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The 50th Class Reunion of MHS Featured the Manhattans

Claudette is inspired by positive thinking that she tries to share with as many people as possible to give them hope for the future.

Mullins High School Class of 1972 Celebrated their 50th Class Reunion

The second class to integrate Mullins High School of Mullins, South Carolina had their 50th reunion. It was my sister Doris Duren’s class reunion. We travelled to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to participate in this wonderful event of priceless, memories. On Friday afternoon a meet and greet was presented for the class of 1972 of Mullins High and their guests. After that we gathered with classmates and friends along with members of the multi-talented R&B vocal group The Manhattans. We enjoyed a variety of delectable food and drinks in the restaurant of Embassy Suites. During our dining adventure with Gerald, Troy and Lawrence we reminisced about the groups masterful, award winning hits such as Shining Star and Kiss and Say Goodbye. It was intriguing to hear about the group’s life experiences within the music industry as they travelled all over world entertaining millions of fans. Friday evening ended as we prepared for the major event on Saturday regarding this 50th reunion.

On Saturday, Mullins High School Class of 1972 arrived in the lobby before entering their ballroom. After numerous demonstrations of excitement, along with strong embraces and commendations. The class then posed for a photo. Separate photos were also taken with classmates, family and friends. It was now time for the class to enter the beautifully decorated ballroom with an array of colors in red, white and blue. White linen tablecloths, with white linen coverings on the chairs that were tied with red ribbons. Red and white place settings, graced the tables along with nice flatware. Candlelit centerpieces flickered throughout the room. It was time for the commencement of the reunion.

The Mullins High Class of 1972 marched in led by DorisDuren, dressed in an elegant, red evening gown along with classy dressed Ann Brown Scott, Terry Davis, who wore a refined red jumpsuit, posh attire was also worn by Doris Owens Page, Claudette Mullins, Peggy Owens Johnson, Bessie Vereen Edwards and all of the female class attendees. The men of MHS class of 1972 such as Thomas Hughes, Myron Foxworth, Robert McNeil, Dwight Page, Bubba Shaw, Ernest Long and Phil Latson, were fashionably dressed in their classy men‘s attire. These class reunion participants were refined and regal in appearance and personality.

The Class Host for the evening was Thomas Hughes also referred to as the hilarious and creative Dr. Hughes. The program was featured in theatrical Acts with a cast of characters. Act I was, The Reconnection presenting Class Host & Hostesses. Act II was, The Re-Engagement, MC’s of the Evening. Act III was, The Feast & Fellowship, Our Exquisite Guests as each attendee said their names like Beonce’s hit song expressed. A blessing of the food was given by Randolph Ellerby, before a delicious buffet of salmon, prime rib, salad, a variety of vegetables, seasoned potatoes, chicken, sweet tea, lemonade as well as an assortment of luscious desserts. It was obvious this class reunion was well planned and organized by the members of the MHS 1972 committee which was appreciated.

Gerald Alston of The Manhattans perform a powerful version of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” for the class of 1972 50th reunion for MHS.

Acts IV, V were Tributes, Fun & Recognition and Program Finale for MHS 50th Class Reunion

The Mullins High Class of 1972 presented an encouraging tribute in memory of the deceased classmates such as Eugene Brantley, Doris Carmichael, Randy Christian, Howard Cribb, Patricia and Ernest Godbolt, Ethel Graves, Douglas Cook, Curtis Hughes, Curtis Presley, Jean Green, Margaret White, Albert and Gary Wilson, Ralph Belamy, Wanda Cooke, Jerry Lambert, Allen Richardson, Jimmy Bond and numerous others were also acknowledged during this tribute. Such powerful scriptures were shared as 2 Corinthians 5:1, Philippians 4:7 and Numbers 6:24,25 “May Jehovah bless you and safeguard you. May Jehovah make his face shine upon you, and may he favor you.” (NWT of the Holy Scriptures) Everyone was then asked to bow their heads for a moment of silence.

The tributes continued through class participants such as Peggy Owens Johnson, Bessie Vereen Edwards, Thomas Hughes and Doris Coleman Duren acknowledged and recognized teachers that are deceased such as Dorothy Graves, Mr. Foxworth, Mr. Simmons, Mr. Ball, Mrs. Watson and numerous others who served as our outstanding educators over the years from elementary to high school years. A few seconds were utilized to reflect on the illustrious efforts of these teachers that taught at Palmetto and Mullins High School.

A variety of fun and games were featured during the reunion. Dr.Tom started with a banter of jokes for the audience to answer such as: “What is a cow with no legs? Jackie Hughes our cousin responded quickly, “Ground beef.” The room was filled with laughter as Jackie received a gift for the correct answer. The next question was, “Why couldn’t the melon get married? Deborah answered, “Because they can’t elope.” Other jokes continued as cackles filled the ballroom.

Thomas Hughes as MC maintained perpetual laughter with words used by southerners during our childhood in Mullins, South Carolina. Words like widja and didja. A memorable sentence was used such as, “She was fitntoo see The Manhattans.” We laughed because each of us could have possibly used these types of creeative dialects. Next classmate Bubba Shaw did a fun filled performance as a mime That brought constant laughter. The evening had been filled with encouraging tributes, fun and games as well as delectable food. Thomas and other classmates acknowledged it was now time to close this portion of the reunion as a final curtain call in preparation for the encore, The Manhattans. Our travel down memory lane continued through an plentitude of beautiful love songs.

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The show by the 1972 Class of Mullins High closed their celebration with the Grammy award winning, multi-talented Manhattans. We gathered in a separate lavishly, subtle lit ballroom next to the previous ballroom where the reunion was held. Gray tablecloths graced the tables with low lit candles in the center of the tables. The sound and lighting crew brought in by promoter Rick Coley were Carl McIver and Willie Garres. The lighting and sound set the standard for the professionalism of The Manhattans. Sheila Coley, Rick’s wife and right hand woman helped decorate both ballrooms along with the MHS Committee. Edna Alston, the wife of Gerald Alston has always been his helpmate as well as within the past few years the group’s adjutant. The team effort of so many people made this reunion by MHS Class of 1972 enormously successfuL.

The Outstanding Legacy Does Continue Within their Latest CD

The Manhattans’ new CD, The Legacy Continues is so classic and reminiscent of what this R&B vocal group delivers. One writer on Amazon expressed, “The Manhattans are among the great soul vocal groups of the past half century…” Millions are still in agreement and even feel they are one of the greatest vocal groups in the past fifty years. Even after the death of original members Blue Lovett, Kenneth Kelly and Sony Bivens, The Manhattans as a group has not missed a step but remain proficiently, adaptable in the music industry.

The dynamic instrumentals at the beginning of their first song on this CD entitled, Love Ride with Gerald Alston’s smooth but dominant voice. In the background the voices of Troy and Tyson masterfully intertwines with the music. The second song What About You with Troy May’s robust, base voice, leads out as Gerald slowly comes in lead as Tyson joins in for the completion of this illustrious ballad. The writers Marc Blotte and Larry Botlieb of Forever By Your Side put together beautiful, expressive words which lyrically is pleasurable to the listening ear as The Manhattans perform them With Gerald once again pleading. The fifth song of Legacy Continues is Right By My Side was a collaboration with Stanley Clarke and George Duke. Throughout Right By My Side, Gerald’s deep avouch of love through his melodic voice is evident. A number one fan favorite and Grammy Award winner Shining Star always is listed as number six on the CD. Finally, the live version of screaming fans in Johannesburg, South Africa inspires The Manhattans as they performed their number one hit Kiss And Say Goodbye. Blue Lovett now deceased as of 2014 is included in the performance of this euphonious June 16, 1976 number one hit.

We appreciate all the efforts once again that was put forth by the Mullins High School Class of 1972 for this well planned event. We commend the tremendous team support of the MHS Committee for long and sometimes very difficult hours to put everything together. All of the guests who attended as well as promoter Rick Coley and his crew, we thank each of you. For the finale, awesomely talented Gerald Alston, Troy May and Lawrence Newton of The Manhattans, we thank you for your endurance and patience through the abundance of photos and autograph signings, even though Gerald was a little under the weather. This class reunion was wonderful. We look forward to your next adventure.

The Manhattans featuring Gerald Alston performing “There’s No Me Without You.” Video is from YouTube

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Claudette Coleman Carter

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