Official DJ for LHS reunion is man of multiple talents and passions
Editor's note: This is another article in a series highlighting alumni of LaFollette High School, who will invade the city enmass June 8-11 for a reunion of all LaFollette High School graduating classes.
When LaFollette High School alumni flock to town June
8-11 for the school's
combined class reunion, Jack Norman (Class of 1958) will be DJ for the Friday
night sock hop.
Old classmates won't be surprised to see Jack behind
the mike. He was always
known as a man of many interests and talents. Dating all the way back to his high
school years, Norman had a knack for fixing and fiddling with things mechanical
and electrical. He installed an Olds V-8 engine in a 1951 Ford and has worked on
automobiles, motorcycles and airplanes during his day.
In addition, Jack has a reputation as a Mr Fixit, able
to repair anything from
typewriters and radios to TV sets. "My biggest hobby is buying things at flea
markets and fixing them," he once told a local newspaper in Maryland where he
now makes his home with his wife, the former Charlene Miles of LaFollette.
Norman moved from LaFollette to the Baltimore area
in 1958 to earn a living. He
first worked for Eastern Venetian Blind Company and after marrying in 1960, took
a job at Bethlehem Steel, retiring in 1985.
While still at Bethlehem, he began taking photographs
for his local newspaper, the
Dundalk Eagle, working for over 14 years as a photographer and taking thousands
of photos of the community's residents.
His attraction to the newspaper business got off to
an early start. As a boy,
Norman was a paperboy for the LaFollette Press back in the days when the Press
was sold on the streets by paperboys.
His work as an amateur photographer also led to another
passion when he took on
a photo assignment by taking shots out of a small airplane. He enjoyed the
experience so much that he took lessons and earned a pilot's license in 1966, going
in with three friends to buy a Cessna 172 for $18,000.
Norman flew home to Tennessee and on vacations up and
down the east coast,
joining the Civil Air Patrol until other interests caught his imagination. His
photographic work also led to an interest in the Civil War. He bought a metal
detectior and began searching battlefields, where he has uncovered buttons, belt
buckles, bullets and even artillery shells.
Norman also took an interest in music, starting at
an early age when he managed a
band at age 20 in LaFollette. He learned in Baltimore to play the bass and played
for a number of years with groups called the "Satellites" and "The Emeralds."
Work pressures forced him to give up his budding music carer after five years
but he has retained an interest in bands and DJ work ever since.
After retirement, Norman slowed down a bit, working
part time as a maintenance
man and doing DJ gigs at some of the larger line and couple dances in Maryland.
The Normans have one adopted son, Cliff, who owns a
sign business in Florida.
Although he returned numerous times to Tennessee to visit his parents, George &
Ella Norman, Jack Norman is eager to attend the 2000 LaFollette Reunion and see
old schoolmates who he hasn't seen in years. He will be easy enough to find. Just
look behind the microphone.