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  Recollections/Emails (Page 5)
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  Abercrombie, Clotiele B.
Abercrombie, Loyd D. Sr.
Abercrombie, Virgie Blalock

Armstrong, John
Bain, Pamela
Bento, Lola
Box, Dorothy Womack
Campbell, Lu
Holbert, Pearl Shaw
Challis, James E. "Ike"
Cole, Beaver
Coleman, Howard
Cronkite, Walter
Degnan, Julie E.
Duch, Greg
Erikson, Charles Henry
Ezell, Alta Reigh
Farrell, Hal
Gregory, Doug
Grenley, Martha Rogers
Grigg, Horace
Grigg, William N.
Hannon, Bill
Harris, Howard
Johnson, Joe and Bobby
Kronjaeger, Jim
Lester, George
Lester, George - Playmates
Lummus, Darlene
Lummus, Don
Martinez, Nelma Cummins
Mayhew, Bessie
McAllister, Mark

Meissner, J. Raymond
Moody, Mildred
Motley, Pete
Nelson, Ron
Plant, Sally
Platton, Mike
Read, Osceola Jefferson
Robertson, William Judson
Robinson, Jimmie Jordan
Mack Thornton Rogers
Ryan, Terri Jo
Seacrist, Debra
Shaw, Marjorie
Stanley, Glenda G.
Taylor, Bob
Taylor, Jim
Thompson, Bill
Vail, Mary Lechtenberg
Vento, Eduardo
Vinson, Allen Earl
Vinson, Melvin
Williams, William B.
  Walter Cronkite  
  Walter Cronkite Remembers  
  Among those who converged on tiny New London was a cub reporter, fresh from his university schooling, who was working for United Press (UP) in Dallas. The young man's name was Walter Cronkite.

Cronkite was one of the first reporters to reach the scene, having been dispatched as soon as he received confirmation of an advisory from the Houston bureau that a major story was breaking in New London. He got his first inkling of how bad the incident was when he saw a large number of cars lined up outside the funeral home in Tyler.

When he finally reached the scene, it was dark and raining. Floodlights were being set up, casting long shadows from the big oil field cranes that had been brought in to help remove the rubble. Workers were climbing up and down the piles of debris like ants, instinctively going about their grim task.

From the perspective of a news reporter, this was a tragedy of epic proportions. The UP team that eventually joined Cronkite set up a news bureau in the Western Union office in nearby Overton, and he accidently ended up sharing a tiny motel room with a complete stranger. He crept into the room very late believing the sleeping figure in the other bed was a colleague from UP.

Thus began his career, one that would eventually include his Emmy Award-winning role as anchorman for the CBS Evening News. Decades later, as his life in the public eye was winding down, Cronkite said, "I did nothing in my studies nor in my life to prepare me for a story of the magnitude of that New London tragedy, nor has any story since that awful day equaled it."
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  Charles Henry Erikson  
  As a student of New London Elementary School, my brothers and I were on our way home walking to Old London. We had stopped to talk to one of our Sunday School teachers living the teachersí housing across the street from the high school. We were facing the High School when the explosion happened. We saw the building lift up off its foundation then mushroom out and collapse. Bricks and parts of the school fell around us, but nothing hit us.

We were told by the lady to run to Old London and tell the people what had happened. She said stop at the big house on the hill to have them telephone in for help. I donít remember the family name of that house.

I ran down the Main Street of Old London telling the stores and the Baptist Church what had happened. My brothers were running to houses telling and asking for help. People had been wondering what had happened. We got to our home about 4:30 pm. Mother and Dad (Inez and Henry Erikson) had been to Tyler on a shopping trip with my baby sister. They heard about the explosion while there. Mother was so happy to see her three sons were safe.

Dad promptly went to the school to help in the work of recovery. He was an employee in the East Texas Oil field. He worked at the school until all recovery was done, coming home only for view hours of sleep each day.

We moved to Spring Hill, then later I graduated from Sabine High School (now known as Liberty City). After graduation I joined the Marines and was stationed at El Toro Marine Base and remained in California after a 4 yr. enlistment.

While viewing the coverage of the Oklahoma City Bombing I experienced flash back visual memories and then realized part of the reason of my retirement activities. In 1993 I became involved with California Southern Baptist Disaster Relief and helped in mass feeding for the Laguna Fires, then the big North Ridge Earthquake. From that point on I followed Godís leadership in the mission of assistance during times of disaster.

Presently I am California Southern Baptist Associate Director of Disaster Relief . In addition I participate in the Critical Response Team for the American Red Cross. These groups have sent me on many local, national, and international disasters.

My wife just discovered this website and then I saw and read for the first time in many years what had only been memories.

Charles (Chuck) Erikson
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  Alta Reigh Ezell from an email from Robin Ezell  
  This is a photo I scanned this morning. It is a clipping from a newspaper. The clipping is glued into a scrapbook that belonged to Alta Reigh Ezell. In her handwriting is the following:

"Naomi Bunting was killed in the New London school explosion."
"John Smith had 2 kids killed also."

She dated it March 20, 1938. I do know it was in 1937 after doing a search on the internet and finding your site!

I do not know if Alta knew these persons personally or if she was writing what she had read.

Click on the Clipping To Enlarge To Full Size.

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