McCullough reunion brings friends together

Published 12:31 am Wednesday, November 10, 2004

By By Arthur McLean
The restaurant at the Best Western in Atmore was filled with the look Saturday night for the first ever McCullough School reunion.
The look was one of questioning recognition as former students of the school, 242 of them, wondered whether that older face was the childhood friend they remembered from years ago.
Many times, that look turned to one of surprise and joy once the large lettered nametag was read.
Surviving members from all classes of the school gathered Saturday night in an event organized by Judy Mack Linam, formerly of Atmore.
Linam tracked down nearly three hundred of her schoolmates over the course of six months to organize the reunion. "I've been thinking about doing this for a long time, and once I made that first call, I knew there was no turning back," Linam said. "I knew we weren't getting any younger, and if we were going to do it, we needed to do it soon."
McCullough School was once an all grades school, but it burned down over the Christmas holiday season of 1963.
Those who were attending the school at the time were transferred to either Atmore High School or Uriah, said Joyce Smith Evans.
Evans was in the ninth grade when the school burned. Before Saturday night, she had not seen some of her classmates in more than 40 years.
"I think we're the oldest ones here," said Eubie King, class of 1943, sitting with his sister Margaret King Vickery and Junior Hall. Kirby Vickery was actually the oldest attending member, from the class of 1941.
Teresa Day Johnson, Richard Chasez and Charlotte Presley McGhee were the youngest at the event, according to the records. They were in the fourth grade when the school burned.
Schoolmates came from as far as Tennessee, Dahlonega, Ga. andWashington to attend the event.
"It was a wonderful night, seeing people, and it wasn't like a class reunion where people go to brag about themselves," Evans said. "We were all just happy to see each other."

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