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Carol Perkins: Reunion put a skip in my step

Previous column: Hunting the Headhunters, part 2

By Carol Perkins

Saturday night I was reclined and reading a new book. Guy was watching TV, and we had settled into an uneventful Saturday night when the phone rang. A voice said, "This is Robin. Where are you?"

I knew Robin's voice (McMurtrey), and I knew where she was and why she was calling. I explained I was in my chair and she said, "Get up and Get Down Here Now!" The Class of 1989 was having its 30th reunion and had invited former teachers. I had never considered going because I assumed no student cared about seeing former teachers, but I must have been wrong. She continued, "Get down here and if you don't, Ms. Devore (a retired teacher who came from Knoxville) said she was coming to your house!"

Reluctantly, I assured her I would get ready and come. I heard another voice behind her, "Tell her she doesn't have to get beautified." It was another retired teacher, as well as a former student, Marilyn Melloan.

Guy said, "What was that about?" Never would he understand why any student would want to have their former teachers at a class reunion. He didn't necessarily adore his instructors, but then after he left school, many became his friends. When I dashed down the hall to put on some make-up and straighten my flat hair head, he assured me I was crazy!

When I arrived, several of the class were going in as I was. I stopped them to get their names (I hadn't seen most of them in 30 years. Then I said, "Now what class is this that I'm going to their reunion?" They cracked up! For sure, they thought Miss Perkins was losing ground. We retirees mingled and became reacquainted with our former students as they told tells of their high school days.

Former principal Bruce Keel talked about the challenges of being their principal when there were so many hiding places in the school. The tunnel (a passageway from classrooms to the gym) was a place for a quick kiss among couples, and teachers (including the principal) were busy running students out of there and pushing them on to class. He told of a time when a teacher called him to help settle a student who was leap-frogging across desks! The group loved his stories.

I saw students I had not seen since they graduated. I met wives of the boys who were so young and eager to take on the world back in '89. I met the husbands of young girls who feel in love with some of them in high school. Doc Button had the most grandchildren (3), and Chris Mullins (son of Gaye Shaw) had changed the least! Lonnie Grissom had changed the most. (I would never want that to be voted on in my class!) Lonnie laughed as he won his candy dish! He told me to tell Ms. Chambers (with a laugh), "I ain't changed a bit!" He knew she would cringe at the word.

My night was not what it started to be, but it ended with the most fun I have had in a long time. Being with young people is uplifting, especially when I knew them before they were beginning to live. I had a little more skip in my step when I went home.

Follow Susan and Carol-Unscripted on 99.1 the Hoss in Edmonton on Tuesdays from 10amCT to 11amCT and replay on Sundays from 4pmCT to 5pmCT. Listen to Carol's podcast at for entertaining stories and a replay of Susan and Carol-Unscripted.

This story was posted on 2019-10-17 11:18:02
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MCHS Class of 1989

2019-10-17 - Edmonton, KY - Photo courtesy Carol Perkins.
Carol says, "My night was not what it started to be, but it ended with the most fun I have had in a long time. Being with young people is uplifting, especially when I knew them before they were beginning to live."

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