MOORE, OK -- The eyes of the nation have been focused on Moore, Oklahoma, as its leaders have been focused on recovery and rebuilding. Mayor Glenn Lewis, the longest-serving Oklahoma City metro-area mayor, is a life-long resident of Moore.
"We have one rule at city council: We do what's best for the citizens." said Lewis.
He started first grade at Central Elementary in 1961; the school still sits in the shadow of City Hall.
Lewis was the senior class president in 1973.
His classmates remember he was the underdog in that election, not the favorite. They also remember a young man who scored the attention of the girls most of the time.
Lewis was, and is, part of a family of jewelers; he was always carrying around precious stones. This day, he pulled a Montana sapphire out of his pocket.
"We had a great class. I'm pretty proud of them." said Lewis.
Steve Eddy moved to Moore in the second grade.
He is now the city manager.
"There's still people in town that knew me when I was this tall. They call me 'Stevie.' I'm thankful there's not many of them left." said Eddy. "It's an honor for me, and I think for all of us, to serve my hometown."
Stan Drake has lived and worked in Moore for more than 20 years.
He helped rebuild Moore after the May 3rd, 1999 tornadoes.
Drake is the Assistant City Manager now, and a proud member of the Class of 1973.
"Each time we've come back bigger and better. Thank God. And we're going to do it again." Drake said.
The Class of '73 produced a number of community leaders including:
- Moore Mayor, Glenn Lewis
- Moore City Manager, Steve Eddy
- Moore Assistant City Manager, Stan Drake
- Moore Assistant Fire Chief, Jack Briggs
- City Water Manager, Preston Glenn
- Personnel Department Manager, Denise Simpson
"No one can do the job these guys are doing right now. It's hard to beat them." said fellow Class of 1973 classmate Gaydawn Magee.
Running the City of Moore has been no small job the past three weeks, or the past 30 years.
Moore has seen tremendous growth since 1973, and tremendous tragedy. Three major tornadoes have hit Moore since 1999, including two EF-5s.
Having the Class of 1973 at the helm may have been the perfect storm, which apparently started brewing 40 years ago.
The Moore High School graduation used to be held on the football field, and back in 1973 there was severe weather in town the night of graduation.
So, in an ironic twist, the class of 1973 was forced to postpone their graduation ceremony.
They are nearing retirement age soon. Mayor Glenn Lewis jokes often that this term may be his last.
Thankfully for the citizens of Moore, it's three years until the next election.
"We have built it and rebuilt it and rebuilt it again. That's what we're doing now. We will continue to do that. It's good for everybody. We're all neighbors. We're all friends. We try to take care of each other."
Indeed they do.
The Class of 1973 is celebrating 40 years this weekend. The class reunion is scheduled for Saturday night at the Reed Center in Midwest City.