06/30/13 — Gathering in the old neighborhood

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Gathering in the old neighborhood

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 30, 2013 1:50 AM

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Dortch Price, left, Kivett Ivey, and his sister Adelle Ivey Carr, all in their 90s, talk about the old days when they attended Seven Springs High School. The school held a reunion Saturday in the former elementary school, which is now Maynard's on N.C. 55.


SEVEN SPRINGS -- Kivett Ivey drove his motorcycle from South Carolina to attend a class reunion Saturday afternoon.

Of course, he chose another mode of transportation once he arrived in Goldsboro, seeing as how he was there to squire his 97-year-old sister to the event.

He, by the way, is 93.

The 1939 graduate of Seven Springs High School joined nearly 300 alumni of the school, which graduated its last class in 1965.

He recalled living within "spitting distance" of the school, at times having more than a half-dozen teachers boarding at the family home, "so we had to be good."

"I had a time staying out of mischief," he admits now.

The Ivey family produced nine children, one who died during childbirth, and Kivett said he believes all the surviving siblings attended the Seven Springs school.

"Our mother was the first woman in North Carolina to be on the Board of Education," noted his sister, Adelle Ivey Carr, Class of 1934.

Frankie Kivett Ivey, from whom Kivett's name was derived, was a pioneer of sorts, Mrs. Carr says.

"That was in 1920, when women started voting," she said. "She took me with her to register, and I was right there.

"My daddy was on the (county) Board of Education. It was during the Depression, so she took his place. He was out of town working during the Depression."

Dortch Price, Class of 1938, still lives in nearby Pricetown.

"I've got gobs of memories," he said. "Gobs."

He left briefly, serving in the Air Force during World War II. Upon his return four years later, he taught agriculture at his alma mater and later worked in the electrical field.

He said he doesn't run into former classmates often but when he sees them at the occasional reunion, it's all worthwhile.

"I get a lot of hugs and smooches. I like that," he said with a smile. "Some I haven't seen in 35 or 40 years."

The event was organized by Iris Kilpatrick, Class of 1964. She orchestrated a similar one four years ago and it drew about 350 people from classes dating back as far as 1931. Alumni came from as far away as Maryland and Texas, she said.

"I have done this before and I cannot describe it. I really started on my own class reunion and decided to include the class near us so we would have at least 10 or 15 people," she said. "It just grew from that."

The reunion, for all graduating classes of Seven Springs High School, was held at Maynard's on N.C. 55.

Tammie Price, whose husband, Maynard Price, Class of 1961, purchased the property years after the high school was razed, said their home contains a special piece of memorabilia. When they were building the house about seven years ago, contractors unearthed some of the original concrete from the high school's foundation.

"We built steps out of the foundation slab from the old school," she said.

The remaining buildings were converted into a dance club, which Price ran for 16 years and now leases it.

But standing in the middle of the dance floor late Saturday afternoon, Jimmy Vinson said it still conjures up memories of his own heyday.

"This gym, it's just got special memories," the 1964 graduate said. "It was the gym we used to play basketball. In 1964, we won the county championship. There was Greg Smith and I, we didn't lose a single conference game."

It was also the school where he began dating his wife of 47 years, Linda Grady Vinson.

Vinson said he has attended previous reunions and appreciated the fact that it was open to everyone.

"You have about as many friends from the classes above you," he said. "We had 16 or 17 in our graduating class. We had one of the smallest classes ... It was all about community and when you graduate and move on and you whole set of friends and things and you lose track of them, you go back and look at the annuals, you just don't believe it."