PPHS Class of 1978 reunites

The year was 1978, Jimmy Carter was president of the United States and the nation was going out to movie theaters to see “Grease,” “Saturday Night Fever,” or “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” or perhaps staying at home to catch the latest episode of “Happy Days.”

The 6 o’clock news broadcast word of something called a test tube baby and the first cellular mobile phone was released for public use. The Bee Gees were “Staying Alive” and Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band released their hit of the year, “Still The Same.”

Amid all the happenings around them, in May of that same year, the graduating seniors of the class of 1978 began their journey to their future, each individual leaving the familiar halls of Point Pleasant High School to make their mark on the world. Some would attend college or technical schools, some would be employed immediately, and some would begin a family and settle down. Education, work, and family have all sent the senior class of 1978 sprawling in many directions, some far away from their Alma Mater, from Virginia to California and Pennsylvania to Florida.

Now, flash forward 40 years to August of 2018, the members of the graduating class of 1978 traveled from their current homes back to Point Pleasant for a class reunion. They came from all four corners of the U.S. to gather once more in their familiar hometown, to reunite with classmates and friends, some of whom they had not seen in years. It became very evident during the reunion weekend, that even though they might be a little older than before, or have a wrinkle or two, the classmates of PPHS 1978 had not changed, but remained true to Bob Seger’s lyrics of “Still The Same.”

The Class Reunion weekend kicked off on Friday, Aug. 31 with a mixer at the Lighthouse Pub and Grill in Point Pleasant, with almost 90 in attendance. This was followed on Saturday morning with a golf outing at Cliffside Golf Course in Gallipolis, Ohio organized by Brent Billings. Saturday night activities netted the most classmates in attendance, with over 115 for the dinner and dance, held at the American Legion Hall in Point Pleasant. Everyone enjoyed the dinner catered by Rowdy’s Smokehouse of Jackson, Ohio.

Awards were given to David Pickens and Marla McGinnis, both of California, for the classmates whom had travelled the farthest to come to the reunion; to Steve Hill, the one with the most children; to Nora Hurlow for the most grandchildren; to Tony Blake, who was the most recent newlywed; and to Jeff Martin, the one who had been retired the longest.

Seventies music was provided by D.J. Trevor Wayne and photography was provided by Wendie Jordan. Classmates enjoyed a display of 1978 trivia provided by Tary Rhea and they were touched by the number of classmates who had passed away, which were pictured on a display by Keith Searls. The weekend concluded on Sunday Sept. 2 with a picnic lunch hosted by Mark and Tracy Hudson at their river property with an amazing view of the Kanawha.

Members of the 40th Class Reunion planning committee included: John Withers, Tary Rhea, Darla Newberry, Deana Higginbotham, Peggy Ablett, Rhonda Walker, Patsy Spurlock, Brent Billings, Dallas Blake, Doug Bird, Tim Hunt, Dreama Forbus, Nora Hurlow, Keith Searls, Mark Hudson and Allen Whitman.

Those classmates attending one or more of the weekend’s activities included: Scott Brewer, Tony Blake, Wendy Whited, Debbie York, Teresa Westfall, Cindy Rainey, Linda Bledsoe, Steve Newman, Tammy Simpson, Leigh Nichols, Kim Nichols, Patsy Spurlock and Dreama Forbes, Jeff Martin, Greg Nowlin, Nora Hurlow, Donna Sayre, Ester Sturgeon and Minnie Hughes, Peggy Ablett, Deana Higginbotham, Misti Ward, Cathryn Scholz, Connie Yoder, Tary Rhea, Marla McGinnis, Linda Gill, Julia Lanier, Addie Wooten, Becky Wamsley, Ladonna Henderson, Debbie Chattin, Teddy Doolittle,Karen Wolfe, Angie Northup, Cristi Durst, Tammy Eads, Darla Newberry, Larry Sayre, Rich Young, Scott Howard, Frank Cook, Tim Nibert, Keith Searls, Keith Burdette, Rick Smith, Pete Sommer, Doug Bird, Greg Garrison, Olivia Gardner, Mark Hudson, Rock Evick, Tim Hunt, Mark Canterbury, Mike Holley, Tim Newberry, Jeff Lowe, David Pickens, Rhonda Walker, Allen Whitman, Chris Hammack, Dallas Blake, John Withers, David Lieving, Brerry Hudson, Paul Krimm, Chris Smith, Steve Hill, Mike Martin, Ed Nichols, Brent Billings, Bill McCoy, Pat Legg, Karla Litchfield, Mark Filkins, Kim Cook, Cathy Young, Cindy Hoschar, Brent Billings, Karen Little, Gayle Mayes, Jody White, Doc Sims, Mike Young, Brian Alley, and Bill McCoy.

Submitted by Keith Searls.