The Clinton High School Class of 1956 gathered for their 55th reunion on Saturday, April 30 at Coharie Country Club. The evening and occasion were lovely.
Thirty-nine class members of a class of 80 came to the reunion. Ted Boney and wife Frances and Cliff Carter and wife traveled from Florida to attend. Faculty members who attended were band director Ed Taylor and his wife, Purcell Jones, and Joyce Hill.
The event was planned and supported by class members — it was truly a group effort with Neal Warren Sinclair and Peggie Jernigan Lindsay co-chairing. Vennie Simmons Reynolds sent out correspondence, paying for the postage; Kenneth Honeycutt paid for the photographer and provided a group picture to each class member present; Thyra Debnam Harris gave each class member a CD of music from the 50s; Vernon Crumpler paid for the sign that greeted classmates and was used in the group picture,;Janet Cashwell Smith created the name tags; Mary Upchurch Ballard contributed the roses used to remember deceased class member; Jean Peterson Ballis did the table centerpieces and newsletter update; and Evelyn Merritt Pearson collected the money. Lending assistance were Joyce Parker Crumpler, Nancy Vann Rogers, Marie Autry Monroe and Kate Currie Spearman.
The evening included a social hour, dinner, with Cliff Carter saying a prayer, and a program with Tully Murphy serving as Master of Ceremonies. Also participating in the program were Bobby Crummie and Barbara Thornton Wagner who shared a poem she wrote about the ABC’s of getting older from A to Z.
Since our treasury allows, it was decided to send memorials to a charity of choice for deceased class members. A memorial honoring Jerry Jackson will be sent to Campbell University for the Jackson Scholarship Fund.
Deceased class members were honored and remembered with Mary Upchurch Ballard placing a red rose for each classmate, now numbering 25, in a vase while the names were read. Those included were: Carolyn Baucom Shirley, Bobby Bryant, Marilyn Carr Saieed, Dorothy Collins Smith, A.W. Colwell, Nick Dameron, Dempsey Daughtry, Anna Fisher, Billy Hall, Jerry Jackson, JoAnn Jackson Ware, Austin Jordan, Haywood Jordan, Eleanor Lane Jordan, Jesse King, Jerry Lovell, Jackie Naylor, Pauline Odum, Bobby Parker, Lynwood Robinson, C.F. Shipp, Wanza Shipp Bullock, Bill Stallings, Albert Thornton and Tommy Warren.
Class members gathered again on Sunday morning at the Golden Corral for breakfast and fellowship. Rufus Herring made arrangements for this event.
The quarterly luncheon gatherings on the first Monday of the month of February, May, August, and November, will continue. Our next reunion will be a birthday party in the year of 2013 when members will turn 75.
The graduates of 1956 are now 73 years old. Their careers have been varied, most have retired, many have lost mates, health issues are appearing, aging is showing its face, grandchildren are going to college, and some graduates have great grandchildren. This is a time when members are taking up new hobbies, traveling, enjoying their families, reading, gardening, quilting, researching family history, golfing, bowling and participating in church activities.
The class has always shared a special bond of love and closeness. We have been together for so many years, we grew up together, and we have remained in touch. We love and care for each other. As we grow older, the group diminishes in number but the bond grows tighter. We realize what a special time we share and how precious it is. This spirit of oneness is remembered, renewed, cherished, and continues to grow.