Friends enjoy reunion

Published 5:47pm Tuesday, October 29, 2013

By Eloise Hayles Steele

I, Eloise Hayles Steele, missed my high school reunion luncheon on Oct. 26 to be with some of my ole gang of friends. There were about 13 of us kids we call “our gang.”

It all started for me about the time I graduated from high school in 1959. I started running around with some of the telephone operators that lived in an apartment at 209 S. Main St. It was just around the corner for the old telephone office — you know, the “number please” era. Our friendships were flexible and comfortable, based on good times rather than a need for approval.

One by one as we moved away, our friendships went through a dormant period simply because were consumed by a busy life with our own families.

In the summer of 1977, Peggy Phillips and her husband, Bobby Johnson, hosted our first “gang” reunion. It has been 17 years since our last reunion. Violeta Dockens and her husband, Bobby Passmore, hosted our reunion at their home in Grove Hill. Those present were James Walker and wife, Nell of Lucedale, Miss; Jack Sharpless and wife, Betty and Clara Daniels Cobb, all of Atmore; Violeta Dockens Passmore and husband, Bobby of Grove Hill; Eloise Hayles Steele and husband, Bennie Earl of McCullough.

Those not attending were Nancy Murph Roach, D.C. Roach, Eunice Hayles McNeil, Irene Allen Hoffman, Jewel Presley Dockens.

Three have passed away — Peggy Phillips Johnson, Wayne Hayles and Pauline Brantly Flowers. I was told that Carleta Maulden Turner had also passed away.

Five of our gang members have celebrated 50 or more years of marriage, another one will have a 50th anniversary in December, and another one follows close behind with 36 years of marriage.

We are all in our 70s now, and that’s the kind of gang that I’m proud to have shared a part of my life with. I love them all.

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