TVHS Class of 1964 Gathers Again
Let us be grateful to people
who make us happy,
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.
With the passing of another year, the Tygarts Valley High School Class of 1964 met on the afternoon of August 19 in the open air Armadillo Flats at CJ Maggie’s in Elkins for their 53rd annual get together. Twenty class members, with their spouses and guests, attended the event. The class happily welcomed Bill Alexander of Valley Bend, a classmate many had not seen in several years. The class urges his return for future reunions.
Upon entering the gathering area, attendees were greeted by a display of the dedication ceremony for the SPC 4 Randall W. Arbogast Memorial Road prepared by classmate Larry See of Kingwood. Arbogast had graduated with the Tygarts Valley High School Class of 1964 and had lost his life in May, 1967 from wounds incurred during the Vietnam War while in service to his country. The display included the newspaper clipping for the dedication and other memorabilia, some of which was take-home items for class members who were unable to attend the dedication ceremony which was held Sunday, May 28 at the Methodist Church in Valley Head.
|Spc 4 Randall W. Arbogast Memorial Road Display By Larry See|
Class President, Fred L. Ware, Jr., of Morgantown and Valley Head, greeted those present and mentioned for remembrance the loss of classmates Newton Ware and Sandra (Keiss) Lewis who had passed away during the past year. The Tygarts Valley High School Class of 1964 has lost fifteen of its members.
Gary Channell, of Elkins, gave the treasurer’s report, informing the class of their balance. Ware continued with a report on the successful implementation and dedication of the SPC 4 Randall W. Arbogast Memorial Road which extends from the Valley Head intersection of Routes 15 and 219 to the Pocahontas County line. Interjecting, Larry See praised Ware for his hard work in making the SPC 4 Randall W. Arbogast Road a reality. He also acknowledged Ware’s persistence in securing Arbogast’s military records which had to be pieced together and were difficult to find.
To the amusement of those gathered, See continued by reminiscing with the class that little had they known, back in 1963, when they had elected Ware president of the class of 1964, they had elected him “President for Life”. In recognition of that fait accompli, See presented Ware with an original Larry See painting of the Tygarts Valley High School Bulldog mascot inscribed with “Chief Bulldog for Life”. The painting was passed around for class members and guests to see the prized work of art from the Larry See studio.
|Fred L. Ware, Jr. "president for life"|
See had also crafted, for each class member, rock paperweights to which he had attached 1964 nickels. On each rock he had painted the Tygarts Valley High School initials, “TVHS”. There were several expressions of curious amazement at how See had found so many nickels from 1964.
|Paperweight Crafted by Larry See|
As the business meeting continued, class members were asked to sign a sympathy card for Charles Church who had planned to attend the reunion but was unable to be present because of a death in the family. A card was also signed for Beverly (Currence) Hammonds who was recuperating from hip surgery. A last card was signed for Becky (Cox) Magee who had penned a message to the class but was unable to attend because of serious illness. The cards will be mailed by Gary and Carolyn (Corley) Channell, who have become the class of 1964 “keepers of the cards”.
Including class members in reunion preparation, Ware asked for ideas from the group for the next get together. Classmate Robert Tacy of Huttonsville suggested a buffet type meal. With that suggestion in mind, the standing committee will plan the next gathering accordingly. In the spring of 2018 reminders will be sent out to the class so plans can be made for attendance.
To increase class funds for future activities, Judy (Ware) Primavero, of Coalton, conducted a 50/50 drawing. With several generous participants, the winner of the drawing was Jerry Haddix, of Elkins, who shared his winnings with the class treasury.
A door prize of a large basket containing West Virginia products was won by Virginia “Boots” (Shoulders) Hogan. Included in the basket was a gift box from West Virginia Fruit and Berry; Strawberry Moonshine Jelly from The Leavitt Farm; Woodbine Blackberry and Elderberry Jellies by Levada Hodovan; Killian’s Gold Honey from Thistledew Farms; Maple Syrup from Cool Hollow Maple Farm; a bottle of wine from Lambert’s Winery in Weston; a quilled picture, apron, and rag ball from West Virginia Heritage Crafts Co-op in Quiet Dell; a pottery syrup warmer made by Tygarts Valley High School graduate, Brooke Swecker; a paperweight and glass ball from Ketterman Creations of Elkins; and a pottery jelly bowl with spoon by Scottie Wiest of Elkins. As the basket was quite hefty, Hogan’s husband, classmate Ralph Hogan, was glad that on this occasion the motorcycle had been left parked at home.
A second door prize, another TVHS Bulldog mascot painting by Larry See (without the “Chief Bulldog for Life” inscription), was won by Reverend Glen Rader of Ohio.
The blessing for the afternoon meal was given by Rader, who introduced his wife Glenna (Channell) and sister-in-law Sharon (Cutright) Channell to the class. After an afternoon of “catching up” and partaking of another meal together, the Class of 1964 departed with plans to meet again, somewhere in Randolph County, August 18, 2018.
Ah, how good it feels!
The hand of an old friend.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow