A big hello again from downtown Persia, Tennessee. Hope everyone had a great week. I had one of the most enjoyable ones I’ve had for a very long time. On Saturday June 3, I attended the 50-year reunion of the Rogersville High School Class of 1968.
We met at the Pig and Chick which is owned by one of our classmates, Richard Beets and his wife Marty. Our class had about 160 to graduate. I think we had around 37 classmates to attend the reunion along with some spouses.
I saw people that I had not seen since exactly fifty years earlier. It had been exactly fifty years from the night we walked across the stage on the football field of Rogersville High School. If we hadn’t been wearing name tags, I’m sure we all would have had problems identifying our former classmates.
I can’t tell you how much fun it was to catch up with all these people from our past. Many of them I had gone through twelve years of school from Rogersville City School to Rogersville High School. That’s a lot of time and a lot of memories.
One of our classmates, John Parrott shared that he had heard other people say they cared nothing about attending a class reunion and seeing those people who really meant nothing to them. I’m so glad that we grew up in or around a small town where people did care about each other. The school was small enough that we all knew each other by name. We weren’t just a photo in the school annual.
I’m also glad that we didn’t have the temptations and fears that today’s students have. As far as I know, there weren’t drugs in the school at that time. We didn’t have to worry about someone setting off a bomb in our school. Most of all, we didn’t have to worry about another student shooting and killing use. Times were so different, and I feel blessed to have grown up in that time.
We also weren’t just a name on the roll to our teachers. We had some excellent teachers who knew us, and most likely knew our families. These teachers cared about each of us and our futures. One teacher in particular who I always felt that she cared about her students, was Mrs. Lucille Ryan. Mrs. Ryan taught senior English, and was excellent at her job. She went far beyond that though; she would talk about the future. She was such an encourager. Mrs. Ryan will always be my favorite teacher. She’s 90 years old and still living on her farm in Persia. We were all so fortunate to have had you in our lives!
Many classmates came in from out of town. David Hurlock and his wife drove up from Brentwood. Jo Ann Siddens came up from Seymour. Bill Reel drove down from Harrisonburg, VA where he owns a farm and stable operation. His father was the manager of the local Parks Belk store when we grew up. Everyone knew and loved their family. The person who came the farthest was Lois Parker Yankee who came from Colorado Springs, CO. Lois is married to another classmate, Marlon Yankee. Marlon was unable to attend due to a prior commitment. Lois was our class valedictorian. It was super nice to see her!
Many other people live locally or nearby, but I still hadn’t seen them for 50 years. Some of those locals were Louise Barker Richards, Brenda Bledsoe Richards, Minnie Manis Swatsell, Brenda Cobb Elliott, Carolyn Everhart Mallett, and Verna Hughes Inman.
Some classmates who were unable to attend due to health issues. Among those were Q.P. Carpenter, Otis Fields, and Brenda Hughes Hensley. Those classmates were greatly missed. We are so sorry you couldn’t be with us.
Out of our nearly 160 graduates, we have 31 deceased classmates. One of those is my very dear friend Brenda Altom, who passed in October 2017. She was a fabulous person and a dear friend.
We all milled around and shared our memories of both good times and bad. We also caught up on the children, grandchildren, and for some, even great-grandchildren
After everyone started to leave, one of my friends asked me where we could go and get something sweet to eat. I suggested O’Henry’s, so the four of us went over there and had dessert while sharing more fun times and memories. Along with me was Billie Greene Lambdin, Carolyn Everhart Mallett, and Deb Jones Talley. I think we all had equally as good a time there as we did at the reunion.
All in all, our reunion was a great success. Many thanks to those who organized it, Ann Poythress Trent, Joyce Garland, Carolyn Everhart Mallett, Verna Hughes Inman, and Richard Beets. I have helped organize past reunions, and I know how difficult this can be. The hardest part is just trying to locate people.
If your class organizes a reunion, and your first response is not to attend, think it over. You would be surprised at what you’re missing out on! My advise to you is give it a try, you might have a good time!
I was going to include recipes from my friend, Brenda Altom, but due to an accident in her sister’s family I was unable to get them in time. I am including a recipe for the no-bake oatmeal cookie that many of us are familiar with. The first time I ever tried these was in high school when Brenda brought them to a school party. The other recipe is a twist on that recipe.
As Jan would say, “And that’s the way I see it!”
NO-BAKE CHOCOLATE OATMEAL COOKIES
1 ½ cups sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 stick margarine
1/4 cup milk
2 cups oatmeal
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup peanut butter
Boil sugar, cocoa, margarine, and milk for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add vanilla, peanut butter, and oatmeal. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper and let cool.
NO BAKE PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES
These no bake peanut butter cookies take just 10 minutes to make, a super easy recipe with delicious results!
Prep Time 9 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 10 minutes
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons butter cubed
6 tablespoons milk
3/4 cup peanut butter
2 1/4 cups quick cooking oats also called 1 minute oats
1 cup coated peanut butter candies (Reece’s Pieces)
Place the sugar, butter and milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until butter is melted. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute exactly.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the peanut butter until smooth. Add the oats and stir until thoroughly combined.
Drop 2 tablespoon sized dollops of the dough onto parchment paper, waxed paper or a silicon nonstick baking mat. Quickly press the candies onto the tops of the cookies.
Cool completely until cookies are set.