It was more of a group birthday party than an official reunion. In 2015 everyone in my high school class from 1963 turns 70. Some of us have maintained contact via email over the years and starting about a year ago, an idea popped up in one of those conversational threads: would anyone be interested in celebrating our transition to the next decade? In looking back over the emails it was amazing to see how one small idea had enough weight to create its own gravitational field. Within a matter of weeks, enough critical mass had been generated to make The Big Seven-OH weekend a reality.
Courtesy of Marion Redd
The Friday to Sunday party took place in Carrboro, right next to Chapel Hill where a number of my classmates have settled. Friday night was an informal gathering at the Hickory Tavern where we could reconnect with each other and rekindle old memories. For some of us, that meant a gap of over fifty years.
Dick Forbis, Sam Rankin and Steve Wainscott
Sue Glassgow, Judy Ramsey Roberts and Candy Crumley Rankin
Sheryl Forbis, Rob Girard, Pam Hoyle, Marion Redd, and June Fortess
These people are not acting their age
Saturday morning started with a stroll over to the Carrboro Farmers Market.
Ineke Wilson, Bob Wilson, Sig Huitt, Sue Glassgow, John Guy, and Patty DeLaney Horsch
Getting a morning sugar high: Sig Huitt, June Fortess and Sue Glassgow
A neighborhood sculpture
The agenda for the weekend was pretty loose but we did have a couple of educational sessions. Steve Wainscott, Director of the Honors College at Clemson University, has been taking students to Belgium since 2008 for a five-week study program. Steve gave us a mini-course on the battles of World War I that took place around Ypres.
The Third Battle of Ypres lasted 102 days and resulted in over 500,000 casualties, nearly 5,000 a day
Our class isn’t short on people with interesting lives and stories to tell. Carter Heyward was among eleven women who were ordained as the first female priests in the Episcopal Church on July 29, 1974 in Philadelphia.
The women became known as the Philadelphia Eleven.
Two years later, the Episcopal Church’s General Convention — under pressure from the events in Philadelphia and elsewhere — affirmed and authorized the ordination of women to the priesthood.
Carter at 29
Carrboro and Chapel Hill have a vibrant array of dining options. For lunch some of us walked to The Mediterranean Deli.
Only a small view of the scores of options
Sue Glassgow, Gene Matthews, Pam Hoyle, Steve Wainscott, June Fortess, Patty DeLaney Horsch
Ah, a healthy Mediterranean diet
Saturday evening’s dinner was graciously hosted by Judy Ramsey Roberts and her husband, Larry, at their farm in nearby Hillsboro. Thanks to Ineke Wilson for this group photo.
The names are left to right:
Jane O’Brien Fellows, Candy Crumley Rankin, Judy Huitt, Peter Bridge, Sara Dorton Threat, Sig Huitt, Robbie Miller, Jean Lemmon Hunt, Patty Delaney Horsch, June Fortess, Marion Redd, Gene Matthews, Patty Daniel, John Guy, Carter Heyward, Judy Ramsey (partially hidden), Susan Weston Scercy (Carter’s partner), Rob Girard, Bobby Threat, Sheryl Key Forbis, Sam Rankin, Sue Glassgow, Steve Wainscott, Pam Hoyle, Jane Lynch, Dick Forbis, and Bob Wilson.
A perfect evening for reconnecting…
Patty Daniel channeling Vanna White
The other end of the Chevy was the bar
Candy Crumley Rankin, Brenda Matthews, and Gene Matthews
Gene as Master of Ceremonies and Judy as hostess extraordinaire
Well, somebody has to be first!
And just as dinner was winding down, along comes an evening shower.
Pam Hoyle must have brought her umbrella from Boston
However, the ever insightful planning committee had thought of everything.
A tent. A very large tent!
Gene goes way above and beyond the call of duty
It would seem that New Yorkers are impervious to rain
Everyone else was happy to be nice and dry
Judy and Larry’s cabin
Happy Birthday to us!
Sunday morning was an informal drop by the hotel lobby for coffee and good-bye’s. Here are some parting people shots…
Bobby and Sarah Dorton Threat
Sam and Candy Crumley Rankin
Jane O’Brien Fellows and Sue Glassgow
Gene Matthews, Peter Bridge and Patty DeLaney Horsch
Sig Hewitt, Marion Redd, Dick Forbis, and Ineke Wilson
Carter Heyward and Pam Hoyle
Robbie Miller and June Fortess
Steve Wainscott, Susan Weston Scercy, John Guy, Marion Redd, and June Fortess
Robbie Miller and Gene Matthews
Sig Huitt and Dick Forbis
Sheryl Forbis is an honorary member of the class of 1963 because 1) she married Dick, and 2) our class is more gregarious than her class
For some of us that didn’t have to drive home or have early flights to catch, there was one last goal to accomplish for the weekend: locate the perfect Shrimp and Grits.
Crook’s Corner’s signature recipe for Shrimp and Grits has been written about in the New York Times
A Sunday Brunch Bloody Mary
Unfortunately, in North Carolina, Bloody Marys can’t have alcohol in them before noon on Sunday. It doesn’t matter if you are from out of state.
The last meal with friends
The perfect Shrimp and Grits?
For me, it was back to RDU for my connecting flight to ATL and the flight back to Seattle/Tacoma. Unfortunately, about 3:00 PM a thunderstorm parked itself over the airport and the incoming flight I was supposed to catch for Atlanta had to land somewhere else.
Delta’s computer figured out that I was going to miss my connection and rescheduled me for the following day so I found a Hyatt Place near the airport. Arrived grumpy for the delay but Ms Lisa had a way of making it tolerable. Plus it provided an opportunity to reflect back upon the weekend and realize what a special time it had been.
Many thanks to the planning committee who made this all possible:
Judy Ramsey Roberts and her husband, Larry
Sheryl & Dick Forbis
Jean Lemond Hunt
Jane O’Brien Fellows
Pam Hoyle (from Boston-who handled hotel logistics online)
Patty Delaney Horsch (from Chicago-who helped Sue with arrivals and welcome bags)