Day 27 — The First Man in My Life – Part 4 — 40 Days of Writing, Fall Session 2014

Roy Hendrix, about age 15

To a swell kid who likes to come to school everyday, and lots of luck in the future. — Ken Cross “50”

Lots of luck to a cute guy, but what a flirt. — Glenna

Well, good-lookin’. You’re leaving. But come around once in a while and see good ole L.U.H.S. — Darlene ‘51

To a real cute guy the best of luck. Be a good little boy and don’t do anything I wouldn’t! — Mary Lou

To Roy: The fella that I think is wonderful! Please take it easy hon, and be good! Good luck in everything you do! — Dolores “50”

Lots of luck, and call on me for your secretary when you get your newspapaper office. — Bea

Good luck, Roy. We’re all gonna miss the hell you raise around here. — Gil Ellison

To a special dream guy. — Margaret Frazier

These were only about 1/50th of the signatures in my father’s 1949 Liberty Lion yearbook from Liberty Union High School in Brentwood, California. Every available space in the book is filled with signatures from classmates and teachers.


Next to my father’s Senior picture: Roy Hendrix. Drives anything that moves; Block L Pres.; likes dames, football, Johnny’s Pool Hall, and English IV.

On a page titled “Last Will and Testament,” where graduating Seniors leave something for the incoming Freshmen, my father’s wit was apparent, “I, Roy Hendrix, will my left winking eye to any bashful boy who should happen to need it.”

He was popular. He was smart. He was funny. He was a flirt. He was handsome. He was involved in sports and other school activities.

The above entry by Bea, regarding owning his own newspaper office is something I never knew about until I read it an hour ago. The irony is that before getting into Broadcasting I worked at numerous community newspapers as a graphic/production artist. Was he there with me in spirit all those times? I like to think so.

No one will ever know what turned a young man such as my father, into such an unhappy, frustrated and flawed adult. Like so many, it appeared that his high school years were the best years of his life. His whole life ahead of him, the world was his oyster, or so it seemed.

I do know that his home life wasn’t all that great; his family was poor and it is said that he was beaten. Perhaps high school was a welcome escape for him; that was where he could truly shine.

Ute, Dad and some friends, during Korean War.

My father was in the army during the Korean War and I heard that at one time he had lost some stripes because he was goofing around and wouldn’t quit laughing during a line-up. He was stationed in Germany and had a girlfriend name Ute. Rumor has it she became pregnant with his child, and before the baby was born, Dad’s tour of duty ended and he came back to the U.S. and never contacted her again. I’m sure that that sort of thing happened a lot, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that this man would someday be a father to me.

About kdanek17

A work in progress. Radio personality and voiceover artist. I love cooking, entertaining, and being with friends & family (which includes my dogs).
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