ELIZABETHTOWN — June 9-10 was an exciting time in Elizabethtown for more than 100 members, friends and former faculty of the graduating classes of 1966 and 1967 of Bladen Central High.
Attendees traveled from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia and from all across the state of North Carolina and as far away as Texas and Oklahoma. The reunion began with a “Meet and Greet Cookout,” and the smell of BBQ ribs and pork chops being grilled greeted visitors as they rounded the corner to the home of Thomas “Pigtail” Nowling, Class of ’67.
The meal also included homemade potato salad, macaroni and cheese, locally grown veggie and hot fried chicken. The evening continued with sharing stories of the group’s days at Bladen Central, their education, band, basketball team, teachers and love for each other.
The next day began with a fellowship and hot breakfast at Glenda’s on MLK; back in the day that area was called Newtown. The Paul R. Brown Building at the old Bladen Central was transformed by Gloria (Melvin) Whitted, Class of ’67, with the school colors, blue and gold. Entering the room with 1960s music being played by DJ Dr. Dick, automatically the feet began to move to the beat.
The bBanquet was the highlight of the evening. Brenda Dean ( McKoy) Harris-White, Classs of ’66, served as Mistress of Ceremony and the classes were welcomed by Stanley Riggins, Class of ’66, and Glenda (Powell) Johnson, Class of ’67. There was never a dull moment, as classmates participated in the entire program.
Vinston Rozier, Class of ’66, Marvin Hall, Class of ‘67, Ralph Hines, Class of ’67, and John Young, Class of ’67, gave an impromptu “Blues Tune.” Alfay Cromartie, Class of ’66, later joined them to sing “My Girl.”
Cindy’s Catering of Elizabethtown provided a meal of fried chicken, baked chicken, beef and creamy gravy, rice, sweet potato soufflé, veggies and a mixture of deserts which included blueberry cobbler made with Bladen County blueberries.
“Walking in the building caused us to reflect on the days of our youth, said Brenda Dean Harris-White, a member of the event’s Planning Committee. “We had dreams of going to the military, becoming doctors, educators, nurses, franchise owners, farmers, bankers, good citizens, politicians, loving husbands, wives, and loving supportive parents. Dreams became a reality.
“We, the alum of Bladen Central are proud of the talents and skills of our fellow classmates, who provided “Goodie Bags” of products made in North Carolina: Texas Pete, Cheerwine, Pepsi, Houston Peanuts, and Lance products,” she added. “Hats off to the Planning Committee from the Class of 1966: Brenda (Lloyd) Rhodie, Freddie McKoy, Jacqueline (Sheridan) Newton and Emma D. Regan; and from the Class of 1967: Charles Coe, Annie (Murphy) Herring, Ralph Hines, Walter Johnson, Sally (King) McCoy, Kathleen McKoy, Johnny McKoy, Shirley (Melvin) Lewis, Brenda (Autry) Melvin, Arthur Morrisey, Carlotta (McKoy) Mumford, James Thomas Nowling, Johnny Young, and Jackie (Lewis) Wall, honorary member.”