by Ted Crossland
Five ladies enjoyed a grand reunion and period of reflection from their 63-year-old graduation day. In 1937 three boys and sixteen girls finished their “regular course” at Lee Woodard High School, Wilson (Black Creek), Wilson County, North Carolina. Then after some additional education and training they joined the world of work and wonder.
In September 2000 five of these (now 80 + year-old) “girls” joined together for the first time in 63 years to reflect on all that has happened and “catch up” on the intervening years. Helen Evans (Fulghum) Joy, Gladys Evans Simpson, Rachel Davis Cross, and Helen Yelverton Freeman (Class Vice-President) gathered in the home of Margaret Willis Taylor (Class Treasurer) at Nichols, South Carolina, to enjoy lunch and each other. They swapped tales and photographs while rebuilding their memory banks. The next day they reconvened in Wilmington, North Carolina, at Helen Yelverton Freeman’s home for an afterglow and to continue tales of memories and friendship.
There is a rumor in the wind that when they reconvene their catching up will perhaps include remembering skits from the school banquet on May 7, 1937. Helen Yelverton played Etta Williams in the one act farce – Billy’s Coming! Or the Gladys Evans role as a nurse in the two act farce comedy – Aunt Billy from Texas! Perhaps they will recall the Commencement Sermon for graduation on May 16, 1937, at eleven o’clock and the hymns sung that day – Onward Christian Soldiers and Bless Be the Tie that Binds. These women have certainly marched onward remembering their binding ties and becoming real survivors.
About the author
Ted Crossland is Helen Joy’s son-in-law (husband of Libby (Fulghum) Crossland) and a retired Naval submarine officer now living and working in Yorktown, Virginia. As a member of the York County Historical Committee he performs Public Information Officer duties for the group and travel through as much history as is possible.
He reports that these five wonderful women and their friendship is still strong.