Thursday, September 24, 2015

Speaking From the Heart--Roy's Words

Jan Crockett Smith, Sue Seamon Mead and
 Marsha Payton Rickel
Three years of planning and hard work by the hands and heads of many classmates have finally come to fruition. I, too, have spent time helping and reflecting on what those years meant in our lives. Even though my stories are universal, they are still told from my point of view.  In our class there are at least two hundred points of view, when looking back at those twelve adventurous years of school. Perhaps another set of eyes can tell the story, that I couldn't.  

One classmate, Roy Underwood,  recently reflected on
Richard, Karen, Donna, Bill, Roy
those memories, those emotions brought on by the meetings that have been held to organize and shore up our reunion.  Here are Roy's words spoken from his heart.

Greetings 1965 MHS classmates.
We are a few days away from our 50th reunion, can you really believe it? I am speaking only for myself at this writing, not the committee. Nor am I the wordsmith like some of my classmates. I have been known and accused of being brutally honest, called many names, most not so kind, and probably deserved such. However, as we near our 50th reunion, I wish to share my thoughts. Agree or disagree, it matters not to me. This is my story of how it began.
Tony Palmer, ? Roy Underwood

It has been one hell of a ride, sometimes smooth, sometimes rough--disagreements, untold hours of personal time, and difficult decisions had to be made along the road to now.
It began more than five years ago with two people, then three.  I was living in Ohio at the time. I personally missed two previous reunions due to distance and my employment. I moved back to Oklahoma City after my retirement in 2009. The seeds of our current reunion began with Richard Spencer and Karen Atkinson Yoxall.  I was invited to assist. Richard and I began having lunch meetings in Shawnee, Okla. We had not seen each other since 1965, but we hugged and for me, the years melted away.
Randy Loehr, Linda McNatt Henbest, Donna Collins Edmondson, Jan Crockett Smith 
Meetings were planned, the very first was held in Miami @ the Pizza Hut, with more than 48 classmates attending. We
thought, wow, this is going to be easy, not so! As the weeks and months progressed, we learned it was not going to be so easy. I cannot count how many meetings we have had. You were informed and invited. The attendance, over the years has fluctuated. Many have asked, who is paying for these meetings, the food and drinks etc. The total cost of travel, food etc., came from our pockets, some locations were donated. Weekly breakfast meetings were begun here in Miami at local restaurants. All in all they have been very successful. Classmates traveled to join us from different locations in state and out of state.
Jackie Trask
It has been a time to renew friendships and establish new ones; a time of sharing our life's success, failures and loss. No more petty BS of our years at MHS, no more clicks or ill feelings. Just people, we shared a point in time of our personal history. For me, I deeply cherish each and every moment you have chosen to share with me. I would come from those meetings, feeling energized, happy and at times guilty for having absorbed such wonderful emotions from my classmates!

Wednesday morning meetings class of 65. 
Many have worked years, weeks, months and hours to make this the best reunion ever. You may not like portions of it or any of it. For me, I don't care for some events, but you know, it will be what I make of it, I choose to make it all a positive event. Like many, our lives have taken many roads, some very successful, some not. We have all known happiness, horrible pain and loss, some of our own making. People have hurt us, in turn we have hurt others, and usually those we loved the most. Many of our classmates have suffered such loss, and they will be in attendance. I want them to feel welcome; rich, poor, successful or not. If I act superior, judge them, or not interact with them, I am the one who will experience a personal loss for not allowing them in, it will make me less and cheat me out of allowing them to enrich my life. My thoughts are mine alone. A heart felt THANK YOU, for your support, time and money to help make this one of the best reunions ever. A personal thank you classmates who have enriched my life over these past few years, by you being you!! Hope to see you in a few days. Blessings to all!
Top of Form

Miami High School,  Circa 1959, the Ted Watts collection


  1. Thanks for sharing with us. Roy I feel like you do with my class of 1959 although I am sure 1965 will have a lot more fun. I did help in a small way. Bought one of your t-shirts and helped Lil Sis with some music I loaned from that era. As you all prepared to graduate, I was thinking about joining the USAF Nurses Corps. Inactive until Sep. 23, 1965 they active until 1967. I know a lot of your class through Facebook. I wish you all the best in your 50 year reunion. jr

  2. Have a wonderful time with your classmates!!! There will be lots of stories and laughs...enjoy them all!!!!!
    Safe travels. Congrats on 50 years. kt