Sweetwater H.S. Class Reunion of the Century
The SWEETWATER HIGH SCHOOL CLASS REUNION of the CENTURY
("The REUNION MAP")
By CHRISTOPHER B. DAVIDSON
After a lull in attendance and interest in our 30th Class Reunion, our classmates had pretty much talked themselves into "skipping the 35th, this year, and saving everything up to make the 40th bigger and better. But after losing and "almost losing" the largest number of classmates and friends since graduating, it was a conversation between Richard (Dick) Dowell and fellow Classmate of 1975, Craig Carmichael, that turned things around... slowly... very slowly... and just about the time they began to "make a few plans", Craig's job took him out of the state... out of the country... and off the continent to oil fields in the middle-east.
After rallying around several of our classmates that were "lucky to be alive", after bouts with disease and traffic accidents, Dick and I started talking about Craig's "Go Ahead and Have a Reunion Idea". One thing lead to another and we found ourselves "eking out a few details" here and there. Somewhere along the way, our approach changed from "a hundred or so 1975 graduates getting together in a hotel banquet hall... to how great it would be if everyone we went to school with... older and younger... could show up at our reunion. As our conversations and "big ideas" grew... we first committed to the idea of a "Class Reunion of the DECADE"... encompassing the decade we grew up in and graduated in... the '70s. But soon we realized that we knew "good folks of all ages" growing up in the West Texas town of Sweetwater and decided we would creatively - have to include EVERYONE WHO HAD GONE TO SCHOOL AT ALL WITHIN THE LAST 100 YEAR RANGE.
Thus, we started the first stages of promotion for "The SWEETWATER HIGH SCHOOL CLASS REUNION of the CENTURY" over three months ago by creating an 'EVENTS PAGE- on FACE BOOK, and sending out our "first announcement" about what we wanted to do... but let me tell you right now... that had I known then what I know now... I might -NOT- have made the NAME so danged LONG!!! All I can say is, "THANK GOD FOR -COPY & PASTE-!"
And thank God for JEANNE NAYFA BREWER who "just wanted to help a little because she liked the -concept-". Without missing a beat, Jeanne, jumped right in and starting filling gaps Dick and I didn't even know existed. Then, she started taking care of all of the "financial responsibilities & bookkeeping" and next was recruiting other volunteers to help out too... but then... that's "JEANNE".
And now...after 400 RSVPs for the BBQ "Picnic at the Lake", and 500 more coming out later for all the music planned which includes, "The Acoustic Pond" - live music with area musicians and a special Guest Appearance by "Royce Porter", "Mr. Songwriter" to many of Nashville's Top Country Stars, who will play and sing some of his many "Country Hits" for his hometown friends, family, and fans for the first time in 20 years, there will also be "Dancin' Under the West Texas Stars" and even "Rockin' the Night Away" with a local Sweetwater Classic Rock Band, "STATIC PULSE". Truly something... for everyone.
There is a special "surprise award ceremony" planned for Royce Porter, to present him with "THE WEST TEXAS MUSIC HALL of FAME - PIONEER AWARD"... as well as announce his induction into their "SONGWRITER HONOR ROLL". A new Scholarship Fund will also be established titled the "GREG SCOTT MEMORIAL MUSIC FUND" for a "graduating high school student who is college bound and pursuing a degree in music" in memory of the local Scott Family's eldest son, Greg, a talented singer/songwriter and "modern day cowboy" from the Steamboat Springs, Colorado area.
We have received emails from folks all over who have heard about the "Big Reunion" one way or another... and many are "coming home" for the first time in 20 or 30 years. The phrase "Multi-Class Reunion" is getting thrown around a lot now... and we have seen whole Sweetwater High School classes join our reunion instead of producing their own. It's all been fairly amazing... and at times a bit overwhelming... but all in "a good way". My whole musical family, The DAVIDSON CLAN" will all be on stage at the Entertainment Pavilion and performing together for the first time in many years... so there are "reunions inside of reunions" everywhere.
But now... it's time to send out our "last announcement'! The Reunion is only five days away. I wanted our last message to everyone to be "helpful" but more than that I wanted it to "TIE EVERYTHING TOGETHER" in some special way... so I came up with the "idea of a Reunion Map". (and I got laughed at more than once because of it too) Kind of a funny idea when you think about it... because anyone who has ever attended Sweetwater High School or lived in Sweetwater, Texas, population about 11,000, for more than a month or so, knows exactly where LAKE SWEETWATER is.
SO WHY A MAP?
So that -EVERYONE- who wants to be a part of this... CAN... BE... A PART... OF IT... So that "EVERYONE, humanly possible gets INVITED"... and "NO ONE GETS LOST ALONG THE WAY"... or even "ACCIDENTALLY FORGOTTEN". And in some "adolescent, naive way" for just a moment... I believed like I did when I was a "kid"... that if we hand out enough -MAPS-... even "on-line, virtual maps"... that not only will the people who receive them in their Face Book Messages and email accounts use them to help them get here... but they will also "share the maps with other friends and family"... and those people will make it here, too. And then, one of those people will "tell someone about it over the phone or at work"... and they will decide to "come home together for the "Big Reunion"... and maybe... just maybe... a few people who are not even on the "World Wide Web" will stumble across a copy somebody printed out one day... and dropped on the ground... and they will pick it up and examine the map... and recognize the names of the places on the map... and make it "home" just in time, too. Hey... a fella can dream.
Besides... I always enjoyed making maps... drawing treasure maps with crayons was a favorite past time when I was little, trying desperately to "stay still in church"... coloring the state of Texas with "colored pencils" for the first time in Mrs. Benson's sixth grade class at Southeast Elementary... drawing detailed maps of the whole United States in Mrs. Major's American History class in Junior High... World Geography maps for extra credit in Mrs. Melton's high school class... and now... 35 years after proudly graduating from Sweetwater High School in 1975... I am making "another map"... one that I hope "leads -EVERYONE- home" on September 25th, 2010.
For "one weekend... at the most... and for one day... at least".
May God bless you and your family in your life...
And on your journey "home" this coming weekend.
Sincerely, If Not Wisely,
Entertainment & On-line Promotions
Class of 1975