Our Stories

Q & A: Can I purchase tickets for just one event? Short answer: Sorry, but no – explanation follows.

Q: If I or my guest can’t make all three events, can I buy individual tickets to certain events?

We’re sorry, but we’ve crunched and crunched the numbers, and in order to make sure we cover our costs, we need to stick to a flat price for the entire weekend. We need about 145-150 paid tickets to break even, and in 2012 we sold 105 tickets for Saturday night. Several classmates have already fronted $1,000 each, and several others are in for several hundred dollars each, all of whom we really need to reimburse. We also are inviting our beloved teachers as our guests and prefer not to charge them to attend, so we will need additional monies to cover those costs.. In addition, the bookkeeping and event check-ins will be so much smoother with just one paid ticket per person. We do hope you’ll understand that we cannot charge per event, and that you will be able to attend the entire weekend with us. 

That said, if the ticket cost is really a financial hardship for you, please let us know. We do not want anyone to miss this reunion because of money! Some classmates are choosing to donate additional funds over and above the $145/ticket (there’s a donation button on the website with the registration). We hope to have some surplus monies after all the reunion expenses are paid to allow us to help those who truly could not otherwise attend. Shirley Kay is handling these needs discreetly, so if you need financial aid to attend, please email her at jsks4@aol.com or call her at 832-588-8566. For those of you who are able to make any size donation above the ticket price, we would be most grateful. Whether it’s $5, $15, $25 or $50, every dollar will help! Thank you!

Also, we really hope everyone can attend all three events to maximize the reunion experience. We have designed the reunion weekend so that each event will have its own flavor, building up to Saturday night. We think you’ll get a very good value for your money! You still have until June 30 for the $145/ticket price. After that, tickets will be $165 each. We think you’ll feel like you got your money’s worth at either price! We’re not just talking about a chicken dinner here — prepare to laugh, reconnect, hug, dance, take silly photos, be entertained, and have a fun, meaningful and memorable weekend! This weekend price includes your ticket to Friday night’s football game, transportation between the Marriott and Quigley Stadium if you need it, and pre and post game gatherings at the Marriott. The same weekend ticket includes lunch at the school on Saturday and dinner Saturday night at the Marriott. And, it includes swag only available to ticket holders — mementos you cannot buy elsewhere at any price! You will shortchange yourself (and us!) if you don’t make it to all three events. Please plan to come for the entire weekend if at all possible! 

Mignon Smith Gastman: A Reflection of My Public School Education

A Reflection of My Public School Education

I always loved when school started in the fall (my favorite season).  The excitement of getting to see my friends everyday, learning new things and usually a new pair of shoes!  It was no different when going into 6th grade.  The Little Rock Public School District started the desegregation busing program.  Some of my friends were put in private schools as parents chose not to have their child go to class with black children. This was my first real awareness of discrimination.  Some students I was in school with spread fear of what would happen to us attending an integrated school – “They will cut off your long hair” or “Beat you.”  Despite being a little nervous, I quickly found everything was no big deal.  I had my first black teachers for Math, Science and English.  They were excellent!  The kids that were bused to our school were polite, smart and friendly.  I had a great year.  I attended Horace Mann and Dunbar Jr. High Schools before going to Little Rock Central High School.

My years at LRCHS were also good.  Both my parents graduated from Central.  My mother graduated with the class of 1958 and saw the riots firsthand.  She said most of the students were not involved with the mob crowds and inside the school was nothing like the outside.  My grandfather, Gene Smith, was chief-of-police at that time and worked to keep the 9 black students safe from violence.  I feel I grew up in a family who taught acceptance and fairness.

My education at Central was good although looking back I could have been a better student.  My teachers were caring and competent and always encouraged me to achieve.  I met my best friend and husband my sophomore year.  We have been married 37 years, have 3 children and 5 grandchildren.  We are fortunate to be living our dream and advocate equality and impartiality through our family and involvement in our community.

I feel that diversity at LRCH during my years there gave me a better life experience for living in this world.  I find it frustrating the our country still has so much bigotry and prejudice.  I know coming together as a class again will rejuvenate my hope to eliminate discrimination.  The Class of ‘78 is truly GREAT!

Mignon Smith Gastman

Monts’s Musical Challenge!

I know we all love to jam to our old school tunes, and those of us on Facebook are frequently treated to You Tube videos of such shared by none other than the Master Historian and DJ, Kenneth Monts! Since Kenneth Monts is the consummate music poster on FB, we’re naming this page of the website in his honor! Please add your favorites to this page by clicking on “comments” or “reply” and pasting yours there! Have fun! Then we can always refer to this particular blog post for listening entertainment! Thanks for participating!

Oh, y’all! For those of you who don’t know, Monts has been sharing good, often old, music  on another FB Page if you want MORE! https://www.facebook.com/groups/soundsfromlrwestend/?fref=mentions

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=share&v=oHSY7sYbSg8So, 

(I really need a tech savvy DJ to take over this page! Monts? Monts? Where are you, Monts???)

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THANK YOU, Shannan Venable, for these next 5! (added 4/29/18)

 

 

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Thankful for YOU, Glenn Dixon! (added 4/29/18)

 

Shannon — oops, forgot this one!

Ginny’s Big Idea: Send Us Your Stories!

They say “the shortest distance between two people is a story.” I believe understanding and harmony can be achieved if we take the time to tell our stories and to listen to those of others. And I believe that our LRCH Class of 1978 has a story to tell that could contribute to healing the current divisiveness in our nation.

Won’t you join in?

Think about how being a Tiger has affected you and your life story in the last forty years. Then put pen to paper, fingers on keyboards, record voice memos, or take selfie videos to tell the bits and pieces of your story. I think a composite of our stories can paint a positive picture of understanding and all inclusiveness that our country desperately needs.

Between now and the reunion, send me your stories, both written as blog posts or separate submissions, with or without photos or graphics, dictated as a voice memo, and/or filmed. Just a few minutes recorded on your phone is just fine! We will also be shooting more professional footage and filming interviews at the reunion itself. If we can raise enough funds to go into production, we hope to produce a follow-up documentary highlighting the understanding, tolerance, and friendship our classmates still enjoy. Our goal would be to complete the documentary sometime in 2019-20, the sooner the better, of course. If you are interested in getting involved with this effort, please email Ginny Martin Fleming at gmfleming1124@gmail.com.

SO – HERE GOES YOUR FIRST CHALLENGE! FOR THE REST OF APRIL AND THE MONTH OF MAY, WE SUGGEST YOU WRITE THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION: 

“DESCRIBE THE FIRST ENCOUNTER YOU REMEMBER HAVING WITH RACE.”

GO!