Graduates, even though you are being denied the ceremonies that all of us have enjoyed in the past, the News Journal is making possible a special page for all of you, from kindergarten through college. View the ad on page A-3 for details on how you can be recognized.
I said “enjoy” but when I think back over 60 years when I graduated from high school I didn’t really enjoy everything about it. While the speaker was probably good, I remember wishing he would hurry and finish so we could get our diplomas.
Back then graduation ceremonies for Corbin High School were held at the First Christian Church. It had the biggest auditorium in town and it was filled to capacity.
I did enjoy being part of the high school choir and we sang at graduation. Our choir director was John Griffey, a rather large and robust man. He was tremendously talented.
At the young age of 14 he gave me one of the most embarrassing moments of my life when I tried out for choir. He called me over to the piano and told me to sing the notes he played. He hit a low C and my voice went a bit lower than that. He stood up, opened the top button on my shirt and looked down while everybody in the room was laughing. He said he was looking for chest hair.
But back to graduation, it was a great experience. After it was over many of us headed to the beach at Cumberland Falls.
I was driving my dad’s car to the Falls that night with several of my friends with me. We were on U.S. 25 in the vicinity of Oak Grove School when I saw the blue light in my rear view mirror.
Talk about something about to spoil a party, this was it. I didn’t know why I was being pulled over. It was a law enforcement official wanting us to be careful and congratulating us for graduating. Whew!
After that we enjoyed several hours at the beach. Prior to strip mining the beach at Cumberland Falls was a great place to go.
I have enjoyed, or not totally enjoyed other graduations. While enjoying the graduation of our daughters, I didn’t like the packed Gilliam Gym. The last one I attended I sat on the top row of the balcony and it was hot. The graduates have it nice now that the ceremonies are held at the Arena.
It was snowing in May when one of our daughters graduated from the University of Kentucky. Then for another one the day was warm and beautiful in Lexington.
I will miss seeing our grandchild graduate from First Baptist pre-school this year. Those ceremonies are cute and enjoyable.
Because of coronavirus young people could be denied one of life’s memorable moments. However, area school officials are making an effort to hold various types of ceremonies.
For example, Corbin and Williamsburg officials have announced that in addition to the planned virtual graduation ceremonies during which graduating seniors will receive their diplomas, traditional graduations will be held at a later date. In addition, both schools will hold virtual Baccalauraureate ceremonies.
Whitley County is also planning events. The school will have a graduation video ready on May 23. A complete story for all events is in this edition of the News Journal.
In addition to the adverse effects the pandemic has had on businesses and us as adults, I have noticed how hard it has been on our three young grandchildren. They miss seeing their friends and going to school.
Another problem we are facing is Kentucky’s primary election, which is set for June 23. We have been told that we will have a number of options for voting.
Whitley County Clerk Carolyn Willis said state officials have told her that voters will be able to cast ballots by mail, by dropping them off at the clerk’s office, by scheduling an appointment to vote using a ballot and e-scan machine at the Williamsburg or Corbin clerk’s office, or by going to one of two central locations to vote on election day.
The deadline to register to vote in the June 23 election is May 26. More information is included in this edition of the News Journal, or you can contact the Whitley County Clerk’s office at 549-6002.
These are historic times. Keep safe!