Letters to the Editor, Malakoff News, May 16, 2008
We of the 1957 Malakoff Senior class wish to express our sympathies and offer our sincere
condolences to Henry "Mitch" Allen's family after learning of Mitch's death.
Last year Henry helped us celebrate our 50 year class re¬union. As one of the organizers of the
event, I relied heavily on my good friend to help with our event. In June 2005,
during our annual Rogers/Robertson/Scott Re¬union, Henry and I exchanged email addresses.
After this, our communication was almost daily for the rest of 2005 and until our re¬union in May of
2007. Henry and 1 discussed everything from politics to religion. We talked about family, old times,
the old downtown Malakoff, family problems, hard times, good times, any¬thing and everything. For
al¬most two years our daily communication was both uplifting and inspiring.
During the Malakoff Ex’s reunion in September of 2006. Henry and I again renewed our friendship
in per¬son. We had our picture made together and discussed the possibility of having a special 50-
year reunion for our 1957 class. At this 2006 reunion the idea for our reunion was born and
through email conversations with Henry, Charlotte Evans Elrod, Kenneth Carter, Eddie Nokes and
June Baggett Mewbourn, we began to develop plans for the reunion. Of course it was a joint effort
that eventually led to our very successful re¬union, but it was the little things that Henry did that
helped launch the event.
On an almost daily basis, I would inundate Henry with some question or ask him to
identify some picture. Henry was working for Advance Sales in Dallas and even
though I am sure he was very busy, he always took time to respond. He gave invaluable
feedback: about spelling, tweaking a statement or identifying some classmate from
an old photo. We all gave our shot at identifying a third grade photo of our class, but Henry was the
one with the best memory of old names.
For those of you that don't know, Henry had always been handicapped with poor eyesight: but
Henry could "see" things that many of us missed. He always saw the good side of things. While
Eddie Nokes and I struggled in our 1950's typing class to hammer out 30 words per minute on the
old Underwood typewriter, Henry was eating up the keyboard in spite of that Underwood and his
Henry and I had discussed some of the teachers he had difficulty with over the years, but one
of his teachers he adamantly supported. We talked about Miss Annie Pope Gilreath and he and I
wrote to the Malakoff News urging board members to name the Elementary School for. Miss Annie
Pope. As 1 corresponded with Henry via email, one thing began to surface: his spirituality and
dedication to God. He talked to me about how he had taken many wrong paths in his life, but from
his words, I knew he was now on the right path. He shared some poems and songs that he had
written, baring his soul, due to hurts in his life.
I relied heavily - on Henry for the correct music selection for our '57 reunion. Henry always loved his
music • and it was his band that per¬formed during our Malakoff talent shows in the 50's. He
expressed to me that God had given him the ability to write songs and that they just came to him.
I thank God for the short time that 1 was given to re¬connect with my old buddy Henry "Mitch"
Allen and I thank him for all of his assistance in helping to make our '57 reunion a great success.
Henry; we leave you in God's • hands and thank you for being a great friend to us all.
Don Henderson, Spring, Texas
This is an Email Henry sent me probably in late 2006 or early 2007
Man, I don't have any CDs. Never have been into them. I still have a bunch of old 45s and 78s.
But, they're mostly in the 70's and 80's. I only cut one record and I don't even remember the year.
But, all of the copies I had have disappeared a long time ago.
DOWN IN THE CARIBBEAN was a little old "ditty" I use to sing. Our little group won two or three Ag
talent contests performing that one. It was written and recorded by Mitchell Torak. (pronounced
DARK MOON by Gail Storm (One of my favorites)
KAW-LIGA by Hank Williams, Sr.
CHEATIN' HEART by Hank Williams, Sr.
WINDOW SHOPPIN' by Hank Williams, Sr.
HEY, GOOD LOOKIN' by Hank Williams, Sr
I SAW THE LIGHT by Hank Williams, Sr..
CROSS OVER THE BRIDGE by Jo Stafford (I think))
TENNESSEE WALTZ by Patti Page
CHATANOOGA SHOESHINE BOY by Red Foley
IT ONLY HURTS FOR A LITTLE WHILE by the Ames Brothers. This was one of my all-time
favorites; still love it today.
LOVE LETTERS IN THE SAND by Pat Boone (Pop) or Mac Wiseman (Country/Bluegrass)
SINGIN' THE BLUES by Guy Mitchell (he wrote it). Marty Robbins later recorded it. And, someone
in the Pop field - I think maybe Andy Williams.
DON'T LET THE STARS GET IN YOUR EYES written and recorded first by Slim Willett (recorded by
so many others that I can't remember them all)
Lordy, Lordy - so many others that I can't remember off hand.
Sorry it's taken so long to respond; but, this workplace just about drives me crazy at times. We
don't have time to think - just "react". And, that's not good!!
Anyway, I hope this helps some.