By Linda Emley
History was made in Richmond Saturday night when the RHS class of 1973 held its class reunion.
I was a few years behind them in school, but I decided to crash the party because there were some people that I hadn’t seen in 40 years. Everyone was invited to drop by after 8:30 p.m., so I wasn’t really a “party crasher.”
Like anyone else, I hate walking in to a party alone but I decided to do it anyway.
Here is where the magic of the Ray County Museum starts. It was 8:45 p.m. and I drove to the museum to look for something I could take to the reunion and share with the class.
The museum has many yearbooks, but the 1973 Echo was already laying on the table when I walked in the “school” room. I thought that was pretty amazing, but that’s how it works on the hill.
Then I walked around the room full of band uniforms and trophies looking for something that might be from the 1970s. The first trophy I picked up was marked “2nd place at the 1973 Blue Springs Tournament.” I thought to myself, “No way, it can’t be that easy.”
At this point, I wasn’t surprised to find the yearbook picture of the basketball team holding the same trophy I had just picked up. As the trophy and I were heading out the door, I noticed the brass plate had come unglued. I almost called it off, but I wasn’t going to let 40-year-old glue stand in my way, so I repaired the trophy and headed to the reunion.
There are no words to describe how much fun it was to walk into the party carrying that trophy and the 1973 yearbook. I had a piece of history they hadn’t seen in 40 years. It made my day seeing Jerry Cole carry the trophy as he showed his son Jed and the other guys. We soon had six members of that RHS basketball team lined up with the trophy as we took their picture.
I spent the rest of the evening getting everyone to sign the yearbook, which is now back at the museum. I also invited everyone to visit the “school” room at the museum and see all the other treasures.
Many stories were shared over the next two hours, but there was one story that wasn’t mentioned that must now be told. The reunion was held at the Richmond Shrine Club, which was the “7-Rs” restaurant in the 1970s. One night the “7-Rs” customers got to be a part of history that none of them ever forgot.
I don’t remember how it started, but a few of us got together and decided it was time to have a little Saturday night fun. A few minutes later, a car door opened and a “streaker” jumped out and rain across the “7-Rs” parking lot. As he crossed the highway heading east toward Morningside, the brown paper sack blew off his head but no one noticed because all eyes were on his tan line.
Yes the “streaker” was at the reunion, but his secret is safe with the few of us that helped cover his trail.
I didn’t take any pictures with my camera because I saw too many stories behind the stories that were there. The only picture I had taken was one of me with Stanley Crozier and Monte Bailey.
I’m sure people were wondering what the three of us had in common. We all lived in Norfolk, Va. when the guys were in the Navy. They spent many Saturday afternoons at our house watching football games.
I want to thank the RHS class of 1973 for allowing me to share its class reunion. It was a fun night. For those who left early, you missed one of the strangest endings that I’ve seen in a long time. You won’t be reading about it in the newspaper because “What happens at the reunion stays at the reunion.”
I was the last one to leave the building, right behind Ron Masters and his wife because Ronnie promised her they wouldn’t be the last ones out the door. I took the hit for Ronnie, because that is what “Morningsiders” do. I never lived in the land of “Morningside,” but I’ve been told I contributed to the cause, so I get to claim the status.
As I drove away, I saw a Texas “beamer” heading out of town and the Class of ‘73 is now safely tucked away for another five years.