40 years,... The combined classes of Coffee and Bradshaw celebrated our class reunion this past weekend and it couldn't have been any better. Starting with the Florence High School Homecoming parade on Thursday, we partied with a Swamper and Swampette at the Shoals Gold Room and ended up at the Sweetwater Depot on Saturday night. We also snuck in visits to Burrell Slater to visit our memorabilia room and went to places like FloBama and Buffalo Wild Wings for a late night snack. We also went back to Burrell for a get together after the Gold Room and it was just as awesome.
But you know what? We were not rivals this weekend. We were really united as much talk was done about the way the two schools were dissolved. No one was in favor of it and several offered simple measures that could have prevented this from happening. Simple, common sense ideas that apparently were not on the school boards minds at the time. It is very sad that the board and superintendent had such little respect for our traditions and cared very little about hearing anything about it.
But this blog post is about unity,... I want to quote Quint Langstaff as he really put things into perspective,... "Can't adequately relay how blessed I feel to not only have the opportunity to visit with peers I graduated with 40 years ago but to know that I also really WANT TO! Growing up in the 60's and 70's we experienced as much turmoil as any alive. Yet, as we gathered this weekend, Coffee, Bradshaw, black, white, rich, poor, healthy, fighting for our health tooth and toenail, married, divorced, widowed and those we memorialized; we are one. We were one then as well. Folks, it can be done. It has been done. We've done it. We are doing it. We have as many differences as any group. Just love and respect that our differences aren't what weaken us. To the contrary, they are what strengthens us. Proud of US. Love."
I'm speaking for myself when I say I saw classmates. I saw rivals too but I didn't see color, I didn't see rich or poor I saw classmates, I saw people.
I also saw laughter and a lot of it. I saw people reconnecting and making plans for future get togethers. I saw friendships rekindled and sharing of photos of children and grandchildren. I saw love.