Dicy McCullough: Reunion shows friendships of youth go on
What can be said about a high school reunion? You know that time in your life when classmates get together to reminisce about the olden days and see whoís gained weight, lost weight, gone bald, divorced or even possibly remarried. In the grand scheme of things none of that really matters. What matters is the rekindling of old friendships through hugs, how do you dos and lines like, ěYou havenít changed a bit.î
I saw that kind of bond during my high school reunion recently at the Salisbury County Club. I graduated in 1971 from North Rowan and used to think anyone who had been out of high school for 40 years was old. I donít think that anymore.
Someone must be willing to organize such an event, and Kathy Barringer was that someone who had enough energy and force to bring our reunion to a reality. Kathy did have help, though, from other classmates, including Pam Culp, Mike Faucette, Pam Pinnix, Rufty Patterson and Sharron Foxx. As a result of their efforts, approximately 120 people came. The energy and excitement felt that night were electric, with a continuous flow of chatter, hugs and laughter.
After Kathyís warm welcome, a special moment was shared by all when John Pridgen read the names of deceased classmates. A single yellow rose was placed in a vase for each name read while ěAmazing Graceî played softly in the background. The tribute concluded with a poem and a prayer delivered by the Rev. Albert Johnson. For a moment, it was as if the circle was once again complete.
The class of 1971 was in high school during the historical time of integration. Those were difficult years of questioning and doubts, not so much by students, but by parents. North Rowan and Dunbar became a unified school because students were willing to work things out and compromise when necessary. Evidence can be seen of that today; even four decades later, the school colors are still green, white and gold. Some of the most enduring friendships came out of the union of those two schools.
If your class is thinking of having a reunion, I highly recommend door prizes. Not only is it fun, but when the winnerís name is announced, everyone gets a chance to put a name together with a face. For our reunion, classmates and local businesses donated the door prizes, with Betty Sedberry donating prints of hangouts frequented during our high school years. Places such as Zestoís and Alís came alive as a result of her artistic ability.
I sat waiting patiently for my name to be called for a print, but no such luck. Finally, the last one was of Zestoís. I wanted that print so badly but thought the chances of winning were slim. Thatís when I heard Pam Culp say, ěAnd the winner is Dicy McCullough.î My hands shot up in the air, ěYes!î I couldnít believe it. I was excited for several reasons. Of course I was excited that I had won a Betty Sedberry print, but I was also excited because my husband, Michael, loves classic Chevy trucks and cars and there were several included in the scene.
I still find it hard to believe 40 years have come and gone since I walked the halls of North Rowan as a Cavalier. The smells and sounds of those years are just as fresh as if it was yesterday. If you live long enough to attend a 40th class reunion, take my advice and donít sit at home. Go, have a good time, reconnect with old friends and enjoy yourself. Everyone at our reunion had such a good time there are rumors of another one in five years.
I canít wait. Maybe Iíll be lucky enough to win another Betty Sedberry print.
Dicy McCullough is a childrenís author who lives in Rowan County. Contact her at 704-278-4377 or online at dicymcculloughbooks.com.