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Maxine Beck: A wonderful reunion of Westside High School's 1968 class

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Maxine Beck

Maxine Beck

Hello, all!

Westside High School's class of 1968 celebrated its 53rd class reunion at the Pell City Civic Center.

The three-day celebration began with a "Back in the Day" theme which featured local hang-out spots at Westside.

The snack bar offered hot dogs (with the award-winning "Jackson sauce"), cookies, chocolate and white milk, cokes, etc.

A price list of items ranged from 1 cent to 25 cents.

Hookie Dee's store featured its famous ham sandwiches and bologna sandwiches, souse meat and crackers, dill pickles, honey buns, chips and Frosty sodas.

The price list ranged from 5 cents to 35 cents.

Mr. Rowe's store featured 2 for 1 cent cookies, moon pies, pig feet, bubble gum, blow pops, Sugar Daddy's, Sugar Babies, and peanut butter logs.

To add further nostalgia, Mr. Rowe's famous hand-written rules were posted.

All in attendance received a Rowe' store speciality "Pig in a Poke" bag (a variety of candies).

Behind the Hedges price list was posted along with its famous, and dreaded to some, sign: "Sold Out To Students!"

The classmates met for Saturday morning breakfast at City Market on their second day of celebration. Westside/Drewry Alumni President Louise Farrior White was the guest speaker.

Class President Curtis Patterson was the guest speaker at dinner. All enjoyed a delicious meal and further laughter and memories.

The last day consisted of attending church of your choice and a "Farewell Picnic."

The theme for the picnic was: "Game On!"

All were presented a blue and gold jersey that contained the "1968" logo.

During the culmination of three day of celebration, balloons were released in honor of all deceased classmates, singing of the Westside Alma Mater, goodbyes, and closing prayer by the Rev. Ronald "Butch" Jemison.

According to Committee Chairperson Sandra H. Cameron, the class's next reunion is scheduled for 2024.

Fruitful conversation

I recently had a conversation with a lady from a different country and learned more, within those 45 minutes, than through all my years.

The lesson began when I asked her if she had recently wed because she had a different last name from the first time we met.

She explained that in her country the women do not drop their maiden name for the husband's surname. The wife keeps her father's surname and mother's surname out of respect for her parents and ancestors.

Next, we discussed the range of poverty and discrimination in America and her country. 

During a visit to a country near her birth country, I noticed youths selling fruit in roadside stands. I commented that Americans consider that a sign of poverty and that American youths do not sell fruits/vegetables at roadside stands. 

She heartedly remarked that our youths often sell drugs in order to provide a better life for themselves and their family. That statement has been made by Americans for years; therefore, no surprise there!

But to my surprise, she further commented that oftentimes the youths sell fruit to purchase items they personally want.

Other comments centered around police brutality in America against minorities, the poor being slaves to material goods, being linked to a certain race and not being just an American, and that America is not a country for all but more of a corporation that certain individuals/race are trying to maintain control of.

Well, in short, she most definitely "woke" me.

Check for packages

If you are expecting an online mail order, please constantly check your porch and steps.

From experience, I have come to the conclusion that some delivery persons, apparently, must be timed or running late.

Packages/huge boxes have been placed against my front door, and this causes me to have to go out another door, pull the packages/boxes to the side and then shove the items inside my house. However, I guess this is an improvement, considering that at times the delivery persons have left items on my steps (uncovered from the elements).

There are several other things that I, and others in my age range, do not understand about this "brand new world!" I guess we have to learn or "get out of the way."

Maxine Beck is a contributing columnist for The Daily Home. She writes about the African-American community in and around Talladega.