Graduates gather for eighth straight reunion

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 3, 2001

MONTEREY, La. – Monterey High School has always had relatively small graduating classes – but alumni who attended the school in the 1970s and before said their feelings for the school are anything but small.

The eighth annual Monterey High School reunion -open to all those who attended or graduated from the school -attracted about 150 people, according to the count of organizer Dick Young.

&uot;It’s something to entice people who may not have any family left in Monterey to come back to this area and see a lot of people they haven’t seen in a long time,&uot;&160;Young said.

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Most who attended Saturday’s event said the closeness of the classes and the dedication and caring of the teachers were what made their time at Monterey High School special.

&uot;I remember Mr. Rhodes (a former principal) and his wife, who was a math teacher,&uot;&160;said Eldy Faye Gaspard, a Class of 1961 member.

&uot;They don’t have teachers like that any more. We went to their house after school,&uot; she said. &uot;They really helped raise us – but back then, everybody helped raise everybody’s children.&uot;

Others fondly remembered a small red brick schoolhouse that stood on the school’s present site.

Dannie Steele, who attended the school from 1939 to 1941, remembered that many students used alternative means of transportation to get to and from school.

&uot;We rode horses for a while there, me and my two brothers,&uot; Steele said, shaking his head at the memory.

He also remembered that many of the school’s teachers had taught the students’ parents or even grandparents. As he put it, &uot;We couldn’t get away with anything.&uot;

W.L. Paul, Class of 1945, remembered that at the end of his senior year at Monterey High, the school was flooded.

&uot;We had such high water, the school went under,&uot;&160;Paul said. &uot;We couldn’t even hold graduation.&uot;

While many graduates still live in and around Monterey, others drove in from far away, such as Aimee Moreland Miller of North Carolina.

&uot;I come to every reunion,&uot; Miller said. &uot;I do it to be with all the people I&160;love, to connect with friends and family.&uot;