Oh, That Buddy Houts - And Response

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

To Jim Ashley:

I loved reading about Buddy Houts. I worked at the Free Press for seven years from 1974-81 (only barely overlapping  your arrival)  in what was originally known as the Society Department. Then it became Features, but it was still all women.  Buddy came in our big room to see us often.  One day he had on a beautiful new suit, which his mother, an accomplished seamstress, had made.  We oohed and aahed over it, but Buddy said, “I will never have her make me another suit with two pairs of trousers.”   Why, we asked Buddy?  “Too hot,” he replied.

Still, another time was on a hot summer day when one of our staff had sent up a filler to be used when there was a little spot left over on a page.  We got these off the wire service but had to put a title or headline on each story.  The one she had sent up to the composing room was about taking care of your dogs while it was so hot – provide water, shade, etc.  Her headline was, “Watch Dogs in Heat.”  Buddy came in our room with a big grin on his face, holding up that page with the headline circled in red. “Well,” he said, “I guess if you’ve got nothing else to do.”

When it snowed, Mr. Roy, whose first priority was getting the paper out every day, came into our area and announced that he had reserved rooms at the Read House for any of us who wanted to stay there and not try to drive home and back.  Buddy, standing behind Mr. McDonald to see what was going on, said he believed he would go down to the Read House with us.  “That could be dangerous, Buddy,” Mr. Roy laughed.  “Well, if it kills them, it kills them,” Buddy answered.

 That was Buddy Houts.  Such fun.  Thanks for the memories, Jim.

Margaret Kelley

* * *

I have a Buddy Houts story for you. Back around1975, on a snowy winter day, Buddy decided to test -drive a Peterbilt Truck...those long-haul machines that have a gazillion gears. He invited me to join him.

I think we went east on East Eleventh Street and then got onto McCallie Avenue. At some point, he stopped and asked me if I wanted to drive. Well, of course.

Somehow,  I got us onto M.L King Boulevard headed for Riverfront Parkway. We stopped at the Chattanooga Housing Authority, where my husband Mark Rudisill worked. I started tooting the horn until people started coming outside to see what the ruckus was all about. When they recognized me, they went and got Mark. He about died when he saw me in the driver's seat. What a hoot.

Betsy Bramlett


EPA Overreach Jeopardizes Jobs And Increases Energy Prices

The latest round of regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency are difficult to rationalize. The EPA’s planned greenhouse gas rules will jeopardize low-cost electricity relied upon by local governments, small businesses, farmers and manufacturers – a regulation whose impact will be felt by much more than just energy producers and utility companies – but throughout the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Lamenting ‘The Last Day’

I wasn’t at Fenway Park yesterday but I know what happened. Yes, it was No. 2’s last game of a great career, and more Yankees fans than usual were packed into Boston’s holy ground to see Derek Jeter’s swan song. But what I know happened has become an almost sacred rite, when towards the final out of the last game of the season Red Sox radio announcer Joe Castiglione will read a ... (click for more)

EPB Says Bottom Line Is It Owes City $17,049 For Street Light Billing; DePriest Says Figure Is Starting Point For Talks With City: EPB To Ask Dismissal Of "Frivolous" Lepard Lawsuit

EPB officials on Tuesday morning released a report by Mauldin & Jenkins, the independent accounting firm charged with analyzing the process errors that led to questions about billing for public street lights, that gives a bottom line figure that EPB owes the city of Chattanooga $17,049. Harold DePriest, EPB president, said that is a starting point for ongoing talks with the ... (click for more)

DA Sets Up Process To Review 120 Cold Cases Murders Dating Back 40 Years

District Attorney Neal Pinkston said at a morning press conference on Tuesday that he is setting up a process to review 120 cold case murders in Hamilton County dating back some 40 years. He said former city major crimes detective Mike Mathis will be working out of his office on the cases. He is familiar with most or all of the cases, it was stated. DA Pinkston said Sgt. Bill ... (click for more)

Baylor Impressive In Volleyball Sweep Of Signal Mountain

Baylor coach Sarah Lail paused briefly before saying that she's seen her Lady Red Raider volleyball team play better than they did on Monday, but they did just about everything right as they celebrated Senior Night with an impressive 3-0 victory over the Signal Mountain Lady Eagles. It was a meeting of two of the top three teams in Chattanooga -- too bad that Ooltewah couldn't ... (click for more)

Basketball, Wrestling Mocs Host Ball N' Brawl

It’s party time in the Scenic City. Chattanooga’s team is sending some of its best to close down 3rd Street on Friday, October 10, for Ball N’ Brawl. This inaugural event features the men’s and women’s basketball programs along with the wrestling team. “This was an idea coaches Heath Eslinger (wrestling) and Will Wade (men’s basketball) came up with,” Director of Marketing and ... (click for more)