On April 21, many memories were made! So many former U.S. Rubber employees, their family members or residents of the Mill Village gathered to celebrate their heritage of being raised on the “Village.” Folks came from Tennessee, Florida, Georgia and as far away as Texas! The estimated attendance was 600 to 700 people. They began coming in the Old Armory around 2 p.m. and continued all afternoon and evening until the reunion closed at midnight.
The first two hours of the reunion were just a time to “meet and greet” each other because some people had not seen each other for years. It was a wonderful time of remembering old friendships, reminiscing about the past experiences on the Village and enjoying the many displays that were present. The Reunion Committee did a fantastic job decorating the Armory with many replicas of days past. Those attending were in no hurry to leave….they just made their way around to see just who was there. Friends were hugging each other, introducing their guests, laughing about old times or just sitting and spending time together! It was a relaxing time just like life on the Village use to be. Don’t think that some of us were glad to see name tags, because there were those we did not recognize! The reunion reminded you of an old timey family reunion with lots of conversation, food and laughter.
The Goode Law Firm was the presenting sponsor for the reunion. Kenny Goode and his nephew Jonathan Goode said they were proud to offer sponsorship for this wonderful event.
Former Judge Kenny Goode said, “I am so impressed that this many people attended this reunion and what a great time we all are having! I am proud to have been raised on the Mill Village and to be a sponsor for this reunion.”
The Reunion Committee presented the Goode Law Firm with a plaque in appreciation of their support.
The reunion attendees enjoyed karaoke and there were some excellent singers. The DJ, Skip Mallios, delivered some great music for the group to dance to and many just enjoyed sitting and listening to the music. Dark Corners was the band that performed from 8 p.m. - midnight and they were rocking! A group of ladies dressed out in poodle skirts danced for the crowd just before the band came on stage. They looked like the girls from the 1950s and had a great time entertaining everyone!
A special award was made to the oldest living mill employee there; this was Ms. Willie Mae Hinson and she was 90 years old. Ms. Emily Rabon, who was the lunchroom supervisor for many years at Everett School, was presented a birthday cake from the Committee. Chesley and Pearl Enloe were presented a gift for their 60th wedding anniversary, which was the day of the reunion; they came from Tennessee to attend.
Honorable mention went to Jimmy and Cherie Burroughs for providing a tent and chairs; Marvin Miller for the printing; Traeger Mechling (“Graphitti”) for printing the reunion shirts; Steven Byrd for his painting of Everett School; and Petal Pushers Florist in Winnsboro. Also, Jimmy and Helen Walters and Mike and Sharon Hollis were recognized for their help. Don and Judy Bonds were thanked with a plaque for donating some suncatchers of Everett School to the Committee to sell; this was the first money received toward the reunion funds.
Gail Floyd, Reunion Committee Chairperson, presented the Committee with plaques in appreciation of their hard work preparing for the reunion. Mary Lynn Kinley did some remembrances from life on the Mill Village and made comments on Everett School, which was the one thing that touched everyone who lived on the Village and pulled everyone together.
The Imperial Transportation Service out of Columbia was there to provide shuttle service from the Food Lion Parking lot to the Old Armory. This proved to be a good thing! It eased the parking around the Armory and made it easy for the guests to go back and forth during the day.
Carmen and Dwayne Floyd were the photographers for the day. Mrs. Mirian Stevenson Breckenridge was at the Reunion; she was crowned Miss Universe in the mid 1950s. Everyone enjoyed seeing and talking with her. Sam and Patsy Edenfield did a great job setting up a classic car show for the reunion crowd. There were some interesting cars there and some good looking cars that were very popular in their day.
April 21 was a memorable day for all who attended the reunion! Old acquaintances were rekindled, memories were relished and new remembrances were made! One thing that came out of the reunion was that everyone wanted to have another one! It was a wonderful day and one that will be talked about for years to come….it was well worth all the planning!