& WHITE REIGNS SUPREME
HIGH SCHOOL REUNION
A fifty-year old hurricane touched down in Monroe twice on the weekend of
August 28 & 29, spreading its colors of purple and white all about the
Davis-Edwards House on Friday and the American Legion Hall on Saturday.
The occasion was the 50th anniversary of the Monroe Area High
School Class of 1965, the largest class ever to graduate in its day.
Class members came from far and wide to observe this exciting event, with
some classmates having not seen each other since graduation night, May 31, 1965.
And what an event it was! Beginning
with the “meet & greet” event Friday evening for classmates and their
spouses & friends to say hello and recant old days as they enjoyed the
grounds and interior of the Davis-Edwards House. The
big celebration, held on Saturday evening had a grand total of 84 classmates
attending, which was an impressive number, given the large group who graduated
fifty years ago. The American Legion Hall, home to so many school functions:
dances, DOM formals and class reunions, was festive with the colors of purple
& white as classmates and guests entered and began reminiscing of school
days long since gone. Former
classmate and Barbecue “King” Truman Robison and his family was in charge of
our dinner and we all had stupendous helpings of his famous Brunswick Stew,
barbecue and slaw, topped off with delicious brownies and iced tea.
Now what better meal could be had for such a grandiose Southern occasion
It seemed as though the line at the door to receive our name badges and
memory books never ended. Since all
of us had changed in the years since graduation, it was helpful to have our
senior class photos on our name badges to help us recognize those we had not
seen in years.
But in no time at all the years were melting away as tales, stories,
laughter and good times began echoing throughout the large dining room. Talk of
old football games, dances, DOM’s, classes, teachers, club events, senior play
and yes, graduation day were recalled as we tried for the life of us to figure
out just where all the years had flown to that now landed us together again for
our half century reunion.
As with any reunion there were some folks who needed no name badge or
identification; they were our guests for the evening, our former teachers: Mrs.
Myrtle Shields, beloved second grade teacher to so many of us, Mrs. Annette
(Braswell) Adams, long-time Home Economics teacher, Coach Ray Hicks, head
football coach and school administrator, Mrs. Shirlene Huff, who taught many of
us how to type, and Mr. John Redding, Vocational Agriculture teacher and Future
Farmers of America sponsor.
After a period of greeting, conversations, having our group photo taken
and then enjoying our meal, classmate Steve Brown gave the group a “look back
in time”, a time capsule, if you will, of the beginnings of our class with an
overview of some Monroe history which fit in nicely with the presentation which
ended with our graduation on May 31, 1965 from the Monroe Area High School
booth, complete with an arch of purple balloons was available for those who
wanted to capture these endearing moments with their friends to reflect back on
in the coming days. A poignant and nostalgic display of
school memorabilia along with a memory table with flowers and a white
candle in a crystal bowl honoring our classmates no longer with us was
accompanied by a tribute entitled, “The Empty Chair” reminding us a chair
will always be reserved in memory of those who have left our side.
Prior to the
conclusion of the evening, a tribute to the teachers we had during our school
years, entitled, “A Debt We Can Never Repay”, was presented and the teachers
present were recognized with appreciation and gratitude.
seemed as though we were just getting started all too soon it was time to leave.
It was akin to being at a school dance when, after the last dance the
lights came on brushing away all the magic and mystique of the evening.
Reluctantly instead of saying “hello”, it was time to say “goodbye” amid
hugs and promises to stay in touch and rounds of “let’s get together again
reunion, THE reunion we all looked forward to for so long, had come to an end.
But thanks to the Memory Book and dvd’s given to all the class members,
we can instantly look back and regain some of the magic of the day when once
again, the Purple Hurricane from 50 years ago swept back through Monroe
reuniting the class of 1965 with memories, renewal of old friendships, good
times and good fellowships along with a supreme appreciation of the school from
which we graduated and received the best education provided for the time. These
memories will stay with us until next we meet for another reunion.
American Legion Hall that Saturday evening, we could not help but remember (and
some of us humming proudly) the words to our Alma Mater and what it still means
to us all these many years later:
High, the best school in our land,
love in all thy sons command.
hearts we see thee rise,
school strong and free,
And stand on
guard, O Monroe High,
We stand on
guard for thee.
High, glorious and free,
We stand on
We stand on
guard for thee!
High, we stand on guard for thee!
High, beneath thy shining skies,
sons and gentle maidens rise
To keep thee
steadfast through the years,
From now to
school, Our Mother school,
school, strong and free.