Hartselle High class of 1983 enjoys reunion
Staff Reports, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle High School's class of 1983 celebrated its 20-year reunion on July 19 at Hartselle's Sparkman Park and also at the Huntsville International Jetport's Four Point Sheraton Hotel.
The reunion committee, headed by Johnny Burks of Arab, started planning the reunion in January and it took six full months of work to put the final details on the extravaganza.
Other members of the reunion committee were John Burnum, of Cullman; Leah Coleman- Stephens of Athens; Valerie Swinford-Clark of Madison; Kent Johnson, Sondra Copeland- Malkmus, Susie Burgess, Chris Keenum and Kelly Kent, all of Hartselle; Greg Caudle, of Arab; Teresa Clark-Williams of Marietta, Ga; and Susan Hicks Eddy of Birmingham.
About 50 classmates along with their spouses and children enjoyed an informal get-together the morning of July 19 at Hartselle's Sparkman Park. More than 100 people enjoyed the get-together at the park as committee festively decorated the pavilion with many balloons and a welcome banner in the old school colors of red and white.
Classmates and their families brought their own lunch and amused themselves by re-introducing themselves to old friends, reviewing Hartselle annuals, and guessing the identify of their old classmates, many of whom had not been seen in 20 years.
A few classmates who were not able to attend the other events came to the morning reunion at Sparkman Park, including Kip Smith of Birmingham; Tammy Partridge-Kimbril of Vinemont; Kathy Edmiston-Steele, James Maxwell and wife Mary Drake Maxwell, all of Hartselle; Nadine Sanders-Roberts and Daniel Shelton, both of Somerville, and Daron Hancock,of Cullman.
The class later had a more formal dress-up function at the Sheraton Four Points at the Huntsville International Jetport complete with DJ, music, and catered food and drink. The committee prepared name tags complete with 1983 senior pictures attached and also enlarged 1983 senior individual photos to page-size for wall display at the reunion.
These photographic reminders of high school decorated walls and welcomed the classmates to the Grand Salon Ballroom registration table.
The Grand Salon Ballroom was further decorated with Hartselle letter jackets, video of high school happenings from 1983, as well as a memorial photo wall in honor of the three classmates who are known to have passed away from the class of 1983: Jonathan Anders, Sonny Livingston and Phillip Wiggins.
Reunion committee members also decorated the Grand Salon ballroom at the Sheraton Four Points with red and white balloons, a HHS 1983 centerpiece for each table, banners, a HHS 1983 reunion cake, prepared award ballots, and generally made sure that everyone had a great time that celebration night.
Throughout the night a DJ played songs and most classmates "boogied down" on the dance floor to 80's hits as well as more contemporary hip-hop rap music by Nelly and others.
As the classmates enjoyed the food and drink provided by the Four Points Sheraton, Master of Ceremonies John Burnum, ably assisted by Johnny Burks, introduced each attendee and their spouses and told a little about what each one had been up to over the last two decades. Introductions of all former classmates were made to the applause and sometimes laughter of classmates. These introductions appeared to help out everyone throughout the night as they mostly avoided the dreaded "Who are you?" question that are the usual ritual at class reunions.
Later in the night, Burnum and Burks presented gold-labeled certificates to the following classmates during the most anticipated event of the evening: "The Award Ceremony." A four-way tie resulted in the category of "Most Children" with four children each between Jennifer Gorham- Bishop of Hartselle, Kim Cain-Humphries of Somerville, Leah Coleman-Stephens and Greg Caudle.
Although some classmates traveled from out-of state including Teresa Clark-Williams of Marietta, Ga., Tami Stone-Cook of Atlanta, Ga., Lisa Monk-Stewart of LaGrange, Ga., Scott Bartholomew of Dallas, Texas, and Randy Hulse from Nashville, Tenn., the award for "Traveled the Longest Distance" went in a tie to Nancy Brindley of Burbank, Calif. and Karla McCutcheon-Buffington of Toluca Lake, Calif.
Beating out many contestants, Kim Cain-Humphries also accepted the award for "Changed the Most" while Johnny Burks and Leah Johnson-Roden of Hartselle tied for "Changed the Least."
In the category of "Married the Longest" Karen Long-Harris, of Hartselle outlasted Mitzi Chaffee-Taylor of Hartselle with 20 years and a few months of wedded bliss. When all ballots were tallied it turned out that Karen married a few months before Mitzi way back in 1983.
Although there were many deserving contestants in the category of "Most Eligible Bachelorette", the winner was a tie between Beth Lemmond and Susie Burgess, both of Hartselle. Ronald Turney of Decatur went home with "Most Eligible Bachelor."
Classmate Tony Woodruff of Chelsea won the hotly contested category of "Turned Out as Expected." The winner of the interesting category of "Who Would've Thought" was a tie between Tamie Stone-Cook of Atlanta, Ga. who works as a chef on a Food Network cooking show, and Nancy Brindley of Burbank, Calif. who is a Hollywood producer for Universal Studios pay-per-view website among other duties.
Although it had been 20 years since their graduation day, one educator clearly stood out among the other outstanding teachers at Hartselle High School as the majority of students listed Anne Ledbetter as their Favorite Teacher. The Reunion Committee sent Ledbetter a very nice award certificate and congratulations letter for her achievement.
Other graduates, with their spouses and dates, who enjoyed the food, fun, dancing and good times with old friends at the Sheraton Four Points included Nerissa Legg- Appleton, Jamie Peck- Host, Lisa Leeth-Hawkins, Katrina Clark-Rieger, Wendy McAbee-Roberts, Stanley Elliott, Cara Weatherford, Vic Coulter, Lyn Long, Mike Staudt, Jimmy Lawrence, Pattie Jones- Collier, Lee Gibson, Karen Tapscott-Anderson, Robin Lane-Wilson, and Gina Preuitt-White, all of Hartselle; Patsy Edge-Glaze, Suzanne Groover-Baucom, and John Boyer, all of Athens; Tesa Sides Glass of Gulf Shores; Joan Baucom, of Birmingham; Tyrone Orr, Xan Haynes- Hartleroad, Patricia Copeland-Ray, Lorri Sandlin-McNutt, Barry Teichmiller and Lisa Cheatham, of Decatur; Patti Sparkman, of Huntsville; Ray Halbrooks of Moulton; and Stacy Moore-Tidwell, of Harvest, Alabama.
Committee member Kent Johnson set up the Hartselle Class of 1983 reunion website at www.HartselleClassof83.com in order to keep all classmates in contact. The committee, with the help of all in the class, tried to track down any classmates that may have been missing. Out of the class of 210, the committee successfully tracked down about 150 former classmates prior to the reunion in July.
Committee member John Burnum also took more than 200 high resolution candid digital photos of classmates at the morning/evening reunions and "burned" them onto CD-Rom photo discs, making them available to classmates at a nominal price. A percentage of proceeds will go to the next reunion in either 2008 or 2013. Any classmates that missed the reunion can contact Burnum at email@example.com or 256-353-5187 if they are interested in buying a CD-Rom photo disc of the Hartselle Class of 1983 20 Year Reunion.