June 1, 2016 Edition

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Ronnie "Frog" Light (second, from left) of Minturn receives a senior ring and a proclamation making him an honorary graduating member of the Clover Bend High School Class of 1966. With him are classmates (from left): Dave Fowler of Walnut Ridge, Sandra (Moore) Welch of San Tan Valley, Ariz., Roger Goodwin of Fairfield Bay, Helen (Hawk) Headley of Goodlettsville, Tenn., Carolyn (McLaughlin) Morris of Putnam, Ill., and Pat (Turnbull) Westmoreland of Mammoth Spring.
TD Photo ~ John Bland

'Frog' Light recognized
at Clover Bend reunion

Just days before his high school graduation in 1966, Ronnie "Frog" Light got into a little trouble at Clover Bend High School. School Superintendent Francis Cate told Light he would have to be paddled if he wanted to graduate with his class.

Light refused to be paddled and did not go through graduation ceremony with the rest of his classmates.

Fifty years later, his former Clover Bend classmates wanted to make him an honorary graduating member of the class. They honored him during Saturday's program at the Clover Bend Reunion.

Kathee Light said the recognition was a surprise to both her husband and her. Just prior to the recognition, his sister, Sharon Goodwin, persuaded him to put on the cap and gown without him knowing what was about to happen.

Walking down the aisle during the program, Light received a standing ovation from the crowd and a hug from his wife, Kathee.

His classmates chipped in to purchase him a senior ring and he was presented with a proclamation making him an honorary graduating member of the Clover Bend High School Class of 1966.

The proclamation read:

"Whereas, Ronnie (Frog) Light has always presumed membership in the class of 1966 Clover Bend High School.

"Whereas, Ronnie (Frog) Light has always represented the class of 1966 of Clover Bend High School with dignity and honor.

"Whereas, Ronnie (Frog) Light has continued to exhibit commendable community service.

"Whereas, his style of humor and compassion have provided a source of loyalty and dependability to this community.

"Therefore be it resolved and proclaimed that Ronnie (Frog) Light is an honored member in good standing of the Clover Bend High School Class of 1966."

Reunion/homecoming

On Friday night, the reunion kicked off with visiting and a dinner of ham, beans, spaghetti and salad. The crowd of over 100 people was said to be one of the biggest present in a long time. Ronnie "Frog" Light served as auctioneer for an auction held that night.

Saturday's events began with a gathering in the Alice French Memorial Garden, presentation of the colors by Lawrence County Girl Scouts and the ringing of the bell.

Members of the Clover Bend High School Class of 1966 gathered for the dedication of a stone monument that lists members of the class. Sandra Moore Welch made a few comments on behalf of the class.

The program continued in the auditorium with singing led by Kim Nunally. David Doyle read the names of members of the school and community who had died in recent years.

Stan Jones, a member of the Clover Bend Historical Preservation Association, shared comments on the state of the association.

"Viola (Meadows) carried the torch for a long time. What we have here is a result of her efforts."

Jones said it takes money to maintain the Clover Bend buildings. "We're proud of what we've got. ... We would love for ASU or the state to take over and possibly make some kind of agri facility out of it."

"We've got something pretty unique," he said, adding that some other former schools in other counties have not been saved.

David Doyle also paid tribute to Viola Meadows, who died on July 4, after becoming ill not long after last year's reunion. He recognized Meadows' daughter, Mary Pyburn of San Antonio, who was present for the reunion.

Two other special recognitions were made to honor two pioneer families who have been important to the Clover Bend community. Stan Jones gave a tribute to the family of the late Otis and Irene Roberts and their 13 children. Larry Jones gave a tribute to the family of Evelyn and the late Jimmy Whitmire and their four children. (See next week's TD for more details on these tributes.)

Featured speaker for the homecoming and reunion was Roger Goodwin of Fairfield Bay, a member of the CBHS Class of 1966.

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