a men’s choir.  They also took time for a longer tour of Westminster Abbey than they had done on previous trips.   Several evenings were spent in London’s theatres, and paintings by Old Masters got their attention in daytime visits.

Viewing the controversial “Eye of London” was enjoyable, they say. The “Eye,” which was built to celebrate the millennium, is a bit like a huge Ferris Wheel though each gondola seats about 25 people. It affords a wonderful view of London, but Londoners think it a bit too garish to be in close proximity to the more dignified attractions like Big Ben.

Ruth Ann brought each of us a tuppence, a coin with the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.  It is actually worth two cents though the exchange rate is about two to one.  In other words, Ruth Ann’s souvenir for us cost her four cents, plus getting red flagged by airport attendance.  She had all our souvenirs wrapped in a bundle in her purse.  The security personnel  called her aside and unceremoniously dumped out everything in her purse.   He explained that the X-rays didn’t clearly show what was in the bundle. 

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Byng Alumni have been having their annual  homecoming on the Saturday after Thanksgiving for at least 50 years, but this year it will take place on  June 24.

Betty Allred, Byng Alumni president, says that for the past several years, people have suggested changing the date to summer, and at the last meeting, the matter was put to a vote and the change was made. A letter will be sent out in the near future. For more information phone Betty at 332-0525 or Prestlene Gray at 332-729.

Allred says one reason for the change is that not so many people come “home” to Byng at Thanksgiving.  Now parents tend to travel to visit their children at that time of year,  It is hoped that Byng alumni can plan their vacation to coincide with the All School Reunion.

The group decided on June 24, not knowing it was the same date chosen for a Class Reunion of the class of ’71. However, this will not be a problem, for that class is having its Saturday night meal, a catered affair, in the Byng Student Center; the alumni group will dine in the school cafeteria.

As usual, the alumni group will be honoring the class that has been graduated 50 years.  They say that they will be happy to help the class of ’56 in any way possible to commemorate this important anniversary.