Festivities started with a hot dog roast on Oct. 5 at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s recreation area. More than 30 classmates, spouses, family and friends were there to launch the non-stop talkfest. It was the first class reunion for three of the former schoolmates — Warren Wilfong and his wife, Dollie, from Harrisonburg, Va., George Thompson, with Lillian Mullins, of Madison, Ohio, and Tom Matheny of Columbia, S.C. GBHS Vo-Ag teacher Raymond Swadley and, Lena, of Mt. Sidney, Va., joined the group.
Activities on Oct. 6 were centered at Liberty Presbyterian Church. Cinnamon rolls from Patsy Burner Sacks of Elkins, hot dogs and plenty of side dishes left from the night before made for a stopping place for classmates throughout the day. Pictures, scrapbooks and other memorabilia were set out for review. An old Green Bank High School pennant was on the door and tables were decked in gold and blue.
Class president Chester Cromer of Bartow and Harold Crist of Arbovale, a former GBHS social studies teacher, led a tour to the forest planted years ago on top of Allegheny by the senior classes of Green Bank High School. Latin, English and conservation teacher Warren Blackhurst took every senior class for years to plant thousands of evergreen seedlings on those high slopes.
The classmates wanted to see how much their trees had grown in 50 years, but most of the signs that marked each class planting are now missing.
The class stopped at several places along the old Pike Road as Crist pointed out scenes from the Civil War days including Kelly’s Spring where men would stop for water on the long journey from Bartow to the top. The bright sun, blue skies and fall color made for spectacular scenery.
More than 50 were together for the reunion dinner that evening at Liberty Presbyterian. Picket Fence Photography took an official class photo. The Cass kids were especially touched when the fourth-grade teacher Louise Brown Butcher stopped by to say hello.
Phillip “Eddie” Sheets gave the blessing before dinner prepared, by Alan Dutchess of The Mountain Home Chef, with two entrees, several side dishes and a salad, topped off with blackberry cobbler a la mode for dessert. Sharon Moore, wife of class member, Jack Moore, brought a cake from their home in Hughesville, Md.
Mary Geiger Crowell of Stony Bottom prepared and led a candlelight service for those class members who have died over the years. Siblings and friends lit a candle for Jerry Gillispie, Betty Oliver, Tom Gainor, Bonnie Moore, Frances Nicholas, Linda Townsend, Betty Cook, Susie McLaughlin, Betty Mick, Gerald Chapman, Carol Galford, Allen Mahaffey, Russell Burris and Betty Queen.
The award for the person who came the farthest went to Sandy Hevenor Hill from Alexandria, Minn. Elmer Workman of Selma, Ala., won earplugs for having the most grandchildren — 10.
The committee of local classmates who worked for months to make the reunion a success included Mary Crowell, Dollie Nelson Lewis, Joyce Young Varner, Mary Ryder Ralston and Chester Cromer. They were given a loud round of applause. Crowell received a gift from her fellow committee members for all the work.
CLASS OF 1957 — Members of the Green Bank High School class of 1957 gathered from near and far the first weekend of October to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their graduation year. From left are, front row, Martin Barkley, Ronnie Arbogast, Betty Lou Taylor Funkhouser, Bill Dickenson, Sandy Hevenor Hill, John Gainor and Jack Moore; second row, Warren Wilfong, Phillip Edward Sheets, Patsy Burner Sacks, Ellouise Curry Hinson and Katherine Sheets; third row, Thelma Vannoy Sheets behind Patsy Sacks, Mary Ryder Ralston, Joyce Waybright Johnson, Mary Geiger Crowell, Dollie Nelson Lewis and Curtis Weese; back row, John Gillispie, George Thompson, Carolyn Carpenter Montgomery, Elmer Workman, Carroll Oliver Shanahan, Lillie Sharp Sweeney, Joyce Young Varner, Chester Cromer, Jennie Weber Kavage and Tom Matheny.