There’s only one high school graduation

Published 4:38 pm Monday, May 30, 2022

There will be many tears of joy streaming down the faces of parents in the coming weeks, not because they are sad, but because their son or daughter has graduated from high school. They will be tears of satisfaction and happiness for their son or daughter. Many colleges and private schools have already held their commencement exercises earlier but there will never be another high school graduation for anyone.  And believe me, they are friends for life!  People can graduate college several times but there is only one high school graduation.

I can remember my high school graduation like it was yesterday!  We had the last five days out of school and had taken our exams earlier to give our teachers time to get grades ready and class rank into the principal’s office.  Needless to say, I did not graduate in the top of my class but I did have good friends that had I good times with.  We practiced three times that week and if you were absent; better not show up for graduation. Memories can never be taken away from you and the friendships will last a lifetime!  Oh, we do not see one another all the time, but my classmates are only a phone call away and they know the same is true from my end.  Cherish the friendships like the memories you have made and they will be with you forever.

The wins/losses, the Jr./Sr. prom, the Parish House dances, the teachers and of course riding around Hardees at night and do not leave out Mrs. Carver’s.  Everyone loved her chili dogs and crushed ice drinks especially on a hot day or after a two hour practice.  That might be the only liquid that we got since that morning, but we got salt tablets!

I can remember also my friends like Dave Tayloe, Val Johnson, Bobby Hardy, Terry Smithwick, Bill Litchfield, Bubba Gerard, Bill Gravely, Cambo Rodman, Jamie Weatherly, Henton Chesson, Bill Nolley and last but not least, Fred Watkins. How could I leave Fred out?  He jumped offside in a football game against Chocowinity and Laverne Parker broke my arm.   Fred and I have remained friends throughout the years.

The girls in our class were some of the sweetest ever; May-I Dudley, Chris Hodges, Marion Mayo, Betty and Jane Alligood, Pam Alligood, Sharon Wall, Eleanor Rollins and one of my favorites, Brenda Dixon.  To get anything done, just ask these girls and they will make it happen.

That night before graduation we roamed around the lobby leading into auditorium not knowing what was ahead of us.  Some went on to college, some served in the military and some stayed home to work in the family business.  We never thought that we would see the day a school was not as safe as ours or gas prices as high as they are today!

Young people in the Class of 2022, take time to think back on the cherished moments throughout your twelve years of education! These friends are the ones that will bring you back home and if you have a problem, they will crawl in the fox hole beside you.

So, Moms and Dads, cry away because you have done a great job raising your child!  The sacrifices you have made, you have a right to be proud!!

They were the best of times with the best of friends and the best of places, Washington, N.C.!  The Original Washington!

Harold Jr.