Class of 1959

We, the Class of 1959, celebrated our 50th class reunion on April 24 and 25, 2009. This blog is about sharing memories of our class reunions and a long ago life at our Alma Mater's, S.F.X.A. and S.A.H.S. Good memories of days gone by but not forgotten! A gift to my classmates. ~Marian Love Phillips ~







Friday, March 28, 2008

SAHS Class of 1959~Paul

~Paul Hyland Booth~
Upon graduation, I attended Hinds Community College (back then it was Hinds Junior College) for one semester. (There were several from our class at St. Al that had gone to Hinds - Larry Miller, Jackie Mackey, Ivan Cunningham, there may be others that I don't remember), After a little soul searching and discussion with a couple of the Brothers at St. Al, I decided to enter the Brothers of the Sacred Heart and went to their Scholasticate as a Postulate in Mobile, Alabama. Upon finishing this phase, I completed a year of Novitiate at Metuchen, NJ, (I witnessed the Northern Lights and a 3 foot snowfall - both memorable events for this born southerner) whereupon I returned to Mobile for another year at the Scholasticate continuing my spiritual formation as well as attending classes at Spring Hill College. At the end of this year I left the Brothers; I was part, I suppose, of the general exodus that began in the early sixties which affected many religious orders. I had been hungry but at that time didn't know where my mouth was. I returned to Vicksburg.

I worked for a year of so and stayed at a boarding house(my folks had moved to Magee). I think boarding houses have, unfortunately, gone the way of the horse and buggy but I hate to see this bit of Americana disappear. It was, for me, an interesting encounter with a lot different personalities in a fairly close setting.). I then enrolled at the University of Southern Mississippi where I graduated in May,1966 with a B.S. in Mathematics. It was here that I met the love of my life, Peggy Davis who grew up near Newton MS. We were married in October of 1966. I had gone to work with IBM and was scheduled for training in Rochester Minnesota. (In the middle of winter, no less. If you haven't spent a winter in Minnesota, you haven't really spent a winter). We lived our first three months together there and then went directly to Endicott, NY for another month. It was for us a wonderful time where we made some treasured initial deposits into our bank of memories. Last fall we celebrated our 42nd anniversary and over that time we have amply filled that bank. We finally made it back to MS where I worked out of the Jackson office. This was the time when computers were just in their nascent ascent for the business community; IBM had excellent hardware - their software was a work in progress. I was in software support and for a neophyte as I, it was a challenging and cram packed learning experience. The great majority of my professional life was to remain in Information Processing though I did have a four year hiatus working in the actuarial field.

My oldest daughter, Karen, was born in 1970 followed in 1977 by our second daughter, Marie. Both are married and live in Madison county here in Mississippi not far from Peggy and I. I have two grandsons, Andrew and Joshua, and three step grandsons (Zachary, Jacob and Nicholas). I have been blessed to have my children nearby and to see and spend time with my grandsons frequently. As some of you may remember, I come from a large family, having nine(9) siblings. We continue to be a close-knit extended family; for over 25 years we have come together yearly for a 3-day family reunion now encompassing four(4) generations. This too has been a great blessing, a testimony to values instilled in us by our mom and dad.

I am currently retired but remain active. I love to cook and am doing some renovations to our home which will keep me busy for sometime. I have in the past been involved in Cursillo and since 1998 have actively participated in Kairos, an ecumenical, lay led, international prison ministry. My wife Peggy has her hands full keeping our newest seven month old grandson, Joshua, during the day.

REFLECTIONS:

My best liked teacher would be Brother Cecil, however my most enjoyable class was Latin. Though Brother Matthew was at times intimidating and volatile, I nevertheless (especially our sophomore year) enjoyed translating some of the old mythology classics. I still fondly remember some of the escapades of Jason and the Argonauts. Going a little afield, one (1) college professor, a Jesuit, at Spring Hill stands out in my mind. I took American Literature from him and he had that gift of opening up the world of literature for me. At the time I was too left brained to take full advantage of it but the fruit lay latent in me and was to kick in later in my life. Unfortunately I have forgotten his name but I remember him fondly. The old coal stove in our 1st grade classroom and learning to tie my shoelaces after class waiting for my brother to get out. The hours of penmanship practice(the Palmer method?) making circles over and over. Trying to match horses to their stalls. Rushing through lunch to tag up at the handball courts first. Trying to fill an ink pen without getting ink on the desk (an impossibility for our group, I think) -- where were ball points when we needed them. Was it Brother Neal in the fifth or sixth grade that would do inspections and rap offenders on the hand with a ruler several times depending on the severity of the mess - that was white knuckle time for sure. The imperial presence of Brother Mark at assembly time. The 3 o'clock bell on Friday afternoons. Fresh mow grass on the football field -- often when I smell mow grass, I am reminded of football practice. Having my bell rung during football practice being blindsided by Eddie Habert. Walking up all the way to the 3rd floor to practice confessions - trying to examine a young and resistant conscience. Breakfast and being excused from religion class when attending morning Mass. Making the trek, en mass, from school to Church on Fridays during lent for Stations of the Cross. The tornado and going to church at SFXA for a while. Brothers Cecil and Matthew letting erasers fly. The severity of the silence when Brother Matthew got his dander up. Hamburgers for lunch.

Well, the list could go on and on. I look forward to our reunion. I'm sure our reminiscing will evoke memories lying dormant within us. Many I have not seen since graduation. I did have lunch with Larry Miller a couple of months ago. He now lives in St. Louis and was passing through the Jackson area. I met with him and his wife Karen. I had not seen him since that time at Hinds and if our short meeting is any indication of what our reunion will hold for us, I trust we will all have an enjoyable time.

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