Faithful Friends — Brookhaven High School Class of 1957 remains close through the years
Once graduation is over, many classmates drift apart. Everyone goes his or her separate way. There may be a reunion every 10 years or so, but nothing more.
One Brookhaven class has broken that tradition by meeting every month for the past 10 years. The Brookhaven High School Class of 1957 meets the last Friday of each month at Poppa’s to visit, eat and catch up. You may think after meeting once a month for such a long time, the classmates have caught up on most school memories; but if one were to eavesdrop on the class, he would hear stories about fighting in the locker room and flirting in the activities building.
Roffie Burt is credited with starting the monthly meeting. He even put together an updated book with all class and individual information, complete with pictures and biographies submitted by members. Burt compiled the book for the 50th reunion.
What’s so special about the BHS Class of 1957, you may ask? Why have they remained such a close-knit group?
“We were really close in high school,” said Shirley Sandifer.
The close group averages about 25-30 attendees a meeting. Friday, May 31, marked 10 years for the monthly class meetings.
“We were a close class, mainly because we had such wonderful teachers,” said Glenda Thornhill.
One of their outstanding teachers was present for the gathering, Coach Sinclair and his wife, Martha. The class’s love for their basketball coach was evident.
“He’s been an inspiration to all of us – not just a basketball coach, but a life coach,” said Doris White Winborne.
Winborne said Coach Sinclair taught the group in eighth grade and they dedicated their senior yearbook to him.
“Coach Sinclair taught me the almighty hook shot,” added Winborne.
Elizabeth West Wesse admitted about the coach, “We were just google-eyed over him because he was so tall and handsome.”
Robert Trigg of Madison said Sinclair turned a lot of lives around.
“He sure turned my life around,” said Trigg.
Trigg wasn’t the only out-of-towner present. Several members come from out of town for the monthly meeting, including Baton Rouge, La., Jackson and Sumrall.
Out of a class of 78, as many as 37 have attended the gathering.
“We didn’t have any little cliques,” said Sue Dorman, of the close class.
Wesse said the 50s was an era where everybody knew each other.
“We just accepted each other and had fun,” she said.
Visitor Billy Peevey, Class of 1959, mentioned that kids today can’t sit around outside at school.
“In the mornings, we would stand around outside and visit until the bell rang,” said Ann Moncrief Morris.
Brookhaven High School also had an activities building, where students could visit. School these days doesn’t allow much visiting time, which may be another reason the classmates became such good friends.
“Mr. Versie Adams had a concession stand in the activities building. You could get a coke for a nickel and a pack of nabs for a nickel. A lot of the time, we had a pack of nabs for lunch and spent all our time flirting and visiting,” said Wesse.
In the book Burt compiled are “comments heard in 1957.” The following are included:
“I’ll tell you one thing, if things keep going the way they are, it’s going to be impossible to buy a week’s groceries for $20.”
“I never thought I’d see the day all our kitchen appliances would be electric. They are even making electric typewriters now.”
“Did you see where some baseball player just signed a contract for $75,000 a year just to play ball? It wouldn’t surprise me if someday they’ll be making more than the president.”
No, there will never be another time like the 50s.
“We had to sit in alphabetical order in the classroom,” remembered Carol Allen Cobb.
And most of the classmates still call each other by their maiden names.
After eating, laughing, catching up and reminiscing, Clyde Allgood always entertains the group with jokes and briefs everyone on any news.
“He entertains us with us jokes,” said Martha Sinclair.
It’s clear these classmates truly love each other.
“We’ve just always cared about each other,” said Morris.
Members of the BHS Class of 1957 and visitors present at the Friday meeting were Dannie Sue Adams Dorman, Carol Allen Cobb, Barbara (Allgood) and Willie Earl McKenzie, Clyde and Audrey Allgood, Shirley Britt Sandifer, Roffie and Joyce Ann Burt, Louie Entrican, Rudy Grenn, Vedia Grace Hall Givens, Myrtis Hoover Rollins, Tommy Lofton, Ann Moncrief Morris and granddaughter, Laura, Billy and Virginia Peavey, Raymond and Reba Roberts, Glenda Thames Thornhill, Robert Trigg and daughter, Leigh, Paul and Oree Walker, Elizabeth West Wesse, Doris White Winborne and Coach and Martha Sinclair.