Memories came back to mind to those who left the city of Sanford and after 50 or more years are just returning to where they got their start to be successful, thriving adults who because of what we were taught at Crooms by Professor and Mrs. J.N. Crooms and the many dedicated educators in the Crooms school system, we are who we are today.
This Grand Reunion brought Crooms Academy’s oldest graduates: Rivers D. McCreary Jr., 1942; Eunice I. Wilson, 1938; Josephine Johnson Mack, 1942; Alfreda Jenkins Wallace, 1938; Eartha Collins Potier, 1942; Earl E. Minot, 1948; Katheryn Joseph Alexander, 1947; Johny Joseph, 1946; Alder Jenkins Craig, 1947; Inez Kendrick Bailey, 1948; Pearlie Singletary McGill, 1949; Bishop Zedekiah Grady, 1949; Rufus Brooks, 1946; Edward Blacksheare, 1943; Glayes Barnes Dixon, 1949; Coley Brown, 1942; Rebecca Thomas Henderson, 1945; Willie Agnes Riggins Knighton, 1948; Roy Jones, 1945; Rudy Henderson, 1949; Elma Jenkins, 1947; James Dickey, 1949; Thelma Baker Thornton, 1949; Margaret Smith Jackson, 1946; Thelma Wilson Mike, 1946; Leona Eudell Johnson, 1944; Martha Smith Jones, 1947; Jesse Lee Kendrick, 1947; Annie Stokes O’Neille, 1945; Eartherlean Petterson Williams, 1946.
We salute these graduates of the 30s and 40s.
The celebration of our loyalty, unity and pride was displayed throughout the four-day event.
Thursday morning: The Magnolia Plantation Golf Club in Lake Mary was the site for classmates and friends to gather for the Crooms Grand Reunion Golf Classic. The “Green Monster” was just that for a few golfers. With true Chamber of Commerce weather, golfers of all abilities from different cities and states teed off with hopes of bringing home the trophy. The winning foursome with a score of ‘64’ was Victor Dargan, David Robinson, Don Brown and Charlie Harris. Receiving the “I Finished” trophy was the team of Evola Frye, Gene Baker and Henry Adkins. MacArthur Sholas received the “Closest to the Pin” trophy (No. 7) and the Longest Drive on No. 14 went to Bobby Harrison. With professional gift bags for all participants and personalized gifts from the golf classic sponsor, The Orlando Times, it was truly a grand event with golfers wanting to know when they could get together again.
Various informative components and seminars were held at the reunion. There were tours of the now Crooms Academy for Information Technology and the mural of the late Professor J.N. and W.R. Crooms, our first principals.
A Whist Tournament was held on Thursday and Friday and winners were: First place, Alder Jenkins Craig and Hortense Evans; second place, Margaret and Jessie Dowdell.
Reunion attendees were shown the “Documentary of Goldsboro: An American Story.” There was also an historical tour of “Sanford Our of the Dust” by Tajiri Arts School of Performing Arts and Academics.
On Friday afternoon, the former athletes gathered to greet old friends and teammates. Coach Richard Evans presented the award-winning baseball team and the football, basketball teams of ladies and men were honored for their contribution to their school teams while attending Crooms Academy.
All were awarded certificates of appreciation and letters to the champion team.
An alumni fish fry was held and then they were treated to a basketball game between Crooms and Orlando Christian Academy. Sorry, Crooms lost.
On Saturday morning, the classes from 1932 to 1970 formed a parade to show off their school colors of orange and maroon, showcasing their football, basketball, homecoming queens and classes, cheerleaders as they paraded down 13th Street to the Crooms campus.
Part two of the Crooms Grand Reunion will appear in the next Herald edition.