Greer Station and City Park will be abuzz with the biggest reunion the city and Greer High School alumni has ever hosted on Saturday.
Carl Howell, Deputy Fire Marshal of the Greer Fire Department, is a Greer High School grad, class of '67. Howell estimates, conservatively, 2,000 Greer High alumni, spouses and friends will visit Greer Saturday for the inaugural all-time, all-Greer High School reunion.
Carl Howell, Deputy Fire Marshal of the Greer Fire Department, who is adept at gauging crowd size, estimates about 2,000 graduates, spouses, faculty and associates of Greer High School will be social butterflies Saturday. “I’m sure there are a lot of other place like Greer. But there’s never been a community get together like ours that I am aware,” Howell said.
Restaurants and merchants have been on alert since last year’s call for Greer High grads cruised into downtown for an informal social that found its way to City Park. This year the restaurants on Saturday will be dinner headquarters for classes or groups of classes. An example is Wild Ace and Pizza Pub the meeting place for the classes of ’67 and ’68. Most restaurants are reporting full bookings between 5-7 p.m.
“I wonder how the restaurants will handle everything,” Howell said with a smile. “Our hope is the merchants and restaurants make a killing.”
History will also be for sale. The old Greer High School gymnasium floor, that was taken up when The J. Harley Bonds Career Center renovated the gym into a state-of-the-art welding training facility, will be sold in 2-inches by 8-inches pieces of floor. The Yellow Jacket logo and class designation will be available for $20. The proceeds will fund a 9/11 Memorial and tribute to the United States Armed Forces.
Tables along the city park’s promenade will be set up to include classes or combination of classes. Nametags with the letter G will be provided to help alumni to identify their former classmates. “I think I will recognize a lot of my classmates,” Howell said. Howell said he knows of Greer alumni coming from most of the southeast seaboard and southern states. A classmate Howell is looking forward to seeing is Bill Adcock, a fire chief in Alabama.
Music will be played throughout City Park. A cutout of a Yellow Jacket, courtesy of Clint Green, class of ’82, will be available for alumni to mug for photos.
Sue Stewart Collins, who has lived in Seneca for 32 years, said she is planning on moving back to Greer when property to build a house is located. “We’ve been looking for some time now and it’s hard to find that dream location,” Collins said. Collins is the youngest of six siblings graduated from Greer, all living in the Greer area.
Collins emphasized the connection to all-things Greer. Her husband’s father, Roy Collins, was owner and operator of Bailes-Collins on Trade Street.
Social media, terminology not in existence during Collins’ school years was the avenue used to track most of the Greer High alumni. “Great effort has gone into locating alumni and with email and Facebook. Many who would not have known about the event are now able to make plans to come,” Collins said.
Collins said Theresa Bruce Merck’s directory has led to almost the entire ’68 class becoming part of the contact list. “Theresa started this directory several years ago along with a tribute page of the classmates we have lost. We really do have a wonderful class. We may not see each other often, but we know how to get in touch with each other; either on Facebook or by an extensive email list.”
The biggest gold mine for contacts is the Facebook page for “Greer High Oldies” created by Janice Dillard Brown. Collins said apparently started as a prayer request for a dying member of Greer High School. There are over 1,200 members in the invitation only group. The class of ’68 has a separate group of 99 members.
The biggest concern, Howell said, is that the alumni won’t have enough time to catch up with generations of memories.