Saturday, September 17, 2016
In my younger years I never expected to see a 60th birthday much less a 60th celebration of ANYTHING. This week Sherry and her classmates celebrate The Belmont High School's Class of 1956 reunion. They have a three day Gala planned. The first day was a tour of their old High School, which is now Belmont Middle School. That was followed by dinner at Jackson's cafeteria.
At the school, I watched as they took note that the lockers on the wall were the same as 60 years ago. I heard the question a couple times, "Do you remember your locker number?"
"This was Mrs. Eaton's room."
"Oh, and Mr. Whitley's room was out there!" ('Out there', was a new wing that had been added to the school about the time this class was in High School).
Most of the stories told centered on sports. Belmont Red Raiders have, on average, had great teams with several of the alumni heading to the Pro's. Many of the folks attending were local sports heroes. Jimmy Hall (a world series player) was in their class but never attends the reunions.
There were stories of the typing class (do they still teach that, with all the rules etc?)
This class was during the time of segregation. So no Black members were in this graduating class. At the cafeteria there was a long line and Ed & Dianne made way for a black guy to get in line. He was very gracious and they were talking about the class reunion. He said he graduated in 1958 and there was very few of his class still around. Since he too was from the segregated time, I am sure he noted there was not a person of color in this long line. School students cannot apologize for something that they had no control over. Although I did not graduate from HS I did attend during that period.
Oh yes, I did hear some folk 'bragging' on the cafeteria cooking. They knew the cook.
I sorta stayed to myself, this was CLASS time. Some of these folk had been together for 12 years of school. I had attended here about a year and a half before I dropped out, I think). I knew 10-12 of the folks attending. Once Sherry motioned me over to meet Sam McKnight who holds two degrees from Duke (A professor methinks). He knew the man at Duke who developed the Cochlear implant. He talked admiringly of the man who decided there would be no patent on the implant technology. Without a patent it would allow wider exposure and more technical development. It was a delightful conversation.
Anyway this class is enjoying all the joking and comradeship of times past. Laborers, salesmen, dentist, business men, educators and other professionals all joking and remembering ‘THE GOOD OLD DAYS’. But my girl was worn out after the first day. Oh yeah, Black and Red are the school colors.
1956 Packard up, 1956 Plymouth down
Like Sherry, most of the folk in Sherry's class were from Cotton Mill Families.
Some did not have cars, and very few had new ones.