By Jacqueline Miles and Samuel Jackson
Classmates from throughout the United States returned home to reminisce and enjoy the 50th reunion of the Booker T Washington Class of 1966.
The excitement began as the class members met to practice their line dance for the upcoming banquet. Out of towners and locals gathered at the Red Lobster for dinner and hugged and laughed at old times as a “Wildcat”.
Friday night, the Meet and Greet held at St Joseph’s Parish hall, was really picking up steam as classmates and friends laughed at old pictures, played games of who’s who, as pictures of young classmates flashed on the screen (now adults) and enjoyed a filling meal prepared by Brenda Johnson, a fellow Wildcat. Needless to say, dancing began and laughter and screams of Oh My God were heard throughout the evening.
Saturday evening brought all Wildcats and guests to the Hilton Gardens Hotel where an exquisite evening began with a solemn tribute to all class members gone on. Guests and members enjoyed a scrumptious meal of prime rib, chicken, rice, green beans, salad, fruit, rolls, cake and sweet tea.
Teddy Pendergrass opened the show with singing Get Down, Funky Get Loose and asking Whatcha Come Out Here For? Do You want to Party Do You Dance? It just kept getting better with some well deserved standing ovation recognitions, including the crowning of Sherlean Miss Reunion Queen.
It moved on up to a spectacular floor show that took us behind the scene at an unforgettable peak into the back room of Club Sugar Ray for some business talk between Will, Bennie, Vera, Quick and others before a fight broke out resulting in Quick shooting off the pinky toe of Vera. From there we witnessed unbelievable entertainment performances including those by Whitney, Aretha, many others and topped off by Ike and Tina and the resurrected Mr. Royalty himself (aka Prince).
When you thought it couldn’t get any better, we were taken higher and higher in tribute to the closeness and unity with all 66 Wildcats on stage as Roberta & Donny serenaded everyone with You Got A Friend and people moved across the stage hugging each other. Then everyone literally danced the night away with the dance floor crowded to every cut.
Sunday morning brought everyone to First Baptist Church with worship service together and a farewell unity meal at Oscar’s Restaurant.
Thank God for Sherlean, Mary Ann, Walter, Annette P, Hattie and Kern and the host of others who outdid themselves for such an incredible weekend.
Plans are already in the making for the 55th year reunion. You don’t want to miss it.