A reunion to remember in Wilsonville

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Not everyone gets to go to his or her 80th high school reunion.

But that is actually what 96-year-old Evelyn Ellis Isbell did last Thursday.

Ellis Isbell was one of almost 35 graduates from Shelby County High School to attend a reunion for the 1928-1942 classes held at the Wilsonville United Methodist Church on Sept. 13.

Ellis Isbell, the daughter of former Alabama lieutenant governor and Columbiana Mayor Levin &8220;Handy&8221; Ellis graduated high school as a 16-year-old, would go on to Alabama College (today the University of Montevallo) and move to Dothan years later.

Ellis Isbell was the guest of honor at this year&8217;s reunion and sole representative of 1928, the oldest class present. She says she enjoys getting together with her slightly &8220;younger&8221; classmates and spoke very fondly of her time at Shelby County High.

&8220;We had wonderful teachers. We were given good knowledge,&8221; she said.

The graduates have been getting together every September since 1993 to catch up with old friends and enjoy a down-home lunch.

Organizer and emcee Bill White says the idea started as a formal reunion with music, speakers and &8220;big decorations&8221; but quickly evolved into a causal gathering.

&8220;We learned they really didn&8217;t want any speeches,&8221; said White. &8220;The really just want to spend the day getting re-acquainted and reliving those good old days, visiting and talking.&8221;

The reunion started with classes from the early 1930s but expanded to include more years as class numbers dwindled. Before lunch, class representatives read the names of departed classmates, and a prayer was said in their memory.

Class representatives were: Adell Edmondson, &8216;31; Myra Stinson Vickery, &8216;36; Buck Falkner, &8216;38; Velera Payne, &8216;39; Bill White, &8216;40; Frances Phelps, &8216;41; and Margaret Lyons, &8216;42