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Official Site for the Manatee High Class of  1967  Poems Presentation -- For the 50-year Reunion being celebrated in Bradenton, Florida the weekend of October 13-14, 2017 . . .

We now present the Class of  '67 -- 50-year Reunion Poem .  And because the 50th year represents such an important milestone, we are also presenting the Class of  '67 reunion poems from the 20-year, 30-year  and 40-year  reunions.   Enjoy...


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Anthem poem title banner

Beam me down, Scottie
To a special place and time
When telephones were in a booth
And carried on a party-line;
Where pointed shoes were deemed uncouth
And surfboard babes were 'mighty fine';
Where Friday nights and football games,
As party plans, were first in line.

Give us now a fleeting glance
Back in time, where we began;
Round-trip tickets, one and all
To track our footprints in the sand.

So we return, from time to time
To lay a wreath around our youth;
And praise our rev'rence with our rhymes
That strain to speak an ageless truth.

HERE & NOW --- for all time true
It's where the rubber meets the road;
We thank the past for all that's new
For lessons learned - for seeds it sowed.

The groups - the clicks - the friendship threads
Coordinates of time and place;
Pinpoint scenes that mapped our heads
And filled the hallow'd halls with grace.

We celebrate those wondrous days
The times we thought would never end;
Cherishing our carefree ways
Chasing what's around the bend.

So hoist a toast, with due respect
For 67's Fiftieth Year;
Let all our mem'ries resurrect
Those precious moments near and dear.

So tilt the pinball one more time
Pop the cork and fill my glass
Ride this last reunion rhyme
Through sacred moments from our past.

To the Manatee High Class of 1967
-- Have a Great 50-year Reunion Celebration --
Gary Ketcham
Gbruce Email

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Anthem poem title banner

We focus now on the 40th year
Since MHS did rule our lives
Since Senior Picnic ... "Where's the beer?"
Since `Snap Exam?' ... "I've got the hives."

Preppie then and aimed to please
Letter sweaters down the halls
Class ring tokens ... such a tease
Going steady ... late night calls.

It's all right here, inside The Book
The stories told at times like these
We chance to take another look
Surprise accounts held up our sleeves.

Surfing, football, High School Queen
Friday nights we're in the stands
`Punch the ticket' lunchroom scene
Pack the aud to hear the bands.

Oxfords, stay-press, madras bleeds
Ask her out ... "You think I should?"
Rehearse the lines his caution pleads
And what's the chance she really would?

Insecure and naive too
For some who passed the pillars tall
On the front steps crowds that grew
Before the early Home Room call
At the portal where we drew
From lasting friendships, one and all.

Part of growing, knowing Now
What drove our fears did not exist
That self-protective sacred vows
Would not eternally persist
What humbled us to rev'rent bows
Would `Frog to Prince' take bloom when kissed.

We saw it then, and see it Now
Two different scenes, yet still the same
Threads that tie the Past somehow
To etch the Whole within one frame
Then & Now a single Tao
Remem'brances a single claim.

Past to Present, spool unwinds
Brought us here for one Embrace
In the present Wisdom finds
Our forgotten baby face
Our beloved growing time
The innocense that gives it Grace.

Embrace the Past that brings us here
It's why reunions call our names
Share the light that now shines clear
Less the fears that wove our chains
From the innocence so dear
Which our present Life reclaims.

Happy 40th Reunion
Gary Ketcham
Gbruce Email

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30 year reunion poem banner

We are the ghosts of MHS
Returned to the scene that our mem'ries bless
Haunting the halls with a 'full court press'
Courting the Queen, in Her full gown dress
We are the ghosts of MHS.

We are the gleam in our mother's eyes
This is the site of the phoenix's rise
Out of the ash, where our hist'ry lies
Into the night of a thousand why's
Into the light of the southern skies.

We are the heart of a sacred year
We have come back with a purpose clear
We have returned, so to lend an ear
To our long lost friends, from a time held dear
From a time gone by, when we knew no fear.

We are the light from a thousand flames
We are the face, with a thousand names
We've hit the beach, of a thousand grains
With our recall stored in a thousand frames
Near the memories' shore, and the long-necked cranes.

Yes, we are the ghosts in the thirtieth year
We'll ratchet the show to a higher tier
We'll share in the past, what in time, draws near
We'll token a ride, where the mem'ries steer
And we'll relish a time, that may have no peer.

So, let's pop the clutch and assume high gear
For time has decreed that we all BE Here.

Happy 30th Reunion
Gary Ketcham
Gbruce Email

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Manatee Yearbook banner

20 year reunion banner

MHS reunion chant banner

The bell has rung
Get in your seats
The '67 class now meets.

Sound the roll-call
One-by-one, and
Belch the names of
Our "Fav'rite Sons"

They came by
Land, by air, by sea
To haunt that place
Called Manatee.

Many years have
Worked the clay, and
Too, mistakes along the way,
And we'll confess,
In part, convey ...
Our heart-felt thanks
For yesterday.

                    So keep the faith, and
                    Save a tree
                    Spread the light
                    Oh Manatee.

                    Heal the sick, and
                    Spare the seals
                    Twenty years can't
                    Bruise our heels.

Hoist a toast
To 'Auld Lang Syne,'
Forget the fact
You're thirty-nine.

Share the mem'ries
Pictures too
Good God a'mighty
Is that really you?

MHS that
'Grand Ole Dame'
She doesn't really
Seem the same.

Nor do I, and
My regret's
That on those days
The sun did set.

Somehow was freer
Simpler then,
Or so it seems,
Rememb'ring when.

Days we thought would never end;
Hurts we swore
Would never mend;
What became of
My old friend?
Within the soul
What did time rend?

Twenty years since
Last we met,
From Reagan to
The Nam War Vet.

To MHS, that
Time passed by ...
The halls, wood floors
The rooms deny
That Twenty years did,
Past us, fly.

So pop the cork
And fill my glass
Here's to YOU
And the 'hallway pass.'

Here's to the Class of '67
To cheating death
And hell and heaven.

Here's to you
In the HERE and NOW
And here's to the days
When we still knew how.

                    So keep the faith, and
                    Save a tree
                    Spread the light
                    Oh Manatee.

                    Heal the sick, and
                    Spare the seals
                    Twenty years can't
                    Bruise our heels.


Happy 20th Reunion
Gary Ketcham
Gbruce Email

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A Wonderful Life

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Poems Webpage PDF download



Gbruce in blue
G Bruce in Blue
Gbruce Email


Gary Against New York City skyline \ GW Bridge Backdrop
--- Click Photo for super-high-res blow-up ---

Gbruce Email



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