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The Continental Hotel in the News

Posted on 01 July 2010 by lem

Linda Banger, Unionville (MO) High School Class of 1963 had such a great time that she wrote an article for her town’s newspaper.

The Continental Hotel in Centerville was the site of an “off-year” reunion of the Unionville High School Class of 1963, Sat., June 19.

Those attending the first “biennial” class reunion included Floyd and Janice Fowler, Centerville; Don Scalf, Dallas, Ga., Jack and Shirley Riggs, Independence, Mo., Tony and Rose Knight, Numa, Ia., David and Vivian Clark, Centerville, Roger Dye, Denver, Colo., Melba (Pickering) Adkins, Lake Ozark, Mo., Jerry and Mary Ann Johnson, Blue Springs, Mo., Virginia (Swiger) Skipper, Kingwood, Texas, Jack and Marilyn Guffey, Powersville, Mo., Bob and Linda (Pickett) Banger, Burfordville, Mo. Bethany Banger, St. Louis, Mo., Linda (Freeborn) and Gary Crouse, Jeri and Lynn McKinley, Kathy (Stewart) Robison, Gary and Deloris Jarman, and Jack and Phyllis Pickering, all of Unionville.

Two couples, Jack and Shirley Riggs, and Jack and Phyllis Pickering, were also celebrating their 50th wedding anniversaries.

A buffet of varieties of great appetizers was served at 6 p.m. following the social hour. Entertainment for the evening included each class member being given an 8×10 black and white photo of the May 1959 Eighth Grade Graduation of the rural students of Putnam County. “Your job tonight is to help ID the kids in this picture taken on the west side of the courthouse,” Linda Banger announced to the group as she passed out the photos.

There followed a flurry of table-hopping, consulting a yearbook, heads put together in concentration and memories being tapped of mud roads, the bookmobile, softball games, favorite teachers, hairstyles, dress styles, the anxiety of taking the eighth grade examination, the thrill of holding a brand new piece of chalk and the sound it made on the blackboard, the pictures hanging over blackboards in many rural schools, the smell of sweeping compound…..Many memories and comments were voiced – laughter, friendly arguments, squeals of recognition, and some quiet moments as memories wandered back 51 years. Schools having problems with budgets in 2010? They might take a look and a lesson to the tools of teaching in one room country schools and the citizens those small schools turned out.

Nearly all of the eighth grade graduating class of 1959 and some of the teachers were identified. Thank you to Mitzi Clinkenbeard Knight for sharing the graduation photo which was recopied and given out. Incidentally, Mitzi was the valedictorian in 1959.

The next reunion of the Unionville High School Class of 1963 will see them celebrating 50 years and is planned for 2013.

Photos of the class reunion will be posted on the website of The Continental Hotel. The website is www.thecontinental.info/. Links to The Continental’s Twitter and Facebook pages may also be found on the website.


On Friday night before the dinner at the Continental, Gene and Shirley Crawford hosted a “luau” at their home for Shirley’s high school classmates and other friends. Hawaiian music, tropical decorations, and leis and other party favors were featured.

It was a hot, sultry evening with threatening skies, but there was plenty of food, music, karaoke, laughter and catching up, all hallmarks of the Crawford’s hospitality.

Thank you to Shirley and Gene for their hard work in preparing for the group, and for the food, fun, laughter and memories they provide.