Every year, during homecoming week, the Hull-Daisetta High School Golden Oldies gather for a special luncheon at the old Hull-Daisetta Junior High gym.
It is a time to reminisce, catch up and reconnect with their old classmates they haven’t seen in a long while over lunch. It is also an opportunity to remember those who passed since last year and time to induct the new members of the organization.
To qualify as a Golden Oldie, you must have graduated from Hull-Daisetta High School at least 50 years prior. This year, on Friday, Oct. 6, the Class of 1973 was inducted into the Golden Oldies.
Coach Marvin Searles, a 1970 graduate who now lives in Cleveland, said he looks forward to the Golden Oldies reunion every year. Searles was one of the first Hull-Daisetta High School students to transfer in from the black-only Carter G. Woodson campus after segregation ended.
Because the community was already so interconnected, integration was seamless. In fact, Searles cannot remember having experienced any negativity from other students or community residents after integration.
“These were people we already knew, so it was easy. We didn’t even realize that it was a big deal,” he said.
During high school, Searles distinguished himself in sports, playing football and basketball, and running track. Searles, a running back for the H-D Bobcats varsity team, said his love of sports was developed during those years, which made him want to pursue a career in teaching and coaching. He went on to teach 18 years in Cleveland, six years in Liberty and 12 years at Aldine-Nimitz. He retired from teaching and coaching in 2012, and now serves the Cleveland community as a trustee on the Cleveland ISD school board.
Searles and his former classmate Dennis Stewart were excited to see their former teacher, Addie Walker, in attendance at the reunion.
“It was great seeing her again,” Searles said.
The oldest alumni attending the reunion were Peck Meier, Class of 1945, and Margaret Winfrey Murphy, Class of 1948. The alumni who traveled the longest distance to attend the reunion were from Nebraska, Colorado and Wisconsin.
As the afternoon continued, cheerleaders, flag corps and the marching band arrived to perform for the Golden Oldies. The sounds of the instruments and the cheers of the young students brought back memories of football games and pep rallies from long ago. The day of festivities will continue Friday evening when the Hull-Daisetta High School Bobcats take on the Sabine Pass Sharks at Bobcat Stadium.
If you go to the game, look for a seasoned group of Hull-Daisetta Bobcat fans cheering from the bleachers. They might very well be part of the Golden Oldies.