Dateline: Kinston, March 18, 2010

Vintage Surroundings
GHS Reunion, March 18, 2010 of former Grainger High School students, parents, and friends began a multi-class-year reunion weekend on Thursday evening, March 18, in the auditorium of our Alma Mater. It was amazing to walk in after so many years and see the auditorium set up for a party. Several tables for 10 were placed on the stage, and Steve Creech's (Class of 1957) fine Dixieland band performed from the stage as well. The band played many songs popular in days gone by, and a few couples were inspired to dance.

Food stations were placed on tables set up across auditorium seats, and the beverage bar was set up in the back of the auditorium. Most people sat in auditorium seats (the same wooden ones we used when we were in school - very nostalgic!), and a few people sat on the stage. Food and drinks were excellent.

"Red" McDaniel (Class of 1950) gave an inspiring talk in support of vets and our current military. He mentioned that during his years of captivity in the hands of the Viet Cong, memories of his youth in Kinston were a source of strength to him. He paid tribute to Coach Frank Mock and the life lessons he taught his athletes.

A few alumni from the '30s and '40s, and many more from the '50s and '60s attended. Almost 300 were there! For many of us, this was the first time we had seen GHS alumni from classes other than our own since we graduated. While it was difficult to navigate around the seats in the auditorium, it was worth the effort to get acquainted or reacquainted with others who were fortunate enough to grow up in Kinston and benefit from the excellent education provided by the Kinston schools.

Barbara Noble Smith (Class of 1957) and Mary Ellison Strother Turner (Class of 1962) deserve praise for their efforts in putting the event together. The auditorium is 85 years old, and it was not designed for events such as this. They certainly made the best of things, and the evening was very enjoyable. Holding the alumni event there helped a bit with expenses for GHPAC. Operational expenses are $3,000 per month. In order to keep it running, increased donations are required.
Dateline: Morehead City, March 19 & 20, 2010

We grew up in the best of times!
On Friday, March 19, 2010, around 400 Grainger High School graduates made the trip to Morehead City for what might have been a once-in-a-lifetime reunion. Everybody who ever graduated or attended GHS (1926-1971) was invited and encouraged to come.

On Friday evening, we met at the Elk's Club Lodge, a large building well suited for such a crowd. We had round tables that comfortably seated eight people. People began arriving well before 5:30. It seemed that we couldn't get in all the visiting we wanted. We talked and talked, and some of us even danced a bit. Heavy hors d'oeurves were served buffet style. Entertainment was provided by Milton Bullock, formerly of the Platters. He sang most of their hit songs. One of the songs was especially for Mary Ann Happer Johnson, Class of 1946. George Whitfield (Class of 1954) and Reid Parrott (Class of 1956) were responsible for the entertainment on Friday night.

There was a meeting on Saturday morning at the Clam Digger Motel for the reunion committee and any others interested in attending. A large group of the reunion crowd got together for lunch at Tony's on Saturday. Some classes had their own gatherings during the day on Saturday.

Saturday evening's event was also at the Elk's Lodge, and heavy hors d'oeurves (different menu from Friday night) were again provided. Guess we were not all talked out, because the talking never stopped Saturday night either. Gary Hocutt (Class of 1956) was responsible for the evening's entertainment by Butch Conner, Atlantic Beach DJ and GHS graduate (Class of 1966).

We didn't have speeches to listen to, and we didn't need them. Most of us spent both evenings reminiscing. One theme common to our conversations was that we were so fortunate to grow up in Kinston at the time we did. Most of our children and grandchildren will never know the kind of life we had in our town. And everybody wishes they could!

Since I wasn't at any of the planning meetings, I don't know who did much of the work for these events. I do know that Marshall Happer and Don Carlos Flowers deserve stars in their crowns for their efforts!

Douglas Bolt (special friend of the Class of 1958) took lots of pictures during the weekend. He tried to get at least one picture of every attendee, but that was not as easy as it sounds. We tried to get every class to come up to be photographed together, but even that was a little difficult. Some people said they didn't hear the announcements. Nevertheless, we do have a lot of pictures(both Kinston & Morehead City) on Doug's smugmug site. You will not see many sad faces there. We had a great time.

Marie Sutton Bolt('58)


It was a unique camaraderie that existed between faculty, coaches, and students.