Classes back in session for PHS alumni

By Tony Parra

Organizers are hoping to have 71 years of Portales High School graduates at the Portales High School Reunion during the Roosevelt County 2004 Heritage Days on Friday and Saturday.
The reunion is also open to former faculty of Portales High, dating back to 1933. Registration for the event is on Friday at the Cornerstone Fellowship Church on the square, next to Valley Furniture.
Davis said the earliest class is from the class of 1933.
“We lost many of our classmates to the Bataan death march,” said Harold Knox, a member of the 1933 class. “I see Jack (Carr) at the senior meal site. I haven’t seen Janet (Lee) for years and I’m not sure how her health is.”
Knox said they didn’t have cars when they went to school, so students walked around town. He said there used to be three movie theaters at Portales and when he was 22, he paid $200 for a 1934 Ford in 1937.
“I was on the Portales football team and I was on the first football team at ENMU,” Knox said. “We were in the middle of the depression. I remember graduating from Portales and getting a $1 bill. I thought that was great.”
Portales graduates can also reminisce about their high school days by cruising down 1st and 2nd streets from Town and Country to Wagon Wheel on Friday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Street rods will be easing down the streets and people can replay memories of their high school days.
Sharon Davis, who works at Calton Furniture and was a Portales High graduate in 1968, said she remembers cruising down that strip down the center of Portales and that is where she met her future husband, George.
Barbara George, who was a Portales teacher from 1966 to 1991, said she knew people in Levelland were organizing a combination class reunion and thought it would be a great idea for Portales.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing many of my ex-students,” George said. “They were like my family.”
George helped organize Maypole for 25 years. She was also the coach for track, the cheerleaders and the mock trial team.
George and Sharon Davis are helping to organize the event. They said it’s the first year for Portales.
Davis said she’s heard from former Portales graduates from across the southwest. She said she’s surprised by the amount of graduates who moved to Albuquerque. According to Davis, most of the responses have come from the classes of the 1940s.
“We’d like to get more responses from graduates living in Portales,” Davis said. “We need people to register on Friday so we can know how many meals to have ready for the banquet.”
George said Mayor Orlando Ortega will be giving a proclamation at the banquet — Ortega was a PHS graduate in 1980. She also said Glen Fields, who taught industrial education and drafting for 31 years, will be the master of ceremonies.
“It’s another reason to come to Heritage Days,” Fields said. “Lots of graduates go off and don’t come back because they no longer have family in Portales. This will give them a reason to come back.”
Davis said former Portales graduates can register for the reunion or get information at the city Web site or by calling 359-1442.