Written and delivered by Bill Stubbs
"Lost in the 50's Tonight" Lyrics by Ronnie Milsap:
Close your eyes baby,
Follow my heart.
Call on the memories
Here in the dark.
We'll let the magic
Take us away
Back to the Feelings
We shared when they'd play
In the Still of the Night.
Hold me darling, hold me tight.
Shoo-doop, shoo-be do, doo-doop, doo
So real, so right.
Lost in the fifties tonight.
Welcome, Hamlet High School Red Rams, Class of 1960, spouses, and
friends-to our 50th High School Reunion! It seems like only
yesterday-and now, here it is, 50 years later. Tonight and this weekend,
we have a "Few Precious Hours" to share, so let's "Get Lost in the
Fifties Tonight" at our Sock Hop. Let's "Call on our Memories," so that
we can remember and reminisce about those Fabulous Fifties and our times
together. Our memory books are packed, so let's swim in the sea of
nostalgia - "Let the magic take us away, back to the feelings we shared
when they'd play, "In the Still of the Night."
It was during those Fabulous Fifties
that we went from childhood to adulthood. Close your eyes:
Recall when we first entered
Hamlet High School - the excitement and uncertainties as freshmen
and how we progressed over the years right up to being confident
queens and kings as seniors.
Remember the excitement at
basketball and football games, and the memorable train trips to
Lumberton and Sanford.
Recall when we paid our dimes to
get into the sock hops in the Hamlet High gym and danced savagely
and passionately to the most popular tunes of the day.
Recollect Lina Flynt Bauersfeld
animatedly reenacting the witches' scene from Macbeth.
When we hung out at the Hub Grill
and Birmingham's Drug Store,
When we shot pool at Atkinson's
When a '57 Chevy was everyone's
dream car.to cruise, peel out, or lay rubber,
When we went "steady,"
When we dreamed of the Man in the
Moon never a Man on the Moon,
When we described our music with
numbers 45 or 78-not letters like CD, I Pod, or MP3,
When a cell was something we
learned about in biology class - not a device we answered or made
calls on; and
When a blackberry was a fruit you
picked to eat in one of grandma's cobblers - not a high tech "smart"
In those Fabulous Fifties, we wore our hair with a flipped up "do,"
or in pony tails, duck tails, or flat tops. Now some of us have less
hair and what we do have, has turned gray or white, or maybe in some
cases even turned loose.
Instead of singing "All Shook Up," "Diana," "Whole Lot of Shaking
Going On," "At the Hop," "Get a Job," "Yakety Yak," "Kansas City,"
"Charlie Brown," or "Handy Man," we now probably sing or hum
something more moderate like "Grow Old Along with Me, the Best Is
Yet to Be."
We came of age in the 1950's when Rock and Roll and the Space Age
were being born. Little did we know back in those innocent years of
the fifties - what a world of change lay ahead of us: a world of
high speed technology, space travel, advancement in computers, and
other unfathomable changes too innumerable to cite. Little did we
know of the opportunities we'd be afforded or the paths our lives
would take, or the people we would encounter, or the impact we would
have on their lives and the impact that they'd have on our lives.
Why is high school so important? Why have Roberta and others exerted
such effort to bring our class back together at regular intervals
over these 50 years? Edward Beardshear in an article, "The Big 50
High School Reunion," says it well:
"High school is the mother
lode of group memories. It's the imprint and paradigm because
that's where the roots are; and, for all time, that's the real
connection. Face it, where we went to high school, that's home,
the site of our coming of age and where adult life started. And
the people? These are the indelible faces of those you started
Why is my affection for all these people so extravagant, what
are some reasons nobody forgets their high school years?
This is the place I grew up.
This is my spiritual home.
This was the place where I was safe.
This is the ground where the seeds of later life got sowed.
These were the people who were the anvils upon which I forged
who I was and what I would become.
These people were the loving teachers of all the really
important lessons of living and of life.
To forget your high school years is to amputate a major part of
you. It isn't over, of course. The members of the Class of
 [you] teach me yet.
[You] teach me now of the importance of holding life in
[You] teach me the critical importance of enjoying the moment
and living well in it.
[You] teach me the strength of humility, the futility of pride
and the emptiness of achieving money and power and status at the
price of soul.
And most of all, [You] teach me gratitude.
God bless [you] all." *
Now 50 years later, the physical
walls of our Alma Mater have been torn down - they are gone, but
bricks and mortar do not a school make. We the 1960 graduates of
Hamlet High School live on - a tribute and legacy to our parents, to
our principal and teachers, and to each other.
We are fortunate to gather tonight to celebrate and remember our
time together as classmates and friends at Hamlet High School. I
want to thank each of you for being here. Your presence will enrich
the entire reunion experience for all of us. I want to acknowledge
and remember our classmates who are not here tonight. They are
missing for various and sundry reasons. Some are caught up
with life's various demands that prohibit their attendance, and some
may be simply too far away to make attendance feasible. And, of
course, some are classmates who have passed on. Among these, are
some who loved this class with a deep passion, who always attended
the reunions despite long travel distances, and would have surely
been here tonight, had it been possible.
I especially want to thank Roberta Walker Butler for her steadfast
leadership over these 50 years in keeping our class together and in
organizing and orchestrating our class reunions.
Roberta, we really appreciate
you. Please stand and continue standing. (Applause)
I also want to thank the other members of the Reunion Committee.
Please stand and continue standing as I call your names.
Diana Holland Faust, Yvonne Wilson Graham, Brenda Harte Holt, and
Bert Russ (Applause)
Thank you for your contributions in making this 50th reunion truly
Red Rams and friends, again we
welcome you. We hope that you have a wonderful time as you visit
with classmates and rekindle old friendships.
Edward L. Beardshear's material is used with direct permission from the
author. His major work is the novel Some Die Mad. Permission to
republish it here has also been granted by SuddenlySenior.com where it