“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…
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.
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.
Ellen and Grace are proof that growing older can be done very gracefully!
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!
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.
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 Wood introduced her granddaughter, Katherine, to classmates including Grace Strickland Clark.
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.
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!