There were a lot of hugs, smiles, and even some kisses at the Handsboro Elementary School Reunion in Gulfport Saturday. The historic school was demolished in 1985, but nothing could destroy the lasting memories students shared at the school's first-ever reunion.
"The girl that sat in front of me had long hair with hairpins, you know, these little hair pins they stick in the hair? But one of them was sticking out about so far, in front of me studying, and I took my finger and pushed it back up in her hair, and the teacher thought I was pulling her hair, and came and grabbed me and took me in the cloak room and gave me a spanking with the brush," said Ralph W. Loposser.
Loposser lived through that old-fashioned whoopin' at Handsboro Elementary School and still hasn't lost his sense of humor over the years. At 96, he was the oldest person at the reunion.
"You can't beat this Handsboro bunch for old age, because I just think this water out here or something must have something to do with it," he said.
It was a picture perfect moment for Pat O'Brian Abernathy and Dorothy Ware Jones.
"She was my best friend from the fifth grade, and we had a ball together. We did all kinds of mean things," Ware Jones said.
Abernathy and Jones have remained friends over the years, but a year had passed since they've seen each other. They had plenty of childhood stories to tell.
We asked if they had elementary school crushes.
"Her brother - I was madly in love with her brother, Alex Ware," Pat said. "We got married one time in the fourth grade."
But time moves on and life changes. While that union didn't last, this reunion will last in the memory of the hundreds of people who will always have ties to Handsboro Elementary School.
The school was located on the east side of Cowan Road, just north of Pass Road.
Reunion organizers are working to get a historical marker to place where the school once stood.