High school reunion brings back memories of growing up in Southwest Georgia

Published 6:18 pm Tuesday, June 2, 2015

On Saturday, May 23, I attended my 53rd Cairo High School reunion at the Westside Community Center in Grady County.

It was both a happy and sad occasion. The happiness came from reliving old pleasant high school memories with classmates, many of whom I had not seen in quite some time.
The sadness came in reminiscing about classmates who had passed on or were seriously ill.

In 1956, my family moved from my dear late dad’s home in Keyport, New Jersey, to my dear late mom’s home in Cairo. While in New Jersey, we would always drive down to Cairo to visit my dear late Grandmother Wight.

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Technology was a lot different in the early to mid 1950s than it is now. It was before the advent of the interstate highway system that we all enjoy now. Our route took us through several major cities, including Baltimore, Maryland, Richmond, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

It was under the leadership of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who served two terms from 1953 to 1961 after being commanding general of the victorious forces in Europe during World War II, that the interstate highway system was built.

We moved from Keyport, where I attended Saint Joseph’s Catholic School, to Cairo, where I attended Southside Elementary School, just after the Christmas holidays.
I never will forget my first week of school in Cairo. It just happened that it snowed during the week and it was the first time Cairo had experienced snow in a number of years.
That week the teachers would call the role then let us out to play in the snow. My brother Tom and I were kind of stunned. During our New Jersey winters, we had seen snow on almost a daily basis.
Growing up in New Jersey was where I first developed my passion for sports, particularly my favorite sport of baseball. With Keyport being just 35 miles out of New York City, I grew up listening to New York Yankee, New York Giant and Brooklyn Dodger games, first on radio, and later on television.