"Least Likely(s)" speaks at 50th
"Least Likely" Curtis Anderson succeeded by showing his appreciation, affection, and gratitude
on stage with close friends by thanking school officials like Miss Ann Pond and Mr. David McGehee
for the challenges they faced and the contributions they made for those least likely to succeed.
Counselor Mr. David McGehee and Counselor Miss Ann Pond were both present at the
Matoaca High School Mega Class Reunion and School Anniversary.
Classes of 1965-1969 celebrated the 50th school anniversary on Oct. 5, 2013
at the Hopewell Moose Lodge.
At the last minute I decided my wife should not
attend my mega class reunion with me.
I recall three fights I never finished on school property, not to mention the influence
some close friends could have on me, and so thought it best she not attend. We had
planned on her going and had looked forward to the event.
Cocktail hour started at 6 p.m. so I quietly slipped
in around 7 p.m. using my age as a disguise.
With any luck the three bullies of mine could have their wives with them, postponing any unfinished business.
My worse fear was realized early on when I read the name tag of my enemy
in 7th grade as he read my name tag. Neither of us could remember where
we left off on the classroom floor or why, so we laughed and hugged.
As he flexed his fist, I felt great joy instead of pain as we made contact.
Two other bullies of mine did not attend the event and a sense of loss came over me.
The night had been spared so far, but I had not yet connected up with some of my other old buddies.
It took no time at all before I was spotted by two friends of mine. My memory needed refreshing.
I soon made my way over toward the person who influenced my life the most.
From the first day at school until graduation, my mentor, my hero, and still a lighthouse to me.
He found all of MY life's opportunities and offered them to me, not keeping any for himself.
As my circle of friends enlarged during the evening, I was surrounded by those who could
influence my behavior as well as those I could have an influence. Quit humbling.
The good, the bad and the best and the worse were all around us.
Then came the most wonderful surprise of the entire evening. Our circle had two loose ends,
no pun intended, when our class president joined the group.
Our class president was also voted "Best Looking" and for good reason.
Tonight he looked even better. Our circle now seemed complete.
Five hours went quickly. Some were preparing as others were leaving.
The music, all the conversations, and dancing was now fading.
All night the DJ had offered the opportunity to anyone wishing to share a story
or experience to step up on stage to the microphone podium. No one had come.
The night seemed to me to be missing something. The food had been blessed
and recognition of those who made the event possible had been handled early in the evening.
I quickly acted, and moved our circle to the front stage. then up to the microphone.
Hey, what are friends for anyway. P.W.L., thanks for your help.
I felt the need to "confess" the challenges some like myself must have put on
our teachers, staff, and administrators, yet how they guided and directed us
and we just wanted them to know how much we appreciated what they had done.
No one in our circle came prepared to speak. What needed to be said could be done
in a minute or two at most. One who was least able to speak actually said it best.
"We love you all."
Matoaca High School in southern Chesterfield
was built and opened in the fall of 1963. Elementary students
had previously been bussed to different middle and high schools
and were now being brought together into one facility.
Our country was at war. There were racial and civil rights unrest,
as man was attempting to walk on the moon.
We had been segregated by race and by age and
now for the first time
integrated by race and age. We hardly noticed we were integrated by race.
Hey, we were in a new school, with new furniture, new books, new
teachers, and with old friends. Our first reunion was in 1963!
We had a new sports field, a new team, a new name, and
an opportunity to make new friends. Not to say there were
no challenges, but looking back, it was the beginning of what was to come.
Harry Lee, our thoughts and prayers are with
you. I never could throw a football like you
but was pretty good at throwing a newspaper. I recall taking your paper route during football
season so you could score for our team. I don't remember how we handled the books
(money) but it all worked out somehow as it was never about the money anyway.
Anabel, your mom was such a wonderful
person that I have no words to describe, but
then so was her mother and father. I knew them all well and kept in touch
through the years. I see it runs in the family.
Harmon, it is difficult to predict the
future, but if the past is any indication,
your future looks wonderfully bright through my eyes. Next time I am
in OH I will look you up. ( a warning :-)
Counselor Mr. David McGehee and Counselor Miss Ann Pond,
for Trig in 10th grade but was given Algebra I. It was not required for
my General Course. I asked again for Trig in 11th grade and was offered
Geometry. In my senior year I was told I could not take Trig because
Algebra II was a prerequisite. Both of you took the time to listen and
sought advise from Mr. Bunsavage and all of you bent the rules on my behalf.
I truthfully don't remember any of my General Course class material
but Trig has served me well. Who would have known in 1963 that vacuum
tubes would pass away to be replaced with the internet and cell towers.
Gary J., our 26 electronic training kits
course for $12.95 would have never been
without your 50% investment and guidance (push). I ended up with the
course and completed it but it was not half as much fun as when we worked
together on them. Then you left Harvey Lowe Electronics at graduation and
offered me your job, and Harvey seemed to be ok with it. You still walk in
big shoes that I feel so indebted to you. The surplus Navy
shortwave radio you picked up (40-50 lbs.) and sold me at cost ($15.00) was a gem.
I went on to get my commercial FCC telegraph license. See what you did?
I am glad you did not bring home a destroyer or some missile.
Science Class, acids seemed to interest me but
my science project was gun power
but that never sparked an interest in chemistry for me either.
Butch, after you told me you use to fight R.R.,
it brought to memory my own scuffles.
Hey, we didn't fight because we had a disagreement, we just liked to fight.
Actually, it was not fighting at all, it was just fun and a great exercise.
It never became a sport like football but the class seemed to enjoy watching.
R.R. was in fifth grade for about eight years, so almost anyone going through
Ettrick Elementary had a chance to take him on. He would hold back
and let you get him in an "advantage lock". He never hurt anyone.
Someone in the class was going to the floor with R.R. anytime Mrs. Thompson
left the classroom.
Sterling, I never thought that putting your
parents newspaper on the screened
porch was a big deal, but your dad always told me how much he appreciated
it and your mom added a note to my application for employment that
turned into a 40 year career.
G.W. and Phillip, Raymond and Gary J., how come
the only time I see
any of you is at a class reunion? After high school in 1966, I never saw any of you
until 1986 and the second time now, 2013. A few hours is not enough time for
catching up. Before Facebook, I have had my face on the internet (2000) and
still do. All my whereabouts ( hope that is a word) is no secret. Even Lennie
caught up with me sitting in my daughters garage in Santa Rosa, Ca. recently.
So what can I say......there is Facebook and there is Google....search
Curtis Anderson Ettrick Verizon something.
Closing for now, who ever suggested the
"Circle" (circus) on stage
the night of the reunion should come down.....we were on our way
but not until we thanked all those who devoted their lives to guide
especially those "least likely".
To my circle of friends, not a one of you were willing to go on stage.
To speak.....never. But then, what are friends for anyway. All of you
did follow me agreeing only to stand with me, but to say nothing.
After I got everyone's attention (there was never a school fire
or break-in to my knowledge), our circle loosened up.
The "Least Likely" most likely may
not be invited to the next
reunion, but if it will be in 25-50 years from now, we may have
already had the last word.
Honestly, I don't remember a word spoken at our
but who could forget what was said by the least likely at this reunion.
Short 3 Minute Video - Apple Products - iPhones / iPads
The short video is on one section of the event only.
Short 3 Minute Video - Android - Microsoft Products
While it was mostly dark in the area, using the correct camcorder settings,
the video turned out very well. I was working alone, so not much in the
way of sound. What I could have used was someone to explain and
get the each person to introduce themselves and "loosen up".
Some in the video "figured it out" without any help.
Video quality is limited to web download speeds, but is outstanding
on a large HD screen in blu-ray format.
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