I recently attended the class reunion of Winona High School's class of 1955. This event, held at the home of Gloria Middleton, was so enjoyable, and I was delighted to be invited to visit with friends from Winona and others who are now scattered in many directions but made their way back to their hometown.
They all had one thing in common, that of attending school here in Winona. We enjoyed delicious food while taking in the beauty of the grounds, which was so inviting. It reminded me of a page out of a Southern Living magazine. Large pecan trees spread their limbs throughout this grove, and one could be perfectly content to sit back and take a rest, listening to all the old football stories, coaches we remembered and their family news to share. This is pretty much what happens when any class meets for a reunion. Our hearts are merry as we share so much and then a little sad to see classmates not present. There were some not able to attend due to illness and I know they were missed. All there were thankful for the sweet memories of the faculty at Winona High School and praised them for their dedication to teaching. I did speak with Bud and Jimmy Knight, two of Winona's outstanding athletes. Who could forget all the exciting football games in the Delta Valley Conference.
This brought to mind Superintendent M.P. Smith who took time to play hand ball with the boys at recess and noon. Mr. Smith was quite a contender, and by no means an easy one to beat. We all saw how much he liked competing in this game. Large crowds gathered to watch the matches, and it was just good fun. A point to bring out about Mr. Smith was that he always sat on the bench with our team at basketball games and was very encouraging.
A classmate of mine, Billy Lee, recently shared some observations about Dr. John Perry, who, after graduating from Millsaps, came to Winona, where he and his wife continue to live. Bill remembers how passionate and full of enthusiasm he was about the sciences. Bill goes on to say the sky was the limit for Dr. Perry, but he chose to stay in Winona, much to the good fortune of so many students. To know Dr. and Mrs. Perry is to love them and see those same qualities ever present in their lives today.
So, class of 1955, I am thrilled that I could attend your special day, greet you with a hug, share a few remarks with you and hear your special stories. It was a sweet trip down memory lane!
Life is the things that happen all around us
And the people who were only God's to give,
And the places that were just big enough to hold us
In the seasons God grants us to live. ~Joe Townsend~