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Boyden High School Class of 1960

55th Class Reunion Weekend


The reunion was held in Salisbury on October 9th and 10th, 2015





Salisbury Post article published Sunday, October 25, 2015


 55th Reunion of Boyden High School Class of 1960


     The 1960 Class of Boyden High School held it 55th class reunion on Friday, October 9 at Crescent Golf Club.  Around 74 people attended.  On Saturday, the class met at the Salisbury Country Club for dinner.  Around 82 people attended.  Class members came to the reunion from many different parts of the country.  Friendships were renewed and the good old times at Boyden were remembered.  Cynthia Rivers Shoaf served as reunion chair and Ott Pinkston as emcee.


     Those on the committee were W. Vic Bost, Ott Pinkston, Jo Poole Ingram, Linda Modlin Duke, Sam and Joan Day Nash, George Shuler, Carolyn Williams Hood, Nash Isenhower, Hayden Simmerson, and Larry Bowyer.


     Those attending from out of town included: Susan Ketchie Critz, Ned and Linda Kelly Cline, Sue Carter Walser, Linn Waller, Ronald and Betty Bassinger, Norman Church, Joel and Pamela Hilliard, Linda Thomas and Jim Shuler, Reid and Barbara Tull, Linda Sloop and Thomas Nunalee, Wayne and Glenda Page, Fred and Carolyn Pinkston, Eddie Kesler, Ralph and Jerry Chambers Dearborn, Michael and Marian Montgomery, Kent and Gloria Goodman, Walter and Dottie Coleman, Shirley Sheetz Roberts, Bill Moser, Donald and Roberta Kesler, John and Judy Angell, Brenda Williams McClain, Bonnie Myers and Bob Benza & daughter, Cynthia Rivers and Tony Shoaf.


     Those attending from Salisbury included Tom and Ann Thurston, Robert and Sally Gobble Chilcott, Ken and Brenda Chambers, George and Sondra Shuler, Frankie Cooper Kluttz, Loretta Bulla Ennis, Roland Bassinger, Jo Poole Ingram, Sam and Joan Day Nash, Linda Modlin and John Duke, W. Vic and Bunni Bost, Gloria Bearden Schenk, Lee and Mona Wallace, Doug and Marsha Lamb Frick, Ott and Julie Pinkston, Hayden Simmerson, Barbara Bowers Fox, Tommy and Peggy Yarborough, Toby an Janet Lee, Brenda Shaver, Merrimon Gregory and Nash and Valinda Isenhower.





One of the highlights of the 55th reunion was a letter written by our classmate Pam Whisenant Miller. While she was unable to attend the reunion, her letter was read by Hayden Simmerson at the Saturday night event:


       Oh, to have a magic lantern complete with genie, one of my three wishes would be to be with y'all right now.  I miss each and every one of you.


      One everlasting memory of our high school years is that, as a class, we were nice to each other . Inconsequential was whether your family owned half the city or survived on welfare, which church or synagogue, or not, you attended or your ancestral heritage.  Although our schools were segregated by race,  I believe we could and should have integrated with ease and acceptance of our irrelevant skin color.  We respected each other.  Maybe my memory is faulty but I don't think I ever witnessed a circular crowd around two angry people at war; the crowd screaming for blood.  After teaching for 45 years (what was I thinking?), I witnessed these battles becoming more violent and frequent.


        For the most part,  the only people we ever ridiculed were substitute teachers.  Oh, we were noisy and thought ourselves hilarious!  There was one student, however, that we all dissed behind his back, but I'm sure he felt he vibes.  I still carry guilt about the way we snickered at Bill Pence and the consequence that wrought.


      Short time warp here---At the age of 5, across the street from my dad's store, I espied a girl who was just my size.  To my mom I said, "I want to play with that girl."  So began a close friendship that lasted for 68 years with my BFF, Joan Gavron (Price).  She became part of our family, spending weekends, beach trips and family reunions.  Although as adults we were separated by many miles, whenever we talked or visited it was if we had never been apart. 


       Joan's distinctive creativity grew more  amazing with each passing year.  Many of her paintings were sold and I am the grateful recipient of several  as gifts. She shared freely her unique jewelry and yearly hand-painted Christmas cards. During the  two years of her battle with cancer we spoke often of memories.  She coaxed a promise from me that is I could not attend the next reunion that I would write some of those memories for her to read to the class.  No, she can't read them.  but I know she can hear that I kept my promise.  So, here goes. 


        All in all we were pretty straight arrow. None of the girls drank alcohol, to my knowledge, but I can't speak for the boys. We, however, had our moments of adolescence rebellion. 


        Who else remembers the day I got my driver's license?  All the way back from the DMV, my dad reiterated the importance of safety and caution.  I dutifully promised and agreed with every thing he said.  He  allowed me to use the car for a couple of hours, then pick him up from work. I drove away carefully until the door closed behind him, crept around  the corner to pick up Joan.


      Gentlewomen, start your engines!  We raced to Fulton St. Drugstore, burned rubber into the parking lot and opened the doors.  Girls piled in until every square inch was occupied.  We took off for Main St like Batman and gunned it all the way to Spencer.  There were arms, legs and heads sticking out the windows.  With tailgate down and four or five girls swinging from it, we turned around towards Salisbury.  Miraculously no one was hurt and I made it back in time to pick up my dad.


       He looked around, took off his glasses, cleaned them with his handkerchief, looked around again at all the empty soda cups, Moon Pie wrappers and peanut shells.  Then he said, “You've got a lot of cleaning up to do before  your mother sees this!.”   My Dad was so cool!


       Later that night, as I reflected on the day’s events, while what we had done was fun, oh yeah, but not so smart. Decided then to, in the future, drive the way I was taught.  But all the caution in the handbook couldn't prevent the near catastrophe that occurred later.


       About a year later I took that same car , with another jumble of girls squeezed in, to the drive-in movie out on 601.  The flick was  “Thunder Road" (remember, bootleggers, car chases and white lightnin', bad choice).  A steady rain started just as we exited. The car hit a slick spot and began spinning like a top. I knew not to brake. Just as I was trying to steady it, the girl on my left grabbed the wheel to help me.  HELP ME! Now the car was spinning and rocking!  When it came to an abrupt halt, we were at a 45 degree angle (thank you, Ms. Nicholson) in a muddy gully.


     Must insert a little background here.  My boyfriend, Bill Eaton, had given me a charm bracelet with all of his athletic medals  on it.  That sucker was heavy--whoa  I was so proud that I only took it off to clean it daily. Mom said that I was like a cat with a bell around his neck. Everytime I moved my arm, it jingled. As we sat in that car in shock, Joan tapped  me on the shoulder and asked, "Is your bracelet okay?”


       Our guardian angels must have been working overtime because no one was injured, except the car.  It was so totaled.  Maybe the fact that we were packed in so tightly served as seat belts and air bags. Cars did not come equipped with those then.  Anyway, my dad was not so cool,


       98% of the time, okay, 95% - 93%, I was a law-abiding, church going, choir singing, piano playing average girl.  But there was this little imp with horns that popped up on my shoulder when I least expected it and made mischief.  Freshman year in the dentist's office on one of the top floors of the Wallace Building  (now the Plaza), I was waiting with my mom.  Also waiting were Bud Mickle and Joan with their moms.  FYI--I'm not absolutely certain it was Joan, might have been another classmate.  Anyway we three telecommunicated to one another that we were much too old to be sitting with our moms and silently slipped out into the foyer. There was a large window with no screen and a convenient water fountain.    Also, conveniently, Bud had a pocket full of balloons.


      Water bomb heaven. Until, I let one fly just as a policeman was exiting the 1st floor door.  Score! Right on his head.  He looked up as we stood frozen for about 30 seconds before racing back into the waiting room to hide behind our moms' skirts.  Minutes later we heard the elevator.  The "occifer" pointed at the three of us and motioned us outside.  He must have had a soft spot for teenage antics .  After a stern lecture he just made us go down and clean up the debris.


      Remember the red couch in Mr.Nettles’ office?  I had never been a resident there until this incident. Joan was not complicit in, it is all on me. 


     The Yellow Jacket was to come out on April 1st.  Deciding to write an April Fool's  satire for the front page.  It was insanely silly, corny and spared no one, not even me.  I made myself a yellow jacket with a microphone pestering all the students and staff.  Too bad that I can't remember more of it.  I think that I had Norman Church being visited by his relatives, Presbyterian, Catholic, etc.  Ms Gordner was wearing her toga  and greeting everyone with carpe diem.  All of the sets of twins  were engaged in tag team wrestling matches.  There was  one sentence that landed me on the red couch.  It went something like, "an old grey goat munching on briary nettles"


      I had shown it to Ms Gordner for approval and she said in that beautiful squeaky voice," I think we could use a little levity."  Mr. Nettles evidently did not think so.  He was red with rage and indignation and demanded an apology, to which I instantly complied.


      Joan, we all wish that you, Don, Genie, George and all the others were in this room and I believe you all are.  We love you.


     As much as I love living here,  I wish I could see and hear more from any or all of you.  So, if anyone is so inclined, please email to me at:


God Bless all y'all!







Listen to the 50th Reunion Recording

Here's the audio track from the Saturday, October 23, 2010 program. It features memorable performances from eleven classmates, Vick Bost, Norman Church, Eddie Kesler, John Angell, Brock Smith, Kent Goodman, Wayne Page, Fred Pinkston, Brenda Styers Geist, Ott Pinkston, Bonnie Myers Benz, and Gary Edens, who was the emcee.

Click the names to go directly to their remarks

Vick Bost introduces the emcee, Gary Edens

Vick Bost. Stories of the Rocket Club of Boyden

Norman Church. Talks about how he ranked in his class

Eddie Kesler. A special thanks to all the girls of Boyden High School

John Angell. A few things he wished he had done in high school

Brock Smith. A tribute to his father, Eugene Smith, and other teachers at Boyden

Kent Goodman. Our class vice president with greetings from Hayden Simmerson

Wayne Page. Claims he was a slow learner

Fred Pinkston. An inspirational message from Father Fred

Brenda Styers Geist. A gripping personal story from 9/11 in the Pentagon

Ott Pinktson. A story of a fight in which his $250 hairpiece came off his head. If you need more visuals on this, Ott has given us permission to post this YouTube video of his routine

Bonnie Myers Benz. The always interesting Bonnie ends our program (crank up the volume as she wandered away from the microphone and worked the crowd during the middle of her remarks)

To listen to the complete reunion program, click here







Published September 16, 2011

Friday Night Legend: Eddie Kesler

SALISBURY — There’s tough, and then there’s Eddie Kesler.

During a routine physical after his playing days, a doctor surprised Kesler with the question, “When did you break your collarbone? No, wait a minute, you broke it twice.”

“First I’ve heard about it, Doc,” Kesler said, and he wasn’t kidding.

Kesler ignored the pain of broken collarbones at UNC. Hurting was just part of the job description when you’re the lead blocker in a power running game.

The 10 broken noses he received during his career, he was aware of. It wasn’t hard to look in a mirror.

That arm he broke, he also knew about.

Kesler, a 1960 Boyden graduate and Rowan Hall of Famer, was one of the top athletes in local history. He held the career hoops scoring record for Boyden and Salisbury for 32 years before Bobby Jackson broke it. He was a superb baseball player, but football is what he was born for.

He came along at a golden time at Boyden, with Bill Ludwig coaching and George Knox, Bobby Crouch and Eddie Julian — all future college players joining him in the backfield. Kesler played tailback on offense in Ludwig’s single-wing and was essentially a cornerback on defense.

“Coach Ludwig was an icon,” Kesler said. “He was a control-type person, demanded respect — and deserved it. He knew football fundamentals, and he was able to teach them. He had the best eye I’ve ever known for seeing everything that was happening on a football field. He had vision second to none. If a play wasn’t working, he’d analyze it and analyze it until it worked.”

Boyden had won a 3A title for Ludwig in 1955. After dropping off to 6-3 in 1956, the Yellow Jackets began slowly in 1957, Kesler’s sophomore year, tying A.L. Brown and losing at Wilmington, which had Roman Gabriel firing passes, to slip to 1-1-1. Kesler picked off one of Gabriel’s passes.

“Knox was sick early that year and that hurt us,” Kesler said. “Gabriel didn’t dominate, but it was hot and muggy and we didn’t score when we needed to. But we did find out we could play with the Gabriels, and we started to come together.”

The Yellow Jackets didn’t have huge numbers for a 3A school, but they were loaded.

“We had talent, and Coach Ludwig was good at managing it,” Kesler said. “He kept everything in a team situation. We had no stars. Someone different stood out every Friday. Everybody had their night, and that worked well for us.”

Boyden slaughtered Charlotte Central right after the Wilmington setback and started to roll. The Jackets took seven straight to win the Western Conference.

They expected a rematch with Wilmington, but Fayetteville emerged as the Eastern champs and traveled to Salisbury to play for the title. Boyden flattened the visitors 21-0 in adverse weather conditions. Crouch, the lightning-fast wingback, broke two long scoring runs on reverses and rushed for 171 yards. Kesler plowed for 67.

“That game was all about the rain and the cold,” Kesler said. “Both teams had offenses that were kind of 3 yards and a cloud of dust, and that night, it was 3 yards and a cloud of mud. The difference was Crouch on those reverses. Knox took the snap, faked it to me, then gave it to Crouch coming around. On that field, once a defender took a step in the wrong direction, it was over.”

Kesler was All-State in 1958 and 1959 and All-America as a senior when he rushed for 912 yards and passed for 762. He set a school career total offense record of 4,199 yards that lasted until John Knox broke it last fall.

He captained the 1959 North Carolina Shrine Bowl team and played both ways.

He captained the West team in the 1960 East-West All-Star Game and was voted MVP. He played only defense the first half.

“Coach (Red) Wilson said there was a guy from Pisgah that Duke was there to scout, and he wanted him to play tailback the first half,” Kesler said. “Duke offered him a scholarship at halftime, so I played both ways in the second half.”

Kesler had pro baseball offers, but his father insisted that he get an education.

He decided on UNC, mostly because it was the state university, and became part of a deep talent pool that included future NFL stars Ken Willard, a running back, and Chris Hanburger, a center and linebacker.

Kesler was a major component in UNC’s magical 1963 season that culminated with a 35-0 rout of Air Force in the Gator Bowl. He scored a TD in that game.

The 215-pound Kesler and the 220-pound Willard both were essentially fullbacks, but coach Jim Hickey played them together, using as his model the lethal Green Bay Packers combination of Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor. Mostly, the gifted Willard, who also starred for UNC’s baseball team, piled up the yards. Kesler did the blocking.

Kesler was so good at what he did that ACC coaches voted him the The Jacobs Blocking Trophy, symbolic of the league’s best blocker. He was the first back ever to win the award.

Kesler played some on defense for UNC and picked off four passes. He also earned a place in school history in the final game of his career against Duke on Nov. 21, 1964.

“Duke’s defense was very spread out,” Kesler said. “Willard and I lined up as split backs and I carried as much as he did. On that day, we were both running backs.”

The Tar Heels rushed for 315 yards, including an astounding 172 by Kesler, who had 779 for his college career. Willard gained 107, marking the first time the Tar Heels had two 100-yard rushers in the same game. Kesler broke the single-game school rushing record that icon Charlie “Choo-Choo” Justice had owned since 1946.

Kesler’s often-damaged nose led to health issues, but the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted him in the 14th round and liked his future as a blocking fullback.

“But I’d finally gotten my nose fixed, and my doctors said I’d be stupid to play with it,” Kesler said. “I left after one game.”

Kesler’s life didn’t slow down much. There was a 6-0 tour as offensive coordinator for UNC’s freshman team, two years in Viet Nam as Lieutenant Kesler and a long career in the building business.

Kesler returned home last Friday, along with many of his 1957 teammates, and was honored at Ludwig Stadium as a champion.

Needless to say, he still looked tough.

Posted 09-17-2011

Published October 31, 2010

Boyden Class of 1960

The Boyden High School Class of 1960 celebrated its 50th year anniversary with a reunion during the weekend of Oct. 22-23.

On Friday night, class members gathered at the Forest Glen clubhouse for barbecue and Cheerwine; on Saturday morning some members of the class played golf at the Crescent. On Saturday night, a dinner was held at the Country Club of Salisbury.

Tommy Yarbrough of Salisbury gave the blessing and Gary Edens of Paradise Valley, Ariz., was master of ceremonies. Others on the program were Vick Bost and Ott Pinkston, Salisbury; Norman Church, Ormand Beach, Fla.; Ed Kesler, Raleigh; John Angell, Winston-Salem; Brock Smith, Gastonia, Kent Goodman, Johnson City, Tenn.; Wayne Page and Fred Pinkston, Charlotte; Brenda Styers Geist, Southern Pines; and Bonnie Myers Benz, Pensacola, Fla.

Music was provided by Charles Rivers of Charlie’s Music Sounds.

Class members and guests attending from out of town were Michael Montgomery and Marian, McLeansville, Tenn.; Ron Poston and Elaine, Sunset Beach; Harold and Gloria Crook Newman, Madison; Alice Adcox Finch, Eleanor Jarrell Ray and Don, Linda Kelly Cline and Ned, Sally Riddle Marsh and Howdy, Greensboro; Nancy Alexander Mathis, Becky Earnhardt Efird and Woody, Wayne Page and Glenda, Fred Pinkston and Carolyn, Reid Tull and Barbara, Charlotte; John Angell and Judy, Winston-Salem; Karen Butler Saito and Roy,Don Kesler and Roberta, Matthews; Cynthia Rivers Shoaf and Tony, Lexington; Linda Sloop Nunalee and Thomas, Wilmington; Tom Rusher, Boone; Brock Smith, Gastonia; Bill Moser and Joy, Laurinburg; Linda Miller Price and Larry, Hillsborough; Ralph and Jerrie Chambers Dearborn, Liz Donnelly Ziglar and Dick, Ed Kesler, Brenda Williams McLean and Jerry, Raleigh; Sue Carter Walser, Statesville; Linda Thomas Shuler and Jim, Durham; Linn Waller and Jeanette, Peachland; Brenda Styers Geist and Gary, Southern Pines; Rusty Holshouser and Joan, Efland; Bob Mangum and Ann, Huntersville; Joan Gavron Price, Indan Land, SC; NancyLee Owen Martin, N. Charleston, SC; Ron Bassinger and Betty, Birmingham, Ala.; Norman Church, Ormand Beach, Fla.; Gary Edens and Suellen, Paradise Valley, Ariz.; Ron Evans and Connie, Crystal Springs, Miss.; Kay Fink Rabon and Tommy, Shreveport, La.; Kent Goodman and Gloria, Johnson City, Tenn.; Beverly Goodnight O’Hara and Hugh, Falls Church, Va.; Joel Hilliard and Pamela, Corpus Christi, Texas; Bonnie Myers Benz, Pensacola Fla.; John Newell and Bobbie, Kingsport, Tenn.

Attending from Rowan County were Rolland Bassinger and Diane, Gloria Bearden Schenk and Norman,Vick Bost and Bunni, Barbara Bowers Fox, Larry Bowyer and Karen, George Busby, Loretta Bulla Ennis, Ken Chambers and Brenda, Robert and Sally Gobble Chillcott, Frankie Cooper Kluttz and Paul, Alberta Crane Fernandez and Joe, Sam and Joan Day Nash,, Doug and Marsha Lamb Frick, Sylvia Godwin Fisher and James, Nash Isenhower and Valinda, Jim Kearns and Glenda, Tobey Lee, Linda Modlin Duke and John, Ott Pinkston and Julie, Jo Poole Ingram, John Sheehan and Connie,George Shuler and Sondra, Jane Shuping Corriher and Harry,Hayden Simmerson, Carol Stewart Nichols, Peachye Swicegood Kluttz, Tom Thurston and Anne, Lee Wallace and Mona, Carolyn Williams Hood and Perry, and Tommy Yarbrough and Peggy.

Welcome to our updated Boyden High School Class of 1960 website! We think you will find it a great way to reconnect and share with other class members.

Get started now by setting up your account so you can participate. It's easy. Please click "Classmate Profiles" in the menu on the upper left. Find your name in the list and click it. Click the "Join Here" link and follow the instructions to create your password and profile.

This website is free to the members of the Boyden High School Class of 1960. Your information from this website, including your email address, is not made available to anyone except other class members. A few areas of the site can only be viewed by classmates who are logged in.

Our class owns the domain and this website is administered by the reunion committee.




Add Photos to your Classmate Profile

Look Who Came to Our 50th Reunion





In Memory Page Updated with Obituaries for our 32 Deceased Classmates


Special thanks to Bill Moser for doing the research to provide us with this information.

To view the obituaries of our classmates who have passed away, click the yellow In Memory link on the left side of this page. The names of each of our deceased classmates will appear. In order to see the obituaries, click the names.


If you would like to post comments about any of our deceased classmates, perhaps specials memories, there is a spot for your comments just under each classmate's obituary.

Remembering Our 45th Reunion in 2005


To listen to a recording of the 45th Reunion click here

To view photos from the 45th Reunion click here