The Big Seven- OH!

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.

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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

Dick Forbis, Sam Rankin and Steve Wainscott

Sue Glasgow, Judy Ramsey Roberts and Candy Crumley Rankin

Sue Glassgow, Judy Ramsey Roberts and Candy Crumley Rankin

Sheryl Forbis, Rob Girard, Pam Hoyle, Marion Redd, and June Fortess

Sheryl Forbis, Rob Girard, Pam Hoyle, Marion Redd, and June Fortess

These people are not acting their age

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 Glasgow, John Guy, and Patty DeLaney Horsch

Ineke Wilson, Bob Wilson, Sig Huitt, Sue Glassgow, John Guy, and Patty DeLaney Horsch

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Getting a morning sugar high: Sig Huitt, June Fortess and Sue Glasgow

Getting a morning sugar high: Sig Huitt, June Fortess and Sue Glassgow

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A neighborhood sculpture

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.

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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.

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The women became known as the Philadelphia Eleven.

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

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

Only a small view of the scores of options

Sue Glasgow, Gene Matthews, Pam Hoyle, Steve Wainscott, June Fortess, Patty DeLaney Horsch

Sue Glassgow, Gene Matthews, Pam Hoyle, Steve Wainscott, June Fortess, Patty DeLaney Horsch

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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.

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A perfect evening for reconnecting…

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Patty Daniel channeling Vanna White

Patty Daniel channeling Vanna White

The other end of the Chevy was the bar

The other end of the Chevy was the bar

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BFFs

BFFs

Candy Crumley Rankin, Brenda Matthews, and Gene Matthews

Candy Crumley Rankin, Brenda Matthews, and Gene Matthews

Gene as Master of Ceremonies and Judy as hostess extraordinaire

Gene as Master of Ceremonies and Judy as hostess extraordinaire

Well, somebody has to be first!

Well, somebody has to be first!

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And just as dinner was winding down, along comes an evening shower.

Pam Hoyle must have brought her umbrella from Boston

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!

A tent. A very large tent!

Gene goes way above and beyond the call of duty

Gene goes way above and beyond the call of duty

It would seem that New Yorkers are impervious to rain

It would seem that New Yorkers are impervious to rain

Everyone else was happy to be nice and dry

Everyone else was happy to be nice and dry

Judy and Larry's cabin

Judy and Larry’s cabin

Happy Birthday to us!

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

Bobby and Sarah Dorton Threat

Sam and Candy Crumley Rankin

Sam and Candy Crumley Rankin

Jane O'Brien Fellows and Sue Glasgow

Jane O’Brien Fellows and Sue Glassgow

Gene Matthews, Peter Bridge and Patty DeLaney Horsch

Gene Matthews, Peter Bridge and Patty DeLaney Horsch

Sig Hewitt, Marion Redd, Dick Forbis, and Ineke Wilson

Sig Hewitt, Marion Redd, Dick Forbis, and Ineke Wilson

Carter Heyward and Pam Hoyle

Carter Heyward and Pam Hoyle

Robbie Miller and June Fortess

Robbie Miller and June Fortess

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Steve Wainscott, Susan Weston Scercy (Carter's partner), John Guy, Marion Redd, and June Fortess

Steve Wainscott, Susan Weston Scercy, John Guy, Marion Redd, and June Fortess

Robbie Miller and Gene Matthews

Robbie Miller and Gene Matthews

Sig Huitt and dick Forbis

Sig Huitt and Dick Forbis

Sheryl Forbis an honorary member of the class of 1963 because 1) she married Dick, and 2) our class is better than her class

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.

Crooks Corner's signature recipe for Shrimp and Grits has been written about in the New York Times

Crook’s Corner’s signature recipe for Shrimp and Grits has been written about in the New York Times

A Sunday Brunch Bloody Mary

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.

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 last meal with friends

In search of the perfect Shrimp and Grits

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.

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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.

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Many thanks to the planning committee who made this all possible:

Judy Ramsey Roberts and her husband, Larry
Sheryl & Dick Forbis
Marion Redd
Sue Glassgow
Jean Lemond Hunt
Jane O’Brien Fellows
Gene Matthews
Pam Hoyle (from Boston-who handled hotel logistics online)
Patty Delaney Horsch (from Chicago-who helped Sue with arrivals and welcome bags)

Comments

The Big Seven- OH! — 7 Comments

  1. John, outstanding photo album. This one will be saved. Driving my wife nuts because I can’t stop talking about the fun weekend. I’ve just about decided to give my study abroad program another shot.

  2. Bravo, John.
    I just sent the link out via email to the group.
    Terrific photo narrative.
    Save those frequent flyer miles.
    You might need them again in 2017!

  3. Thanks for the pictures and commentary. We haven’t sold our house yet and the other one has a roof on it so I’m expecting great things to happen within the next couple of months. Carl and I are sorry we were not able to attend. Hopefully we will have our lives back in 2017 for an event if it happens. Love to all of you. It looks like we missed a grand time.

  4. The “Committee” had a great time getting together often to plan this event and getting to know each other again after so many years. Then when everyone else arrived, we absolutely knew it was worth all of the effort!! What a wonderful weekend of reconnecting!

    I am ready to begin putting thoughts together for our next event. My heart yearns to spend more time talking with each of you and discovering the people we have become. I am proud to be a small part of this great ensemble of people.

    Thank you, John, for this beautiful summary of our time together. Let’s all stay in touch.

  5. We relived the reunion with these wonderful pictures and story, John. Thank you for this lovely portfolio of memories!

  6. Sig Huitt passed this 7 OH material along to me today.
    Great to see your smiling faces….haven’t changed a bit
    Take care and continue to have fun.

    Wilford Kale
    Class of ’62
    We’re meeting in mid-Sept. at Jerry Pierce’s river abode…be about 30-40 of us…let’s go Eagles!!!