A trip down memory lane, Panther celebrates 60th class reunion Friday

Published 1:28 pm Thursday, October 12, 2023

BROOKHAVEN — Ole Brook’s homecoming week marks the 60th class reunion for Elaine Brewer and the first class reunion for her grandson Hunter Brewer. Elaine said she remembers when lunch was 25 cents and a gallon of gas was as low as 19 cents. 

She is looking forward to a class reunion dinner at Mitchell’s Catering on Brookway Boulevard following the homecoming production Friday at 3pm Ole Brook has a homecoming production Thursday at 6 as well. 

Brewer said she was a part of the homecoming production when she was in high school. Her and her friends were flapper dancers for a roaring 20s show theme. 

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“We had a great time. We had it back then and were honoring classes celebrating 40 and 50 year reunions,” Brewer said. “I never gave it much thought but I’m happy to be celebrating a 60th reunion. I feel great, I don’t feel like I’m this old.”

She said she tries to go to the homecoming production every 10 years. Her class motto was “There will never, ever be a class as great as the class of ‘63.”

Precious memories

Brewer said English teacher Theresea Abshaken, math teacher Blanche Mathison and world history teacher Donald Hemphill made an impact on her life. Hemphill was a decorated World War II veteran and was so kind to everyone. She remembers math teacher Ms. Ball and literature teacher Ms. Seavey as well. 

“On graduation night we had an ‘all night party.’ The Exchange Club opened the park for us and we rode rides, then went to the movies, and wound up at someone’s house for breakfast in the wee hours of the morning,” Elaine said. “We walked and rode our bikes all over town. Walked to and from the movies at night and stayed outside until after dark most nights during the summer. We could see the double feature, a newsreel, buy popcorn and a coke for 25 cents.”

She said the movie theater they went to back then was The Haven theater on Cherokee. 

Mamie Martin Elementary School was being built while she was in the fifth and sixth grade so they went to school in two houses across the street from First Baptist Church. 

“Our lunch was either Bob’s or our own,” she said. 

Life after Ole Brook

Her maiden name was Stuard until she married George Brewer. Elaine graduated in 1963 from Brookhaven High School and went to Co-Lin. George was in the Air Force so they lived in Tampa and Tucson, Arizona until he got out of the military and moved back to Brookhaven. 

Elaine worked for Employment Services until her children went off to college and they needed more money. She decided to work in real estate and is currently with Betsy Smith Properties. 

“I was constantly helping new employers find housing when they moved to town, so I decided I might as well make a little money doing that,” Elaine said. “I thought it was a fun way to do it.” 

The Brewers have three children. Michael Brewer, who lives in Brookhaven and works for Entergy, Whitney Rutter, who lives in Pike County and works for an insurance company and Georgia Brewer, who works as a nurse in New Orleans. 

Her granddaughter Ava Rutter is a senior at McComb and her grandson Hunter Brewer won the prestigious Sam Bounds Scholarship as a graduating student athlete last year. Brewer is studying electrical engineering at Co-Lin. 

“He has taken after his grandfather and father, he enjoys golf all the time,” Elaine said. “I’m so proud of both of them.” 

George was a karate instructor so people will come up to him often in public to tell him he taught them, Elaine said. 

She said she and her husband have traveled all over the United States, visited all 50 states and a few foreign countries. Brookhaven will always be home to her. 

“I would still choose Brookhaven to live in. I just love the hometown atmosphere. I just love it,” Elaine said. “We love the small town atmosphere, friendly people, ease of getting around and most of all family.”