Pike County High Class of #039;48 remembers when

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 21, 2003

About half the members of the Pike County High School graduating class of 1948 gathered at John and Carol Dorrill's Clay Hill Farms Saturday for their 55th class reunion.

The class claims the distinction of being the last to graduate from the &uot;schoolhouse on the hill&uot; in Brundidge. However, that claim is continually disputed by the PCHS Class of 1947.

&uot;Actually, they were the last class to graduate from the hill, but we were the last class graduating class to attend school on the hill,&uot; said Juanita Holmes Bush. &uot;Although we went to school on the hill, our graduation was held on the football field at the new campus.&uot;

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

&uot;We were the last class,&uot; was the buzz around the room.

The former classmates spent much of the afternoon jogging each other's memory about their school days and the rest bringing everyone up to date on what has happened in their lives.

A table, filled with memorabilia from their school days, hinted at the changes that have taken place in the past 55 years. Overalls have been replaced by wrinkle-free khakis, fuzzy cheeks with a few wrinkles, jet black hair with sliver — or none at all — and a few pounds have crept up on a few.

But, as one classmate said, &uot;We're still so smart you'd have to put a barrel over us so the sun could rise.&uot;

Had the classmates not put a gag order on Jim Haisten, he probably would have revealed things they'd purposefully hidden away.

&uot;Remember the railing out we got when&uot; Haisten asked. And the chatter got louder, completely drowning out his words.

&uot;After graduation, I remember that we all had peanut butter, Ritz crackers and dill pickles,&uot; said Bush. &uot;That's still one of my favorite food combinations.&uot;

Haisten didn't remember the food combo but he did remember a possum on the playground.

&uot;We put the ol' possum in a sack and wrapped it up in our coats,&uot; he said. &uot;When we went to hang our coats in the cloak room, we put the sack down and left it open. When that ol' possum came walking out of the cloak room, the girls screamed and climbed the walls.&uot;

Hubbert Shiver's thoughts turned to his days on the school's clay basketball court.

&uot;We'd never played inside a building,&uot; he said. &uot;We went down to New Hope to play them in their auditorium. The ceilings were eight feet high. We were used to shooting outside and everything we shot hit the ceiling. They beat us real bad.&uot;

From across the room, Haisten was telling another story.

&uot;Remember when we put .22 shot cartridges in the coal stove

and&uot; The talk got louder.

John Dorrill's thoughts turned to his favorite teacher, &uot;Miss Anne Cloud Bass.&uot;

&uot;I remember her fondly,&uot; he said. &uot;Back then, most of us boys had to stay out of school to work on the farm. I was out several weeks helping with the peanuts. When I came back, I was far behind in my schoolwork. Every day, Miss Annie Cloud would say, 'John is making progress. He's catching up.' I worked so hard to please her and, finally, one day she said, 'John has caught up.' I'll never forget how proud I was.&uot;

Shiver reminded everyone of how, in chemistry lab, they would take mercury and shine their silver money with it.

&uot;Remember when we made whiskey in the chemistry lab?&uot; Haisten said. The talk got much louder.

Someone jumped in with a memory about the senior class play.

&uot;What was the name of it?&uot; Sue Hudson asked.

&uot;We had the corn mash under the counter,&uot; Haisten was saying. The talk got louder.

Bush announced that the name of the play was &uot;The Bashful Bachelor&uot; and read the names of the characters and actors. &uot;John was the burglar.&uot;

&uot;Me, the burglar?&uot; Dorrill said. &uot;I guess that's why I like Agatha Christie mysteries. You never know what's going to have an impression on you.&uot;

&uot; and the mash was working like bees,&uot; Haisten was saying. The talk got louder.

Susie Strother Hastey remembered the play and more.

&uot;Somebody had to drink something on stage and we put something in it,&uot; she said. &uot;And it tasted so bad they spit it out across the stage. What was that?&uot;

&uot;Jim's whiskey,&uot; someone laughed.

Just at the right time, Carol Dorrill announced the steaks were hot off the grill. Everyone headed for the table.

&uot;Remember when.&uot; Haisten was heard to say.