THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FRIENDS
By Dorothy Morgan
Special to the Daily Journal
They say you “can’t go back” but members of the 1935 graduating class of Amory High School have been able to do just that. Because of the hard work and dedication of a few members, we have stepped back in time on several occasions over the years when we have met for our reunion. Events unimportant at the time have become good memories which we enjoy bringing back for a visit, just as we like for an old friend to drop by to reminisce.
We see ourselves 60 years ago at the Park Hotel for the Jr.-Sr. banquet. The girls were dressed in their first “evening gown,” as they were called then. Most of them were homemade, trimmed with organdy ruffles and a wide ribbon sash to accent the slim waistlines. The boys were “decked out ” in their best suit, not revealing how nervous they probably were. For some this was their first experience with elegant dining and there must not be any mistakes. The excitement of knowing that in a few days we would make the giant step from school to the real world pushed aside other concerns from our minds.
We had exceptional teachers at Amory High. They knew that a “school is four walls with tomorrow inside,” but we hardly thought of ourselves as “tomorrow.” They taught “book learning” but also made us aware of high moral standards to carry us through life.
Monday morning was chapel. Usually, a local pastor spoke, and we sang inspirational songs. When Miss Haughton, the history teacher, would lend her talents at the piano and those chords of “Onward Christian Soldiers” resounded through that auditorium, we could imagine ourselves marching against life’s obstacles with heads held high.
When Miss Lucille Rogers read aloud “The Charge of the Light Brigade” we could see “Into the valley of death rode the six hundred.” Who needed TV? All the lessons taught from Kipling’s “If” what a road map for our lives!
Then there was Mrs. Beauchamp, foreign language teacher and principal, who stood at the front door that spring morning, designated as “Senior Kid Day” to see that the girls did not take advantage of the opportunity to display more of their girlish curves than was proper. (My, how our rights were violated.) This lady had the respect of students even though the rules were strict.
Fast forward 60 years. Again we are together. We remember those no longer present and are grateful for the friendship we shared. Over the years our ranks have become thinner, but, alas, the waistlines are thicker. (Thank goodness for jacket dresses.)
“The older we get, the longer the walk to school” is an old saying, but for us it is “the greater the pleasure of our reunion.” We know now that the hard times of those depression years gave us endurance, doing without brought patience, and “making do” gave us pride in our own handiwork. Now we understand that:
“The pomp’s of life never last for long,
The great sink back to the common throng,
But we understand when the struggle ends, That the best things in life are friends.”