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One of the candid shots from the "Do You Remember?" section of the 1960 Grove yearbook shows the hustle, bustle and a little horseplay of students between classes in the main hall of the Tower building.
Reporter remembers walking halls
of old Grove High

          P-I Staff Writer
This fall will mark 50 years since I first walked up Grove Boulevard and into the halls of Grove High School, apparently earning me the privilege of reminiscing about my years there.

There were about 125 of us freshmen that fall. By graduation in 1960, we had dwindled to only a hundred or so. There are 102 seniors in our annual, the 1960 Tower.

Looking through my copy, unfortunately, did little to jog many memories. The class, history helped, naming class officers, homecoming royalty, club memberships and other reminders.

Our years at Grove saw the campus expanded to include junior high. As juniors we got to eat lunch in our classrooms while the new cafeteria was being built. That was bittersweet, however, as that old lunchroom had a jukebox playing songs for a nickel such as Chuck Berry's "Brown Eyed Handsome Man."

Some of the yearbook pages were dedicated to various clubs and organizations and pictures of all the classes including the new junior high ones. I was proud to serve as editor-in-chief of The Comet, the Grove newspaper.

Several staff members then are still in Paris and Henry County; I'm the only one still involved with a newspaper even after a 35-year detour in radio.

My other interests included the National Forensic League and Thespians, and Key Club. I was also a member of the Distributive Education Club and, probably because of my working at radio station WTPR, was elected reporter.

Other memories mainly had to do with band and speech trips. Band trips were made to all the football games but we also marched in the Mule Day and subsequently Fish Fry parades.

Our band room was in the basement of Cavitt Hall and Bill Crosswy was more than patient with us, despite a frequent, "My stars!"

On home football game Friday nights, we proudly marched down Grove Boulevard to Market Street and into the stands at Barton Field.

Every home game had a dif-ferent halftime show, but each ended with the band forming a big "G" on the field and playing our Alma Mater.

"Far above the noisy bustling,
Of our busy town,
Framed against the arch of heaven,
Proudly she looks down. "

Speech trips senior year were also quite memorable: one by bus to Muskogee, Okla., the other by train to Tulane Univer-sity. Both were educational but New Orleans was exceptional.

Having dinner one night in the Blue Room of the Hotel Roosevelt we were entertained by Sophie Tucker, the "Last of the Red Hot Mamas." totally embarrassing Miss Ruby (Krider) with many of her stories and songs, but I still have Sophie's autographed record album.

My favorite, and subsequently most useful, classes were typing and English.

Of the 21 people pictured on the senior high faculty page, only four are still with us: Joan Jones, Regina Presnell Whitfield, Lamar Roberts and Homer Spain.

Our number, too, has gotten smaller. We lost our class treasurer soon after graduation and our class president was killed in an accident a couple of years ago.

During planning for our last class reunion, several of us marveled that we had only lost four classmates up until then. Within a month, one of those who attended the 2000 reunion was gone and, within a year, another and others since.

We failed to have a 45th-year reunion last year busy with grandkids, knee replacements and other distractions.

But I have a feeling those of us still around will try really hard for a 50th-year get-together in 2010.

"Lift the chorus, speed it onward,
Loud her praises cry;
Hail to thee, our Alma Mater,
Hail, all Hail, Grove High."

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The Post-Intelligencer published a five-part series of features this week leading up to the
centennial celebration. This is Part 4 of 5.


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Reprinted from the Paris Post-Intelligencer
Thursday, June 22, 2006 Edition
Used  by  permission