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Class of '49 recalls Thomson High days

The Thomson High School Class of 1949 enjoyed its 60th reunion on Saturday, Sept. 12, in the Georgia Room of White Columns Inn Best Western Motel in Thomson. Thirty-eight classmates and guests attended.

The day began at beautiful and historic Hickory Hill with a morning group tour conducted by Michelle Zupan, curator. An evening of reminiscing and getting re-acquainted followed while everyone enjoyed a delicious dinner at the motel.

The program began with Inez Denham Nichols as the reunion greeter. The group later assembled in the Georgia Room for a class photograph by area newspapers.

Joyce Story Brunson led the group in singing the Thomson High School alma mater, accompanied by Betty Cason Baker as pianist. Welcome and opening remarks were presented by Julie Watson Keiser after which Ned Guillebeau presented a solemn remembrance of the 15 deceased classmates. Bunyan Langham Jr. led the group in prayer before dinner.

A beautiful silk flower arrangement on the table honoring the deceased classmates was given by Elizabeth Richards, in remembrance of her sister, Dorothy Walden Shaw, who was a classmate.

Following dinner, Juanita Culpepper was recognized as a special guest since she was one of the grade mothers of the senior class. Welcoming remarks also were extended to spouses of classmates and to Sonya Kitchens, daughter of Betty Guillebeau Sewell, and to Melissa Hier and Sally Whitehead, daughters of Joy and Ned Guillebeau.

Julie Watson Keiser bestowed special thanks to Betty Cason Baker, Joyce Story Brunson and Inez Denham Nichols for the outstanding planning and work they did as members of the reunion committee. Those attending were then entertained by Ms. Brunson, who impersonated Patsy Cline by lip-syncing to "She's Got You."

Ann Oster Rooney read the class prophecy, which was printed in 1949 in the archive of the THS yearbook. More entertainment followed when Marion Greene and Emory May began "I remember when ..." Other classmates joined them in sharing humorous and serious memories.

Closing remarks were made by Virginia McCommons Beale, and Ms. Brunson and Ms. Sewell led the closing song, "God Be With You." The song had been sung by the class at the end of the senior trip to Washington, D.C., in 1949.

Those attending the reunion were: Wallace and Bootsie Averette, Joe and Betty Anne Cason Baker, Virginia McCommons Beale, Alora Wade Bridges, Sam and Joyce Story Brunson, Charlie Cameron, Lawrence and Ann Cheely, Warren and Betty Crowley Keiser, Bunyon and Mary Langham, Dorothy Landrum Marsh, Emory and Betty May, Botty McGahee, Weldon and Jane Neal, Inez Denham Nichols, Allen and Annette Culpepper, Betty Guillebeau Sewell, and Sonya Kitchens.

Unable to attend were: Sara Rabun Fast, Carolyn Ashley Johnson, Louise Lloyd Johnson, Barbara Johnson Kellum, and Pat Evans Wall Missar. Also unable to attend was former teacher and mentor Mae Whitehead Snelling, who was the homeroom teacher for over half of the seniors for three years, and accompanied the class on the senior trip.

The following deceased classmates were in the prayers and thoughts of all attending: Virginia Young Cepull, Minnie B. Seago Hawkins Durham, Miriam Hunt Edmund, Ted Guillebeau, Diane Baker Gunn, Ted Hammock, Billy Jones, Billy Wayne Jones, Arthur Matthews, Janie Teston McDonald, Betty Jean Johnson Odom, Jean Williams Pressley, Dorothy Walden Shaw, Betty Henslee Simons, and Lloyd Watson.

Special thanks and recognition went to Ned Guillebeau for arranging the background music and organizing and presenting a slideshow, "Down Memory Lane."

The remainder of the evening was spent talking, laughing and recalling memories of years ago while browsing a table full of photographs and memorabilia. The classmates said the tales get not more factual, but more amusing, at each reunion.

Web posted on Thursday, September 17, 2009

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