Making memories at the Ritz

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“Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the    things you never want to lose.” ~From the television show The Wonder Years.

Memories were stacked like pancakes as the West Point High School Class of ’64 wrapped up their 45th reunion last night at the newly remodeled Ritz Theatre.

Ironically, this is how we spent so many Saturdays 50 years ago…cutting up at the Ritz. One by one, classmates came forward and offered their memories of hours spent at The Ritz.  Some can be repeated, others, not so much.  For sure, this was a night to remember…

dancing with elvis

After the last song was sung (by an excellent  Elvis impersonator) and we began our good-byes, Vickie, Olivia, Kathy and I (Class of ’65) offered to help clean up.  We had an ulterior motive.

We loaded all the decorations into garbage bags and hauled them to Kathy’s SUV. We’ve got next year’s reunion all sewed up.

We won’t have to do a thing! The band is even booked – hush, Ruthie, I can hear you now.  We negotiated a very reasonable fee.

class ofgoode and rIney in ldies room 64 old waverly 040 Boys will be boys.  At left, Johnny Goode and Danny Rainey sneaked into the women’s lounge and took a break.

I seem to remember them doing this in high school.  Of course, the lounges were not nearly so luxurious.

During the course of the evening, new memories were made and old stories were told and retold.

I tried to keep up with my date, Conley, but lost him several times.  I would always find him in a group of women.

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Ellen and Grace are proof that growing older can be done very gracefully!

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Miss martha Some amends were made.  Our teacher, “Miss Martha,” begged forgiveness from Kyle Chandler who she has held responsible for a huge glitch in her typing lab 40 years ago.

She accused him of putting rubber bands around the keys of her typewriters way back in 1963.  When her students tried to peck a key, four or five would jam.

Turns out the real culprit was  Leon Hicks who came clean during the evening. He had used the rubber bands from his braces!  Miss Martha got on her knees and begged Kyle’s forgiveness, while Leon helped her up and down.

Leon was also accused of setting fire to an empty lot just so he could see the fire trucks come screaming in.  This man is a doctor today in Texas; I never dreamed he was so, well, creative!

teachers

Mrs. Simmons (now Mrs. Tom Braddock – Dr. Tom is at left) and Mrs. Carothers – still spry at 99 – were among teachers who attended the event along with Coach Newell and Luther Epting below.

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Coach Newell, above left, and Harper Davis are credited with turning around a dismal football program in the 1960s and making the Green Wave a powerhouse in the Little Ten Conference. Coach Davis was planning to attend, but suffered a mild stroke several weeks ago. He is recovering nicely in Jackson and plans to attend the next reunion.

kathy and katherine

Kathy Wood introduced her granddaughter, Katherine, to classmates including Grace Strickland Clark.

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Jimmy Wood led the singing group of Melvin, Mack, Conley and Tommy in a very bad rendition of “Davy Crocket.”  It was in honor of Mack’s winning a Coon Skin hat competition held at the Ritz more than 50 years ago. That was the moment we knew Mack was destined for greatness.

Here are more photos of the Class of 64 as they made more memories.

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me an kathy

Okay, Class of 65 – we’re up next.  Let us know when you want to schedule our reunion.  Just remember, we’re not getting any younger!

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Life gives us brief moments with another…but sometimes in those brief     moments we get memories that last a life time…

24 thoughts on “Making memories at the Ritz

  1. Emily,

    We had a wonderful time and enjoyed your company so very much this weekend. We are so blessed to have shared this good time with good friends.

    Kathy Wood
    Class of ’65

  2. Loved being with ya’ll. Especially love what you’ve done with the house. Can I come take a ride on your toilet one day soon? I want to recreate your powder room at my house. Please get that paint color for me and tell me where you found the wonderful accessories.

  3. I’d like to see any class top what we did…..don’t forget……
    We’re the class they all adore
    We’re the class of ’64…..

  4. Great week-end! Really enjoyed visiting with everyone. Can’t imagine what we will do for #50 that could top this one.

  5. Beth – the reunion was just fabulous. I’ve been on the phone this a.m. chatting with my classmates, hoping we can be copycats and do the same. Thanks for the decorations – can check that one off the list!

  6. Maybe it was special because it had been 25 years since I was there and reconnected with all the people and places…and maybe I’ll be so forgetful that in 2014 the “memory” will have to be “renewed” again in the same special way….and maybe because I got to see how generous and friendly and successful in our own ways we’ve become since 1964….whatever the case, I thank all of those who worked and made the effort for it to happen, for it will now “carry me” for a very long time starting today!

  7. What a wonderful weekend! Emily, so glad you were able to come with Conley, so we could visit with you too! I’m so excited to find out about your website and keep up with everyone and all that is happening up that way! The Sunday morning worship service at the First Baptist Church was so powerful! Memories from Brenda, Marguerite, and Margaret Vance were profound and so moving. Tributes, prayers and music from classmates and the message on Friendship from Eddie, literally had us all in tears! Now, I will always think of everyone and our fabulous reunion when I hear James Taylor sing “You’ve Got a Friend”! Thank you, thank you to all who made this ” memory” possible! Can’t wait til the next one!

  8. Ellen, Wasn’t Sunday great! As Robert said, It was the best. I was so inspired with the comments from the classmates. This was the very best Reunion we’ve ever had, and the committee is to be commended.
    Emily, we loved seeing you and hope your event is ever bit as good as ours was. Leon, we loved seeing you again! I loved renewing old times and hearing about your family. I love you ALL! Take care.

  9. RATS!!!!! I missed a great time, I can tell!!!! I’m looking at some of the photos, and must say I think everyone looks wonderful. Grace, Ellen, Beth, Brenda, Paula………do you have just 1 wrinkle? And Emily, you and Kathy and Olivia should have really been in our class, anyway!!!

  10. We missed you, Judy. We all wondered why you weren’t there. You missed the best one ever! Hope to see you at the 50th.

  11. Judy, everyone wanted to know where you were. If you’re incarcerated or something, let us know and we’ll get Jimmy Waide to come get you off!

  12. I for sure won’t miss the 50th. I’ve already set aside every weekend in 2014……..so just try to pick a weekend that I can’t make!!! Nope, not incarcerated………….although I do have a pretty good collection of speeding tickets!!

  13. Sounds like everyone had a great time. I just wanted to say thank you to the Class Of 64. This is a class that has Real Class. The testimonies of some of the class members Sunday at the First Baptist Church were very moving and made me very proud to be a member of First Baptist. Brother Eddie Gandy did a great job sharing his testimony and also presenting the gospel. We will look forward to seeing the class of 64 on Sunday morning five years from now. Also, I must mention the beautiful little girl in the skit with Hugh Harris was my granddaughter. May God continue to use and bless the Class Of 64.

  14. Thanks for the funny anecdotes about my father (Leon Hicks). Of course he would have never admitted these things to my sister and me when WE were kids!

  15. What did Leon tell about Dr. Braddock? I can’t tell about the weekend without getting all choked up about the service on Sunday. Judy, if you are not there the next time, we are going to disown you!!! 🙂 Were your ears burning? We missed you a lot – so much fun!

  16. It’s just not fair. There are so many people in ’64 that I’ve been wanting to see for years, and missed them all once again. Can we please combine our classes for our 50th – maybe classes above and below ours???
    Thank you Emily for this great blog on 64’s reunion. Looking forward to more info.
    Love to all I didn’t get to see.

  17. Doug and I had such a fabulous time seeing everybody last week end. Thanks so much to all of you who worked so hard to put together the best runioun. Emily, we loved having you and all of the 65ers there. I’m so glad to learn about your websignt. It is so much fun to see everybody on the world wide web. Looking back we really grew up in the golden times. Being together last weekend made me grateful for what we all shared. Judy, Paula, and others who weren’t there we missed you. The 50th will be here in a heartbeat so we’ll look forward to seeing you then at the latest. I’m subscribing to this websight, Emily and look forward to hearing from you regularly.

  18. What a fun filled week-end!!! From the initial ‘get back’ acquainted party at beautiful Old Waverly, to the main event at the gorgeous renovated Ritz Theater and then to the inspirational service at The First Baptist Church, it was all wonderful. But what made it really special was the embellishment of old memories and the making of new ones from our friends, classmates and teachers. We can all do this again in 5 years since very few of us will remember what was told in 2009. Thanks to everyone who made the effort to come to the renuion and again a special thanks to Barbara T., Beth, Barbara D., Sandra, Sylvia, Robert and the many others who put this together. Emily, thank you too for making this site available. Kyle

  19. Kyle – it was stupendous. I know I missed giving credit to all who made it so successful. Thanks for filling us in. I I heard I missed the best part on Sunday. I hope my class can repeat every single event- I took copious notes. I keep urging everyone to consider doing our 50th together – we could staddle the years somehow.

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