350+ expected for biennial reunion
Published 2:57 am Saturday, June 30, 2018
Photos courtesy of Ransom Phelps
Four classmates from the Woodson High School Class of 1964 have been coming to their Covington County Training School, Ralph Bunch, Bethune Jr. High, Woodson High School Alumni Reunion every two years.
The Alumni Reunion is held every other year, and organizers expected a crowd of about 350 people for the three-day event.
Arthur Davis and his wife Fern, Margaret Porter Rodgers, Margaret Bradley and Cleonia Lynn Pittman all moved away from Covington County, but have always found their way back to see old classmates and teachers.
“We come to see everyone,” Rodgers said. “So we can reconnect and get together in fellowship.”
Davis moved away from Covington County after graduation because he said there were no options for him.
“There were zero opportunities for me when I graduated high school,” Davis said. “The only opportunity for employment was an old saw mill and I didn’t want to work there, but my parents couldn’t afford to send me to college. So I joined the Air Force.”
Davis and his wife now live in Delaware, but that is not the farthest anyone travelled for the reunion in Covington County this weekend.
Rodgers lives in San Bernardino, Cali., Bradley lives in Fayetteville, Ga., and Pittman lives in Niceville, Fla.
“We all got our basics here,” Davis said. “The most important ingredient that keeps us all together is that we are so close.”
Pittman said that the Class of ’64 was the closest class to graduate from Woodson High School.
“We had a special bond,” Pittman said. “Even whenever we are away from the reunion and living our lives, we always make sure to keep in touch. So it is always great to see each other in person at this reunion.”
The group said that several teachers influenced them and contributed to who they are today in several ways.
“I would have to say besides Mr. Baker, the principal, my favorite teacher would have to be Mr. Duncan, my band director,” Davis said. “I was in the band and he really helped me become who I am.”
Rodgers said that her favorite teacher was Baker as well. Bradley said that her favorite teacher was Mr. Thomas, her Spanish teacher. Pittman said that her favorite teacher was Mr. Smith, her librarian.
Veila Hooks, the chairperson of the 2018 Alumni Reunion said that Thursday’s event was really good.
“I think we were very well represented,” Hooks said. “We had a nice little meet and greet and fellowship.”
Hooks said that everyone was ready for the banquet, last night.
“I think they will all have a great time,” Hooks said. “We will have a D.J., and several alumni are going to perform as well.”
Hooks believes that this event is important for the African American community in Covington County because it preserves their heritage.
“I think it preserves not only our heritage, but our educational heritage as well,” Hooks said. “We recognize several of the teachers and get a lot of classmates back together so it is an amazing event.”
Hooks expects that the crowd be about 350 people.