Sunday, February 05, 2006


Ann Shannon Snodgrass

Total silence? Please, give us some credit. Maybe we're thinking about your proposal to combine 50th year high school reunions.

I remember a time that I was visiting in Mary Kay James’ home when her class had a reunion, and she generously invited me to attend a function. I did -- because I love Mary Kay and because her high school friends were always kind to me. After so many years, they were still kind. It was nice to see them, but I did feel out of place. It wasn't MY reunion.

I realize that you're not talking about my class, but my thought is that I wouldn't want my class to combine reunions--with ANY other class, or group, or organization. After 50 years, I'd like that brief reunion time to talk and share experiences with those from my youth. I really don't see a reunion as a time to meet new people, other than my classmates' spouses or significant others.

I don't think your proposal came from a sense of being politically correct; rather, you expressed a generosity of heart that many of us have in common. I believe the time to have a combined high school reunion is with the high school graduation class that was also first combined.

For what it's worth . . .

Tom Pry

Ann, it’s worth a great deal because, frankly, it’s a point of view that hadn’t even crossed my mind … and it’s a quite valid one (not my mind, but your thought).

Were I to stick my tongue firmly in my cheek, I could “opine” that we have enough trouble, at our age, remembering our classmates and their families without introducing new people into the mix.

Perhaps you’re right and the Class of 66, the first integrated class at SHS, is indeed the proper place for this.

Ann, you’re also right in guessing that being “PC” was NOT behind my (im)modest proposal. When I met Ollie Mae’s daughter, Alice, in Chicago, what struck me was that this was a lady with whom I might have been friends had we been going to school together, and this naturally led to me wondering how many other potential friendships never happened because of our ancestors’ successful attempts to prolong segregation.

You have raised a quite sensible reason for NOT turning our 50th reunions into Integrated Events, and I thank you for the point of view. I will let the subject go.


As for me … as of last Monday, I became the “staff writer” in Central White County for Wagon Wheel Publications, publishers of the Searcy Sun/White County Record (the oldest newspaper in the state still operating), Bald Knob Banner and White River Delta Dispatch. I had been freelancing some stuff for them before, but I’ve now replaced their primary reporter on the beat, with her departure for a job in Las Vegas.

Here’s me at work, interviewing County Judge Bob Parish – with whom I share, we discovered, a number of teenage-years friends, including pianist Teddy Redell.

It is, indeed, a small world.

Incidentally, one of the conditions of getting the job was to go “make nice” with the owners of the Georgetown One Stop, a restaurant which (to Anita Hart Fuller’s dismay) Ernie and I pretty well trashed in print about a year ago.

Well, Barth Grayson, my publisher, was kind enough to take both my Mom and I out there for lunch, and I’m happy to report that they’ve REALLY cleaned the place up and, while they haven’t expanded the building, they’ve managed to add tables and chairs. Inside, there’s a world of difference to what was originally commented on.

Catfish was good, too.

Speaking of Anita, she wrote a very nice piece, with photos, about her still-alive mother, Corinne, that appeared in this month’s White County Historical Society newsletter. We’ve just gotten permission to post it here on SY, so you’ll see it here next weekend.

Incidentally, this morning’s Searcy Daily Citizen has an extremely good article on Roger Williams, husband of the late Virginia Williams, one of our teachers in the 50s. You’ll find the article at for a couple of weeks, and I think you’ll want to read it.

Over to you, Chet.


Blogger Irishblood said...

Not sure that I totally agree. I went to a High School Reunion a few years ago ... in fact I was the organizer. Our high school had closed its doors in 1971 and there had been only one reunion since that time. It was not well advertised, so the attendance was small.

Because the school no longer existed I decided to round up as many surviving graduates as possible. The school was only open from 1964 to 1971, so there were less than 1500 graduates in all. I managed to find over 300 who did attend, and the fact that we weren't all from the same graduating class had absolutely NO negative effect on the PARTY! In fact, it added so much more. The stories that were shared and the new friends that we made were worth more than gold! With the average age well into their 50's, I believe that having come from the same school meant more than if you had actually graduated in the same year. Besides, so many of us meet and make friends with students in other classes through sports and other activities while in school, so to hold separate reunions would take away from the fun of meeting EVERYONE once again!

I loved my reunion and look forward to organizing another in a few years for ALL graduates of our great high school.

5:10 PM  

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