Where have the years gone? That sentiment was exchanged many times as the Clinton High School Class of 1956 gathered for their 60th reunion on Saturday, April 23, 2016, at Coharie Country Club.
What a wonderful opportunity to reunite and reminisce.
Thirty five classmates, two teachers and 21 guests came to the reunion, some traveling from Florida and Maine. Several were unable to attend because of health reasons. Faculty members who attended were band director Ed Taylor and his wife, and Joyce P. Hill.
The event was planned and supported by class members: Neal Warren Sinclair and Peggie Jernigan Lindsay co-chairing; Vennie Simmons Reynolds, Kate Currie Spearman, Nancy Osborne Martin, Evelyn Merritt Pearson, Betty Jo Walston Wright and Rufus Herring assisted in many ways.
Janet Cashwell Smith provided the name tags, Jean Peterson Croom did the decorations and Marie Autry Monroe provided the class memorabilia.
Class members gathered at 3 p.m. at Coharie Country Club with Vernon Crumpler and Jimmy Boney greeting all who attended. A social hour was followed by a time for picture taking and a catered dinner. Cliff Carter offered a prayer preceding the dinner.
Following dinner there was a short program with Tully Murphy serving as Master of Ceremonies and a memorial for our deceased members led by Mary Upchurch Ballard. Mary placed a flower in a vase while the names were read. Our deceased classmates now number 34.
The program also included the presentation of gifts provided by Julia Parks Kron and Chris Caison to class members. This included the class member who had traveled the greatest distance — Loretta Jarman Foss from Maine, and the class member with the most grandchildren — Bobby Crummie, with 30.
The graduates of 1956 are now 78 years old. Their careers have been varied, most have retired, many have lost mates, health issues are more apparent, parts have been replaced, aging is more visible, grandchildren are graduating from college, and some graduates have greatgrandchildren.
Canes and walkers have become more apparent, wrinkles are deeper, our walk a little slower, our hearing diminished, our memory a little dimmer, our hearts fuller.
Our class, this Class of 1956, no doubt shares a bond of love and closeness. We grew up together. We realize how special was the time we shared — loved and nurtured by a community in a small-town environment.
In closing, Nancy Osborne Martin shared her reflections. She remembers when our class (1956) graduated and we were challenged to go out into the world and make a difference. The same challenge was issued to our children and then our grandchildren. Now we have to ask ourselves if we did make a difference. Our answer is “Yes.”
The quarterly luncheon gatherings on the first Monday of the months of February, May, August, and November continue; the next one in August. An 80th birthday party has been suggested for the year 2018. Listen out for more news on this.