Manila Class of 1958 gather for 50-year reunion
The Manila High School Class of 1958 turned back the clock for a little while as they reminisced during a two-day 50-year reunion held May 23-24.
The reunion started on Friday at the Manila Depot. In addition to class members, special guests included their class sponsor, Mrs. Francys Faulkner, members of the 1958 State Championship Lady Lion basketball team and their coach Wanda Carroll.
Special entertainment included Butch Dicus, "Elvis," singing favorite songs and putting on a show.
The group left the Manila Depot to enjoy a dinner at the Sharecropper Restaurant in Blytheville on Friday evening.
Sixty-five attended the Saturday gathering at classmate Nelson Benson's home. Everyone enjoyed lunch, visiting and catching up over the last 50 years.
One of the highlights of the reunion was an audio tape of the radio announcement of the 1958 State Championship Game with Coach Carroll and her team bringing home the state trophy from Hope where they defeated Monette in the title game. Seven teammates attended the reunion including Sherrie Lewis Boyett, Maxine Whitney Stegall, Carlene Chipman Evans, Pat Bollinger Jolliff, Janice Bourland Clark, Shirley Bray Taylor, and Linda Wall Donovan.
Donovan created a Manila High School Class of 1958 Memory Book for classmates. The book included pictures and a short profile of the classmates' lives complete with home addresses and e-mail addresses, family, favorite memory, favorite teacher, favorite food, and a favorite story if they chose to share one.
"All of our classmates joined in and helped with the decorations, the food and making our 50-year reunion special," Donovan said.
The 1958 Senior Class Officers included Ronnie Ballard, president; Jimmy Parks, vice president; Marcia White, secretary; Shelbia Palmer, treasurer.
A memory table in honor of the deceased classmates included Dickie Jolliff, Donna Holsclaw Brookside, Dora Dill Eubanks, Gail Gordon Countess, Glenna Light Montgomery, James Hill, Jimmy Scott, Linda Rogers Thompson, Linda Wells Scott, Patsy Williams Hembrey, Paul Clark and Wanda Wilson Clark.
Classmates attending included Ronnie Ballard, Russellville; Phyllis Bell Jackson, Jonesboro; Nelson Benson, Manila; Peggy Sue Bibbs Brooks, Manila; Shirley Bray Taylor, Manila; Johnny Buchanan, Las Vegas, Nev.; Brenda Bunch Flagg, Manila; Pete and Janice Bourland Clark, Jonesboro; Barbara Cornish McDonald, Smithville; Peggy Cornish Lloyd, Jonesboro; Robert Hamilton, Manila; James Harris, LaSalle, Ill.; R.L. Hicks, Lake Wales, Fla.; Norma Jackson, Manila; Sherry Lewis Boyett, St. Augustine, Fla.; Billy McCain, Waterford, Mich.; Kathleen McMasters Barthlomew, Cape Girardeau, Mo.; Roann Minirth Henry, Manila; Pat and Nelson Morris, Manila; Polly Moyer George, Marks, Miss.; Barbara Murray Riggs, Dover, Tenn.; Phillip Nuckols, Mt. Home; Patricia Osborne Miller, Jonesboro; Jimmy Parks, Lonoke; Dorothy Pierce Choate, Bald Knob; Elmer Polston, Omaha; Paul Porter, Wilson; Jerry Simpson, Paragould; Jerry Stutts, Bonita, La.; Linda Wall Donovan, Manila; Marcia White Shedd, Paragould; and Jimmy Williams, Manila.
The reunion brought back many memories of the years at Manila High School.
The 1957-58 Manila Ladies Arkansas State Championship basketball team and their coach, Wanda Carroll, would like to be remembered by donating $1,000 in scholarship money to Manila High School. They request the scholarship be awarded to a Lady Athlete player who is an academically strong graduate.
The funds will be made available in an account at the First National Bank in Manila (through Danny Robbins) and will be awarded after the time of the graduate's registration into the school of her choice.
Several of the class members of 1958 attended the Manila Alumni Reunion held on Saturday evening at the Manila Airport Center joining former Manila students to continue reminiscing and visiting with old friends.