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.
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.
Saturday morning started with a stroll over to the Carrboro Farmers Market.
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.
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.
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.
Carrboro and Chapel Hill have a vibrant array of dining options. For lunch some of us walked to The Mediterranean Deli.
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…
And just as dinner was winding down, along comes an evening shower.
However, the ever insightful planning committee had thought of everything.
Sunday morning was an informal drop by the hotel lobby for coffee and good-bye’s. Here are some parting people shots…
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.
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)