IN MEMORIAM - The following tributes were written in November 2011 in honor of our classmates who have gone on to Glory

Sharon Marie Jordan Leach 1957 –1982 
Sister Sharon, little sister Sharon, was always a joy to be around. The sound of the piano coming from the kitchen, the beautiful singing voice, ever present smile; the things I will always remember. After graduating from Arab High School , she attended Snead State and was one of the members of the “Freedom Singers”, which evolved into the Snead State College Street Singers. She was a member of Rocky Mount Primitive Baptist Church in Arab and loved Sacred Harp music. The annual Sharon Jordan Leach Memorial Singing is held on the Saturday before the third Sunday in April every year at Rocky Mount Primitive Baptist Church. After graduating from Snead she married Greg Leach of Guntersville. She worked in Huntsville. She died in a car accident June 21, 1982. She was a wonderful sister, a friend, and through her I met my life mate, Janet Wilkinson, whom I married January 23, 1977. ~ Written by Terry Jordan 
 I can add little to Terry's tribute except that on cold, winter mornings, I would go by and pick up Sharon for school. I was always envious of her “make-up” routine which consisted only of mascara and a little lip gloss - she was so naturally beautiful ! I did, however, take advantage of the occasion to slip quietly downstairs and steal a “bye” kiss from my sweetheart. We all still miss her greatly, and we always will. ~ Written by Janet Wilkinson Jordan


Patricia Matthews
June 23, 1958 - May 24, 2010
Patricia "Tricia" Matthews passed away May 24, 2010 due to injuries sustained in a fall at her home. She was hospitalized for several weeks and endured three major surgeries in a heroic attempt to save her life, but the injuries proved too great to overcome. Fortunately, she regained intermittent consciousness several times after her surgeries and we were able to briefly communicate with her, for which we are grateful. Tricia lived her life quietly and preferred anonymity over publicity. Known for her quick wit, vivid sense of humor, and love for exotic and unusual foods, Tricia clearly danced to the beat of her own drum. She was opinionated and outspoken on issues of the day, but extended great warmth and heartfelt compassion to family, friends, and her pets. Tricia's expressed desire was to be cremated and laid to rest in a private family ceremony. It is with a deep sense of sadness and loss that we said goodbye to Tricia at such a young age. We will miss her very much and know she will rest in peace with the knowledge that we and others loved her for who she was and always will be in our hearts ~ Written by Mike and Jeff Matthews


Joe V. Clayton
July 3, 1958 - April 15, 1992
I first met Joe in the 9th grade when we were both in Mr. Carver's Civics class.  Mr. Carver was good friends with my grandfather, R. C. Short, and, because I tried to give the appearance of being studious, I sat on the front row.  One morning Mr. Carver gave a written assignment to be completed in class.  The room was quiet and everyone was working when a note was passed to me from the back of the room.  It was an off colored note, to put it kindly, and it was signed Joe V. Clayton.  My face turned several shades of red as I heard suppressed laughter from Richard Bass.  When the bell rang I sprinted out of that class as fast as possible, hoping my parents would allow me transfer to Guntersville High School.  I heard a voice calling "Sandy" but I didn't slow down until I was in my next class.  Joe followed me with a mortified look on his face.  He did his best to assure me that he didn't have anything to do with the note and apologized for Richard's crudeness.  We all had at least one bad experience in high school, didn't we?  From that day forward, Joe went out of his way to prove to me that he was indeed a gentleman.  The next significant memory is from 12th grade when  the Clayton's barn caught fire and several horses died.  Joe was extremely upset over losing his beloved horses.  He said he listened to "Candle In The Wind" over and over as he grieved.    

I lost touch with Joe V. after high school.  Sadly, Joe died in a car accident on April 15, 1992.  Just like Norma Jean, Joe's young life was tragically cut short and the town of Arab mourned the loss of a well known citizen.  Joe loved a good party, and would have enjoyed hearing Brett Jockell's band at our 35 year class reunion.

For Joe, I hope they have Chevy sports cars in heaven ~ Written by Sandra Gibson


Zoann Sims Potter
1957 - 2009
Zoann was very shy when we were in school, but after you got to know her, you discovered that she had a wonderful personality.  She was funny, happy, and full of life.  Our mothers were both in the nursing field and worked together, therefore, Zoann was like family to me.  Her brother and my brother were best friends.  Unfortunately, I found out about Zoann's passing a year after she died.  I couldn't believe my ears when her brother told me.  Zoanne, I think of you often.  May you rest in peace ~ Written by Annette Solley Monk




Julie Andrews
1957 - 2008

We remember Julie as quiet, shy, sweet, and very smart. She was one of the “Grassy” girls – where you found one, you would find the rest. All of us “Grassy” girls stuck together, even in high school. We were all friends from the first grade so our bond spanned many years and many childhood experiences. Kathy remembers going to Julie’s house during her high school years and sharing popcorn and watching TV. Her parents would follow Kathy home to make sure she was safe. That was just the kind of caring people Julie and her family were. We all had a sleepover at Betsy’s house on graduation night to cumulate our years together and bring our childhoods to an end. We then went our separate ways but never forgot each other. Julie we miss you girlfriend, and we will always cherish our memories of you. Written by Kathy Coker Bryant, Kay Sanders Woodruff and Betsy Reeves Holt
After graduation Julie attended Snead State for two years and then went on to Jacksonville State University. She received double degrees in math and computer science. Julie graduated with honors, 9th in the class. After graduation from college, she went to work for NASA in Huntsville. There she met and married David Johnson. They had three children, Brian (now 23), Bethany (now 20) and Jamie (now 16). She was blessed to be a stay-at-home mom while the children were small. When Jamie was two years old Julie and David divorced. Julie went to work for BellSouth in Birmingham where she remained until 2005. While there she met and married Russell Scruggs. She went back to school to take advanced courses in computers. She then went to work with Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Alabama as a computer programmer. In 2008 Julie developed pneumonia and was admitted to St. Vincent hospital in Birmingham. She developed a blood clot in her lungs, went into a coma and went home to be with our Lord April 14 of that year. Written by Robert & Geraldine Andrews, Kay Andrews Elwell, Dennis Andrews.


Ronald Black
January 10, 1958 - January 7, 2009
Ronnie was married to Phyllis Mason and had two children, Leslie and Cody. He worked in the floral industry for many years before going to work for Atrion Medical Products in Arab. While in high school Ronnie worked for Shorty Whisenant repairing bikes and mowers. He and his Dad had a lawnmower shop behind his Dad's home. Ronnie was a preacher for over twenty years and served several churches during his ministry. He was actually standing in the pulpit on Sunday morning when he began to feel ill. Ronnie was immediately sent to the ER where he later passed away due to a heart attack. Ronnie is remembered for his love of family and the Lord. He is greatly missed by his family and friends.



Jay, Shawn, Bobby - Last day of school May 1976
Bobby McCracken
1957 - 1986
Bobby went to Union Grove School until the 10th grade when he went on to Arab High School. When we were growing up he often attended my church home, Brocks Chapel Church of Christ. Bobby loved to play football and he got along well with his family. After high school he became a photographer. He met his wife Pam in Virginia and they had a daughter. One night in 1986 Bobby and Steve Huggins went to P.J.'s Alley in Guntersville. When they got home Bobby was showing off his new gun when it accidentally went off and killed him. What a tragedy as Bobby could have gone on to do great things with his life. He was the only person I have ever led to Christ, and I have blessed assurance that I'll see him again one day. ~ Written by Nick Walker

The following Bios were written in November 2011 for the 35 year reunion of the Arab Class of 1976

Howard Hawk ~ I received a Bachelor of Arts with Honors Degree from UAB in 1980. Following Law School I practiced law in Arab, becoming a partner in the firm of Burke, Mullis & Hawk, and served as the City Attorney and City Prosecutor for Arab. I entered on duty with the FBI as an agent in 1986 and worked on a broad range of criminal cases. After a rotational transfer to Washington, D.C., I primarily worked drug and drug gang matters in the District of Columbia. I was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 1994 and re-elected in 1998. During these years I served as Municipal Judge for Arab and practiced law in Guntersville and Arab. 
  I currently serve as the Presiding Circuit Judge in Marshall County and also the county's Presiding Family Court Judge.I am seeking re-election as a Circuit Judge in Marshall County and I would deeply appreciate your vote and support.  Please visit my website:  www.howardhawk.com
  
I am married to Kathy and we have a son, Griffith — and two dogs, Shadow and Bandit. We reside at 1132 Guntersville Road and attend Arab First Methodist Church. Kathy is a Commander in the Navy Reserve. She was mobilized and served in Iraq in 2007-2008. Kathy is currently the Chair of the Political Science Department at UAH and is the Commanding Officer of Office of Naval Intelligence Reserve Unit 2109, which drills in Huntsville. Griffith is a freshman at Arab High School. He plays on the Arab Junior Varsity soccer team.  


~ Sherrie Jackson Briscoe ~ Well, I guess like some of you when I graduated I thought I just had to get married and leave home. So I found myself planning my wedding.  I married Robert Gaddis in Sept. of 76. Then I hit the work force, and found marriage wasn’t as easy as we thought it would be. It takes two working now days. I worked at SCI until our son, Richard Blake was born in '80 then got laid off. Needless to say things weren’t working out between Robert and I. It takes two to make a marriage work. He had other plans and Blake and I were not in them. So we divorced and Blake and I were on our own for a while. Until I meet the most amazing man, Bobby Briscoe, the love and my soul mate for life. To make a long story short we married and Bobby adopted Blake and we have been married 30 years.
Left to right:  Sherry Briscoe, Annette Monk, Sandra Gibson, and Brett Jockell at reunion
I worked 14 years at different plants before going to work at the Arab Post Office where I am a Rural Carrier. I have been with them 17 years and plan on retiring in 3 years. Bobby and I also grow broiler chickens for Wayne Farms. We have been in this business since '97. In 2005/2006 we were nominated and won Poultry Farm Family of the Year over all of the State of AL. http://www.alabamapoultry.org/magazine/sept2005/sept2005.pdf   
I have been very active in the Tornado Relief efforts in our community. We have been handing out food and different items to the victims that have been affected by the tragedy of April 27. It has changed my life for the good. God has blessed me.  There are so many families still in need. Please continue to pray for those that are trying to rebuild their lives. Some of these people are your classmates; we need to step-up and help out as much as we can. Bobby and I have a Son, Blake and he lives in Bowling Green KY. He is finishing his schooling in Anthropology. Tracy Green is married to Doug Green They live at Grassy and we have two beautiful Granddaughters Jada and Jessica who are both in college. Ginger is married to Jimmy Robinson who has a step-son Justin. They live at Morgan City.  I look forward to seeing you all at the reunion.
Wes playing guitar at reunion
~ Wesley Widner ~ After graduation from Arab I did the most obvious thing and enrolled at Snead along with many of my friends from Arab. There I started a college degree and met my future wife, Lorill Williams. We both left Snead in 1979 to attend Auburn University and graduated in 1983 with degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Fashion Merchandising.  My working career has been with the Redstone Test Center (RTC) for all 28 years. Starting as a Test Engineer, I have also served as a Range Safety Officer, Branch Chief, and now as head of the Mission Operations Control Center. We are the command and control center for all hazardous operations on Redstone Arsenal.  Lorill and I were blessed with 2 sons, Jared and Travis. Both are graduates of Auburn University with degrees in Electrical Engineering. Jared is a Test Engineer for RTC and Travis works for Boeing on the NASA side. They make us extremely proud.  Over the years, some of our most rewarding experience has come from involvement with the kids in sports and scouts. Lorill and I managed a few baseball teams and a Cub Scout troop. There is nothing like seeing a group of five and six year olds go from not knowing which base to run to, to playing together with a common goal. It is chaotic, but you never forget the smiles. 
Lorill and Wes
In 1999 we built a house in the Union Hill community where we still live with one dog and one cat.  Some of my interests are fly fishing, guitar picking, sports cars, and auto mechanics. Lorill and I also try to make the Shrimp Festival at Gulf Shores every year…see you there!

~ Mike Garrett ~ It really doesn’t seem like 35 years since we graduated from AHS. Following graduation, I attended Wallace where I received an associates degree in electricity and have worked in the field of maintenance ever since (Goodyear Tire & Rubber in Scottsboro & Ryder International in Arab) with the last eighteen years at Hall Chemical/Umicore Specialty Chemicals. 


Darlene and Mike
I am married to the former Darlene Burnett (class of 1979) and we have three children: Jeremy (31), Kellye (22) and Jace (18). Jeremy is an enrolled agent at Top Notch Tax & Accounting; Kellye is a senior at Athens State where she is majoring in Acquisition & Contract Management (and may currently serve you donuts if you frequent Papa’s Daylight Donuts in Arab); and Jace is a senior at Arab with plans to become a Jacksonville Gamecock next fall and a band director in the future. Jeremy and his wife Debbie have blessed us with three precious grandbabies – Micayla (12), Addy Beth (3), and Jackson (11 months).  We are a house divided with the guys being Bama fans & the girls being Auburn fans.  Putting that aside, we enjoy spending time together as a family, supporting the kids and grandkids in their activities, & being involved with our church family at Eastside Baptist Church. I look forward to seeing everyone at the reunion (my first). Has it really been 35 years?!


~ David Nunley ~ After we walked across the stage on May 28, 1976 I thought I had the world by the tail. I planned to continue my career in 7-11 stores but soon found that was not going to pay the bills. I got married to an Arab girl from the class of '77 and stayed married to her for ten years. We had two children: Brad now age 28 and Ginger age 30. Brad is in the Air Force and is stationed in New Mexico which his friends call the armpit of America. But he takes the bad with the good; he was stationed in Panama City for five years and enjoyed living in Florida. Ginger lives in South Huntsville and works for a defense contractor. I also have two grandchildren. Jamie is 5 and Ellissa is 8.  After leaving my job at the 7-11 in Grassy I worked construction and as an electrician. The electrician work morphed into maintenance work. In 1999 I had another son, Billy Gavin who is now 12 years old. He is playing football at Riverton Middle School. I hope he sticks with it because he'll make a good offensive lineman.  I was on a bowling league for twenty years. I'm not bragging but I have had a 300 game. I'm currently a Maintenance Supervisor in a health care company in Birmingham. I look forward to hearing the CanoeBoat Captains at our class reunion. See you then!


~ Dennis Hendrix ~ I too departed Arab after graduation via the United States Navy and after completion of Recruit Training in San Diego, CA and Technical Training in Memphis, TN found myself on the left coast of the United States.  My first operational command was the “Fighting Eagles” of Attack Squadron 122 (VA-122) flying the A-7E “Corsair II” out of NAS Lemoore, California than off to the “Blue Diamonds” of Attack Squadron 146 (VA-146) where I served as the Power Plants Branch supervisor and made two WESTPAC/Indian Ocean deployments onboard the USS Constellation and participated in operations in support of the IRAN HOSTAGE CRISIS.
At this point in my life I decided the Navy was not for me and dropped back into Arab in the spring of 1980 and proceeded to burn the candle from both ends until I got a clue and decided that maybe the Navy was something I should look back into.
In the summer of 1982 I put the uniform back on and reported to the "Black Knights" of Fighter Squadron 154 (VF-154) at NAS Miramar, California flying the F-4J “Fathom II” and during the summer of 1983 we transitioned to the F-14A “Tomcat”. During this tour I served as the Power Plants and Quality Assurance supervisor and three WESTPAC/Indian Ocean deployments onboard the USS Coral Sea and USS Constellation.
Upon returning home from deployment in 1987 I was honored to have been selected for duty with U.S. Navy “Blue Angels” in Pensacola, Florida flying the F/A-18A “Hornet”. Fast forward to 1990 and upon my return to NAS Miramar, California I joined the staff of Navy Fighter Weapons School “TOPGUN” flying the F-16N “Fighting Falcon” and A-4M “Skyhawk”. It was during this tour I was awarded the good news that Navy decided I needed to be an officer so I was commissioned a Naval Officer through the Limited Duty Officer program.
After commissioning for the next 15 years I bounced around between Norfolk VA, Jacksonville FL and Key West FL in various aviation squadrons where I served as Detachment Maintenance Officer, Maintenance Material Control Officer, Assistant Maintenance, Maintenance Officer and Officer in Charge of FRC Key West. I completed three more deployments to the Mediterranean/North Arabian Gulf where I participated in supporting operations DENY FLIGHT, SOUTHERN WATCH, and ENDURING FREEDOM onboard the USS George Washington, USS Theodore Roosevelt, and USS Enterprise.
Somewhere along the way I managed to get married and earn a bachelor's degree in Aviation Management. My wife Lisa is from Bethesda, Maryland and we have two sons Jake 22 who is an aspiring comedian and Troy 18 who is currently attending North Florida University.
As with anything all good things must come to an end. In 2008 I retired as a LCDR from the US Navy after 32 years of service. I returned home to Arab in 2010 and currently work for a defense contractor in Huntsville.


Jackie at Ruth Mountain Bed and Breakfast

~ Jackie Mills Maddux ~ My working career has been in nursing homes and home health care for the elderly. I also was a counselor with Teen Challenge. I had the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Grecia, Costa Rica and got to hear my poetry translated in another language and see the same smiles and tears on their faces that I have seen in the United States. It was awesome to know that God could use the poetry He gave me to bless people in another country. I lived two years in Dayton, Ohio (that seemed like another language, too!) and worked in a Medical Personnel pool. They could definitely tell I was from the South. I came back to Arab and married a man from Eva. As they say, "the rest is history." I have a 24 year old son who is a Chef with a great future. The Lord has truly blessed me over the last 35 years and I am so thankful to be a part of the Arab Class of '76. I deeply appreciate the food, flowers, and kind words offered from you during the sickness and loss of my mother. I look forward to the reunion and am honored that I have been asked to share one of my poems.
Keith Hawkins and Jackie - the two best dancers of the night




~ Ted Green ~ I married Vickie Barnard Green in October of 1976 and we have been married for 35 years now. We have three children: Daniel is age 34 and Lindsey is 24. Our middle child, Jeremy, was 30 years old when he died on Thanksgiving Day in 2009. We miss him every day.  In the early 80's we lived in Longview, Texas. I worked as an oil field equipment supplier during the oil boom. We have lived in the Union Grove area for the last twenty-five years. I owned my own business, Green's Insulation for sixteen years. I was a Phone Technician for DeltaCom before I injured my back. We have three grandchildren: Savanna age 8, Keenan age 2, and a new granddaughter Ezra, who it two months old.  Vickie and I plan to be at the class reunion.  Roll Tide!






Karen Snell Johnson ~ The year following graduation I married my high school sweetheart, Randy Johnson (class of “75). We celebrated out 34th anniversary this past summer. We lived in Arab for about three years after which we have lived in Smyrna, Tennessee, North Ridgeville, Ohio, Terryville, Connecticut, Florence, Kentucky, Lawrenceville, Georgia and we now reside in Hebron, Kentucky We have many great memories and left good friends with each move. We have three children, Hannah, Sarah, and Andrew. They are all happily married and beginning to make their own memories. Hannah teaches at Murray Elementary in Murray, Kentucky. Her husband, Jay teaches Headstart in the same school district and is an assistant basketball coach for the Lady Tigers. They have two children, Eve Lynn (5) and Leah Faith (2). Eve and Leah certainly have Mamaw and Pawpaw wrapped around all of their fingers. Randy says “Grandchildren are wonderful; we should have had them first!” Our second daughter, Sarah teaches high school math at South Warren High School in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Her husband, Philip works for a software support company working mainly with hospitals and the medical profession. Our son, Andrew, also has a teaching degree but decided after graduation that wasn’t the work for him. He is currently an assistant manager with McDonald’s, pursuing his master’s degree in business to continue his career with the corporate side of the company. His wife, Kayla, is a radiologist at a local hospital.  I was a stay home mom for most of the years while our children were growing up. I have worked in retail, as a church secretary, substitute taught, and owned my own sewing business. In 2000, I took a job as the baker at an elementary school; in 2004 I was promoted to cafeteria manager. In 2009, I accepted my current job as Child Nutrition Coordinator for Boone County Schools. I oversee the National School Lunch Program for twenty-two schools. Randy has had a career in the machine tool business for more than thirty years. He is currently the Vice-President of Sales and Marketing for a company out of Minnesota. His territory is Asia; he travels about 75% of the year. Absence truly does make the heart grow fonder!  It makes me sad that I will not be able to attend the reunion but that is traditionally the time we travel to be with our children and take the girls to see Santa. Hopefully the next one will be a time we can attend.


~ Nancy Woody McLeod ~ Hello to all of my Class of 76ers. As always, when my mind goes back to the many years spent together growing up my heart is so full of warm, fuzzy feelings. I know all of you understand this feeing - sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name! Well, Arab, AL is just that to me, and each of you are a part of these great memories.  I am really unsure of exactly how to present my journey in life, so feel free to skip over any boring and chatty parts. After leaving Arab I graduated from the University of Montevallo with more class hours than anyone ever attending. I received a BS in Home Economics and Business with minor in Early Childhood Development. I realize you are probably thinking - I don't remember Nancy being a scholar-and you are right. I just could not figure out what I wanted to be. However, I did meet my husband of 28 years there, so I did make one very good decision. We have 2 children:  Vincent (Vince) Woody McLeod - February 14,1988 and Mary Kathryn McLeod - February 9, 1990.  These two children are the joy of my life, and being a Mom to them is such a pleasure.
Nancy Jewel and Wendy at the reunion
Now for my career. After graduation I went into Real Estate and have been in residential sales, property management, and commercial. Then the economy changed and I had to also. I am now working as a Catastophe Claims Adjuster and have realized that this was what I wanted to be. This job does involve traveling at a very short notice and has worked out very well since my children are older. I am looking forward to seeing everyone at the reunion. If unable to attend due to work I will look forward to photos so please make a lot. Hugs to all.


~ Jeanie Dyar Riesselman ~  I married Zane Peters in December of 1976 and we have two daughters, Katherine Brooke Peters and Amanda Jean Peters.  In 1997 I received an Accociate Degree in Applied Science Engineering Design from Snead State. I worked at Comptronix- Sanmina/SCI in the engineering department as a process writer for manufacturing for twenty years.  Zane and I divorced in 1994. I married Dan Riesselman from Iowa in 1998.  I changed directions to sales and worked at Lowes in Kitchen Cabinet Design for two years.  I still live in Arab.  Currently, I work at Valhalla Funeral Home in Huntsville.  I take care of families at the time of need.  The job is very rewarding and I love what I do.  I also sell insurance for pre-need funeral planning.






Pam Duncan, Greg Biggs, Ken Gregory at reunion
 ~ Greg Biggs ~ I started college at the University of Kansas the week after our graduation. During my sophomore year of college I started working part time in the field of Respiratory Therapy. I found the field exciting, stimulating and extremely addictive. I have been practicing in the field of respiratory therapy thirty-three years and everyday is just as exciting as the first. I worked in Topeka, Kansas for ten  years, Atlanta, Georgia and the surrounding hospitals within a 100 mile radius for five years, thirteen years in Nashville, Tennessee and in Raleigh, NC. where I have resided since 2004. 
I remain single, happy, and healthy. I have a cat named Kitty Perkins who constantly needs reminding that I am not her servant, despite the fact that I cater to her every whim. I also live in close proximity to my nieces, nephews, sister, brother-in-law, and mom.  This will be the first class reunion I have ever attended and I am really looking forward to seeing everyone.


~ David Harwell ~ After graduating high school I attended Snead State and graduated from Athens State with a Marketing Degree in 1982. In 1983 I went to work for Deltacom, which is now EarthLink Business, as a salesperson.  I am still employed with EarthLink today as a Senior VP of Sales and Retention.  I married Allison in 1991 and we have two sons, John David age 17, and Brooks age 13.  Allison is a teacher in the Madison County School System and we live in Huntsville.


~ Pam Jones Bussey ~ I started to JSU in the fall of 76. Sandy Gibson and I made many trips from Jacksonville to Arab and back that first year.  Hard to believe we never got any speeding tickets.  I really had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up,so I had a great year (not academically), fell 'in love', and got married to Robert Wagers in Oct of 77.  From that union, I have two beautiful, smart, amazing daughters, Emily,age 32, mother of Luke, age 3, is an environmental biologist with her Masters from West Florida University, and Jennifer, age 30, a Loyola graduate with a degree in psychology-who is currently a stay-at-home mom for Addison age3 and baby brother Collin ,3 months. Emily and husband, Jeremy, currently live in Pensacola, but will be relocating to Hunstville in December. Jennifer and husband, Shane,professional chef, actually moved to Oxford back in the spring. They have lived in Colorado, Pensacola and Harbour Island Bahamas over the last eight years and I'm ecstatic to have them five minutes from my house.  Anyway,back to me. 
Pam Jones and Pam White cutting up, just like high school.

Started LPN school when girls were nine months and twenty-nine months.  I had these two precious lives to take care of.  One of the smartest things I ever did -- enabled me to provide for us when I divorced in 1990.
Donna, Pam, & Pam at the reunion

Always the optimist,I remarried in January of 1992 to the love of my life, Paul. What a crazy year! We got custody of his youngest daughter, Crystal age 2, that summer and I soon got back in the hang of having a small child. She is mine in every sense of the word.  She's still here and engaged to be married next October.  I changed jobs in August of 1992 which was stressfull.  I'm not crazy about changes. In November of that year, my dad was hit and killed by a speeding 18 wheeler in Guntersville. I thought my life would end, too. I had always been a daddy's girl growing up and when I found myself divorced after thirteen years with two young girls, my dad was our rock.I had weathered the infidelity and hurt, but I didn't think I could survive this. Paul was so strong for us; he kept me grounded and focused. He helped me hold together until I could be stronger for my girls. It's been nineteenyears now and I still miss my dad so much, but he would be proud of me and his granddaughters. Over the next twelve years, we worked, raised three girls, went camping, got two of the three kids through high school and college all while camping, motor cycle riding, and jeep riding.  Life was going along pretty smoothly. After eleven years in home health, I decided I needed a change.  Both oldest daughters were in Pensacola, so I decided to go to work on oncology unit@ RMC, 7 days on,7 off. Thought I could trot down to Pensacola Beach every couple rotations and lay on the beach and visit Emily and Jennifer. Never happened! I got sick, super anemic, had D&C. I went for followup appointment and was told it was time for a mammogram.  A spot was found on the mammmogram, so a few days later I had a 12 needle biospy, followed by a  left mastectomy a week later, then eight months of chemo.  Some days it just doesn't pay to get out of bed.  I won't bore everybody with the gory details, but I'm a huge advocate for breast cancer education for women AND men.  Anyone is welcome to email me or call if you or a friend need any info about breast cancer.  I was president of Steel Magnolias Breast Cancer Support Group for two years here in Anniston and the group does some awesome outreach. We send care packages all over the U.S. to anyone diagnosed that we hear about. After surgery, I transferred to wound clinic; I just couldn't do floor nursing anymore.  After several years at the wound center, I went back to Amedisys Home Health. I've been there a total of fourteen years now and plan to retire from there.  I am the Intake Coordinator/Clinical Manager Assistant for the Anniston office and I love my job!  Some where in all this, about 2001, Paul's oldest daughter, Paula, re-entered his life. She's another redhead, just like the other three; you would think the four of them were sisters.  Paula is a critical care ICU nurse and has Joy age 6 and Kaelyn 2 1/2. We're very close but I regret we weren't allowed to play much part in her growing up years. (My greatest pet peeve is when people rob their own children of the love and support others have for them because of their own hurt/selfishness.  Get over yourself people and don't make your problem your child's problem.)  I drove around Arab a couple of months ago; my Momma still lives there. I was leaving her house to head back to Oxford and I just felt the need to ride around a while. I went by all the schools, by Wendy's house (I always loved that house) down main street, by Trisha's house, where I spent so many hours with her and 'Betty', out to the football stadium, around the neighborhood where Normie and Sue used to live.  So many memories and what a wonderful, reflective time it was. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone next weekend. Be safe.


Janet and Terry
~ Janet Wilkinson Jordan ~ After graduation, I married my sweetheart, Terry Jordan in January of 1977 (35 th anniversary this January). We soon after started our family and I loved being a stay-at-home mom to Leanne and Rachel. In 1986 I decided to attend college to earn my degree in secondary education. After a few years into my career I earned a master's degree + additional graduate hours from the University of Alabama. I am now in my 22nd year and looking forward to retirement. I have taught secondary English and Theatre Arts in public school as well as classes for Snead State and Athens State University.
I still enjoy my hobbies of singing and theatre. I am a past board member at the WholeBackstage Theatre in Guntersville, Alabama where I enjoyed acting, singing, and directing many plays. Terry also found a hobby there, using his talents in lighting and sound.


Greg and Janet at Pre-reunion Party for Greg
However, our-ever growing family is now our main focus. 
Our daughter Leanne is married to Robert (Bob) Boyle of Guntersville and they live in Jacksonville,FL where Bob is director of housing at the University of North Florida and Leanne is an R.N. at a private hospital, working in labor and delivery. They have two children-Will age 7 and Madeline age 5. Our youngest daughter , Rachel, is married to Brett Buck.  She is also a nurse; she works at UAB in Neurosurgery I.C.U. She has two girls-Emma age 7 and Anna age 2. , stepdaughters, Angel age 8, and Emily age 6. Baby Brody is due to arrive the first week in January! Enough girls!  I look forward to the reunion and seeing old friends!


~ Lori Gunter Gilcrists~ After high school graduation, I spent the next three years at Mississippi University for Women, graduating in 1979 with a BS in political science and journalism. A few of you might remember I came back to Arab for a few months , working at the Arab Tribune writing feature stories before getting married and heading back to Columbus, MS, and a job as a reporter for the Commercial Dispatch. I left that daily newspaper when the publisher offered me a job as a TV reporter at the local station, which he also owned. I HATED television news. To this day, after working behind the cameras, I take everything I see on television with a grain of salt.
When my husband, an Air Force pilot, was transferred to Austin, TX, I made the jump to public relations, working in internal and media relations for the state agency that regulates oil and gas production, transportation, surface mining and lp gas. Dallas was on TV, and the oil and gas was flowing. It was a blast. I flew around the state to the agency’s ten offices on a state plane and learned about Texas politics first hand, all to the tunes of Stevie Ray Vaughn and Lyle Lovett.
When Otto left the Air Force we moved to Columbia, SC, so he could get his master’s degree in international business at the University of South Carolina. I went to work for the SC Chamber of Commerce doing media relations and publications, and running a summer fiscal literacy program for middle school students. I started having reservations about pr work. Texas politics had been entertaining, South Carolina politics were ugly, and, of course, the Chamber was up to its ears in politics.
After graduation, Otto took a job in Charlotte, NC, and I went to work for Mercy Health Services in marketing, media, and public relations. I mean, how ugly can it get working for nuns, right? Ugly wasn’t the right word, but this was health care. It was disturbingly…let’s say, messy. Everyone is talking about how messed up health care is today. Well, it was just as messed up then, only folks outside of healthcare weren’t talking much about it at the time.
I left Mercy in 1990 to go to graduate school. I decided to figure out how all the do-gooder and public good institutions I’d been associated with went from all these lofty missions and goals to just keeping the doors open and making payroll. Seemed they all did that eventually, public or private.
I spent two years getting a Master of Liberal Arts degree at Winthrop University, doing an interdisciplinary study of the development of personal and institutional ethical systems. (Yes, I know, I’m a geek.) While in grad school, I spent four months in the Arizona desert working with Italian architect and artist Paolo Soleri, and his Cosanti Foundation. Paolo and the foundation were case studies for my final research project. After graduation, Paolo made me an offer I couldn’t refuse, so I headed for Arizona, while Otto moved to Virginia. The divorce was amicable, and though he and I haven’t talked in many, many years, he does keep up with Mom.
Whenever I say Paolo made me an offer I couldn’t refuse, everyone always thinks I mean money, but trust me, there was very little money involved. I did have an awful lot of titles, though. I was Public Relations Coordinator, Executive Assistant to the President and the Board, Instructor, Grant Writer, and On-site Music Center Manager and Publicist. I had an office with a big round window overlooking a mesa and a tiny apartment designed by Paolo and executed by a bunch of talented students. I traveled around the world with Paolo when he had speaking engagements and played hostess to the folks who visited Arcosanti and the Cosanti Foundation. The part I couldn’t refuse was hanging out with and learning from the scientists, artists, architects, writers, musicians, composers, dancers, politicians, designers, thinkers, philosophers, theologians and assorted nutcases who made up Paolo’s circle of admirers, detractors and collaborators around the world.
During the nine years I lived and worked at Arcosanti, I met my husband Ken. I also got tired of being the only faculty member and administrator at Arco 24/7. In 2000 we moved up to Flagstaff where I worked with a non-profit social service agency, primarily with homeless and transient men and women. With all due respect to John Stossel, in Flagstaff I never met a homeless person who was running a scam. Most of them were either or some combination of mentally ill or veterans…lots of PTSD on the streets. Most were late middle-aged or older men. An awful lot of them were from rural areas and had learning disabilities that were not diagnosed or addressed while they were in school.
About the time Ken and I decided it was time to move back east to be closer to family and to be able to see trees without needles or spines, I started thinking about going into k-12 education. I’d taught undergraduates when I was in grad school and college students at all levels from around the world when I was at Arcosanti. I got lent out to the school of education when I was in grad school and was appalled at what was going on in the teaching of teachers at that time. I thought I could keep up my do-gooder work as a teacher k-12 and possibly keep a few kids from becoming homeless veterans at the end of a bus route. We moved to Asheville, NC, and I completed a lateral entry program to teach special education in North Carolina public schools. But when I started interviewing for jobs, I was pretty horrified at what I found in public schools. I just couldn’t see myself doing much good in that very dysfunctional system.
Now I'm the Executive Director of Communities in Schools of Mitchell County, an affiliate of the state and national CIS network (http://www.cisnc.org ). Since Mitchell County is in the western mountains of NC...very poor, rural and isolated, with high illiteracy rates...we tend to be a little different than a lot of the network. We have a comprehensive, case-managed program providing support services at the high school, but a more informal program of volunteer tutors in k-8. We do some more general programming aimed at culture change, making education more of a priority or possibility. The kids referred to us are considered at high risk for dropping out, which usually translates into poor, first generation high school grads, special ed (lots on the dyslexic and autism spectrums), LD, ELL, or some combination of those. Some are smart and bored, so they are not performing well in the classroom. I spend a lot of time doing what it takes to make it possible for others, volunteers and staff, to have direct student contact in a school system designed more to put x's in boxes than to actually do the things described after the X. I’m beginning to think that sucks and am looking for a way to have more direct student contact.
I took it as a complement when a sweet little old lady from the north end of the county, the area where a lot of folks aren't sure if they are in Tennessee or North Carolina, told me they like working with me up there because though they knew I wasn't from that mountain, they could tell I was from a mountain somewhere. Just one of the things being from Arab brings to the table here!


~ Alec Monroe ~ Hello everybody. It sure doesn’t seem like 35 years since we roamed the halls of high school. After graduating and a summer at Snead State, I went to Auburn studying mechanical engineering. During that time, I worked with Milliken and Company, in LaGrange, Georgia, as a co-op student. During my time at Auburn, I got married and had a child on the way. In order to pay my way, left school and joined USCO Power Equipment Corporation in Birmingham in 1980. After my son Jay was born and I got divorced, resumed night school and finished with a BS in Materials Engineering from UAB in 1984 (somehow managed to cram a 4 year degree into ten years). In July 1986, moved to Phoenix, Arizona and joined Young Power Equipment Corporation selling equipment to the electric utilities in Arizona and southern Nevada. In July 1991, moved back to Birmingham and rejoined USCO as VP of Engineering, and later promoted to Executive VP, then President. 

Alec at reunion
In July 2005, a coworker and I purchased USCO, a manufacturing operation with 80 employees and $16 Million in revenues. We moved the company to a new facility in Leeds, Alabama in early 2006. The company increased revenues to almost $36 million with 105 employees. In 2008, we sold our company to Hubbell Power Systems. I stayed on for a year as General Manager to aid in the transition to the new ownership, and learned that the big corporate environment is not my cup of tea.  Since leaving that position, I have been actively investing in new ventures, including a steel fabrication operation in Opelika, Alabama.

Alec and family
As for me personally, I spend my time with my best friend and life partner, Sonia Fleming. We have a blended family of my son, her daughter, Sammie Jo Fleming, and our grandson, Alec III. We share our time between our homes in Lake View and Ono Island, Alabama.


~ Normie Williams Scammell ~ I am one of the honorary graduates from Arab High School and fell especially blessed that I am part of the 35 year class reunion. My parents moved to Arab from Anniston when I was 6 months old and moved to Douglasville, GA when I was 16 years old. I did not want to leave Arab!  I loved growing up there and still miss being there. I graduated from Douglas County High School and went to the University of West Georgia.  I married in 1979 and in 1982 had my first child, David Adam Ballenger. He is 29 years old now. He is married and works for Direct TV in their IT department. He lives in Youngstown, OH. He has not made me a grandmother yet. I was divorced in 1985.
Normie
I met my current husband in 1986 at work and we were married in 1989. I had my second child that same year, a daughter, Amanda Francis Scammell. She is 22 years old now and is in school at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA. She will graduate in May.  She went to the University of Georgia for two years so we have a football conflict in our house. My husband, Jay is from New Hampshire so he is a Notre Dame fan. I am forever an Alabama fan so we have football on every television in the house. You can take the girl out of Alabama but you can't take the Alabama out of the girl.  Anyway, Jay and I were working for the same business forms manufacturer when we met. He had transferred from another location down to Atlanta. He was attending RIT in Rochester, NY so he had decided by the time I meet him to make a career in the printing industry. In 1994, we decided to open our own company. We call it Graphic Dimensions, Inc. We opened a small plant in Atlanta with five employees in April of 1994. We now have 86 employees and plants in Newport, KY and Peterborough, NH in addition to the one in Atlanta. We work all the time and it has been quite the adventure, but we are very happy working for ourselves. I’ve had the opportunity to travel all over the country going to trade shows and meetings for our company.  
Nancy Jewel and Normie at reunion
We have two dogs to fill our empty nest while we await the arrival of grandchildren. I have five other siblings and together we have given Mom and Dad fourteen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.  I am very thankful for the blessings in my life and look forward to seeing you all.


Doug and Mary at the reunion
Doug Frank ~ After graduation I went to work for Bob Tab Cadillac in Huntsville as a mechanic. I discovered that being a mechanic was not my forte. I took a job at the AT&T phone manufacturing place on the left after you crossed the bridge heading into Huntsville.  My parents, dad, took a job in Philly and they asked if I would like to go with them. We moved from Arab some time in 78’. We were in Philly from about 78 until 80 where I got into machining. I worked my way up to manager of a small shop. Other than the money, it wasn’t a very rewarding job. I decided it was time for another change.  I decided a change in scenery was in order so I decided to go into the service. In the beginning of 80’, I enlisted in the Army to be a Combat Medic. The Army arranged a lovely train ride from Philly to take me to Ft Leonard wood, Missouri. lol, were I went to basic. After basic I went to San Antonio, Ft. Sam Houston for 12 weeks of medical training. After that I was assigned to Ft. Benning, GA. for advanced training. I then found myself in Ft. Sill, OK. at Reynolds Army Hospital for my first assignment. I was there almost 2 yrs when I applied and was accepted to the Warrant Officer candidate course, (flight school). I was re-assigned to Ft. Rucker, Al. and stayed almost a year when I was assigned overseas upon graduation. My assignment was the 56th Aviation Co. in Manheim, Germany. I arrived there in 82 and stayed until the end of 86. I flew all over Europe while I was there. The unit I was assigned to was a V.I.P. unit. I even had the opportunity to fly Colin Powell while he was just a 3 star. I one time had a total of 14 stars on my helicopter. I got to see Holland, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria and even England a number of times while I was there.  The beginning of 87’ I was re-assigned to Ft. Bliss, TX. (El Paso) I was assigned to a Cavalry unit for the first part of the assignment and requested a transfer to a Medevac unit that was also there. I went to the Persian Gulf, Desert Storm with the 507th Medevac.  Our unit deployed to the Gulf the 13th of December of 90’ and re-deployed back in May-April of 91’. I remained there for a while longer before I took the opportunity to get out during Clinton’s administration. By then I had seen enough. 
Doug and Mary
I worked a few different jobs for the next few years. I then found an Air ambulance company that I started working for. It started out as Southwest Medevac, after about 5-6 years in was purchased by a larger EMS service called OmniFlight Helicopters. It remained Omniflight until about June of this year when another larger EMS service called Air Methods bought them. At the present time, we are still in the transition between the two companies.  I have been married twice.  I met and married my first wife, Kathi while at Ft. Sill, OK. in 81’.  Prior to being deployed to the Gulf in 89’, I divorced. We had one son Adam that was born in Germany in 85’.  My second wife Lorrie, I met in the beginning of 90’. We moved in together upon my arrival back to the states. We were together until the end of 08’ when we separated.  After a couple of painstaking years we were able to finalize our divorce. We had 3 boys; Christopher, Nicholas and Ryan. They were born in 95, 96 and 2000 and are now 16, 15 and 12. Christopher is a junior in a magnet program for engineering at his school and is also playing guitar. Nicholas is a sophomore and is playing drums. Ryan is in the 6th grade but hasn’t followed a path in music. My sons keep me in El Paso for now. I have joint custody and spend as much time with them as I can. We do as much of the out door stuff as we can. We go dirt biking, camping, fishing, hunting and all that. Between the 14 hour days at work and the days off with the kids, I keep pretty busy. I wouldn’t trade it for anything though. 


~ Wendy McGee ~ After high school I headed to Florence and attended UNA earning a double major in Marketing and Management. From there, believing I was really a big city girl at heart, I headed to Atlanta. It was a good fit and I stayed for 25 years. My first job evolved into a dream job for me-- I worked with a company that manufactured baby products and my job was to work with designers and engineers and create products (crib mobiles, soft rattles, car seat accessories, etc.) for stores like Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Sears and other big boxes. I loved figuring out the marketplace strategy and the execution of the creative but not so much the product management part of the job. So after 12 years I switched gears and went to work for a design firm in client management. (Clients told me what they wanted and I made sure it was done on budget and on time. Being an older “bossy” sister came in pretty handy.) We created brochures, ads, tradeshow booths, billboards, etc. for a variety of clients ranging from Coke and UPS to small start-up companies. I worked at a few agencies in the city, even being the creative director at one of them. It was fun but demanding and at some point it dawned on me that I was very busy but also very bored.  I did some soul searching and decided my future was back in Alabama. Nobody was more surprised by that decision than me. Even as I was packing and signing with a realtor to sell my condo, I kept wondering if I would really do it because I thought I would always be a big city girl. But I did and here I am in Huntsville happy as can be. I love all the trees and mountains and the slower pace. The best part though has been reconnecting with friends, making new ones and having the time to spend with my family.  
Bob and Wendy at the reunion
  I have been fortunate enough to meet a good man, Bob, and after four years we are still together. Currently I am working as a contract administrator for a government contractor (what else? J ) in Huntsville, where I bought a house a couple of years ago. It has good bones and I look forward to putting my touch on it. While I will need to keep my day job, I want to get back into product development again and am progressing down that path slowly but surely.


~ Cecile Adair Johnson ~ Hola my dear Arab friends! I sure wish I could be with you guys at our 35th reunion; Are we sure it’s 35? Writing this has made me think of the ‘good ole’ days’; riding around in my yellow Gremlin with frequent visits to Pecker Head’s to buy Boones Farm!  Since graduation my life has been full, happy and with many, many blessings! After the graduation trip to Panama City (I don’t remember much…… does anyone?), I attended Snead State for one year and then high tailed it to Auburn. I graduated in 1979 with a degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling and subsequently moved to Houston, Texas. I married Mark Johnson in 1981 and we had two wonderful children together; Erin (25) and Marshall (28), neither of which appreciates a good bowl of grits! Mark was the principle trombonist for the Houston Ballet and Opera as well as a music professor at a local Jr. College. During the years of raising our children I was fortunate enough to own my own Rehabilitation Counseling business which allowed me the flexibility to wear the hat of cookie mom and limousine driver. In 1997 I went to work for the U.S. Department of Labor as a Rehabilitation Specialist where I administered a return to work program.  In 2000 I obtained my Graduate Degree in Social Work at The University of Houston, in Texas. Unfortunately, during that time my husband Mark was diagnosed with colon cancer and lost the long hard battle at age 42. At the same time my sister and best friend, Gwen, was diagnosed and died of lung cancer. As you can imagine, that time was quite difficult for my children and me. But I’m a solid tough country girl and just picked myself up and kept on going.  After my children FINALLY grew up and left the nest (Marshall graduated from Texas State University and Erin from the University of Texas at Austin), I went back to work as a contract Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant with the Social Security Administration.  Last But Not LEAST, I met a wonderful man and have been married for a little over a year. My husband, Dan, is a Senior Geophysicist for an oil and gas company in Houston. It took me a while to learn how to spell ‘geophysicist’! Together Dan and I have 5 grown children and two cutie dachshunds, Lester Earle and Dempsey. We’re looking forward to someday having little grand munchkins! We’re also fortunate to have the opportunity to travel extensively and I pretend that I am a classy chick from Scant City!  So, in closing……. I love and miss you all and really wish I could be there to celebrate everyone’s successes in life, love and happiness. But, as some of you know, my 25 year old daughter is in Cancer treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and she is kicking butt! You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl! Blessings to you all!

Beverly
 Beverly Hayes Simmons ~ After high school graduation, a couple of years went by, and I decided to get my teaching degree in secondary education. I graduated from Athens State College in 1981. Within a few days of being in the classroom, I realized I was no match for high school students. My attempts at discipline and order were mainly ignored, and brought much stress into my life. Oh well, . . .Enough of that scenario!  After the aborted teaching career, I opened an antiques store south of Arab, and enjoyed the business for a few years. In 1985, I closed the business, and moved to Huntsville. I got a job with a real estate attorney and stayed in that field, until I met my husband, Steve Simmons. After we were married in 1987, I decided to try a career in real estate. I have been the Broker/Owner of Simmons Company for the past 21 years. My husband is a General Contractor/Homebuilder. Together we have completed several subdivisions in the Huntsville/Madison area. Upon recently finishing our last subdivision, my husband is retiring from the business. Our lives will most definitely take a different path in the future, hopefully, with more time to “enjoy the scenery”.   As far as everything else goes, not much to tell. We enjoy fly-fishing, and make annual trips to Montana. We also have a mountain home in Highlands, North Carolina, and spend as much time there as possible.  I am very disappointed that I cannot attend the reunion. It sounds like so much fun, and the bio’s have been great to read and catch up on everyone!


Nick, Steve, Keith, San
~  Steve Calhoun ~ After graduating from Arab and a couple of attempts at college, I went to work for Computer Science Corporation in October of 1978, working in the space fields of Skylab and the beginning of the Space Shuttle.  I finally recieved my CIS degree from St. Leo University in Tampa, FL. Presently working for Boeing, for the last 27 1/2 years, as a Software Engineer on the International Space Station. I've made several attempts at marriage but for one reason or another it never worked out.  My parents made the move from Arab to Huntsville and I have taken care of them until my father died a few years ago. My mom stayed on with me until this last spring when she moved into an assisted living facility. Now it is just me and my 12 year old poodle Allie.  She seldom argues or complains. 


Steve at Pre-reunion party for Greg





~Tammy Taylor Allen ~ Hello All!  Who knew time travel really existed? It doesn’t seem as if it has been thirty-five years since we graduated from AHS, I am sure we are in a time warp somewhere! Or it could be that because I teach at AHS I feel as if I have never left. If someone had told me I would be here now, teaching students with Learning Disabilities to do Algebra and Geometry; I would never have believed it! I am the Student Council sponsor, and served the last twelve years as the Marshall County Youth Leadership Sponsor. You just don’t always know where life is taking you.  After graduation, I moved to the Birmingham area and attended the University of Montevallo. During the next six years I changed my major twice, dropped out of college, waitressed at the Hungry Fisherman, worked at a bank; and finally went back to UM to finish my degree. I graduated in 1982 with a BS in Teaching the Hearing Impaired.  I went to work for UAB at the Spain Rehabilitation Center. There, I worked in the Speech and Hearing Center doing research and writing Federal Grants for Dr. Samuel Fletcher. He was developing a computerized program using a hard-wired mouth piece to teach deaf children how to speak. It was really quite interesting. However, after a couple of years, I really wanted a different work experience so I went to work at the Alabama School for the Deaf as a Communications Specialist. I really loved my time there and stayed in that position until Mike took a job with NASA, where he is currently in charge of “boxing up” the Space Shuttle program; and we moved to Arab. Suddenly, ten years after leaving, I was back in Arab. I managed my mother’s store “Dian’s” for a while; started the Mother’s Day Out program at our church, worked with the Arab Chamber of Commerce, and served as the Hearing Impaired teacher for Arab City Schools. Since then we have also lived in Washington D.C. and I got to work at the White House in the Greetings Office. That was fun!  During my tenure at UAB I met my husband Mike Allen. His dog ran into my apartment and literally had to be dragged out the door. Only five short months later we were married, and in February 2012 we will celebrate 29 years together. We laughed about it then, and now know it was some sort of crazy divine intervention.  We have had four children; our first son, Luke, was born ten weeks premature and lived for a very short three weeks. Since then God has blessed us with three more children.  Ross, 25, is an Architect and works for the Army Corp of Engineers; thank you Auburn University. He is engaged to Leslie Brewster, a Union Grove cutie, who graduated from the University of Alabama, and is a Contract Specialist with the Army. They are getting married in April 2012. Our middle daughter Sara, 23, married Brandon Byars in June, and graduated from Samford University with a BS RN. Sara works in Day Surgery at Marshall Medical North, and at Rebecca’s when not at the hospital.. Her sweet husband got his BS from Auburn and MS from West Alabama. He teaches at Arab Elementary, coaches football and is the JV Baseball coach for AHS. Rebecca our youngest is 21. She is attending Athens University, working on a Business degree. She also has opened her own business, “Rebecca’s”, a contemporary, boutique clothing store, here in Arab. (This is where I work when I leave AHS each day.) She is also engaged, to Bradley Hinds. He is a wonderful guy who helps run his family business, Hinds Auto and Salvage. They are getting married in July 2012. I can scarcely believe we are having three weddings in thirteen months, but we are having so much fun! We are excited about and love all of the new additions to our family!  Mike and I are looking forward to this new stage in our lives. Can’t wait to see what the next thirty-five years bring! God has blessed my life with many, sometimes wonderful, sometimes not so wonderful, experiences; each one serving a different purpose. Hopefully I am learning something along the way!  Blessings to all of you!


~ Sharon Tidmore Kites ~ After high school, I attended the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa where I graduated with a degree in accounting and became a Christian. After graduation I accepted a job in New Orleans where I met my husband, Mark, who was from Nevada and working in New Orleans with Shell Oil. We have three wonderful children, Kelsey who is a communication design/business senior at Texas State University, Connor who is a mechanical engineering/math junior at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and Karah who is a high school senior and trying to decide where to go-probably Baylor University, but LSU and Tx A&M are maybes.  After 10 years working as an accounting office supervisor and CPA, I quit my job to head overseas with Mark. Thus began the first of eight transoceanic moves. We lived ten years in foreign lands including Italy, England and So. Korea. With all these moves, I ended up home schooling all three children, K through 12 which turned out to be a wonderful experience in itself. We got to travel all over Europe and Asia and made many wonderful friends. In fact, my son was studying at Oxford University this summer so we returned to visit with him and all our English pals.  Shell finally allowed us to return home and we are now living outside Houston, TX. I never returned to a paying job, but with all three kiddos gone next year, who knows? Nah...We have actually bought land in Alabama and in a few years when Mark retires we may even move there, but I have feeling we will be in Texas if the kids stay here. Sorry I couldn't make the reunion, but I am hoping to see lots of pictures on facebook.


~ Harold Daniels ~ Greetings Classmates!  The summer after graduation I worked as a camp counselor at Comer Boy Scout Reservation near Ft. Payne, Alabama.  Then, I started working my way through college with my own personal Co-op Program.  I worked at G.T.E. Automatic Electric while attending Snead State and worked at a TV Station while attending Auburn University.  After college I moved to Cullman and worked as a District Executive for the Boy Scouts. Then, I moved back to the Auburn-Opelika area to work for WSWS-TV66 as Personnel Director.  Later, I worked in various retail management jobs while dreaming of owning my own business.  But, in October 2002 my appendix ruptured and gangrene infection kept me in the hospital for over a month.  I developed Neuropathy and had to retire.  About this time my marriage ended.  I have been living in Clarke County with my parents on my grandparents' farm.  I have had a terrific time and God has blessed me through it all.  No matter how bad I mess up my Lord Jesus Christ takes good care of me. Hope to see you all at the reunion.  May God bless you.

  ~ Bill Staggs ~ I left high school to join the Marines and did my tour.  Then, I got married.  My daughter, Michelle Staggs Borntrager is the light of my life, along with her two boys:  Bryce age 2 and Nathan age 1. I have recently retired due to health reasons from my position as Asst Super of Gadsden Country Club. I am trying to sort through my life. 
Bill and family
I enjoy playing golf with my son-in-law, Alabama football, and playing with my two little grand kids.  I'm single now and trying to find the right woman to be happy with and live out my life in peace. I'm a cancer survivor and have out lasted two strokes. The guys I work with say when I go, I will just nasty away! (ha) That's about it! Peace!


 ~ Annette Solley Monk ~ After graduation, like many of you, I entered the work force.  I have worked on the production line as well as Inspector at plants, as a Pharmacy Technician, as an Office Manager for a car dealership, contract work for the Government, to my present job as an Office Manager for an explosive company.  On July 3, 1976 I married Randy Monk from Vinemont. He and I live on a small farm in Joppa with goats, chickens, turkeys, and guineas.  We have three beautiful daughters:  Natanya age 30, Stacey age 27, and Tracey age 27. 
Stacey and Annette
We also have three wonderful grandchildren:  Harmoni age 10, Jay Tucker age 2, and Jake Hudson 11 months.  In my spare time I enjoy sewing, cooking, canning from the garden, making floral arrangements, and taking care of my Grandbabies.  God has truly blessed me.


Beverly Grissett Davis ~  
Dear Friends, 

My life, like yours, is a journey.  And like many, I chose the one less traveled.  A journey of high roads, low roads, toll roads, short cuts, bypasses, detours, washouts and dead-ends.  I have been down them all at least once.  The first leg of my journey included school, marriage, raising my wonderful son, John (who lives in Pensacola, FL now and is doing well), divorce, and now finally, time for me.  During my journey,  I have met some of the most incredibly wonderful people that I will never forget, and some that I will spend a lifetime trying to.  They say that everyone comes into your life for a reason...unfortunately for some, it may take me a lifetime to figure out why.
I am very grateful to be a part of such a wonderful family, the Grissett family, whom are all well and good.  I am a proud daughter of Floyd Ray and Patricia Dale McLeod Grissett of Opp and Guntersville, AL, a proud sister of Kaye Lynn Grissett Dean of Arab/Guntersville, AL and John Timothy Grissett of Opp, AL, and a proud mother of John Stephen Johnson of Pensacola, FL.  Though all on our own separate journeys, our paths do cross quite often.  We share love, life experiences, challenges, IOU's, secrets, recipes, prayers, gossip, good food, spirits, used cars, hand me downs, jokes, tools, the occasional flu bug, and  tall tales of our adventures every chance we get!  Who could ask for anything more?
Beverly, Nancy, Normie and Keith at reunion
After living, touring and working in MX for several years, I have recently relocated to Gulf Shores, AL.  I call it my base camp, as I travel around quite a bit with my line of work as a Personal Assistant / CNA providing 24 Hour Home Health and Hospice Care.   I like to think that with all of this "hands on" experience, there is little that I won't be able to traverse alone, with God's help of course. In case you haven't heard, He is a great travel and lifelong companion and I highly recommend Him.  Lord knows I wouldn't have made it this far without Him.  Now, with a sense of adventure, I look forward to all of the next twists, turns, loopity loops and bumps in the road, and new friends to meet that lie ahead  on this journey, we call life.  Eagerly, I move on down the road, brimming with the confidence of knowing that if I get lost or confused, God will eventually wake me up, turn the map right side up and take the wheel.  I don't know where I am going next, God knows I like surprises, but I will let you know when I get there.  And better yet,  I hope to see you along the way!  SINGLE  LIFE? ... LOVING EVERY MINUTE OF IT!
Better buckle up cause it's gonna be a wild ride!

 Pam White Duncan ~ I like the quote, "Don't look  back,therefore I choose to focus on the now.  There is no need to discuss my past, although each phase has gotten me to the place I am now. I love my life and thank God for each day.  I have been married to Danny Duncan for 18 years. I have two daughters, Jessica McCrary and Kristen Weldon, and a step daughter, Danna Cater. They have blessed us with six grandchildren:  Marshall age 15, Noah and Nick - twins age 13, Carson age 11, Griffin age 3, Halle Grace age 2, and another due in February 2012.  I love my children, but as the old saying goes, "Let me tell you about my grandchildren!" They keep us running to Arab High cross country runs, wrestling tournaments, Arab Jr High football games, Arab Musical Theatre performances, Firecracker soccer games and now, with our one little girl, dance. We seldom miss whatever they choose to participate in.
Pam and family
I worked for almost eight years for a Government Contractor in HR Services and made the commute from Arab to Madison part of that time.  I now work for a local doctor and love being so close to home and the family. When not running grand-kids, I enjoy sewing, attending Gilliam Springs Baptist Church, monthly BUNCO with friends, volunteer work, and visiting.


Danny McNeil, Pam Duncan, Donna Hasty at reunion

I am also very involved with the American Cancer Society and have been a Committee member for the last five years with our local Relay For Life. I lost my mom to breast cancer when I was only 23 and would love to live to see a cure for this awful disease. I have gained a lot of friends, gained a lot of weight, and just find myself wondering who the old person is when I look in the mirror.  But, life and each day is what you make it. I have lots of memories from school and hope to see you all soon.

Keith Hawkins ~ Immediately following high school graduation I began college at Snead State.  Sam Reed and I rented an apartment at Sun Down Apartments in Boaz.  All the dorm residents showed up for Happy Hour each day at 3 pm.  Sam and I did our best to make sure they were gone by 3 am.  After two years at Snead, I transferred to Troy State.  Tina Cochran and I got married in 1981 and I bought my first house on Fry Gap Road in 1983.  Our son, Tyler, was born on July 19, 1986.  Later I built a house on Swinging Bridge Road where I still reside today.  
Keith and Janet at reunion
 In 1990 I started my own business, Arab Dental Arts.  I provide service to over twenty dentists in Marshall County and Knoxville, Tennessee.  My five employees and I have been successfully providing beautiful smiles to our customers for twenty-one years.  I'm a member of Arab First Methodist Church.   In my spare time I enjoy golf, riding horses, and camping at my property in the Smoky Mountains.  I help take care of my mother who lives on Lake Guntersville.  When I'm not worried about her, she's not worried about me.  I am very proud of my son, Tyler, who recently opened a hair salon in Guntersville.  I've attended every class reunion we've had so far and I think the 35 year reunion will be the best one yet.  You don't want to miss Brett Jockell's band, the CanoeBoat Captains!

 Betsy Reeves Holt ~ After graduation I started attending North Alabama College of Commerce because I thought I wanted a career in Accounting. I did not last long there, and eventually took a string of odd jobs, lived a little and had fun. I eventually married and worked at Monsanto in Guntersville until it closed. I then started working in Human Resources at Onan in Huntsville. My first husband and I divorced in 1983.  I started back to college at UAH and eventually earned a BS and then a Masters Degree in Management Information Systems. When I earned my BS degree I changed careers and became a Computer Programmer. I worked at Intergraph and various private companies and government contractors in and around Huntsville. I have been working for Computer Sciences Corp in Huntsville for eight years on a contract for the US Army Corps of Engineers.
Betsy and family
I married Tim Holt from Cypress Inn, Tennessee in 1985 and we have three children - Lindsey is 18, Christopher is 16, and Austin is 14 (I know many of you have grandkids around the age of my children, do I get the prize for youngest family?). All three have been active in Arab High School Marching Band, and that has been lots of fun for us. The boys also have played soccer for several years. My daughter started Judson College in Marion, Alabama in August.  With three teenagers to manage, I am currently staying busy just trying to keep my head above water.


 Nick Walker ~ After high school I worked at GTE Automatic Electric and went on to be a supervisor at Fuel Systems.  I worked at Eaton for ten years.  I married my high school sweetheart, Pam White, and we had two beautiful daughters.  Jessica was born on September 21, 1977 and Kristen was born on April 30, 1981.
Kristen, Nick, Jessica
Jessica married Michael McCrary and they have a two year old daughter, Halle Grace, and another child on the way.  Kristen married Josh Weldon and they have two children.  Carson is 11 and Griff is 3.  Jessica teaches school in Guntersville and Kristen works on Redstone Arsenal.  Last summer the entire family went to Florida on vacation and we had a blast!
I am currently working for Marshall County District I.  I'm attending my childhood church, Brocks Chapel Church of Christ, and have rededicated my life to Jesus Christ.  If you're looking for a church home we would love for you to join us.  I look forward to seeing all my friends at the class reunion.
                                         


Donna Wright Hasty ~ dwhasty@charter.net (256) 528-8873  I have been married to Mike Hasty for the past 30 years. We have one son, Cody, who will graduate in December with a degree in Business Management from the University of North Alabama in Florence.  After high school I attended Snead State and graduated from Jacksonville State University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. I also completed my master's degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Alabama. I have taught Kindergarten at KDS DAR Elementary School in Grant for the past 31 years. I will be retiring from teaching on November 30, 2011 with thirty-three years of service. I will miss the children but am looking forward to sleeping late and enjoying quiet lunches.  I have never missed a class reunion and will see you all on November 25th.


~ Donna Green Ruge ~ After graduation, I went to work at Ryder International in Arab and worked there for sixteen years. During that time I became bored from working, starting college, and dropping out shortly after I started. So, in April 1984 I joined the Alabama National Guard and went to basic training and AIT (Advanced Individual Training). This was very difficult for me, as I thought they were trying to kill me while in basic! I then married in 1985 and divorced in 1992. Soon after my divorce, I finally left Ryder International and went to work at Cherokee Ridge Country Club. Working at the country club was great because it gave me an opportunity to go back to school. In 1996 I started at Wallace State Community College. I later transferred to Athens State University and completed my Bachelors degree in December 1999. 


Donna, San, Caroletta, Wendy, Annette
Following graduation, I began my new position with KMC Telecom, which was a relatively new telecommunications company in Huntsville. I worked there until the company sold in June 2005. I decided to take some time off for two reasons: Number one, I was tired of working. Number two, I was taking care of my teenage niece and my ten year old nephew for my brother, Darren, who was deployed to Iraq. I had the kids from May 2004 until October 2005. This was a very difficult time and a huge adjustment for me, to say the least. In January 2006 I was tired of not working and, most importantly, I was running out of funds. So, I decided to get back out there and find another job. Having no luck, I took a friend's advice and called a temporary agency. I was sent on a temporary assignment at ERC Incorporated on Redstone Arsenal. I was there for four days when I met a very nice electrical engineer. The assignment ran out, but the romance didn't! 


After being a fun, loving, single woman for sixteen years, I married Herb Ruge on September 30, 2006. I sold my house in Union Grove and moved into Herb's house in southwest Huntsville. I was then blessed by a call from a manager, whom I had supported while working my temporary assignment on Redstone Arsenal. In October 2006 I started working for ERC Incorporated, as a Range Control Officer. I still enjoy my position with ERC and hope to remain employed with them until retirement. I love living in Huntsville with Herb and our two beagles, Jed and Jack. In January 2010, Herb and I discussed buying a weekend home, maybe on the lake. I discovered a lake access lot for sell in Honeycomb Valley in Grant. We purchased it in March and had a small house moved onto our lot in May 2010. After several months of hard work and remodeling, we now enjoy our little lake house every weekend. I look forward to seeing all of my classmates from the Class of 1976.


~ Lowell Sampson ~
I worked for Floral Design for over 29 years, until it closed.  I then worked for Peacock D├ęcor for two years.  Currently I'm working at Arab Kids Kollege, which we have owned for 16 years.  I married Michelle Pesnell on July 28, 1978 and am still happily married.  We attend Bonds Chapel Holiness Church and live in the Ruth Community, 555 Fronteir Road. (256) 586-2307. 

We have three children :
  • Amanda Lashelle Chastain (married to Josh Chastain). She is a RN at Marshall Medical North.
  • Joshua Aaron (married to Alicia Teets).  He works for Alabama DOT and attends Wallace State.
  • Makenzie Nicole - We adopted her almost 9 years ago.  She turned 11 on July 1st. 
We have three grandchildren: Anna Leigh Chastain, Maggie Grace Chastain, and Emily Faye Sampson.


Gail Brown Kretzschmar ~
DOB 10/20/1957 in Jasper, AL
I have one older sister (I love to remind her of this) and one younger brother (He loves to remind me of that). My parents divorced when I was in the second grade. Usually I was the only one at school with divorced parents. We moved around a lot and I went to thirteen schools. I was always the new kid. My last three years were at Arab High School. Both my parents remarried. I married the week after graduation and divorced three years later. 
Gail
I met my second husband, Randall, in September of 1980 and we got married on January 30, 1981. We have two great kids. Justin is twenty-nine and Kelley is twenty-six. The most difficult day of my life was when I put Justin on a plane to Kuwait. I have worked at WalMart for twenty-four years. Two years ago I had a few Tias (mini strokes) but all is well now.


~ Mike Bagwell ~ So, here’s what I’ve been doing for the last 35 years… After graduation, I entered nursing school at UAB, but transferred to UAH after a year. Through no work and lack of effort, I was able to get my 4 year degree in only 5 years! In 1981, I got my first job as a nurse at UAB working in the Coronary Care Unit. Over the next 4 ½ years, I got lots of great experience, but more importantly, that’s where I met my wife, Penny. We’ve been married 28 years in August.
Penny and Mike
Feeling an itch to experience life and expand my horizons, I joined the Air Force in 1985. Over the next 20 years, I was stationed in San Antonio, TX (learned what real Tex-Mex tastes like); Anchorage, AK (nothing like going salmon fishing and watching bald eagles fly overhead, or seeing a bear paw print the size of my head--and I’ve got a big head!); Dayton, OH (finished my anesthesia training there); Clovis, NM (right down the road from Billy the Kid’s grave); then came Ft Walton Beach, FL (beautiful beaches but only went to the beach about 5 times in 3 years). I was here when 9-11 occurred, the single greatest event that has shaped our nation in our life time. Shortly afterward, I was deployed to Turkey in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Next and final stop on my Air Force journey was in Germany. Got to see lots of sights in Europe, and also “won” an all expense trip to Liberia sponsored by the Air Force. Saw first hand the ravages that a rebel insurgency can inflict on a civilian population while seeing the effects that a corrupt and ruthless dictator has on those same innocent victims. Retiring in 2005, we settled in Niceville, FL, for the next 5 years. In March 2010, I started my current job in Beaumont, TX. Over the years, I have learned to live life to the fullest.  Whether pulling pranks (yep, still do that), helping raise my two wonderful kids, traveling to some of the most remote areas of civilization, or teaching a class to women on how to breast feed (yep, I did that, too! Thank you, Air Force!), I always try to find the good in all that can be accomplished. I am staunchly conservative, but not blinded to the needs of others.


~ Debi Gorum Goodwin ~ Married twice, now happily married to an Interventional Radiologist. Have two natural children, three step children, and two adopted children. Our first grandchild is on the way in November. I graduated from Jacksonville State University with a BS in Nursing and Barry University in Miami with a Masters in Nursing Administration. 
Debi on fishing trip in Boston
After seven years as a Critical Care nurse and Mother-Baby nurse, I entered hospital administration. Now I work as a National Director of Clinical Quality Improvement for Tenet Healthcare out of Dallas covering forty-nine hospitals in eleven states. I live in North Palm Beach, Florida and Cape Cod Massachusetts (when I get the chance!).


Gail
~ Gail Stephens ~ After high school graduation I studied at Wallace State College for two years. Then, I briefly worked at a photography studio. When a friend from junior high school was looking for a roommate, I moved to Birmingham. Coincidentally, there was a job opening where she worked at Montclair Hospital. I worked in the Medical Records Department as an Analyst on day shift but later transitioned to the night shift as a supervisor. After eighteen years of working at Montclair Hospital I went to work in the medical records department at the Children's Hospital of Alabama. I have been in my current position for fifteen years. We are scanning charts into the data base, building electronic medical records. It has been a very interesting experience. I'm not married and have no children although I claim my niece and nephew as my own since I have been around them all of their lives. I met my father for the first time after he and mother divorced when I was 21. That took some getting used to as I didn't know how to react. During all of this I lost my mother when she was only 55, and saw my grandmother turn 101 before she passed away. I'm learning to deal with the onset of diabetes and high blood pressure. Hopefully, I'll get them both under control before too long. My plans are to retire in ten to fifteen years.


~ Chris Leak ~ Hello to all of the class of 1976! I walked away in May of 1976, like the rest of you, with my own set of ideas and dreams. I was armed with the surety that I would soon be the third baseman for the Detroit Tigers (a man by the name of Tom Brookens has lived my life for me!). Falling far short of that dream, I took up a natural progression in life, following the motto, "those that cannot do, teach" and went into education. As fate would have it, I spent the next thirty years coaching high school baseball and football and teaching US History, all with varying degrees of success. Incredibly enough, seventeen of those years were at Arab High. I am currently working as a catastrophe insurance adjuster. My life now takes me wherever Mother Nature decides, currently, that is Hammond, Louisiana. Like many of you, unfortunately, I am divorced. I do count my ex-wife as a very good friend, and respect her greatly. I am unattached romantically.
Chris Leak - Best dressed guy at the reunion
The highlights of my life are my son and daughter. Russ is 19 and will soon enter Birmingham Southern. My daughter is 17 and will be entering LSU in 2012. They are the best things I ever did. Their mother and I talked recently and laughed at their "innate goodness, apparent purity, and morals". We can't figure out where they got those qualities! With two kids about to be in college, my immediate future is all about making money and seeing them to "honorable adulthood". I am certain that virtually all of you have done, or are doing, the same thing. I am wiser at age 52, more thankful, and less arrogant. Life has a way of humbling us, doesn't it? I am thankful for good health, special children, many friends, a really great ex-wife (that sounds bad!) and extended family. God has been quite good to Chris Leak. It is nice to think about these things and to think about all of you on this occasion. I hope that all is well with you. Please feel free to contact me. It would be nice to hear from all of you.  cdleak50@yahoo.com

~ Pam Carter James ~
What a milestone 35 years post high school graduation is and how quickly it flew by! I continue to be baffled that we have gotten to be this old this fast! I have led a fairly calm and relatively uneventful, though happy, life in our little town. After a brief stint as a factory worker, office worker, secretary, and finally, a real estate broker, I married Tommy James in 1981. In 1983 our first son, Andrew, was born. With extremely high interest rates and not enough time to spend with Andrew, I quit real estate and went back to school. In 1987 our second son, Ross, was born and I graduated from Jacksonville State with a degree in Elementary Education. I began teaching at Grassy in 1988, earned my master’s in 1991 from the University of Alabama (that’s hard to admit since we are huge Auburn fans!) and have been teaching at either Grassy or Brindlee Mountain Middle School ever since. 
Pam and family
This year Tommy and I celebrated our 30th anniversary, Andrew turned 28, Ross turned 24 (neither are married so I have no grandchildren to brag about!) and I began my 25th year as a classroom teacher. Since I have no grandchildren, I will brag about my 4 dogs, Shug, Annabelle, Bo and Teddy. Shug is a Sheltie and the other three are dachshunds and for all you fellow dog lovers, I know you understand when I say these dogs are our babies! And just so you know that we believe in equality, we have a cat named Winston Churchill. Our sons named all our animals after famous people!


~ Connie Kelley Willard~
Shortly after graduation, I went to work for Automatic Electric and met my first husband, who was a musician from Huntsville. We moved to Nashville for a year and both worked for Shoney’s, Inc. Our intention was to buy a franchise but you cannot buy one unless you operate it the “company way”. We never got the funds to buy a franchise but we were offered a transfer with promotions to move to TX and take over the Captain D’s that were struggling. After a lot of hard work and very little time for each other, we divorced but I stayed in Houston and attended San Jacinto College. I obtained a real estate license and used that to become an apartment locator (easy money), until the apartments started getting completely occupied. It was at this job that I met my second husband and we had three beautiful children - Twins (boy and girl) who are 21 and another son who is 16. Husband decided he loved AL (who doesn’t) and asked if I would like to move back home. Heck yes! We did so in 1998 and divorced in 2006. 
Connie
For many years I have worked for a Document Management/Software company in Huntsville as an accountant but got a referral from a friend who works with a contracting company for the Army on the Arsenal. She recommended me to take her place and I did. This is where I would like to retire. I live in Arab. My oldest son is just recently married. My daughter will be attending graduate school in the fall at the University of Alabama and my youngest will be a junior at good ole Arab High School. I am blessed and life is good. It is great to be back in Alabama.


~ Caroletta Dawn (Smith) Scofield ~
After graduation I became a Cosmetologist and owned my own shop in Arab for several years. Long story short - I hated it and went back to college and got a degree in Business. Up until a few years ago I worked for a local interior designer, Kathy Baker, at the Interiors Workroom. On September 8, 1984 I married Robert Scofield. We live in the big city of Joppa. and have two children: Taylor Ross, age 22, is a student at Snead State majoring in Computer Science. Scarlett Eden will be 21 on July 27th. She is majoring in Education and kicks with the Marching Ballerinas at Jacksonville State University. Most often I can be found at home working in my studio where I paint, draw, sew, and craft to my hearts content. When I am not busy attending football games and Eastern Star activities you might find me at antique auctions or the beach. Robert, my parents, and some friends have become addicted to cruises, as long as we can go someplace warm!


I recently started a business with a friend of mine called Out on a Whim. It is similar to a Tupperware party in that you supply the people, the place, and the snack., but you get to choose the craft. For example: If you want to paint a picture we bring the canvas, paints, and brushes or if you want to make a simple cushion, we bring the materials and machines. It is an interesting take on in-home parties. I look forward to this class reunion where I can meet old friends and make some new ones.


~ Ken Chastain ~ 
While May 1976 seems likes just yesterday, the joys, challenges, and accomplishments of life experiences say otherwise. Like many high school grads I bounced around for a few years looking for my niche in life, and somehow settled in the grocery business. It was at Lucky’s in the Northgate Shopping Center where I met Michele Shipp. We married in 1981. Shortly after Lucky’s I went to work for the federal government, working in military grocery stores known as Commissaries. Experience, good timing and a sense of adventure took me to military bases around the world. After a short stay in Montgomery, Alabama and Virginia, work took me to Delaware where my son was born.
Ken
Then, back to Alabama where my daughter was born. An opportunity for career advancement took me back to Virginia, then to Ohio and finally to Europe…where Michele and I divorced in 2009. I now live about 90 miles from London England in the tiny village of Littleport. Work keeps me busy and on the road. I am the area manager for seven US Military Commissaries. These seven are scattered throughout northern Europe; five are in England, one in Belgium, and the other in Holland. Living and working in Europe has allowed me to see sights I never though possible. I have been fortunate to see many iconic places to include the Leaning Tower of Pisa, canals of Venice, beaches of Spain, fishing villages of Portugal, castles strewn throughout Germany, White Cliffs of Dover, and the cultures of many out of the way towns. I have been truly blessed. I still consider Arab my home and get back every chance I get, if only a couple of times a year. Both my son and daughter live in Arab and Kelsey just graduated from Arab High. As I approach retirement, I would like to find my way back to Arab and hope to see you all soon. My email address is ken.chastain@deca.mil or for those who prefer the old fashioned method:
PSC 41 Box 4638
APO, AE 09464


~ Kathy Coker Bryant ~ After graduation, I accepted a position at Arab Hospital as a Hospital Associate. I later became Patient Account Manager. In 1979 I married William Smith and in '86 had a son, Scott. Life was good. In 1989 my husband died and suddenly I was a single mom. It seemed as if God had closed all the doors and windows. I was engulfed in my work as Arab and Guntersville Hospitals merged in 1990 and moved to the new campus at Scant City. I continued as patient accounts manager until 1993 when I met a wonderful man, a United Methodist Pastor, who had also lost his spouse. In 1994 we were married and I left my position at the hospital and joined Rev. Roy Bryant in the ministry of Jesus Christ. Being in the Methodist ministry usually means a life of moving as you serve churches in different places. One thing is for sure: I have thrown away a lot of clutter at every move, but it just seems to grow back. We have served Trinity UMC in Rainsville, Ranburne 1st Methodist on the Georgia line, and Lexington UMC near Florence. Currently Roy is the Senior Pastor at Trinity UMC in Decatur where I serve as one of the musicians in our second service each Sunday. Scott plays guitar in the New Journey (praise and worship) Service. While we were serving the Ranburne Church, I studied at the University of West Georgia in Interior Design. Another great part of our life together has been traveling. Roy promised Scott if he would do well in school and stay out of trouble we would go all over the country seeing famous and historic places. Scott did great so we traveled in all 48 contiguous states as well as Mexico and Canada. We have camped at Zion, Bryce and Grand Canyons, Yosemite, The Red Wood Forest, the Oregon Coast, Mt St. Helen, Mt McKinley, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Mt. Rushmore, and Glacier National Park. Not to overlook our tours of Las Vegas, D. C., Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Niagara Falls, Chicago, St. Lewis and Cape Kennedy. We also enjoyed travels in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Alberta Canada. We saw Martha’s Vineyard, Ground Zero, the Liberty Bell, and spent a week with the Amish in Pennsylvania. We’ve been to Wriggly Field, Fenway Park and Bush Stadium for ball games, and we saw the last shuttle launch from Cocoa Beach. We have cruised the Caribbean and are going to the Bahamas in January. Our travels weren’t all for pleasure. Roy and I have led a couple of mission teams to the Jaumave, Mexico area to build churches for local congregations. That was an eye opener! They had no running water and bathed in the same river where they washed their clothes and drew water for cooking. They have nothing by our standards yet they are extremely happy. Wow, did I learn a lot!
Kathy and Roy
How’s that for a girl from Arab who, before marrying Roy, had only been to Tennessee and Georgia? In the middle of our very active life, by God’s grace I won a battle with Thyroid cancer in 2009. Hallelujah! I’m a cancer survivor! I'd like to share one other sweet part of my life: When Roy and I married he had two married sons and suddenly I had two grandchildren. We now have six grand-kids, and a great-grandson A.J who is two. Now the time has come for retirement. In June of 2012 we will leave the full-time ministry and return to 3183 Brashiers Chapel Rd. Arab. We plan to relax, enjoy friends, and be involved in part time ministry and travel.

~ Linda Beasley Gregory ~ After graduation I went to Snead for three semesters, transferred to UNA, where I graduated in 1980. During the summers I worked at Opryland and shared apartments in Nashville with Cindy Rees, Wendy McGee, Pam Milwee. Good times! Immediately following graduation at UNA, I moved to Nashville where I met and married my first husband, Jim Travis. We had two daughters, Amber and Brittany. I worked in the clinical laboratory business for around fifteen years. With SmithKline I was the Regional Sales Coordinator for seven states in the southeast and with Quest Diagnostics I was a Corporate Compliance Auditor responsible for regional locations around the US. Some of my locations included San Diego, San Juan Capistrano, Seattle, Detroit, Deerfield Beach, Tampa, Islip, and Boston. I was traveling 50-60% of the time and Jim was pretty much raising the kids on his own. After eighteen years in Nashville, we moved back to Arab so that Jim would have a little extra help from my family. I continued to commute to my office in Brentwood, TN. It was around that time that Jim was diagnosed with his second round of cancer. I made the decision to quit my job to be around for his treatments and whatever he needed. Jim passed away in June 1999.
Linda and Russ
I have been working at Atrion Medical Products as a Program Manager for over ten years. I remarried in June 2002 to a wonderful Christian man, Russell Gregory, whom I never knew existed until I moved back to Arab. We met in our Sunday school class. Russell is the older brother of our classmate, Ken Gregory. Russell has embraced my daughters and grandchildren as if they were his very own. I could not ask for anyone more accepting and loving of his extended family. My oldest daughter, age 29, and her husband live in Arab and have three children, ages 11, 6, and 3. Russell and I are very involved with these precious kids and love every minute of it! My youngest daughter, age 27, lives in Franklin, TN, where she works for an engineering company. She also has her real estate license affiliated with ReMax in Franklin. If anyone is house shopping in the Nashville area, let me know and I’ll pass along her info. My sweet step-daughter, Crystal, age 27 lives in Sardis. We're "secretly" hoping she and her husband will be expanding their family soon!


~ Hulanda Smith Glass ~ After graduation in 1976, started Samford University in Birmingham fall semester majoring in pharmacy. Like a crazy fool, met a guy who said he would love me for the rest of his life and we got married. Then went to part time student. Jesse my son was born in 1984. School was put off for a while in which curriculum changed so I changed to certified pharmacy technician. Divorced in 1985 and moved back to Union Grove. Built Jesse and me a house, worked, and became the best single parent I could be. 
Jesse, Hulanda, Bob
Then after 19 years met the most wonderful man in the world, Bob, and married in 2004. After 35 years in the pharmacy business I retired in December, 2010 from CVS. I now help my husband with his business, try to keep up with my son, who graduated from UAH in accounting and works for SAIC in Huntsville, and work harder than I ever did before at home, Mom and Dad's, and my house that we rent. We are active members of Sweet Home Baptist Church which is our second
family. Still live in Union Grove and like they say "Once a Grover, always a Grover!!"

~ Mark Chapmon ~ After graduation, I went to work for Automatic Electric for about six months. Then I went to Howard Brothers in Arab and found that wasn’t very satisfying either. In December of 1976, I joined the Air Force. A year later to the day, I married Sandra Haney. My time in the USAF saw us in Fort Walton Beach, Florida for two years before I went to South Korea for a year. Our first daughter, Christy, was born while I was in Korea. On returning, we moved to the suburbs of Ogden, UT for a year and then we moved to Columbus, MS where our youngest daughter Jennifer was born. Hahn Air Base, Germany was our next stop, followed by Homestead AFB, FL. We enjoyed Florida until Hurricane Andrew invited us to leave. I finished my career in Valdosta, GA at Moody AFB. Returning to civilian life, I went back to school and graduated from Valdosta State University in 1998 with a Bachelors of Business Administration. Just a few years later and we returned to Arab and built a home in the Brashier's Chapel area. I am an active member at Brindlee Mountain Baptist Church where we have been attending for the last seven years. My new found passion is in all forms of energy conservation and renewable energy, which I have been promoting for the past three years. With God’s blessings, Arab just may join the rest of the world in the 21st Century era of renewable energy.
Sandra Haney Chapman
~ Sandra Haney Chapmon ~ Upon graduation, I went to work at Lynn’s 5 & 10. I loved the work but it didn’t pay well, so I went to Blue Bell. Then, my knight in shining armor, Mark Chapmon, came along, and we married in December of 1977. While traveling with Mark in the Air Force, we’ve seen numerous states and traveled through Europe. I went on field trips with our daughters while helping chaperon their elementary school classes. We went on castle tours, boating on the Mosel River, and enjoyed volks marching. As a family, we started volks marching too. When Mark had free time, we visited different places like Paris and Luxemburg. A few of us wives got together and went on a crystal tour in the Black Forest. That was a lot of fun! When Mark got new orders back to the states, we moved to Homestead AFB, Florida. I’ve held several jobs outside the house, but none as rewarding as being a wife and mother. Marks last base was Valdosta, Ga, where he retired. Our oldest daughter, Christy, passed away there. We moved back home to Arab where I oversaw construction of our new home. Our youngest daughter, Jennifer, presently lives with her husband in Dallas, TX. Mark and I enjoy being close to both of our family’s. I am a home body while he goes to work. God has truly blessed us through it all.


Pam Duncan and Ken Gregory at the reunion
~ Ken Gregory ~ The carefree years as a student ended with graduation from the University of Alabama, forcing me to finally be responsible and earn a living. I’ve been married to Robin Miller Gregory for thirty  years and have two daughters, both living near us in Arab. I’ve worked three years in retail and twenty-eight in distribution. Always trying to balance work and play, I’ve taken up History as a hobby. Using the hands-on approach, favorite studies have taken place in the Western United States and the United Kingdom. Closer to home, and when not tending the garden, I can be found working (sometimes) at the old family farm in Union Grove, getting ready for the Retirement Years. Big news: my Grandparent Years are scheduled to begin in February 2012. I’ve been blessed, and when they are counted – there is one blessing always near the top – being a member of The Class of 76!


~ Sandra Gibson ~ My forte seems to be job hopping.  I've worked at Thiokol, Chrysler, the Veterans Administraion, and the Social Security Administration.  Not many people give up those cushy government jobs - and free will ain't all it's cracked up to be.  I've taught elementary school in Madison County, Huntsville City, and Paulding County, Georgia.  I gave up my teaching career when my triceps got so jiggly I had to hold my upper arm to keep it from flapping when I wrote on the board.  Jubal, my Maltese, and I live in the Five Points South community of Birmingham.  I work at UAB and live close enough to walk home for lunch as Jubal expects bacon for his noon meal.  He would get it himself but he doesn't have thumbs.  I've lived in Birmingham long enough to call it home.  However, each Christmas, like Joseph and Mary, I return to the place of my birth, Union Grove, to be counted with no guarantee of a bed when I get there.  I met Frank in 2004 and yada yada yada his website is www.frankemory.com.  A good saleswoman never passes up an opportunity to make a sale.

Photo by Frank Emory
I've been to four out of five of the class reunions held by the Arab Class of 1976 and I'm pretty sure each one is universally typical.  The ten year is just so you can see what everyone looks like as an adult without braces and bad skin (I had the worst !).  The twenty year is purely for the status report - job, house, salary.  As far as I'm concerned you can skip 'em all until the 35th.  The 35 kicks butt, even if that butt is somewhat saggy.  Besides, I find that you always have a particular fondness for people your exact same age.  We remember the same things, like the original vampire, Barnabus Collins.  I went to elementary school in Guntersville and back then the girls had to wear a dress or skirt to school unless the temperature was below 32 degrees.  I'm so traumatized by that harrowing experience that today I only wear pants.  There were no seat belts in cars and popcorn was made on the stove.  The only thing that got shot at Arab High School was our yearbook pictures.  I remember how the girls knew every word to Carole King's Tapestry album, that is until we scratched it after playing it hundreds of times on a record player.  (How did Carol King in her twenties write so eloquently about something that was so beyond her years?)  In Union Grove we only had three TV channels and we actually had to get up to change them.  And what about watching a man land on the moon on live television?  The scope of that event!   The swelling excitement and pride (my Dad was an engineer at NASA) that none of us '76ers are immune to. No need to struggle to explain these things at a 35 year class reunion.  IT'S YOUR CLUB!  Show us your AARP card and you're in.  So, even if you've skipped every single class reunion so far, don't skip the 35.  We'll leave not comparing crow's feet or worrying who makes the most money.  No, we'll leave with one overwhelming emotion - gratitude - gratitude for having made it this far.  Oh what Sharon, Joe, Patricia, Bobby, Julie,  Zoann, Ronald, Danny, Jimmy, Tommy, and Keith would give to be there with us.