Fredericksburg Features

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Class of 1961 still close 50 years later




C.T. Smith High School was the kind of place where everyone knew your name.


After all, the students started first grade together, then stayed together until graduation from the Caroline County school.


By then they had formed a close- knit group of lifelong friends.


“It’s kind of neat. We still know where we all are,” said Agnes Carneal Carroll, a member of the C.T. Smith High School class of 1961.


On October 8, 2011, most of them were together at Hog Heaven, the Caroline County restaurant where they renewed friendships at their 50th-year reunion.


Carroll, who now lives in neigh boring Spotsylvania County, shared  “then and now” photos with the Flashback column. (See images in the Tuesday, Nov. 29 newspaper.) She coincidentally stood in the same position in both the 1961 and 2011 photos—third from the right in the front row.


The rest of her classmates changed the lineup a bit in the two photos.


Those in the 1961 graduation photo are (back row, left to right): Clarence Moody, Thomas Orrock, James Crabtree, Bernard Kowalski, Leroy Miller, Melvin Tate, Harold Gatewood, Douglas Haynes, Frank Acors, Robert Doggett, Ronald Smith.


First row, left to right: Mary Neece (Moody), Elaine Slate (Dil lon), Brenda Peatross (Littlepage), Katherine Thomas (Hightower), Terry Trivette (Evans), Patsy Young (Hockaday), Joyce Stanley (Pitts), Diana Clapham (Marshall), Agnes Carneal (Carroll), Ellen Carneal (Paris), Judy Galyen (Williams).


Kneeling (left to right): Charles Coghill, Wyman Robbins (teacher), Horton Cowles.


Those attending the 50th-year reunion were, front row, left to right: Judy Galyen Williams, Terry Trivette Evans, Ronald Smith, Joyce Stanley Pitts, Elaine Slate Dillon, Agnes Carneal Carroll, Katherine Thomas Hightower, Pat sy Young Hockaday.


Back row, left to right, Harold Gatewood, Ryland Yeatts (teacher), Melvin Tate, James Crabtree, Leroy Miller, Thomas Orrock, Clarence Moody.


Three students from the class of ’61 have died, and another could not be located. Taking that into account, about 70 percent of the class attend ed—not bad after 50 years.


The school was at Lady smith, a busy community in those days when U. S. 1 was the the main north–south highway through the region. Highway traffic brought brisk business to restaurants and other businesses in the Ladysmith area. When Inter state 95 opened, business was diverted away from the Ladysmith crossroads, though in recent years, it has revived once more with near by home construction and shopping areas.


C.T. Smith was among county schools that merged to form a single school, Caroline High.


Jennifer Strobel: 540/374-5432


Submit a Flashback. Pho tos, which will be returned, should be at least 15 years old, of general interest. Include ID, other informa tion and contact numbers. Mail or drop to Jennifer Strobel, The Free Lance– Star, 616 Amelia St., Fredericksburg, 22401; 540/374-5432; jstrobel@