The 66th annual Orangefield Homecoming was held in Orangefield Saturday at the elementary cafeteria. Alumni came from near and far to reminisce their glory days at the old alma mater.

Committee members Robert Montagne and Mary Nixon welcomed attendees before the prayer and meal.

“We were afraid attendance would be down with this being Father’s Day weekend,” said Montagne. He was pleasantly surprised.

The committee provided brisket while alumni provided a vast array of vegetables, casseroles, salads and dessert. The food was spread out on three rows of tables. There was everything from corn casseroles, green beans, baked beans, potato salad, pea salad, carrots, fresh fruit, pies, cakes, just about any dessert you could think of.

Suzi Cotton Tipton always enjoys discussing local history and how close the family connections are in Orangefield. She is a vault full of knowledge and has collected a wealth of pictures from Orangefield. It is her mission to identify people in those pictures and share photos.  “I love it,” she said.

Many hadn’t seen each other for years, while some may have visited just yesterday.

The Class of 1964 kicked off their 50th reunion at the gathering and later met at Robert’s Steak House in Orange. Thirteen members were on hand, 12 of which posed for a class picture.

The Orangefield Cormier Museum located next to the high school gymnasium was also open for the day, before and after the noon meal so attendees could check out more of Orangefield history. Alumni wandered through the replica of the “Alamo” in the museum viewing past trophies, letter jackets, pictures, awards and other items located in the second building of Orangefield’s hidden treasure  that was gifted to the Orangefield School District by the Cormier family a few years ago.

Back at the elementary school, Kelly Meadows, daughter of Montagne, shared a story of Bobcat perseverance and persistence. “Determined to live at all costs, want to see?” She went through the elementary school cafeteria and out the back door. Growing out of the tiniest of cracks between the building and sidewalk was a tomato plant about a foot tall, sporting three blooms.  “We discovered it this morning when we got here.”

The building has been there for more than 50 years, so it is hard to imagine how a tomato seed got in the crack to sprout. “It’s not like this was just built,” she said.

Just like Orangefield, determined to thrive against the odds and hopefully it will continue to do so.