SDHS 1968

The Banner and Mr. Handley

Mike Crouse & Chuck Force

The following is a conversation that Mike Crouse and I (Chuck Force) had. I was intrigued by his memories of the Banner Incident and Mr. Handley. I asked him if he minded if I shared it with all of you…and he consented. Read, enjoy and please share your remembrances of the Banner and Mr. Handley or anything else….thanks.

Mike Crouse’s Bio:

Lived in Trinidad W.I. briefly after grad from SDHS then Attended U of I and finished college at Memphis State Univ. Have worked at Fedex in Memphis since 1976 and since 1980 have worked in our Global Operations Control (Flight Ops) dept keeping our domestic system running on a day-to-day basis. Have been a guitarist in various bands over the years- music is the love of my life along with my family. Many fond memories of SDHS and all the craziness we perpetrated (remember the "Go Seniors Beat 'Em ---" banner at the Sr assembly?!) Still have a photo of that. Best wishes to all still around and may those who have departed live in our hearts... Mr. Handley, wherever you are, sorry for all the grief we gave you (though it was oftimes deserved!). To all the great teachers who put up with us: you made a difference in our lives you'll never know.. Lastly, sorry to the girls who hearts I broke unknowingly-- hey, I was a stupid 17 y.o. guy!


Great to read your bio on the website. Two things....I would love to have a picture of the banner that fell. It was funny but I was a little upset. I was selected for the Red and White Day basketball assembly as a freshman but broke my leg and couldn't play. I wasn't selected as a sophomore or junior but finally as a senior I was. I was standing ready to play basketball and during the Star Spangled Banner....the banner fell. I knew that would cancel the assembly..which it did...but fortunately it was rescheduled...and the Seniors went on to win the whole thing. I got to play basketball in front of the whole school. A great memory for me. If you can scan that picture I will try to put it on our website.

Secondly, I can tell you a little about Mr. Lee J. Handley. My son played baseball for MacArthur...from 1994-98. A few times Lee J. was the umpire....a little swaggering...and overweight...but the same old coach. I wasn't sure he would last long, he drank very heavily. Just a couple of weeks ago I was at a funeral of a former fellow teacher at EHS and a man says...."Hey, Chuck Force." I looked and it was Mr. Handley, looking good. I talked for a while....he was very lucid. He said he had lost 50 pounds and was doing well. He still recalled that I high jumped. Quite a guy. I remember he was all over Terry Sigfried (class of '69).

I hope we can share some memories like this on the website.

Chuck Force

Hi Chuck,

Good to hear from you-- I'll never forget when that banner fell. Someone

(Mr. Martin?) had been speaking and there was a lull then you heard the

ringing of the timer against a backdrop of total silence then the banner

fell down. It was weighed down with pennies which crashed to then

scattered all over the gym floor. What a moment! I knew the guys who

came up with this great idea but wasn't a part of it but had heard in

advance what might happen-- the timing couldn't have been more perfect..

I still can't believe it worked as well as it did!

I've scanned the assembly pic for you and sent via separate e-mail. The

picture itself is pretty ragged but the scan turned out pretty well.

It's a large file which captures all the detail of the original. I

thought about enhancing it some but decided to just leave as is.

Best of luck and I hope I can make the reunion this year..


Mike Crouse

Sat May 10, 2008 - 2:06 PM

If you want to post a message. Go to the MESSAGES page and click: ADD NEW MESSAGE.