Daysof Destin - Destin FL

"Days of Destin with Surrattsville High School's Class of 1965"

Carol Mothershead

Surrattsville's great Class of 1965 always looks forward so much to what has become its yearly, unofficial reunions that even hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne couldn't keep about 45 members from their planned rendezvous in Destin, Florida, in early October. Patsy Blue Williams volunteered for the onerous job of organizing the weeklong event, with lots of help from her wonderful husband Ross (who's been adopted by the class along with a number of other spouses). With Ivan approaching the Florida panhandle just days before we were to arrive, emails and phone calls started flying between classmates and Patsy, who said it was her worst nightmare coming true-a full fledged hurricane bearing down on what was to be our Shangri-La for a week. After so much planning, renting cottages, and arranging for activities, she feared no one would make the trip. But the Class of 65 is not easily daunted-especially those hardy members who live in eastern Florida and had already been hit by the eye walls of Frances and Jeanne. As Marge Alvaro Richardson said, "If I have to pitch a tent on the beach, I'll be there." And that was the consensus of everyone, because no one backed out.

Each time this group gets together, it is happily seduced by the local culture, food and activities. So it was not surprising that this time we ate lots of seafood, wore lots of bright Florida colors and wore, um. flamingo headbands! Yes, you read that right. And it wasn't just the women who wore them. The guys wore them, too. You see, Patsy is a flamingo nut. She has flamingos all over her house. She has flamingo pillows and stuffed flamingos and mechanical flamingos whose heads go up and down. She even has a flamingo that starts playing a little ditty every time you walk past it. And Patsy wanted to share her flamingo love, so she organized "Flamingo Night" and gave everyone a flamingo headband to wear-with two bobbing flamingoes on each headband. Even Norm Carmichael's 90+ year-old dad, who came to the reunion with Norm, was a great sport despite the fact that his flamingo headband kept slipping off his hairless head.

Looking around the room that night, all one could see was a massive flock of bobbing flamingos punctuating animated discussions. And to top it off, there were reporters from the local newspaper at the party to write a story and take pictures. If you'd like to see the article go to the menu bar to the left and click on "Article"

But the Class of 65 wasn't finished with its reveling and on the last night enjoyed a luau hosted by the lovely Princess ComeonIwannaLeiyou. The princess (aka a Dave Crawley, the classes' very brave "President for Life," greeted everyone at the door dressed as the princess. His loveliness can best be explained by picturing the movie South Pacific and the scene in which the sailors were performing a Christmas show and one of the guys dressed up as a hula girl wearing a grass skirt and a coconut brassier. Now put Dave's lovely face on the body, and you got the picture as he. er., she greeted her guests with a lei, a hug, a kiss and a photo (proof positive that Dave will do almost anything for his class). After feasting on pork and other delicious food, we danced for hours to a fabulous band that was so good we're thinking of adopting it as the SHS Class of '65's official band.

We feel very blessed that we have formed such deep and lasting bonds with each other-a verifiable mutual admiration society. Our high school experiences forged a connection that helps us enjoy each other as adults; and every time we meet, we make new friendships with classmates we didn't know well in high school. As always, departing after a week of fun and camaraderie was sweet sorrow with hugs and kisses all around, promises to email and call, and excitement about seeing each other again next year at the Class of 65s official 40th reunion and the all-class 2005 reunion at the high school. The enthusiastic Class of 65 will definitely be there. You'll know us by our embroidered t-shirts and embroidered hats. And we'll be traveling in a pack. You can't miss us!"

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