Edward Weaver Summers
Pictured here is my home, 305 Bethel Rd. NE, in Hartselle, AL. Family in 50's and 60's consisted of myself, my lovely wife Bevelye, and our super children Doug, Ronnie & Sally.
My name is Edward Weaver Summers and I want to welcome you. Come in and sit a while. My website is titled "Down Memory Lane" because it is the story of the lessons learned as I traveled down the journey of life. If we fail to apply the lessons learned as we make our journey through life we have to live and relive the same old mistakes over and over again. That's why wisdom is normally associated with age, I guess. Please sign my guestbook before you leave.
At the time of my birth on March 23, 1922 I was named Edward Weaver Summers, but most people know me simply as Ed Summers. Weaver was the family name of my maternal grandmother. When I was a young boy I was called Ed Weaver by the family because we already had an Edward as a first cousin. Speaking of first cousins, I also had one named William Bradford Huie (Mother's oldest sister's son).
Bill was the author of hundreds of essays, articles, short stories, and twenty-one books including 14 bestsellers, and 7 that were made into Hollywood films. One of the most successful, "The Revolt of Mamie Stover," starring Jane Russell, sold over 5 million copies in several languages. Huie was at one time owner and editor of American Mercury magazine, and was one of the first highly successful TV talk show hosts interviewing the nation's top personalities from New York.
William Bradford Huie
When I finished high school we had no money for college, so I saw enlistning in the Air Corps as a way out of near poverty. Our military was very small. It was hard to get into the Air Corps then even though World War II was still 18 months away (Dec. 7, 1941 we will always remember Pearl Harbor) I didn't enlist for patriotic reasons. I was among those that still thought the war would be fought in Europe. After graduating from a 22 week course in Airplane Mechanics school, I was chosen to become an instructor. This I didn't like, so I went to talk to the Commandant. I learned a lot about the Army on that occasion. He told me it was obvious I didn't know much about the army--that I had made the only decision I would have to make when I decided to enlist. He further stated, "Who do you think will train the 12 million men we will have in this war?" This was when I found out we were going to be in the war. He told me to get out there and be the very best instructor I could be, and I said "Yes sir." For some reason, the military calls becoming an officer bettering yourself, and they have a rule that says that you can't keep a person from bettering himself. After serving as an instructor for almost three years I appplied for the Aviation Cadet program and was accepted. At classification in San Antonio I passed all three (pilot, navigator, and bombardier) but was told that since I made the best grade on navigator and because everyone wanted to be a pilot, they preferred I be classified as navigator. I became a navigator on a B-24 Liberator. In November, 1944, there were so many crews piled up in Hawaii we were transferred to the 4th Air Force and continued overseas training--March Field, then Mojave and then Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho, where I was stationed when V-J Day occurred.
After returning to my hometown after the war, we had planned to open a drive-in restaurant. We had planned it for several years. We named it "The Hollywood Drive-in Restaurant" and had dozens of the top movie stars' pictures personally autographed to us on the walls. I had enough sense to take a restaurant management course which helped me tremendously. For some reason everyone thinks they can go into the restaurant business and make a success of it. The average life of restaurant operators is 6 months. This is a business for the young. We had a great time operating the Hollywood and were financially sucessful. Sold it after 5.5 years and in January 1951 I started working for civil service and the U.S. Army Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal, AL. Two fellows on a bus were pulling into a small town. One said to the other, "Is this Wimberly?" The first fellow said "No, I think it's Thursday." The other said "I am too, let's have a drink." This little story is a good example of not listening. Both of these fellows listened like most people do--not very well. We don't learn from others unless we listen.
Bev & I at Billy Berg's Swing Club-Hollywood 1944 (left). Our restaurant in Hartselle,Al named The Hollywood-1948 (right).
After selling my restaurant I applied for a job at Redstone Arsenal. The German rocket scientists headed by Werner Van Braun had just been brought there and things were really booming. The Korean War was heating up and the ammunition lines were working around-the-clock. I went over to the arsenal for an interview with the Safety Director (who has also been in the restaurant business) and was hired as a Safety Inspector. I got along well in Safety and moved up as high as I could go salary-wise in that field. In 1958 Chick Albright, the Safety Director, helped me move to a job close to commander, where things for me went well. While in Safety I attended Athens College under trying conditions. Safety inspectors worked "swing-shifts." One month on regular shift, swing to second shift and the next month swing to third shift. So part of the time I went to night school. During WWII I had some college, so I was able to get my BS degree in Business Administration in August 1952.
As you have probably noticed by now, I am a firm believer in FATE. I believe we were all put here on the planet for a purpose.
The Creator gives us the freedom to make choices, but those choices either result in our accomplishing the purpose we were placed here or God makes things happen (we may never know it) so that His purpose is accomplished by or through us in the end. This thinking is supported in numerous places in the Scriptures. A little prayer said each morning by my former wife of 52 years expresses this well: "Good morning God You are ushering in another day untouched and freshly new, So here I come to ask you God, If you'll renew me too. Forgive the many errors I made yesterday, And let me try again dear God, To walk closer in thy way But I'm well aware I can't make it on my own, So take my hand and hold it tight, Because I can't walk alone."Even though we are supposed to do everything we can do ourselves God wants us to recognize we need Him. This is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength. As the song says "Learning to Lean"-as we grow spiritually we learn to lean on Jesus who helps us overcome problems, trials and temptations.
I have always been active in civic activities in tihe community--the usual: Boys & Girl Scouts, youth sports, Chamber of Commerce (the only charter member still alive), Civitan Club, Chairman Hartselle Ave of Flags since its beginning in 1972, school support (athletic boosters, academic booster, band booster), and the American Legion. I believe the American Legion stands on firmer ground than any organization I'm aware of on the planet. It reflects the personality & beliefs of its principle founder, Theodore Roosevelt. He was a combination of St. Paul because of his morals and values, and St. Vitas for his tremendous energy. This combination is spelled out in the Legions preamble to its constitution which begins "For God and Country." The single most important piece of legislation ever enacted by any government was drafted by the American Legion in just 10 days. As WWII neared its end the Legion along with William Randolph Hearst's newspapers pushed this act through the Congress and signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This was called the "G.I. Bill of Rights" and provided for a college education & substance for all who wanted it and the opportunity to buy a home with the loan back by the government. The G.I. Bill to this day is recognized as the thing that made America a major power after the Great Depression.
Most of what I've learned while traveling down memory lane can be summed up in the 600 plus "Letters to the Editor" I've written. A typical example of one of my letters published in the Birmingham News of April 23, 1989 is shown here. Denial of personal responsibility is at epidemic level in our society. The Bible is very clear. Each and every person is accountable to one another and to the laws of society, but ultimately to God who will judge each of us. The main objective of this journey "Down Memory Lane" is lessons learned. Hopefully by your visit to my page you have learned the important parts of our life are the present and the future, and not the past. I have tried to illustrate that we can't live in the past, but we should learn from it, and apply the "lessons learned" to our lives to come. Here is a picture of me today that clearly illustrates what aging does to the human body. Thanks for stopping by.
1. It is people, not things, that make life worthwhile.
2. To have a friend you must be one.
3. Life is meaningful if we live it with and for OTHERS.
4. You only have one reputation and a good one is priceless.
5. Pain equals Gain (we grow stronger by enduring the trials of life).
6. We become what we think about.
7. It is the small things that count--molehills will become mountains.
8. Happiness isn't found by pursuing it; it is a natural fallout of living right.
9. Through the years we have plunged deeper and deeper onto the "Age of No-Fault" People are no longer willing to be held accountable for their actions. We now blame everything from genetics, economy, society, or whatever for our actions. In a nation where the people elect their representatives. It is the people who are responsible. So, we get the kind of government and society we resemble.
10. The best way to change a bad habit is to replace it with a good one.
11. Being a good listener pays off.
12. Be the eternal optimist.
13. One of the first things I learned in my work in D.C. is 'It's not what you know or who you know,but what you know on who. that counts.'
14. Racecar spelled backwards is still racecar.
God forgives us as we forgive others
Recent Trips & Tours
Letters to the Editor
American Legion Connection
My Only Book So Far
First United Methodist Church
Summers Family History
F.E. Burleson Elementary School
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