Leila Case: AHS alums have strong tie that binds

Published 1:38 pm Saturday, June 8, 2019

It’s summer, the season when class reunions are a tradition, especially for the Americus High School (AHS) alums from the classes of the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. During the years I’ve been in Americus, I’ll never cease to be amazed by the long-lasting friendships that AHS classmates from these decades made growing up, creating memories that live on, and the pull to reunite and be together again is strong.

Americus High School class of 1964 convened for a full weekend of activities and chatting about their high school days that is sure to include Panther football games and other sports, prom dances, after-school Cokes and hamburgers at the Varsity on Felder Street and Saturday night double dates.

The last time the class of ’64 met was five years ago to celebrate their 50th class reunion and they apparently had so much fun they decided then to meet every five years instead of waiting for 10. The 1950s AHS classes meet annually.

Many in the class of ’64 live in close proximity to one another and have been friends since childhood beginning with attending the late Louise Teaford’s kindergarten at her home on Hancock Drive, presently the home of her son and wife, Dr. Henry and Jana Teaford.

Activities include an informal reception at the Windsor Hotel’s presidential room Friday night, while today the guys played golf, and then this afternoon everyone will enjoy a guided tour of Furlow Gatewood’s gardens and guest houses off of the Macon Road. Tonight is dinner at The Carnegie followed by dancing to the music provided by deejay, Thurston Clary.

Those attending are Beth House and (Earl) Williams,  Bill and (Charlene) McGowan, Bob and (Diane) Sumner, Delores Manry Hardin, George Hooks, Jane Merritt Myers, Linda Bailey Bartlett, Marilyn Moyd and (Harold)  Jacobs, Mary Robinson and (Dan) Torbert, Phil and (Ellen) Aenchbacher, Randy and (Nancy) Jones, Walter and (Dana) Rylander; Bill and (Sharon) Bell, Cohutta; Brenda Mankinen Gauthier, Newport, N.H.; Frank “Bucky” and (Lisa) Turpin, Albany; Roy Don “Butch” and ( Barbara) Reeves, Greenville, S.C.; Cecil and (Paula) Herrin, Grovetown; Charles Plant, Sharpsburg; Jean Royal Jordan, Concord, N.C.; Donnie and (Barbara) English, Atlanta; Donnie and (Marilyn) Massey, Cumming; Eddie and (Sally) Pope, Atlanta; Edwin Feagin of Cobb; Gary and (Martha) Moore, Oxford; Harriet Aldridge Briscoe, Gainesville; Jeanette Sheppard and (John) Shiver, Cairo; Jim Whitaker, Columbus; Jimmy and (Gail) Walker, Dunwoody; Kay McCall Hipp, Ashville, N.C.; Larry and (Becky) Odum, Cobb; Lucy Morgan and (Ben) Harris, Clarksville; Margaret Lunsford and (Jim) Curts, Colleyville, Texas; Nancy Powell Andison, Phoenix, Ariz.; Parnell and (Pat) Odom, Newnan; Sandy McCoy Mansell and Dickie Shortes, Lubbock, Texas; Susie Taylor Dismuke, Columbus; Susan Griffin and (Richard) Woods, Hilton Head Island, S.C.; Susan Knowles Morrison, Baltimore, Md.; Thad Wallis, Macon; and Wayne and (Sandra) Yeomans of Eatonton.

Then there are those celebrating high school and college graduation with fun trips.

Bill and Ellen Hanson of Leslie and daughter, Quinn Hanson, enjoyed an exciting tour of Italy, going especially to celebrate Quinn’s graduation from Georgia Southern State University in Statesboro.

And 20 of the 2019 graduates of Southland Academy celebrated that milestone on a Carnival cruise sailing from Mobile, Alabama, to Cozumel, Mexico, and then enjoyed a short excursion to Paradise Island before sailing again to Port Progresso before returning to Mobile and home. The trip was very successful and everyone enjoyed it including the chaperones: John Dean, Donna Kitchens, Mary Yoder, Johna Terry, Candice Nones, Sandra Hubbard, Sally Minick, Beth Castleberry, and Cynthia Faircloth.

And Sylvia Roland had a wonderful week visiting Sydney, Australia, last month. In Sydney, she toured its iconic Opera House, the beautiful harbor area, along with St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Hyde Park, Queen Victoria Building, and Sydney Tower Eye. She also visited two wildlife parks, where visitors were able to pet koalas, feed kangaroos, see Tasmanian devils, wombats, kookaburra birds, wallabies, Komodo dragons, crocodiles, emus, and other animals native to Australia. She spent a day in the Hunter Valley area, which is known for its fine wines and visited the Blue Mountains, which are so named because of the eucalyptus oil that blends with the humidity to cast a blue pall over the mountainous area. Notable sights in the Blue Mountains include Three Sisters rock formation and the tourist town of Katoomba. Sylvia says kangaroos are plentiful in Australia, almost like deer in Georgia, and they destroy crops by eating them just as our deer do here. Note: Kangaroo burgers are found on some menus in Australia, but she didn’t try any.


Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.