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Remembering the best of times

As the class of 1959 celebrated its graduation 50 years ago, it was truly seeing the end of an era. This class was the last to graduate from the hallowed halls of the Troy High School building, which ironically was demolished exactly 50 years later.

“Also in January of 1959, the Teenage Canteen moved from its location above Bryd-Waters Drugstore to a space over the Royal Tire building,” said Frances Price Davis, Troy High School Class of 1959. “The Canteen was never the same and finally closed in 1962. Those two moves changed forever the educational and recreational essence of the ‘oh-so important’ years for Troy’s teenagers.”

But “time changes things.”

“And, how fortunate were we, the members of the Class of 1959, who had the wonderful privilege to grow up in Troy during those memorable years before the changes,” Davis said. “It was a time of a slower pace of life, walking to school, playing all over the neighborhood until after dark, spending Saturday morning – or afternoon – at the movie theater (the Enzor) for 20 cents, including popcorn or candy and a ‘coke,’ revering dedicated teachers, obeying parents (and all adults), telephone operators, who asked for ‘number please’ and then told you if the person being called was ‘out of town’ or ‘gone to the doctor.’ It was the best of times.”

Every five years for the last 35 years, the Class of 1959 has met to renew friendships, relive memories, share life experiences and honor those no longer living. The graduating class of 93 members has lost 18 of its classmates.

“A group of classmates, who still live in Troy and the surrounding area, meet for lunch once each month and are the planners for the reunions,” Davis said. “Some come from as far away as Eufaula, Dothan, Phenix City and Wewahitchka, Florida. Other class members are recruited for reunion duties and eagerly oblige. After all the years of gathering, the spouses have become viable members of ‘the class’ and anticipate and participate in the reunion as much as the graduates.”

The Troy High School Class of 1959, like all the classes before them, has made many extraordinary contributions to life in the Troy community, surrounding communities, the state and the nation.

“Not only are members of the Troy High School Class of 1959 dedicated parents, soldiers, farmers, educators, business men and women, preachers, public servants, doctors, dentists, artists, musicians, law enforcement officers, nurses, authors, civic volunteers and philanthropists, they are generally great people and friends.

Even though the members are getting “wiser,” or “older” each reunion has a higher number of people attending than the year before. That says a lot about the Troy High School Class of 1959, its commitment to “dear ole Troy High,” and appreciation of those who led them through and the love of those who walked, with them, the hallowed halls that are now only a memory and a faded photograph or two.