On Sunday, July 8, 2018, approximately 100 individuals gathered at the Community Center in Glenwood for the annual Orange Reunion. The tables were decorated with orange and black table cloths and photos and memorabilia. Judy White Morris, class of 1953, did the table and other decorations.
Stan Howard served as MC for the afternoon, opening with everyone standing and singing the National Anthem followed by prayer before the bountiful meal. Susie Godar Owens of Clark’s Eastside Market prepared the delicious fried chicken and attendees pitched in with all sorts of delicious side dishes and desserts. Generous donations by those attending provided money for the chicken and other expenses.
Kathy Dunigan Briscoe and Linda Noble did the beverages. Dianne Medd, wife of ‘58 graduate Thomas Medd, served the chicken and arranged for table service. Wanda Estes Vaughn, Donna Granger Ashcraft, and Tammy Welter Mitchell, all former Orange Elementary students, served desserts and assisted with food placement as those attending arrived. They also helped with clean up.
Following the meal, the afternoon program began with a Memorial Service for those deceased since the reunion last year. Graduates included Ermal Alford Wilson class of 1935, James Blevins ‘37, Mariam McHenry Lykins ‘40, John Schlectweg ‘51, Tressie Bergen Boulware ‘54, Jeanette Pogue Mulliken ‘56 and Ethel Richardson May ‘57.
Non-graduates were Joyce Hensley Crutchfield, Sabra Bergen Louden, John Richardson, Darlene Lykins Reynolds, and Doug Proctor. Also passing since last reunion was Mary Ellen Bever, widow of William Bever ‘55. Mary Ellen was a long time employee of Orange Elementary School.
Several first time attendees were recognized as well as 8th grade graduates. All Orange High School graduates were ask to stand or wave to be recognized. There are now approximately 72 living graduates to the best of our knowledge.
Next, all armed forces veterans as well as former law enforcement officers were ask to stand for recognition.
A special public servant, a member of the class of 1955, was ask to come forward. R.J. White, known as Ronnie in his days at Orange High, served in the United States Air Force 1955-59. He became an Indiana State Trooper in 1962 and retired in 1988 after 26 years of service with the Indiana State Police. Following that, R.J. went on to work for Henry County where he served the public 18 years. He was recognized with a garden flag with the State Police emblem and inscription Proudly Served. A gift card for TSC was also presented. He humbly thanked those present for this honor.
The oldest graduate present was Frances May Jordan ‘40 followed by Eva Johnson Lamont ‘41. They were honored with carmel kisses in orange foil bags. Flossie Wicker McFall was honored as the only living member of the 70 year class of 1948. She received a mug inscribed with her name and class along with a photo of the school and a Tiger head, the school mascot.
Terry Guerin came forward and announced memorial donations had been given to purchase a speaker system in use for the first time for the program. It will be housed at the Fayette County Historical Museum and available for use at future reunions. Glenwood officials may request to use this equipment should the need arise.
Memorial Donations for Speaker were as follows:
From Terry Guerin in memory of Phyllis Jean Henry Guerin class of 1940 and her brother Paul Reed (Pedo) Henry OHS Class of 1931
From Marcia Guerin Ash and Sandy Guerin White in Memory of Helen Reed Beaver class of 1920 and Long time teacher at Orange High School; Also in memory of Miss Nellie Henry Barrett Orange graduate class of 1925 and long time elementary teacher at Orange and Susie Barrett Watterson class or 1958
From Vivian Walden of Fairfax, Virginia, in memory of her parents Henry and Lillian Walden and her classmate Gail McCambridge Vivian and Gail were sophomores when the school burned.
From Hank Myers class of 1957 in memory of The Myers Family
From Mary Richardson in memory of John Richardson class of 1954
From Grace Turner Clifford in memory of her parents Francis and Mildred Turner and her brother James “Big Jim” Turner class of 1954.
Donations from these individuals totaled $275, which more than covered the purchase of the speaker system.
Terry Guerin was the President of the 1958 graduation class and he made several remarks regarding Orange School history and traditions as well as how everyone felt the day of the fire. Sharon Plummer DeMoss joined Terry with thoughts of the day of the fire and how it affected the community.
The class was happy that the school was kept intact in an empty building in Rushville with graduation held there in May 1958. Sharon did a fantastic job of getting all remaining members of the class to attend as well as ordering mugs with photo of the school and names of class members to present to each member of the class. Sharon also had photo boards honoring her class and decorating their table. Magnets with photo of the school were presented to all those present who had attended the Orange building used 1912 to 1958
1958 Graduates present included Terry Guerin, Thomas Medd, Sharon Plummer DeMoss, Saundra Allen Lykins, Helen Bever Smith, Joan Bergen Wise, and Barbara Hammons Creech. Deceased members Norman Housman, Freddie Gallimore, Patsy Alexander Becht and Susie Barrett Watterson were honored with photos on a memory board prepared by Sharon DeMoss.
MC Stan Howard carried on a dialogue with classmate Donna Cullins Schroeder who were first graders when smoke and flames came into their classroom next to the furnace room. They also spoke of the transition to the building in Rushville where the school year continued. One of the best things was indoor plumbing as the old Orange building had no inside restrooms.
On a lighter note, Stan led the group in singing Take Me Out to The Ball Game with Donna presenting him with a box of Cracker Jack. Stan pointed out it is Jack not Jacks as some say.
Further remarks followed by Judy White Morris and Georgia Matney Lucas. Georgia emphasized the importance of keeping the reunion and also getting more of those who attended Orange Elementary taking an interest and new ideas are welcome to keep the reunion interesting and something more will want to be a part of.
Donna presented Nick Mustin the Turner Scholarship on behalf of Grace Turner Clifford who has been giving scholarships to CHS seniors who attended Orange Elementary. Grace started this in 1996 in memory of her parents long time Orange Township residents Francis and Mildred Turner and adding her husband Gary Clifford to the scholarship following his death in 2014. Grace Sarmiento was also a scholarship recipient, but could not be present at the reunion .
Many door prizes donated by those attending were awarded the drawing being conducted by Linda Walden Showalter assisted by Mary Richardson.
We wish to acknowledge Gary Steele of ABC Graphics from whom we purchased the commemorative mugs, magnets and garden flag. Sandy Guerin White, Nilah Lewark Cox,Marie Fee, Sharon Plummer DeMoss, and those who advertised the reunion on their facebook accounts.Thanks to the Connersville and Rushville newspapers for running the announcements as well as the radio station who announced the reunion. The Glenwood Center has been reserved for the second Sunday in July for next year, a planning committee meeting will be announced and we hope some of the younger former students will take key roles in keeping this reunion going.
The program ran long, not leaving time for an official business meeting and for the entertainment to perform. Derrick grandson of Sandy and RJ White a fifteen year old gifted banjo player who had played two years ago, came prepared to perform for us.
The group sang the school song as is the tradition each year. We wish to apologize to the class of 1958 because a group photo was not taken. We are submitting a photo of the class as seniors in the hall of the Orange High School taken from the 1958 ANOHI (Annual of Orange High).
When the new Fayette County Historical Society museum opens soon, much of the Orange memorabilia, including the scoreboard from the old high school building, will be on display.