Monday, May 25, 2009

Reunion Reflections and Happenings

Don't forget to jot down a thought or two...about our reunion...OR...anything else that's happening that you'd like to share with us fellow Wildcats.

Jennie Margaret checks in

HELLO! Thanks again, Jerry and the ‘54 Committee! We really enjoyed our 55th reunion…and Ed’s DVD has been shared several times with folks we know from Charlotte.

Bill’s class of 1952 will have a BIRTHDAY PARTY (75th -- amazing!) June 27th. I believe it is at the same place where we had our party. Hobby Cobb is one of the folks organizing it.

Please tell our classmates to stop by there----after all, there were a good many of them (class of ’52) who came to our party. AND I’d love to see all of you again.

We are driving down on the 26th, so let us know if anything interesting is going on in Charlotte then.

Tell everyone at the “LDL” that Bill and I send our greetings! Cheers! Jennie (Margaret)

Reunion Reflections: By Betsy Villas White

Friday afternoon of the reunion I sat alone at the Carolina Soda Shop at Park Road Shopping Center with my coke and my pimento cheese sandwich. I asked myself why I had felt the need to drive 500 miles by myself to eat barbecue with a relatively small number of my high school classmates. What on earth had I been thinking? Why was I doing this? After all, memories are memories and many years and a lifetime separate me from those after-school hours I spent sitting on the floor with a group of friends in the front hall of Central High School.

It didn't take me long on Friday night to discover why I had come. I was surrounded by familiar laughs, familiar smiles and well-known voices. I was in a room full of people who seemed to know me almost better than I know myself. They remembered who I was and who I was to become. They remembered my mother and daddy and where I lived and what my dreams were. I didn't have to choose my words or explain my life. The conversations were honest, warm and to the point. By breakfast the next morning I felt like I had come home to myself. Somehow the process had reconnected the pieces I had scattered along the way and forgotten about. I felt more complete than I have felt in a very long time.

I have thought a lot about those few hours the class of 1954 spent together this Mother's Day weekend in 2009. Thank you to the Committee, to Jerry, to Ed, to Obie, and all those that made the weekend happen. Thank you to those of you who came. Thank you to Central High School for giving us the space and the encouragement and the tools to make our way in the world. Thank you to the faculty who taught us to dream big and to think deeply. Thank you to those of us who are no longer with us, but are so much a part of who we are. I no longer wonder why I made the trip. I'm just thankful that I did.

-Betsy Villas White

Reunion Committee Chairman Obie Oakley checked in with some nice words for your humble, award winning webmaster regarding the Once Upon a Time DVD that was shown at the dinner.

The staff here at the CHS54 Compound wants me to let you know that there are still plenty of them available since the copies were made before anyone knew how many classmates would be attending the reunion.

Speaking of awards....Obie is on a roll. If he gets many more he and Frances are going to have to build an extension onto their house to hold them all.

Our 55th reunion was not the only one the tireless wonder was orchestrating. He also organized a reunion for about 25 members of his old Army Unit from Germany.

If that wasn't enough, he also assembled and produced a video to show at the World Affairs Council's black tie dinner the night before that reunion. Obie and his production staff received their annual Global Citizens Award! (Former winners were: Billy Graham, Dean Rusk, General Hugh Shelton, etc.....)

To view Obie's video and to learn more about the Carolina's Freedom Foundation click on this


THIS FROM.........

Warren Sparrow:

I had not heard Grandma's Lye(?) Soap in more than 50 years. Of course, it would not suds and could not foam. What a hoot. "Good for everything in the home," the man said. No kidding. So we all sing out....

Yes, we sing out. After the event, I went back to my snips & cuts. What a wonderful book. What a wonderful thing it was to read things said in 1954 by our schoolmates. Here are a few examples.

Once I'd have said, "he is my friend no more." Now I should say, "I am his friend, nothing less." -- Diana Kay Carpenter.

* * * * * *

I'll never forget playing on the big "Reds" and the tournament team with you. The day we won the trophy was really great for all of us....

-- Bonson Hobson.

Note: This is a reference to our Hi-Y club that won the North/South Carolina YMCA

basketball championship at Albemarle.

Scoop! Best of luck and everything to come in the near future. Work hard at State. -- Tommy Lindsay.

Don't ever forget Central and all your friends because Central will never forget you.... -- Ruth Ann Cliff.

I am glad we got to know each other better in our senior year.... Lots of luck in everything you do. You deserve it. --Obie Oakley.

I will always remember you and the troubles you had with all your girlfriends and with your espanol.... I hope you do good at State next year.

-- Johnny Culp.

I'm sorry that I didn't get to know you before this year. Your beating of my back in English will never be forgotten. I wish you all the luck in the world. You certainly deserve it. -- Shirlene McGill.

Stay as you are and you will always be admired by your class mates. -- Charles Mateer.

There you have it. To all my Central friends, those alive after 55, I salute you. Let us not fail to honor those who have passed on. The best way to honor them is to soldier on. It is our duty. Let us discharge it with joy and humility. It is the least we can do for them.

(Note: Folks, send in your reactions and comments. I will add them here....-Ed)

Ann Elizabeth Mitchel...

writes that her trip, all the way from her home in Florida, was well worth the long drive!

It was “great fun” she said, but “we were all older than I thought we were.”

She combined her trip with visits to relatives in Winston Salem where she is still remembered fondly by her old Church members for her “legendary chicken salad” that she made one year and raised a huge amount of money for the congregation. Ann says the secret to its success was that she and other members of the Church handpicked over a thousand chickens!

I got hungry just reading her email…especially when she mentioned the green beans that her aunts had cooked “the old fashion way!”

(Can you say, two hours? Three is even better! –Ed)

All in all, it was a fantastic visit, she says. Nothing happened to “rain on her parade.”…….until AFTER her visit… rained like crazy all the way back home…..and she found that the USPS had not stopped delivery of her mail, as she had requested…..and she found it all sticking out of her overstuffed mailbox….soaking wet……..

Ah well..........I'll bet those homegrown tomatos will be real good this year.