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Former Thomson Company employees gather at Thomson Depot for 26th Annual Reunion

It was a time to remember - a time to reflect and recall fond memories of yesterdays past.

That's what it was like for more than 100 former employees of Thomson Company last Friday night, as they gathered at the Thomson Depot for their 26th Annual Reunion.

Thomson Company, once one of McDuffie County's largest employers before it ceased operations more than 25 years ago, "holds a lot of memories for a lot of people in and around Thomson," said Don Newsome, a former engineer.

"I was delighted with our turnout," added Mr. Newsome, who still makes his home in Thomson. "We had one of the biggest crowds we've had in a while."

Those attending brought covered dishes and then sat down with friends to talk over dinner, while being entertained by Luke Martin's music on the keyboard.

"I think it's just great that we can all get together like this, talk and remember working together for so many years," said Lois Hatcher, who worked in the Stitching Department for 25 years.

"This means a lot to me and I know it does to many of my friends who are here, too," added Ms. Hatcher, a Thomson resident.

Mr. Newsome said that's why the reunion was created.

"We wanted to have a time that we could share so many fond memories about having worked at Thomson Company," said Mr. Newsome. "We were like one big family. Even today, many of us feel like that with one another."

Mr. Newsome, who began his long career as an engineer, later became vice-president of operations and worked at Thomson Company for 28 years.

"There are so many wonderful, good, pleasant memories about having worked there," added Mr. Newsome. "The biggest reason Thomson Company was so special, though, were the people who worked there."

He explained that the employees were hardworking people and dedicated to their jobs.

"They had outstanding work ethics and were committed to doing the job the right way," said Mr. Newsome. "It made my job much easier, because there were so many great employees there."

Upper management personnel at Thomson Company "always tried as much as possible to make their plants as family-oriented as they could," noted Mr. Newsome. "It was real heartwarming to have seen so many former employees turn out for our 26th reunion. This is truly one big family and I mean that from the depth of my heart."

Margaret Thompson, who worked at Thomson Company for 43 years, agreed.

"It means a lot to see everybody together again," said Mrs. Thompson. "We really are just like family."

Betty Johnson, a retiree from a local bank, entertained the former Thomson Company employees with humorous jokes, while imitating the late Minnie Pearl. She even wore a big hat - the price tag dangling from the side of it - which became a trademark for Ms. Pearl.

Web posted on Thursday, August 23, 2007

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