About half of the JHS class of 1985 gathered last weekend in Jennings, La., to celebrate our first ever reunion.
You’re probably wondering why we waited this long to do this. It’s partly because those who still live close to our hometown gather each July for the annual high school alumni softball tournament that serves as a mini-reunion of sorts. The other reason is because our class president, Charlotte Donald, has never fulfilled her official obligation to organize a formal gathering.
Just to put last weekend’s event in perspective, here’s my graduation pic from 1985.
And if you’re wondering where Jennings is located, click on this map and look for the red marker. You can click on any of the pics in this post to view them larger.
Back to the reunion.
The class of 85 was full of comedians, and these are three our funniest chick classmates: Lanette Maggiore, Brenda Welch and Tracy Dupuis. I should point out that I’ll be using maiden names throughout this post because recalling married names is beyond my skill set.
I shared some fun times with Myna Capdeville in band and speech class. She’s still funny and sweet.
Clockwise from the bottom: Kevin Myers, Deborah Britt (sole exception to the married name rule), Brenda Welch and Sharon Gary.
These pics are from the weekend’s main event at the All-Purpose Building at the fairgrounds on the south side of Jennings.
Martin Cassidy, his wife and Stephen Ackoury.
Kendal LeJeune, the class of 85’s Mister all Everything.
Kim Spires and Lynette Ducotte. Don’t be fooled by this pic. It looks like I’m the class’ token gay.
I thought my flight from San Diego might qualify as the longest distance traveled for the event. But Dwayne Guidry, a career soldier in the Army, won that prize. He managed to get a two-week leave from his deployment in Iraq.
Going right to left, that’s David “Moose” Ringuet, Amanda Cassidy, Brenda Welch, Gretchen Gusman and Gretchen’s sister, who isn’t a classmate. David and I were born on the same day but he’s towered above me since kindergarten. Our extreme size difference prompted me to ask my parents often as a child whether I was a midget.
Here’s my first girlfriend, Rebecca LeJeune, and her husband. Rebecca and I dated my entire freshman year. I found out this weekend that she’s presumed for years that she turned me gay. I cleared that up real fast.
Brenda still can boogied the night away with the best of ’em. And I can’t explain how she ended up in so many of my pics.
It’s not overstating things to say that Brenda is a legend back in our hometown, and not just because she famously dipped our painfully straight-laced principal on stage as he handed her a diploma on graduation night.
She was an athletic standout throughout her years at JHS, particularly in basketball, and she’s one of three Jennings natives who became coaches of Division I women’s college basketball teams. Brenda currently leads the Bearcats of Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, where she played college ball.
The other coaches from Jennings are Brooks Donald Williams, (JHS class of ’96) who heads the team at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La., and Pam Stackhouse, (JHS class of ’79) who now serves as an assistant athletic director at the University of Kentucky.
These are two of my favorite people from high school.
Brian Presley was a fellow band member, a co-worker at McDonald’s and one of my main drinking buddies.
I always thought Rhonda Gautreaux was one the most interesting people in school, mainly because she seemed to know who she was at a time when everyone else was desperately trying to be something they weren’t. She never apologized for her authenticity, even when it got her in trouble. Thankfully, she hasn’t changed a bit.
Here’s the crew that put the weekend together. From left is Kevin Myers, Becky Hebert, Moose Ringuet, Andrea Louvier, Sharon Gary, Lanette Maggiore, Jeff Menard and Tracy Dupuis. Jeff, in the blue shirt, led the effort with his wife, Audra. They really did a great job.
Looks like Lanette enjoyed herself.
Here’s a link to all of my photos from the reunion on flickr.
And if you want to watch a short clip of members of the Class of 85 doing a Soul Train line, go to this video I posted on YouTube.