Rockingham High Class of ‘72 reunites at old school


Portraits of former principals gifted

By Christine S. Carroll - christinecarroll@yourdailyjournal.com



Christine Carroll | Daily Journal Rick Thames of the Class of 1972 shares chorus stories with members of the 3 O’Clockers at Rockingham Middle School. The girls sang as part of a 1972 class reunion and gift-giving presentation on Saturday. Thames was a member of the 8 O’Clockers, who met to sing before classes started at the old Rockingham Senior High. “It was dreadful,” Thames told the girls about coming to school early, “but we had fun.”


ROCKINGHAM — Members of the Rockingham High School Class of 1972 may need a cheat sheet to sing the Alma Mater, but their memories of class shenanigans remain vivid.

About 20 classmates gathered at their old school Saturday to share reminiscences and a new gift to the school — portraits of former principals J.C. Mulkey, John Langley and Linwood Huffman.

The three portraits and plaques listing the principals’ accomplishments now hang alongside that of longtime principal Kate Finley and above a case of football, basketball and other trophies won at Rockingham High, now the site of Rockingham Middle School. The ceremony took place in an auditorium bearing Finley’s name.

“We were not exactly illustrious as seniors,” remembered Jimmy Pippin, a Class of 1972 alum and a teacher at the school when it was Rockingham Junior High.

“(Still), the class did have a legacy (before Saturday), but nobody knew about it,” he said — a sloppily painted “Class of 1972” slathered atop the school’s outdoor student-smoking shelter. Such shelters ceased their original function when smoking was banned wholesale in public places, but the legend remained atop the old shelter, Pippin said: he could see it from his classroom. It might even still be there.

Saturday’s gift was far more formal, of course. And more serious in tone, except for the kissing and hugging of old classmates before and after the formal program.

Rockingham Middle School principal Theresa Gardner welcomed the class, recalling all the old places they probably had hung out in town — the cinema, the skating rink and the Yellow Bird, where one could buy “awesome bell bottoms.”

The 3 O’Clockers, a chorus of middle school girls whose name is an homage to the 1970s’ 8 O’Clockers — chorus members who practiced before school — sang a medley of “Make New Friends, but Keep the Old” and the Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There” (1970).

Afterward, the 3’s and 8’s posed for pictures together as other members of the Class of ‘72 headed off for a tour of their old stomping grounds, a place Gardner said might “look a bit different” but remained “rich in history.”

Christine Carroll | Daily Journal Rick Thames of the Class of 1972 shares chorus stories with members of the 3 O’Clockers at Rockingham Middle School. The girls sang as part of a 1972 class reunion and gift-giving presentation on Saturday. Thames was a member of the 8 O’Clockers, who met to sing before classes started at the old Rockingham Senior High. “It was dreadful,” Thames told the girls about coming to school early, “but we had fun.”
http://www.yourdailyjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/web1_classof72.jpgChristine Carroll | Daily Journal Rick Thames of the Class of 1972 shares chorus stories with members of the 3 O’Clockers at Rockingham Middle School. The girls sang as part of a 1972 class reunion and gift-giving presentation on Saturday. Thames was a member of the 8 O’Clockers, who met to sing before classes started at the old Rockingham Senior High. “It was dreadful,” Thames told the girls about coming to school early, “but we had fun.”
Portraits of former principals gifted

By Christine S. Carroll

christinecarroll@yourdailyjournal.com

Reach Christine Carroll at 910-817-2673.

Reach Christine Carroll at 910-817-2673.

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