Last Landon graduating class celebrates 50th reunion

The Sixties, historically notable for many events – among them the first moon walk, three assassinations, the Vietnam War and Woodstock – was also a notable time for a group of San Marco area high school students.

The Landon Senior Class of 1965 was the last to graduate (June 7 that year) from the high school. The following year Landon and DuPont Junior and High Schools became junior high schools and Wolfson High School opened to serve that part of Jacksonville. The Landon High School lettering still graces the school building entrance on Thacker Avenue.

Landon 1965 Cheerleaders

Landon 1965 Cheerleaders

Landon Junior/Senior High School drew elementary students from Spring Park Elementary, Hendricks Avenue Elementary and Southside Grammar School (no longer a school but now The Lofts San Marco).

Anne Rice Barcelo said the Landon Class of 1965 was very tight-knit because most of the students just went to two schools in 12 years. “Some of us knew each other even before starting school either through church or synagogue kindergartens,” she said. “We were in Scouts together and went to camp together, played ball, or took dancing lessons.”

Beckie Paille Adcox, 50th anniversary reunion coordinator, was one student who attended Spring Park Elementary and has fond memories of those early years.

“I lived in the Mayfair neighborhood when I went to Spring Park and yes, I walked to and from school with my best friends, Anita Tiffany (Dunford), Patti Jo Angel (Brammer) and Linda Rowland (Johns). Of course, on the way home we stopped by Preston’s Pharmacy for a coke every day!” Adcox said. “When I attended Landon I lived in Empire Point and I rode the bus to and from school and we usually went to Mims Bakery in San Marco while we were waiting for the bus.”

Barcelo remembers several teachers with fondness, including art teacher Memphis Wood and an English teacher, Hunter Perkins, who was from Virginia and loved Robert E. Lee. “We gave him a surprise birthday party one morning before school,” she shared. “We had a cake with gray icing, dark red roses and “Happy Birthday, Robert E. Lee” on it. She was probably the hardest teacher I had but I learned so much from her that I still use today.”

Landon1965_FootballTeam

Landon 1965 Football Team

 

Adcox noted that 22 of her former classmates have passed away. “After the [graduation] ceremony, we were all hugging each other and I realized (and I’m sure many others did also) that I would never be with all these people again after they’d been such a huge part of my life for 6 or 12 years and some of them even more,” she remarked.

The Landon Class of 1965 meets every five years for a reunion and also meets periodically throughout the year for lunch.

“Many of us knew one another as first graders and have maintained lifelong friendships,” said Anita Tiffany Dunford.

Barcelo concurred. “It really doesn’t matter how long it has been since we have seen each other because we just pick up like it was yesterday.”

Of the 250 in the graduating class, nearly 100 will attend the reunion at River City Brewing Company on Sat., Apr. 18. The three-day event includes lunch at Bono’s on Beach Boulevard, a popular weekend hangout during high school years.

By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

Landon1965_HomecomingCourt

Landon 1965 Homecoming Court

 

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading...

You must be logged in to post a comment Login