On Aug. 13, the Polaris Development Group announced plans to revitalize Kentucky Avenue at the first Kentucky Avenue Renaissance Festival in several years. The Atlantic City High School Class of 1971 also held a reunion that weekend.
ATLANTIC CITY — Next year, Atlantic City High School Class of 1972 members, we’ve got our work cut out for us if we want to come anywhere near what the Class of ’71 did a couple weekends ago.
It was a grown folks’ party all night Friday, Aug. 12, at the Waterway Inn with an old-school DJ playing hits from the ’60s and ’70s. I couldn’t attend the actual reunion because of the Kentucky Avenue Renaissance Festival, but after talking to people again at the Waterway for Sunday brunch, it seems everyone had a blast at Bally’s on Saturday night, Aug. 13.
Mainly, people applauded the expert planning done by their reunion committee, headed by J. Michael Davis, which began one year ago. Phil Epps and Lois Stuben, two other committee members, said the biggest problem was tracking down people to invite, especially women, whose names had changed due to marriage or divorce.
They used social network sites extensively to find their old classmates and created a Facebook page and a Google site to get people to register in advance.
Lois loved reconnecting with people after 40 years and catching up with what was happening in each other’s lives.
Everyone I spoke with raved about the weekend’s activities, all of which were attended by large groups of classmates who came from as far away as Hawaii, California and Wyoming.
“The best part was that so many people took the opportunity to be here for this once in a lifetime opportunity. We’re so baad that we brought somebody back from the dead! We thought one classmate was deceased and he is actually still alive!” laughed Bobby Greene, another committee member.
People who complained about the $75 tickets said they got their money’s worth between the good food, good music and all the fun activities. According to Sharon Brown-Jackson, a Pleasantville schoolteacher, “The $75 was worth it; food was delicious and we had lots of James Brown and Michael Jackson music. That was our era.”
“We had a great class back then and we have a great class now,” said Michelle Farrell as she sang the A.C.H.S. school song and prepared to take classmates on a tour of the new Atlantic City High School after the Sunday brunch.
“We have to praise God for those of us who are still here. It’s a blessing to be in the land of the living, because we’ve lost a lot of people over the years. Kudos to the committee! I loved seeing my sorority sisters, the Ebony Queens,” smiled Yvonne Lassiter Royal.
The Ebony Queens took to the floor at Saturday night’s reunion and danced until they dropped, the life of the party then and now, as described by Marvin Royal, Yvonne’s husband. “It was great seeing [the Ebony Queens] out there like that. I was coming down from Englewood every month and then, every week. We had 12 great people on our committee, but I was the committee,” bragged J. Michael Davis.
“The best part of the weekend was the whole thing, seeing the looks on everybody’s faces, 220 people. Good doesn’t begin to describe our reunion. It was magical! Ahmed Khan was our DJ. He put it down last night!”
The other blast from the past was the Kentucky Avenue Renaissance Festival, where children dominated the action for most of the afternoon, Sat. Aug. 13.
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