‘We were a part of history’

Richmond Senior classes of 1973, 1974 and 1975 gather at Hinson Lake

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

ROCKINGHAM — When school opened for students in the fall of 1973, it was a brave new world into which Shirlyn Smith stepped.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com From left to right: Gerrell Wall (1973), Ed Ingram (1973), Paul Steele (1974) And Samuel Ingram (1975) laugh at whatever story Wall is telling late Friday evening on the porch of Rotary Lodge at Hinson Lake in Rockingham.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
From left to right: Gerrell Wall (1973), Ed Ingram (1973), Paul Steele (1974) And Samuel Ingram (1975) laugh at whatever story Wall is telling late Friday evening on the porch of Rotary Lodge at Hinson Lake in Rockingham.

The previous year, the Hamlet High School freshman had been at the bottom of the pack and looked forward to climbing the social and academic ladders that are part of any teen’s rite of passage. But Smith found herself, once again, at the bottom of the ladder.

That’s because Hamlet High School was no longer. Officials had closed her school, along with Rohanen High School, Ellerbe High School and Rockingham High School, and built a brand-new Richmond Senior High School.

Smith, still a Hamlet resident, recalled those memories Friday night as she enjoyed a meal with friends and fellow Class of 1975 classmates in the first combined reunion of the classes of 1973, 1974 and 1975 — collectively, the first student body of the new high school. The informal gathering took place on the porch and inside Rotary Lodge at Hinson Lake.

“It was an adjustment,” said Smith, “just getting used to the new school.”

New people from across the county sat side by side in class. No longer just kids from across the street or around the block.

“We were a part of history,” Smith said.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Organizers of the reunion plan to continue to honor that history Saturday from 8 p.m. to midnight at Cole Auditorium in Hamlet. See the Events Calendar for event details and contact information. For five hours Friday, several dozen members of the first RSHS student body converged at Hinson Lake to catch up on the past and present and talk about what the future might hold.

Former Richmond Senior students came from all over. Gerrell Wall (1973) drove in from Richmond, Va.; Ed Ingram (1973) now lives in Dillon, S.C.; Paul Steele (1974) drove south from Greensboro; while Samuel Ingram (1975) had a shorter drive, from Hamlet. The four, with Dewey Brower, of Hamlet, and John (1973) and Lecie (1974) Griffin, of Newport News, Va., the group of seven helped manage the grill outside to fill the plates inside.

Smith felt such a gathering was important in order to revisit with long lost classmates. Co-organizers Patrice Stroman, and seemed somewhat disappointed from the turnout of an expected 70 Friday and Saturday.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

“When we started, we thought it would be a bigger (event),” Stroman said.

Stroman said the lower-than-desired turnout would not have an adverse impact on the semiformal event planned for Saturday and the ultimate goal of “just want(ing) to get people together” would still be accomplished.

 

 

Filed in: Education, Featured News, Latest Headlines, News

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  • dewey brower

    Friday was great and for the ones missed it, it was wonderful and Sat. was a great, especially when we were looking back into the class of “73,74,75 annuals to see how we use to look,it was plenty of good laugh. We want to thank Hinsons Lake Management and Mr. Joey Bennett for allowing us to use the Cole Auditorium. Thank to the ones who made this reunion a sucess.

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