Senior Class Graduates Tuesday Evening 1929
Cliffside, May 29 — The Commencement exercises of the Cliffside High School began last Sunday with the baccalaureate sermon, delivered by the Rev. A. T. Stoudenmire, of Avondale, and were continued on Monday night with the senior class day program, ended Tuesday evening with a fine program. The principal speaker was J. Will Pless, Jr. of Marion. Medals and other awards were made and B. P. Caldwell, Superintendent of Cliffside Schools, presented diplomas to the following: Melba McCurry, Katherine Hawkins, Maverean Lemmons, Rachel Hill, Gladys Jolley, Pauline Jolley, Mable Ferree, Nell Davis, Thelma Whitaker, Erma Moore, Bertie Bridges, Hattie Lee Goforth, Zon Robinson, Oras Biggerstaff, Edwin Hughes, Solon Smart, Charles Frye, Paul Bridges, Chivous Luckadoo, Linzie Hicks, Willard Metcalf, James Goode.
“Mammie’s Lil Wild Rose,” a three act comedy, was given by the senior class of the Cliffside High School in the school auditorium on Saturday evening at eight o’clock, to a house filled to capacity. The scene was the yard of a Negro cabin and each player received loud praise from the audience. Rachel Hill took the part of “Rose Courtvan,” and in order to lift a mortgage from her old homestead she consented to become the bride of Wade Cavan. Following a dispute an agreement was made that the young lady would not have to marry the undesirable one if she won in a horse race, which she lost. Lester Van lifted the mortgage and Rose thought he really loved her. She went to the city to visit her grandmother and overheard Lester say to his companion that he did not love Rose but knew that she would become heir to some property and was marrying her for the money. This incident brought about an interesting climax to the story when Rose returned to her old mountain home and became the bride of her lifelong schoolmate and sweetheart, who really loved her.
The stage setting and the Costumes were very attractive and the following students took part as players: Willard Metcalf, Edwin Hughes, James Goode, Solon Smart, Rachel Hill, Melba McCurry, Mabel Ferree, Maverean Lemmons, Bertie Bridges and Erma Moore.
At eleven o’clock Sunday morning the Rev. a. T. Stoudenmire, of Avondale, preached the baccalaureate sermon to the senior class of Cliffside High School. After the congregation had assembled in the Baptist Church twenty-two members of the graduating class, wearing caps and gowns with white collars, marched down the aisles and took the places reserved for them before the platform. They were led by two charming little mascots; Elizabeth Greene and R. G. Burrus. On the platform were the Rev. Mr. Stoudenmire and B. F. Caldwell, Superintendent of Cliffside and Avondale Schools. The fine choir and congregation sang the sacred song, “When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder,” with R. K. Roach accompanying them on the pipe organ.
The Rev. Mr. Stoudenmire was gracefully introduced by Mr. Caldwell. Taking his text from the book of Esther, chapter fourteen, verse four; “If thou altogether fail us, God shall bring deliverance from another source but think not that thou see it.” The speaker visualized the King’s Court and explained how Esther was brought from the Jewish people into the kingdom and was made queen. In all the grandeur or the court she did not forget her people outside the gates of the palace, a people despised because they were brought into Babylon captives.
He told of the hatred in Haman’s heart for the people and how he signed a decree under the law of the Medes and Persians to have all of the Jewish people killed. It was then Queen Esther’s task to intercede with the King for her people and her sincerity in the undertaking was stressed.
The Rev. Mr. Stoudenmire explained life is three portions: Life as a vision: life as a venture and life as a vindication, and throughout the message the speaker referred to the Bible story as an illustration.
Life a Vision
“Life is a vision,” he said in addressing the graduates. “Vision means more than anything else. It is a vision that makes the world great. Michael Angelo had a vision and dreamed a great dream: then painted his soul upon the canvas and gave to the world a piece of art that has stirred countless millions of souls and has helped mould characters for good. The poet had a vision and put it into words of such sweet sentiment that turns lives to noblemen and fineness. The musician dreams dreams then creates a melody, which teaches souls of those less fortunate than he.
In the courts of Babylon there was prosperity but outside the walls was a group of people doomed to die. When you are prospering, happy and well, do not be selfish; do not fail to look around you for those outside your courts less fortunate than you. Look upon life as a vision because as you visualize so will your life be. No man rises higher than the ideal that he makes for himself.
Life as a Venture
“Life is a Venture.” You girls and boys have something to invent in life: something more valuable than all the rubies and pearls in the world. The investment is a life. Throw your whole souls into your ideal of life. Make a success in your undertakings or wear a crown of the martyr.”
In describing life as a vindication, the preacher told a story of a great architect, who died when his life’s dream was only half completed in the construction of a great building. His daughter was the only living person who knew the plans for completing the structure, and she took up the work of finishing the job with all of her soul and mind. When the building was completed and the testers came with great weights; applying first one hundred tons; hundreds of tons more and more; as the girl stood with gripping heart waiting to see if the building stood the great test, her nerves gave way, and frantically she cried, “Put on the weight, put on the weight., it is my father’s skill and it will certainly stand any test.” And so the building stood through ages.
Following the sermon, as a trio: Grace Cantress, Josephene Williams and Lindsey Hicks sang “Whispering Hope,” and the congregation then sang “The Son of Man Goes Forth to War.” The Superintendent, Mr. Caldwell, offered the benediction.
The Cliffside Senior Class Day exercises given in the auditorium on Monday evening at eight o’clock, was a most unusual and delightful entertainment, an proved that much skill or originality was used by the director. The stage scene was very attractive, representing a springtime garden, with rustic seats, a flower covered arcade, the background of which was an improvised old-fashion stonewall, a hedge of hollyhocks peeping over the top of the wall.
When the curtain was drawn, six tiny fairies, dressed in white tulle costumes, which glittered with dangling crystal ornaments, danced and played among the flowers. The fairies were Sara Allhands, Nell Jackson, Jennie Lemmons, Jenois Proctor, Mary Lee Robinson, and Pauline Carpenter. Agnes Hawkins, as a nymph, dressed in a rose fairy costume, gave a drill and dance. A large magic box was found in the center of the garden; upon the top of which was perched a tiny elf, which crawled down and opened the big box, and out jumped Willard Metcalf, the magician of the senior class.
Ten Years Later
The leader of the little fairies waved her silver wand over the box, and the magician opened the top and out came the two little mascots of the class, Elizabeth Greene and R. G. Burrus, daintily dressed in white; the magic wand was then waved and from the box came Zon Robinson, a representative of the senior class ten years from now. He was a Judge and as the box was opened he was making an elegant appeal to the entire courts; Oras Biggerstaff then came carrying his twin sons, as he settled down to a domestic career. Nell Davis was called and from the magic box she came, dressed in a charming satin bridal attire; Mabel Ferree appeared as an actress; Maverean Lemmons was a Hawaiian musician; Solon Smart was groomed in a Chief of Police suit; James Goode was a bull fighter in Spain; Paul Bridges a Captain at sea; Melba McCurry was a snake charmer in a big circus; Rachel Hill a society leader from New York City; Charles Frye was a football fan; Edwin Hughes a noted surgeon, with his assistant, Katherine Hawkins, as head nurse. Bertie Bridges wore convict stripes and Chivous Luckadoo was a cow doctor, and was grumbling that his cow would die if the class kept him long; Pauline Jolley was a British pilot, and Gladys Jolley possessed magic power and had devoted her future to fortune telling. Lindsay Hicks was a Japanese singer in Paris; Hattie Lee Goforth was an Aviator; Thelma Whitaker an old maid school marm, and Erma Moore a Spanish dancer.
The group assembled around the garden and sang a parody, “We Ain’t Gonna Study No More,” to the tune of “It Ain’t Gonna Rain No More.” James Goode kept the audience in roars of laughter as in a clear, distinct voice he described and presented his gifts to the class. Among the presents were old shoes, a step ladder, to be used to reach high notes in singing; a book, “Fifty Ways to Get a Wife and How to Keep Her”; a rolling pin, a tiny lantern for the fellow who stays out late at night; a very personal thing, one member’s tooth brush; a diary; a bottle of catsup (catch-up) for the fellow who dragged behind with his studies; a bottle of reducing medicine for one member to rub on his feet that he might enter college in a pair of shoes size thirteen.
The Class History was presented in a very unique manner; the little fairies came in and told the magician that a large box addressed to the class of ’29 had come by airmail and it rattled and shuffled inside as though it contained something alive. The little ones tugged and pulled into the center of the stage an enormous box and a hole torn big enough for a pretty girl to emerge, dressed in black and white checked costume, wearing a cap with the lettering, “Class of ’26,” and Miss Rachel Hill gave the history of the freshman year when thirty-one members embarked upon the high school voyage. She told of the social functions and reminded her classmates of many pleasures, struggles and difficulties gone through. From the package, Katherine Hawkins came and gave the history of the sophomore year; Mabel Ferree was historian of the junior year, and Mavorean Lemmons gave the record of the senior year.
Reads Class Will
Solon Smart gave the Last Will and Testament and the little elf and fairies brought in a box upon a wheelbarrow from which President Caldwell was presented a little chair with instructions to sit and meditate upon the discipline for the next senior class. Mr. Denton was given a little house as he seemed to have trouble in finding a boarding place close enough in. Miss Thomas received a bottle of pop, and Miss Hefner was presented with a piece of sheet music, as she continued to play the same old march, the class decided to furnish a new one. To Mr. Simmons a “No Parking” sign was given with instructions to place it in front of his house. Miss Nell Moore received a ticket to France and to the Junior Class a big cardboard key presented to the President, as it was the key to the faculty’s heart. An edition of “Who’s Who in Cliffside” went to the sophomore class and to the freshmen was given the erasers, chalk and pencils used by the seniors.
As each name was called from the audience the recipient went to the front and received the numerous gifts and in closing Solon Smart called for the Chairman of the School Board and from the Senior Class he presented with a check for $42.81, with regrets that it was small. But with explanation that it was from the hearts as a token of love and gratitude.
The graduating exercises were held on Tuesday evening, beginning at eight o’clock, when twenty-two graduates received diplomas, thirty grammar school certificates were awarded and a number of honor medals and prizes, all presented by Supt. B. P. Caldwell.
The Rev. R. C. Smith led in prayer and the welcome address was given by Zon Robinson, the president of the class, and Paul Bridges was valedictorian. Solicitor J. Will Pleas, Jr. of Marion, made the principal address, which was both humorous and sincere, and he received many cheers from his listeners, which completely filled the spacious auditorium.
The chorus class gave good musical selections with Miss Heafner at the piano, and Theron Jolley sang “Roses of Heaven,” as a solo. The little mascots, Elizabeth Greene and R. G. Burrus, led the line of graduates as they marched through a beautiful daisy chain on either side of the aisle, held by the sophomores. The graduates’ gowns and caps of gray lent dignity to the occasion.
Gives Oil Painting
Mrs. B. L. Davidson gave a lovely oil painting to the grade highest average attendance for the year. This was won by the seventh grade, with Miss Sarah Workman, Principal of the Elementary School, as teacher. Chivous Luckadoo received thriftiest pupil medal, given by Mrs. R. B. Watkins. Mrs. G. C. Haynes, of Winter Haven, Florida, gave a medal for the highest average in grammar school, which was won by Beth Caldwell, of the fifth A grade. Josephine Williams won the talented in art medal, given by P. C. Hawkins. The best all around girl student medal was won by Catherine Hawkins and Edwin Hughes received the best all around boy student medal; these were given by Mrs. W. H. Haynes and Mr. Broadus Roach.
Some Other Awards
The best declaimers medals went to Gerald Davidson and was given by Maurice Hendrick. The judges in this contest extended honorable mention to Willard Metcalf, and Helen Green received honorable mention in the readers contest. The metal for this was given by Mrs. B. P. Caldwell and was won by Josephene Williams for the recitation of “Ole Mistis.”
The Principal-Superintendent medal, given to the representative student, that is the student who is most perfect in conduct, athletics and studies, was won by Kenneth McMahan.
The medals, awarded by the county for five years perfect attendance, were won by Ethel Lee Hawkins, Dwight Ramsey and Gertrude Ramsey. Sixty-eight certificates were given to students who have been neither absent nor tardy during the year. Catherine Hawkins had a record of having been neither absent nor tardy for the past seven years.
This item was printed in The Sun on May 29, 1929.