Turning The Pages

By: Paige Cline

School reunions are usually a good thing. The folks show up in their Cadillacs and Lincolns complete with GPS and rental agreements. Just Kidding.
In conjunction with the Pineville centennial celebration, there will be a reunion of all classes of PHS graduates. Almost all. Initial programs indicated that the reunion would include classes back to 1951. I suppose the thinking was that anyone graduating before that was dead….or should be. 
Anyway, someone apparently heard about the plans for grads from the forties to have their own (albeit small) get-together in some obscure corner of the court house grounds and changed the list to include ALL Classes.
My original thought here was to remember that there will be many past athletic stars attending. For many, it will be the first time together since they played as teammates so many years ago. 
I remember myself playing high school baseball on the field where Cabot Gas has been for a lot of years. That’s right. Baseball. It was too small, but it was all we had.
There were a dozen ground rules to cover such eventualities as a ball in the highway or a ball in the river or a ball in the roots of one of the many trees the grew on the perimeter. 
The backstop consisted mainly of chicken wire stretched over posts made from fairly straight paper bark birches from over the river bank. The bases were burlap coffee sacks filled with river sand. Their usefulness was cut short by the spikes of sliding baserunners. 
Most of the fans would stand along the highway behind the guardposts. 
The traffic was not a real problem since it was usually a long, long time between cars. The road was elevated as it is now so the view of the 
field was good. 
No uniforms, no aluminum bats, no gloves as big as baskets, no Gatorade. The umpires were volunteers and were seldom the targets of any disrespect. Coaches and parents saw to that.
Anyway, there will be a reunion. There probably won’t be any guys there who played on the old “ball diamond”. Maybe the original reunion planners were right. Almost all are deceased. 
Almost. I’m still around. Jim Gunter is still around. Jack Martin is still around.. Mac Wilkinson is in Virginia. Come to think of it, we ain’t all dead.