Ackerly/Sands exes hold gathering during 2012 homecoming festivities

Hallie (White) Gillispie was elected coming home queen when the Ackerly/Sands exes met for the 2012 reunion during homecoming week. She is shown with her son Kenny Gillispie.The exes convened in the “new” Sands High School auditorium Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012, in Ackerly.Hallie is an ex-student of Ackerly/Sands school, having graduated with the Ackerly class of 1949. She received her crown from Dorothy (Baker) Rogers. Coming home queen of 2009-2012. Dorothy is a graduate of the Ackerly class of 1955. Gibby Ingram, Ackerly class of 1959, was the master of ceremonies. The program began with the invocation, given by Wayne Bristow, class of 1952. Alvin Cates, class of 1956, made an excellent magician as he got loose from chains, rope, handcuffs and came out of a bag with underwear on his head. He also made a rabbit appear in a cage under his top hat. Next, the Sands drama club performed. Sherry Ingram, receptionist at the doctor’s office, helped Caleb Thommason get signed in to see the doctor for a checkup. He was in great shape until he sat beside patients coming in for all sorts of ailments, coughing, sneezing, blowing nose, itching, limping, speech impediment, etc. He took on each ailment himself until he saw a pregnant woman walk in. He then went running and screaming off stage. Great job, drama club. Scott Ragle then led the Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem and the Sands school song. The Ackerly school song was led by Patricia (Iden) Gillispie, class of 1956. Eight military veterans were acknowledged and presented cards of appreciation. They were Derrell Bearden, Derwood Blagrave, Wayne Bristow, Alvin Cates, Kenny Gillispie, AD Reed, Jerry Rogers and John Rudeseal. Certificates were given to the oldest male and female graduates, youngest graduate, graduate traveling most miles, class with most attendance and family with most attending. The president’s report was read by Sissy (Smith) Jones, class of 1961. Coming home queen was elected and a new president was voted in. Michelle Zant was named president for the 2015 Ackerly/Sands homecoming.Wayne Bristow gave the benediction, then all adjourned to the cafeteria for a great meal prepared and served by Tana Howard and the drama club. Patricia (Iden) Gillispie provided beautiful piano music as everyone ate. Alvin and Margaret Cates, both from Ackerly class of 1956 served as co-presidents for the 2012 homecoming. They would like to give a big thank you to all who helped in any way to make this reunion possible. Without Sissy Jones and Zelda Bilbo, high school principal, Chris Gaskins, Monica Staggs and others, it would never have happened. Thanks to all who helped by finding addresses for returned letters. After the closing at the Knott post office, this became almost impossible. By working together as a community, it all came together. Thanks to all who attended. We hope to see you in 2015.