Members of the Bowman High School Class of 1967, the last class of the original school, in attendance at the 50th reunion this past May are, from left, Matthew Graham, Gertrude Butt Willis, Jim Buchanan, Gayle Buchanan, Jolene McKinney Ledford, Bob Spining, Judy Grindstaff Bryant, Lullabelle Ledford, Ann Wilson Castro, Barbara Sparks Young, Evelyn Sparks Slagle, Wanda McFee Ledford and Carolyn Murdock Pendley.

Bowman High School Class of 1967 has 50th reunion

BAKERSVILLE – The Bowman High School Class of 1967 – the last class of the original school before it consolidated with Tipton Hill High School – had its 50th reunion this past May.

There were 60 graduates in the class that yielded, among others, one retiree from the United States Air Force, one federal government employee, two doctors, three nurses, one lab technician, two bakers, four teachers, two managers, at least six small business owners, an electrician, three machinist, four office clerks, an accountant, a trucker and three retail employees,

Although many of the classmates still reside in the Bakersville area, most of those in attendance at the reunion live outside Mitchell County and North Carolina.

“I think the success of many of our class members has do to with the era we grew up in,” said class member Bob Spining, owner of Knoxville, Tennessee-based branding and advertising firm The Spining Group. “It was simpler time. We are rich in that regard. We were close as a community and that produced a lot of successful people. We weren’t consumed with the things other schools in the big cities were dealing with at the time.”

Class member Jim Buchanan, of Bakersville, played football at Davidson on an athletic scholarship and is retired CFO of First Union Bank, which is now Wells Fargo.

“Going to college was something we were expected to do,” he said. “We were all about having a better quality of life to come back to. You’d go to college, too, if you ever had to work on a dairy farm.”

Since several graduates now deal with the hustle-and-bustle of a city life, Spining said coming to the reunion and spending some time in Mitchell County offers a “nice little dose of sanity.”

“A graduate from Mitchell County can handle a big city,” Spining said. “But, not the other way around. We weren’t constantly pounded with culture, we were allowed to grow with it.”

Class member and retired registered nurse Wanda Ledford pointed out something idiosyncratic to the group and people from her generation in general.

“We mostly all married young and are still married,” she said.

The MItchell News

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