Rison-Dallas Association, Inc.

Rison-Dallas Association 2008 Reunion, August 2

(Click Here for the 2008 Reunion Photo Gallery)

2008 Reunion Cover The 2008 Reunion was hosted by the class of 1948:
Bud Adcock
Junior Brooks
Harry Christian
Posey Luna
E.N. Jeans
Bill Owens
Frank Stephens
Jo-Ann Boggs
Doris Jean Cagle
Leona Case
Lorene Cowan
Juanita McElroy
Faye Johnson
Charlotte Tidwell
Jean Powell

CLICK HERE to see some of the graduates in the picture, "This next photograph is from the Rison Junior-Senior Banquet, Class of 1948, May 22, 1948" on our CLASSES page.
NOTE: If you have a picture of the graduating class of 1948, please send us a copy to risondallas@comcast.net so that we can add it to the Classes page of our website.

The doors to Jackson Way Baptist Church opened and we all rushed in to begin another few hours of reuniting with both old and new friends, exchanging stories and hugs - fellowshipping in all possible ways, including the sharing of food that loaded all the kitchen surfaces.

What a special time it was and most of us reluctantly left the reunion while already thinking about next year's reunion.

We continue to be grateful to the people of Jackson Way Baptist Church who open their doors to us, giving us the needed time and space to celebrate. There's probably no better place to meet than on the ground that once was a part of Dallas Village.

There were some folks who attended this year's reunion for the first time; there were also those there who had not been in a long time as well as those who were unable to attend. To those of you who were there, we were pleased to see you; to those of you who were not there, we missed you and hope that you'll make it next year.

Once again, we had several young people, at least one pre-teen (who complained that there were no other pre-teens there!), young adults, middle-aged folks, and us older adults. It was a pretty good mix and we all seemed to be having a good time. An adult granddaughter was there with her grandmother; I told her that she was sweet to bring her grandmother to the reunion to which she replied, "I came because I wanted to! I think that it'll be fun!" Let's hope that it was.

CLICK HERE to see who attended this year's reunion. As usual, we tried very hard to get everyone registered but we could have missed some of you. If you were there and your name is not on this list, please let us know at risondallas@comcast.net.

While the reunion seems to be well organized and flows smoothly, it takes a lot of people to make that to happen. CLICK HERE to see the names of people who worked either, or both, in preparation for the reunion and also on the day of the reunion. Please let us know if we inadvertently overlooked your name.

Would you like to volunteer to help plan the next reunion? There are three planning meetings before each reunion - one in May, one in June and one in July. At these meetings, the committee assists the sponsoring class make plans and decisions. Is it work? Yes, it is. Is it fun? Yes, it is. So, if you think that you'd like to participate, please let us know at risondallas@comcast.net.

During the program part of the reunion: 2008 Reunion Program

  • Our vice-president, Brenda Burkett Elders, read the names from the deceased list. Thirty-five of our folks died since the 2007 reunion, the largest number of deaths since records have been kept. If other names should be on this list, please let us know at risondallas@comcast.net.
  • As you view these names, I'm sure that there are those whom you remember and maybe you can recall your connection to them and the experiences you shared. Each of them was so special and will be sorely missed.

    As I view the list, I remember:

    - the man who, in first grade, was my very first sweetheart; we made plans and once met at the "Y" to watch a movie together; 'don't remember if we held hands;

    - sitting beside one of them, a perfect gentleman, our backs against the cab on the bed of a ton truck, going to and from a football game on a cold winter's night, shivering under a shared blanket;

    - a very feeble lady, a Rison graduate, who attended last year's reunion, her first ever;

    - another man who never missed a reunion and who always came in smiling and hugging;

    - more than one lady who, while beautiful, also had a beautiful spirit;

    - two ladies who were first cousins and who, because they grew up in the same home, became as sisters and remained so for a lifetime;

    And I could go on and on.

    What special memories do you have?

    Our deceased family and friends are:

    Basil Banks, Sr.
    Jewel Casey Benson
    Carl Beshears
    Aubrie Lee "Al" Bowling
    Jesse "J.R." Brady
    Gladys Lorene Branch
    Clara Mae Brazelton Brooks
    Bobby Edwin Burke
    Floy Short Carrigan
    Claude Samuel "Sam" Chisam
    Frances Burkett Cordum
    Ruth Atnip Falkenberry
    Gracie Hatfield Fine
    K.C. Finley
    Connie Rigsby Ford
    Sara Jo Dunham Gastler
    Milton Leon Gentry
    Miriam Baker Dunn Gowan
    Wilbia Lee Starr Howard
    Evelyn Parker London (Marguerite's daughter)
    Terry Luna
    Annetta Barnes Martinson
    James David McCaleb
    Edith Mullins*
    Virginia (Ginny) Brazelton Penhall
    Albert Eugene Potter, Jr.
    Dolly Rhodes
    Lynda "Lynn" Russell**
    Ethel McElroy Adcock Sanders
    Frank Short
    Katherine Swaim Staggs
    Travis Stevens (Joyce Owens' husband)
    Lela Mae Frasier Thompson
    Gilbert Henry Duncan Wallace
    Robert E. "Bob" Wilkinson

    *Once she and her husband, Bob, bought Fifth Street Café, they renamed it, Mullins Drive-In.
    **Leo Drake's friend who helped with the reunions.


    Our friend, Judee Howard Houston, was kind enough to share the following poem that she wrote in remembrance of her mother, Wilbia Lee Starr Howard, who died this past December:


    Wilbia Lee Starr Howard
    It's been 9 months since you went away,
    ….almost 9 months to the day.

    It was just before Christmas, and we were all excited.
    All the family would be together,
    and you were so delighted.

    Then came that morning, when it all fell apart.
    Your pain got worse….
    it seemed to be your heart.

    So off to the hospital, we went right away.
    To get you well and back home,
    before Christmas Day.

    But our hearts were saddened, and filled with tears.
    The day Dr. Katta said, "the end is near".

    As your loving family said our good-byes,
    You peacefully slipped off to heaven's skies.

    My head knows you're home, and no longer in pain,
    You're now back with Daddy and happy again.

    But, my heart is still broken….such a void I feel,
    I hope with God's help it will soon begin to heal.

    About 3 months after we said good-bye to you,
    Aunt Clara Mae said good-bye to her loved ones too.
    From childhood on you were always together
    Now, peace at last and free from pain
    You're both happily together at home again.

    Your unwavering love for family and friends
    Is a gift you gave us without end.

    I have some regrets, but hope you knew,
    I always wanted the best for you

    I hope you knew how much you were loved
    And took this with you to heaven above.

    You'll live on in our hearts forever more
    until the day you and Daddy meet us again at heaven's door.

    I love you,
    Judee 2008


  • Our veterans were our guests of honor and were asked to stand if they were able. While standing, the veterans were thanked for their contributions to our country. In their honor, the tables were decorated in red, white and blue.

  • Our president, Helen Acuff, introduced our guest speaker, Billy Harbin, who is a retired Madison County Circuit Court Clerk and a Dallas Village "boy." CLICK HERE to read Billy's biography and his speech that was shared at the reunion.

  • The Class of 1948 sponsored this reunion in celebration of their 60th anniversary. Doris Cagle Roden and Frank Stephens represented the class.

  • Our president also recognized guests and former teachers; she also recognized graduates from classes 1934 thru 1951, as well as graduates of Butler, Lee, Huntsville, and other high schools.

  • Helen thanked the class of 1948 for sponsoring this year's reunion and challenged the Class of 1949 to sponsor next year's reunion; Virginia Goosby Franklin accepted the challenge on behalf of that class.

    Association Business:

    Treasurer's report: Our Treasurer, Maurine Alverson Surrett, reported a balance of $2,108.03; this balance did not include either this year's reunion expenses or donations given at the reunion.

    Website: As of the day of the reunion, there had been more than 18,000+ hits on our website. Craig Clontz continues to volunteer to serve as our webmaster and we are so grateful for his willingness to work, remembering that he has no connection to either Rison or Dallas. This year the association made a $200 donation in Craig's honor to his church, The New Life United Methodist Church in Grant, AL, the church to which Craig's wife, Sherill, has been newly-assigned as its senior pastor.

    CDs of pictures from our website: Last year, Glenn Hymer donated 30 CDs that he made showing pictures from our website, most of which were sold. Donors took the remaining CDs at this year's reunion. Thanks again Glenn.

    Singing and the benediction: We all sang "God Bless America," followed by the benediction. Please join us again on August 1st next year, 2009, same time; same place.

    May the good Lord bless and keep you!

    And now, for the gallery of pictures from the 2008 Rison Reunion:
    Please click here.
  • Rison-Dallas Association, Inc.