What life was like 50 years ago in high school

Members of the VHS Class of 1962 Reunion Committee stand with the Stingaree emblem on the floor of what used to be Victoria High School. Front Row: Barbara Miller Volkmer, Pauline Swenson Janak, Martin Cano, Patsy Ralls Price - Chairman, Willa Vee Perdue Hewlett - Chairman, JoAnn Glenn Johnson. Back Row: Wretta Jo Vanek Schaefer, Gail Cranfill Whittington, Carol (Sudie) Tom, Pat Montgomery Zmeskal, Harry Brooks. Committee members missing from photo are: Gary Smith, Rae Jean Beller Young, Clara Bernal Garcia, Cleo McCormick Carter, Joe Garza and Jeanie Hester Pozzi.

Fifty years have passed since the Class of 1962 walked across the stage in the gym at Victoria High School. And, what a great 50 years! Victoria has grown and changed immensely during these 50 years. In 1962, the population of Victoria was approximately 20,000. During the past 50 years, men have walked on the moon, computers and electronics have taken over our lives, and 9/11 has changed our way of traveling and thinking.

We grew up in an era that was a much simpler time, before Internet, email, CDs, DVDs, cellphones, and Facebook. During the 60s, we had good times going to Pleasure Island to swim and listening to their great music over the PA, attending teenage dances at the Just Friend's Club, Friday night dances at the Club Westerner with The Moods from Luling, B.J. Thomas and the Triumps from Rosenberg, Roy Head and the Traits from San Marcos, and cruising the boulevard (Rio Grande) on the weekends. The Jet and Corral Drive-In restaurants were popular places to hang out during the 50s and 60s. We haven't forgotten those great root beer floats at Heinz Root Beer on Laurent, along with hot fudge sundaes at Greeson's Dairy, the El Rancho and Uptown movie theaters. In addition, many evenings were spent watching movies with a speaker hanging on the car window at the Twin Ranch Drive-In Theater, while most of our children, and certainly our grandchildren, cannot even fathom spending a summer evening watching movies outdoors. We attended pep rallies and Friday night football. All in all, we were lucky enough to be teenagers in the golden era of Rock 'n' Roll, slow dancing and the Twist, while future generations can only read about it and discover those wonderful oldies. The top ten songs during that time were: "I Can't Stop Loving You" - Ray Charles, "Big Girls Don't Cry" - Four Seasons, "Sherry" - Four Seasons, "Roses are Red" - Bobbie Vinton, "Peppermint Twist" - Joey Dee and the Starlighters, "Telstar" - Tornadoes, "Soldier Boy" - The Shirelles, "Hey! Boy" - Bruce Channel, "Duke of Earl" - Gene Chandler, and "The Twist" - Chubby Checker.

Chairpersons Patsy Ralls Price and Willa Vee Perdue Hewlett are busy planning the VHS Class of '62 reunion celebration commemorating their 50th year, along with committee members also working on the event: Gail Cranfill Whittington, Joe Garza, Harry Brooks, Gary Smith, Martin Cano, Wretta Jo Vanek Schaefer, JoAnn Glenn Johnson, Rae-Jean Beller Young, Carol (Sudie) Tom, Pauline Swenson Janak, Pat Montgomery Zmeskal, Barbara Miller Volkmer, Clara Bernal Garcia, Cleo McCormick Carter, and Jeanie Hester Pozzi.

Our 50th Class Reunion is a great opportunity to reconnect once again with old friends and hear their life stories. Many from our class have passed away and many are scattered over the world while others are nearby.

A countdown clock on the Class of '62 website ticks away the minutes and days until the July reunion. A webpage at the site pays tribute to the deceased classmates and also lists classmates that we have been unable to locate.

Our Friday evening event on July 6 at Victoria Country Club is open only to the VHS Class of 1962. The event will begin at 7 p.m. and end at approximately 9 p.m. Cost is $15 per person. Our Saturday evening event on July 7 will be at the Club Westerner with registration beginning at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m., music beginning at 9 p.m. and ending at approximately 11 p.m. Cost is $25 per person. Classmates from the 1962 class who did not receive their invitation should contact Patsy Ralls Price at 361-575-7389 or Willa Vee Perdue Hewlett at 361-573-9067. Classmates from the VHS Classes of '60, '61, '63 and '64 interested in attending the Saturday evening event at the Club Westerner should contact either Patsy Price or Willa Vee Hewlett for a registration form. Reservations and payment should be made in advance and no later than June 25.

Patsy Ralls Price is a Victoria native and a retired Executive Assistant/HR Assistant. She is Co-Chair of the VHS Class of 62 - 50th Reunion. Email pprice11@suddenlink.net.