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Phil Bullard email and reflections

Created on: 05/31/11 06:06 PM Views: 2812 Replies: 1
Phil Bullard email and reflections
Posted Tuesday, May 31, 2011 01:06 PM

Thanks to Phil Bullard for sending me the following email and "reflections" about part of the 50th reunion ... JSS


I didn't take my camera to the festivities, but wrote up a synopsis
of my experience for friends I knew who might be interested. 
This and the attachment may be shared with any othe friends who might care to see it. 
I'd like to see a write-up of the Sat. evening events sometime, if anyone wrote one.
 Photos are probably easier and better in the end,
but writing offers a different take on the same material. 
Best regards;


Reunion Reflections;
Grady People and Places

About three years ago the Grady 1961 class began having periodic informal luncheons for those who could manage to attend.  About three weeks before the ’59 class’s 50 yr. reunion in 2009, I ran into Bill Overton at Sam’s Club, and he advised me that he would be attending it as a guest faculty member.  Having friends in that group, I became interested in how theirs would go.  Rod Beall of the ’60 class soon told me at one of the luncheons that the ’59 group had put up the website and that the ’60 class would no doubt do likewise.  As we all have found, the process really caught on, and we now have and, for those classes, each site seeming to have learned some things from its predecessors.  The net result has been that finding friends is now easier than anyone could have ever imagined, surpassing the pioneering efforts of, which had been at this for several years.  Thanks to all these resources, all who so desire can keep in touch.  Having a foot in two of these classes and friends in those in several years adjacent, I offer these observations for the enjoyment of all and urge any who haven’t done so to link-up and join the fun.

Friday evening, May 13, 2011 the ’61 class opened its reunion events at the 57th Fighter Group Restaurant at Peachtree-Dekalb Airport.  Invitations and fees were not required, and it was casual dress with everyone purchasing only what they might want to consume.  I arrived shortly before 5:00 p.m. and met as arranged with Les Campbell and Tommy Stroud and his wife who were already there. We were presently joined by Bobby Snee, (’62), and Bill Moore (’60), who wanted especially to see Les and Tommy. Deciding to have supper, we moved to the dining area and were soon joined at our table by John Rosenberg.  Amid the good food and lively conversation we greeted numerous other classmates as they came in to dine.  I was quite pleasantly surprised to see Ben Dasher, one of my fellow drummers in the band, Jody Tucker, and Irene McVay Staik among many others.  Irene’s short and delightful account of what it was like to live next door to Theron Wilson (’60) made my evening, for several of my friends from the ’60 class and I had our hand in that backyard mayhem when we were young.  After eating, we adjourned to the bar area which opened to a nice patio.  There was a steady stream of people to greet and share news.  It was nice to see reunion regulars Tommy Sims, Herky Harris, Judy Stokes Gervais, Harris Hines and John Steele and his wife Brenda (Bruton).  The guys have attended the recent luncheons regularly, but I had not seen Brenda since the big school-wide reunion about ten years ago.  John Stephens, our hard-working Class President was busy as a one-armed paperhanger throughout all this issuing the nametags and keeping on top of several conversations. Naturally Becky Goings Mallard was present, and surprisingly so was Doug Nissley wearing his ever-faithful long-lens camera. I spoke briefly with Jimmy Black, Jim Nesbitt, Laura Sheriff Sutton, and Cookie Povilitis. I exchanged greetings with more nice people than I can detail here but had the good fortune to see many of them again as we moved into the Saturday events.  With my lousy night vision, in the interest of safe driving I had to leave before dark but fortunately didn’t have a long drive home.

The Saturday morning tour of Grady was something of a revelation.    We assembled in the new cafeteria of the newly rebuilt Eight St. wing.  Demaris Humphries Miller and her husband Jim finally were able to connect, their plane having come in too late the previous night to catch the events.  Don Baxter and Pat Foote Howle provided me interesting conversation on friends of mutual interest. Eventually some current Grady faculty, students, and parents led us on the tour focusing on the state of the art programs and facilities in the new Eighth St. wing.  Given the extraordinary possibilities in the Magnet programs in Journalism, Communications Media, Medical Technology, to name a few, the school has not missed a beat in being a place for a first-rate education, if the student chooses to seize the opportunity.  The music programs cop top honors, and the mock trial team performance is awesome. The alma mater seems as well equipped as some of the colleges I’ve visited in recent years, and has to be a place of pride among the Atlanta Public Schools.  By the way, our well-remembered newspaper, the Southerner, in publication since 1947 continues to win top awards. Being now two stories in height, there is little resemblance to the place we remember for eighth grade classes, band, orchestra, chorus, Woodshop, Print Shop, and Mechanical Drawing, reprocessed as it was back then from the Tech High facilities.  Much more detail is available on the Grady website, if anyone cares to check it out.  The place is impressive.  Honors abound!

The tour concluded with a walk through the tastefully refurbished main building hallway up to the school offices and later out to the grounds between the building and our old Boy’s Gym.  The old cafeteria, snack bar, parking lots and athletic fields except for the newly remodeled stadium are all but gone or replaced by other structures.  Everything appears to be a modern, well appointed, and efficient machine---attractive and productive, but in many ways not exactly how we remember it.  I heard that when the cafeteria we knew was demolished, some people managed to save pieces of the mural.  Someone reportedly managed to photograph the mural, as I had hoped might happen.  If any one gets word on how the prints might be obtained, the news will be well worth sharing.  The fate of the copies of the Parthenon friezes that once lined the long passageway behind the main building is not clear, but they don’t seem to have been totally lost.  Maybe some day they will be resurrected and have a life in the new Grady.  The tour ran overtime, and for my own reasons of time, I decided to skip the planned trip to the Varsity for lunch.  A conflicting event precluded my attending the Saturday evening proceedings, but perhaps someone who did will share with us a report on that.  In time photos and details of the weekend will likely be showing up on the website.  Until then, if anyone knows the answer, “What’s the good word?”

Phil Bullard
May 15, 2011

RE: Phil Bullard email and reflections
Posted Monday, June 6, 2011 05:48 PM

Phil Bullard's journal of the events he was able to attend of the 50th reunion of Grady class of 1961 is fabulous!  It is muchly needed for those of us who were unable to attend for one reason or another and muchly enjoyed to know some answers to some nagging the cafeteria, snack bar, Eighth Street building (sub-basement)...are they all there or has something taken their place?  I know I wrote Thomas Stroud asking many questions and he politely replied.

Thank you Phil for the account.  I truly appreciate your journal.


Mary Grimes, 6-6-11