In Celebration of MHS Class of 1958

In Celebration of MHS Class of 1958

A Tribute and Celebration

We were the class of 1958, members of the Greatest Generation as well as children of the Greatest Generation. Born in 1940, we are also called members of the Traditional Generation.

Our childhood, post World War II, "was the best of times . . . it was the age of wisdom . . . it was the epoch of belief . . .it was the season of Light . . . it was the spring of hope . . . we had everything before us . . .we were all going direct to Heaven . . . ." (A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens.) At least, that's the way I felt about it. We were truly blessed.

- Ouida Tomlinson -

This blog is a place for 1958 graduates of Meridian, Mississippi, High School to stay in touch, post their news, items of interest and photographs.

CLASS OF 1958 MEMORIES (Click to read all posts relating to sports, honors, graduation and other memories of our class in 1957-58.)




Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Father's Day Prayer

Let us praise those fathers who have striven to balance the demands of work, marriage, and children with an honest awareness of both joy and sacrifice. Let us praise those fathers who, lacking a good model for a father, have worked to become a good father.

Let us praise those fathers who by their own account were not always there for their children, but who continue to offer those children, now grown, their love and support. Let us pray for those fathers who have been wounded by the neglect and hostility of their children.

Let us praise those fathers who, despite divorce, have remained in their children's lives. Let us praise those fathers whose children are adopted, and whose love and support has offered healing.

Let us praise those fathers who, as stepfathers, freely choose the obligation of fatherhood and earned their step children's love and respect. Let us praise those fathers who have lost a child to death, and continue to hold the child in their heart.

Let us praise those men who have no children, but cherish the next generation as if they were their own.

Let us praise those men who have "fathered" us in their role as mentors and guides.

Let us praise those men who are about to become fathers; may they openly delight in their children.

And let us praise those fathers who have died, but live on in our memory and whose love continues to nurture us.

(Kirk Loadman)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Oil Spill Petitions

Nature reveals God’s power, and history reveals God’s providence; in this historical crisis of the Gulf oil spill may God provide us the power to halt destruction and reform the way we live.

May those whose livelihoods have been destroyed by the oil spill find dignified ways to provide for their families.

For those with power in business and government: may they humbly place their power at the service of the common good.

That all who feel powerless may experience through the compassion of others that the Lord hears the cry of the poor and is close to the broken-hearted.

For the health and safety of those directly involved in oil spill recovery efforts: may God grant them success.

May those aware of negligence or injustice in the management of natural resources have the courage to proclaim the truth, and may we all accept responsible for our use of petroleum.

For those who struggle with addiction, including our nation’s addiction to lifestyles dependent on oil; in discovering new ways of living that care for creation, may we know the freedom of the children of God.

Source: Franciscan Action Network

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Class Reunion

Every five years, as summertime nears,
An announcement arrives in the mail,
A reunion is planned; it'll be really grand;
Make plans to attend without fail.

I'll never forget the first time we met;
We tried so hard to impress.
We drove fancy cars, smoked big cigars,
And wore our most elegant dress.

It was quite an affair; the whole class was there.
It was held at a fancy hotel.
We wined, and we dined, and we acted refined,
And everyone thought it was swell.

The men all conversed about who had been first
To achieve great fortune and fame.
Meanwhile, their spouses described their fine houses
And how beautiful their children became.

The homecoming queen, who once had been lean,
Now weighed in at one-ninety-six.
The jocks who were there had all lost their hair,
And the cheerleaders could no longer do kicks.

No one had heard about the class nerd
Who'd guided a spacecraft to the moon;
Or poor little Jane, who's always been plain;
She married a shipping tycoon.

The boy we'd decreed 'most apt to succeed'
Was serving ten years in the pen,
While the one voted 'least' now was a priest;
Just shows you can be wrong now and then.

They awarded a prize to one of the guys
Who seemed to have aged the least..
Another was given to the grad who had driven
The farthest to attend the feast.

They took a class picture, a curious mixture
Of beehives, crew cuts and wide ties.
Tall, short, or skinny, the style was the mini;
You never saw so many thighs.

At our next get-together, no one cared whether
They impressed their classmates or not.
The mood was informal, a whole lot more normal;
By this time we'd all gone to pot.

It was held out-of-doors, at the lake shores;
We ate hamburgers, coleslaw, and beans.
Then most of us lay around in the shade,
In our comfortable T-shirts and jeans.

By the fiftieth year, it was abundantly clear,
We were definitely over the hill.
Those who weren't dead had to crawl out of bed,
And be home in time for their pill.

And now I can't wait; they've set the date;
Our sixtieth is coming, I'm told.
It should be a ball, they've rented a hall
At the Shady Rest Home for the old.

Repairs have been made on my hearing aid;
My pacemaker's been turned up on high.
My wheelchair is oiled, and my teeth have been boiled;
And I've bought a new wig and glass eye.

I'm feeling quite hearty, and I'm ready to party
I'm gonna dance 'til dawn's early light.
It'll be lots of fun; But I just hope that there's one
Other person who can make it that night.

Author Unknown
Life is Wonderful.
Don't forget it!----Praise The Lord, we've made it this far!!!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Double click to enlarge photo.
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Athletic awards and trophies as well as intellectual/academic and service awards were presented to select students during an end of year assembly at Meridian High School. Some of the results were identified in a 5/23/58 Wildcat article. Some of the results were not. We had to hunt for them. One result that continues to elude us is Charles McCraney's award based on his evident trophy. If anyone can shake down Charles, please get back to us.

Left to Right:
James H. Skewes award to Oliver Buntin as most outstanding athlete
(Unidentified award) to Charles McCraney
Alex Loeb Trophy to Ralph Abraham
H. M. Ivy award to Sue Burkes and Virginia Deonier (14th grades)
Pilot Club award to Judy McKellar

Looking over the list, we may all have our memories of the tremendous athletic contributions that Oliver Buntin made to our school, not least of which was serving as catcher for our 1957 State Championship Baseball Team. Ralph Abraham served as president of our senior class, as well as member of the football and track teams. When asked about his award, however, Ralph was vague, unsure.... There is a clue in the picture for you, Ralph; that trophy might jog your memory. And finally, we have Judy McKellar, a wonderful friend to so many of us who significantly was editor of the school newspaper, The Wildcat, in 1957-58. We still miss you, Judy - every time we look back for a record, we are reminded.


Click on photo to enlarge.
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If the award line-up appears to you an auspicious grouping, there is very good reason.

Classmates from 1958 who received individual intellectual/academic awards are from left to right:
Back Row: Phyllis Beckman, Joan Garrett, Marjorie Barham, Philip George, James Askew, Joe Burnett, John (Spud) East, Mollye Sharp, Carol Chatham, and Gloria Varnado.
Front Row: Kathleen Bustin and Ella Kappes

The awards we have identified are:

The Modern Dance Award, also the Business Administration Award to Phyllis Beckman

The Mississippi Art Association Award to Marjorie Barham (First Place Art Award)

The Marks Rothenberg Co. Science Award to Philip George (also a National Merit Finalist)

The Marks Rothenberg Co. Science Award to James Askew (& Wildcat Outstanding Achievement Award)

The Queen City Mathematics Award to Joe Burnett (also 1958 Class Valedictorian)

The Queen City Mathematics Award to John (Spud) East (14th grade award)

The Meridian Chapter of the American Association of University Women Scholarship to Mollye Sharp (also third in the nation on the National Merit Scholarship Test, 1957)

The Math Association of America Award to Carol Chatham

The Mississippi Art Association Award to Gloria Varnado (Second Place Art Award)

The Phi Beta Kappa Award to Kathleen Bustin

The Maude Smith English Award to Ella Kappes

Also not pictured:

Joan Bodenmann, John Loomis, Jimmy Glasser, and Freddie Tingle were awarded long honored lifetime memberships in the Science Club of America.

Martha Ann Markline was named Outstanding Foreign Language Student.

(Information allowing the identification of persons and awards on this list was obtained by way of classmates' word of mouth, direct emails to individuals on the list, additional dunning emails to individuals on the list, by sending a suggested list of memory boosting supplements to persons on the list, by extracting information from spouses of persons on the list as those persons slept, and finally by reviewing a 5/23/58 Wildcat that Peggy Edwards supplied.) With luck, we got the list right.


The record of our MHS class graduation has been posted on the web before, but we are repeating that post here so that classmates have easy access to review the academic accomplishments of our peers. And those accomplishments are plentiful.

By count, out of 325 students who graduated, 39 received highest honors and 29 received honors to account for 21 percent of all graduates. That is not just an accomplishment mathematically, for Dr. Carson is documented as having told one of our scholarship recipients in 1960 that the standards for our class were so high, to graduate in the top 33 percent of our high school class was tantamount to graduating in the top 10 percent of other classes. In the conversation, he reportedly described our class as being highly intelligent, strongly motivated and as possessing a strong sense of purpose. A very nice compliment, indeed.


Meridian High School graduation exercises were held June 2, 1958, 8 PM, at Ray Stadium. The graduation processional Pomp and Circumstance was played by the MJC band. Joe Burnett, 12th grade honor graduate, delivered the commencement address. Ralph Abraham, 12th grade president, presented the MHS class gift to the school. The MJC director, J. O. Carson, received the gifts. Ivan Burnett, 12th grade honor graduate, delivered the benediction.

12th graders graduating with highest honors were Beverly Adams, Joyce Bailey, Shirley Broadhead, Gay Broome, Gloria Brown, Richard Brown, Bobby Brown, Georgia Merle Browning, Ivan Burnett, Joe Burnett, Kathleen Bustin, Carole Chatham, Peggy Joyce Coats, Neldean Copeland, Marty Davidson, Michael Davis, Kay Dearman, Patsy Dorman, Jeanette Ferguson, Philip George, Amelia Hood, Laura Ann Horton, Judy Johnson, Ella Kappes, Leila Keeton, Mark Killam, Ouida Landreth, Judy McKellar, Martha Ann Markline, Ronnie Mitchell, Martin Palmer, Carey Ann Sanford, Tom Singley, Carolyn Smith, Anne Stallworth, Marianne Stuart, Bill Tatum, Freddie Tingle, and Betty Lou White.

12th graders graduating with honors were Ralph Abraham, Marjorie Barham, Phyllis Beckmann, Jackye Bergemeyer, Roy Crampton, Francine Culpepper, Joan Gault, Sandra Hodge, Dorothy Hood, Edwina Hubert, Patricia Kerr, Marty Kogan, Sandra Lovett, Pansy McCarra, Tee Mann, Frances Mayerhoff, Nona Parker, Gay Love Rawlings, Pat Rawson, Mona Robinson, William Sanders, Peggy Sellers, Sue Shannon, Briggs Smith, Mary Jane Spencer, Faye Stoudenmire, Rosemary Thomas, JoAnn Mills White, and Nancy Young.

The total number of MHS graduates was not mentioned in the article (condensed from The Meridian Star), but at the most recent reunion, the number 325 was stated.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


A few classmates at Martha and Harry Hopkins' Memorial Day Fish Fry in Meridian. From L: Patricia Norris, Myra Mabry in front, Martha, and Beth Clark. We had a great time, and it didn't rain!
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