MHS CLASS OF '39 reunions of past, present and future

Compliments of Juanita Agan and the Minden Press-Herald

MHS Class of '39 reunions of past, present and future

It was that time again time for the semi-annual reunion for the MHS Class of 1939. Last Saturday, August 9, we met at the Country Restaurant for the second time this year.

Thomas Wolfe said "You can't go home again." But he was wrong. There were 39 reservations. There is such a feeling of home as we meet together again, and memories take us back to the days of the thirties when we were all young and healthy and happy. And for a time again we were happy.

Bittersweet Reunions

We met in 1969 on the 30th anniversary of our graduation, and then on the 40th, 50th and the 60th. At that reunion it was decided that we would not wait 10 more years but that we would meet twice a year instead. We have followed that pattern for a few years now

Often these little reunions have a "bittersweet" edge to them. Many of those who had been so faithful to come home are now dead, and the remaining spouse seems so lonely without their loved one. I know because for the past 14 years I have felt the loss of my husband.

Still some of the widows and widowers continue to meet with us. Other classmates have disabilities that prevent them from ever being back with us again. We have grown closer with each passing year and look forward to seeing one another once more. As the old song goes "We shall meet, but we shall miss him, there will be a vacant chair."

Looking Back

George Calvit presided, and asked us to see if we remembered the nicknames or initials that folks in Minden used half a century ago. We were only able to recall a few,
My son again showed old pictures some of old Minden and others of previous reunions beginning with the one in 1969. I selected pictures of those who came so faithfully and are now dead as well as pictures of those who are still living. The pictures show the happiness they were feeling as they came "home" once again. There is a picture of the men who played football for Minden on that championship team that brought home the first ever State Championship in Class A to Minden.

The Unchanged

At the 50th reunion we selected the graduate that was the most unchanged in the past 50 years - a boy graduate and a girl graduate. The choice was almost unanimous. The girl was Melba Jones Lowery and the boy was Fred T. "Tony" Elzen. We have their pictures that were made when they received this honor.

One who came from Napa, Calif., is Martha Strange Russell. She and her brother, Farrar "Red" Strange of Bossier City were here for our reunion. Dr. and Mrs. Glynn Cox came from Baton Rouge. Coming from Houston are Thomas and Claudette Shelfer who have not been able to be here for several reunions. Grady and Marie Frazier also came from Houston. Others are coming from various places in Louisiana. For the last few years Kent and Jo Ford of Huntsville, Ala., have enjoyed our reunions. This year we missed them, since Kent passed away on June 28 of this year. One who always enjoyed our meetings was Nettie Lumpkin Brock. Nettie wrote that she is in an assisted living facility in Alexandria so that she can be near her daughter, and of course, she cannot be here. Margueritte Shaver Mayes' health will not allow her to come from Kerrville, Texas. Each year the number dwindles, but still the love and caring is there.

Douglas Lunsford Warren came this year. In the past 64 years she has been able to attend only one other, and we are glad that she could be with us this year.

Dolly Parton

Tom McFarland planned his usual wonderful meal, which includes the delicious broiled steaks that he does so well. He always has coffee and cookies ready when we arrive, so that we can sip our coffee as we visit each new arrival. We always enjoy our classmates during this time of visitation before the meal is served. Dr. Carter Norman pronounced the invocation before the meal.

On a lighter note, at our February reunion a classmate from Shreveport said that she did not know all the people who come back. We all know each other so well that I did not see the need of name tags. However she brought name tags and had everyone wear one.

I was busy so I asked that someone write my name for me. I, facetiously, said my name was "Dolly Parton" and that was the name tag I wore. No one not a single one wasted a glance to the name tag but we all hugged and greeted one another like we were kinfolks.

Nobody noticed that I was, for the day, "Dolly Parton" and that was my one chance at fame and I blew it.

A Special Verse

After a time of more visitation Dr. Tom Alley led in prayer, asking God's continued blessings on the group and asking for safe journey back to each home. Each year this time of reunion grows sweeter and dearer, because at almost every reunion another of our classmates is either dead or physically unable to ever meet with us again. We remember and for all our happiness there is a tinge of sadness as we realize the loss of another classmate

"For yesterday is but a dream, and tomorrow is but a vision, but today, well lived, makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well to this day."

This little verse was in a booklet that I received at the time of my graduation in May 1939. Each day and each year I have lived I have found that this verse is so true, so let's make every day a special day for someone and make more happy memories.

Chris and Grady Jeter, George Calvit, and Mary Stubbs had a beautiful corsage delivered to me at the restaurant. I thought that old ladies only received flowers at their funerals. Their thoughtfulness made my day even happier. Grady Jeter has named me their "den mother" and that really makes me feel old.

As long as classmates can be able to return and want to come back, we will continue to meet until there is just one left, and then that last one left will turn out the light and close the door.

Juanita Agan has lived in Minden since 1935. Her column appears Wednesdays in the Minden Press-Herald. She may be reached at 377-2050