OUR PLACE IN TIME DID NOT END IN 1969

OUR FOUNDATION

GOOD AFTERNOON TIGERS AND TIGERETTES OF FAIR STREET  & E.E. BUTLER HIGH SCHOOL.  IT IS TRULY AN HONOR, AND HUMBLING EXPERIENCE TO ADDRESS YOU TODAY AND ACKNOWLEDGE MY CLASSMATES AS WE CELEBRATE OUR 50TH YEARS OF LIFE AFTER GRADUATING FROM THE ILLUSTRIOUS E.E. BUTLER HIGH SCHOOL.  IN MY MIND FROM THE BEGINNING OF ENTERING THE DOORS OF A SCHOOL THAT WAS NAMED TO HONOR THE FIRST BLACK DOCTOR IN GAINESVILLE, GA., I KNEW THAT WHAT WAS PROBABLY EXPECTED OF ME  AND THE OTHER STUDENTS “NOTHING BUT EXCELLENCE”!!!  AND GUESS WHAT, THAT IS WHAT WE RECEIVED DAILY, WHETHER You WANTED IT OR NOT.  WE HAD THE BEST TEACHERS AND STAFF THAT ANY SCHOOL COULD HAVE. 

LET’S TAKE A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE.

HOW MANY OF YOU REMEMBER?

  • M.R. BYAS, STANDING BY THE MAIN ENTRANCE DOOR OF THE SCHOOL IN THE MORNINGS, AND IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE ANY BOOKS HE MADE YOU TURN AROUND AND GET SOME. HOW ABOUT HIS FAVORITE GREETING OF “HEY BABY” OR HOW HE USED THE WORD “BABY” WHEN TALKING TO YOU.
  • MS HUGHEY, GETTING SO EXCITED IN YOUR MATH CLASS WHILE WORKING OUT A PROBLEM AT THE BOARD AND SHE WOULD SAY “OH THIS IS GOOD” THEN TURNING AROUND TO THE CLASS AND EVERYONE LOOKING LIKE “WHAT”???
  • MS. CARTER, IN TYPING CLASS, TALKING VERY SOFTLY AND WALKING VERY SLOWLY PASS YOUR DESK AS YOU TYPED YOUR WARM-UP DRILLS
  • MS CABBLE, ALWAYS SO SERIOUS ABOUT HER SCIENCE CLASS & LABS
  • MS BAYLOR, ALWAYS MOVING SO FAST AND STRAIGHTENING YOU OUT

WITH HER QUICK TONGUE WHILE EXPLAINING YOUR COOKING/SEWING

OR LIFE SKILL LESSON

  • MS WALKER, ALWAYS ASSIGNING A WEEKLY POEM FOR YOU TO RECITE (AND YOU BETTER LEARN IT OR ELSE!!!)
  • MS MOON, TAKING YOU ON A JOURNEY IN HISTORY AND REALLY MAKING

 YOU FEEL THAT YOU WHERE A PART OF WHATEVER PERIOD OF HISTORY

SHE WAS TEACHING ABOUT

  • MR HARRISON, IN THE SHOP CLASS, MAKING ALL THOSE BOOKSHELVES AND

BREAD BOXES

  • MR CAMP, IN THE BAND ROOM HITTING THAT BATON ON THE METAL MUSIC

 STAND; WITH THE CIGARETTE HANGING OUT OF HIS MOUTH AND SAYING A

FEW CHOICE WORDS WHEN WE DIDN’T GET IT JUST RIGHT AND OCASSIONALY

 THROWING A CHAIR WHEN HE HAD HAD ENOUGH!!!

  • MR MORROW,  ALWAYS ENCOURAGING YOU AND GIVING A WISE WORD OF

WISDOM

  • MR SHELTON, ALWAYS CHEERFUL IN THE SCIENCE LAB AND WEARING THE HECK

OUT OF THE WHITE LAB COAT

  • MS FIGUERAS, STANDING AT THE DOOR OF THE FRENCH LAB AND SAYING “NO

MORE ENGLISH AT THIS POINT, ONLY FRENCH”

  • MR BARKSDALE, GETTING EXCITED WHEN VIVIDLY PRONOUNCING EACH SYLLABLE

IN A WORD AND BUCKING HIS EYES TO MAKE A POINT;  AND BELIEVE ME

WE GOT IT!!!

  • MR CABBLE, THE COACH OF OUR WINNING FOOTBALL TEAM, P.E. TEACHER

THAT MADE YOU EXERCISE AND DRIVER’S ED TEACHER THAT HAD PATIENCE

  • AND OF COURSE, MY MAMA, MRS POOLE, WHEN YOU ENTERED THAT LIBRARY

YOU DIDN’T TALK AND MOST DEFINITELY DIDN’T CHEW GUM.  I WAS ALWAYS SO

AMAZED HOW MY MOTHER KNEW EXACTLY WHERE EACH BOOK WAS

SUPPOSED TO GO ON EACH SHELF

  • THE SUPPORT STAFF WAS AWESOME!  MS JENKINS AND THE CAFETERIA LADIES

COULD COOK THEIR !!!!’S OFF.  FROM THE HOMEMADE SOUP, SOFT DELICIOUS

ROLLS, CINNAMON ROLLS, AND THAT HEAVENLY CHERRY PIE.  EVERYBODY

COULDN’T WAIT TO GO TO THE LUNCHROOM.  AND EVERYDAY THE SAME

GREEDY PEOPLE (NOT CALLING NO NAMES) WOULD GET ON YOUR NERVES

BEGGING FOR YOUR FOOD

  • MR ED HOLLIS AND ALL THE CUSTODIANS WERE ALWAYS MAKING OUR SCHOOL

LOOK AND STAY CLEAN

EVERYBODY LIVED FOR THE EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES BECAUSE OF ALL

THE EXCITING AND FUN THINGS HAPPENING AT SCHOOL LIKE FOOTBALL AND

BASKETBALL GAMES, SOCK HOPS, EVEN THE INTRAMURAL BASKETBALL GAMES,

TALENT SHOWS, BAND / CHOIR CONCERTS, CARNATIONS, DANCES, AND PROMS.  WE

ALL REMEMBER THE DISCO BALL THAT SPARKLED AND SHINNED OVER EVERY DANCE!!

ALL OF THESE ACTIVITIES WHERE THE FACULTY, STAFF AND THE STUDENTS WERE

INTERACTING TOGETHER, HELPED OUR FOUNDATION AND MOLDED US INTO THE

PEOPLE THAT WE ARE TODAY.  JUST THINK OF YOUR LIFE AND HOW YOU HAVE ADVISED

AN INDIVIDUAL AND PROBABLY REPEATED SOME OF THE SAME THINGS THAT WHERE TOLD

TO YOU BY ONE OF OUR TEACHERS AND YOUR PARENTS.  THESE EXPERIENCES ALONG

WITH HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING PRODUCED TEACHERS, COLLEGE PROFESSORS,

COUNSELORS, LAWYERS, JUDGES, DOCTORS, DENTIST, BUSINESS OWNERS / ENTREPRENEURS

FROM HAIR STYLIST, RESTAURANT OWNERS, ELECTRICIANS,  CARPENTERS, PLUMBERS,

SPIRITUAL LEADERS, ENTERTAINERS,  CITY COUNCILMEN, MANAGERS / SUPERVISORS

TOP E XECUTIVITES IN CORPORATE AMERICA, PROUD SOLDIERS AND OFFICERS IN ALL

MILITARY BRANCHES, COMMUNITY ACTIVIST, MORTICIANS, COUNTY COMMISSIONERS.

WE ALL CAN AGREE THAT THIS VAST LIST OF CAREERS IS PROOF THAT OUR

FOUNDATION, ENCOURAGEMENT, EDUCATION, AND TRAINING HAS PRODUCED THESE

PHENOMENAL INDIVIDUAL CAREERS.

OUR PLACE IN TIME DID NOT END IN 1969.  THERE WERE SO MANY MOMENTEOUS

EVENTS THAT HAPPENED:

  • WOODSTOCK, THE LARGEST PEACEFUL MUSIC FESTIVAL WAS HELD IN UPSTATE NEW YORK
  • MINIMUM WAGE WAS $1.60 PER HOUR
  • THE BEATLES HAD THEIR LAST PUBLIC PERFORMANCE ON THE ROOF OF APPLE CORPORATE HEADQUATERS
  • THE BOEING 747 MADE ITS DEBUT
  • THE PONTIAC FIREBIRD TransAm WAS THE EPITOME OF THE AMERICAN MUSCLE CAR
  • NEIL ARMSTRONG AND BUZZ ALDRIN LANDED THE AP0LLO LUNAR MODULE ON THE MOON, AND ON JULY 20TH ARMSTRONG BECAME THE FIRST PERSON TO STEP ON THE MOONS SURFACE
  • TIE DYED MATERIAL WAS THE NEW PATTERN FOR FASHION
  • KNOW YOU WILL REMEMBER THESE TUNES

I WANT YOU BACK – THE JACKSONS

OH WHAT A NIGHT – THE DELLS

I CAN’T GET NEXT TO YOU – THE TEMPTATIONS

HOT FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME – SLY AND THE FAMILY STONES

AND OF COURSE, THE VIET NAM WAR WHERE OUR FAMILY MEMBERS AND FRIENDS WERE ON ACTIVE DUTY AND SEVERAL OF THEM LOST THEIR LIVES.  THEN SOME OF OUR HOME BOYS WHO RETURNED HOME BROUGHT WITH THEM VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE SCARS THAT CHANGED THEIR LIVES

ALL OF THESE EVENTS WERE A PART OF 1969 AND ARE STILL A PART OF OUR LIVES TODAY

I THOUGHT OF A SIMPLE LESSON THAT OUR TEACHERS AND OUR TIME AT FAIR ST & E.E. BUTLER TAUGHT US.  I CALL IT THE ABC’S OF LIFE:

  1.  ACCEPT THE CHALLENGES OF LIFE
  2. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND POSITIVE THINGS
  3. CONVERT YOUR HOPES AND DREAMS INTO REALITY
  4. HAVE DETERMINATION TO FOLLOW-THRU ON A TASK
  5. EXPECT SOME OBSTACLES IN LIFE
  6. FIGHT WHILE BEING FAITHFUL AND FINISH THE COURSE
  7. GET GOD ON YOUR SIDE IN EVERYTHING YOU DO
  8. HAVE A HOBBY, DO SOMETHING YOU LIKE TO DO
  9. INSPIRE SOMEONE ELSE
  10. BE JOYOUS AND SPREAD IT AROUND
  11. KEEP ON KEEPING ON
  12. BE A LEADER AND ROLE MODEL
  13. MAKE EVERYDAY COUNT
  14. NEVER GIVE UP
  15. OVERCOME ALL OF YOUR FEARS
  16. PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD
  17. QUIT QUITTING
  18. RUN YOUR RACE WITH PATIENCE
  19. STRIVE ON GOODNESS AND TRUTH
  20. WHILE TRUSTING IN THE LORD
  21. USE ALL OF YOUR TALENTS
  22. VALUE YOUR TIME AND THE TIME OF OTHERS
  23. WAIT FOR UNDERSTANDING
  24. X-RAY YOUR OWN LIFESTYLE
  25. YEARN TO ACHIEVE ALL YOU SEEK
  26. BE ZEALOUS, HUMBLE AND THANKFUL WHEN REACHING YOUR GOALS

YES – TO ME THESE WERE LESSONS THAT WERE GIVEN TO US BY OUR TEACHERS AND PARENTS;

NO – WE ARE NOT PERFECT;

YES – WE HAVE MADE MISTAKES;

YES – WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN SECOND CHANCES AND MORE;

BUT – THROUGH IT ALL WE ARE STILL STANDING AND GIVING BACK IN SO MANY WAYS

TRUE ENOUGH SOME OF US ARE MORE INVOLVED THAN OTHERS, AND HOPEFULLY, THIS REUNION WILL GIVE ME AND OTHERS A JUMP START SPARK TO SHOW MORE LOVE TO OUR HOMETOWN.

FOR US IT DIDN’T MATTER WHAT SIDE OF TOWN YOU LIVED ON OR WHO YOUR PARENTS, RELATIVES OR FRIENDS WERE; WE ALL HAD LOVE, ENCOURAGEMENT, AND SUPPORT THAT GAVE US THE SAME FOUNDATION

THANK – YOU