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BY MIKE AVITT
I scanned this photo from the collection of LaViece Barker many years ago. It’s high school reunion time so I’ll tell some stories about that.
I went to my first Mount Ayr High School Alumni Reunion in, I believe, 2005. It might be 2006 but I remember I was the only one there who had graduated in the 1970s. There was only one graduate there from the 1960s and that was Alice (Minnick) Beavers. I thought it was unusual, but I know now that it was normal.
I’m currently secretary/treasurer for the Mount Ayr High School Alumni Association and we have not succeeded in making the reunion attractive to graduates under 65 years old, but we keep trying. I love reunions but I’m a “joiner” and a “belonger’ at heart so it comes natural for me. I’ll give you some highlights from some reunions I’ve attended.
In 2014, while we were in the middle of our program, the Mount Ayr High School Boys Track Team walked in carrying their banner, trophies, and medals. They had just won the state title in their class. To make things better, many members of the Class of 1964 were there as the honored class, being their 50 year reunion. The 1964 boys track team had finished second in state and so it was quite a treat to see members of both track teams at the same time.
I’ve met many people at these reunions and I could talk about a hundred of them but I’ll just mention a couple. Bob Bryant came up to me one year and we talked about his dad, Fay Bryant, who built the skating rink and the Sandwich Shop. Bob enjoyed our picture slideshow and we had a good visit. The other I have to mention is Ruth Angus who graduated in 1934 and came to the reunions as long as she was able. She was always enthusiastic and glad to be there.
Now, believe it or not, I actually enjoy our guest speakers. We often ask principals, coaches, or superintendents to say a few words and I’m always surprised at the topics they choose to speak on. I know nothing about education (my former teachers will back me up on that), school structure, funding, transportation, and most other school-related activities. I know very little about technology, college, and sports, so I always hear something I didn’t know.
Another thing that happens often is people come up to me and say Merrill Perry, my step-father, was their favorite teacher. I also have people approach me and thank me for writing this history column as they subscribe to the Mount Ayr Record-News. It’s my pleasure, folks.
This article will come out after the reunions are over so I hope you supported your high school if you could and I hope you had a good time with some old friends.