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Mangum High School Alumni Reunion - 1998

Mangum, Oklahoma

The Class of 1948

By Velda Nelson Hatton


At last the time in our lives we have all been looking forward to for the past 11 years has arrived. In the Fall of 1947, we enroll in our senior year of high school, Most of us have been together most of our school years. Several joined the class in junior high as the smaller country schools consolidated with Mangum.

The first school days of 1947-48 began when temperatures were 107 degrees for at least the first five days and it is hard to believe that we survived with no air conditioners or fans.

B.F. Johnson was the superintendent and Gerald Nichols the high school principal. High School teachers were: Tom Johnson, Thelma Alexander, Helen Deaver, C.E. Dodge, Emily Hoover, Henry White, Odie Jones, Lucille Rice, Ben Sorrells, Minnie Lee Sumrow, Francis Smith and Berniece Gaylord.

There were 189 enrolled in high school with 55 seniors, 32 boys and 23 girls. Kent Phipps was reelected class president. He had been class president throughout junior high and high school. Wilbanks Smith was vice president and Sidney Snider, treasurer. Our class sponsors were Thelma Alexander, Emily Hoover and Mark Hodgson.

Dr. Fred and Louise Sellers were selected as our class parents. We spent many Sunday evenings in their home. Our new family included a little brother, Freddie, and sister, Dottie. We had a busy senior year with good football and basketball teams. Many of our classmates were involved in the band directed by the Reverend C.E. Dodge. At this time there were more than 100 members in the band. Others were busy in Pep Club and Glee Club.

Our senior play was "Charley's Aunt" directed by Mrs. Alexander and Miss Hoover. Those in the play were: Jo Jane Ware, Kent Phipps, Alan Smith, Harold Hoffman, Mary Ann De Iorio, Sue Nelson, Ray Bob Jones, Sidney Snider, Wilbanks Smith, Charles Smith, Velda Mae Nelson and Claud Doolen.

Our senior year ended with Baccalaureate Services on Sunday night, May 16 with the Reverend C.A. Pruitt bringing the message. On Wednesday night, May 18, we held our senior night program with Ray Bob Jones giving the class history and Kent Phipps the class will. A trio of Freddie Smith, Ben Sorrells and Alan Smith sang, "In the Little Red Schoolhouse."

At last, it was graduation night on May 20. Fifty-five seniors marched into the gym (which is now called the old gym) to receive their diplomas. Joe C. Scott, president. of the State Board of Agriculture gave the commencement address for the seniors of '48 and the Mangum Junior College graduates. Sidney Snider gave the salutatory address and Jo Jane Ware gave the valedictory. Jimmy Greasby played a piano solo.

The Tuesday after graduation 40 seniors boarded a Jewett Scott flat bed truck featuring side boards, school bus seats fastened to the floor and tarp to keep the sun and rain off. Louise Sellers, class mom, and Jean Parmerly were our chaperons. They traveled by automobile. Our first night was spent in Texarkana, Arkansas where some of our classmates had a little too much fun (no names mentioned). We spent the second night in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and then on to New Orleans, where we spent four fun filled days.

On our return trip, we spent the night in Galveston, Texas. Enroute to Galveston, some of the boys decided to get off the truck and hitch hike. They were picked up by the highway patrol and taken on to Galveston to join our group. While in Galveston we had a great time despite the fact that several of the girls told the truck driver they were the only ones going to the beach and believing them, he left the remainder of us behind. We took a bus to the beach and had a great time. The trip ended with everyone happy to be home, but sad that this was our last time to all be together.


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