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You Don't Know Jack Adkins

Jack AdkinsEditorial ----


Class of 1973 30-Year Reunion Report- -

I JUST RETURNED HOME from the Class of 1973 30-Year Reunion. Having never attended any of the previous reunions I had a certain amount of trepidation, as I wasn’t sure what to expect.

I didn’t want to go in with expectations too high or too low. So I compromised by having two sets of expectations. One was a low expectation in case Murphy’s Law kicked in and very few people showed up. The other was a high expectation in which everything would go all right and the average amount of people showed up and we end up having a good time.

Let me tell you this…the Class of `73 30-Year Reunion far exceeded my wildest expectations! I am thoroughly thrilled. I would like to take this moment to thank our Reunion Committee for doing an excellent job. I am so damned happy that I can hardly stand it. I am still dancing on the ceiling over the reunion. Like I said, I want to thank the following people: Tommy Atkinson, David Jackson, Kirk Lindsey, Luanne Smith Norvell, Steve Powers, Vicky Covey Umphlett, Tommy Tiller, Ellen Spell Weaver, and Dan Zodun. You guys did an excellent job!

David Jackson’s Memorabilia Room was amazing. This guy’s collection of stuff from high school blew me away. He kept everything! He even had an envelope with Wayne Baker’s mustache trimmings! ( I’m just kidding). But he did have all kinds of incredible stuff like the little rubber footballs the cheerleaders threw out and SF sorority sweatshirts (Where did he get those? I keep imagining a sorority girl running around in the dark clutching her arms tight to her bosom screaming that someone snagged her sweatshirt.). He had gym shorts (Ugh.) and those little pre-game booster ribbons too. Not to mention record albums and 8-track tapes from the era. I’m telling you that you had to see it to believe it.

The night before the reunion was the SpringerConnection Get-Together in the Wings bar and grill in the Airport Hilton. My mind was reeling right from the beginning by seeing all of those faces from 30 years ago. Not long after arriving at the get-together, I was looking around trying to recognize people and then I got the first surprise of the weekend. Lo and behold, I see Ronnie Ludwig. I had asked on several occasions over the years, “Had anyone seen or heard from Ronnie Ludwig?” and no one that I ever asked had any knowledge of his whereabouts. But here he was right in front of me. The magic of the reunion had begun to kick in. I asked Ronnie what he had been doing all the years and he said mostly teaching music and loving every minute of it.

The second thing that really surprised me was seeing Harry Shelton (a.k.a. "Bump"). I wasn’t surprised to see Bump (I knew he was coming to the Reunion), but I WAS surprised by one of his memories of me. He walked up and shook my hand and said he was glad to see me again. We exchanged the typical handshaking and backslapping that goes on at reunions, but then Harry turns to me and says,”C-C-R”. I said “Huh?” and he repeats “C-C-R.” I ask, “Are you talking about Creedence Clearwater Revival?” and Harry says “Yeah, that was your favorite band, wasn’t it?” Now this is blowing my mind, which by this time of the evening isn’t very hard to do. It is amazing that of all the things he would remember about me, he remembered what my favorite band was. I didn’t think anyone remembered what music I preferred to listen to. This is further proof of the magic of the reunion. Harry has been busy as the vice-principal of a high school in San Diego.

If I had to select someone other than me having the most fun at the reunion, it would have to be Jay Crouch (shown on the right with Mark Pye). He was working the room laughing, joking, handshaking and high-fiving everyone when he wasn’t busy dancing with and hugging the women. I was having fun watching Jay have fun. What a card! I could have sworn I saw him in four places at one time. I hope that wasn't the case, because the world is not ready for more than one Jay Crouch.

I was just running around the room trying to visit with as many people as possible. Talking, shaking hands, hugging and trying to catch up on thirty years in just a few minutes with each person. I got to talk with Alfred Saddon, Johnny Delaney, Sue Kurzman, Steve Shifflet, Janet Robinson, Reggie Brown, and a host of other people. I can think of almost as many people that I saw that I didn’t get a chance to talk to for whatever reason. Mostly it was because they were embroiled in another conversation and by the time they were done I was engaged in conversation with someone else. It was like a giant social poppy field, and I felt like a butterfly trying to land on as many as possible.

A really significant note about the 30-Year reunion was that for many people this was the FIRST reunion they had ever attended. I think that is pretty cool. It was really great to see people that I have not seen in thirty years. What you will also notice in the photos of the reunion is that across the board people are having a great time.

I’m so glad I was able to get Dodie Campbell and Sharon Hunt to recreate the well-known “Head Leaning” photo from the 1973 "Highlander" yearbook. I think it turned out great and is an appropriate icon for the `73 reunion because it kinds sums up what it is all about without words.

ALL IN ALL, I think the HSHS Class of `73 is a special group of people. We were together during a time in history where the world was changing. We were coming out of the Hippie era, just coming out of Viet Nam … just coming of age. We developed and maintained friendships with many people from other class years, so that it almost seems like the lines that separate the different class years are almost completely erased. Which is why I believe that we should combine all the 70’s class years into one big reunion.

I had so much fun that I’d do it again tomorrow if I had the chance, which is one of the reasons I am going to make it to the "Blast From The Past” Springer Party on August 16th. Hope to see you there----

Anyone planning a 31st –Year reunion?



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