Coming together: Southwest High School class of 1963 celebrates 60th reunion

Published 12:07 am Thursday, September 28, 2023

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CLEMMONS — Southwest High School might no longer exist, but that doesn’t stop its surviving alumni from getting together to celebrate milestone reunions.

Last month, the class got together at the Village Inn Hotel and Conference Center for a night socializing and breaking bread.

“We have about 40 people who attended, including two teachers,” said Burton Boner, a reunion committee member and event organizer. 

The two teachers were Maxine Mast, who taught English, and Sally Huffman, who taught home economics. 

The last time the class of 1963 got together was five years ago. 

“In those five years, we lost three that had passed away,” Boner said. 

For Boner, and most likely many of the attendees, the time has flown by.

“No way it seems like it could be 60 years,” Boner said. “It was great seeing the people we did see. Some have moved away and were not able to come. Some were not able to come physically.”

There were some alums who came from far and wide.

“We had one person come in from Beaufort, North Carolina,” Boner said. 

For those in attendance, it was a chance to rekindle lost relationships, catch up and reminisce about the good old days.

“We just had a great time,” Boner said. “We did not have a band or anything like that this time, but everybody socialized and we had a buffet meal provided by the inn and conference center. Everything went quite well. I think everyone who was there enjoyed it and had a great time.”

Boner described being able to see all of his former classmates as a blessing and one that he would like to see happen more frequently.

“We are having our last committee meeting in September and we are thinking about doing it more often,” Boner said. “In the last five years, we lost three people that we know of. Some we could not get a hold of. We know we lost three people and we would like to get together more often, even if it’s just a covered dish thing for the surviving members of the class of ’63.”

The internet has made staying in touch with former classmates a little easier.

“We have people proficient at it,” said Boner, who acknowledged that he is not so adept with technology. “They were able to find a lot of people by using this Facebook thing. We sent out letters to some that the address was not right and had it come back. We were able to find others by using social media.”

The ubiquity of cell phones also made it hard.

“People were having their landlines disconnected,” Boner said. “Finding the right email address made things a little easier.”