Peabody Elementary Class in 1946-47, 1953 DHS graduates. WANDA VEST ODOM/Courtesy photo

Central Ward 1932-32 class, 1937 DHS graduates. KAY WALTZ BRYANT/Courtesy photo


Central Ward eighth grade class, 1948-49, 1953 graduates. DONNA HUNT/Herald-Democrat



The weekend of Oct. 6 and 7 was a busy weekend for at  least two groups of former students who returned to Denison. They missed Homecoming Weekend by one week, but it definitely was a homecoming for all who attended reunions of the classes of 1953 and 1957.

For the class of 1957 it was a big moment when they passed the half century mark since leaving Denison High School. For the class of 1953 it was a longer time to be out of school, but after passing 50 five years ago, it’s a downhill ride now, all the way.

The class of 1953 has never been like other classes. It’s never gathered on the “right” years. It started out with a 19 year reunion, then a 27, and you get the drift. It never had a 50th. Classmates said they weren’t ready to admit they had been out of school for
50 years, so they celebrated on the 49th. This year’s was a 54th and there is no doubt that the next one will be on the 59th. Guess that’s why the class is known as “The Oddball Class.”

It’s hard to believe that 54 years have passed since we – and I’m including myself – walked down the aisle in the old Denison High auditorium and received our diplomas.
The class of 1953 has always been a close group of friends. Like many other classes, we keep in touch all year and those who can, gather for mini-reunions several times during the year if it’s just to eat and talk to keep up with each other.

Some in that class even have breakfast together every other Tuesday at Nick’s Restaurant. There are other DHS grads who gather EVERY Tuesday there for breakfast at 8 a.m. Our group doesn’t get out that early so we meet at 9:30. Both groups welcome any “newcomers” to meet with them. The problems of the world are sometimes solved during these sessions.

When the class of 1953 – the one with which I am most familiar – gathered, some came from Michigan, Colorado, Nevada, Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. As the saying goes, “a good time was had by all.”

I seem to have become a keeper of sorts of old photographs for school classes. I have been scanning photos that former students have trusted me to return – and I have, or will. They not only are on my computer, but are being placed in the archives of the Denison Alumni Association and hopefully one day will be placed on display when an Alumni Museum can find a place to be established. Some people even have donated old photographs to the Alumni Association and they are being protected and stored for future display.

We, and I’m speaking for the Alumni Association, will accept school memorabilia, including photographs, or I will scan and return pictures from earlier school years. My e-mail is listed below.

While no reunion is being planned, the Denison High class of 1937 will be marking its 70th year since graduation this year and Kay Waltz Bryant of Whitewright has shared pictures of her class at Central Ward School. Those are the 1937 DHS graduates. I’m not sure which one is Kay, but some readers may recognize her or others in the class. Some of the students in that class are Joanne Cox Slaughter; Aaron Witz, who later became Dallas
attorney David Witts; the Hatfield boys; and Fitts Baum, who now is living in Wesley Village, according to Kay.

I’m keeping this column short because I want to use several pictures. I hope you recognize someone.

Donna Hunt is former editor of The Denison Herald.
She lives in Denison and can be contacted at

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