For these Woodrow graduates, reunions happen almost monthly

Jeanne Cody wasn’t that active in high school at Woodrow Wilson. In fact, she says she fit somewhere right in the middle — neither a social butterfly nor a teenage outcast.

But somehow that changed when Cody became one of the leaders of the Woodrow Wilson class of ’54 activities.

In the beginning, Cody says she was spurred by loneliness. Cody and her husband moved away from Dallas when they were married more than 50 years ago, and she says she wrote to many of her high school friends just to stay in touch.

“When we moved back [to Dallas], I continued this, and when a group of us got together about 17 years ago — an informal group of girls — we decided we wanted to do a reunion,” Cody says. “So we had a backyard party and filled my backyard with people.”

The class of ’54 didn’t have an official reunion until their 35th, which was successful despite waiting so long, Cody says. When the 50th reunion came along in 2004, Cody helped stage it at Lakewood Country Club.

“There weren’t that many of us by today’s standards, but still, we have all spread out pretty far,” she says. “We had people from Germany and all over the United States coming in for the reunion.”

It doesn’t hurt reunion attendance, says Delores Colthorp Knight, another event organizer, that the high school opened in 1928, exactly 25 years before the class of ’54 began their senior year.

“So we are able to take advantage when the school has an anniversary, like the 75th when we had our 50th,” Knight says.

The reunions are just one of the class activities. For years, a group of women from the class have made it a tradition to meet for lunch then attend a matinee performance of the annual Woodrow Wilson musical, which they intend to do once again this month.

Lately, a group of about 30 women has met at ST Café the last Saturday of every month for breakfast.

“We never know how many are going to show. It started out that it was just three friends of mine,” Cody says. “Then we decided to include everyone.”

Even husbands and men from the class occasionally show up, she says, pointing out that males aren’t excluded from the gatherings, though generally it’s just “the girls.” The group also celebrates New Year’s Eve together and gets together a few times throughout the year to play what Cody’s late husband always called “dumb games.”

The best events of all, in Cody’s opinion, were the two cruises members took together.

“The first time we went was about 20 years ago, and there were 11 couples that went, and six of the couples had all gone to Woodrow,” she says. “In 2000, five of that same group went to Alaska.”

But for Knight, her favorite memory is the 50th high school reunion.

“We had not been active like some classes who have reunions every five years or 10 years, so all that we did for the 50th was a big deal.”

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