50th Reunion of the 1952 Class of Demopolis High School
by Harry Coker '52
 

 On Friday morning, May 17th, several class members, and their spouses, toured the old high school, and grammar school buildings. The old high school building is now a middle school, and has been expanded to three times its original size. The original building is architecturally intact, and still houses classrooms. The oiled wooded floors have been replaced by tile, and royal blue lockers line the hallways. A very nice new high school has bee built off of highway 80. A brief tour of the old grammar school building revealed little change. The windows had been "boarded over", I suppose for air-conditioning purposes, and the basement and upper floor were gated off and not accessible. Some of us then went down to inspect the old canal between the grammar school and "Scratch Ankle", where we spent many boyhood days battling the enemy during WWII. I hate to report that the canal is now far too dirty for conducting a decent war.

Friday afternoon Eddie Willingham joined, Doug Lott, Ralph Lewis, Bobby Masengill, Bo Spear, William Logan and Harry Coker for golf. Anne Jones Fleming gave some of the ladies a tour of the town. A late afternoon thunderstorm resulted in strong winds and drastically falling temperatures, which persisted the remainder of the weekend. Many scurried to shop for warmer clothing. Several couples, who were staying at the Holiday Inn, were joined by other Demopolis resident classmates for dinner at the Fosque House restaurant on Friday evening.

The old Gaineswood mansion was open for a tour and barbeque on Saturday. This afforded many class members an opportunity to tour the beautifully restored mansion and visit with other former friends. Saturday evening the reunion gathering began with a cocktail hour followed by dinner at the New Orleans Bar and Grill, located on the Tombigbee River. All enjoyed a layout of memorabilia from our school years. Our nametags also carried a 1952 picture to aid in identification. All attendees gave a capsule of their past fifty years. We were joined by two former teachers, Ester Propst and Glen Bridges. Jimmy Spencer was selected as "Least Changed" male, and Ester Propst as "Least Changed" female. In a classic "senior moment", amid all the photos being taken, we failed to gather for a reunion class picture. In addition to the previously mentioned teachers those attending, with their spouses were; Asa Boozer, Julia Elliott (Boyd), Harry Coker, Ralph Lewis, William Logan, Doug Lott, Bobby Masengill, Janet Copeman (Masengill), Jack McPherson, Hawkins Moore, Bo Spear, Jimmy Spencer, Stiles (Buck) Ulmer, Babette Levy (Wampold), Agnes Anderson (Willingham), and Marilyn Brown (Hairston).

Sunday morning a lovely brunch, planned and prepared by Doug and Sue Lott, was held at the home of Doug's aunt, Mrs. Ernestine (Jim) Rogers.  A beautiful weekend of memories and fellowship was thoroughly enjoyed by all, but for me personally somewhat tinged with the sad awareness that this may well be the last time many of us see each other. All in all it was a great experience, and one I am grateful to have lived to enjoy. Many pictures were taken, and I have asked several people to send me copies so that I can compile a collage and forward along to all classmates, and to you for posting on the website.