Class of ’69 seeking help for reunion gathering

Fifty years after the first graduation at the then-new Jennings County High School, the Class of 1969 is planning a milestone reunion.

The class’ 50th reunion is set for 6 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Rolling Hills Shrine Club in North Vernon. But, organizers are seeking information about many class members so the details can be shared with them.

“We have located about half the class members, but we need current addresses for the rest, and we need them by June in order to notify everyone in time to make plans,” said Bette Eggleston, a member of the organizing committee.

“We were the first class to walk across the stage in the new high school building after all the smaller county high schools were consolidated into one Jennings County High School in North Vernon. Things have really changed here since 1969,” she added.

Eggleston said it would be nice to find the classmates who have moved away so they can return for the reunion to see the community now.

While the war raging overseas in Vietnam and demonstrations on college campuses across the nation, life was relatively quiet in Jennings County for the Class of 1969. Eggleston said one of the biggest problems was getting caught on the wrong side of a railroad train when one had to get home before curfew.

“There were so many trains back then, it was really easy to get stuck behind one and we didn’t have cellphones then, so we couldn’t call to say why we were going to be late, which meant trouble,” Eggleston said.

“But, there were good things, too. There were so many stores downtown you didn’t have to go anywhere else to shop, and everyone could hang out at the two drug stores and just have fun,” said Eggleston.

While searching for class members, Eggleston said she has found some of her long-lost friends, and that after 50 years there is much to talk about.

“It really has been fun doing this. It is a lot of work, but it is also exciting finding people you haven’t seen in decades. I hope we can find everyone,” Eggleston said.

Members of the Jennings County High School Class of 1969, or family members or friends class members who have address information to share can contact Bette Eggleston at P.O. Box 462, North Vernon, IN 47265. People also can share the information by email at [email protected] (case sensitive), or by calling 812-346-5321 and leaving a message.