you'd like to read some of the emails we received from your classmates after
Reunion 2001 weekend. We had a great time!
The only problem I had with the Reunion is that time ran out too quickly!
When I saw the photos & read the notes of thanks, I realized how few people
I actually got to see & speak with. Jean, Jack & I really had a wonderful
time & having all of our classes there was even more special. Thanks
to the committee members for the untold hours spent on preparing an evening
which unfolded into now cherished memories. I only wish all of
our classmates could have attended. Next time my mother wants to come!
The reunion was magic . .
. the reunion committee (in true Magic City fashion) worked some magic of
its own -- it turned back time. The years melted away with the WEHS
tour & the greeting of warmly remembered classmates both at WEHS and, later,
at The Club. Amazing -- so much has changed for us all across 40 years
yet in so many ways we've changed so little. Those youthful WEHS faces
still shine through despite whatever changes time has brought. Maybe
the true magic lies in our shared WE roots where our oasis of simplicity &
innocence grounded us with life lessons that allow our "inner child" to stay
vibrant. It was a marvelous revisit of a joyful time in our lives & I
was elated by the chance to speak with so many of you. My husband adds
his thanks for the joy everyone brought with their welcome hellos. So
CHEERS! to the magicians (the hard-working reunion committee, which includes
big sis Nancy) for a memory-making day!
JUDY KELLEY '
This was a very special night for me. Unlike most of you, I didn't
have the excitement that all of you seemed to have had for the reunion.
I had lost my brother Phillip this year. I kept telling myself that I
had move on away from West End & that I really didn't think I wanted to go
especially since this was a multi-class affair. My mother & I ate
lunch with Donnie Walker in Montgomery one day this summer & it was a really
special time for her as well as me to reconnect with our friend from Central
Park. He & Phillip had been buddies since first grade. I made my
reservations & again wasn't sure that I wanted to attend. About a week
before the reunion, I felt myself getting excited & actually looking forward
to the reunion. It was one of the most special times I have ever had
with old friends. I'm so glad I didn't miss it. The tour of the
school was an unexpected treat! There were some rather gray-headed
'boys" beating on the back of the seats during the Alma Mater - just like 40
years go. I even saw some trying to run in the halls. The fun &
fellowship that night will always be a cherished memory to me. I
really would have missed out on a special night with you all if I hadn't
come. Thanks to everyone who spoke so kindly about Phillip.
We'll always miss that off beat sense of humor. No matter how far we
travel in this life we all were shaped by our experiences at West End High &
for this we need to be truly thankful. God bless us all. See
ya'll at the next reunion!
PAULA MOON '59
been such fun to email friends that I have not seen in 30-40 years, & to my
surprise, still live in B'ham. Today 9 of us met at O'Charley's in
wildwood & had lunch: Jan Patterson, Carole Turner, Margaret Wilson.
Judy Morris, Margaret Brett, Vivian Howard, Gloria SALTSMAN, Carolyn Cash &
me. Oh what fun to be a teenager again! We are going to meet
again in 2 weeks & try to add more friends to our group. I was also
thrilled to get in touch with my cousin that married Don Cain. They
live in Louisiana & I had lost contact with her for a very long time &
now we email every day!
we ever thank the committee E-N-O-U-G-H!! The Web Site has brought so
many of us together & built a bridge over miles & time - memories that will
always stand. It was so much fun even before our "BIG EVENT" to
communicate with fellow friends & classmates (even those who were unable to
attend) & helped make the reunion a place where we could PICK UP & not just
CATCH UP on the past & present events in our lives. Walt & I certainly
enjoyed seeing everyone & are really looking forward our next time to renew
friendships & make new memories.
I had a great experience this morning on my way to church. We have off
site parking for church with a bus shuttle to & from services. Bob had
to go early so I came late to the second service. I sat down on the
bus & this lady came and sat beside me. I had seen her singing in the
choir during the last ten years & thought she looked familiar, but our paths
never crossed until today. I introduced myself & she said, "I'm Judy
Beard." (she was Judy Campbell back then). I said," I know you. You
went to West End Baptist Church & WEHS." I then introduced myself
again as Brenda Mitchell. Well, she almost fell out of her seat. She
had not been notified of the reunion, although she has lived in the same
house for 26 years, which is within 2 miles of me. I wish this had
happened a month ago so she could have come to the reunion, but we know
where she is now so she'll be on the list next time!
'60 & MARY NELL ALDRIDGE '64
We want to thanks to everyone on the reunion committee for all of their hard
work in the planning & preparation of Reunion 2001. We appreciate the
wonderful web site & can't begin to even describe the fun we had at the tour
and reunion on Saturday. And, of course, we're looking forward to the
future events in 2002 and 2003!
'60 & JUDY BARNETT '61
It is Saturday night, Oct.
20th & we are sitting in the bedroom floor playing with our computer &
trying to figure out how to work all this stuff. It is amazing how
email literate our old friends seem to be & we refuse to be left behind.
It may take all night, but we want all of you West End folks out there in
computer land to know what a really great time we had at the reunion.
It was wonderful seeing everyone & finding out what was going on with all of
us. After I got over seeing all the "old folks" going in & wondering
why I was at an old people's party, I really began to get into the swing of
things & we just enjoyed ourselves so much. The only thing not perfect
was the pain in my old feet. My brain said I was 18 again but my feet
didn't agree. Tommy managed to get around to all his old girlfriends &
Judy got to hug her old boyfriends, too. It was great! Thanks to
the committee for all their hard work & we look forward to joining in the
next events. West End folks are the best. They are so much fun,
so good looking & just all around good people. See you all soon.
I would also like to add my thanks to the committee for a job well done.
I know a lot of hard work went into making such a wonderful evening.
My husband missed a great evening & he has heard about what a wonderful time
I had. For some, time has stood still - for most, time has marched
right along & for those no longer with us, time was cut too short. We
all had a great life in school but sometimes it takes time to make us
appreciate those things in the past. I guess as we grow older people &
events in the past grow more precious. Looking back through the resume
I am reminded of all the people I did not get to speak to & I really regret
that. Where did the evening go? I was practically the last one
out the door. I must say the location was wonderful but I didn't even
get to stand out on the deck & see the beautiful lights of the city. I
can't wait for the next event at the State Park. What a
wonderful idea! Someone is really on the ball. Again, my heartfelt
thanks for bringing back old memories & making new ones, for after all life
is just memories! I look forward to seeing everyone again real soon.
God Bless you all & GOD BLESS AMERICA!
LEW ROWELL '63
Jerry & I had a wonderful time seeing & being
seen. I wish we could have stayed longer. Having grown up in
West End was one of the most wonderful times of my life, & the reunion
reminded me of that. I have known many of the people at the reunion
all of my life but lost track of over the years. I cannot believe how
good it was to see them all again! I just wish those who missed could
have been there to share the fun. Thanks to the committee.
Precious memories were rekindled & new ones were made & it is a special joy
to linger in them. God bless America & thank you Lord for WEHS.
Thanks to one & all!
WOW! It was great seeing everyone again.....I don't know how it happened,
but I missed seeing so many people - they were there, I just didn't see
them. How did I miss some of you? I walked around the entire time I was
there, never sat down, never ate. It was wonderful! Kearney enjoyed it
also. I honestly think he knew as many of my classmates as I did. Again,
the reunion committee is to be congratulated. They could not have improved
on anything. Thanks to everyone involved!
I want to add my kudos for the reunion committees who worked so hard & to a
great web site. It certainly was a week-end to remember. The
excitement was so high I did not want it to end! Can't wait for the
next get-together. It is wonderful to be able to correspond by email
with so many friends. It seems that though the years have gone by
those valued friendships we made transcend those years & we are able to pick
up just where we left off when we left school. It's great to have
friends for that long. They are the best. Once again, thanks to all
responsible for making it such a great week-end!
What a wonderful night! My thanks to the reunion committee. It was
such fun going back to WEHS & walking the halls one more time. The
trip back to Birmingham was worth the drive. John had heard me speak of
West End High School & my years there many times. On October 6th, he had
the chance to meet some of the people who were important to me during my
growing up years. He enjoyed the evening as much as I did! Thank
you so much for helping to bring us all together!
You will never know how much enjoyment the reunion meant to me & my husband.
I had attended several of his reunions in Ashland, WI, & met his friends so
it was his turn to meet my friends. He had as much fun as I did & the
committee deserve much credit for the success of the event!
I want to thank you for a wonderful evening last Saturday. You all did
a great job with this reunion! I have really enjoyed the site & the
opportunity to contact old friends!
ANN GAMEL '63
To the Reunion Committee, my thanks to each of you for your hard work.
It really paid off in a way that I'll remember for a long time. I
never imagined I would enjoy seeing old friends as much as I did, or that I
would see as many as I did --- & that most of them remembered me. I
especially liked the loose structure of the evening, meaning no long
introductions, speeches, presentations. It was fun just eating,
dancing & milling around finding & talking to friends. Thanks again &
I can't wait til next time!
I am sure the committee will be receiving a hundred of these messages, but
please know how much I appreciate all the hard work on the reunion. In
light of September 11th, it seems more important to retrace roots since that
incident occurred. I enjoyed myself immensely & am delighted to
reconnect with old friends!
JEAN BURTON '61
We had a blast at the reunion! Thanks for all your hard work.
What y'all accomplished was outstanding. I know I didn't get around to
visiting with everyone but it was great visiting with the ones I did.
I am looking forward to the next reunion. At our age the shorter in
between time the better!
What a wonderful night everyone had. I can not tell you how much the
whole weekend meant to me & my sister, Sylvia. Everyone was great.
I have never seen so much love for our fellow friends in such a positive
way. Every one of you mean the world to me & I hope I can speak to
each of you (the committee) in the next few weeks. I don't know about
you all but my feet hurt & I can not wait until next time. Thanks to
everyone for such a fabulous week end!
DON WALKER '60
cannot adequately express what a grand time everyone had. The 25th & 30th
reunions were great, but last Saturday night was the best yet! Each
committee member is to be congratulated for faithfully attending the
meetings & ironing out all the kinks to make it a very successful event for
everyone to enjoy. There were so many who had never attended a WEHS
reunion before. To have the opportunity to talk with Rusty Fulbright,
Rosemary Young, Shirley Elliott, Ruth Waters, Jeff Webb, Riley Wallace,
Ronnie Wallace, John Cosby, Barbara Crawford, Tommy White, Don Doswell &
many more for the first time since I left West End in 1960 was
WONDERFUL! Thank you all for making all this possible!
RAE HAUSER '61
Just had to
send my thanks for all the hard work that the committee put in to make the
Reunion such a wonderful event. I am so glad that this line is open & that
other events are in the planning. You all truly did a wonderful job!
Thanks, just thanks. Nuff said!
I want to thank the committee for "A JOB WELL DONE". Wasn't everything
GREAT!! I'm still playing it all over in my mind & still enjoying it
all. I wonder how many did as we did after the school tour. We
drove ALL around West End seeing our old house, grammar school, parks,
library, church, friend's homes, etc. It was sad in a way....but oh
what memories it brought back. Can't wait for the next reunion...maybe
I will have calmed down enough to really get to visit & talk to friends.
Again thanks for a wonderful weekend!!
The Reunion activities could
not have been more enjoyable. Just wish it could have
lasted 24 hours more. I have talked with so many who attended since the
event, either by phone or email and everyone agrees it could not have been
better and there were no disappointments. Everyone was so friendly, just like one big happy family. I just hated for it to end. Don Walker and I
stayed so long we almost had to turn the lights out. We really look forward
to the next get-together & can't begin to thank the committee for all the
hard work put into this function. Three cheers for the WEHS Reunion
The reunion was a terrific
event & all the work & planning by the old grads was greatly appreciated.
Please express my thanks to all those that worked so hard to make the night
a success. It was utterly delightful! As an interesting aside, as my
wife & I went back to our hotel & I took my coat off, much to my surprise I
found the picture on my badge was of the other Jerry Thomas (big Jerry),
also a 1959 graduate. The badges were handed to me with my wife's badge on
top & I never even looked at it when I put it on my coat. It probably
enhanced my image as he was much better looking! My wife & I look
forward to many more reunions in the future. Thanks for the great web site &
the wonderfully pleasant weekend.
DIXIE DYER '61
It certainly was a Night
to Remember! Even my husband, who knew almost nobody there, had a
great time. He observed that the West End bunch is a neat group
of people. There was so much love there, thanks to you putting us in
touch over the past months. With emails going back & forth among us,
we could hardly wait to see one another. Never mind the added years &
added pounds, everybody looked great to me! I think every one of us
has had a taste of Real Life 101. Some have experienced divorce.
Some have lost a spouse, a child, a parent. Some have known business
failure & having to start over, like in a bad game of Monopoly. Some
are dealing with health problems. The reunion this year was not about
who drove the most expensive car, but rather how, by the grace of God, we
were able to be there. I kept thinking of that verse in "Amazing
Grace," ... through many dangers, toils & snares we have already come.
It's grace that brought us safe thus far, & grace will lead us home!
Thank you, thank you, thank you. It had been forty-two years since I moved
away from Birmingham, the day after graduation. I had lost track of all my
classmates except my cousins Barbara & Ron Robbins. Even though my hair has
silvered & I became fluffy, it was OK. All that seemed to matter were the
hellos & hugs we received from each other. I have learned in my life that
God, family & friends are more important than any material possession any of
us could own. Don't get me wrong. Things are nice to have but having a hug
from an old friend means so much. I renewed contacts & plan to keep in
touch. Thank you for making this possible. The reunion was one of the best
experiences I have had. You may pat yourselves on the back for a job
well done. I hope those who missed this event will read about it & try to
come to the next planned event. One other thing. After reading Miss
Anne Batey's letter I sent her an email telling her that my brother Bill
Barnes, Class of '56 also lived in Nashville. She wrote me back stating
that he did not live to far from her. Well, guess who rang his doorbell?
Miss Batey's assistant brought him out to the car to see her & they had a
good visit. Who would think a 99 year old would go calling on a former
student? Thanks to the WEHS web site & a lot of hard work, you are
bringing people together!