A memorable class reunion!

FHS grad and Elks Club member Dean McCoy is a blur but still smiling as he rushes to get more tables and chairs Saturday night at the Elks. Photo Christi Baron

FHS grad and Elks Club member Dean McCoy is a blur but still smiling as he rushes to get more tables and chairs Saturday night at the Elks. Photo Christi Baron

What if you had an event and 100 more people than you anticipated showed up?

Well … that is what happened Saturday night at the FHS All School Reunion for classes 1930-1999. Bill Brager and I met with Elks Club organizers about a month ago and estimated the usual number we have had in the past four years of having the reunion, about 120-150 people.

Then, in the last couple of weeks the calls started coming in with people saying they were coming, and last week when I called Elsie Hampton with the Elks Club to make sure she had found the class lists, I told her I think a lot of people are coming. She said, “Like how many more people?” I said, “A lot!”

So Saturday night when I arrived 15 minutes after the doors opened at the Elks and I saw the parking lot, and then I saw the line at the door, and then I saw how many people were already there, I thought … “Houston, we are going to have a problem!”

I hadn’t even made it into the main room at the Elks when Elsie grabbed me by the shoulders. She is little but strong and she didn’t hurt me or anything, but she said sternly, “Okay, this is what we are going to do: We are going to put out more snacks and we are going to delay dinner by a half an hour so we can cook more food.” I was not about to argue with her!

I never did look into the kitchen but I can only imagine it was a crazy-busy place. Thanks to everyone that worked so hard preparing the food.

And the people kept coming and coming. We ran out of name tags, and I hope most everyone got something to eat. In the end, 250 people attended.

The oldest graduate attending was Oscar Peterson from the class of 1940 and there were three grads from the 1990s. Pictures of classes are on page 16 and because it was sort of noisy I don’t know that everyone made it into the class photos. Some may have arrived after the photos were taken.

I would like to thank the Elks for once again hosting this event. Several people commented on needing a bigger venue, but the beauty of having it at the Elks is that they do the set-up, take-down, decorating and food and in exchange they keep the money — $20 at the door — which goes to help with their charitable activities in our community. A big problem with class reunions is, who is going to do the work organizing it? This way all I and others have to do is get the word out.

Other suggestions were making it a summer event, and when Bill Brager first suggested we do an all 1970s reunion, the idea of having it in April was to benefit local lodging — which is maxed out in the summer and not so much in the spring.

So thanks to all that came. I hope you had a good time! I spoke with Elsie on Monday and she is already talking about how to make more room next year, so she is in! And if you missed it you missed an amazing evening … see you next year!

Christi Baron, Editor