Isn't this a fine looking bunch of young women from the Rockport/Echols area. They
all attended Rockport School System and would have gotten their high school diploma
from there, but times changed. They had to finish at Ohio County High School.
Back Row-Left to Right: Wanda (Geary) Smith, Regina (Jones) Franklin, Teresa (Render)
Harris, Iva Jean (Taylor) Embry, Suzzane (Mason) Alexander, Ginny (Phelps) Knifley,
Front row Left to Right: Sue (Ingram) Miller and Peggy (Curtis) Pendley.
Some fifty plus years ago, this group of young ladies entered the first grade at
Rockport High School. At the time, the High School was an intergral part of the
community and the citizens and students thought that this trend would continue.
In August of 1954, when these ladies entered the front door of Rockport High School
to start their school year as "First Graders", the community and the new students
thought that the school would be there when they finished their High School Education.
This was not to be the case. In just two years, the High School would be gone.
Well, at least, they could continue their formal education and attend school locally.
And they did. These eight young women, plus other students, were able to graduate
from Rockport Elementary and stay close to home in doing so. Some eight years later,
in 1962, they would start their high school education at Beaver Dam High School.
Prosperity, to some, is "Change for the Betterment". Times were changing and Ohio
County did not want to be held back. After all, when other communities left the
"Horse and Buggy Days", our county needed to be on that train. And we were. A new
High School was being built on a large parcel of ground between Beaver Dam and
Hartford and this class would enter that building in 1965 for the start of their
senior year. The 1966 Ohio County High School Graduates, and especially this bunch
of young women, would disperse and go their separate ways. Some of this graduating
class would never see each other again. Not this bunch though. They formed a "Club"
and to this day, try to meet with each other and at least, have lunch together on a
regular basis. What a lovely idea.
I had the opportunity and the pleasure to attend the 2006 Rockport High School Reunion.
Most of the faces were familiar. A few, I did not know. This Alumni group consisted
of, mostly retired people, thus it was a gathering of men and women in their "Senior
Years". One table was just a little different. It seemed to consist of a younger
bunch and this bunch was all smiles and laughter. I think that most of the Alumni
Attendees enjoyed their gathering, but this group, at the special table, seemed to
smile a little wider and laugh a little louder. They seem to be enjoying the gathering,
just a little more than others. This special table consisted of five, of the group
of friends, from the 1955 First Grade Class at Rockport. Some time later, I was
talking to the mother of one of this group and commenting on how young they were.
She was proud of her daughter and rightfully so, but she was also proud of the
grandchildren and the great grandchildren that her daughter help produce. It could
not be. I just found it hard to believe that some of this 1955 group of first graders
were now grandmothers. I finally did the math. Oh well, if grandmothers can enjoy
a reunion as much as this group enjoyed the 2006 Rockport High School Reunion, then
there is hope for this tradition to continue for many more years. Thanks to this
group for showing such great spirit. It will be reflected to others.