• 64°

Darrell Williams: 70 years of memories

By Darrell Williams
For the Salisbury Post
In the beginning, we were 45 in all. Back then, a nice-sized class. A large family, really. When we met again last weekend, however, we added up to 12. Time had taken its toll.
“We” were the Granite Quarry High School Class of 1942, and we were celebrating our 70th anniversary. The place was Union Lutheran Church near Salisbury. Twenty in all, counting spouses.
We met at 4 and chatted. We walked across the planks of time, about like we walked across the old wooden stage at GQHS.
All of us didn’t walk, however. One was in a wheelchair, others with canes. Others held on to someone else’s elbow.
Back then, our footsteps echoed to the endearing sounds of Pomp and Circumstance, and we marched off the stage into one of the biggest question marks of our lives. That was a war year, and the gears were just beginning to grind.
We said goodbye to each other like brothers and sisters going off to war, for that’s what many of us were doing. Eventually, that horrible necessity touched practically every life in the class of ’42.
We went and we fought and we came home. The lucky ones. Those who were not lucky fell on some foreign shore and never rose to go home again, never lived to return to a high school reunion.
But this was a September Saturday evening 70 years later, and it was a time to look at your old classmates and lie just a little: “Why Roy Bernhardt, you haven’t changed a bit!”
Well, he had, and he pointed his cane to prove it.
The fact is that he used the same cane as a baton to lead the group in the Granite Pep Song, aided and abetted by classmate Grover Miller.
Unusual? Yeah, I’d say we were unusual. Like the last of the orange flamingos.
We were there, however, and 90 percent of our class was not. Most of them had passed on. We were the remainder.
We were the Granite Quarry High School Class of 1942, and we were there to celebrate our 70th anniversary. Most of us were in our mid-to-late 80s.
We were 18 in attendance, counting spouses. We had one in a wheelchair and several with canes. Others were drivers. Our secretary drove in from Cary near Raleigh.
We chatted for the first hour, got caught-up. Someone had brought a copy of “The Granite Chips,” the school’s annual, which, incidentally, was begun by our class.
A program committee had met six weeks earlier and laid plans for the reunion. At that time, it was suggested that perhaps this should be the last reunion, that we simply were getting too old for the effort. The vote was unanimous to suggest this to the full group.
The full group didn’t like the idea, however, and with a strong voice suggested that we have another reunion next September, and decide then about another one. Optimism prevailed.
When it came time to pay for the meal, it was revealed that the nieces of Class Member Clara Myers Rogers had shopped and bought and prepared the meal, “as a tribute to the class of ’42.”
The nieces were asked to come in and take a bow as hands clapped and cheers rang out.
Next September.
Put it down.

Comments

Comments closed.

Coronavirus

Rowan County sees 301st death from COVID-19

Coronavirus

N.C. lawmakers advance bill barring mandatory COVID-19 shots

Local

Rowan Public Library joins initiative to help people with digital connectivity

Local

Mocksville to dissolve police department

Crime

Blotter: May 5

Local

Salisbury’s McElroy named top city, county communications professional in state

Local

Locals condemn use of force during 2019 traffic stop of Georgia woman

Kannapolis

Back and better than ever: Cannon Ballers kick off inaugural season in Atrium Health Ballpark

News

NC police reform package approved by Senate committee

News

Rowan County Health Department receives $5,000 grant to fund prenatal oral health program

Local

City outlines use of federal HUD funds, approves NCDOT project to create U-turn bulb near Morlan Park Road

Local

Salisbury VA staff make the day for veterans with visitation parade

Kannapolis

Minor League baseball: Wood Ducks top Cannon Ballers in season opener

News

NC Senate eases caps on income, grants for K-12 scholarships

Nation/World

Biden aims to vaccinate 70% of American adults by July 4

Local

Cheerwine now accepting entries for festival’s T-shirt design contest

Coronavirus

North Carolina reports fewer than 1,000 COVID-19 positives

Local

Post accepting submissions for Mother’s Day photos, stories

Business

Perkins Cafeteria plans for July opening, looks to provide ‘wholesome, quality meals’

Local

Commissioners finalize grant application for Woodleaf Community Park

Landis

Landis board gets first look at budget that decreases town’s residential electric rates

Local

City to discuss two traffic-related measures, hold public hearing for use of federal funds

Local

Summer Fun: In-person camps are back this year

High School

High school baseball: South’s Deal will play at Methodist