In 1950, South Jackson School had the only auditorium in Tullahoma. A total of 63 seniors walked across the stage that year to receive their diplomas. It was the largest graduating class up to that point. Here we are in 2020, a total of 70 years later.
A lot of changes have taken place involving education since our graduation, not only in Tullahoma but the world. Our beloved high school was closed and eventually demolished. After South Jackson School was closed, the auditorium was refurbished and it gets a lot of use. A couple of classrooms are used as a museum.
On our big night it finally hit - lots of changes awaited. This could be the last time we would see friends we had been with in school since first grade. There were full-time jobs that might take them to another location. Attending college meant moving to another town.
But the biggest change would be the loss of daily relationships with other class members and teachers. In a matter of a few days, the long awaited bus trip to Washington, D.C. would keep a number of friends together for a few more days. That was the last official gathering for the THS Class of 1950.
Getting former classmates together in the future would involve reunions. The Silver 25th was held in Tullahoma. There might have been smaller gatherings before the Golden 50th. Any reunions in all the other years are organized by some class members. For the Class of 1950, we celebrated the two described above as well as several other times.
As we aged, health played the largest part in what we had and when we had it. At one particular reunion there was discussion, and it was about to go to a vote for every two years. I spoke up and asked why not have one every year. A voice spoke out and suggested since it was my idea, how about me being the organizer. That was a number of years ago and we did have yearly reunions up until 2020.
In years gone by our THS Class of 1950 has held yearly reunions, mostly in June on a Thursday because we found it worked well with class members. As the years passed our numbers dropped, as did attendance. We realized the day would come when the reunion held for (whatever the year) was the end. Of the 1950 graduating class of 63, there are 25 survivors.
There were 10 members who attended the 2019 reunion. My short term memory is getting worse so I decided it was time for me to give up something I dearly love, something that never seemed like a job and something I was able to coordinate even though we lived in Crossville. But it wasn’t all me, by any means. It all came together with wonderful help from class members.
It was obvious that with the pandemic, we could not have a regular reunion. But I don’t give up easily. After a lot of thought, it hit me. Since we can’t get together, why not celebrate our unusual 70th year since graduation by having a Faux Reunion?
I am encouraging members of our class to have a spiritual celebration in their home or wherever they choose with whomever they choose.
I am also encouraging THS graduates from other classes to participate in a manner they deem fit for the occasion.