We the Class of ’57 do hereby Resolve … but being of a certain age also do allow ourselves to digress a bit and remember…
…how lucky we, the guys and gals of ’57, were to have come of age in the Newport of the mid 1900’s. We had most everything a young person of that time could want, right in our hometown, movie houses, drive-ins, clothing stores, drugstore soda fountains. Now, 55 years later, most all of those hangouts, so important to our young lives, are gone. One, Purdy’s Flower Shop, however, has remained.
Purdy’s was important because it had a special connection to our class. Jane Purdy (Berger) was in the class two years ahead and John Purdy was one year behind. They were our friends. Their parents, Elrod and Bill Purdy, who started the shop in the 1930’s, knew what was going on in our young lives. So they were “kind” to us guys when we faced the daunting and sometimes embarrassing job of getting corsages for our dates to the Prom or the Big Mums for the Newport/Batesville Thanksgiving football game. And they knew what kind of corsages we gals wanted. Mr. and Mrs. Purdy understood what was happenin’.
Fortunately for us John married Rosanna Massey of Jonesboro. They eventually took over the family business. Purdy’s continued and thrived - becoming Purdy’s Flowers and Gifts, and oh so much more!
John and Rosanna though their business, friendships, and love of the town and county provided those things that allowed us to observe and celebrate the weddings, funerals, birthdays, mother’s days and other special occasions so important in our lives creating and maintaining community and connections.
But for the Class of ’57, and many classes before and after us, John and Rosanna gave us the ability to maintain and reestablish important friendships with those we knew and loved but had scatted across the state and country or are still living in Newport.
… and so, remembering all of this and much more … We the Class of ’57, upon our 55th Reunion, on this 20th day of October, 2012, do hereby express our deep gratitude and heartfelt thanks to John and Rosanna Purdy for providing that community gathering place as well as acting as the unofficial NHS Alumni Association’s Executive Director and Secretary for all these many years. We wish them well and continued success in their well deserved retirement.
/s/ J. Thomas Fife
J. Thomas Fife, Class President
Attest: /s/ Rosa K. Pugh
Rosa Kathryn Norman Pugh, Secretary