CHS CLASS OF 1958 - Still Connected After All These Years


Class 1958 Has 55th Reunion, A Photo Flashback

JoAnn Propst Stevens welcomes the Calhoun High Class of 1958

Betty Yoak McVaney recalls her school days and friends

By Bob Weaver

Bill Downs, a speaker at the alumni event at Calhoun Middle-High School, remembers the "aura of the school," with schools and churches being the center of the world for young people, connected to the structure, teachers and mentors and to each other.

Much has changed with 21st Century technology, and the mobility of people moving beyond their roots and their extended family-centered families.

The connectedness has changed, with the younger generation more connected through electronic gadgets and experiencing life with the Internet, texting, twittering, Facebooking, cell phoning, gaming and 500 channel TV.

LEFT: Graduation day (L to R) Leota Kight, Grace Shock,
Shelia Wilmoth, Jean Starcher, JoAnn Propst, Betty Yoak;
RIGHT (L to R) Library Crew, Jean Starcher, Betty Yoak,
Shelia Wilmoth, Bill Barnes (deceased), Jack Barnes

LEFT: Cooling feet at Hersman Pond (L to R) Betty Yoak,
Grace Shock, Leota Kight; RIGHT: "The Office" (L to R) Longtime
secretary Wilma Sears, Dottie Rose, principal Roy J. Stump

While most every generation thinks the previous one is going to hell in a hand basket, the hope is they're not, that there's virtue and wisdom in people connecting to the world and each other in the hubris of technology.

Aging alumni still cling to being connected during the aura of their school days, sitting on front porches, hanging out at the country store, exploring in the woods, family dinners and going to church.

For some, attending alumni gatherings, it is noticing that the skinny kids got fatter and the fatter kids got skinnier.

Parkersburg resident William "Bud" Francis brings
classmates up-to-date on his life experience

1958 grads Vearl Haynes, Dr. Bill Barnes and Dr.
Lewis "Buck" Ferrell have all be taken by cancer

LEFT: Bob Weaver enjoying study hall;
RIGHT: Dewayne Gibson with teacher Sue Mathews

Perhaps the real epiphany is facing older age, but more importantly discovering that with little exception the grads went into the big world and found their niche, jobs and careers, establishing their families and contributing to society.

Before globalization, at that time, hundreds of jobs were available, many of them paying good wages with good benefits and retirement programs What an accomplishment.

Fascinatingly, they had work genes.

The Class of 1958 should be proud of being at the tale-end of Brokaw's "Greatest Generation."

The gathering was held at the Grantsville Senior Center, with another special 60th event set for 2018, with a special dinner being planned.

Remembering the deceased

Over one-fourth of the class of eighty is deceased, some that were of frail health died early-on, a few died in accidents, but most died of cancer and then heart problems at about age 50. The rest are living into old age.

Remembered during the gathering: Cheryl Hammer, Rhoda Hurst, Rae Geho, Limer Johnson, Dr. Bill Barnes, Ronzel Richards, Donzel Richards, Howard Burrows, Donald Booher, Tom Gainer, Hibbert Linville, Betty Jo Siers Miller, Paul Vaughan, Stella Wilson Hall, Pat Vaughan RN, Dr. Lewis "Buck" Ferrell, Joe White, William "Bill" Conley, Carolyn "Kitty" Starcher, Phyllis Reed Ayers, Jerry Pence, Vearl Haynes, William "Bill" Ritchie.

Retired teacher Grace Shock Harper of Florida and family
Amber Harper and Kaylee Taliercio enjoy gathering

LEFT: Longtime Calhoun teacher and minister Glendon McKee; RIGHT: (L to R) Sandra Kimble, Virginia Long, Judy Hathaway, a studious bunch

LEFT: Betty Jo Siers, deceased (left) and
Judy Ayers; RIGHT: Dorothy Ward and Pat Vaughan

LEFT: Longtime teacher Kenneth Hall; RIGHT: The Richards twins,
Ronzel and Donzel (both deceased) with William "Bud" Francis

Those attending were, Leota Kight Grimm of Parkersburg WV, Betty Yoak McVaney of Parkersburg, Grace Shock Harper of Port Orange FL, JoAnn Propst Stevens of Grantsville WV, Dottie Rose Radabaugh of Belpre OH, Betty McCoy Kerby of Elizabeth WV, Alice Haddox Harold of Chattanooga TN, Dorothy Ward Smith of Jane Lew WV, Jean Starcher Broughton of Marietta OH, Anna Lea Siers Walker of Statesville NC, Judy Ayers Stump of Parkersburg, Ronzel Lynch of Mt. Zion WV, Jim Knotts of Mineral Wells WV, Jack Barnes of Davisville WV, Verl Duane Gibson of Warren OH, Bob Weaver of Mt. Zion, Edsel Arnold of Coolville OH, William Jack Betts of Linden VA, Dalton Siers of Elkview WV, Eugene Murphy of Norton OH, and William Bill Francis of Davisville.

A FLIGHT OF 50 YEARS:1958-2008 - "All I Have To Do Is Dream"

Roberta Offutt Wilson (L) and Dottie Rose Radabaugh place a flower
of remembrance in a vase for the 19 class members who have died...

...while 32 grads and their families recall life and
times at old Calhoun County High School 50 years ago

By Bob Weaver 2008

In 1958 the Everly Brothers big hit was "All I Have To Do Is Dream" and Elvis Presley was making his mark, while Jerry Lee Lewis was pounding out "Great Balls of Fire."

Danny and the Juniors sang "We don't care what people say, rock 'n roll is here to stay." So far it has.

It was graduation time for the Calhoun High class of '58, with an alumnus remembering the look and smell of the old school building in Grantsville, now vacant for ten years.

"It was a place bigger than life," said a 50-year-grad.

Several thousand students have gone through those portals, to be launched into the greater world, few remaining in Calhoun County.

Vearl (now deceased) and Virginia Long Haynes, returning from Arizona, share memories

Class congregates for group photo

During the '58 Calhoun High Science Fair, my personal highlight was demonstrating stereo sound, a revolution in 1958. It garnered no attention, as I played "Around the World in 80 Days" through two sets of speakers.

Certainly, life focused around school and school activities.

JoAnn Propst Stevens recalled social life reaching its peak at Cook's Drive-in Theater, one of over 4,000 in the USA, and one of few still operating (Now closed).

During the summer of '58 "Bridge on the River Kwai" and "Old Yeller," were favorites, along with dozens of B and C monster and flying saucer flicks at Cook's.

Propst marveled that a senior privilege was being allowed to get in front of the line for "hot lunch."

Saturday, thirty-two of the eighty grads enjoyed a special reunion at the Grantsville senior center, recalling school days and catching up with life during the past 50 years.

Hur Herald from Sunny Cal
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