In May 1966, gasoline cost no more than 32 cents per gallon, the average new car cost $2,650 and the average price of a new house was $14,200.
Against that backdrop, more than 200 members of the Brownwood High School Class of 1966 walked across the Brownwood Coliseum stage to receive their diplomas.
Next month, many of those former students will return to campus and celebrate their 50th-year reunion. A full schedule of events is planned for Friday and Saturday, Sept. 16-17, which is also homecoming weekend for all Brownwood High alumni.
“Right now, we’re just trying to make sure as many classmates as possible know about the reunion,” Pat Bell Parker, who now lives in Baird, said last week. “We have a pretty good list, and know of several who have passed away, but there are about 20 we know nothing about.”
She urged 1966 BHS graduates to make sure that reunion organizers have current contact information, including email addresses. That can be sent by email to email@example.com.
Registration for the reunion is also underway, Parker said, and that process can be completed through the same email. Classmates whose information is on file have already received details about the reunion weekend.
“I’ve been involved in our class reunions from the start,” Parker said. “We had our first reunion at my mother’s home on Austin Avenue. We’ve been getting together usually every 10 years, but we may start meeting more frequently now. Maybe we can plan some events in places like Dallas and other cities, where several class members live.”
The BHS Class of 1966 made history in several ways, Parker said. For example, during their senior year, the Brownwood Lions won the school’s second state football championship (in the fall of 1965) under Coach Gordon Wood, and choir members under Choral Director Dorothy McIntosh dominated the all-region choir.
“We also did very well in basketball, tennis and track,” Parker recalled. “We had some pretty good athletes. We had lots of firsts.”
Among those firsts was the school’s musical that involved students from the choir, band and theater classes. That production was “Bye Bye Birdie.”
The weekend will begin Friday night, Sept. 16, with the football game at Gordon Wood Stadium. After that, a local class member will host a reception at his home.
Saturday, Sept. 17, will begin with a dutch-treat breakfast at Section Hand, followed by special tours of places like the Gordon Wood Hall of Champions, Lyric Theatre, Lehnis Railroad Museum, Brown County Museum of History, the Genealogical Library, and the recently rebuilt Brownwood High School campus.
Class members will gather at the Brown County Fair Association’s Homecoming Building on the Brady Highway for lunch catered by Cook’s Fish Barn. The homemaking building will serve as headquarters for most of the remainder of the day’s activities.
Class members will be able to visit and share memories at the homemaking building throughout the afternoon, and Parker said those attending are welcome to bring lawn chairs or any other form of comfortable seating if they prefer that to folding chairs.
“It will be an opportunity to just sit and visit,” Parker said.
Dinner catered by Sodexho will be served at 6:30 p.m., and live music will be provided by an 1960s-era group from Dallas, triggering memories of high school into the night.
“There were five different elementary schools,” Parker said, “but because everyone went to the same junior high and high school, we had time to become very close to each other. We’ve stayed close through the years. The achievements our class made for Brownwood High make this 50th reunion very special.”