CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Thelma McClanahan has fond memories of her high school days and the Charleston High School graduating class of 1938.
And she has plenty of good stories to tell from all the reunions she has helped to plan since then. In June, she intends to gather those who remain — all in their 90s now — for a 75th anniversary luncheon.
McClanahan has been planning the group's get-togethers since the first one, the 25th in 1963. That gala was held in one of Charleston's hottest venues, the ballroom of the newly remodeled Daniel Boone Hotel.
"Everything was so nice," McClanahan recalled.
It was so successful and fun — drawing graduates from many states — that she agreed to help plan another, and all the reunions after that.
"We had another reunion at the Daniel Boone in 1970 that was right about when everyone was passing another milestone at about age 50," she said. "In 1986, my co-chairman called me and said she wanted to plan another one, and she died right after that."
As the years unfolded, the group continued to meet — holding their parties at the Marriott, the Charleston House Holiday Inn, Embassy Suites, University of Charleston, Berry Hills Country Club and other locations.
"We had our 70th in 2008, and it was going to be the last one," McClanahan said. "Of course, at this age everyone is in their 90s. We had 36 come, about 25 of them were graduates."
She wasn't going to do anymore until someone suggested a reunion at Edgewood Summit, where McClanahan now lives.
"So I thought of having a luncheon here," she said. "But the ones who were going to help me now can't. One has pneumonia; one is moving. This is what happens at this age."
Even so, she intends to host those who can still come to reminisce about their high school days. She has 11 responses so far for the June 1 reunion, including one from Lt. Col. Richard Perkins of Wytheville, Va., a retired U.S. Air Force pilot.