Hail, Hail, the Gang’s all here

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Last night some 250 graduates of West Point High School from the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s gathered to relive old times for a  multi-class reunion. Above are the folks who made it happen including Eugene Bailey, Tinker Lautar, Richard Guthrie (we’re not sure where he came form), Gary Florreich, L. C. Mitchell, Norma Clark Atkins, Linda Barton Aultman and Bob Marshall.

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We billed it as the Monster Mash/ Chili Bash and it’s a good thing we don’t do it more often because I feel like I’ve just attended an all-night spend-the-night party  (3:30 is the latest I’ve been up since 1970).  Nineteen teams entered the Chili Cookoff and the winning entry was a Peruvian recipe by Gene Hawkins, Class of ‘70 who is pictured above with his beautiful wife.  Runner up was our own Lisa Henley, wife of Jimmy Henley, class of ‘65.  She is pictured below with contestant Phyllis Portera (class of ‘69) and Larry McClain (class of ‘65).

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A highlight of the evening was the crowning of Sara Roberts (Class of ‘42) as WPHS Chili Queen.  At age 87, she is just a beautiful as she must have been at age 17.

Oh, I forgot to mention that Yours Truly took home a fabulous toilet seat trophy as the worst chili of all times.  (I thought I had finally found a use for that eight-year old bottle of non-alcohol Busch Beer that has been living rent free in my fridge.  Not my best idea.)

Here are a few more random photos from one of the best memories of my life so far:

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Mack Portera above is one of the success stories of our generation . Thanks to Olivia Catledge Portera, the woman behind the man, who satisfied the sweet addiction for four generations with her mother’s Chess Squares and Mississippi Mud Bars. Oh

Below are Betty Lynn Cameron of Greenville and Phil and Maureen Dickerson of Jackson.  Mo and Phil met when we we were on a double date to go see Gone with The Wind in Memphis.  I had a date with Phil and Mo had a date with one of Phil’s Sigma Chi brothers from State.  I’d say she owes me – after stealing my boyfriend. Actually, Phil and I grew up across the street from each other and were more like brother and sister.

Billy Buck and Judy Staggers are pictured below also.

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The memories will live forever and we keep making new ones. Best Friends Forever.  Nuff said.

10 thoughts on “Hail, Hail, the Gang’s all here

  1. It was a great night. Thanks, Emily, for being the instigator! The Class of ’66 was well-represented as well!

  2. Mack and I had such a good time last night!  Please tell Gary how much I appreciate all your time and effort and his time and effort to make this such a fun party!  The chili was a great idea and enjoyed by all!
    I especially enjoyed seeing people from other classes that I had not seen in years….like Mary Carr McGlohn who grew up with me in Highland Park (class of 66) who came from Missouri!  And of course, all of our classmates! The band was great, too!  (from Olivia Portera

  3. The evening couldn’t have been better. Emily, you and Norma really pulled it off with lots of participants who I hope will all consider doing it again next year. The “reconstituted” Torquays had a blast – it’s so much fun (and really easier) to play for an appreciative audience. They were dancing and enjoying themselves immensely. Makes our job easier.

    I think it was the best reunion gathering we’ve had. Our Class of 65 events have always been well attended but I had lots of people come up to me afterwards saying it was a shame we haven’t have a multi-class reunion earlier than now and hoping it would be done again in the future.

    Our guest judge Richard Guthrie said it was the most fun he’s had in years, and he’s a guy who knows how to have fun!

    Gary Florreich

  4. So much fun! So great to see everyone at such a fun occasion rather than waiting until someone is sick or has passed away! Thanks again to all that planned, played in the band or any other part they played in making it an awesome event. Headed back to the ATL now! Until we meet again:-)

  5. Emily…..it was a terrific party and you had such a splendid idea to have the chili cookoff. Thanks to you, Norma, the Torquays and “the help” for such a great party at this amazing time in our lives!!!!!

  6. Thanks to all of you for the wonderful reunion! I had so much fun seeing everyone and dancing to the Torquays.

  7. And the Beat Goes On! Thanks for making it all happen! Fun was had by all. ♥

  8. What a fun night! Thank you, Emily, Norma, Gary.& others for you efforts on getting it together. The Torquays were Awesome. The chili was Hot. The dancing was Cool. The friendships are Warm & Endearing. Would alums Rock! Again, thanks for the memories! Betty Lynn

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