Blessings to the LHS class of ‘74

Published 7:15 pm Friday, August 9, 2019

This weekend — while the rest of hometown LaGrange is hustling and bustling about — a hundred 60-something-year-olds who walked the halls of LaGrange High in the early 1970s are going to gather together for a reunion — number 45, they tell me. 

To my good old friends who reconvene this week, my heart – if not my person – will be there. I’d love to meet people I haven’t seen since we all wore plaid pants and long, curly hair. I promised my friend and class president Gary Whitfield – a true gentleman who will be embarrassed to see his name here – that, if the Lord’s willing, I will be there for the 50th. 

My mind has been going back to those good old days for a while now. Tunes of the past crescendo in my mind. School bells ring in my ears, and a thousand memories call me away to a simpler time, a time before metal detectors, school shootings, talking back and making C’s on the report card. No, it’s true, I never made a C on my report card. Never could seem to get anything better than a D. The bad thing is that they put the “D” in red and sent it home to Mama, knowing that the red would just prolong my punishment.

Maybe I’m exaggerating here just a bit about never making a “C,” but there’s no exaggeration when I say that my heart still bleeds that good ol’ Granger blue, even if the teachers thought red looked a little better on my report card.

Ah, let’s go back once more.

Just remembering sitting in the stands at Callaway Stadium and freezing to death watching the Mighty Mite Ira Pressley bowl through opposing defenses like they weren’t even there. Or watching touchdown passes sailing from John Love, whose mom was many of our English teacher when we finally made it to high school.

Thinking of those football days reminds me of our own Terry Proctor who quarterbacked our class. Talk about a fella who lived the Mr. Touchdown song. Proctor marched to the tune of “He can run and kick, and he can throw” rally cry, serving at times as the punter as well as the quarterback. I remember sometimes he would get in the “shot gun” —long before anybody ever ran the shot gun — and you didn’t know what in the world he was about to do. You knew never to go get a hot dog when Proctor backpedaled away from the center.

Dear fella 1974 classmates: We’re not finished yet. We may have to meet right here from now ‘til Christmas recalling memories of that time when we walked those halls together. But of the things I want to say, mainly I want to say this: God bless all of you, richly. May the Lord’s face continue to shine upon you and keep you, and yours, safe. 

I’ll see you at our 50th.

On second thought, we’ll do better than that. I’ll see you next week — right here! 

Be careful on your drive home.