Fifteen of the original 97 members of the Bossier High School 1947 graduating class gathered on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at the home of class member, Retired Bossier City court judge, Billy Ross Robinson, for an informal “reunion.”
Clifton Watkins, now of Plain Dealing, was the class president and organized the “get together” by phoning members who had previously attended class reunions over the years.
Former class members who attended the gathering were: Georgia Lee Finley Jordan of Richardson, Texas; Billy Joe Burks of White Oak, Texas; Quincy Lincecum Ropp of Natchitoches; Philip Mondello, Billy Page, Eunice Browder Fonville, Dorothy Moranto Brocato, Jamie McCraw Hubier all of Shreveport; Billy Ross Robinson, Mary Bennett Hazelwood and Mary Bogan Moore of Bossier City; Clifton Watkins of Plain Dealing; Charles Williams, of Sulphur; Louise Jacks Gould, of Jacksonville, Texas; and Harold Camp of Parker, Texas.
Having a group of special leaders in this class who took a long term interest in keeping in touch, helped bond the class members through the years after graduation. Cliff Watkins has been the major inspiration for the class staying in touch. With the outstanding help of dedicated helpers like Jamie McCraw Hubier and Euzelle Lewis Sayles, (deceased), it was easy for other class members to stay in touch and attend reunions.
The class held regular reunions every 10 years at first, then every five years since their 30th for a total of 10 reunions counting the recent gathering. The class was unique in that most were born in 1930 in the middle of the depression and went through World War II together at a critical time in their lives from the Pearl Harbor bombing in December 1941 when in 6th grade, through their sophomore high school year when the war ended in 1945.
Class members remembered the air raid drills of WWII, where they crawled under desks or were on their knees against the walls of the hallway on the oiled wooden floors of the original Bossier Elementary School, called “Grammar School” then.
The conversations about school days led to remembering their elementary teachers: Mrs. Bertis, Mrs. McCraney, Mrs. Courtney, Miss Lily, Mrs. Goodson, Mrs. Alexander, and in high school; Mrs. Jacks, Mrs. Montgomery, Miss Elston, Mrs. Katie Belle Craighead Gamble, Coach Camp and others. Mr. Hudson was the Elementary principal and Mr. Jacks was principal of the High School.
The Bossier High graduating class of 1947 was the last class to only attend 11 years of schooling in Louisiana. At the class banquet in the high school cafeteria, one of our teachers made the statement, “If there has ever been a class that will really keep in touch by having regular reunions it’s the class of 1947.”