‘Welcome Aboard:’ Still pranking after 40 years

  • Farragut High School’s Class of 1982 — officially verified by Class president Vik Moore as the largest ever from FHS and likely state-wide — held its 40th reunion Saturday, July 9, at the Lighthouse on Baum Drive in Bearden. - Michelle Hollenhead

  • Gwen Gray, Farragut High School Class of 1982 secretary and Class clown, shows off the decorative life preserver, borrowed as a prank from FHS prior to the group’s July 9 reunion. - Michelle Hollenhead

  • FHS Principal Dr. John Bartlett holds the returned “prank” four days later. - Michelle Hollenhead

  • Farragut High School Class of 1982 Class President Vik Moore, right, welcomed fellow graduates Greg Brooks, left, and Mark Griffey, to the group’s 40th Reunion Saturday, July 9. - Michelle Hollenhead

About 200 members of Farragut High School’s Class of 1982 and friends gathered at Knoxville Lighthouse along Baum Drive for its 40th reunion Saturday, July 9 — and for a group known for pranks, it did not disappoint.

Several classmates visited FHS earlier in the week and “borrowed” a small decorative life preserver from one of the school’s front offices, which they brought and showed off at the reunion, before it was returned to FHS principal John Barlett last week.

Bartlett enjoyed being part of yet another practical joke from the Class of ’82.

“That’s cool,” he said, as the latest prank was described and others from more than 40 years ago were recounted, including “borrowing” “Maggie,” the fiberglass Mayfield Dairy Cow, which sat in the student parking lot for a day; putting the school up “for sale” with, again, “borrowed” For Sale signs; the appropriation of Webb School of Knoxville’s sign, which was placed in front of FHS; and relocating all the cafeteria chairs from the Commons to the top of the school’s roof.

“The pranks were shared amongst  a very creative and fun group of seniors,” Class president and “Class clown” Vik Moore recalled about the 1981-82 schoo year. “I came up with a graduation prank: we exchanged marbles for diplomas.

“The staff was befuddled, trying to put them in their pockets — almost 700 of them. In hindsight, I felt horrible, creating such a trip hazard for old folks, like me now, (who were) in dress shoes.”

As an homage to that prank, class members were asked to bring marbles to the 40th reunion, which were displayed on the check-in table.

The Class of 1982, verified as not only the largest in FHS history with 654 graduates among more than 700 classmates — but Moore said he confirmed it is the largest graduating class ever recorded in the state of Tennessee.

Moore, along with committee help — including classmates Carol Kelly, Doug Floyd, Robbin Sharp and fellow Class clown superlative and Class secretary Gwen Gray — coordinated this year’s reunion, which Moore referred to as “The Dream Team,” and are already planning for No. 45, even down to possible pranks.

“I would also like to thank the volunteers who helped logistically, including Tim Earl, Brian Plumlee, David Lawson, Jay Brown, Richard Goff, Tom and Lou Blinn, Stanton Oster, MacGregor McClellan, James Locher, Claudette (Davis) and Tim Dentz, Lisa Lance and of course, Michelle (Hollenhead), the author of this article,” Moore said.

“Go Big Blue.”

For more information, visit farragutbigblue82reu.com or the Farragut High School Class of 1982 Facebook page.