Renewing friendships

Everett Reunion draws crowd to Franklin Pavilion

The Everett High School Class of 1965 gathered in early May to celebrate their 45th class reunion. Organizers said everyone enjoyed themselves during a picnic event at Franklin Pavilion.

Steering committee member Holden Lail the May 8 event was a gathering of old friends who, in most cases hadn’t seen each other in a long time. “Even though we’re not geographically far apart, our jobs, homes, livelihoods and families have taken and spread us apart, which was pretty well the theme of the class of 1965,” he said. “At that time, there were little or no opportunities in Blount County, so we literally spread all over the place looking for work.”

Lail said former principal Bob Davis attended, as did teacher B.L. Irwin and teacher and football coach Fred Willocks. “It was informal. We had the opportunity to sit down and have a nice picnic lunch from Buddy’s and just visit,” Lail said. “Since that time, the steering committee has met again, and we’ll meet periodically and maybe increase the frequency of the reunions. As we all get older, we don’t want to wait five years. We may do it on an every other year basis. Everybody was real excited.”

Lail said Creed Headrick created a musical compilation CD and Ken Garland took pictures to record the event. “There was a lot of work by the Frances Clark, Eva Hicks Anderson, Linda Richesin Malone, Claudia and Steve Hustell,” Lail said. “The real irony is the skills and interests we developed over the years, we brought together as we organized, enjoyed and recorded this event. It was pretty cool.”

Garland said there were people from all walks of life who had graduated from the class of 1965. “We were the largest high school in the county before the time of consolidated high schools. We had kids in the city and kids in the county,” he said. “Our class up to that point was the largest class to attend. We had 322 members. The school opened in 1922 and closed in 1977 whenever Heritage High School opened.”

Eva Hicks Anderson said they were all pleased with the turnout. “Everyone seemed to enjoy the casual atmosphere at the Franklin Pavilion,” she said.

There about 80 classmates who attended out of 300 plus who graduated. “Some had their spouses so we had a fairly good turnout and a lot who came had never been to one of our reunions, and they really enjoyed themselves,” she said.

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