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This page was a 2009 addition to the original Knights section.
Ron shared these photographs and memories with us.
 
 
 
 
Ron at 14 months old with his father
 
 
 
 
 
 
A Hobby That Became a Lifelong Interest.
 
By the eighth grade I was a licensed amateur
 "ham" radio operator.  My call sign was W0MNP .
 
Steve Raphel and I built the 2 meter (144 MHz band),
 the 3 foot tall black thing on the right side of this photo.
 
 I needed a tower to put up an antenna so my folks checked around and found that Uncle Will had a 50 foot windmill tower that was not being used.
 
I think it was about the last of September or first of October, 1950. My Dad, Steve Raphel and I set out with a borrowed trailer on a Friday evening bound for Southern Illinois to get the tower
 
It was still standing so we had to take it down, which we did, and we were back home by Sunday night -- quite a trip.  I spent a lot of time that winter in our basement scraping, wire brushing and aluminum painting all the pieces -- there were
 the spring of 1951 Steve and I started putting it back together in my backyard on 62nd Street.
 
I had a book on tower construction that recommended holes four feet deep by 2 feet by 2 feet for the legs with 2 feet of concrete at each corner.
 
That was a job in itself
 
In  the  photo above the job was almost finished  -- with Steve near the top tightening some bolts.  That's me below.
 
This photo on the left shows the completed project with the antenna, rotor and work platform in place.
 
That's a long way up to the top!!
 
 
No the tower is not
 still in my folks' yard.
 
After I moved to New Mexico in the summer of 1957, someone came by the house and asked if my parents wanted to sell the tower. They did. He bought it and brought a crew of friends.  They took it down and hauled it away to live another day elsewhere.
 
 
 
 
Here is another piece to this story that emphasizes how
tall the tower was - and Ron and Steve's daring do.
 
by Martin (Marty) Bruns who is afraid of heights
 
"I spent many a night after my shift at Swope Park swimming pool, helping Ron and Steve assemble the tower.
 
I wasn't having any trouble scrambling around the tower as it went up, since it was dark and I couldn't see how high we were.  However, when it came time to put the antenna motor and antenna on the top, Ron wanted to do that in the daylight.
 
So I came over on a day off. But froze half way up the tower. Ron had to get Steve to help him mount the motor and antenna at the top."
 
Marty
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ron Remembers Southeast
Spanish Class
 
I don't recall how it got started but second year Spanish with Miss Towner is memorable.  Tom Williams, Charlie McGehee, Joe Wilkerson and I were allowed (perhaps encouraged) to put on a skit in Spanish (of course) maybe every other week for a couple of months.
 
The four of us got together either at Charlie's or Joe's on Sunday afternoon to write and rehearse. The skits started out rather tame but after a few they got pretty wild with us galloping around the classroom on imaginary horses, shouting and generally getting away with as much as we could.
 
Although usually rather strict, Miss Towner seemed to enjoy it.
 
By the way my nick name in Spanish Class was Nor Notpit.  It has been many years since I've heard, or read, that name --- (At least, it is pronounceable).
 
 
 
Check out Tom Williams' page
to hear his take on the nick name game.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Did you know
Ron and Steve Raphel did this for Southeast?
 
I didn't!
 
Senior Year Sound Crew
 Ron Tipton, Kent Simcoe
Mr. Becklean, Robert Logan and Steve Raphel
 
Steve and I were probably the "main" members of the sound staff so we spent some time and thought on making the system better.
 
There were connectors in the auditorium stage floor to plug in the cables from the microphones.  One problem with floor mics. is they pickup a lot of floor noise -- footsteps, and other movement.
 
An Idea is Born to Solve the Problem
 
Steve came up with the idea of suspending the microphones from the ceiling to eliminate this problem.  He told me about it, we thought about how we could do it and then we took it to Mr. Powell.  He agreed and gave us a budget of two or three hundred dollars to get started.  He also gave Steve a key to one of the north side doors so we had access to the building whenever we wanted... how about that for trust! This was the summer of 1952.
 
How They Did It
 
There was a gridiron platform about 30 feet above the stage floor with the actual ceiling about 8 feet above that.  As you may recall, the sound equipment room was on the right side of the stage -- they shared a common wall -- sort of.
 
We ran 1 inch (I think) metallic conduit from the equipment room up the right side stage wall to the ceiling.  It was more difficult and took more time than we thought it would.
 
We bought a quarter-mile spool of surplus field telephone wire.  It was iron wire which isn't the best conductor but it was strong enough to withstand being pulled through the conduit. We wanted to have connections for either 6 or 8 microphones (it's been 57 years and I don't remember which) so we cut the quarter-mile of wire into either 12 or 16 equal lengths using the basement hallway.
 
We bundled the wires together at one end and connected the bundled end to a fish tape that was already through the conduit. We blew about a pound of Spangles dance floor wax into the conduct for lubrication.  One of us pushed while the other pulled.
 
We finally got the bundle pulled through (I think it took several days!).
 
Steve found some small (about a 1/16 inch diameter) stainless steel wire which we used to suspend the microphones. The rest of the job was making all the electrical connections and that part went rather smoothly as I recall.
 
The second part of the plan was to add a cable reel to each mic position so the height above the stage could be remotely controlled. We found this wasn't necessary -- seven to eight feet above the stage worked well.
 
The system was in place and working by the start of school in September 1952.
 
Unfortunately we didn't take any photos of this project which is curious because I was on the photography staff.
 
 
This may be more than you ever wanted to know about this but I wanted to share it with someone.
 
Ron
 
Stephen Raphel
passed away
in June 2015
 
Ron Tipton   Stephen Raphel
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ron Remembers Southeast
Plain Geometry Class
 
In looking around on this website and finding the Faculty page, I though of another remembrance: Mr. Patterson taught a plain geometry class my sophomore year.
 
How he got stuck with it we will never know nor will we know why I got stuck in his class. It was the period right after lunch, the classroom was in the basement on the south side and the sunshine poured in. It was hard to stay awake and it was boring beyond belief.
 
We did nothing but reprove all the theorems that the Greeks had taken care of ages ago. No mention was ever made that plain geometry might actually be useful for something.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1954 - High School Senior Week
 
 
Charlie McGehee, marty Bruns, Ron and Joe McKinley camping out
 
 This is what the guys lived on!
 
 
Fried fish!
 
I think it was the week after graduation that four of us went to Grand Lake for a week.   We rented a cottage that included a row boat but I can't remember just where we went (Joe was driving).
 
The highlight of the trip was the day Charlie was casting for fish and put a hook in the top of my head so we had to take some time out for a visit to an emergency room.
 
As I recall, it took only a minute or two for the doc to get it out. And we did catch enough fish (and frogs) to eat pretty well for the week!
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ron Remembers Southeast
Drafting Class
 
I remember Mr. Harmon's drafting classes and I did well, having that sort of mind for that kid of detail.
 
I also learned to never drop my scale, Tee-square or triangles on the floor as that was a good way to loose grade points. It was practical advise: a tiled concrete floor is not kind to brittle objects
 
 
 
 
 
 
AFTER GRADUATION
 
WHITE SANDS MISSLE RANGE
 
I have degrees in electrical engineering from New Mexico State U here in Las Cruces and I'm retired from an engineering position at White Sands Missile Range which is close by (about 30 miles which is considered close in New Mexico.
 
Mostly, I worked on various kinds of tracking systems. Unfortunately (or whatever), I didn't and don't get along well with bureaucracy so although I put in enough years to retire it was in two stretches -- at the start and at the end.
 
What I did in between those two stints at White Sands was a lot more satisfying.  But more about that in a moment.
 
Ron and Virginia Tipton
Ron and Virginia and their Beetle
1981 - Sailing the Chesapeake
1983 Mississippi River
 
 
White Sands New Mexico
Ron with the female staff at the 1980 KC Renaissance Festival
1981 - Enjoying the good life in St Croix.
Ron and Virginia
at Huntington Beach - 1982
 
 
 
 
 
 
What I Did When Not Working at White Sands Missile Range
And what I still enjoy doing the most.
 
 
When not at White Sands, I did what I really loved --- audio electronics.
 
In 1957 I started a company to design and manufacture audio electronic products. It's still in operation and I pretty much devote full time to it.
 
If interested, you can take a look at:  http://www.tdl-tech.com
 
That's how we ended up in Arkansas and how I got to work with Chet Atkins on the guitar.
 
Ron and Chet - September 1976
 
Since I enjoy doing this, it's easy to work 60 or more hours per week.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ron's Life in Recent Years
 
 
After my wife died I met a friend who drags me away for periodic vacations so the balance is maintained between work and relaxation.
 
Eureka Springs - 1986
 
Camping - Gila, New Mexico
 
We spent two weeks on St. Martin in the fall of 2005, two weeks in the Yucatan in the early spring of 2006 and two weeks in the Dominican Republic in the fall of 2007. We were going back to the Dominican Republic in September 2008 but had to reschedule for April because of the hurricanes.
 
 
Tiger-Lodge-Nepal-2000 
 
Costa-Rica - 2001 
 
Ron and Bev - Tombstone-AZ-2004 
 
Bev is the close friend I met after my wife Virginia died.  Bev's husband also died in 1982.  We met, sort of by chance, that fall and have been together more-or-less ever since.  Of course, the odd thing is that we both went to Southeast -- but we didn't know each other then as she was two classes ahead of us.
 
The first couple of years were not easy and were not made better by her daughter who was 12 year olds at that time.  However, we survived.  We have separate houses around the corner from each other. Her house is filled with paintings (she's a painter of some local renown) and mine is full of computers and electronics.
 
   
We do not see any good reason to be married.  In fact, she would loose her social security from her late husband if we were. She has a good pension from the Missouri Teacher's Retirement (she taught in the Peculiar and Belton schools for 30 years) so we have been able to do most of what we have wanted to do -- at least so far.
 
Although I can read music and can "play at" the piano, I have no musical talent but I love being on the periphery of the music business. So I got as close as I could with audio electronics and musical reproduction.  I'm a member of the California Antique Phonograph Society, the Michigan Antique Phonograph Society and the Association for Recorded Sound Collections.
 
I enjoy listening to classical, opera and classical jazz on equipment that I've designed and built --- of course!
 
I enjoy listening to classical, opera and classical jazz on equipment that I've designed and built --- of course!
 
Ron
 
 
 
 
 
 
Final SOUTHEAST Comments
 
The Projection Staff
 
We had responsibility for showing movies in the auditorium. There was a 16 mm arc projector in the projection booth, which may have been a "big deal" for a high school.  It was a mixed blessing for the operators.
 
Junior Year Projection Staff
 
The arc light did a great projection job.  But if the film stopped, the film burnt in about a second. New films were not a problem but older films with worn sprocket holes had to be carefully watched as the arc had to be killed in less than a second if the film hung up.
 
Senior Year Projection Staff
 
 
The Photography Staff
 
Ron Tipton Steve Raphel
Charles McGehee Joe McKinley Joe Wilkerson
 
I was on the photography staff. along with Steve Raphel, Charlie McGehee, Joe McKinley, Joe Wilkerson and  several others,.
 
The darkroom was in the metal shop and when Mr. Carter and students were doing metal casting the fumes were enough to run us out.
 
This didn't occur to me at that time but looking back on it, for a high school we had excellent photographic equipment and a very well equipped darkroom. I must have taken, developed and printed many hundreds of photos during four years. You would think that I would have at least a few prints, but I don't.
 
Football games were at Blue's Stadium.  I don't think I ever sat in the stands and watched a game. I was either totting a 4x5 camera and equipment bag or else I was on one end of the 10-yard chain.
 
 
 
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