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Kingston Springs/Bellevue Reunion—a success!

Left to right are:  Georgia Linda (Taylor) McWhorter, Clitie (Taylor) McPeak, Joel Taylor, and Margie (Taylor) Ogren.

Left to right are: Georgia Linda (Taylor) McWhorter, Clitie (Taylor) McPeak, Joel Taylor, and Margie (Taylor) Ogren.

On October 26, 2013, a Kingston Springs/Bellevue Reunion for the graduating classes of 1963,64, and 65 was held at Montgomery Bell State Park. Approximately 90 people attended, the weather cooperated, good food was enjoyed, and old friendships were renewed. There was much hugging, storytelling, and laughter.

John Spain was the MC and kept the activities moving. Leading up to the reunion, he also had provided a marvelous website complete with historical information, pictures, videos and more. The website will continue to be available for viewing until the end of the year at http// Jason Darks was the very professional DJ for the event. He played very appropri-

ate 60’s and 70’s music and projected pictures from the website on a big screen throughout the evening. Janice (Turner) Dooley provided a delicious meal with all the fixin’s. Many guests added to the spread by bringing scrumptious desserts, including a variety of fried pies.

The program was begun with Carolyn (McElroy) Cauthen reciting her touching, original welcome poem, Janice Crocker leading the Pledge of Allegiance, the singing of the Kingston Springs Alma Mater and a prayer delivered by Roger Patterson, Joyce (Petty) Beshears, and Walter Robinson. Later, Janice Pendergrass-Lawrence, with much appreciated information provided by Ms. Priscilla Beard Dorris, gave a brief history of Kingston Springs. Noted historical figures mentioned were President William McKinley, who once stayed at the Kingston Springs Hotel in the Springs Lot and Jessie James who stayed at the Maple Shade Hotel in Craggie Hope.

A trip down memory lane was led by a group of storytellers. Homer Dodson revived vivid memories of the longtime, strict but beloved, principal at Kingston Springs and Pegram schools, Ms. Carrie Street and her paddle. Willie and Walter Robinson told endearing stories about their mother and longtime teacher at Kingston Springs and Pegram schools, Ms. Helen Robinson. Margie (Taylor) Ogren revealed the truth about an age old mystery surrounding a foul smell in the Kingston Springs school cafeteria, when she and friends stuffed many days of unwanted food into a cafeteria table leg. Finally, Cindy (Brake) Lee and Roger (Tiger) Jones brought laughter and tears with their stories about several past Bellevue teachers, including Coach Reasons, Ms. Davenport, Ms. Safely, and Mr. Shelton. I only wish I had been there when Mr. Shelton threw the burning trash can out of the chemistry lab window.

Then there was the reunion at the reunion. The Taylor siblings, Georgia Linda, Clitie, Joel, and Margie, had not seen each other together for over 10 years. They, and extended family, came from South Carolina, Alabama, and other parts of Tennessee to meet at the reunion. They were able to visit with each other and with old friends. They called it a “once in lifetime event!” (see picture)

When all was said and done, the planning committee agreed that the event had been a success. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, certainly many friendships were renewed, the weather cooperated and we were even inclined to possibly plan a future reunion.

This article can’t end without one thing being said. The reunion planning committee, Melba (Finch) Christy, Faithe (Overton) Cook, Janice Crocker, Janice (Turner) Dooley, Janice Pendergrass-Lawrence, Vicki (Smith) Oguin, and John Spain, wants to express much thanks to all those who attended and participated in this reunion “happening”! Without people, no reunion can be a success.

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