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Grads look back at 70-year reunion
Classes of 1941, '42 gather in Cumming
Reunion WEB 1
Vivian Boyd Hunt, from left, Winnie Bramblett Tallant and Helen Matthews Lewis reminisce during a class of 1941 and ’42 reunion Oct. 1. - photo by Autumn Vetter

No doubt things have changed a lot in the past 70 years.

Back then, gasoline was 12 cents a gallon, milk was 54 cents, the average home price was $4,000 and it cost 30 cents for a ticket to the movies.

Dreama Rains recalled this and more for members of the Cumming High School classes of 1941 and ’42 during a 70-year reunion Oct. 1.

The two classes have held annual, joint reunions for the past several years.

“We wanted to make this one very special since it’s the 70th,” said Judy Wade, a reunion organizer whose mother is a member of the class of ’41.

The two classes attended school at the historic Cumming schoolhouse, currently home to the Cumming Playhouse.

During Saturday’s reunion, about 20 classmates between the two graduation years gathered at Longstreet Baptist Church.

They had lunch, listened to a devotion from Rains and were awarded several raffle prizes. But most of the time was spent reminiscing about their school days.

Wade’s mother, Laura Creamer Thompson, said the two classes were “a close knit group” in school.

“We came from all over the county,” she said. “Coming to the city every day really bonded us.”

Leon Stephens, a member of the class of ’42, recalled just getting to school was a challenge in those days.

“Most of us walked to school,” he said. “You had to go through pastures and all sorts of things.”

Vivian Boyd Hunt agreed, saying probably the hardest part of school was getting up so early.

“I had to get up at 4 a.m. and then be gone at school all day until about 4 in the afternoon,” she said. “And to get home, it was all dirt roads. A lot of times the bus would get stuck.”

Getting to school wasn’t difficult for Helen Matthews Lewis.

“I lived in the house right across the road from the school,” she recalled. “I’d just get up, get dressed and run across the road when the school bell rang.”

Lewis brought a scrapbook of newspaper clippings, photos and other mementos.

Among the items was a planned layout of the school’s newspaper, of which she was editor for one year.

“I thought I’d be the editor of the New York Times someday,” she said.

Other mementos included photos of the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams.

Winnie Bramblett Tallant recalled that for the majority of the years she and her classmates attended the school, it didn’t have a gym.

“So the basketball team had to play in the upstairs of [one of the downtown] funeral homes,” she recalled. “Basketball was the sport back then. We didn’t play football.”

Lewis recalled that back in her day, field trips were few and far between, though the class did go to Atlanta once.

“Only two in the class had been to Atlanta,” she recalled. “We went to the zoo and the Cyclorama.”

Many of the classmates agreed much is different for today’s students.

Tallant recalled that she and her classmates were trusted by their teachers and administrators.

“At lunch every day, we were free to walk down to the square,” she remembered. “We didn’t have to ask for permission, they just knew we’d come back at the time we were supposed to, and we always did.

“We didn’t have all those rules and regulations like today.”

Stephens added that his generation seemed more grown-up at younger ages than today’s teens.

“[We were] all work-a-holics then,” he said. “There seems to be a lot more playing around now.”