35th Reunion

July 21 andd 22, 2000, our 35th reunion, the number of attendees was low, but the ones who attended agreed that we had a good time. We had a lot of classmates call and say they were coming on Saturday night and then didn’t show.

We had several faculty members to attend Saturday night, Don Cross and wife, Carl Sandifer and wife, Louise Beyers, Barbara Wesseling, Nell Johnson and her daughter, Lewis Adams, and Ira Welborn. We had a letter from Marjorie Dees-Patterson since she was not able to be with us. Glenn Ellison, after introducing the faculty members, asked if any of the guys present had to report to Mr. Cross’s office, the majority of the guys indicated that they had visited Mr. Cross!

For our entertainment the reunion committee, with assistance from a few others, put on a skit titled “A typical Day at Paxon.” We did this hoping to get a few laughs. We got more than a few laughs, especially the guys, errrr, I mean the girls. Yes, the guys put on skirts and wigs. However the “girls” were larger than the costume maker thought they would be so some of their wrap-around skirts didn’t quite wrap around! This made for a good laugh also. Our attempt to make everyone present laugh at us worked, so we feel that the skit was a success.

We had a few first-timers. In March 1999 when a group of us went to Chattanooga, we met Barbara Skeen-Madden and Diane Skinner-Russell. They both were here for the reunion, their first reunion. Marilyn Haddock-Williams and Gwen Barton-Murphy, who were best friends in school but had lost touch, located each other in time for the Multi-year reunion in June and then came to our reunion, also their first reunion.

Charlotte Wright-Thien and Marvin Thien were with us for the whole weekend (they had attended our 5th reunion in 1970 and became jaded toward reunions). Charlotte was a member of our committee and was in our skit. Jan Crews-Daniell, who moved away early in our senior year, joined us. She had attended an earlier reunion and remembered the good time she had and contacted friends to be sure that we had her new address. She has recently moved back to Jacksonville (home).

Pat Mathena-Oglesby had her son drive her down from Van Wyke, South Carolina for her first reunion. Got a card from her saying she had a great time.

Toby Russell-Cagel came from Memphis TN to be with us, her first reunion and contact with classmates. Clyde Israel, who also lives in Memphis, will try to keep in touch with Toby.

Sharon Stone-Gibson came all the way from Costa-Rica to be with us. She arrived several days early and joined us for our last meeting before the reunion. We really enjoyed visiting with her. We found out that she and her husband own a lodge in Costa Rica. If you are interested in vacationing in that area, we will be happy to put you in touch with Sharon.

It was good to see Jean Sailers and Frances Harrington-Conner. They both had missed our 30th reunion, so we had a lot of catching up with them. If you remember either one, you will remember that they are both full of laughs. We just didn’t have enough time with them. Another person who was back with us after missing the last reunion was Loretta Newcomer-Bledsoe. She had missed our last several events due to illness, but with her new kidney she is her beautiful, fun-loving self. She tells the best (funniest) real-life stores.

Luci Norrell-Criswell came from Iowa for our reunion. She stayed with Angela Glover-Boettcher for a few days then on Saturday night they stayed at the hotel along with Sandra Cooper-Wilson and Jan Crews-Daniell. They did this so that they could stay as long as they wanted to in the hospitality suite. This is where you really have the chance to visit with everyone.

Martha Crawford-Nolan was with us from Indiana. We enjoyed our talks late into the evening. She has a new grandchild (10 days old) that she was excited about seeing.

Clyde Israel made a real vacation out of our reunion. He and his wife (Charlotte) came a week early to visit, or was it to play golf everyday?


I want to make a point about reunions and making new friends. Just about all of us knew who Clyde Israel was in school. We were not friends (I’m not sure he knew who I was). With Clyde and Charlotte coming to the reunions and our annual get together each summer, we have become close friends. So close, in fact, that we vacationed together this spring.

Oh, yes, there is one other classmate whom I have to mention. Most of the Class of 1965 did not know him and our 25th reunion was his first time with us. He and his wife had a good time and have become one of our biggest supporters. How many of you remember Buddy Sweat? Not very many, right? Well, Buddy and his wife, Deborah, are the best friends anyone could ever wish for. And they are the third couple on the vacation this spring with Clyde & Charlotte Israel and me and my husband, Fred.

Clyde, Buddy and I agree that attending our reunions is what brought our friendship together. There are others who share this story about new friendships – people whom we did not associate with in school are becoming best friends. This is why we continue to plan and have reunions, to gain new friendships.

NOW, BACK TO THE REUNION. Our resident photographer, Marvin Green, was here from North Carolina with his cameras and lots of film. Marvin enjoys sitting around and taking pictures of people across the room. Be aware when Marvin is around! One other bit of information on Marvin, he brought flowers for our hospitality suite. Wasn’t he thoughtful!

Did you see Sandra Bebee-Hill, one of our faithfuls, and Linda Mills, one of our new committee members, dancing? They certainly are limber, not to mention good dancers. Talk about dancing, Rob Bentley danced with just about every lady there. If you didn’t dance with Rob it was because the evening ended before he got around to you.

Our 35th Reunion Review
by Judy Gneisig