Their professions vary – from physicians to educators to miners — yet they share a distinct bond: They are members of the Logan High School Class of 1974.
On the weekend of June 20-22, they reunited 40 years after crossing the stage at what was then Logan Memorial Fieldhouse to accept their diplomas and embark on the next chapter of their lives. Some headed to college, while others entered the military or, like generations before them, went into the earth to mine coal.
Whatever paths they had followed in the subsequent four decades, the three days in Logan brought them together to reminisce about their days at Logan High.
Graduates traveled to Logan from across the United States. Among the states represented were California, Florida, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
The reunion kicked off Friday with a social at BJ’s in Logan. Benny Jay Eplin, a member of the 1975 LHS class, worked with organizers to host an evening that featured a cookout and music, including many songs from the 1970s, with Kim Carrere, also a member of the Class of ’75.
A trivia game tested classmates’ knowledge of their high school days, in addition to facts about West Virginia.
With the Rev. Barney Goins leading the Saturday memorial service for his class, the deceased members were remembered in devotionals and tributes.
Highlighting the reunion was the dinner dance Saturday evening at the Logan Country Club.
Raamie Barker, senior advisor to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, offered greetings from the governor, a Logan County native. Barker welcomed the group to the county and state, noting those returning to their hometown.
He discussed his career in the newspaper industry, having served as a publisher and managing editor, education and politics. He had done his student teaching at Logan High and also taught there at one time.
Barker’s political background includes the 1968 presidential campaign of Robert F. Kennedy. He also served as West Virginia’s Commissioner of Labor for Gov. Arch Moore. He joined Tomblin’s staff when the Chapmanville resident held the office of president of the West Virginia Senate.
Barker was introduced by Melody Kinser, a member of the 1974 LHS class, who had worked with him at The Logan Banner. In 1985, when he accepted the position in the Moore Administration, she succeeded him as managing editor.
Marilyn Smith, class sponsor, shared memories of what would become her first class to graduate when she started her career in education. She was honored for her support and dedication.
Music for the evening was provided by the Daddy Rabbit Band.
Special “awards” were presented, including Most Eligible Bachelor, Serafino Nolletti; Most Eligible Bachelorette, Shelby Spencer Stapleton; Changed the Most, Danny Ball; Changed the Least, Judy Vaughn Hill; Best Gray, Connie Sammons; Best of the Best, Benny Jay Eplin; Married the Longest, Sherry Shamblin Steele; Most School Spirit, Sherry Shamblin Steele; Life of the Party, Dennis White; Newlyweds, Steve Sammons; Most Children, Debbie Moore Walker; Most Grandchildren, George Lee; Where’s the Rocking Chair?, Danny Johnson; and Best of the Best, Barney Goins.
Cortney Marsh, the daughter of ’74 graduate Pamelea Marsh Booth, owner of Rock City Bakery in Logan, created a cake in the design of Logan High School. She was assisted by employee Morgan Morrison.
Planning Committee chairs were Barbara Conn Stambaugh, Cheryl Mullins Taylor and Leah Ferguson Luptak. Also assisting with the reunion were Leah Hobbs Perry, Karen Booth Stover, Rachael Blankenship Stephens, Pamelea Marsh Booth, Sonia Lawson, Connie Sammons, Hilda Bachtel, Sherry Shamblin Steele, Claire Gore Calandros, Linda McCoy Coffindaffer and Melody Kinser.