It's Grand

Annual FHS Grand Reunion Saturday, May 6

One family produced 14 Farragut High School siblings who graduated at the former Concord Road/Kingston Pike location.

Until last year, however, none of them has ever attended an FHS Grand Reunion.

“I’m going to try and get my 13 brothers and sisters to come,” said Joyce Johnson Jackson, Class of 1956 who was class president, among 17 FHS “old school” graduates during a Grand Reunion committee gathering at the home of Barbara Beeler [Class of 1952], Wednesday, April 19.

“I’ve always been too busy … we have seven grandchildren and they’re in school with all these activities,” Jackson added about why she had never previously attended.

While enjoying light but tasty refreshments and flashing back to younger days at FHS came talk about the upcoming Grand Reunion, a tradition dating back to the mid-1990s. This year’s Grand Reunion returns to Virtue Cumberland Presbyterian Church fellowship hall, 725 Virtue Road, from 8 to 11:30 a.m., Saturday, May 6.

The senior Johnson sibling, Nadine Johnson Daniels, is Class of 1953, while “the baby” sibling, Darrell Johnson — a Knox County Sheriff’s Office homicide detective — is from the Class of 1975.

Jim Jackson [Class of 1955], Joyce Jackson’s husband, attended his first Grand Reunion last year.

“My brother, James [Jackson], was their with [Jim] last year,” Joyce said.

Most of the 17 present at Beeler’s Admiral Drive home, however, said they’d been to at least 15 previous Grand Reunions.

“I think it’s good to keep around people you’ve known all your life,” one alumnus said. “It was an enjoyable school. Everybody was friendly. Of course, you have your fights. But people loved each other and cared for each other.

“Of course, everybody knew everybody back then.”

Senior graduates on hand were Glenn Loy and Virginia Ward Pressley, both from the Class of 1945.

The “baby” was Beeler’s son, Jay Beeler, Class of 1976 — the final class to spend all four years at the former school site.

Joe Waldroop, Class of 1953, remembered being one of “36” graduates that year.

One graduate said.

Jay Beeler said he was one of 374 graduates in 1976.

The gathering agreed that “more than 80,” including some non-alumni spouses, attended last year’s Grand Reunion.

“I sent out 97 letters,” Beeler, committee secretary, said about her alumni contact list for this year’s GR.

Cost to attend is $5 at the door. Yearbooks from “back in the day” and “old school” memorabilia is expected to be displayed for viewing.

Various light refreshments will be included.