Class of 1947 still enjoys reunions

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 17, 2013

Exactly half, 24 of 48 members of the Mocksville High Class of 1947, are still living. Twelve of them attended last week’s annual reunion, a low turnout from other years. Age and illnesses make the reunion harder now 67 years after they graduated together.

Many of them started first grade together.

I went with my mother, who was honored as the last surviving teacher of the class. It was her first job after graduating from Appalachian State Teacher’s College. Among the classmates was a returning World War II veteran who was older than the teacher.

The graduates are now in their mid-80s, and their closeness was striking.

They gently recalled the members who have died. They had contacted each of the 12 missing classmates and had a health report on them.

My 1971 high school graduating class was about 250 members strong. Our reunions are few and not so well attended.

Jack Pennington, 1947 senior class president-for-life, recalled there were only two basketballs in the school — a practice ball and a game ball. There were coal pot-bellied stoves in each corner of the gym. By today’s standards, their educational privileges were few.

What they had in abundance was the emotional support of a proud community. Unlike high school students these days, the Class of 1947 all knew each other.

The last thing they did at the reunion was to set the date for next year’s return.

Wake voters

Maybe it’s easier to build many schools rather than just one. By a 15-point margin, Wake County voters approved an $810 million school bond referendum last week. The bonds will pay for construction of 16 schools and renovations to 79 others. The county expects to add 20,000 new students in the next five years.

Davidson County, also last week, put up $3 million to design and grade land for a new high school in the northern end of the county to ease crowding at North Davidson and Ledford …