Barbara Burke ~ Barbara Cox ~ Betty Willis ~ Bonnie Sinyard
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Saturday Memories of 2009 Mini Reunion
by Barbara B.
The grounds of the BanCorp Farm House were a beautiful spring green. Trees were
alive with new growth! It was time for our second day of the annual March Mini
Reunion. We couldn't have had better weather with the nip in the air and the sun
shining! Classmates came and went during the day visiting outside or inside the
house at their choice. Some had sandwiches on the porch of the farm house on Sat.
and again enjoyed visiting and the spring weather we were so fortunate to have!
Others went to the dogwood festival, visited friends in the nursing home, or did other
things around Hope and Washington. Barbara and Bobbie were busily changing the
decorations from Western to Mexican in preparation for Sat. events. They paused
and made a congenial pot of coffee for the earlier arrivers!
Travis and I dropped in at the farm house around 10 a.m. as did my first cousin
Donna Taylor Wingfield. We spoke to the few who were there and those who arrived
closer to noon.
As pre-arranged, we took Donna to lunch and had a good visit followed by a later
visit with Donna's sister and her husband, Rita Taylor Turner and Terry who live near
Springhill. I also found out that day that Dana Flowers Cox, Johnny and Barbara's
daughter-in-law, grew up next door to Donna, Rita and my aunt and uncle, Orville and
Janie Taylor in Hope. Her parents, the Flowers, were best friends with the Taylors,
my aunt and uncle. Dana's mother is Barbara Griffin Flowers Burke (no relation to
Travis); her dad is deceased. Small world and this brought back such good memories
when Travis and I used to visit Orville and Janie in Hope when we came to visit his
parents in Stamps. Donna is the one pictured on one of Bill Clinton's brochures while
they were both in kindergarten. Her family lived across from his family on 13th St.,
Hope, when Donna and Bill were small children. Uncle Orville worked for Roger
Clinton Buick and later sold Cadillacs in Texarkana.
Sat. afternoon I joined a group of classmates in the Easterlings' motel room at Best
Western. Along with two computers up and running and a ball game on TV, there
were several conversations going strong. Diane and Kenneth Stewart, Donnell
Bagley, Pat and Perry were there. Clyde Arnold and Ellis Rothwell dropped in with
a woeful tale about not being able to find Martha Osborn Pyle's wedding photos for
which Clyde was responsible. Clyde was a good very conscientious worker at his
job of promoting the web site and collecting photos...and was a good sport about
learning where they were...finally. Maybe you'd some day like to hear the rest of the
story from Clyde!
In the evening, classmates began to arrive for the second of two evening meals
together. What a nice surprise to have greeters at the front door when we entered.
Bonnie, Carolyn Purtle and Bobbie were there and their big smiles and hugs put us at
ease right away. The Saturday meal was catered by Amigo Juan and served by Dana
and Bryan Cox, Johnny and Barbara's son and daughter-in-law, who also took care of
cleaning up after the dinner. Our choices were beef and/or chicken fajitas with all the
trimmings. There in the middle of the last-minute serving preparation was Barbara
Cox, volunteer in charge of arranging for the two dinners, while Bobbie Sparks was
pitching in to help. The men, of course, were lounging on the porch and roaming in
the grass far away from the kitchen action and and taking in some of the evening's
Perry Easterling was in charge of the group's class photo while Travis Burke was
chosen to click the button after Perry had things set up on his cam. Seems people
are always more eager to have their photo made if there is a meal waiting. After the
last click, Clyde asked Johnny Tabor to say the blessing, and we were soon in the
serving line. We first met our "cashier" Bobbie Sparks who is always so faithful at
this job. Bonnie S. deposits the money, keeps the bank account, and pays the bills
with Jesse, the co-signer of our account. You can't keep a good woman down!!! We
missed Hazel Beck (Tom) this year who usually assists Bobbie at her job. Then at
the end of the food line our hostess Barbara C. helping with the serving making sure
we each had what we needed. One of the secrets of the successful dinner was ending
it with homemade Chocolate Mississippi Mud Cake by Barbara Cox! And remember,
she is the one who so willingly responded to our last year's plea for someone to take
over food arrangement since Bonnie Sinyard, because of her health, isn't able to do
this as she has done in the past. Well done, ladies, and thanks to all who helped!
Since I'm relatively new to the reunions (first in 2003) I'm amazed at the number of
people so willingly participate in the projects and activities to make them come
together as they do! I talked to Barbara C. on Mon. by email and she was already
thinking: "What do we eat next year? "
Special thanks to Betty Willis who was in charge of contacting us with the post card
and earlier details about the reunion so Perry could post them on the on the '53 web
site for the duration. Betty also keeps the class directory addresses up to date when
doing these yearly send outs, designs and has the cards printed with all details on that
tiny space! Betty took reservations and kept count of us all. Betty, Bobbie Sparks,
Bonnie Sinyard, and Barbara Cox are to be commended for the many details
necessary for another well-planned mini reunion. Hope I haven't neglected to thank all
who were involved. And thanks to Perry for making sure we got a group picture and
to Donnell and Don Fuller (HHS '54) who took care of the golfers' arrangements.
Thanks to others who helped with the Mini Reunion that I may not know about! Now
tell us what you did, what you enjoyed most, and all about the weekend you spent at
the 2009 Mini Reunion in Hope. Barbara Burke
PS I was requested by Perry to cover Sat. memories since that was the only day we attended.
Other meaningful entries are above where you, too, are invited to contribute by sending to me
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MEMORIES OF MINI 2009 Reunion
As far as memories go, coming back again on Saturday lunch and rummaging through
the refrigerator for good leftovers was a new and enjoyable experience. The farm
house setting was so very pleasant with the big porch, picnic tables, lovely weather,
chowing down on BBQ and sweet ice tea with people you love was a memory to
savor and HOW VERY SOUTHERN CAN IT GET?
About the only thing I did on Saturday was go up to Washington for a couple of
hours. My sister-in-law had a booth there and I went to visit with her, had a shrimp on
a stick and came back to the motel. Jim Brown stayed at the motel and either slept
or watched a ball game. Not very exciting. All together it was a very relaxing time
and I did enjoy being with everyone.
*Bonnie Sinyard was delighted at the casualness of having our reunion at the
BancCorp house and wearing bluejeans. She has paid our bills and kept books for
the class for many years and I found she is still doing that even after her health
problems. You can't keep a good woman down! And, of course, she always has a
funny story or two to tell when we talk on the phone and kept me laughing! At the
Saturdan event, she also told me the story of her sudden heart attack and the miracles
that fell into place to lengthen her life. If you don't know the extent of her story, ask
her next time you see her. I doubt she will ever tire of telling how God and prayer
saved her life when she almost died more than once in this ordeal of 2008! Bonnie
said Gayle, too, enjoyed our reunion, but was disappointed one of his buddies wasn't
able to be there this time. (as told to Barbara B.)