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“A hug is a great gift, one size fits all. It can be given for any occasion and is easy to exchange.”

Hugs have added excitement to my life in the past week!

I was invited to the reunion of the CCHS Class of 1980 on Saturday. Marvin Stemple, science teacher, and Bob Bonar, social studies and principal, also accepted the honor. I was there about two hours, but it was rewarding to feel the acceptance of us, their former teachers, on an equal level. The class had 107 graduates and 29 were present.

Class “characters” that were present stood up and identified themselves as the category was called. Those present were clumsiest, Chris Levering and Richard Cain; shyest, Mark Stevens and Debra Arthur; most likely to succeed, Jill McCartney (teacher) and Richard Cain (doctor); most helpful, Joyce Boggs Williams, and Richard Cain; teacher’s pet, Richard Cain and Billie Ice; best bodies, Keith Smith and Kim Layfield Church; most athletic, Brenda Gherke Bush and Bob Duelley; friendliest, Joyce Boggs Williams and Mark Stevens; hot rodders, Brenda Gherke Bush and David Weekley; and prettiest eyes, Howard Williams and Susan Wilson.

It was especially rewarding to see the student who was the shyest stand with as much pride as one who has become a well- known physician. This was a humbling experience, because he said the place where he is now located is more “small town” and he likes it.

Stories were told that brought tears or laughter to the crowd. Former FHA members told of trips to Cedar Lakes for leadership events. We always shared a cottage with Mrs. Beverly Prince and the girls from Wirt County High School. Mrs. Prince had her bed short-sheeted, and didn’t even know it because she was so short. They sewed me into my bed after I was asleep. It is hard to believe that we were such sound sleepers with that bunch!

I renewed a friendship with a student who was in my class for four years and even talked her future husband into taking the Adult Roles class. I had the privilege of watching their relationship grow and mature into 28 years of marriage. Another student showed me a picture of her in a cat outfit that we created in class. She was on the Homecoming float, but no one knows why she was a cat. That sounds like an assignment for Chronicle readers.

Mr. Stemple told of coming to Calhoun County from a teaching position at a military high school and teaching seventh grade science his first day here. He had some students for five years, and these students can claim him as a favorite teacher, even though he was a hard taskmaster.

Mr. Bonar came here from a neighboring county, lived in the hotel, married a Calhoun girl, and was late because he had duties with the Lions Club. He not only made history interesting for his students, but is still working to make Calhoun County a better place through volunteer services. He is now working with students as principal of Pleasant Hill Elementary. He is known for standing by the door and greeting the youngsters as they arrive each day.

Reunions are leveling experiences. Everyone present was there because they are graduates of Calhoun County High School, not because of what they are in their present life. As the evening was drawing to a close, many hugs were given and promises of getting together again in 2015. Those who did not attend were missed and, hopefully, will add to the enjoyment of being together and getting their hugs in five years. Until then, you can pretend . . . place your left hand on your right shoulder, now place your right hand on your left shoulder and squeeze. Consider yourself hugged by your classmates and teachers who care about you.

Attending the Calhoun County High School Class of 1980’s 30-year reunion were, left to right, kneeling, Danny Yoak, Bob Deuley, Bev Scott Dawson, Mike Bowe, Kim Frame Parrish, Brenda Gherke Bush; standing, Danny Hall, Tom Stump, Donald Wilson, Tony Arthur, Joyce Boggs Williams, Howard Williams, Keith Smith, Karen Bell Six, Mark Stevens, Kay Wilson Deem, Richard Cain, Jeanetta Bennett Richards, Sheila Hannah-Rivenbark, Shelvia Jones Fluharty, Pam McCauley Davis, Kathy Morris Gartley, Debbie Zimmerman Bush, Rhonda Reed, Mike Ferber, Jill McCartney, and Sue Gerwig Rosner. Not pictured - Barb McKown, Ronzel Jett.

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