East Forsyth Senior High School Class of 1979
This page was last modified on 11 December 2004.
As always, thanks for taking the time to read this latest, admittedly most extraordinarily belated, issue of the East Forsyth Class of 1979 Newsletter. Last June, I announced my decision to make the newsletter a quarterly, and I've allowed more than eleven months to pass without a new issue. I was piddling with the September issue during the week prior to September 11; after the terrorist attacks, I just couldn't focus sufficient attention to finish it. So much time passed that I decided to wait for December, and let the September 2001 newsletter become "the issue that never was." And here I've let not only December pass by but all of Winter and half of Spring as well! In future, I'll try to keep the newsletter on the schedule of the first week of every February, May, August, and November, beginning with the August 2002 issue.
One of the reasons I haven't put out a new issue is that I've been trying to make the newsletter more interesting but haven't quite pulled my ideas together. After the September 2001 issue got derailed by "Nine-Eleven," I was overwhelmed by the urge to make the newsletter "more" and haven't been able to overcome that urge until now. For the moment, I am capitulating in order to get out this ordinary issue if only to get something out. I will continue to work on my ideas and will hopefully implement the improvements in a later issue. Improvements or no, look for the next issue in August.
As always, an HTML version of this newsletter will be posted in the archive after the text version has been e-mailed. The archived versions of the newsletter have hyperlinks to the most recently modified sections of the site. If you want to see a specific change, all you have to do is click on what you want without surfing through the site.
Matt Wallace, Class Webmaster
What's New With the Web Site
If you've visited the class site recently, you surely noticed that I redesigned the web site last month. I didn't make any major changes; I simply tweaked the coding to take the site from "plain vanilla" to a more "professional" look. I added a border of "Fighting Eagle" blue, or at least as close as I can get to it, around the site's pages and separated the page text from the border with a bit of "white space." Personally, I was amazed that the result was more dramatic than I had imagined it would be; the result displays better using Netscape rather than Explorer. I think you'll agree with me that the use of our old school's primary color is an ideal unifying theme for our class web site.
More recently, I redesigned the Trophy Case to better accommodate this site's growing collection of web awards. I created a dual display system in which awards are displayed both by their date of receipt and by their rating as determined by Award Sites!, an online organization which attempts to standardize website award programs to help users gauge the relative quality of the awards. After redesigning the site last month, I resumed applying for awards. I started with the lower rated awards which had attractive or amusing award graphics and have been working my way up. You can see the results in Trophy Cases #1 and #2.
Calling All Bird Dogs
Not to cast any aspersions, but too many people, including some who live in Forsyth County, never heard about our last reunion in 1999. I'm certain that the 20-year reunion committee did their best in locating and notifying class members, but, given the size of our class and the mobility of our generation, this was no doubt an overwhelming and frustrating task. My experience as class webmaster for the past two-plus years confirms the great difficulty in acqiring and maintaining up-to-date contact info for the entire class.
All of us can imagine, and members of past reunion committees know all too well, that simply organizing a reunion, especially for a class as large as ours, is an awesome undertaking. By the time events are being planned and venues are being secured, it's too late to start looking for all the wayward Fighting Eagles who've taken off for the horizons; there just isn't time.
As we're at the midpoint between reunions, we all should make a point of locating our old high school friends and get them reconnected with us here on our web site. Working together, we can get the Class Directory up to 100 percent. Doing so will relieve the yet-to-be-formed 25-year reunion committee of the locator task, thus freeing them to focus their energies on preparations for our next reunion in 2004. Why not do your part in making our silver reunion a soaring success? C'mon people, bird-dog for me! Get out there and flush out our lost fellow Fighting Eagles!
As always, the online class directory continues to plod along towards the ultimate goal of accounting for 100% of the class. Currently we have some sort of info for about 29% of the class and e-mail addresses for about 16%. Using both our senior yearbook and our graduation program, my best listing of the "entire" senior class of 1978-79 consists of 753 individuals. We have much work ahead of us, and there are several ways you can help build our alumni directory.
First, make sure your info is as complete as you care to make it and keep it current. I heartily thank those of you who are doing this; the directory is only as good as the quality of the info it contains.
Second, if you are currently in contact with any classmates for whom we have no or only partial info, please inform them of our web site. If they're online, have them submit their contact info using the registration form. For our non-online classmates, print out the form and have them complete and mail it to my home address as indicated or you could submit their info for them, preferably with their permission.
Third, make a point of tracking down your old friends who are among our missing classmates. This could be as easy as opening the phone book. If possible, contact them directly or contact their parents or other family members to find out how you can reach them. When you locate them, have them register as above.
Again, I thank those of you who are spreading the word about our class web site; your efforts are helping.
If any of you are in contact with the following classmates, have them update their e-mail addresses:
Additions and updates in Alumni Contacts since last newsletter:
Keeping In Touch
One of the most important purposes of our class web site is the fostering of communication amongst class members. There are several methods for getting in touch with classmates, both on-site and off-site.
Don't forget that we have a message board for disseminating news about and for class members. If you get a promotion, complete a degree, add a new family member, move to a new city, take a new job, suffer an unspeakable tragedy requiring your classmates' moral support, simply want to toot your own horn, etc., then by all means let us all know about it! If you have similar news about a classmate or our teachers and other East Forsyth staff members, please submit that as well. The posts since the last newsletter are:
As always, the guestbook is available for brief comments. You can simply offer your greetings to the class just to let everyone know you visited the site, you could throw out a query about classmate, etc. Of course, it never hurts to tell the webmaster what you think of the site, and the guestbook is an appropriate forum. You can use the Guestbook Form, send an e-mail with subject line "Guestbook Entry", or simply mention that your message may be posted in the Guestbook.
I encourage everyone to start a web page or web site; to help you get started, check out "Internet Resources" on the Links main page. A page or site will enable you to share more detailed info with your classmates. You can tell us about your family, your career, your hobbies, or whatever else you would like to tell us and the world. If we all had web sites, we could have an ongoing virtual reunion. Just send me your URL, and I'll add it to Classmate Web Sites and Web Pages in our Links section and your class directory entry as well.
We had a very bad week in November 2001 when we lost both Kelvin Thompson and Ann Peek Manuel. Belinda Bull Brewer succumbed to cancer in February. Sally Swain died in March, apparently of kidney failure as a complication of diabetes. Shirley Brooks Wall died last weekend of a heart attack. With five deaths in six months, our class mortality rate must be greater than that of World War II veterans.
Additionally, I had a report without any details that Samuel Alan (Sam) Mabe was deceased. I seem to recall reading his obituary in the Winston-Salem Journal during the late '80s or early '90s and that he died in Wilmington, NC. Can anyone confirm this and provide fuller information? If he died in Wilmington, his death certificate would have been issued by New Hanover County. A phone call to the vital records department of the New Hanover County Registrar of Deeds could readily determine the date of his death and probably birth date and parents as well. Once I have a death date, locating his obituary would be no problem. Perhaps someone living down that way could help me out with this.
If you have more details on the remaining members of this unfortunate list, I would greatly appreciate you forwarding dates of birth and death, date and source of any obituaries and news articles, etc. to me. If you have more info about our deceased classmates or need to notify us of the death of a classmate or teacher, please submit it using the Absent Friends Form.
Blast from the Past: Homecoming 1978
As class webmaster, I have far too many opportunities to revel in the "Glory Days" of high school. Back in March, another such opportunity presented itself when a sophomore staffer for The Talon e-mailed me while researching an article on past homecoming queens. He had been using old yearbooks from the school's collection as a reference, but had a problem when he got to our class. It seems that East's copies of Aquila 1979 have been stolen during the past two decades. As an aside, if anyone has an extra copy of our senior yearbook, perhaps you could donate it to our alma mater so they'll have a copy; there's just something not right with their not having a record of the school's biggest, best, and baddest class.
For those of you who don't remember, Homecoming 1978 had two homecoming queens; Carol Samuels and Paula Stokes were crowned Co-Homecoming Queens. As I recall it, they tied in the balloting and the powers that be let the result stand without offering a runoff. The administration did so presumably to avoid inflaming any racial tensions, not that I was aware of any such tensions. I further recall that there was some stink about the entire situation. My memory is that most of the grumbling had nothing to do with the black-white issue, but rather our superiors' lack of trust in us to choose one or the other and to accept the result. While I would never argue that we had achieved the paragon of interracial harmony, I think we all got along rather well. Both in the classroom and on the athletic field, we were all Fighting Eagles, and our only colors were "Blue and White."
Actually, it's extremely ironic that I was sought out for this information. I never took the selection of a homecoming queen seriously. It was never anything personal, but just my loner's antisocial instinct coming to the fore. In my junior year, I returned the ballot unmarked to express my disdain. In my senior year, I realized that simply returning an unmarked ballot could be interpreted as a blank ballot inadvertently added to the mix. In order to leave no doubt of my intention, I voted for every candidate on the ballot, thus invalidating my ballot and making my personal statement. A classmate, whose identity escapes me, had seen what I had done and asked why. I explained myself as above, but he still didn't get it, but then again, I've always been inscrutable. Hmm, I reckon there's nothing quite like a seventeen-year-old radical individualist! Ah, "Reelin' in the Years"!
Help Support Our Class Web Site
In addition to webmastering our class web site, I'm also paying for the webhosting. I'm not expecting y'all to start sending me checks, but I'd certainly cash any sent to me! I would appreciate it if you would help out by participating in an affiliate program with which I'm signed.
For those of you who aren't signed onto Alumni.Net yet, I hope you'll do so now. For those of you who are signed up under East Forsyth, try signing up under your college or even your high school (Carver, Atkins, etc.). Also, try to get your friends and family to sign up as well using the special link. I'll get 50 (or is it 25?) cents per sign-up, plus I could win a monthly prize for the most sign-ups. I won't receive a check until I accumulate a credit balance of $25 or more, and I'm nowhere close; please help. You can connect to Alumni.Net using the text or banner link at the bottom of each page in the class site or you can load the following special address directly into your browser:
Thanks to all who have participated already.
An Important Administrative Note
Finally, an "Administrative Note": If you receive an e-mail from me on any of the addresses I use for my various sites, please avoid the pro forma inclusion of my original message in your reply. I save both outgoing and incoming e-mail, so including my message in the reply is both redundant and unnecessary. This is one of my greatest Internet pet peeves. Aside from the acceptable use of brief snips for clarity, please, don't do it ... ever. This especially applies to this newsletter!
Until next issue, take care!