2010 Reunion
Hamlet High School Class of 1960 50th Reunion
Hamlet, North Carolina

Welcome Address

Written and delivered by Linda Liles Bendell


We read info in our email one day,
In what I like to call the "Roberta Gazette."
All about the class reunion
In our little town of Hamlet.

It was a chance for us to go,
To meet with friends and peers...
And see our classmates from the past,
To catch up on all these years.

We've arrived in splendid form,
Greeting, hugging, and enjoying reuniting.
We're a different type of "Senior" now,
But clearly an age where old friendships still feel warm.

Hamlet High, Class of '60
The good ol' days of Mr. H., Lina, and Grace,
The Choo Choo, Sandspur, Blab & Gab, football train rides,
and some might say, a slower pace.

Remember when there were "rainy day schedules" at Pansy Fetner School?
Or when being separated by railroad tracks until the 9th grade was the rule?
There are memories of visits after graduation and during college days,
Weddings, and some with you high school sweethearts showing us it wasn't just a phase.

Beach trips, ballgames, clubs, band, coop and jobs, black and white tv,
And even then, there wasn't much to see...
We could still get out of class for a pep rally, assembly, or to decorate a float.
Let's not forget our "Red Ram," -stronger than an ordinary goat!

Schools have changed in so many ways.
16 units was all we needed in our days.
Still & yet, reading about our graduates makes us stand tall,
And realize how much HHS did for us all!

No internet, texting, blackberry, ipod, twitter, or cells in our day.
But we had fun in our own way.
Childhoods of jump rope, marbles, bikes, roller skates, hopscotch-not high tech.
Did we even hear of someone being called a "wreck?"

Special friend memories for all of us,
And for me, the extra privilege of teaching quite a few of your sweet children who put up
no fuss.
Some send good wishes or touch base.
At those times our hearts produce a warm place.

Thanks to Roberta, Diana, Yvonne, Brenda, Bert and more,
Who made sure we got this chance to roar.
Generous donations, input, email, and the race,
To make sure we could all meet face to face!

Welcome HHS Class of 1960 and guests! Some of us are fortunate enough to live close
by, but we really appreciate those of you who traveled quite a distance to be here! Please
stand if you are from out of state. Thanks for that extra effort!

How fortunate we are to be celebrating our 50th high school reunion! We have lived long
enough to see many wonderful, exciting things and to also experience some very sad
things. There is always much to be grateful for, and I feel blessed to have gone to a small
high school where we had close bonds, good role models, a supportive community,
feelings of safety and security, and opportunities for carving our future. Loved the
advantages a small school gave-blessings for us in so many ways!

Linda then read a poem by Aleksandra Lachut of Poland, "As We Walk Our Path of Life," written 4 November 1988.*

"As we walk our path of life,
We meet people everyday.
Most are simply met by chance,
But some are sent our way.

Those become special friends,
Whose bond we can't explain.
The ones who understand us,
And share our joy and pain.

Their love contains no boundaries,
So, even when we are apart,
Their presence enhances us,
With a warmth felt in the heart.

This love becomes a passageway,
Where even the miles disappear.
These friends God sends our ways,
Remain forever near."

Again, welcome HAMLET HIGH FRIENDS! Enjoy this special occasion!

  * Aleksandra Lachut's material is used with permission pending from the author. 

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This page added 12 August 2005  -  Last updated 07 May 2012