Former students gather at annual Clover Bend reunion

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

LAWRENCE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - Former students and community members met at the historic Clover Bend School Saturday morning for the annual gathering.

The reunion has been held each year for about three decades now.

It's held at the old school, which is on the National Registry of Historic Places.

"We get to see old friends, talk with people, and just reminisce and it keeps the community alive," said Stan Jones, who has lived in Clover Bend his whole life and attended the school when he was young.

He remembers what it was like growing up in such a small, close-knit community.

"Twenty kids in each class and we all knew each other, stayed all night with each other, played baseball," Stan said. "We played basketball since first grade, we didn't have a kindergarten, since first grade. All of these kids, [we're] friends forever."

Jones said since they aren't an incorporated town and have no restaurants or shops, this is what they have to be proud of.

Clover Bend School consolidated with the Hoxie School District in 1983.

"A lot of other little places like this, you go by their old school and it looks horrible," Stan said. "But we keep ours alive, we keep the spirit alive."

Stan's 92-year-old mother, Delois Jones, also graduated from Clover Bend High School back in 1944.

She looks forward to the reunion every year.

"It's really important," Delois said. "I see a lot of people, students that I went to school with, I see them come back. They all just look so good. We talk about old times."

The whole community comes together to make the annual event possible.

"We couldn't keep it up without people pitching in and helping," Delois said. "That's the main thing is everybody pitches in and helps. We cook for days."

"Everybody has a part to play, the people who live out here, in getting this ready for today," Stan added.

The reunion had to be canceled in 2017 because the school was flooded.

This weekend, the classes of 1967 and 1968 were welcomed into the "50 Year Club."

A pork steak lunch was also cooked by the Clover Bend Volunteer Fire Department on Saturday.

All proceeds from the meal and donations go toward the upkeep and preservation of the Clover Bend Historic School.

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