Tupelo high school class of 1959 reunited with traditional celebration

TUPELO,Miss. (WCBI)- It was a time to reminisce, and catch up on the latest developments in people’s lives.

It’s part of a tradition for a group of Tupelo High School graduates , who got their diplomas more than sixty years ago.

“We were a pretty close group, I have to say that,” said Guy Hovis.

Although Hovis is a well known entertainer, featured for years on “The Lawrence Welk Show,” he always made it a point to stay in touch with his friends from the Tupelo High School Class of 1959.

On Saturday, Hovis and fellow classmates gathered at the Elvis Presley Birthplace and Museum event center, to talk catch up and reminisce.

“First of all, we think, most think, we grew up in the most wonderful time. When life was so much simpler and we didn’t have the burdens of the world on our shoulder at 15,” said Hovis.

The THS Class of 59 began meeting together every ten years, after their fiftieth reunion in 2009. They celebrate their birthdays, and in the past year, they all turned 80 years old. Some of the ladies get together once a month for lunch.

Nanette Phipps Holland was Homecoming Queen of the class of 59, and was escorted by Guy Hovis. She had just recovered from a serious wreck less than two months before the Homecoming game.

“I had a wonderful support group,” said Holland.

Carol Allen was the student conductor of the band, a band that was one of the best in the state.

“It was our whole lives, we had a remarkable group, for this state,” said Allen.

There were also parades before each home football game, and everyone was in an especially big parade, when Tupelo native Elvis Presley returned to his hometown for a triumphant concert in 1956.

While the girls loved Elvis, the guys had a slightly different attitude toward the teen idol.

“I thought of Elvis like most of us guys do, we were jealous, because girls were going crazy over Elvis, but no, we were always proud of Elvis. ”

A few members of the class of 59 were able to join the festivities by ZOOM, and everyone looks forward to the next birthday celebration.

In 1959, the high school met at what is now Milam Elementary.

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