FHS Grand Reunion May 7
In the days Farragut High School still was located on the corner of Kingston Pike and Concord Road, it was considered a country school.
“Back then the classrooms were small,” Mona Smith, historian and FHS alumni who graduated in 1962, said. “I had 88 in my class.
“My husband had 66. He graduated in 1960. We were all kin by blood or marriage, so we were like family.”
“The Bearden people made fun of our school,” Ralph Hall, committee member, said. “They called us the ‘Farragut Farmers’ because we were way out in the country and we had an agriculture class taught by H.E. “Hoot” Gibson.”
“We were very blessed. We were blessed with good churches, good parents and good teachers. I don’t think you could say that about a lot of schools today.”
All Farragut High School alumni who attended the former school site before 1976 again will gather to reminisce these old times at the annual Grand Reunion, scheduled to take place from 8 to 11:30 a.m., Saturday, May 7, in Virtue Cumberland Presbyterian Church Family Life Center, 725 Virtue Road, Farragut.
“We have people from as far as New York and North Carolina come, so we’re hoping to have a pretty good group,” Barbara Hall Beeler, a 1952 FHS alumni and planning committee member, said.
Beeler, who has been involved with the reunions from the beginning, said the span of alumni expected to attend ranges from 1946 to 1976. Admission cost of the event is $5, which pays for the coffee and doughnuts.
“It’s great,” Kenneth Hall, committee member and 1960 FHS graduate, said. “We do it every year the first Saturday in May. We talk about old times, drink coffee and eat doughnuts.
“It’s just real informal,” Smith said. “It’s just a chance to meet old friends. You would think you would run into them in the grocery store, but you don’t.
“Unless you have a reunion or — God forbid — a funeral, you don’t see them. So, it’s a treat to touch base with each other.
“As long as we can go, I hope to get together [with classmates].”
“I think it’s wonderful,” Beeler said. “It’s like you are walking down the street and run into someone you hadn’t seen in years. It’s a warm feeling, like time has stood still and you were never apart.”
Horace Hamilton Sr., and his brother, George Hamilton, originally started the Grand Reunion.
“They did it for years,” Smith said. “They would bring out old pictures and annuals. It was great.”
After Horace Hamilton Sr. died and George stepped down last year, the committee, which consists of Smith, Ralph Hall, Kenneth Hall, Earl Hall, Charlie Hall, Beeler and Ginger Benson, took over organizing the reunion.
Smith remembered the 1958-59 school year, when a new wing was added to the original structure.
“I was a freshman in 1958,” she said. “They tore down part of the old building and built a new wing. Jan. 5, 1959, we moved into the new wing.
“I remember we were so glad to have a cafeteria with warm food. Prior to that we ate cold sandwiches, which were served on the stage in the auditorium.”
Then in 1976, FHS students moved to the present site after a new school was built.
Ralph Hall said mostly he remembered the teachers, such as Laura Glover, Kenneth Ward and Ray Burdine.
“They were exceptional,” he said. “They prepared us for college. You wouldn’t think a country school would be that far advanced.”
Beeler remembered the sock hops, attending church, square dancing at the school and going to Concord Swimming Pool while Ralph Hall remembered the sports.
“We had a fairly good football and basketball team,” he said. “Our rivals were Lenoir City and Bearden.
Kenneth Hall remembered meeting Janice Henry Hall, his high school sweetheart and wife.
“We dated from our freshmen year until graduation,” Kenneth Hall said. “After we graduated, we got married.”