50-Year Class Reunion

In the blink of an eye or a single heartbeat fifty years can fall away and bring memories back to life. We, the Lovington class of 1969, met in our hometown for a reunion. The first event was a meet and greet hosted by Becky Salsman Roell. Some faces were immediately recognized, but many had to be identified by name tags (thank goodness for them).

Winona Bennett Cross and the back of Carolyn Lucas Evans

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Friday Night was an uproarious evening at The Drylands Brewery. Who knew Lovington would have a craft brewery? We laughed, chattered, shared pizza and beer, and moved from table to table trying to play catch-up over fifty years. I have to say it was such a good time. Lines fell away and completely disappeared. Not the lines caused by age or wrinkles, but the lines we worried about in our youth. We learned those lines no longer mattered. Truly, they didn’t matter then, we just didn’t realize it.

Front L to R: Sandy Chambers Pollard, Kathy Kelch Black, Mary Ann McKown, Betty Edison Back Row L to R: Winona Bennett Cross, Deena Judy Faulkner Fulton, Bobbie Ellis

Those of us who attended Taylor Junior High were surprised to have Mr. Gary Duncan and his family come to the reunion. He was our math teacher. I introduced myself to him. He said he remembered me. It sure wasn’t because I was a math whiz. I think my mother took in ironing from him.
His legacy continues in the garage bands of our youth. He taught many of the young men to play guitars and perform. Any one of us is likely to remember Ronnie Phillips and his bands.


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Saturday morning was a special treat. We toured the high school. It was awesome in many ways. The things that remained the same flooded our hearts. We were in awe of the things that changed–like the now fancy cafeteria. The gym was almost the same. The roar of pep rallies and basketball games was tangible. I loved pep rallies because I could be loud without anyone caring. Jan Haynes Kindel declined an invitation to lead us in a cheer–something about her knees.

Never mind, the spirit was there. Does it ever leave?

We walked down a hall of classrooms and found the room that Mr. Hamzy taught so many of us in. Carol Hamzy Schultz started crying. Her tears led to more tears of nostalgia. It was the most bittersweet time of the weekend. We sat in the desks and pretended to be students once more.

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Time for lunch! Where else but Ole Jax. Cheeseburgers, Pancho Burgers, Frito Pies, Henny Pennys, Vanilla Cream Dr. Peppers. 

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The dance was held at OUR Youth Center. The one where we spent so much time dancing and day dreaming. I wasn’t able to go to the dance because my husband was sick, but several of my classmates shared their photos. I know I missed a lot of great music, And, laughs.
 

This is by far my favorite photo from the dance. Look at the pure joy on Ronnie’s face while he dances with his wife, Patricia Landy.
The Band!!!

     
Front L to R: Ronnie Phillips, Jan Haynes Kindel, Liz Russell, Barbe Miles Barker Back L to R: Mike Hogue and wife

five women smiling

The reunion raised $660 for the Youth Center. It is heartwarming to know that a place our generation started is still a vibrant part of the community. L to R: Joyce Young, Youth Center Representative, Janis Chaffin, Martha Williams Rogriguez
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The weekend was joyous and memorable. That being said we felt the presence of our classmates who have passed away. We’ve lost almost 60 from a class of 233. 
We wanted our class song to be “Born to be Wild”, but the faculty didn’t care for it. So, we were given “Turn, Turn, Turn” as our song. A few years later it was changed to “Born to be Wild”. We came to our fifty year reunion with perhaps a hint of trepidation. It wasn’t necessary. There will be more reunions in the future.
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Winona Bennett 1969

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