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 Texas : Features : Columns : Spunky Flat and Beyond :
Spunky Flat and Beyond - A Memoir


THE GRADUATE
by George Lester
George Lester
I remember that balmy evening in May. I sat nervously waiting for the principal to call my name, signaling my turn to step up to receive my Union Grove High School diploma. Sitting next to me was my brother, Sam, also waiting his turn. Around the state thousands of others were experiencing the same thing - young, eager teenagers embarking on a journey into the future. But with Sam and me it was different. We were both in our seventies.

Governor Perry, with the help of others, provided the means for those who had interrupted their education to enter the service in World War II, to receive their belated diplomas. Here we were, almost 60 years later, finally becoming high school graduates.

Earlier that day, along with several other alumni, Sam and I had spent a wonderful afternoon at the home of a fellow graduate of Union Grove where we were honored with a little party prior to the graduation ceremony. We were a bit embarrassed by the attention because the other guests had also been in the war, some having records that far surpassed ours. The difference? We were the only ones receiving diplomas that night. The fellowship and the conversation flowed as we sat around and swapped stories from over a half-century before.
The boxer, Class of 1944
"Between Sam and me is J. L. Aldridge, one of the nicest, gentlest, persons you'd ever want to meet.....until he got into a boxing ring." - George Lester

Photo courtesy George Lester
George Lester

5-6-2004
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