Deprecated: Hook custom_css_loaded is deprecated since version jetpack-13.5! Use WordPress Custom CSS instead. Jetpack no longer supports Custom CSS. Read the documentation to learn how to apply custom styles to your site: in /wordpress/wp-includes/functions.php on line 6078 To the Class of ’74 | Kathy Nickerson

I’m not sure we will have an official 50th-class reunion this year. We are all busy, and most of us live a long way from the little school where we first met. So, I decided to host a celebration on my blog. Here’s to us, the Atlanta High School Class of 1974. Whether you walked the stage with us or shared a classroom at some point along the journey, you belong.

I’ll share a few of my memories, mostly in random order. Please feel free to add your own.

Kindergarten didn’t exist at our school back in the day, so that morning in first grade was a whole new world for all of us. (Except Connie, who had gone to kindergarten in Hawaii.) Most of us would spend the next twelve years together.

We learned to read with Mrs. Epperson and to write cursive with Mrs. Lowery. We were in Mrs. Anderson’s second-grade classroom celebrating birthdays when President Kennedy was shot.

We wrote poetry with Mrs. Love and encountered technology for the first time with Mrs. Mansfield’s giant, interactive map of state capitals. She also gave us our first taste of the creative arts when we wrote, produced, and acted our one-act plays. Beth’s death scene from Little Women still brings me to tears.

Mrs.Thompson taught us to diagram sentences and to separate guppy babies from their parents so they wouldn’t be eaten. She tried to break us from saying, “ain’t”, and she sometimes let us spend entire afternoons creating cardboard box art.

We got on the busses to go home an hour early the first day of seventh grade because we didn’t understand the bell system. Two years later we marched into the auditorium keeping time to Pomp & Circumstance as we left junior high behind.

We had last-day-of-school picnics at Rothwell park with a special stop at Candy Land.  And we sang “April Love” at or junior prom. Okay, the girls sang. We were always bossing the boys around as I remember.

We launched the first chapter of The Future Homemakers of America, and most of us still face the future with warm courage and high hopes.

We became charter members of the AHS National Honor Society, thanks to the efforts of Mrs. Marsh, who knew much more about life than just math.

The boys in our class were among the last to receive draft numbers through the lottery system that ended in 1975. Our soldiers had been in Viet Nam since we were ten-years-old. We were told the boys probably wouldn’t have to go, but we still made decisions as if our futures might march of in a green uniform and never return.

After graduation, we went on to do amazing things. And hard things. And things we would rather not discuss anymore because we are different people now.

One of our classmates returned to become a beloved teacher in our school. Another served as mayor of our hometown. We have become nurses, farmers, teachers, caretakers, authors, church members, business leaders, spouses, parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.

In our lifetime, we’ve gone from party-lines to smart phones. From watching the moonwalk on a fuzzy, black and white TV while our dad held the antenna to teaching Zoom school or video-chatting with the grandkids over breakfast.

We have loved. We have lost. And many of us have risen from the dust.

Wherever life has taken us, let’s remember today how we started out together. Let’s celebrate what we have learned and who we have helped one another to become.

Fifty years is a long time, but it went by in just a blink. I am grateful to have shared a portion of it with you.