Let the good times roll: Carr Central, county schools plan reunions

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 28, 2008

Reliving old rivalries and recalling old times will be the order of the day when former students and teachers of four Vicksburg and Warren County schools gather at two reunions.

Alumni of Carr Central High School will gather Friday night at the Vicksburg Convention Center and Saturday at the old Carr school on Cherry Street.

And those who attended Culkin Academy, Jett and Redwood schools will hold their reunion  Oct. 18 at Clear Creek Pavilion in Bovina.

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The Carr and Warren County reunions have been held in recent years and have grown in popularity, planners said.

“We hold ours every two years,” said Ethel Lagrone Pickens, Carr Central class of ’53. In 2004, more than 700 former students and teachers swamped City Auditorium, crowding the floor and drowning out the music and program with the noise of conversation, Pickens said. For the 2006 event, like this year, the planning committee went for the larger convention center.

Carr Central reunion organizers have invited Mayor Laurence Leyens, and Pickens promised he’ll get a special surprise.

“The whole idea of having people come home to a reunion like this was because our town started looking so much better,” Pickens said. “We were so proud that it was developing into something you were proud to come home to.”

Carr Central opened in 1932, Pickens said, and graduated its first class in 1933 and its final class in 1958. Pickens said her class of ’53 was “the best class Carr Central ever had — but we had no idea until the 2004 all-class reunion that every other class felt the same way about theirs as we do about ours!”

Registration for the Carr Central reunion will begin at 5 p.m. Friday upstairs at the convention center, where tables will be set up for the various graduating classes. A short program will begin downstairs at 6:30 p.m., but the majority of the evening will be left for partying and reminiscing, with a cash bar and food available throughout the evening.

Carr Central

The Carr Central High School 2008 All Alumni Reunion will kick off at 5 p.m. Friday with a one-hour registration at the Vicksburg Convention Center. Admission is $10. A program will be offered from 6:30 to 6:40 and a cash bar and food will be provided from 6:45 until 10. Festivities will resume Saturday with a reception and tours of the former Carr Central school, 1805 Cherry St., from 1 until 3 p.m.

Warren County

The Warren County All-School Reunion, for graduates/attendees of Culkin, Jett and Redwood, 1965 and before, will be at 10 a.m. Oct. 18 at Clear Creek Pavilion at Clear Creek Golf Course in Bovina. Admission is $5. Bring a covered dish, drinks and lawn chairs.

Saturday’s festivities will begin at 1 p.m. on the front lawn of the old Carr Central building on Cherry Street, Pickens said. A tour of the building, currently under renovation by owners Webber and Carolyn Brewer, will follow. “They’re in the process of turning it into a wonderful auditorium to be used for movies, plays and concerts,” with condominium units upstairs, Pickens said. Webber Brewer will speak to Carr alumni and explain plans to sell etched paving bricks to be placed on the grounds.

Two weeks later, on Oct. 18, the Warren County all-school reunion will bring alumni and staff from the three former county schools back together for a day of food and festivity.

Annie Douglas Warnock, Culkin Academy class of ’62 and one of the event’s planners, said alumni of the three schools were close not only with classmates from their own school, but the other two as well. “We did have great rivalries between the three schools, but now we share good memories.”

Culkin Academy, Jett and Redwood schools served Warren County students from first grade through high school, Warnock said, from about 1916 until Warren Central High School opened in 1965. Anyone who graduated from or attended one of the three schools is invited.

Warnock said a special part of the afternoon will be devoted to honoring former teachers and remembering teachers and students who have died.

Admission is $5, and those who attend are asked to bring a covered dish to share at what Warnock says will be a “virtual feast spread over numerous tables literally laden with delectable goodies.” People should also bring drinks and lawn chairs.

Golf carts will be used to shuttle people from the Clear Creek parking lot to the picnic area.

“It’s just a great thing,” Warnock said. “There’s a relaxed atmosphere where you can go and have a picnic and visit. We just never know who is going to be there.”

Past reunions have seen as many as 400 graduates from as far back as 1933 and 1934, she said.