header 1
header 2
header 3

Cecil O'Neal

Profile Updated: January 26, 2021
Residing In:
Dallas and La Chapelle Gonaguet, France France
Spouse/Partner:
Rebecca Young
Occupation:
Professor Emeritus, Meadows School of the Arts, SMU
Military Service:
Army  
Comments:

I spent the summer of 1961 working at my job at the Banner Gas station (cheapest gas in town, 29.9 a gallon at that time) on the corner of 63rd and 22nd. Jim Zaleski, Peter Gentile and I were fellow "Banner Boys". That fall I could not afford to go away to university so John Sturino and I joined the army, at the height of the Berlin crisis, on the "Buddy System" and went through basic training together.

On our first leave home after basic John asked me to rough up some senior who was giving his then girlfriend a hard time. John couldn't do it himself, because the guy was about my size and John thought he would have seemed too much of a bully taking on someone that much smaller.

After three years in the army, including about a year in Germany, and a bit of time bumming around Europe, I came back to kenosha and started university, first at the "extension", then in Madison. I received a BA in Political Science from U

Cecil's Latest Interactions

Hide Comments
Cecil O'Neal posted a message. New comment added.
Apr
05
Apr 05, 2022 at 1:57 PM

Posted on: Apr 05, 2022 at 9:40 AM

Happy Birthday, Buddy! Can you believe we are 79 years old? A long way since we were processed into the army in 1961 in Milwaukee.

Hope you are having a fantastic day!

Best,
C

Cecil O'Neal has left an In Memory comment for Thom Orgelstrand.
Mar
29
Mar 29, 2022 at 9:36 AM

So sorry to hear about Thom.  Is there an obituary?  My memory of Thom is that at 16 or 17 he was already a true eccentric.  High praise in my book.

Cecil O'Neal has left an In Memory comment for Profile.
Mar
15
Mar 15, 2022 at 9:21 AM

Chuck,

Thanks so much for this.  Neighborhood history that I had no idea of.  Amazing that your father lived in that house for 92 years.

It would be great to see you at the 80th birthday party, if it happens.

Best
Cecil

 

 

Cecil O'Neal has left an In Memory comment for Profile.
Mar
12
Mar 12, 2022 at 11:30 AM

Roberta Weber and I exchanged some meories of skip about a year ago on this site.  I won't repeat all that I shared with Roberta, but Skip was a great and influential friend.  He and Roberta were the only members of our kindergarten class who could read and were often called upon to do so.

Skip's family home was an eccentric cottage on the west side of 7th Avenue just two doors south of the cemetary.  It had a huge back yard, the western bouderies of which were more like a country field than a small town back yard, at least im my memory.  We even dug a "foxhole" back there.  A group of us from Southport hung out there on a regular basis; Skip, Peter Kaiser, Mark Schmerling, Chuck Limpert...Sadly, Chuck and I may be the only ones still alive from that little group.  We would sit in that "foxhole" and talk for hours about whatever adolescent boys talked about, probably adolescent girls.

I was the only one who lived west of 7th avenue, sort of the equivelent of the "the other side of the tracks" in those days.  We lived on 73rd Street west of 8th Avenue.  Tom and Terry Fugette lived on 8th Avenue just north of 75th Street and Tony DiCello lived on 74th Street jsut west of 8th.

Skip was an extremely bright and interesting man.  His death is a huge loss.

Cecil O'Neal posted a message. New comment added.
Mar
13
Mar 13, 2022 at 10:51 AM

Posted on: Mar 01, 2022 at 12:35 PM

Happy Birthday, Roberta! I hope you have a glorious day and that you celebrate all week.

Best,
Cecil

Cecil O'Neal posted a message.
Feb
20
Feb 20, 2022 at 6:56 AM

Ciao Rita,

Thanks fo much for the birthday wishes. Belated bothers me not at all. Yes, it was great seeing you at the 60th and yes we plan on attending the 80th birthday party (80th !!!!!). Can't wait to see you.

Love,
C

Feb 20, 2022 at 6:52 AM

Henry,

Thanks so much for the birthday greeting. I hope al is well in your world.

All the best,
Cecil

Feb
18
Feb 18, 2022 at 2:01 PM

Cecil, a belated Happy Birthday. Hope you enjoyed your day. Stay safe.

Cecil O'Neal has a birthday today. New comment added.
Feb
20
Feb 20, 2022 at 7:03 AM

Posted on: Feb 16, 2022 at 4:33 AM

Cecil O'Neal posted a message. New comment added.
Jan
07
Jan 07, 2022 at 10:16 AM

Posted on: Jan 07, 2022 at 4:31 AM

Dear Connie,

Wishing you a belated "Happy Birthday"! I hope you had a grand day of celebration and I hope 2022 is very good to you!

Best,
Cecil

Cecil O'Neal posted a message.
Dec
30
Dec 30, 2021 at 10:23 AM

Happy Birthday, Ken. I hope it is a great one. And happy and healthy 2022!

Cecil O'Neal posted a message. New comment added.
Sep
18
Sep 18, 2021 at 10:16 AM

Posted on: Sep 18, 2021 at 9:27 AM

Hey Rita,

A belated "Happy Birthday!". sorry I missed the real day. We were on route all day Wednesday and Thursday getting back to our home in rural France. I hope you had a grand day. It was wonderful seeing you at the reunion.

Much love,
Cecil

Cecil O'Neal posted a message. New comment added.
Mar
03
Mar 03, 2022 at 4:21 PM

Posted on: Mar 03, 2021 at 8:30 AM

Hi Roberta,

Miss Gardner, sounds right. Speaking of names, forgive my typo (Roberta Webster) in my last post.

I was not aware of your mother's death when we were in second grade. That must have been extremely traumatic for you. I think we were not classmates in second grade. My family move to the country between 1st and 2nd grade and I went to a small country school on south Sheridan Road for a couple of years. When we moved back into town I went to Lincoln Elementary for one year and then to Southport when it opened. So, it was in fifth grade that we became classmates again. You and I and Skip Lane and Peter Kaiser and Mark Schmerling and Mickey Lepp... I believe our 5th grade teacher was Miss Tacki and our 6th grade was Mr. Brown.

After I returned to Kenosha, briefly, after the army, I heard that there was quiet a good jazz ensemble playing in the bar at the Holiday Inn on weekends. I went with a friend to hear them one night and guess who was playing the stand-up bass? Mr. Brown! Who knew?

I arrived in Madison in '65. i had a few credits under my belt and I went to summer school every year, so I graduated in 68.

Speaking of Skip Lane (Yes, Nancy, he was very smart). Skip always held a special place in my memory bank. He and his parents had an impact on me that they could never have known about. My parents, wonderful people that they were, were very unsophisticated working class folk. My 10 or 11 year old self greatly romanticised Skip's parents. They were very attractive. They played tennis, they sailed, they drove a convertible, they drank martinis. Hollywood stuff in my young mind. And they were always very nice to me.

I knew Skip was living in northern California. I was in northern California on business, 15- 20 years ago. I found a number for Skip and called him. He was a real estate broker in St. Helena. We had a brief chat. He was perfectly amiable, but did not seem particularly enthusiastic about revisiting his Kenosha years. He did tell me that he had a similar call from Peter Kaiser a year or two earlier. Maybe I will reach out to him again if I can find contact information for him.

Ok, probably more than you wanted to know, but once one starts down these paths...

All the best,
Cecil

Cecil O'Neal posted a message. New comment added.
Mar 02, 2021 at 11:30 AM

Posted on: Mar 01, 2021 at 8:18 AM

Happy Birthday, Roberta

I hope it is a great day for you. I did not mean to barge in on your and Eva's conversation about Mickey Lepp. I apologise if that was inappropriate. Another thing I remember about Durkee kindergarten is that there were two kids in our class that could already read. Roberta Webster and Skip Lane (Stoddard Lane III). I was rather envious.

All the best,
Cecil

Cecil O'Neal posted a message.
Feb 17, 2021 at 7:33 AM

Rita,thanks for the birthday wishes. Indeed we are at our house in rural France,which has felt like a safe haven for the last year. Looking forward to our 60th.

Love,
C

Henry Hartnek posted a message on Cecil O'Neal's Profile. New comment added.
Feb 17, 2021 at 7:24 AM

Posted on: Feb 16, 2021 at 6:02 PM

Cecil, Happy Birthday. Hope you're having a great day. Stay safe.

Cecil O'Neal has a birthday today. New comment added.
Feb 16, 2021 at 8:09 AM

Posted on: Feb 16, 2021 at 4:33 AM

Cecil O'Neal posted a message on Charles Limpert's Profile. New comment added.
Jan 31, 2021 at 7:31 PM

Posted on: Jan 26, 2021 at 5:29 AM

Happy Birthday, Chuck. I hope you are able to celebrate and have a wonderful day in spite of the craziness of the world at this moment.

Best,
Cecil

Cecil O'Neal posted a message. New comment added.
Jan 29, 2021 at 10:49 AM

Posted on: Jan 26, 2021 at 4:55 AM

Hey Bill,

Good to hear from you. It looks like we are about 127 kilometers from Brie-sous-Matha. It is about a 1 hour 50 minute drive straight up the D939. Good for you doing all of this research. Are you primarily doing it through ancestry.com? When are you going to make the pilgrimage?

For some reason I was trying to remember the names of two guys we used to hang out with some. I think they were a year older than us. The parents of one of them owned a bar near the old AMC plant. Maybe Doug something and Jeff something. Any idea?

Cheers,
C

Cecil O'Neal posted a message. New comment added.
Sep 19, 2020 at 2:08 PM

Posted on: Sep 19, 2020 at 10:47 AM

Hey Rita,

An embarrassingly belated "Happy Birthday!" I hope it was wonderful. Sorry to be so late. I think I am just suffering from "Covid Brain".

XO
C

Hide Comments
Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 1:02 AM