Class of ‘54 holds reunion

Published 12:30 am Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Parrish High School Class of 1954 observed the 55th anniversary of its graduation on June 13 with a seated dinner at the Selma Country Club. With more than half of the 109-member class present, there were hugs, warm greetings, friendship and time for “catching up” with each other in this third reunion. The 25th was held in 1979 and the 50th five years ago.

The social evening opened promptly at 7 p.m. with sign-in, address verification and pinning on of name tags. Then the celebrants moved into the ballroom for an hour of meeting and greeting. Laughter and reminiscing included comments about the class yearbook, Sel-Ala 1954, still unique among those of other Parrish High graduating classes.

The brilliant blue and white plaid cover is decorated with a scene from the then popular cartoon comic strip hero “Lil Abner” being chased by Daisy Mae. Opening the book, one finds the theme carries through each of the pages, “From Dogpatch to Selma” with drawings of a Dogpatch character or two on each page.

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A classroom photograph is entitled “Larnin” and a football game, “Chasin”. Of course there is a “Socializin” section filled with class members dancing. The young men are immaculate in “white sports coats,” and perhaps “a pink carnation.” Their dancing partners are gowned in the fashion popular in that “Gone With The Wind” era: a fitted, strapped bodice and a voluminous-full skirt supported by a hooped underskirt.

And on the fresh, youthful faces, smiles of enjoyment speak of that fun evening. The book sections are divided by fold-out pages of Dogpatch characters, among them costumed Lil Abners being chased by barefoot Daisy Maes, often aiming a shotgun. “Mercy,” commented a class member, from the viewpoint of more than 50 years. “Were we ever that young?”

Promptly at 8 p.m. dinner was announced with classmate Robert Owens giving the invocation. During the dinner hour, those old familiar tunes of the ‘50s were presented by Wayne Alexander on the xylophone and Margaret Snyder, the vocalist.

After dinner, door prizes were awarded to those whose program had the correct number listed. Some couples chose to dance once more to those favorite tunes and others continued reminiscing throughout the evening.

Will there be another reunion?

The response: Of course!

Deceased members of the class were remembered with an exhibit set on a memory table where a copy of the Sel-Ala was open to pages of their photographs and information of their school years.

Those no longer present are: Walter Attaway, Billy Blackwell, Cleo Clark, Ben Crane, Bobbie Jean Amos, Sarah Alice Greene, Alfred Griffin, Carolyn Gugliotta, Barnett Hardy, Harold Johnson, Bill Kendall, Marjory Lindsey, Cecil Martin, Ann Morgan, Harold Mott, Ralph O’Flinn, Joe Peterson, Douglas Smith, Charles Tennimon, Melba Tucker, Joyce Vinson, Elbert Williams, Norma Jean Osburn Mahan and Edna Harris.