Class Of '64 ~ 50th Reunion ~ Page 1

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Musing with Cecil Buffington

   Musing With Cecil Buffington Home

The Class Of '64 Fiftieth Reunion

It was mid-summer of 2013 when Guy Dean (Parks) Benson started working on a fiftieth anniversary reunion for the Jefferson High School “Class of 1964”. ( View "The Class Of 1964". )  She recruited some of her long-time best friends to help her make it happen.

Susan (Ethridge) Chaisson, Julia (McEver) Kirksey, Posey (Storey) Henson, Julia (Stovall) Howard, Ada Ellen (Potter) Morris, Gloria (Spence) Henderson, and Vicki (Ray) Dunn joined her in making preparations to stage the “BEST” reunion in Jefferson High School history.

There is something about this Class of '64. When you look at their annual you see pretty, neat young ladies with the various hair styles and normal attire of the day. The guys from the class look average with their flat-tops or razor-cut hair styles. Several had an Elvis Presley hair style, but in the small town of Jefferson, it was not the customery look. Even with the Beatles invading America at the time, the mop-top look was not included in the hair-Styles of the 1964 Jefferson youth.The fact that the 77 graduates were the first baby-boom class to graduate from Jefferson only added to this uniqueness.

Jefferson, Georgia was typical of many USA towns of the mid-sixties. Everyone knew everyone else, parents were friends with many working together. They shopped for groceries at Kesler's Foodland and frequented Jefferson Drugs and the Western Auto store. Buck Marlow's Cafe or Bruce's Fine Foods were always there for a quick hamburger, hot dog, milk shake, soft drink or cup of coffee. Teachers were friends of the parents and many of the kids went to church together on Sundays.

There was a small movie theater, a local pool hall, a swimming pool and several small fast food joints where the kids that were fortunate enough to have cars, or at least have access to their parents car, could go for snacks or just hang-out after school or on the weekends. It was a very laid back little town with very laid back citizens and high school kids. To most of these high school youngsters, it was the perfect setting to grow up into society productive adults in later life.

Sports were a big part of the Jefferson culture in the 60s. At least a dozen of the 35 boys in the class of '64 were on the football team. Others chose to participate in the various clubs and activities like band, basketball, track, baseball, gymnastics and cross country. The class of '64 was also unique in that five members had parents that taught them during their high school years. Jefferson High school in 1964 was about as family oriented as a school could possibly be.

Now Guy Dean Benson was looking at the best way to make this fiftieth reunion of their graduation a “moment to remember” for the forty or so classmates that planned to attend the event. Vicki Dunn asked classmate Cecil Buffington to do a small power point presentation that upon its conclusion expanded to anything but small. It became a 48 minute DVD tribute to the class. A copy of this DVD was made available for every class member or teacher/adminstration member that was in attendance. View "The Class Of '64 Tribute" On Youtube.

Door prizes were in abundance with approximately 30 passed out among the group.

Mrs. Sara (Massey) Hensley led the group in the singing of the high school alma mater. Classmate veterans of the armed forces were recognized for their service to their country. Special guests were former teachers/administrators . . . Miss Martha Jo Blackstock, Mrs. (Coach) Sara Gee, and Mrs. Carlene Stoudenmire.

The high school principal that served during 1964 was unable to attend the event. Mr. Dorsey Brooks was being honored with the naming of the Tucker High School baseball field after him in a ceremony in Tucker, Georgia. He was sent a special copy of the tribute video for viewing later at his convenience.  ( See "Porch Sitting With Dorsey Brooks". )  

One of the high lights of the reunion was the special meal served at lunch. The Varsity out of Athens, Georgia catered in hot dogs, hamburgers, onion rings and fries that brought back some really fantastic “moments to remember” for those in attendance.

The event culminated with a heart-warming presentation honoring those classmates that had passed away over the years. A balloon was released for each at the conclusion of the event.

As you watched the proceeding's unfold during the course of the day, you would be overwhelmed with the nostalgic aura of love and respect that all of these former classmates had for each other. It was easy to see why this class was something special. They were simply good people and good citizens. This was the legacy they put forth and the legacy that will be left behind by the Jefferson High School “Class of '64”.

Did Guy Dean Benson achieve her goal of “the Best High School Reunion” ever for a Jefferson High class? While that may be up for debate by some of the other reunions over the years and those that will come up later, I doubt that any could ever be any better. Maybe as good somewhere along the way, but never really better.

April 12, 2014 was a day that will be preserved in the memory of all that attended for the remainder of their lives.

Yes, there was something special about that Class of 1964. There was a strong bond that tied them together. This bonding made them proud of their school, proud of their classsmates and proud to have spent 12 years of their life together as a group in a small town USA high school. After fifty years that bond has only grown stronger. They are a group that will in heart and mind, ALWAYS BE TOGETHER !

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Click on photo's to enlarge

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Darrell Chaisson chats with Gloria Spence Henderson as the Class of '64 members begin to arrive at the Jefferson clubhouse for the 1964 class reunion on April 12, 2014.

The adventure begins . . .

Pat and Bev Head greeted by Susan Chaisson and Julia Howard.

Left - R - Bev & Pat Head, Julia Howard, Earle Tompkins and Terry Cotton form a small discussion group.

Ada Ellen Potter Morris and Mike arrive at the reunion.

There'll be a lot of conversing before this day is over!

Julia Kirksey and Tommy Riddle .

Guy Dean Parks Benson ~ busy as usual.

L - R ~ Thomas Casper and Venell, Joyce Beatty Wells, Mrs. Carlene Stoundemire, Guy Dean Parks Benson, Betty Edwards Miller and Mary Ann Johnston Barnwell form the Varsity line at lunch.

L - R ~ David Skelton, Thomas Casper, Venell Casper, and Joyce Beatty Wells.

L - R ~ Pat Beatty Conner chats with Gloria Spence Henderson and Lamar Henderson.

The Varsity lunch line still moving along!

L - R ~ Mary Ann Johnston Barnwell chats while Pat Beatty Conner and Gloria Spence Henderson pan for the camera.

Cecil Buffington and Gloria Spence Henderson.

Vicki Ray Dunn visits with Barbara Colvard Davis with Sara Massey Hensley and Posy Storey Henson in the background.

Posy Storey Henson and Sara Massey Hensley.

Judy and Terry Marlow.

The head of the Varsity lunch line.

Brenda Clark tanner and Ruthie Cochran Watson getting those Varsity 'dogs and onion rings.

Two of the finest of the class of '64. Ada Ellen Potter Morris, the Class President of 1964 and Thomas Bond enjoy lunch.

Vicki Ray Dunn and Cecil Buffington.

Ada and Thomas.

Peggy Strickland Usry and Butch Usry.

Terry Cotton looks over the festivities.

Don't you know Joyce Beatty Wells and Sara Massey Hensley have a lot of fun memories to talk about?

Ponchie Beck and Martha Jean Mauldin Beck.

Doris Sears Lewis and Ron Lewis.

Darrell Chaisson and an always smiling Susan Chaisson.

Bob Gilbert and Mrs. John ( Karen ) Bryan enjoy their lunch of Varsity food.

Posy Storey Henson and Betty Edwards Miller ~ Very photogenic ladies.

Thomas and Venell Casper.

Barbara Colvard Davis and Tom Davis look and listen at the proceedings.

Guy Dean Parks Benson and Ruthie Clark Watson renew old memories.

Brenda Clark Tanner.

Pat Beatty Conner and Mary Ann Johnston Barnwell.

Alva and David Hay. I, Cecil Buffington, had not seen David in 50 years since that 1964 graduation. Good to see him after all these years.

Carol Wills Aaron.

Mike and Dell Tate. Could Mike be a "Duck" Dynasty fan?

Charles Crow and Pam Crow view the action around them.

Ms. Martha Jo Blackstock ~ A Jefferson icon and legendary teacher at Jefferson High School.