Jeff Davis Panthers
FOREVER!

jeffdavis64reunion

Jefferson Davis High School - Houston, Texas

THE 45TH REUNION - JUST AS PROMISED - WAS DIFFERENT FROM THE REST...

Joe Garcia and Mr. J. Paul Rodgers


Everyone  knew we were in store  for a special evening when the three-day rain stopped, the low, heavy clouds parted and the sun began to shine.  And the foreshadowing was 100% totally correct.

As the outside registration tables were being set up, a van pulled up, stopped and an older lady carefully emerged.  It seemed she and her grandson had  been driving down Gessner when she saw the familiar purple and grey and noticed the sign - Jeff Davis Reunion.  Her name will be  Irene (until someone with a better memory corrects me) and she graduated from Jeff Davis in 1937.  Needless to say, she was taken in the door for a look-see and invited to spend the evening with us.  She was introduced, to those inside who were busily putting the finishing touches on the inside decorations, and thunderous applause erupted while everyone rushed to greet her.    

                          

 

Our party was scheduled to begin @ 7:00 P.M.  and guests were encouraged to arrive a little early or promptly at 7:00 to guarantee  admittance. The committee members were 'ready'; non-committee members were recruited to fill-in and ask to arrive promptly at 6:45;  the work stations were posted and everyone knew exactly where they were to be at the 7:00 P.M.  Registration was to take place outside under one of the two covered areas; the fight posters were up (for the most part); all the signs were (more or less) in the correct  place; the outside music hadn't been turned on yet..; Mr. Rodgers stood his watch (if the wind wasn't blowing); the balloons were popping;  the 63 Ford was shined and polished and had its top down; and  everyone (and I do mean EVERYONE) was anxious for the fun to begin.  'We' started arriving - EARLY-very early - at 5:30 ! 

All of the plans went to HE-- in a handbasket and the party began in full force... The 'workers' were no where to be found - myself included.  At best, check-in was organized chaos but no one cared. Volunteers helped man the registration table; for the most part the booths were uncovered; the videographer and photographer were no where in sight; the D. J. was trying to side step the crowd outside to get in and  set-up; our official greeters had yet to arrive ... and WE were having a party !!  and so it went - for the next 6 hours.

 

Where to begin - I guess the stars of the night - our wonderful teachers.. EIGHTEEN of them.... and they were all absolutely beautiful!  In alphabetical order: Elizabeth Disch, Erma Burchfield Eberlan, Elizabeth Ewing, Charles Farquhar, Zora Gaines, James Godbe, Darrel Hearn, Virginia Hoke, Myrle Johnson, Walter Jones, Earline Lane, Gladys Jo Lilly, Foster Martin, Janet Pickell, Minnie Sahualla, San Scifres, Lavelle Shelton, and Albert Vera. 

The teacher and their guests were seated at one of the 6 'Reserved' tables near the entrance of the Pavillion.  I hope someone sends a picture of the huge crowd that formed around each one as they entered the room - and moved (in unison) to their seat.  It was an unbelievable vision.  None of the other tables were occupied - no one was sitting - we were all huddled around the teachers..  just thrilled to see them. No one was shopping or bidding or anything... If there was music no one noticed it ... Everyone was at the entrance of the Pavillion just waiting for the next surprise to come thru the doors...                                                                to be continued...

Joyce Meadows, Linda Lacy,  Ms. Shelton and  Brenda Dunlap

Mrs. Hoke

Coach Foster Martin and Mrs. Martin

 

 

 

The Committee wanted to encourage everyone to walk around and mingle. That's why we had points of interest scattered about the room.  We even asked you to not walk in and just sit down and wait for the fun...  The '64 class was WONDERFUL and we mind so much better than we used to!  We were ALL over that room ... singing, dancing, laughing, telling tall tales of days gone by - just having the absolute best time of our lives..

Husbands and wives came; lots of us were accompanied by our children; we  had sisters and brothers and even  x's and grandchildren.  But - we had LOTS of single folks..... so don't forgot to USE those 'handy-dandy' directories to reach out and touch !!! 

                                                                              to be continued...

 

The program was the highlight of the evening for many, myself included.  Arnie did a masterful job and he was the ONLY one who could have pulled it off. Arnie stood in front of the stage with a seven foot Mr. Rodgers to his right.  The program began - just as each day had 45 years ago- with the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag lead by Mary Ann Read

 

and The Lord's Prayer lead by Sister Antonia Garcia ('65) and no one objected !   Miscellaneous announcements followed and then some committee members were recognized. Arnie made his way to where the teachers were seated and they were introduced. 

Then it was time for the Homecoming Queen to be announced: Mrs. Minnie Sahualla, our oldest in attendance at 95, was crowned our Homecoming Queen.  Bea Jacobs placed a tiara on her head and Nellie Morris ('63) presented her with a dozen white roses. It was at that point Mrs. Sahualla looked up and said, "please take me to Mr. Rodgers." The standing crowd parted ... and as everyone applauded Lucky Sahualla ('65) pushed his aunt's wheelchair front and center so she could, once again, be beside her beloved J. Paul Rodgers.

 

After a very long standing ovation, the Homecoming King was announced: Mr. Myrl Johnson.  And the applause erupted again as  Mr. Johnson left his seat and made his way thru the crowd and took his place near Mrs. Sahualla and Mr. Rodgers. Bea Jacobs  presented him with the King's sceptor.  When he began to speak. I was immediately taken back 45 years ago.... I had no idea his voice was so implanted in my memeories... A wonderfully lilting gentle voice began to explain how the years at Davis were among his favorite ...   

Just those few moments - when they each took their place - made absolutely everything worthwhile.  It couldn't have been any better. We so appreciate Mrs. Sahualla and her family and Mr. Johnson and his family.. and ALL of the teachers and their families and friends for their attendance ... You each gave the Class of '64 a wonderful gift -you  allowed us the opportunity to come full circle and give back to those who gave us and others so very much of themselves... We'll be forever indebted to all of you.                               to be continued...

 

The program continued as Arnie returned his much overdue Spanish book, "El Camino Real" , to Mr. Darrel Hearn.  Mr. Hearn suggested he might as well go on and keep it - after this legth of time but - undeterred - Arnie explained, "Mr. Rodgers told me I had to turn it back in."   

Arnie ended the program with heartfelt thanks to everyone for their participation, attendance and gracious donations.  The music then cranked up and the SERIOUS partying began...           

                                                                 to be continued...