High school friends gather to cherish friendship

By Carole Kelly

Plans to meet and renew school-day friendships as years pass can be a challenge.  Friends who had met, established and cherished their friendships throughout their Clinton school years not too many years ago coordinated a strategic plan for a recent mini-reunion in Georgia.

The five friends, or “fab five,” who graduated from Clinton High School in the Class of ‘86 decided it was time for a meeting to catch up on each other’s lives and celebrate their birthdays.  Paige Aultman Hurley of Lawrenceville, Georgia, did not have to travel as far, since she hosted the reunion at her family lake home in Blairsville, Georgia, for fellow CHS grads Lauren Collins Reed, Cindy Conerly Giddens, Deborah Milligan East and Shelley Hemphill Bock.   

The long weekend included reminiscing over times past with memories and a collection of yearbooks from grade school to high school that East brought for the occasion. 

“Our reunion called for some coordination as far as travel plans, but the fun we had was well worth the planning and miles traveled,” said Giddens.” “We have birthdays fairly close together, and we had fun celebrating them.”  She and Hurley celebrate August birthdays, Reed, in July, and East and Bock, September.

Shopping, long talking sessions, boating, card playing and great eating added to their memories, according to Giddens.  Enjoying the novelty of a drive-in theatre was a highlight of the reunion.  Movies shown under the stars were journeys into the past featuring Grease from 1978 and Dirty Dancing, 1987.  

“We respected the COVID practices of masks and social distancing as we enjoyed our Georgia trip,” added Giddens. “We are looking forward to the next time we can all get together.”

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