Editor's note: Due to a technological mishap, many stories published prior to 2005 became dated in The Moultrie Observer's database as if they published in December 2005. This story actually published in the summer of 2002.

MOULTRIE -- Stories were told. Memories were revisited. Phone numbers and addresses were exchanged.

Uncontrollable laughter and the mouth-watering aroma of barbecued ribs filled the stuffy air at Shaw Gymnasium Friday afternoon, as those who once attended William Bryant High School greeted one another relived the "good ole days."

"We played basketball in this very place," said Carl Patillo, who traveled from New Jersey for the event, known as the Ram Roundup. "Man, did we have a good time."

The Roundup, occurring every other year, was started in 2000. Organizers have tracked down many of the remaining alumni from WBHS, Moultrie High for Colored Youth and Moultrie High for Negro Youth.

Moultrie High for Colored Youth sprang up in the mid 1930s, and changed its name to Moutrie High for Negro Youth in the early 1940s. By 1959, the name had changed again to William Bryant. The ram was the mascot for all three.

"This (event) is for anyone who graduated or attended (the school), or anybody that just wants to come," said Jimmy Holton, who graduated from WBHS in 1970. "This is only our second time, and we're expecting about 500 people to turn out."

While most reunions are specific to a year, the Roundup is unique in that it spans decades.

"There's just a lot more people," said Eddie Turner, who now lives in Bainbridge. "This way you get to see all the people you went to school with and not just one class. I'm seeing folks I haven't seen in 40 years."

Friday was the second of three days filled with dinners, banquets and dances, all centered around one thing -- fellowship.

While some still live in Moultrie, many of those attending have moved elsewhere and traveled thousands of miles.

Opral Foster Davis, 51, who is now vice president of a software company in San Diego, Calif., flew to Moultrie for the reunion.

"I just wanted to see people that I grew up with," she said. "These people are getting older and sick, and I just wanted to see them again. It's great to see those that I remember and even those that I don't."

Holton said July 4th was a perfect time to host the Roundup.

"Most people are home anyway, and it's a good vacation time for them," he said. "It was just a good time to have it."

A banquet is scheduled for Saturday, marking the end of the reunion.


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