Caraway High School graduates celebrated the return of their senior class composite photos Thursday, May 13, as the new swinging floor mounted display was completed and placed in the Riverside Junior High School Library.
(Town Crier photo/Nan Snider)
"The composite photos were removed from the junior high hallway in 1990 so the walls could be painted," former Riverside Junior High Principal Gale Yates said. "They were stored until the work was completed."
"They have just remained in the closet ever since," Loyd Lamb said. "Former students have been concerned about the return of the pictures for years and finally decided to see what could be done. We found they had been stored in the corner of a small room at the junior high school."
"These photos are a part of the Caraway history," Glenna Brickell said. "We organized a group of interested people to see what could be done to get them back on display somewhere on the Riverside campus at Caraway."
"We did research about what display system would be the best and how much it would cost," said Edna Mae Qualls. "We began to ask around at other schools and see what they were using."
Joyce Lamb contacted Child Art Studio in Paragould to inquire about displays and reframing of the photos.
Yates reported several other schools had used the floor display and the arrangement looked very professional. Area schools with floor displays include Paragould, Manila, Lepanto, Bay and Weiner.
Qualls contacted Riverside High School Superintendent Tommy Knight to ask about the feasibility of rehanging the composites and about school financing for the project.
"I talked to the school board of directors and they were all for getting the pictures out of storage and onto a usable display," Knight said. "The board agreed to pay for the project as long as it was a reasonable amount."
"The composite photos run from 1933 to 1985, when Caraway consolidated with Lake City and formed Riverside High School," Sue Clements said. "Photos of six of the first graduating classes are small and can be enclosed in one large frame. The others have frames of their own. The photos are covered in plastic for protection and hung on a movable frame for easy access."
Darin Reed of Child Art Studio assembled the floor display and carefully placed the historic photos onto it in numerical order. He presented Superintendent Knight a photo disk that included a copy of each composite photo. The disk will not be made available for commercial copying but will be placed in the school vault for safety purposes, in case of accident or loss of the original composites.
"The board was very supportive of this project and is very pleased with the outcome," Knight said. "The total cost was $4,372.88, which we felt was very reasonable considering the importance of the composites and their accessibility in the movable frames. They can be relocated easily if the need would ever arise."
"We are so pleased with the return of our senior class composites," Joyce Lamb said. "All of the classmates are so excited to have them out so they can be admired and enjoyed. We are thankful for the support of the school and of the community. Everyone is a winner in this effort, and we are grateful."
Members of the restoration committee included Loyd Lamb, Joyce Stewart Lamb, Harold Burrough, Glenna Fletcher Brickell, Sue Winemiller Clements, Edna Mae Booth Qualls, Jerry Qualls, Lynn Haag, Cleffie Gipson, Tommy Knight, Matt Scarbrough, Gale Yates, Harvey Edward Faulkner, Jr., Joyce Sitz Sparks, and Joyce Berry.