LCHS Class of 1968 Reunion
Friday June 13 the Orange Boat Club was the scene of the 40 year reunion of the class of 1968. It was a gathering of Bears. For some it was the first time that they had seen classmates in over 30 years.
Christy Ferguson Taylor let out a squeal when she saw her closest friend from high school, Susan Falgout Gerland. The two exchanged a big hug and shared a tear or two of joy.
Taylor had spent over 30 years in Alaska. Part of that time had been spent as the captain of a state ferry running a route in the Aleutians. She has relocated to Elgin in central Texas.
“I like the weather better, it is warm and I can wear shorts year ‘round if I want to,” said Taylor.
It had been nearly 40 years since Taylor and Gerland had seen each other and they spent a lot of time together and catching up on the past years.
Later that evening Taylor and Rodney Girlinghouse were talking and discovered that Girlinghouse had spent time in Alaska also.
“I spent some time inspecting parts of the pipeline. I had a thing around my neck that was supposed to make noise and scare bears away. I always thought of it as a dinner bell for bears,”Girlinghouse said.
Roaming through the crowd was “Jimbo” Barnwell.
“I was the smallest boy in the class and they made me class president,” said Barnwell. “We had a close class in school and most of us have stayed in the area and have remained close. Some of us moved away, but came back.”
Barnwell had spent some years in Delaware, but has been glad to be back in Orange.
Reggie Ezell had his top of the line cooking trailer outside the clubhouse and had been cooking the brisket since 5:00 A.M.
“I’m like their grandpa, I was not in the class, but I cook for them,” said Ezell.
“Grandpa Ezell” was in the LCHS Class of 1966. He is an example of the closeness of the classes of those years.
When the time came to eat the brisket and all the “fixins’” Mike Kelly, dressed in chef’s hat and coat was taking credit for being the chief cook. Ezell disagreed and said he was the chief cook. The Bears could care less who the chief cook was, they just enjoyed the meal.
“Captain” Bill Windham had his boat and was giving rides on Adams Bayou. Those who took the tours he gave enjoyed the scenery and saw an alligator or two along the way.
The last tour was somewhat long and the captain and passengers were a little late coming almost missed supper.
The music and laughter and visiting lasted well into the night and then the group went home to rest for Saturday night.
Saturday night the Bear’s “Den” moved to the Sunset Grove Country Club.
The dress was a little more formal and there was a DJ, Patrick Murphy and his wife Brenda who operate Pro Motion. Their layout was complete with colored lights and several thousand songs loaded on their system.
The mood was still light and very friendly.
The 36 classmates who were there had brought guests and the crowd was near 80 total.
Jean Sitting a typing teacher from those years was there with her husband Lloyd. Another faculty member who attended was Jeff Hattman. Hattman had taught speech and drama.
Both of the former teachers were greeted warmly by their former students and had a great time reminiscing about the old days.
Barnhill and Charles Donnaud were the two that saved the football season from being a losing season.
In the last game of the 1967 football season LCHS had a record of four wins and five losses. In the last game of the season against Hemphill with six seconds left in the game the ball was snapped to Barnhill who held it for Donnaud. Donnaud kicked a field goal to win the game. The season was saved with a five to five record.
Donnaud went into education after high school and was high school principal at Orangefield for several years before moving into administration.
“I’m the director of whatever,” said Donnaud.
Another graduate who has gone from the classroom to the administration office is Kathy Barton Finch. After college Finch joined the faculty at LCM and is now Director of Elementary Curriculum.
Finch was a cheerleader in high school and demonstrated on the dance floor that she still has some good moves.
When the dancing started the class that has been out of high school for forty years danced like they had only been out four years. There were some great moves by both the guys and gals. The dancers enjoyed Murphy’s music and looked like they could have danced all night long.
Enrollment of the Class of 1968 is in disagreement. Some give a figure in the low 80’s; others say it is in the high 80’s. Regardless of the number the reunion was that of classmates who have remained friends over the last 40 years. The consensus of the class is that they would like to have another reunion in five years.
The committee that worked long and hard to make the weekend a success consisted of; Mike Poutra, Edna Wilkerson, Gary Self, Charles Trahan, Jeanette Trahan, Charles Donnaud, Juanita Bourgeois, Kathy Finch, Harriet Jackson, Karen Dryden, and Alla Mae Maksynchuk.
Commerative cups were donated by Domnion Forms of Orange. The cups are green with gold lettering stating : “Little Cypress High School Class of 1968”
“Alive & Still Kicking”