This is the season for school reunions and just last week the class of 1935 from Lipan High School met for their 73rd reunion. Bernice Larner of Morgan Mill invited the surviving members of the class to lunch. She was joined by long-time friend, Euna (Smith) Guinn, 92, of Decatur and the only other surviving classmate, Eldon Clary, 90, of Milsap.
The class had 20 members — 10 boys and 10 girls - but more than seven decades after receiving their diplomas, only three are still around to reminisce.
“I went the first seven grades to Double Mountain School,” Eldon said. “It was a one-room school with seven grades and one teacher. It’s been gone a long time. There were just 11 grades then and after the 7th grade, you went to high school.”
Euna remembers those days, as well.
“We didn’t have electricity except in a few places in those days or hardly any modern conveniences,” Euna said. “We had radio but mostly we went to parties for entertainment. I remember those parties that we had at different houses and we had lots of fun playing games. Kids today would think that was boring, but we always had good times when we got together.”
Bernice also remembered what they did for entertainment.
“We had movies, too, upstairs at the Bean Store,” Bernice said. “We called it the Bean Store. It was really a grocery store but it’s been gone a long time.”
Eldon said she remembers the first movie she saw at the Bean Store.
“It was ‘Life Begins at Forty’ starring Will Rogers,” Eldon said.
The trio remembered that their senior trip was a bus ride to Fort Worth and a day spent in Forrest Park.
“Eldon was a good baseball player and he and the boys took on those carnival guys with booths where you throw a ball, knock over some bottles or something and then get a prize,” Bernice said.
Eldon began to laugh remembering that day 73 years ago when he and his friends almost put several side shows out of business because of their accuracy with baseballs.
The senior banquet in ‘35 was held at Bernice (Holder’s) house.
“I don’t really remember that,” she said, “but I have a memory book that says so. We didn’t have annuals then like they do today but we had those little books. Sam Russell made our commencement address and to this day I remember one thing he told us.”
Bernice looked thoughtful as she recalled that address by “Mr. Sam” as the well-known lawyer was called.
“He said to remember that you are third in this life. God is first, your family is second and you are third. I’ll always remember that.”
Bernice’s daughter, son-in-law and great-granddaughter joined the group for lunch, as did Euna’s daughter.
Bernice has played the piano for the Morgan Mill Baptist church for 70 years and on Oct. 11 will be honored with a party to celebrate her 90th birthday.
All three of the friends have lost their life-time partners but say they have enjoyed happy, full lives, and friendships that were formed 78 years ago have proved lasting.