Overton High School - Memphis, Tennessee
Reunion of the First Graduating Classes 1962-65

We had a BLAST!!

Wish you were there? Order handouts - class list - video -- Photos

Comments from classmates

Altogether, 215 people came to one or more events of the weekend, from the four first graduating classes -- 72 from the Class of '62, 44 from the Class of '63, 53 from the Class of '64, and 37 from the Class of '65, and 9 honorees (teachers, parents, and the principal of Overton). People had come from Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and of course Tennessee.

We gathered Friday at 6 at the Racquet Club.

Each class had created a display of memorabilia, and we spent happy hours reconnecting with one another. At one point Jerry Chandler asked for people's attention, and it was frankly hard to break into the conversation. We were all simply thrilled to be together again.

One popular question: What is a "wolverine"?? In 1992 when Overton changed its mascot, the school newspaper published an article by Joyce and Margaret's Dad, Harry Wilcox, which is transcribed here.

Touring Overton

Saturday at 1 forty-five people met with principal Brett Lawson and vice-principal Phyllis Roy at the office at Overton to tour the facility. It was fun seeing the old and the new. Periodically someone would walk into a room and get a heavy dose of déjà vu -- "This was the old band room!" The noted that some of the original teacher desks were still in use. Several of the more mischievous boys recounted escapades that at the time got them into trouble, but this time drew laughs from the principal.

As we went into the auditorium, Mr. Lawson cautioned us to watch our step, as they are doing some construction -- building a new professional control booth for the lighting in the rear of the auditorium. One of the alumni piped up -- "that's the way I remember this place!" -- when the Class of '62 graduated, the auditorium was not fully complete. There were just enough seats for the graduates and their families. After that first year, graduations were held in Ellis Auditorium downtown.

Half of Overton is a competitive "magnet" school for the arts, and half is a traditional community school. The arts program is very impressive -- beautiful photographs and paintings decorated the walls throughout, and in the band room trophies were sitting on the floor all around the edges of the room, 3-deep. It was that that inspired our class gift -- clearly these creative students need a case to display more of their hard-won trophies!

On Saturday night . . .

The festivities began again at 6 pm, with dinner served at 7 and the program about 8 pm. Joyce Wilcox Graff opened the program with welcome, and thanks to the committee, and some observations on the class gained from her two years of correspondence with class members. Click the speaker's name for the full text of the speech.

Wayne Capooth shared reminiscences from the Class of '62.

Shirley Buchanan Payne from Texas, widow of Billy Buchanan, Class President of the Class of '62, read an excerpt from Billy's speech at the 1962 Graduation.

Bill Harrison introduced the teachers who were in attendance. Click to see photos of the teachers, the posters we presented, and their reactions.

  • Miss Kinsolving
  • Coach Brown
  • Mr. Swayzee
  • Coach Miller

Mrs. Wilkins (now Mrs. Petty) had planned to come, but at the last minute had a health issue arise which kept her at home. She is doing fine and sent us a lovely note.

Coach Miller with Wayne Capooth '62

Jerry Chandler raised a toast to all those classmates who are no longer with us.

Jerry then presented our Class Gift -- a check for $2000 to Mr. Brett Lawson, Principal of Overton, for use in purchasing one or more trophy cases to house the many trophies we saw sitting on the floor throughout the school.

The Band, Reflections, led by two members of the Class of '64, was wonderful. You should have seen the spirited dancing! Our group ROCKS. The music was perfect -- great selections, very well performed, and they kept us moving all night.

It was hard to say good-bye. We hugged and promised to stay in touch.

Feedback - comments from classmates

Thanks for all the wonderful donations!

Let's do it again! We're already looking toward the 50th reunion in 2012, plotting and planning with Mr. Lawson to do something wonderful with the school, helping Overton celebrate its 50th reunion too. Please help us maintain and expand the contact list through the next five years. You be in touch! And we're counting on you come!

Scribe at overtonfirst.net, or (877) 560-9809


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