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Central class of '54 reminisces
Central class of 1954.jpg
Members of the Central High School class of 1954 gathering for a recent reunion are, front row, from left, Elizabeth Kirby Redmon, Barbara McGiboney Reynolds, Peggy Wilson McColloch, Betty Lewis, Vivian Clark Dodson and Claretta McBride Wilcher. Back row, Clyde Redmon, Ela Ray Walker Rogers, Christine Grove, Neil Schultz and Bill Lee. Several classmates left before the photo was taken and are not pictured.

As the country was recovering from the shellshock of the Korean War, one of the best coping mechanisms turned out to be rock ‘n roll.

Graduates of Central High School’s class of 1954 gathered recently to reminisce about old times. It’s been a life a changes for the class members, who are now all in their 80s.

“Rock ‘n roll was just coming into the picture,” said Neil Schultz, 83. “Back then we called it bop. The teachers didn’t like it. They said it was a communist plot.”

Music was certainly undergoing a transformation with several genres popular in the early 1950s. Schultz said swing music was still very much a thing and dancing in general was a frequent diversion.

“This is a country town so we did a lot of square dancing back in those days,” said Schultz.

Also taking its spot atop the mountain of priorities was football. Schultz said there was a great amount of pride poured into football practice and fielding a competitive team.

“We could beat Murfreesboro back in those days,” said Schultz. “We beat Cookeville too. We had some pretty good teams.”

Schultz wants to thank Linda GIlbert for the time and research she put into a presentation during the reunion.

Schultz said his classmates included two students who would become elected officials. Norman Rone went on to become Mayor of McMinnville, while Charles Haston was elected Circuit Court Judge.