With the notice of the upcoming reunion for the Halifax County High School Class of 1958 — Aug. 25 — comes the realization that reunion season is upon us.
The Class of 1958 has the distinction of being the first class to matriculate all five years in what was then a brand new high school.
My high school class of 1973 is having a reunion Sept. 29, our 45th reunion, but beyond that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Class of 1968 at Cluster Springs Elementary School.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is my class, which holds a couple of distinctions.
First of all, as I recall, we spent half our first grade year at the “old” Cluster Springs Elementary School, formerly Cluster Springs High School.
Those were the days of dusting erasers by pounding them on the sidewalk, of pot bellied coal stoves for heat, of chalkboards and outside bathrooms, where we marched at least twice a day, rain or shine, hot or cold.
We also had to walk outside to get to the building containing the lunchroom, but that was only temporary once we moved to the “new” Cluster Springs Elementary School.
Our high school class, ironically enough, was the one most affected when court-ordered integration hit in 1969, after one and one half semesters at Halifax County High School.
Court-ordered integration was ordered midway through the school year, resulting in anxious anticipation and probably a little dread and suspicion.
Ninth-graders went from the new “senior high school” to the “new junior high school,” for eighth- and ninth-graders, now the Mary Bethune Office Complex.
Of course, we spent only one semester there before returning to the senior high school.
Confused yet? Just think how we felt being bounced around from school to school.
But, we were the lucky ones. I’ve read and seen news reports about far less lucky students forced to survive unheated classrooms and school days without proper meals to fuel learning.
A lot of those issues still plague us today, and I can fully understand the challenges a lot of families face when dealing with them.
Reunions are a way to reminisce and look back on our school days, and I guess I’ll try and make plans to attend my high school reunion in September.
I’ll try and think only of the good experiences we shared, not the “mea culpa” moments, not the bad experiences we buried a long time ago.
It’s best they remain buried.