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By JENNIFER RAYMOND
Graduates of Rockwood High School will get a chance to come together this summer to reminisce about their days as a Rockwood Tiger with fellow classmates.
The sixth annual Rockwood High School Reunion will be June 8-14 at Rockwood First Baptist Church’s lake property.
“Anybody that went to school in Rockwood is invited, whether they graduated or not,” said Wayne Pugh, 1955 graduate and member of the RHS classmates steering committee.
Several in the committee have maintained contact over the years and decided to try and get several of the graduating classes together.
“You are meeting people you haven’t seen in 50 years,” Pugh said.
The reunions started out as a get-together of graduating classes of the 1950s and grew to include everyone because it garnered so much interest.
“It came about because Wayne had a dream,” Margaret “Mickey” Hickey-Shumate said.
Last year, about 400 to 500 people showed up during the weeklong event.
People come from all over.
“It has renewed our interest in this little town at the foot of the mountains,” Hickey-Shumate said.
Hickey-Shumate said it brings a lot of people back to the city and reminds them of times they had forgotten.
“We forget how fortunate we were to be born here,” she said.
The main reason for the reunion is simply to be together.
“At night when you think of the people you love, I think of these people,” Hickey-Shumate said.
Judy Giles joked, “I can’t get over how much we liked each other still.”
Mary Alexander Kau, class of ’56, added, “It’s just fun. I wouldn’t see these people during the normal course of time.”
Each year the committee makes phone calls, sends out e-mails and as many invitations as they can afford, about 1,500, but rely heavily on word of mouth.
“It’s like grass roots,” Kau said.
At this year’s event, the classes of 1969, 1959 and 1949 will hold their class reunions.
Lunch, catered by Junior’s Restaurant, will be served at 1 p.m. June 13.
A registration fee of $20 is needed to pay for the cost of the lunch.
“We break bread together,” Pugh said.
Kau has been gathering information on the graduated classes from 1920 to 1970, with help from Patsy Pierce, who graduated in 1944.
They are planning to make a list of everyone in those classes and name the valedictorian and salutatorian of each graduating class.
“To honor the brains,” Kau said.
At the reunion, they will also be honoring the 1976 Tennessee Champion Class A football team, Pugh said, as well as the 1947 team.
“It was a great team and there’s not many of them left,” he added.
A scholarship fund has also been set up by the group.
Last year, they presented a $500 scholarship to a Rockwood High School graduating senior.
This year they will present a $1,000 scholarship to a graduating senior.
An auction will also be held with proceeds going toward the purchase of folding chairs to be used at the next reunions.
They will have donated goods, handmade stools and chairs and paintings in the auction.
To register or for more information, contact Pugh at 354-4451 or visit their Web sites at www.orgsites.com/tn/rockwoodhighschoolclassmates or groups.yahoo.com/group/rockwoodtnclassmates.