“... Through the years fond memories linger, to recall these happy days …”

Those words are from East Rome High School’s Alma Mater. Saturday afternoon, May 4, at a tailgate party at Heritage Park, that is what will be happening. Recalling those happy days.

The Details

On May 4 from 3 to 7 p.m., rain or shine, at Heritage Park across from Barron Stadium, there will be a multi-class reunion tailgate party. The event is planned for the classes of 1971 through 1977 from East Rome High School. Please bring food, drinks, coolers, ice, paper products and chairs. Oh yeah, and do not forget your wireless portable speaker so you can listen to music on your phone. I’ve already made my Spotify playlist.

How it happened

My class, ’74, graduated from high school 45 years ago and nobody had made plans to celebrate, so I organized a tailgate party. Then, so that more than 12 people would show up, I made the rogue decision to invite other classes. I thought we should invite the classes that graduated three years before and three years after us. When word started getting out about the tailgate party, several people told me that every time they plan a reunion for their class, eight people show up. That’s when I knew my decision was right on. The more the merrier.

The epic East-West Rivalry

Last week on Nelle Ragan’s radio show, Judy and Carey Ingram and I were interviewed about the tailgate party. Nelle asked Carey, “Do you think combining East and West Rome was sad?” After a moment of thought, Carey said, “No. I miss the East-West rivalry. But we were friends and when the athletic competitions were over, we were friends again.” Ah yes, the annual East-West football game!

Live music on Broad

At the tailgate party Saturday afternoon, about 6 p.m. or so, we will pack up everything and move the party to Broad Street at Second Avenue for the live music. This is very appropriate because when we were teenagers we spent a lot of time downtown. So, once again, all the gang will be together on Broad Street.

Schroeder’s

When the live music is over at 8 p.m., nobody will want to go home, so we’ll probably all go to Schroeder’s. You are never too old to spend time with your friends, especially in downtown Rome.

1970s East Rome High Reunion

The plan for next year is to invite the classes of 1970, ’78 and ’79 to this event, in which case this reunion will morph into a “’70s Decade East Rome High School Class Reunion!” Actually, if you are reading this and graduated in 1970, 1978 or 1979, feel free to crash the party! Again I say, the more the merrier!

We want to see you Saturday at Heritage Park if you graduated from East Rome High School in 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976 or 1977. We rented a pavilion so this is a rain or shine event. Indeed, you never get too old for having fun with friends at a tailgate party, even in the rain.

Native Roman Pam Walker is a paralegal, a writer, avid cyclist, history enthusiast and ardent reader of Southern fiction. Readers may email her at pamterrellwalker@gmail.com.