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Third ESHS reunion was the best ever

Whenever I think of the East Suffolk Alumni Association’s third school reunion, held last weekend from Thursday through Sunday, I think of the first verse in the song Unity — Behold how good and how pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity.

I was asked by W. Ross Boone, president of the association, about three weeks ago to cover their third school reunion, and I gladly accepted.

I actually knew or grew up with many ESHS students and many of them belonged to the same church as I. I attended and graduated from the rival school, the former Booker T. Washington High, but we all went through the same issues during the time of segregation and participated in several Civil Rights movements together. These were some of the reasons that caused me to look forward to reuniting with other friends from ESHS.

All activities, except the picnic and boat ride, were held at the Hilton Garden Inn & Conference Center.

On Thursday, registration and free games took place from 5 p.m. until midnight. My sister, Shirley Lee, went with me because she wanted to renew old acquaintances. We were later joined by another BTW student, Gail Hinton-Copeland, and after we played some games, Gail and I were coaxed into giving our usual line dance instructions.

Friday arrived and former students were resting from activities on Thursday and preparing for another big event, their fourth Scholarship Banquet.

I decided to wear a black-and-gold outfit with all the accessories — gold and black earrings, choker and black-and-gold bracelet. But, oh, what luck. Before I left, I received a long distance phone call from a friend and dedicated Booker T. student who doesn’t believe in sporting anyone’s school colors at another reunion but your own. I was in a hurry and told him where I was going. He asked me what I was wearing and I explained my outfit in detail. He could accept my destination, but the outfit and colors he could not.

“Don’t keep that outfit on too long, because you might forget where you came from,” he joked.

I shot back with the statement that when you are in Rome, you do as the Romans do, and I also wanted to honor the school and its students by wearing the colors. With that statement, we ended the conversation.

A dinner and a program were held from 6-9 p.m. and a dance was held from 9 p.m. until midnight, with Benford Hunter serving as DJ. The line dance instructions that Copeland and I gave on Thursday seemed to be paying off, and the evening came to a close.

On Saturday, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., a picnic was held at the East Suffolk Community Center, the former school grounds, and the food and fellowship were outstanding. At 9 p.m. Saturday we all gathered at Portside for a boat ride on the Carrie-B, for more food, fun, dancing to oldies and goodies, and, of course, line dancing. By now, that Wolverine crowd had begun to grow on me and I was regretting Sunday when I would have to say good-bye.

Sunday arrived, and after the worship service was over, where the Rev. Betty Montgomery delivered the sermon for the day, I was reminded from whence I came.

I

didn’t have a chance to eat a big breakfast, and my stomach let me know it by giving out a big growl as if from a Booker T. Bear, and not a howl as from an East Suffolk Wolverine. It proved that my long-distance friend’s thought about wearing the black and gold outfit didn’t make his theory the truth.

ESH students who said that they didn’t know about the reunion don’t have any excuses, because their president kept them informed through the media. In addition, you always know where the committee is, but it does not always know where you are. If you did miss this reunion, you can’t recapture the sacred moments. But I do want to inform you that it was one of the best reunions ever held. This BTW Bear really enjoyed being in the company of ESH Wolverines for the entire weekend!

For information about future reunions or activities mail your request to P.O. Box 1536, Suffolk, Va. 23439 or email at eastsuffolk1961@verizon.net