Monette reunion draws crowd
Hundreds of former Monette High School classmates attended the all-classes school reunion Saturday, Nov. 26, held at BIC West Elementary.
Buffalo Island Central FBLA members started the formal reunion registration at 10 a.m. as classmates lined up in front of the building to sign in. They could hardly stay in line, as they kept seeing someone they knew emerge from around the corner. The fellowship and visitation part of the reunion is always the highlight of the day, and the building was a-buzz with conversation and laughter, with lots of catching up to do.
Food vendors were located inside and out of the building, providing a wide variety of specialities for the day's enjoyment. Classmates formed huddles in the cafeteria as they visited and tried to find out what had taken place in their lives since high school. Some classmates brought family group photos, some opened their wallets to display a fold out, and some even brought family calendars with photos for each month of the year.
MHS Reunion booklets were on sale from 1995, 2000 and the current one for 2005. Sign up forms were available to purchase a MHS video of the reunion. Countless flashes of light captured the moment on individual cameras, as classmates huddled together for just one more remembrance shot.
Nothing seemed to be overlooked. Classrooms were sat aside for individual class visitation, sign up sheets captured updated names, addresses and email addresses, so they could keep in touch after the reunion.
Kirk Qualls displayed his MHS memorabilia, which included ball suits, bags, jackets, programs, banners and pins.
Edna Mae Freeman, beloved Monette High School principal, made her way to the visitation area to take her seat among her former students. Hundreds of people came by to say hello, and were amazed to find out she remembered them well. She has prided herself in keeping up with her students, and has a memory as keen as her quick wit.
Macy Finch Tipton, 93, was the oldest MHS graduate in attendance and stayed the whole day visiting and reminiscing with those who knew her. She and her husband Clayborn Tipton owned the Tipton Theater in Monette, and she came from a long line of area pioneers and homesteaders.
At 4 p.m. the well-planned musical program began at the new BIC gymnasium. Pat Steele Taylor and Stacey Smithee Qualls served as co-chairmen of the event. Gale Yates served as master of ceremonies for the program. Entertainment consisted of bands, musical groups, dancers and individual vocalists.
Ed Ball, president of the MHS Alumni Association, recognized Edna Mae Freeman, class of 1955 sponsor, and room mother Lena Johnston Nichols. He gave a special tribute to the class for the celebration of their golden anniversary.
Freeman and Nichols were presented with a bouquet of roses and green and white fleece throws. Freeman's throw had the MHS Buffalo embroidered on it, with an inscription "To the queen of the herd."
Ed Ball presented green and white candles to Alumni Committee members and program participants. Alumni officers and members included treasurer-Juanita Kerr, secretary-Janet Rolland, historian-Nan Snider, food coordinator-Donald Winstead, Billie Layne, Louise Baker, Delores Edwards, Frankie Grisham, Sherry Ladd, Barbara York, Delores Miller, Betty Pyland, Sandra Nall, Genevieve Lane, Linda Morris, Joyce Reed, and Phil Ball.
Program leaders included: co-chairmen, Pat Taylor and Stacey Qualls; master of ceremonies, Gale Yates; and participants, Jerry Reed, Margarete Reed, Kathy Sparks, Belinda Hansen, Tammy Hicks, Kaye Tabor, Nancy Hickman, Monica Owens, Terry Brewer, Bob Blankenship, Ronnie Qualls, Johnny Williams, Bill Craig, Lynn Smith, Larry Rolland, Jerry Rolland, Fred Rolland, Benny Rolland, Colby Qualls, Cassidy Qualls, Cadyn Qualls, Lynn Williams, Chett Hickman, Tony Hickman, Mel Redman, Don Nall, Rickey Copeland, Lisa Ballard, Gena Alberda, Carolyn Parrish, Donna Barnes, Judy Perrin, Pat DeFries, Monda Hutchison, Patty Qualls, and Max Steele.