Friday, January 11, 2013

Coming Home to Jerome - First Reunion

Ad-Express-Iowegian - 6 October 1988
  A brightly decorated Jerome sign made by a former Jerome student welcomed over 200 Jerome graduates, teachers and friends back to their old home town. This was the first reunion ever held, and the committee was pleasantly surprised to have so many register from as far away as Nevada, Virginia, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois and many cities in Iowa.
  The Methodist Church was filled to capacity for the opening of the festivities which began with a non-denominational church service. At that time Mildred Cathcart took the guests back to the early days when Jerome boasted a population of over 600 residents with her "History of Jerome." Catherine Mallett gave an interesting history of the Jerome Methodist Church, a church which has served the community for many years. Pastor Jim Schweizer delivered the morning message.  After the church service a bountiful noon luncheon was served. The committee and the church ladies had provided sandwiches, many salads, baked beans, and a great variety of cookies and hot and cold drinks.  Verle Brummitt furnished ice cream and Cokes. Guests arriving also brought so much food that extra tables had to be set up. The tent rented by some of the committee members proved to be a great place for eating and visiting.
  Merle Condra and Milford Inman drove up in old model cars and found a ready audience.  James Fox brought his train from Queen City, and it was popular with the older people as well as with the children.  Former residents enjoyed the ride around town pointing out where they had lived or where various business places had been. Another big attraction by Mr. and Mrs. LaVerne Disney listing the names of more than 600 Jerome students. Many of the names that were not available were written in by the viewers.
  In the afternoon, the guests were summoned back into the church where Catherine Mallett played her accordion, and old-time favorites were sung. At that time Verle Brummitt revealed his surprise of the day when he announced that the committee wished to dedicate the day to their former teacher and friend, Mildred Dooley Cathcart.
  One of the closing songs was "God Be With You Till We Meet Again" and friends seemed reluctant to say good-by to each other, so after many requests the committee agreed to plan one more reunion to be held on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend in 1989.
  Committee members who met regularly to plan the reunion were Chairman Verle Brummitt, Margaret Jones, Frances Owen, Phyllis Disney, Catherine Mallett, Mildred Cathcart, Paul McElvain and Merle Condra. Others attending some of the meetings were James Fox, Donald Purdy, Harry Sidles, Barney Mallett, Chesco Massa and Helen McElvain.
  The people attending the reunion were generous with their donations and their thanks for a day they will remember for a long time.

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