Great State: Return to ‘The Rock’

Great State
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GUTHRIE, OKLAHOMA -- It's a migration that takes place over a single September weekend. The Bluejays are thick on a Friday morning at Guthrie High, some having flown the coop years ago returned to a familiar nest. "Changed much?" asks a first time visitor. "No," laughs a lady from the Class of '87. "I haven't changed much at all."

Guthrie's oldest Bluejay sits in the school office like somebody just got him in trouble. "The lady told me to sit here because you were coming," smiles Leo Revis, Class of 1935. He comes back as often as he can from his home in Louisiana to see how his home town is doing. "Oh yeah," he agrees. "We love to come back."

Jerry Gammill is the current keeper of Guthrie High history. He is current director of maintenance but he also keeps a sharp eye out for stray Bluejay stuff. "I find it at garage and estate sales," he says.

It's been 50 years since the Class of '62 roamed the halls of what is now Guthrie's junior high school but the stories from those days are still fresh. "We got some skeletons we're not going to talk about," says one class member, "but the rest of it is good."

Bluejay feathers are still puffed up this Fall. The football team is the defending 5A state champion. But current cheerleaders are still amazed at all the 'old' people roaming their hallways. "I'm a junior," says one, "Class of 2014." "I'm a sophomore," says another, "Class of 2015."

If you can catch her, Candy Griffin is the one to ask about this unique celebration. For more than a quarter century she's overseen this combination reunion and football weekend.

Most school reunions take place in the Summer. Guthrie likes their alums at the football game. "If you haven't been to The Rock it is the place to go," she says, "especially at Homecoming."

They get an assembly, some singing from choir, and a talk from the principal. Just like the old days, only about have of the gathered assembly listens. Maybe the big poster hanging over the crowd is right. It says, 'There is No Escape from the Rock'.

The Rock everyone these Bluejays refer to is their iconic football stadium downtown. Judging from the thousands of blue shirts walking the halls, on parade floats, and crowding the stands, that poster is right.

Guthrie's football team played Guymon for their 2012 Homecoming. The final score, 62-0.

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