Another year has sped by and several members of the great Class of 1956 met Saturday, September 11, at the Mountain City home of Roger and Helen Ramsey for their annual reunion. I am a proud member of that class and it was a real joy for me to have the opportunity to see and talk with my classmates some I had not seen for a year or more. It was a carry-in affair and the food was both plentiful and delicious.
The intermittent rain was indeed welcome and it didnt bother us due to the spacious shelter located behind the Ramsey house. The area was aptly and beautifully decorated with our school colors (maroon and white). The Ramseys, Selma Fifer and Floyd and Margaret Hampton did a marvelous job decorating for the reunion. Thanks also to Robert and Eleanor Church for their valuable help in hauling chairs and other items to the site.
For the last few years, the class has opted to have a get-together every year instead of every five years, as was the custom for a long time. But, next year will be our big 55th and we plan to go all out for it, and hopefully members of the class who live locally will be there and those who live many miles away will also be able to come to Mountain City for that special time.
The reunion was well attended to be an off-year event with around 35 present. Class members showed up from as far away as Delaware, Ohio; Cleveland, Ohio; Lake Wiley, South Carolina; Morristown, Tennessee; and Maryville, Tennessee. There were probably others from distant places that I was unaware of. The reunion also was fairly well attended by local members of the class.
If a class members address and phone number recently has changed, he or she is asked to send the corrected address and/or phone number to Roger Ramsey at 125 Scenic Drive, Gray, Tennessee 37615. With this information, each class member can be notified about next years reunion.
A reader of my column recently called me and asked if I remembered the siren that could be heard at noon each day in Mountain City. I did remember. I remember being in town during a weekday and hearing the siren. I asked some folks about it who were residents of Mountain City during that time and was told the siren was to let people know that it was noon and time to quit what they were doing and eat lunch. I also was told that the siren was used to let Mountain City volunteer firemen know when there was a fire so they could come by city hall to pick up equipment and proceed to the fire. Ralph Stout, long time mayor of Mountain City, said the siren was located on a pole at what was then city hall. At that time Mountain City had its own jail also called the calaboose. It was a wooden frame building. Located next to the calaboose was another wooden frame building that housed the city hall. Following its use as a jail the calaboose housed the public library for several years.
If anyone has additional information about the siren, please let me know.