“And the class of ’57 had its dreams,
But living life from day to day is never like it seems.
Things get complicated when you get past eighteen,
But the class of ’57 had its dreams”.
I attended my 55th high school class reunion this past Saturday evening in Palestine, Texas. I am very grateful to the Class of ’57 for always including me. I never actually graduated from PHS. I had a long-standing desire to enlist in the U.S. Navy. I could not contain myself; consequently, at the end of my junior year and on my 17th birthday, I did exactly that.
Many of my classmates were supportive of my decision and to this day, the class has always been gracious to include me in the reunion just as though I graduated. Therefore, I thank each of you.
There were forty-two classmates out of one hundred twenty-two present. Having attended many of these reunions, I can attest that our numbers are dwindling. The list of those who are missing is growing. Larry commented that in 1957, those who may have been celebrating their 55th reunion would have graduated in 1902. It rather puts life in perspective as we realize the class of 1902 no longer celebrates a reunion. I hope as long as there at least two members of the “Class of ‘57” still around, that you will drink a toast to all who have gone on to their rewards.
As we meet each time, we remember all of those who are no longer with us, from the first to the last. At this meeting, thirty individuals have passed on. That is 30 out of 122 classmates. Who among us will not be here in 2017 for the 60th reunion? It is a sobering thought.
As Larry read every name, I tried to recall any memory I had of that person. I, of course, knew them all, some more than others. I believe George Coleman was the first of the Class of ’57 to pass away. I knew George from outside the classroom.
After a hard fought football game Friday nights on Luckett-Kolstad Field, I would make my way to the Eilenberger’s Bakery, where I would box donuts for Mr. Hurley Coleman, George’s grandfather. We had a connection because of George. Some of you band members may also remember that George played the cornet (?). I tried to play the French horn in my freshman year; however, I could not master it well enough for Mr. Roy B. Karen was much better.
One of my memories of Class of ’57 was serving as the manager of the Wildcat’s basketball team. I was “the little guy” who picked up the towels and supplied the water. I still have my letter sweater. Still fits too, but then sweaters do stretch. I must confess, I have difficulty in remembering my coaches and do not have the benefit of researching through the Arc Light. My daughter has the books.
Does anyone remember sitting in the classrooms on the south side of the building and smelling the cottonseed oil from across the street? (No AC and the windows were open.) I do not remember what class I was in, only that I was in there just before lunch and the smell made me so hungry. In those days, we had no cafeteria and either brought our lunch or as many did, go to Bratton’s Drug for a barbeque sandwich. A quarter would buy a sandwich and another dime would get you a Coke.
Wonder how many drinking straw covers were stuck to the ceiling? A piece of gum on the end of the cover was the challenge. I know had a few to stick.
How about the dodge ball games in P.E? Well, for the boys, anyway. There were no oversized balls for these games as they are today. We used the small balls that fit your hand, about the size of a softball. They could really sting when they hit you.
There was another graduate from the class of ’57, many will remember, “Maggie”, Mike Henderson’s constant canine companion in all of his classes. She was the ideal student. I do not remember her ever causing a problem and she received her diploma along with Mike. Do not recall her GPA; however, I am sure it was higher than mine was. Check your Arc Light. She is in there.
I certainly had an enjoyable evening visiting and reminiscing with the Class of ’57. I look forward to another one five years from now. We might begin to think about having it a little earlier in the day. One way we can relive the “good old days” is through our memories. Memories are brought to life through our dreams. The “Class of ’57” had its dreams.
I hope all your dreams are in color.
Postmortem of a Dream
Thoughts develop mysteriously.
I shudder, a ripple effect, I am certain,
I am baffled in my slumber.
Dreaming? Nay… Dreaming in color!
Dare I dream in color?
I see red from a child’s crayon…
Then; …rubies… cherries… roses…wine…
What gauges these mysteries?
Their meaning escapes me
In my dream of color.
Not to be confused with memories
where are the answers?
Confusion is not premeditated,
Never synonymous with nostalgia
Even in dreams of color.
Hence those mysterious thoughts
are scattered into oblivion,
and I am left unfulfilled
Wondering not about the dream
Rather that I dreamt in color.