Looking Back Over 50 Years

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Recently the Coushatta High Class of ’67 held their 50th reunion. The story is from Ardis Almond.

The Coushatta High School Class of 1967 celebrated its 50th Reunion on April 28th and 29th, 2017 at the Grand Bayou Resort Event Center. Out of a graduating class of 57, 45 survive, and 31 attended the reunion. Two former teachers, Mrs. Joy Gaddis and Mr. Archie Worsham also attended. One mother, Mrs. Doris Driever blessed the group with her presence. Two former classmates, Tucky Jones and Allen Posey, that did not graduate with us, but were with us for a long time also attended.

The reunion was catered both nights by the York Chop with Shrimp and Fish on Friday and BBQ on Saturday. Entertainment included era music played in the background, a history room with old pictures of the town and parish, a memento table, classmate videos and stills running continuously, skits of past school events put on by classmates, and heartfelt talks about the “good old days” by attendees.

On Saturday morning, we had a special event that might have been the first of this size in Red River Parish,a history tour of the town. It was guided by local historian, Joe Taylor, and our classmate, Jimmy Marston. The first stop was the Springville Cemetery, where we saw graves of classmates, old families, and Union and Confederate veterans, including CSA General Gray (the only Confederate general buried in North Louisiana). We also learned about the village of Springville that predated Coushatta.

We then toured the old Coushatta High School (now Red River High). We were immersed in memories and some of our basketball stars could still “shoot the lights out” in the old gym.
For the next stop, we took the only elevator in Red River Parish to the top floor of the Courthouse. From there, we climbed up the winding stairs (that was a trick at our age), to the hanging tower. Some felt drawn to actually stick their neck in the noose. Yep, it is all still there!

Next was a “windshield” visit to the grade school and a stop at the new RRP Library. There we visited the History Room, exhibits, and old pictures of the parish. After this, we continued to Main Street and shared memories of our “Mayberry” days.

Lunch was provided by Bailey’s Burgers. It fit right in with our historical theme, since it existed before any of us. We ended up the trip in what is Old Town, by the river. Joe told us about the original settlement that mostly burned or fell in the caving river.Jimmy recounted his extensive knowledge of reconstruction and the birth of Red River Parish.

Thanks goes out to Joe Taylor for his guidance and knowledge, Superintendent Allison Hughes for arranging the visit to the high school, Jury member Tray Murray for access to the courthouse, and Mayor Cox for providing pictures from his office.

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