Volume 5 September 24, 2002 

RGNS Centennial Kickoff Celebration

Sept 22, 2002

The Rabun Gap Nacoochee School
Centennial Kickoff Celebration

Location – Atlanta History Center, 130 West Paces Ferry Rd., Atlanta, GA

A beautiful invitation came in the mail, which read…


A chance to meet with fellow alumni, a beautiful and interesting location and a free meal!  Who could pass that up?  Not me.  With my sister Hazel in tow we sailed off for a gala evening.

The Atlanta History Center was a wonderful place to have this prestigious event.  Hazel and I picked up our nametags from Kathy Sparks and Janie Owens.  These two had done an outstanding job of putting this event together.  They should be very proud because it was a spectacular evening.

I stopped and took a picture of a grotto in the courtyard.  Very beautiful place and worth another trip to do a grand tour.


The museum offered several sections to tour.  I did not see it all but briefly went through the Folklore and Civil War exhibits.  Hazel went off to see the Bobby Jones exhibit.  The folk art pottery collection is very extensive.  I noticed a picture of Mr. Carpenter who was featured in several FoxFire books. 



The Civil War collection is very impressive.  We met Dale Denham Shaffield and her friend Linda Winn.  Linda has a Civil War sword that is a collector’s dream and she went with me through the Civil War collection.


  Wilma Kelly Hoilman '55 and her sister Odelle Kelly Hamby '48 came
strolling by.  And who should appear in all his handsomeness – Jack Ayers '51!!!  What a pleasure he is…..


We entered The Overlook Ballroom for the reception.  The room was very elegant and the table’s settings were most impressive.  We all enjoyed mingling and visiting. 


Jackie and Dess Oliver were enjoying the evening with friends.  I always enjoy seeing my old friend Jackie.


Carol and Bill Dunbar joined our party.  We were all delighted to find we were seated together but we regretted that Wilma and Odelle were not with us.  I love this picture of Jack, Dale, Carol, and Bill – good-looking group for sure.


Jack was having great fun hugging all the ladies.  He and Kathy Sparks and then Carol and Dale.  Jack was in heaven with all those good looking women.



Dale and Kathy were continuing their competition and already talking “trash” about the alumni basketball game.


 Glenda Arrowood Voiles '72 and
Kathy Sparks looked like twins this evening.  Beautiful ladies and great fun too!


Vernon Wright had been attending a Board of Trustees meeting but finally joined Dottie.  Dottie said she was doing very well after her back surgery and finally had returned to work. (Shhh the doctor doesn’t know that.) Mary Frances Higgs Wood '61
joined her 60’s classmates Vernon and Dottie for a picture.


Carol bought the centennial book Rabun Gap Nacoochee School, Our Mission Our Heritage 1903-2003 and was leafing through the book.  I glanced in the book and found that Nancy Beaver had included several passages from the “Close Your Eyes” submission from our "MyFamily" site.  I was so excited to see a picture of a heritage quilt owned by Carol Dickerson Dunbar.  Selections from Martha Ann Cornette Mann, JoAnne Cox Nall, Betty Kelly Wyatt, Mary Scott Merrin, Dale Denham Shaffield, Claudette McNeal Tuten, Hoyal Randall Hughes, Rodney “Pappy” Pless, Vivian Kennemore Johns, Pat Wright McNulty, Catherine Kelly Parker, and Beverly Guthrie Lougher.



 Nancy Beaver and Billy Joe had done a wonderful job of capturing the first 100 years of the school and I was so gratified to find our memories included.  Thank you both for allowing us to be a part of this milestone.  The only thing I regret so much is that I did not get Harold Thurmond’s farm family memories and his poem, “Reflections” submitted in time for the publication.  Both would have been perfect for this book.


Hazel took this opportunity to tell Dr. Anderson about finding the letter he had written to Chuck, her son, on the occasion of his birth in 1959.  Dr. Anderson was enjoying the evening and we were so happy that Lib was feeling so much better.  Lib was very instrumental in helping Billy Joe save the Archive records.


 Chaplain Jeff Reynolds gave the Invocation and we all enjoyed a lavish dinner.


Greg Zeigler introduced honorary attendees and then James A. Adams, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees.  Mr. Adams addressed the group with a very interesting tribute to the school and to all who had made the first 100 years possible.


We were honored to have John Pruitt narrate a slide show called “Celebrating A Century”.  Mr. Pruitt, who is on the Board of Trustees, is the news anchor for WSB-TV and his voice made the show very entertaining and a true celebration of our school’s history.  The slide show closely followed the Centennial book.


At evening’s end we all lingered, not wanting it to end.  I found this group of ladies chatting away.  Linda Winn, Cathy Kelly Parker, Dale Denham Shaffield, Hazel Guthrie Underwood, Glenda Arrowood Voiles,
Dimmie Ziegler, Mavis Stiles and Nancy Beaver.  Everyone agreed it had been a spectacular evening.


Thank you so much Janie and Kathy for inviting me.  I had a ball!!!!

Janie Owens wanted me to make sure everyone knows about the full day of Pre-Centennial Celebrations on October 26th at the school.  According to Kathy Sparks we will have a parade, bagpipes, good food, and (my personal favorite) - a border collie herding sheep and ducks.  There will be many other festivities to enjoy.  On the night of the 26th, a play will be presented.  Hazel and I already have our reservations at the Holiday Inn in Dillard.  Come join us and let the celebrations continue........

Photos  2002 by Beverly Guthrie Lougher

 Rabun Ramblings