STELLA — JC Linton of Southwest City made it to the Stella All School Reunion on Sunday afternoon at the Triway School cafeteria.
Linton is a graduate of the class of 1963.
"This is the first time back in 30 years," he said. "I came back for my 20th school reunion."
The annual event – held on the Sunday before Labor Day – includes everyone who ever attended the Stella School District. Also each year, the class who is celebrating their 50th reunion is recognized. This year, that class was the class of 1963, of which Linton was one of 19 graduates.
He attended Stella schools starting from the first grade, but for about three or four years, he was gone and returned to Stella and attended from the seventh grade all of the way up to high school graduation.
"I remember the school house burnt (in 1959)," he said. "The school was here (where Triway currently sits). We had our eighth grade graduation at the (Stella) Methodist Church."
He also remembered how the town looked, businesses that were there and have since gone.
"One thing that has changed is the creek (Indian Creek) down here, there is no water down there anymore," said Linton. "It is pretty well dried up, the town is dried up. Cardwell Hospital is gone. There was a store down there — we use to go down there at noon — called Eagles Store. When we got to be teenagers, we would go down there and buy cigarettes for 12 to 16 cents a pack.
There was a service station down on the corner, it is not there anymore."
Asked if he had a favorite class or teacher, Linton said his favorite class was recess.
"I had several teachers, good teachers through the years," he said. "One that sticks in my mind real strong was Bob Wilson. The first five years that I had him, I hated him. And from then on, he was a good old boy. He was our sponsor all of the way through the years and taught history and physical education. There was an older lady, she used to teach grade school, named Mrs. Henton. She taught for 40 years or better."
Those attending the reunion were asked to bring old photographs, yearbooks and other memorabilia for the people to look over.
Linton looked over his graduating class photograph.
"Four of the 19 classmates are deceased," he added.
Asked who his best friend was in school, he pointed to Kenny Martin's picture.
"We would fish and hunt," Linton said. "I don't know where Kenny is now."
Overall, Linton was glad to attend the reunion.
"I wanted to see them," he said.
Next year, during the Stella reunion, the 50th class will be the class of 1964, the last graduating class at Stella. After that, Stella joined with Fairview and Midway (near Stark City and Newtonia) to form Triway School District. Triway joined with Granby to form East Newton School District in 1967.
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