Their old high school building is gone now, replaced by some condos and a grocery store.
“I tell people my home room is in the vegetable section,” Bruce Brooks joked.
They say they miss the place. “We hate it,” Sherry Wilhite said. “Everybody else has an alma mater they can visit and talk about.”
But members of Sandy Springs High School’s class of 1964 didn’t need a building to revive memories of their high school days. When more than 50 members gathered at a restaurant in Sandy Springs on Oct. 10 as part of their 50th reunion weekend, they had plenty of tales to tell. They were to be joined by other alumni from the classes of 1962 through 1964 for a dance on Oct. 11. About 200 people signed up to attend.
“We have people here who went from kindergarten through high school in Sandy Springs,” Brooks said.
They count themselves among the first Baby Boomers, saying many members of their class were born in 1946, when the boom started. President John Kennedy was assassinated in the fall of their senior year. Their yearbook opened with a photo of Kennedy and a poem a student wrote in his memory. They sent a copy to his widow, Jackie Kennedy, Wilhite said.
Sandy Springs has changed a bit from the days when they used to swim at a rock quarry on Lake Forrest Drive (now a subdivision, they said), when girls would wear their hair in curlers when shopping to show off they had a date that night, and when students danced at real Friday night sock hops in the school gym. In those days, Brooks could fit into the letter jacket he won as a guard on the school basketball team and brought to the reunion to show to his classmates.
“Saturday night was the bowling alley, the DQ, then Zestos down in Buckhead,” Brooks said. “A big night was the Varsity.”
Tyler Dixon recalls that I-285 was under construction then. “When they were putting it in, there were just two long concrete strips,” he said. “We’d go around the barriers and drag race. It was like they built a drag strip for us.”
Some, like Dixon, have stayed in Sandy Springs. Others have scattered. Ed Lasti left for college in Texas after high school and rarely came back. He lives in California now and was one of the ones who traveled the farthest to attend the reunion.
What does he think of his home town now? “Too crowded,” he said.
“I agree with you,” Dixon said.
Wilhite nodded agreement. “We liked it the way it was,” she said.