CHHS Class of ‘61 holds reunion

Published 7:43 pm Tuesday, June 22, 2021

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The Charles Henderson High School Class of 1961 celebrated its 60th Class Reunion Tuesday at the First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall.

Nobody looked the way they did when they tossed their mortarboards high in the air, signaling their newfound freedom. Heads are now bald or gray, weight is going up and height is going down. Bones and teeth are wearing out and visits to the doctor are more common than trips to the grocery store. But, a good time was had by all!

Classmate Donald Lee made an early announcement to those who didn’t get their diplomas on graduation day.

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“There are some available on the back table,” Lee said, laughing.

Following a fellowship lunch, the program began with a time of remembrance of the classmates who are no longer living. Mack Scott, class vice president, said of the 136 graduates of the CHHS Class of 1961, 56 have died. The name of each deceased class member was read and each remembered.

“So many memories. So many good folks,” Scott said. “Ours was a contributing class but so many have gone. We are thankful that they were a part of our lives.”

Special tribute was made to classmate and longtime Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford who contributed greatly to the growth of Troy.

Classmate Earl Ellis said he, and perhaps others, would have thought Lunsford, who was from rural Needmore, would have gone into some area of agriculture.

“In his picture in the yearbook, Jimmy was driving a tractor,” Ellis said. “But, he went on to be the longest serving mayor of Troy. The city of Troy owes a lot to him.”

Ellis shared with his former classmates how Troy has grown since they were in high school and also the growth Troy State College to Troy University. He gave Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr. credit for the continuing vision for the university.

Ellis also shared the tremendous industrial growth Troy has experienced and the growth of their alma mater from the three buildings of their youth to the enlarged campus it is today.

The Class of 1961 shared memories of their high school years: Cherry cokes, playing pool at the downtown pool hall, hotdogs and burgers at Green’s Drugs, roller skating, the Enzor Theater, the Starlight Drive-in, girls playing Canasta, The Hut, Riverside, the Red Wave, the Troy Maid Bakery, Wilson’s Barbecue, Paul “Bear” Bryant speaking at the sports banquet, hanging out at the canteen above Synco Drugs and dancing the “Bop.”

They remembered the playing of “Taps” from the school basement when legendary band director Herman Moll died.

“It was good to look back and we look forward to getting back together soon,” Scott said. “Today has been a good day for all of us, I’m sure.”