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Front Page » July 12, 2005 » Local News » "Memories are Made of This"
Published 4,244 days ago

"Memories are Made of This"

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North Emery High holds school reunion

Uneta Grange renews old friendships and makes new memories.

The North Emery High class reunion 2005 was held on July 2 at the Huntington Elementary. Graduating classes from the school from 1932 through 1962 came together to celebrate themselves and their school. The attendees gathered for punch and cookies at a meet and greet to welcome everyone back. The reunion met on the lawn of the old school for a dedication of a recently completed monument honoring North Emery High. The alumni from the school didn't want the school to become a forgotten piece of history so the monument was erected using some of the original brick from the school. Bob Allen was the contractor on the project and the reunion committee was well pleased with the monument.

North Emery High came into existence when Cleveland, Elmo, Lawrence and Huntington students joined together to attend school. Larry Leonard spoke at the dedication and Mar Grange, class of 1945, dedicated the monument. Grange said, "To dedicate is to set apart. This was an outstanding school which exemplified outstanding quality. I am glad to be one of you. The learning and valued friends, I will treasure forever. Everytime you look at this monument, you will know it represents something special. The monument will become a focus for our memories."

Grange read the words of the school song, "North Emery High School students are we, seeking knowledge ever we'll be. Our lives to improve we shall try, dear North Emery High, high school, our dear North Emery High School, high school, the school we love so well, ever we will submit to your rule, ever of you our praises tell, sacred the memories we shall cherish, old friends and teachers all so true, Our colors red and white shine through the night, our dear old high school for you."

"The mission and purpose of our school was to come to learn to become the men and women of stature and ability we have become to lead and support communities. We dedicate this monument to all that we remember as great and good about North Emery. The old North Emery building has steel rods to keep it from falling apart. Some day this building will go the same way as all of us. The monument will be something to represent this edifice. As we remember the dances and ball games and our great heritage, let's keep this site clean and well cared for. Teach your grandchildren and children to respect their progenitors," said Grange.

Grange recalled the days in the early settlement of Huntington, when one of the first buildings the pioneers constructed was a meeting house where school could be held. The settlers went up Huntington Canyon to gather the materials for the building which later burned down. That canyon has been known to this day as Meeting House Canyon. Grange said the North Emery High building is one of the few large buildings left in the county constructed by the pioneers.

After the monument ribbon cutting was complete the reunion goers returned to classrooms where they met with friends from their graduating classes. A program was held in the gymnasium. Darrel Leamaster opened the program with a prayer and a flag ceremony was presented by the American Legion, Post 73. A moment of silence was observed for departed school mates. Former school cheerleaders led the group in the school song. Teachers from North Emery High were honored with a gift. There were former teachers present, some of which were Bob Swinburne, Grace Johansen, and Bryce Wilson.

The new monument to honor North Emery High.

Attendees age 89 and over were honored. The Huntington Glee Club presented musical numbers with many club members also being North Emery graduates. Vee Guymon and Lori McElprang sang musical selections which included a trip down Memory Lane.

Former teacher at the school Grace Johansen, spoke to the classmates. "My husband and I were talking one time and we came to the conclusion if we were still teaching school today, we would be in jail," said Johansen. She said when she first applied for a job at the school, Stella Hill said that since she lived in Castle Dale, that was too far away to teach in Huntington. But she got the job anyway. When Mrs. Hill was upset she would pound her heels and Mrs. Johansen said she gave Mrs. Hill plenty of opportunities to pound her heels that first year she taught at North Emery High. Mrs. Hill said that teachers at North Emery wore high heels, but Mrs. Johansen disagreed saying she was a physical education teacher and they definitely did not wear high heels.

Mrs. Jo recalled a trip to Blanding where they were caught in a snow storm. She said she had to work with many coaches over the years and coaches were certainly a different breed. She only liked the coaches that didn't steal her gym balls. She said one of the thrills in the old days, was for boys to crawl under the floors to get to where they could peer into the girls dressing room. Nowdays she said kids just have to turn on the TV and they will see more than those boys ever did crawling under the floor. One day four boys remained under the floor when it was time to lock up the building and they were locked into the building for the night. Mrs. Jo received a phone call at 2 a.m. with the information that four boys were locked in the school and needed to get out. Mr. Jo got dressed and drove back to the school to let out the culprits.

Mrs. Jo reminisced about a trip to Bull Holler when a bad rain storm was coming in and they needed to gather the students and be on their way. But, they couldn't find four of the boys and when they finally found them, the rain storm was pretty intense. They tied the four boys who had delayed the departure to the back of the truck where they were left trailing behind the truck in the mud and muck trying to stay upright. This is one of the incidents Mrs. Jo said would land her in jail if anything like that happened in this day and age. She couldn't remember who the boys were, but thinks maybe one of them was a Ward boy.

Fay Roper looks at the quilt Hazel McMullin prepared for the reunion. Judy Palmer, far left, sells tickets for the quilt.

"One scary thought I had as I was preparing to speak to you today is that no one here would be under 60 years old. As I look back one thing you students always did was listen, because if you even looked the slightest bit drowsy, I would throw an eraser at you. One day I went into the type room and Julie was there and she was almost crying. She said she had a beautiful dress and the prom was the next day and she didn't have a date. Mike had never had a date in his life, but I told him there was a girl who needed a date to the prom. He said he was not gonna take a girl to the prom. He had never had less than an A on his report card and his mother would have killed him for anything less, so I told him if he didn't take this girl to the prom he could expect a C or D on his next report card. I've always looked at that marriage with fright, I didn't expect them to get married, but they sent me a card the other day announcing their 40th wedding anniversary and wondered if I remembered the part I played in it, boy did I ever. I interfered in some places I shouldn't have. If I was still teaching today, I know that I would give 100 percent, just like I did back then.

"My one son is a juvenile justice judge and he tells me what sad children and parents he sees. We need to grab our children and grandchildren and give them the things that we have had. There are things you can do as grandparents, get busy," advised Mrs. Jo.

The audience honored Mrs. Jo with a standing ovation. A musical number was presented by Frieda Fillmore, Chad Thorderson and Laurelle Hughes. An accordion solo was played by Judy Potter. Van Gardner, Lamond Gardner and Sharon Gardner presented musical numbers. Geraldine Walters gave a reading. Earl Gundersen presented two musical numbers.

Dan Wagoner, reunion chairman served as the master of ceremonies for the program and festivities. He introduced Hazel McMullin to pick a winner in the quilt raffle. McMullin told a little of the history of the quilt. Julie Jones was the quilt winner.

The reunion goers were served dinner by BKs Stop n Shop and many attended the ice cream social in the park.

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