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Friday, October 23, 2009
Re-uniting of the class of 1969, Part II

LAST WEEKEND George Washington High School's class of 1969 held its 40th reunion.  So, I went.  This is Part II of a two-part series.  Part I may come next week.

Following the pre-party, it was on to the reunion proper.  Practically the first person I saw coming in to the Danville Country Club was David Cross who was, for my long-time readers with better memories than David, the subject of my May 29, 2008 column, where I recounted the first day of the first grade when David had to "stay in" for the first recess.  I told David about that day -- which, of course, he didn't remember.  I do -- he had his head on his desk crying when I came in to get him.

Why couldn't he remember this traumatic event?   Repressed memory syndrome is my diagnosis.  David is too nice to remember something that unpleasant.

A little later in the evening I dealt with another unpleasant memory from elementary school as I confronted Gayle Goodson (Butler) about her “ruining my sixth-grade graduation day.”  How was that, she asked?  By winning the best-history-student award, I replied.  She, of course, corrected me.  It was the English award.  (Exactly what you'd expect from someone who would become the editor in chief of Better Homes and Gardens magazine.)

Anyway, the point was, Henry Swanson told me had seen Mrs. Duncan's copy of the graduation program, and next to "English Award" she had written "GG."  I remember thinking, "Really?"  I was psyched to receive my award.  When Mrs. Duncan announced: "Gayle Goodson," I was crushed.  (In retrospect, I am quite proud of myself for not going Kanye West on her, rushing the stage and taking the award that so rightfully belonged to me.)

I then saw the smiling face of Marc Newman, who we are reminded, is a Duke graduate.  Quite happily, neither his Duke education nor his current New Jersey residency has sullied the sweet southern boy I knew, leaving him neck and neck in the contest for nicest guy in the GWHS class of 1969 with David Cross.

Standing nearby was Susan Hain, who brought her cute twenty-something daughter with her, leading me to ask this question of Susan: "How is it that you're the exact same age as your daughter?"  A number of my classmates looked like they had aged very little, or aged very well; Susan appeared to have gotten younger.  Sadly, twenty-odd years in New Jersey have left her sounding more Paramus than Danville.

Roaming by was Drake Myers, who brought a stuffed dog on a leash.  Drake was always different.  Not far away stood Verne Ferguson, who throughout elementary school regularly kept me from being the worst behaved kid in the class; he was drunk.

At a table near the dance floor was Deborah James, my first true love forever; she smiled at me.  Deborah brought her sisters along -- who turned out to be more useful to Deborah and I than they were when Deborh and I were in the seventh grade.  My friend Truxton Fulton said he was Deborah James' first true love. A little investigative research put this fraud to rest.  I had not only Deborah’s testimony but that of her sisters; it was me.  And, as a bonus, Deborah's still as cute and perky as Katie Couric.

Finally, Kathleen Harris, who is single again, provided much of the evening's entertainment, some of it intentionally.  She had warned us that she was "working on her moves" for the class photo.  In a short and sexy skirt, she turned, wiggled her butt, stuck out her leg and pulled up her skirt -- several times.  I am sure there were lots of laughs and gawks in the photo.  I may have had my hand over my face.  But I suspect she got a date or two out of it -- if not a proposal of marriage.


Gary D. Gaddy is sorry to inform George Washington Davis the Third that he did not make the cut for this story.  (Go to to peruse [which Gayle Goodson {Butler} could tell you means to read with great care] past columns.)

A version of this column was published in the Chapel Hill Herald on Friday October 23, 2009.

Copyright  2009  Gary D. Gaddy


Authored by Gary G. Gaddy at 7:53 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, November 3, 2009 8:02 PM EST
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink

Friday, October 23, 2009 - 9:16 PM EDT

Name: "Linda L"

Having been at the reunion, I wanted to clarify that it was Drake Myers, not Pritchard, who had the stuffed dog on a leash.  Every reunion I have attended, he has had a stuffed dog or an invisible stuffed on a leash.  Go figure!

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