It has been 50 years since 160 students in the Class of 1971 walked across the stage on the football field at Lord Botetourt High School on a sultry June evening, participating in their commencement ceremonies at Lord Botetourt High School. This past weekend many of them reconnected, shared memories of their days in school together as well as caught up on what has happened since their lives changed after graduating in 1971.
Classmates came from several states to join together on September 10-11 to remember their days at Lord Botetourt, sharing stories of classes, games, and activities. They came to recall their stories of life after high school, to share their past with their spouses, and to reminisce about “the good old days.” They also thought and conversed about other classmates who the committee, despite their best efforts, didn’t locate, had other obligations, or had passed away.
Friday evening they held a social at the Botetourt Golf & Swim Club. The view brought back memories of how beautiful the mountains were as they were growing up. Over 60 classmates, spouses and friends gathered for a fun evening of stories, food, and laughter.
As classmates reconnected with people from their past, they recollected some of the greatest changes of their lives: learning to drive, their first paying job, dating, readying for college, and the process of growing from children into adults. Three of their teachers attended the social, and Milla Ilevia, a classmate who has been performing in New York City for many years, entertained those present with song.
On Saturday they gathered together with the Class of 1970 at the Natural Bridge Hotel for another evening of laughter, stories, dinner and dancing. These were the last two classes to go through the school system in Botetourt when high school was for five years, prior to establishing a middle school.
Classmates looked through their old yearbooks and reminisced about shared experiences as students at LBHS. There were photos, anecdotes, and laughs. Most importantly – old friends became new friends again as they relived experiences from many years ago.