October 9 was one of my best-ever Friday evenings. This was because of the graduating class of 1965 having a get-together at the home of two of the ’65 classmates, Rut and Ginger Byars Jacks.
The casual gathering was a wonderful gesture on the part of Ginger and Rut, and their hosting this event was uniquely and meticulously planned. The food was superb and the friendships and togetherness was absolutely great.
Had it not been for the calls of three of my childhood friends from the Lydia village, Ho Emery Wilson, Peggy Grady Koenig, and Francis Cato Snelgrove, and two of my later school friends Carolyn Mills Ivey and Irene Vaughn Littleton, I would have missed this wonderful evening.
Folks, when I arrived with my wife, Gale, I told her to look at all those old folks standing around talking. It is hard to believe that it has been 50 years since our class left the halls of the old Clinton High School, and it has been 50 years since I have had the pleasure of seeing many of those classmates.
Some of them have changed in appearance a lot and some of them not as much, but after recognizing them, it was just like graduation night again, only better.
It was a pleasure to see some of the teachers whom we had during our high school years such as Mrs. Katrine Pitts, the typing teacher, Coach Herman Jackson, who also taught history classes. And that very special Mr. Harry Bouknight, the CHS and former Florida Street School band director.
These were just three of the great teachers we enjoyed. And there are many great memories of the others we had who have passed away.
In my opinion, there are many dedicated, caring teachers in our schools today. But the ones we had will never be equal and this very much includes the three who we got those and talk to this past Friday evening.
The three girls I mentioned from my childhood days at Lydia, who called and encouraged me to attend, were more than just friends.
We saw and played together every day from the first grade through the ninth. After the ninth grade we started getting into our teen years and started other activities, but those early childhood friendships will never go away.
Now for the wonderful evening made possible by Rut and Ginger Jacks, just saying thank you does not seem enough. But the enjoyment shared by everyone in attendance says it all.
Until we get together for our next 50 years reunion, I would like to say how wonderful it was to see all of you all one more time.
(Tommy Kitchens lives in Clinton)