07/03/11 — Carver reunion all about catching up with old friends

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Carver reunion all about catching up with old friends

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on July 3, 2011 1:50 AM

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Janice Warren, class of 1960, hugs a fellow alumnus during the Carver High School reunion Saturday.

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Alumni from across the years of Carver High School attend the afternoon picnic Saturday. The festivities kicked off with a parade in the morning and ended with a dance Saturday night and a prayer breakfast today.


Cornell Boney, class of 1951, and Mary Bennett, class of 1951, look over an old yearbook during the Carver High School alumni picnic.

In the Carver Cultural Center cafeteria, Mrs. Beulah Pearson Brewington's chair faced away from the door, but she rarely did.

Twisted around in her chair, the Carver High School class of '51 alumna scanned the faces coming through the door, calling old friends and lost acquaintances over to talk as alumni from as early back as the 1950s gathered for the Carver alumni picnic as part of their homecoming weekend festivities.

"I enjoy coming back," Mrs. Pearson, 77, said, noting that it was her 60th year since graduating high school. "It's a blessing to be here."

And though the school's last class graduated in 1970, there was a prominent focus on trying to include friends and family members of alumni in the festivities, especially through the alumni parade earlier in the day.

Sisters Kim and Denise Kornegay gathered near Center Street in downtown Mount Olive with Morgan Kornegay, 2, who was stocking up on candy that cars in the parade threw to spectators.

Too young to forage for the sweets herself, her mother and aunt gathered candy for her. The two were there to keep the tradition going after their mother, a Carver alumna, passed. They said they enjoyed catching up with classmates of their mother, Billie Jean Kornegay, a member of the class of '54, each year.

But Carlton Kornegay, class of '65, said many alumni were beginning to become too busy to come back.

"It's good, but a lot of people don't take the time to come back for school events," he said.

Kornegay, who lives in Dudley, said while Independence Day weekend provides an incentive for alumni to come home, many choose to spend their holiday taking vacations, shrinking the event a little each year.

Still, Kornegay stooped and picked up candy across the road from Morgan, who was being held by her mother. He admitted it wasn't as easy to get back up as it used to be, and that he didn't plan to eat the candy himself, instead he would give it to children at his church this morning.

And while Kornegay made a relatively short trip from Dudley to be back amongst his classmates, some alumni, like Belinda Hobbs Hayes, came from much farther.

Mrs. Hayes, of the class of '69, said she had come from Philadelphia for the festivities and to reunite with old friends, like family friend Helen Kelly Barnett, a member of the class of 1950.

"It's great to see people you hadn't seen in so long," Mrs. Barnett, 60, said.