Alumni of Fred Douglas/Fred Moore High School had posters representing their class years attached to their cars as the reunion parade left Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center on Saturday morning.
Ray Russell, 64, a member of the class of 1965, had his car decked out in green and white topped with a piñata of a dragon — the school’s mascot.
Russell lived in Decatur but drove to Denton so he could attend the area’s only school educating black students during the segregation era. He spent the first two years of high school in Denton before the Decatur school desegregated and he started going there, he said.
Fred Douglas High School became Fred Moore High School when students moved to a new school building in 1950, said Ruby Cole, 79, of Denton. The school was renamed after a longtime principal.
The school operated until 1969, shortly after Denton High School was desegregated, she said.
The former Fred Moore students gather every two years for a reunion weekend. The theme of this year’s reunion is “Facing the Future in Higher Levels of Education.”
Brenda Franklin Miller, Yvonne Garrett and Eletta Berry Hogg, all from the class of 1967, wore red, white and blue for the parade.
Hogg said they picked patriotic colors because she registers people to vote and wanted to make people aware they could still register. But the three 63-year-olds had a little bit of green and white on the pickup on which they rode in the parade to show school spirit.
They joked and laughed about their time at Fred Moore.
Hogg remembered participating in the marching band even though she didn’t play an instrument. She carried a bass clarinet, she said.
“It looked like I was really making some noise,” she said, laughing.
Miller also was in the marching band but actually played an instrument — the clarinet.
Garrett was on the basketball team.
She likes coming back to see old friends and to keep up with everybody, she said. The classmates said it feels like a family reunion when they get together.
“They just enjoy each other. I enjoy seeing the people come and reminisce,” said Cole, who helps organize the reunions.
Some classmates tell stories she’s forgotten, she said.
Cole said she appreciated the teachers they had at Fred Moore High School.
“We always, always admired our teachers because they demanded the best,” she said.
The weekend kicked off Friday with a fashion show and picnic, as well as a dance. The festivities continued Saturday with the parade and a banquet in the evening, when scholarships were awarded to students.
“Actually, the main purpose for this reunion is to raise money for scholarships,” Cole said.
The activities continue today with a 3 p.m. church service at St. Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church.
“It’s a lot of fun to remember all of this,” Cole said. “We look forward to it every two years.”
RACHEL MEHLHAFF can be reached at 940-566-6889. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.