Saturday, May 2, 2020, East Rome High School’s classes of 1970 through 1980 are planning a ’70s Decade Reunion. The venue is the old East Rome Junior High School.

We need class reunions because they keep us connected to each other. When we gather for a class reunion, we are, once again that high school class. Much of the conversation is, “Remember that time ...?” and then everybody laughs at the story. Stories like the time…

Haunted house

Karen Earle and I got tickets to a haunted house. The haunted house was held in the old county home on the Kingston Highway. We were going through the house having so much fun. Then Karen said, “Pam! Just think. People really died in this old house!” Not what I wanted to hear at the time, but we laughed.

Wallace Bibb got bored at band practice

one day

The band room had risers. The tuba section was at the back of the band room on the top riser. That’s where Wallace sat. The trumpet section was on the next-to-the-top riser. That’s where I sat, right in front of Wallace, so he decided to annoy me during practice one day.

The tuba instrument cases had a box for valve oil and music. Wallace unsnapped the box and slid the box out of the case. In so doing there were just three sides to the box.

He put the open end of the box over his face, lifted the lid and said, “Hey Pam,” over and over. He would not stop annoying me.

Of course, when I couldn’t take it anymore and turned around, that’s when John Carruth noticed the antics. I was sternly admonished.

Of course, as soon as practice resumed, so did Wallace’s pranks.

The trumpet section during concert season

One day the trumpet section got bored at practice. That’s because it was concert season and all the music was centered around the woodwind section. John Carruth had to work with the woodwinds on those parts.

Meanwhile, the trumpet section all decided it would be fun to turn their trumpets upside down, and play it like a flute by blowing on the bottom of the valves. It sounded like a whistle. John Carruth could not figure out who was playing the whistle.

One day, during football season

Wallace was going to give me a ride home after band practice. He drove a Volkswagen, which he liked to work on, but he didn’t have good luck working on cars. We got in his car, he put it in reverse, backed out of the parking space, and put it in first gear. Sounds reasonable. Right? Except that something went wrong with an axle, I believe it was, and the car wouldn’t go forward. There we were in the parking lot of the school going in circles. I said, “Wallace! Been workin’ on your car again?”

You can’t take Rome out of the Gladiators

Many East Rome High School graduates have built lives for themselves miles and miles from Rome. Even so, they wouldn’t miss an opportunity to return to Rome and see friends from high school. There will be people at the reunion next May from California, New York, Texas and Florida. We know this because these are all people from whom the planning committee has received donations!

Donations for the reunion

Speaking of donations, the planning committee, in order to stage the reunion, is collecting donations of $10 from people who were in those classes of 1970-1980. That is what it will take to get this done.

If you graduated from East Rome between the years 1970 and 1980, please email me and I’ll tell you how to make your check out, and where to mail it.

Further, if you know anybody who graduated from East Rome in those years, please provide them with my email address and ask them to contact me for information about donations for the reunion.

Getting the word out

Even with resources like Facebook, getting the word out about an event is challenging. I hope there will be a zillion people from East Rome High School’s classes of 1970 through 1980 at the reunion next May.

In order to help make that happen, I hope my email is full of messages from y’all asking how to send a donation to the planning committee.

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

Recommended for you