HOWARD — Ever wonder what happened to your high school chums? Howard High School graduates Neil Billman and Jack Cullison do, and they are taking steps to find out.
Cullison said, “Neil and I graduated in 1943, and are 85 years old. We met at a restaurant in Millwood a couple of weeks ago and just started reminiscing: ‘Where’s Art? Is he still living? Where does he live?’ We went down the list of people and were talking about them.”
“That’s when the idea began to try and update the HHS alumni data, records that just didn’t exist,” Billman said. “After attempts to uncover information sort of failed, we decided to launch a “School’s started now let’s have a ‘pot-luck’ picnic. So, we contacted Kokosing Valley Campground, selected a date and started the process.”
“We used to go to the HHS alumni meetings each year,” said Cullison, “then Howard joined Bladensburg and became East Knox [around 1965]. That made the alumni group a larger association, and somewhere along the line, in the last 10 years or so, they quit having the annual alumni meeting and dinner. Some of the individual graduating classes still meet, but the older folks didn’t have that opportunity. So, Neil and I decided to have a picnic. If we have a picnic and everybody brings a covered dish and their own silverware and dishes and lawn chair, it won’t be like paying $20 apiece for a meal or to rent a hall somewhere. And it won’t matter if we have 20 people or 200 people. ... Every graduate we have talked to thinks it’s a great idea. We may have a party. We won’t have a lot of money invested — just a little time and fun.”
Cullison hopes his fellow alumni will bring pictures, old alumni books and other school-day memorabilia to the picnic. He and Billman also hope to update the Howard High School alumni data for the school archives.
The Howard High School alumni picnic — all East Knox graduates are welcome, too — will be held at Kokosing Valley Campground on Saturday, Sept. 11, at 12:30 p.m.
“I’m sure we will all have a time of good visitation,” said Cullison.