Hundreds of Rattler Alumni certainly had the opportunity to amass another collection of memories last weekend during Rattler Reunion. From the opening gathering until the last dance, people just enjoyed being together and recalling earlier times.
The Rattler Alumni Board and the Host Class of 1974 are to be commended for seeing that everything ran smoothly and that all events were well-planned. The Rattler Den tends to become more special every year as various people provide memorabilia from the early times to the present. Hours were spent in collecting the items, and even happier hours were spent by the browsers, who frequently dashed off to find more friends in order to have them share in the memories.
As we wandered around meeting and greeting each other, we had to use our imaginations at times in order to remember a friend from fifty, sixty, or seventy years ago, but once we focused on their name tags and listened to their voices for a few minutes, we recognized each other and visited as if we hadn’t been interrupted by all those years. We found that we still have much in common because we had similar beginnings and similar memories. That just naturally speaks well for our teachers and parents who worked so hard to provide good foundations upon which we could build.
Being both a former student and former teacher certainly adds to the joy of each reunion because I can visit with peers and then visit with former students. Being greeted warmly by those students is a major privilege, especially when they take the time to recall the years we spent together and some of the incidents that occurred during those long ago days. Because we were all very young then, they now realize that I was learning more than they in order to try to stay ahead of them in class.
Of course, major laughter erupted when one of those students called me Mrs. Babcock. I was a bit stunned but could see the embarrassment on that student’s face and was pleased to be able to tell her quite truthfully that I accepted her error as a major compliment because Mrs. Babcock was a favorite teacher and friend although she was many years my senior when I first met her in the early 1940’s. She was a legend among students and teachers alike and would be pleased with the many stories we still tell about her as we recall some of our good and bad times at THS.
Throughout each event, we could hear much laughter as friends reminisced about their school days. Some of the stories may have improved through the years, but they evoke more memories and cause other stories to surface. Attending the Golden Rattler Luncheon is quite an experience because all of us graduated from THS at least fifty years ago and really go into the dim, distant past as we visit. The other special luncheons were also well attended and might have been more lively but could not have been more fun.
These reunions let us know that our years at THS were very special ones because people come from all over the country to attend and make plans to return next year. Few schools have maintained such a tradition except in Quay County because few have all-school reunions. They don’t know what they are missing or what they missed by not attending our schools. Plans are already under way for next year, and some of us will spend our time gathering enough energy to participate. We may even think of a few more stories to tell in order to enliven our conversations and will most certainly look forward to being together again in 2005.