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Prez’ Corner



This is the busy season for your Board, as we prepare for Reunion 2019. However, we do much more than put on the party biennially. We began planning and negotiating for Reunion 2019, a few weeks after closing Reunion 2017. That’s why we can contain our cost and ticket prices to you.

The Board recently completed an extensive planning process. We have four teams  Reunion & Events, New Projects, Scholarship and Religious & Spiritual. These are some of the ideas and projects resulting from the planning process:

  1. Increase revenue from the golf tournament and execute 3 other fundraising projects to subsidize costs of Reunion 2019.
  2. To define the needs of young males in our community and plan to assist them.
  3. We will attempt to get the old E.E. Butler gymnasium renovated or replaced.
  4. Our Spiritual Team plans to support bereaved families through prayer and actions via a small annual budget.
  5. Not only will the Reunion & Event Team plan & execute the best reunion ever, but they are also planning a New Year’s Eve party in Gainesville.
  6. The Scholarship Team plans to either increase the number and the size of the awards to support our young people.

We have other plans and ideas to improve our home community and enrich the lives of our members and friends. So where do you fit? I am attaching a financial report from Mr. Shelton. We are in a good position, thanks to your generosity. You provided funding in 2017 that permits us to have a working balance, as we prepare for 2019. Please commit to doing the same or better moving forward.  You can pledge as a Tiger Level – $1,000+, Maroon Level $500+ or White Level at $25. I will post the benefits of each level with the Financial Report.  But, Tiger Level includes Couple or Single Fees for the reunion. At $500 but less than $1,000, Reunion 2019 fees will be discounted significantly, but not yet determined. Above all, at each level, you are helping your organization Preserve our Legacy and Protect our Future.

Bernice Harbin Wimpye reminds us to act now and avoid the stress of last-minute decisions and financial burden but:

  1. Choose your level of commitment.
  2. Contact Mr. Nathaniel Shelton at gnat2190@charter.net to set up a monthly or quarterly payment plan
  3. Reserve your room at the Airport Marriott. You guarantee payment with a credit card, but you don’t have to pay until you check out next year.
  4. Ensure you pay the total commitment before the deadline.
  5. Ask your children and grandchildren to join you on Saturday’s Family Day (aka cookout)
  6. Start anticipating the fun of seeing your friends, classmates and new friends.
  7. Show up and party!!

Thanks, my friends. We all appreciate your support, and need to see you at Reunion 2019!

January 1 to August 31, 2018
Beginning Balance $10,395.79
Class of 1965 105.00
Class of 1965 by Bernice Wimpye 255.00
Registration fees –Terry Edward Gaither 350.00
Marriott Reimbursement 75.54
John Harris Contribution (1965 class) 786.51
Juneteenth receipts $587.50
Juneteenth supplies -500
Juneteenth change -160
Juneteenth Booth Registration -25
Juneteenth cash returned 144
Juneteenth Net Income 46.50
Self Storage fee 64.00
Marriott Deposit for Reunion 2019 750.00
PO Box rental 82.00
Office Pro ( Print Scholarship Applications 4.62
Grady Young Foundation Donation 300.00
Self Storage fee 64.00
Self Storage fee 64.00
Self Storage fee 64.00
Self Storage fee 67.00
Self Storage fee 67.00
Self Storage fee 67.00
Harris floral 88.28
Self Storage fee 67.00
Scholarship Payments 2,000.00
Constant Contact Payment – June 96.00
Frame for Michael Hancock Honorary Diploma 54.38
WordPress for new Website 61.00
Constant Contact – September 146.13
Website Design & Development 350.00
Constant Contact Update 79.00
Current Balance $7,478.93


John W. Harris, President

Class of 1965

A Life of Purpose By J. Rev. Douglas Childers

The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was
on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him,
shouting Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is
the king of Israel! Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written,
do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a
donkey’s colt. (John 12:12-15)
A martial arts student was eager to achieve excellence as a
practitioner in the field of Martial Arts. Desiring to achieve greater fighting
abilities, the student asked the great high-kicking, fist-fighting martial arts
teacher and movie actor—Bruce Lee, to teach him everything he knows
about martial arts. Bruce Lee held up two cups—a cup in each of his
hands, which were filled with water. He looked masterfully into his pupil’s
eyes and said, “The first cup represents all of your knowledge of martial
arts. The second cup represents all of my knowledge of martial arts. If you
want to fill your cup with my knowledge, you must first empty your cup of
your knowledge.”
Most of us would agree that the greatest yearning􀀃of the human
heart is our yearning to understand our purpose in life. Abraham Lincoln
suffered depression. Once Lincoln was so depressed that his friends
thought he might harm himself. They were committed to watching him
closely and would intervene if Lincoln attempted to hurt himself, but later,
while talking with a close friend, Lincoln suggested that death was not his
best escape, because he had yet to do anything by which future
generations could remember him, and it was for this reason that Lincoln
was determined to pass his Emancipation Proclamation Bill. He was
confident it would be the one thing people would remember him for. It
would mean his life had achieved a purpose.
We all yearn for a purpose. The purpose is the one thing that allows
us to stay afloat in a world which provides currents of challenges that can
wash us away. Even when we don’t realize we’re searching for purpose,
we are. We look for meaning in many of the things we do. We look for
purpose in marriage, in a career, and in our relationship with others. The
apostle Paul says the real meaning of life and the only thing that brings
fulfillment in life is knowing Christ. As the apostle Paul reflected on his
purpose, he said to the church of Philippi,􀀃“That I may know him, and the
power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his suffering, being made
comfortable unto his death.”􀀃
If Christ is to be the focus of your and my life, we must first empty
our cup of the things that contradict this very worthwhile effort, but be
assured that what’s gained in this process is well worth everything that’s
lost, and we must always remember that it isn’t done out of our own
capabilities. In ancient Rome, a military leader returning home was given a
parade to make a triumphal entry into the city. The celebration was
spectacularly done. The parade, which was sponsored by the Senate,
was a lavishing and entertaining propaganda spectacle. It reminded its
citizens of Rome’s glory and military superiority above all other nations.
Julius Caesar returned to Rome after his successful exploits in Gaul
and Egypt, and the parade given in his honor was so grand that slaves
were required to run behind Caesar’s chariot and occasionally remind him
to “Remember you are a man.” Otherwise, so much praise and adoration
from Roman citizens could have easily caused him to think of himself as a
But Jesus entered Jerusalem as a humble servant. Jesus’ purpose
could not be defined by pomp as were the conquering heroes of Rome.
Unlike a Roman General, Jesus did not enter the gates of Jerusalem riding
a gold chariot driven by white stallions; instead, he came to Jerusalem
riding on the back of a donkey, but Jesus entered Jerusalem knowing his
purpose would be fulfilled.
Members of the Fair Street-Butler High classes over the years have
ventured afar in search of their purpose. So many of us have entertained a
life of searching for meaning. Some of us are now retired, but purpose
never retires. The purpose, in so many ways, is the formidable source of
our life. It stays with us throughout our earthly journey. There’s no more
critical text than the Bible and no more celebrated teacher, although there
are many others, than Jesus to help us achieve. He encourages us to
become servants, not saints, he helps us to be caring not careless and he
encourages us to love one another, as he has loved us. I pray you will
consider these words, as you continue discovering your purpose.
The Rev. Dr. J Douglas Childers is a member of E.E. Butler class of 1968

The Vietnam War Heroes of Fair Street & Butler High Schools By Barry “Gunner” Stinson

Barry “Gunner” Stinson

                     Now                                    1969

I’m a Vietnam combat veteran who served as a gunner aboard a Navy Patrol Gunboat.      

Following a move to Gainesville in 2017, I was asked to find photos of local men who died in Vietnam for the Wall of Faces, a project of the Vietnam Wall. 

Here’s what I discovered about five of your classmates at Fair Street and E.E. Butler High School. 

Links are provided to their pages on the Wall of Faces.  “Remembrances” gives you the opportunity to share stories about them.  We know how they died.  Your stories will show how they lived.   



 Forrest Goudelock

1942 – 1968


He graduated from Fair Street HS, worked for a year and joined the Army in October 1963.  In 1964, while he was stationed in Germany, he married his high school sweetheart, Kathryn Render, and she went to live with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Goudelock, at 438 Copeland Street.  

He arrived in Vietnam on October 26, 1967, and served with Company E, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division. 

On April 19, 1968, during enemy action in Dinh Tuong province, Sgt. Goudelock was killed by small arms fire. 

He is the recipient of two Bronze Star Medals and the Purple Heart, is buried in Timber Ridge Cemetery, and his name is located on Panel 50E, Line 47 of the Vietnam Wall.

Wilbur Mattox

1944 – 1968


Army Private First-Class Wilbur Mattox was married to Constance Mattox, who lived at 530 Race Street.  The couple had one son.  PFC Mattox was a member of the Army’s Americal Division.   On April 24, 1968, during a patrol in Thua Thien province, he was struck by fragments from a mine explosion.  He was evacuated to an Army field hospital, but his wounds were so extensive, he died the next day, April 25.  He reported for duty in Vietnam on February 25, a short two months earlier.  PFC Mattox is the recipient of the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.  He and his wife, who passed away in 2015, are buried next to each other in Alta Vista Cemetery, Block AC, Lots 30 and 31. His name is engraved on Panel 52E, Line 8 at the Vietnam Wall.




Johnny Bill Robertson, Jr.

1946 – 1969


Johnny Bill lived with his mother, Willene, and his sister, Joyce, at 240 Atlanta Street, Apartment A-1.  His father was deceased.  He joined the Army and arrived in Vietnam on May 15, 1969, assigned to the 9th Infantry Division. 

He went swimming in a river 5 kilometers east of Ham Long village in Kien Hoa province.  The official reports lack detail, other than he drowned before help could arrive.  One possibility is that his outfit had been out on patrol, some soldiers went into the river to cool off, and he followed them in.  Johnny Bill’s swimming abilities may have been weak or non-existent.  Had he meant to stay near the riverbank and slipped into a deep hole?  We’ll never know.  What we do know is he died on June 8, 1969, three weeks after he arrived in Vietnam.

He’s the recipient of the Bronze Star and is buried in Alta Vista Cemetery, Block AC, Lot 53.  His name is on Panel 23W, Line 114 of the Vietnam Wall. 


Carl Lee Thornton

1937 – 1971



Following his studies at Fair Street High School, Carl Lee joined the Army with plans to make it his career.  He was married and in his second decade of military service.  His successful career as a Food Service Specialist was advancing him into senior enlisted status, as evidenced by his promotion to Staff Sergeant (E-6).  He was the recipient of two Bronze Stars and the Good Conduct Medal.  He reported for duty in Vietnam on July 15, 1971.  On November 28, he was aboard an Army helicopter CH-47C, commonly known as a Chinook, for a troop lift from Da Nang to Phu Bai.  Bad weather and poor visibility resulted in the Chinook crashing into a mountain.  36 died in the crash, including Army Staff Sergeant Carl Lee Thornton.  He’s buried in the Mt. Zion Baptist Church cemetery.  His name is located on Panel 2W/Line 80 of the Vietnam Wall.  

George Lamar Young     1947 – 1968                                                                http://www.vvmf.org/Wall-of-Faces/57843/GEORGE-L-YOUNG

Lamar was assigned to B Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, an element of the legendary 1st Cavalry Division.  The objective of Operation Sheridan Sabre was to prevent elements of the North Vietnamese Army massed in Cambodia from entering South Vietnam.  In a significant and fierce firefight northwest of Tay Ninh City, Lamar’s unit fought courageously against a battle-hardened NVA force.  Lamar and eight of his brothers-in-arms died in the fight, but they didn’t go quietly.  Army documents show that Lamar’s outfit killed 138 of the enemy.  He is the recipient of the Bronze Star, the Air Medal, and the Purple Heart.  His name is located on Panel 38W, Line 62 of the Vietnam Wall. 

Business Update: Reunion 2019




Welcoming Fall.

To all of our FSBH Alumni & Friends, we thought we would stop by to say “Hello” and to let you know that we are in the final planning stage for Reunion 2019.  We are excited and hopeful that you are too.  We have been working on Reunion 2019 since we closed Reunion 2017 to ensure this is the best reunion ever.  Like Reunion 2017, Reunion 2019 will be held at the Atlanta Airport Marriott located off Best Road in Atlanta, Georgia with easy access to all major freeways. The Marriott offers free Wi-Fi and has proximity to many eateries and several malls.  They will also provide a free shuttle service between the hotel and airport in both directions.  The location that we have chosen meets the accommodations needed to ensure a wonderful time for all.  We negotiated a rate of only $102.00 per night (plus local and state taxes at the time of checkout.  The Reunion dates are Friday, August 30, 2019, thru September 1, 2019.  Single rates for 2019 are $185.00 and $350.00 for couples.  These rates are good through August 11, 2019.  Hotel Reservation Rates are good through August 19, 2019. The number for reservations is 404-766-7900. Make your reservations now.

You spoke; we listened and made a significant change.  The Jazz, Blues & Throwback Party will be on Friday night, and we will dress up for the Prom on Saturday night. This allows casual dress on a very rushed arrival day. If you have other suggestions, please let us hear from you.  The colors this year will be Black & White, and we might as well throw a little silver in the mix for the Prom.  Just do You!

Alumni & Friends this is your reunion, and we want to make this one of the best gatherings ever.  The Class of 1969 will be celebrating 50 years since they turned out the lights at Dear ole Butler High.  We are honoring that grand class, but more so, we are all celebrating the end of OUR Fair St.-Butler High era.

Think back to that period.  We were fancy-free, no bills, no stress. It was just our thoughts, wishes, and desires. Wouldn’t you go back to that time in a heartbeat? Please, everyone, don’t raise your hand at the same time.  Reunion 2019 does just that! It gives you a chance to go back down memory lane for a few days.  We reminisce; we laugh; we hug; we party; and we talk about yesteryear and next year.  People that you have not seen for many years come to the reunion to do this with you.  We have even reserved a hospitality room for you to stop by for refreshments;  play games or cards, share a laugh, watch tv or catch a quick nap.  Doesn’t that sound great?

We have a lay-a-way plan to ease the financial burden. Decide on your level of commitment and begin payments this month.  We want to see you!

We look forward to seeing you. Again if you have any suggestions, please let us know.

Theresa Anderson Puryear

Chief Operating Officer

Class of 1967

Success:  A Family Thing – The Rucker Family Story Part II



As Benjamin and I began high school, our parents purchased encyclopedias and dictionaries for us. Daddy kept his college textbooks which provided us with additional reference material. We were financially poor but there was never a shortage of books or reading material in our home.

During our high school years, Daddy who was especially good at math supplemented his income by preparing other people’s income taxes during tax season. He had taught me to do fractions in elementary school and now as high school students, he often quizzed us. His favorite question was “What is the hypotenuse of a triangle?”  Of course, after a while we were able to answer that question by rote. Later, we were even able to recite the formula for determining the length.

In 1963 our family was completed with the birth of Jonathan, our youngest brother. By this time Benjamin and I had already set our goals for future careers. He had decided that he wanted to be a doctor and I had decided to be his nurse. Walt and Bobbie were students at Fair Street Elementary School.

Our teachers at Fair Street and E.E. Butler High School were instrumental in motivating us to achieve to our full potential. I recall being in a couple of math classes taught by Mrs. Ivey Hughey with my brother, Benjamin. Although we sat in the same classes, we did not study or do homework together.  We never shared our homework. We were always too proud and too competitive to ever do that. Benjamin was always a better math student than I and consequently, made better grades.

Our parents did not have a lot of money but if we needed school supplies they were willing to sacrifice to see that we got them. Once, my sister Bobbie had a science project to do. She chose to do a project that involved the reproduction of hamsters. This project required not only the cost of the hamsters but their cage and other supplies as well. The project was somewhat expensive. Nevertheless, our mother somehow managed to purchase the hamsters, the cage, and all of the other necessary supplies out of her meager household budget.

Our parents’ rules of mandatory school attendance and completing homework assignments were enforced throughout high school. Unless we were really sick, we attended school daily as was evidenced by the large number of perfect attendance certificates we received throughout those years. Momma and Daddy did a good job of indoctrinating us with the idea that education was the path to upward mobility.

Both parents instilled a solid work ethic in us. While we were in high school, Daddy worked at J.D. Jewell’s Poultry and Momma worked in the laboratory at Hall County Hospital. Later, after Benjamin and I entered college, Momma too worked at J. D. Jewell. Upon reaching the age of fourteen, we obtained jobs. Bobbie and I began working as domestics, ironing and cleaning in private homes. Benjamin’s first jobs were doing yard work on Green Street and washing dishes in the dining room at Hall County Hospital (now Northeast Georgia Medical Center). Walter also did yard work on Green Street. When we reached the age of sixteen, we began working on public jobs during summer vacations. I worked at the hosiery mill as a dye boarder. My sister Bobbie worked with my mother in the cut-up department of J. D. Jewell’s. Daddy got jobs for all of my brothers at J.D. Jewell’s from the time that they turned sixteen until they finished school. They didn’t have to fill out an application. Every summer their jobs awaited them. They worked on the live dock hanging live chickens. This was the filthiest job in the plant. Our daddy would tell them; “If you don’t go to school, this is what you will be doing for the rest of your life.” My brothers very eagerly returned to school each year. We bought school clothes and supplies with our earnings. Later, we used our money to help pay college tuition and other expenses.

I graduated from E. E. Butler High School with honor on my birthday, June 6, 1966. My parents suggested that I attend Gainesville Jr. College (now the University of North Georgia, Gainesville campus) which was scheduled to open in the fall of 1966. I honored their wishes and enrolled in the college in the fall of 1966. I became the first African-American student to graduate from Gainesville Jr. College in June, 1968. During the two years I spent at Gainesville Jr. College, I changed my major to Education. I was accepted and enrolled in classes at the University of Georgia in the fall of 1968. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Education from UGA in June, 1970.  I was immediately hired by the Gainesville City School System where I taught for 30+ years. While teaching at Fair Street School, I earned a Master’s degree in Education from North Georgia College (now the University of North Georgia, Dahlonega campus). I am currently retired.

My brother Benjamin graduated from E.E. Butler High School in June, 1967 as class valedictorian. He enrolled in Gainesville Jr. College in the fall of 1967 and graduated in June, 1969. He transferred to the University of Georgia and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in June, 1971. He entered the Medical College of Georgia in the fall of 1971. In June, 1975 he fulfilled his childhood dream by receiving his degree as a doctor of medicine. After a year of internship and two years of residency at Talmadge Memorial Hospital, Benjamin joined the Medical College faculty for two years. In July of 1980, he began a private practice of 36 years duration. He is presently semi-retired.

My sister, Bobbie graduated from Gainesville High School in June, 1970. She too attended Gainesville Jr. College. She also studied accounting at Lanier Tech. Bobbie worked for Commercial Credit for two and a half years. She then worked for Liberty Mutual Insurance for 31 years. Bobbie enrolled in a number of insurance courses during her tenure at Liberty Mutual. She obtained an Associate in Principals of insurance (AIS) degree and became a Property Rater Specialist. In 2013, she officially retired from Liberty Mutual and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Walden University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Health Sciences. She currently volunteers as a Medicare Counselor with Georgia Cares at Legacy Link in Oakwood, Georgia.

Walter (Walt) graduated from Gainesville High School in 1973. Walt enrolled in courses at Gainesville College and transferred to Savannah State College. He graduated from Savannah State with a Bachelor’s degree in 1978. Walt was accepted and entered the University of Georgia, School of Law in 1979. He graduated from law school and passed the Georgia State Bar Exam in 1982. Shortly thereafter he began practicing with Thurmond, Thurmond and Miller of Athens, Georgia. In 1992, he partnered with Curtis Miller to bring his practice to Gainesville. Walt established his own law practice of Rucker and Associates in 1994. He continues to practice law in Gainesville, Georgia.

Jonathan, our youngest brother was an honor graduate of the Class of 1982 of Gainesville High School. He entered the Georgia School of Technology (GA Tech) in the fall of 1982 and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. Jonathan began his career with Atlanta Gas Light Company. Other companies he has been employed by include CH2M Hill, Khafra Engineering, Jordan, Jones, and Goulding and AECOM. In 2008, Jonathan established his own engineering consulting company, Engineered Systems and Services. He is registered as a professional certified engineer in the states of Georgia, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Ohio. Jonathan’s business is thriving and he has been able to hire several employees in recent years.

The third and fourth generations appear to be following in the footsteps of the second and continuing the legacy of the first generation. Thus far all of our children have completed high school as scheduled. They have chosen to engage in a wide range of careers including medical assistant, computer technology, business informatics, banking and finance, and teaching. In addition, Erika Rucker is pursuing a medical degree at the Medical College of Georgia; Jasmine Rucker graduated from Hampton Institute and is enrolled in law school in North Carolina and Nicholous Benjamin Tyler Rucker graduated from Cabarrus County High School in North Carolina as the valedictorian of his 2016 Class of 300+ students. He and his first cousin Alyssa Archey who also graduated high school with honors are presently attending college.

I believe that “Mr. Bennie” who died in 1996 and “Miss Johnnie” who died in 1989 would be delighted with and proud of the success of the family that they worked so diligently to rear, nurture and support.

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