° empty

Class of ’89 wants to walk stage

June 10, 2014, is the 25th year anniversary of the graduation ceremony that did not happen for the North Natchez High School Class of 1989.

Yes, I am afraid that if you ask any member of my class about a memory from our graduation, they will all tell you the one that stands out the most is the last class of North Natchez High School did not graduate! Our graduation ceremony was rained out! No alternative arrangements were made in case of rain, and the ceremony was not rescheduled for another date. We just did not graduate.

I remember us proudly, yet nervously filing into the Margaret Martin Stadium waving at our family and friends in the bleachers on the home side of the stadium. I remember us holding our hats as we walked and jokingly wondering if the rain would wait until after the ceremony to come down.

I remember everybody caught up in the moment because of the occasion and the inclement weather. Moments after the ceremony began, my classmates and I watched as the skies grew darker, the wind picked up, papers starting flying all over the stage and family and friends started letting up umbrellas for what was about to happen.

The band started packing up to protect their instruments, and we just all helplessly watched in disbelief for some sign of what to do.

Before anyone could give instructions, the rain began to pelt us, and teachers started frantically waving in the direction we were to exit the bleachers.

We were unzipping, disrobing and running for cover. I remember as I ran to the parking lot to find my car, telling one of my friends that I would call her once I got home. When I got home, I took off my soaked white dress, dried my hair, changed my clothes and wondered what the school and the district were going to do about our ruined graduation ceremony.

I guess I received my answer when my dad showed me that our class valedictorian’s speech was printed in The Natchez Democrat the next morning. Nothing!

Even though the graduation ceremony that did not happen is almost 25 years old, the memory for most of us is current. We did not get to play with the band or sing with the choir one last time during graduation. We did not hear the speeches of our valedictorian and class officers.

We did not get to be officially announced as the 1989 graduating class of North Natchez High School, turn our tassels, receive our diplomas on stage or throw our hats. We did not pose for photos with our best friends on the field following the ceremony. We just simply took our place in the last chapter of the history of North Natchez High School as the last class, but the first class to not graduate.

Although the rain soaked us 25 years ago, it did not soak the futures of the members of our class. We went our own separate ways to each carve out a distinct path. While some of us went straight into the workforce, others went on to participate in many graduation ceremonies beyond high school.

As our class approaches its 25th year anniversary, the reunion committee is making plans to host the reunion here in Natchez June 13-15, 2014. That Friday night, we are making plans to graduate! We want to have the graduation ceremony that the rain denied us of on June 10, 1989.

On behalf of our class, I am thanking in advance and asking anyone from the Natchez community who would like to help us in bringing this effort to fruition to contact me at brooksnatchez@aol.com or call 601-897-0820 and leave a message.

All classmates who want to participate in the graduation ceremony/the entire reunion weekend may also contact me using the email or telephone number previously listed.

 

Angela B. Brooks is a member of the North Natchez High School Class of 1989.