Highland Springs High School Reunions Find a Highland Springs Springer Join Springer Connection - FREE
Highland Springs High School

find your friends
join up, slacker
message board
reunion info
help out
the small towns
what was in then
pretty good food
detention hall
you're in trouble
editorial rant
op-ed column
your two cents
current exploits
coach's corner
reunions past
tell a friend

Class of '83 Reunion ----
"Everyone just sparkled"

By Arla Taylor Monday

After months of planning and anticipation, the Highland Springs Class of 83 reached another milestone in its life, the 20th year High School Reunion. Endless e-mails, phone calls, and letters searched out as many classmates as possible. Invitations were mailed and responses counted. Flyers were posted, radio and cable advertisements ran, and contact information was quickly scribbled on any form of paper all over the city. Hurricane Isabel blew in and complicated last minute planning and Xeroxing activities. Calendars were cleared, babysitters hired, new outfits purchased, and a crash diet or two were common activities before the weekend of October 4th.

As the crowd gathered at the Richmond Omni, unsure glances gave way to screams of “Oh my Gosh!” and waves of laughter. The cliques of youth fell by the wayside as joy filled the room with each hug. Memories were sparked by Alumni books and great displays of memorabilia. A special table honored Patrice Foster and Oliver Stith for their continuing service in the United States Military. Another display remembered the four Faculty members who have passed away since graduation. Portraits with spouses or groups of friends could be taken. The many hors d’oeuvres’ and Stir Fry bar were enjoyed for hours.

After a brief Welcome by Class President Mary Pastore Bestafka, the members of the Reunion Committee were introduced: Angie Riggle Matthews, Darlene Gibson Clavin, Anna Hurt Pope, Mary Pastore Bestafka, Liza Bruce, Willie Fobbs, James Bracey and yours truly. Master of Ceremonies, Willie Fobbs, then presented several classmates with awards. Those included:

Revina Atkins Payette – first check received in the Post Office Box
Eda Spivey Price – newest Mom (18 day old Patricia was even in attendance)
David Wright – newest Dad

“A lot of you may dream about Rockets at your job, but how many of you actually help test them?” asked Willie as he presented Ron Olton the award for “ Classmate with the most interesting Job”.

Many classmates received gifts in honor of their 15 year or longer marriage. (NO, we were not allowed to add up multiple events!)

Four couples were recognized for their special “Classmate married Classmate” status:
Thomas and Anna Hurt Pope
Ronnie and Pam Cash Robbins
John and Karen Kirkland Brooks
Brian and Susan Paciocco Pence

“Farthest Distance Traveled to Attend” was award to Oliver Stith, who flew in from Italy to attend. Honorable mention was given to Doug Liggons for driving in from Tennessee with his 6 year old in the car.

But all agree the most special moment of the evening was the standing ovation as Liza Bruce was recognized as the “Classmate who has overcome the most Challenges”. Cheers, whistles, and applause filled the room as eyes filled with tears. Of that moment, Liza later commented, “I was overwhelmed by the kindness and support of my classmates. I feel so grateful to have been able to celebrate our 20th reunion with so many good friends who were such an important part of my life when we were in school. The evening was more special than I could have ever imagined.”

After a group picture of all the classmates was snapped, the formal program gave way to the true party. The dance floor didn’t get a rest once the DJ began his program. The days of Sugar Hill Gang and Eye of the Tiger were long forgotten as The Cha Cha Slide filled the night. Guests of the wedding reception in the banquet room next door couldn’t resist our fun and bailed out on the bride and groom to party with the Springers. After pushing the Omni to its limit of 12 midnight, many left in groups to continue the fun downtown, at home, and even in the penthouse. “Everyone just sparkled. I thought the whole night exceeded my expectations in every way,” commented Jennie Aultman Marron.

Despite the late hours and hangovers, a large crowd turned out for the Family Picnic on Sunday at Dorey Park. As the toddlers played catch, those classmates with teenagers compared stories and methods of torture for dealing with kids who, strangely, sounded just like the very classmate we were talking to. During lunch, many enjoyed the chance to catch up with those that they missed the night before and exchange phone numbers with promises made to “Do this more often”. As the families gathered to leave, each classmate seemed to walk a little taller. The memories of teenage awkwardness and self-doubt were finally laid to rest. The realization that we are all friends, spouses, parents, employees, employers, homemakers, and citizens together, all just trying to get by, gave great comfort and self-confidence.

We are the Class of 83.

We are Springers.


See the photos from the Class of '83 20-year Reunion in the Yearbook >>

Photos in the Yearbook!
See the photos from the Class of '83 20-year Reunion in the Yearbook >>
Sound Off!

Your Two Cents

This is your chance to add Your Two Cents.

You can also send us your feedback, what you like about the Springer Connection, what we can do better, and what just stinks. We will post the good ones on the Your Two Cents Page (minus the profanity, of course).





You Don't Know Jack!

Get the latest rant from the crayon of Jack Adkins >>

Donna Gets It Right!
Be sure to check out the wit and wisdom of Donna Jenkins Monnin >