BCHS Class of 1972 celebrates 50th reunion

The Brownstown Central High School Class of 1972 celebrated its 50th class reunion the week of the Jackson County Fair.

On July 28, approximately 40 classmates and guests met at Vat & Barrel in Seymour, co-owned by classmate Tom Gray. On July 29, at least 20 classmates met at the Jackson County Fair to enjoy the cooler weather, fair food and fellowship. On July 30, more than 30 met at one of their favorite high school era restaurants, Pizza Palace in Seymour.

On July 31, the classmates had a full schedule, where they hosted a car show in front of W.R. Ewing. The car show was organized by Jerry Jackson and Kenny Wheeler. Thirty-four cars and motorcycles were on display, ranging from a 1929 Model T Ford to a 2018 Malibu Redline edition.

Classmates who had cars and motorcycles on display: Tony Cockerham, red 1947 Ford convertible and a green 1952 Chevy woody; Roger Crockett, 1982 Suzuki FA50 scooter; Tom Gray, 1966 Volkswagen bus and a 1972 Ford F-100 pickup; Greg Goen, 2000 Harley Road king trike; Jerry Jackson, white 2018 Chevy Malibu Redline edition; Larry Pfieffer, 2017 Indian Roadmaster Classic; Kenny Wheeler, 1978 Corvette Indianapolis 500 Pace Car; and Patricia Weddle Cox, 2016 Roush modified V-6 Mustang.

Cox purchased and shows Ruby in memory of her husband and classmate, Bobby Cox. They always wanted a Roush Mustang, and Bobby told her he would buy her one someday. When Bobby died suddenly and with very little warning, Patricia had the burden of taking care of so many financial responsibilities, and through it all, Bobby had taken out enough life insurance to pay off all of the bills. After doing that, there was enough money left to buy a car.

She was looking for a used Mustang, not thinking she could afford a Roush but something two to three years old but dependable that would still have a warranty. She looked at every local dealership as far away as Greenwood and anywhere that had a decent selection but just couldn’t find one that just felt right.

One day, she was in Bedford, with her daughter and son-in-law, and after dinner, she suggested they go look at the Ford dealership. It was a Sunday, so they could look without being bothered by a salesperson.

As soon as they pulled into the lot, “Ruby” was sitting right in front of three other Mustangs of different colors. The bright “Ruby Red” one caught her eye, and it was a Roush, and the sales ticket in the window was in her price range, too. She told her daughter, “I’ve found exactly what I wanted.” Her daughter turned at looked at her husband and said, “Mom will have that car tomorrow.”

Ruby is a V6 Roush modified and was a year old but never sold, so it was sitting there just waiting on her. The following day, she drove it. It drove like a dream, and seeing it sitting there all beautiful, she bought it. It was marked down just enough that she could pay cash for it, so Bobby did buy her a Roush and the perfect one.

It doesn’t get driven much so that every time she drives it, she gets the same feeling she got on the very first day. As long as she has Ruby, she will be her memorial to Bobby, the man with whom she shared 43 wonderful years. She says, “God has truly blessed me.”

Also July 31, classmates had an opportunity to tour the high school they graduated from 50 years ago. The tour was led by former superintendent Don Neal, and the former students were in awe of the many changes made to BCHS since they graduated.

The reunion was held at the historic W.R. Ewing in Brownstown, where 111 classmates, former teachers and guests enjoyed the evening.

During social hour, classmates and guests checked in and were greeted by Nancy Manuel and Mark and Terrye Davidson. They were directed to pick up their name badges that depicted their senior picture and their name in large print so other classmates could recognize them. They enjoyed appetizers and reconnecting with their classmates.

The dress code was ultra-casual, and many of the classmates and former teachers donned their commemorative 50th class reunion T-shirts that were available in their school colors of red and black. The back side of the shirt featured a large 72 with all of the classmates’ names.

A memory board of 23 classmates who have died was displayed to reflect upon and remember those whose lives were taken much too early. Those classmates include Jerry Autry, Linda Bane Hounshel, Larry Beickman, Larry Burgess, Patty Chase, Rudy Corrington, Bobby Cox, Mona Crouch Wray, Gail Duffy Browalski, Dan Elliott, Terry Grider, Julie Lawson, Gary Lonsberry, Michael Morgan, Jim Peters, Steve Robison, Becky Scott, David Sherrill, Lynn Smith, Cathy Toppe Wheeler, Ruth Weddell, Pamela Winkler Pfeiffer and Dennis Wischmeier.

Classmates who served our country include Pat Bahan, Gerald Brown, Rudy Corrington, Greg Goen, Sarah Morrison Nichols, Larry Miller, Loren Rueter, Lynn Tiemeyer and Ruth Weddell.

Class presidents Gene Tabor and Harry Rochner ushered the classmates and their guests to the dining room, where they were greeted with a large banner welcoming them to the 50th class reunion. Tabor and Rochner gave some brief introductions and announcements before a smorgasbord of pulled pork, chicken, salads, sides and desserts was served.

The dining tables were covered with white tablecloths and decorated with red and black napkins. A black lantern tied with a red and black bow was displayed on a red charger with tiny confetti made with miniature individual photos of the classmates in grades 5 to 11.

Mary Lou Nuss Grider donated lanterns for the table decorations in memory of her husband and classmate, Terry Grider, and later gave those away as door prizes. Terry loved the class and the reunions, and he was the light of her life.

Door prize winners included Doug Lee, Gerald Rose, Jack Terrell, Harry Rochner, Janet Martin Smith, Nancy Manuel, Jane Redicker Drake, Roxann Tulledge Patrick, Mark Davidson, Doris Miller, Reta Killey Schneider, Patricia Weddle Cox, Doreen DeCamp Bentz, Linda Nichols Hotchkiss, Donna Brewer Baughman and Roger Crockett.

After the dinner, classmates went outside for their traditional class photo and then celebrated the rest of the evening inside taking photos, reminiscing and dancing. Herb and Maryjane Perry played duets in the dining room with some selections by Billy Joel. Roger Hurt was the disc jockey for the event and provided lots of entertainment.

Memorabilia on display included past yearbooks, letter sweaters and jackets, grade school pictures, posters, a coffee pot, a transistor radio and a yo-yo.

A 3-by-5-foot section of the original floor from the high school gym was donated by Jerry Jackson for the classmates to sign. The flooring was laid out like the basketball court with the BC in the middle and all of the striping. This piece was taken from the free throw line by the student section. Anyone interested in purchasing small (9-by-8-inch) piece of the flooring may email [email protected]. He will donate money to the class for every piece sold.

Wanda Ison Reinhart from Jacksonville, Florida, fell and broke her hip in Tennessee when she stopped for gas on the way up to the reunion. She had surgery and is recovering at home. Several who planned to attend were unable to because of COVID.

Former teachers in attendance were Don Neal, Al Sibbitt, Herb Perry and wife Maryjane, Gerald and Sue Rose and Joyce Stuckwisch. Registered but unable to attend were Larry Hinkle and wife Sonya.

The 71 classmates attending the reunion were Greg Ault, Pat Bahan, Harry Beaty, Roger Bowers, Cindy Bowman, Donna Brewer Baughman, Gerald Brown, Cathy Caudill Abel, Don Chastain, Tony Cockerham, Regina Coleman Williams, Roger Crockett, Linda Cunningham VonDielingen, Mark Davidson, Doreen DeCamp Bentz, Kathy Disque Marcisz, Steve Edwards, Becky Fee, Bob Fee, Debbie Fleetwood Jackson, Becky Gaiter Hill, Randy Garloch, Greg Goen, Tom Gray, Jack Hauer, Sue Ellen Hillgeman Dykes, Larry Humphrey, Rondal Jackson, Jerry Jackson, Reta Killey Schneider, Sandy Kloppenburg Johnson, Jane Koop Schafer, Jack Lambert, Doug Lee, Carol Lucas Elkins, Don McMillan, Nancy Manuel, Janet Martin Smith, Janice Martindale Gray, Glenda McKinney Wayt, Denny Myers, Doris Miller, Amy Mitchell Motazedi, John Morgan, Sarah Morrison Nichols, Linda Nichols Hotchkiss, Brenda Nowland Bowman, Mary Lou Nuss Grider, Carol Perry Fee, Cathy Pfieffer Hehe, Larry Pfieffer, Jane Redicker Drake, Judy Rieckers Myers, Harry Rochner, Marcella Rouse Hopkins, Sue Skaggs Noble, JoAnn Spray Trancik, Nancy Sullivan Wininger, Gene Tabor, Jack Terrell, Joyce Teulker Sommers, Roxann Tulledge Patrick, Jane Waskom Terrell, Patricia Weddle Cox, Jody Weesner Hall, JoGail Wessel Ross, Kenny Wheeler, Pam Wininger Findley, Brenda Wischmeier Bobb, Debbie Wolka Lambert and Mara Young Eisele. Registered but unable to attend were Dianna Baughman Kreutzjans, Merle Caudill, Kathy Gambrel Stidam, Nick Hubbard, Wanda Ison Reinhart and Alietha Silence Liebert.

Many classmates live locally in Jackson County and Indiana. Others traveled from La Grange, Kentucky; Louisville, Kentucky; Georgetown, Kentucky; Somerset, Kentucky; Washington Township, Ohio; Leesburg, Florida; Madeira Beach, Florida; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Grapevine, Texas; and Austin, Texas.

Class reunion committee members included Harry Rochner, Gene Tabor, Harry Beaty, Cindy Bowman, Tony Cockerham, Regina Coleman Williams, Debbie Fleetwood Jackson, Jerry Jackson, Nancy Manuel, Jane Waskom Terrell and Kenny Wheeler. Committee planning space was provided by Jerry Jackson.

Other committees included:

Car show: Jerry Jackson and Kenny Wheeler

Communications: Cindy Bowman and Nancy Manuel

Decorating: Cindy Bowman, Debbie Fleetwood Jackson, Mary Lou Nuss Grider, Nancy Manuel, Jane Waskom Terrell and Regina Coleman Williams. Those showing up to help decorate included committee members Harry Beaty, Becky Gaiter Hill, Randy Garloch, Jerry Jackson, Harry Rochner and Kenny Wheeler.

Food: Debbie Fleetwood Jackson, Mary Lou Grider Nuss and Regina Coleman Williams

Memorabilia and nostalgia: Harry Beaty, Jerry Jackson and Harry Rochner

Production: Cindy Bowman

Proofreader: Linda Cunningham VonDielingen

RSVPs: Harry Rochner and Cindy Bowman

T-shirts: Cindy Bowman and Nancy Manuel

The BCHS Class of ’72 already is making plans for its 70th birthday party in July 2024.