Saturday, June 18 marked the 100th year of Buckskin Alumni banquets in South Salem.
Preceding the banquet, a social hour was hosted by the ladies of the class of the McClain class of 1976: Diane Garrison Bell, Katy Free Farber and Sheryl Newman Wise.
President Shari Crabtree Rolfe, McClain class of ‘76, welcomed the alumni and guests followed by astor Mark Current (‘77) giving the invocation. McCoys of Wilmington catered the buffet meal.
The meeting was called to order by the president. A list of the 18 alumni who passed away since the last banquet was read, followed by a moment of silence: Charles Bowers ‘36, June McCloskey Allen ‘41, Lois Jane Ulen Depoy ‘42, Willard Anderson ‘43, Kenny “Pete” Roll ‘43, Robert Crusie ‘44, Ruth Zeigler Myers ‘45, Richard Shaw ‘45, Gerald Ulen ‘47, Mary Storts Orr ‘50, Virginia Wisecup Slane ‘52, Charles Edgington ‘58, Joan Drummond Johnson ‘60, Phyllis Kinnison Kisling ‘60, William Barton ‘65, Judy Beechler Mossbarger ‘58, Jim Renner ‘63 and Donald Bowers ‘40.
The first order of business was the reading of the 99th alumni banquet minutes by Sandy Smith Parker ‘62. The roll call was answered by 65 Buckskin graduates, 34 Buckskin eighth grade grads and three former teachers. A total of 168 were in attendance. A rose was presented to the oldest graduates in attendance: Ruth Anderson Bristley ‘35; Suzanna Benner Gregg ‘38; and Donna Shepler Angel ‘41.
Larry Olaker ‘63 of the nominating committee presented the slate of officers for the 217 banquet. They are: president Lu Ann Lucas Roe M’76; vice president Joe B. Stuart M’75; secretary Gretchen Speakman Foltz M’88; and treasurer Linda Stant McGinnis ‘82. Nominations were closed and the motion to accept was carried.
Treasurer Sherry Truitt Hudson ‘65 gave the treasurer’s report; after all bills were paid there is a balance forward of $253.50. There were 167 paid reservations.
The first honor class to be recognized was that of 1946. Remarks were given by the Wisecups: Claude and Gene. The class of 1956 was represented by Ronnie Barber. He said there were 22 in their class and they have 12 deceased members. He shared some of their special memories and how they loved their time at Buckskin.
The class of “would-be Buckskin grads” McClain ‘66 was represented by Della Truitt Bates and Mike Sams. Truitt shared how hard the transition for them had been to be in a new large school their senior year; an experience Buckskin grads could not relate to at the tender age of 17. She shared their special times and the love they have for Buckskin. Sams gave a humorous account of their Buckskin years and the special place Buckskin holds in their heart.
A very informative presentation was given by Lu An Rose M’76 of the very first Buckskin Alumni Banquet in 1896. It was the second year the new school was in session. She shared a copy of the first banquet program with each member. Those in attendance tried to imagine the dress and atmosphere at that first event. Excitement must have filled the air.
Next on the program was a delightful presentation by the talented Susan Curry Winchell M’67 of the song “School Days.” Winchell sang the lyrics as they would change to fit each generation of students.
Lew Speakman ‘63 gave the yearly report for the SAVE committee. He had a wonderful display of pictures and items for sale. The balance in the account is $628.25. Speakman shared some of the items received this year: Bob Bristley’s “warm-up basketball jacket” from his basketball record-setting days at Buckskin High, and items from Aron Neely’s Manufacturing.
In closing, President Crabtree thanked the many individuals who contribute to the banquet’s success.
The 100th Buckskin Alumni Banquet came to a close with the traditional singing of “Auld Lang Syne.”
Submitted by Sandy Parker