It’s always nice to be reunited

Published 12:08 am Saturday, September 20, 2008

My husband and I attended a rather unique reunion on Sun., Sept. 7, called a “Blast From The Past.” It was the perfect description of an event for former students of Alden and Graysville, Alabama junior high schools. People who had attended those schools during the 1920s through some time in the 1950s were invited.

When one of organizers called to invite us, she said she had heard about my husband’s recently published book, “The Secret in Deep Water Swamp.” She pointed us to a table upon our arrival, where we set up for a book signing along with socializing.

I wasn’t one of the former students, but my husband attended Graysville Junior High School. I felt right at home though. I moved to Graysville in my teens and knew some of the attendees. I recognized the names of some people only because I had heard my husband speak of them. I had attended church with others. One of my former Sunday school teachers came up to me, her face wreathed in a smile, and gave me a big hug.

A lot of the people had not seen each other since their school days. There were many grey heads in the crowd. My husband’s two sisters and their spouses from Birmingham and his youngest sister and her husband from Atlanta were there renewing acquaintances, too. It was a bit amusing to see a person speak to another while he or she sneaked a glance at the nametag that person wore.

Plenty of reminiscing occurred and ripples of laughter filled the former armory in Graysville. The building is now the Maurice C. West Community Center, named for a former mayor. One of his daughters was a friend of mine.

My husband didn’t mingle much, due to his vision problem so I circulated around, and took some of those sneaking looks at nametags. When I saw someone he knew and I didn’t, I introduced myself and pointed him out to them. A lot of people dropped by to see him and bought his book.

The reunion committee did an amazing job of locating people. Every couple received a directory of all the people they contacted. It also had several pages of class pictures from both schools. There was identification of some students, but most had the school, the year the photo was made, the grade or the teacher’s name under the group pictures. After we returned home and I took a good look at them, I found Mary, one of my husband’s sisters. She was in a fifth and sixth grade picture. She had long, thick, beautiful black hair. When we mentioned the picture to her, she said the girl behind her was pulling her hair when that picture was made.

Evidently everyone enjoyed Blast From The Past as much as we did — they’re going to do it again next year.