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Forum: Connie Lee Tanner

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Created on: 09/12/13 07:28 PM Views: 3368 Replies: 6
Original post
Posted Thursday, September 12, 2013 07:28 PM

I started this thread because of a post that Carol Dixon made in the message forum.  She asked about Connie Lee Tanner:  I quote her comment here, hoping that she won't mind me starting this topic in this setting:

Carol Himmelberger Dixon

Left out from the "news" of 1963 was the fact that it was the year our school finally was integrated. And i don't see the name Connie Lee Tanner listed among our classmates. Did he leave during the school year? Just curious if i am the only one who remembers this.

Well, Carol is not the only one who remembers it.  I remember it now that she mentions it, the feelings I had and the later struggles with myself about it all.  As we have shared our lives in this web site, and I have been so proud and thankful for all of my classmates as I read your stories, I wonder how Connie's life has gone, and I would really like to know.  So, here is your chance to share remembrances about him and I'll work to see if I can locate him.

 
RE: Original post
Posted Thursday, September 12, 2013 09:53 PM

Carol- I too remember Connie Lee Tanner.  You may remember that I was president of the student council our senior year and I remember that principal Allen Hyatt and I had some discussions about this before Connie Lee entered.  I must say I do not know if he graduated with us and maybe Charles knows how to find out for sure.  If he did it is most appropriate that he would be invited to our 50th reunion, IMO.  I always thought it was sad that the integration started with only one student.  It would have been much better with a group and I have no idea who made that decision.

 
RE: Remembrances of Connie Lee
Posted Friday, September 13, 2013 04:44 PM

This is my memory of an earlier response to Carol that has been lost in our web page.

 

I was selected to debate this young man on a major issue of the day, civil rights. I believe Mrs. Pryor made that choice. He was prepared and did an excellent job. He had documentation from the prominent black leaders of the day. I won the debate because I was white but I have always believed that he beat me fair and square.

Given the times we reacted to a black student as well as could be expected. I believe we all came to a new understanding of what life is all about and became better citizens in our future endeavors. I would really enjoy him coming to the reunion.

 
RE: Original post
Posted Saturday, September 14, 2013 08:44 AM

I have been meaning to get back over here to add my response.  I don't remember a lot about Connie Lee.  It seems he was very quiet.  He was in my home room and he always sat by himself.  Over the years I have felt guilty that I didn't respond better to this; didn't make him more welcome.  He seemed strong, determined.  I thought he was very brave and wondered if I would have the courage to do something like that at such a young age.  One of our classmates remembers a girl that same year, but I don't remember anything about her.  Does anybody else?  It might be worth a trip to the library to check the old Huntsville Times files to get the actual information.  I'll see if I can do that next week.

 
RE: Remembrances of Connie Lee
Posted Sunday, September 15, 2013 03:22 PM

 

 

From Carol Himmelberger (Dixon) Profile - Also on Message Forum

hi all, it's good to know I am not alone in remembering Connie Lee Tanner, tho I know we each have different memories of those times. I remember those of us who were "Yankees" went out of our way to greet him and try to make him feel just a little bit welcome, tho I know that by and large he was not. Those were difficult days for me and others who were thrust into a strange culture and onto the midst of the Civil rights turmoil. Yes, he was quiet, and as was said, he was probably scared to death. I hope Charles can locate him and invite him to the reunion.

 
RE: Original post
Posted Wednesday, October 9, 2013 07:59 AM

One final addition.  Our excellent researcher, Annewhite Fuller has a little more information.  She sent the following:

 

Charles,
 
After looking around a little and calling in some help, I found the following information.
 
Connie Lee Tanner transferred to Huntsville High in January, 1964 from W.H. Councill Training School a Madison County School at that time.  You might remember it out on Meridian Street near A&M.
 
He transferred, probably back to his old school, a couple of months before graduation.  I expect he wanted to graduate with his old classmates.
 
His mother died 31 Dec 1974 and is buried at Northside Cemetery.  I hope her obituary is in the paper.  His mother was Ophelia Ewing Tanner and his father William Tanner.
 
 

Annewhite

 

We'll continue to search for Connie Lee.

 
 
RE: CLT
Posted Sunday, March 23, 2014 07:25 AM

We were among the Yankees that extended a welcome to Connie.  My mother thought it would be nice to invite him over to our house.  Not surprisingly, he was reserved, inscrutable? but seemed to appreciate the visit.  I remember being surprised that he aspired to be a funeral director.  I can't recall if he came more than once.