Class of 1959

The 1959 senior classmates of North Mecklenburg celebrated their 50th reunion at Pine Island Country Club during the Thanksgiving Holiday. Every one in attendance had a great time. There were no damages to the property other than two small fires inadvertently set by a speaker, and the club owner. And a very sincere thank-you to Charles Barton and Johnny Bailey for taking control of the situation when I set my speech on fire.

I hope we meet again, soon, the seniors of 1959…for obvious reasons. Maybe next time, we should gather in the summer…near water? The planning committee did a great job…thank you, Shirley Thrower Casper, Jeff Jones, Kay Broome Jenkins, Martha Fortner McInnis, Charles Barton, and Tommy Watkins. A very special thanks to Larry and Sherri Griffin, Miriam Moore and Midgie Wilson Brawley, they are the glue that has held us all together for so many years. I am posting my comments for the classmates who missed being with us for the occasion. I hope they will join us next time.

“I was talked into speaking tonight by Midgie Wilson Brawley. Midgie felt that if I told a little about myself…everyone should feel pretty good about themselves and then you will step forward and share a little about your life journey.

Let’s begin with acquired names: my tombstone will have to be cross-referenced. Judy Rozzelle became Judy Rozzelle Coffin Somers Coffin Savranakis, a Greek last name that took me three days to learn how to spell. After that foray into failed foreign relations, I returned to my original name, Judy Rozzelle.

I moved back home to Shuffletown and through no fault of my own, I was celibate for thirteen years. I shared my ancestral home in Shuffletown with my 19 year old nephew who departed and returned through the second floor bedroom window. I was robbed seven times, and sought psychiatric help. In 1992, while heavily medicated; I graduated from college, even passed the GMAT to enroll in the graduate program.

And the man who brought me here tonight, and to our reunion five years ago, is Lee Ryan. We met at Cousin Phyllis Rozzelle Henline’s funeral; I chased him until I exhausted him. We do not feel the need to marry since Lee is my third cousin and in some states it might be illegal. There will be no children from the union. After seven years together, we plan on living happily ever after.

I’m telling you all this as a testament to the human spirit. In our senior annual, there is a printed slogan….”Seniors’ face an ending and a beginning.”
And that is what life is, change. Life takes hold of everyone and tests all. No one escapes.

It is not what happens to you in life, but how you handle it.”

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