SHS Class of 1961 celebrates 50th reunion

SHS Class of 1961<br /> <br /> Front row, from left: David Dangerfield, Gladys Bunch Thomas, Loretta Myers Atkins, Bonnie Connell Sweat, Bubba Pfaehler, Sandra Patrick, Ophelia Christian, Bill McKinzie and Edmund Wright. <br /> Back row, from left: Gus Moody, Glenn Flowers, Cindy Leonard Kornahrens, Reggie Daves, David Sox, Jim Ingram, Grace Motte Clopper, John Earl Lee, Frankie Floyd Royer, Vivian Osborne Rose, Betty Meyers Patrick, Penny Ohrman Bernstein, Ernest Jackson and Buzz Lewis.<br />

Summerville High School’s Class of 1961 gathered at Rollings Middle School on Friday afternoon for a tour of what was their high school at the time.

The tour kicked off a weekend of festivities as classmates celebrated their 50th reunion. Some of the 108 who graduated had not seen each other in 50 years. Others had met at the 15, 20, 25 and 40-year reunions.

The Class of ’61 was the first to graduate on the football field at Memorial Stadium, said Grace Motte Clopper, who was the class president and came from Maryland for the reunion.

Others came from as far as California, Texas, Minnesota, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia and several locations throughout South Carolina. Some have stayed in Summerville since graduating.

Gus Moody became the SHS band director and also taught band at elementary and middle schools before retiring in 1986.

Frankie Floyd Royer moved to Summerville in 1957 as a freshman at SHS, where her father, Hugh Floyd, was the principal. Royer was also class treasurer.

In those days students drove school buses for $35 a month. Royer and Reggie Daves were among the student bus drivers.

“Everyone knew everyone,” Vivian Rose said. “The Cub was the only drive-in (movie theater) in town. You didn’t get out of your car. They had the best burgers and chocolate shake.”

The Cub was located near the intersection of U.S. 78 and Main Street, near where Gino’s Pizzeria is now, Glen Flowers said.

Daves played on the football team along with classmates Converse Chellis (who was unable to tour Rollings), Reid Charpia and Randall Gelser.

Daves said at lunch there would be pickup basketball games on the courtyard that is now covered with a breezeway that leads to the gym.

The gym hasn’t changed much, Penny Orhman Bernstein said. Bernstein, one of the reunion’s organizers, was the manager of the girl’s basketball team, which was very popular then, she said.

Cindy Kornahrens was Miss Green Wave in 1961. Tommy Riley was the senior class Vice President.

Classmates then gathered at the Holiday Inn in the Hospitality Suite for socializing and reminiscing.

On Saturday they met for lunch, the main event, at the Woodlands Inn.

Clarice Foster, 94, taught English to the Class of ’61 and she also attended the reunion. The 1961 annual was dedicated to her.

Coach John McKissick and coach Comp McCurry also attended.

Welcome packages were given out that included updated information about classmates and a memory walk of the past.

After dinner classmate David Sox, the MC, gave a slide show of the time and events of last year in school before graduating.

The evening was closed with dancing, and warm and fond memories. A grateful appreciation was extended to Bernstein and Royer with their committee for an event that became a reality for 50 years that will be long remembered.

Bonnie Sweat, Class of ’61, contributed to this story.