July 1, 2023
Nine members of the Raytown High School Class of 1961 recently met at The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulfur Springs in West Virgina to celebrate milestone wedding anniversaries and birthdays together.
Six members of the group were celebrating 80th birthdays this calendar year. The birthday group was Jim Beasley, Ed Cheramy, Bob Ramsey, Mike Lyster, Cindy (Cook) Lyster and Larry Timberlake.
Three couples who married their high school sweethearts were celebrating 60th wedding anniversaries this calendar year. The diamond couples were Bob and Cathie (Casper) Ramsey, Mike and Cindy (Cook) Lyster, and Larry and Vickie (Wise) Timberlake.
The seed for an event was planted about two years ago by Bob Ramsey, Kansas City, and followup was done by Mike Lyster, Naples FL who made the initial resort room reservations and Ed Cheramy, Marana AZ who coordinated all of the activities including restaurant dining reservations.
Some of the resort activities the group participated in included touring the historic underground bunker that was built under a new wing of the hotel in the 1950’s. The bunker was secretly built to house all 435 members of congress and 100 senators in case of an atomic/nuclear attack on U.S. soil. It was never used but always maintained for an emergency. It was closed in the late 1970s after it was exposed by an investigative reporter from the Washington Post. It’s now open for guests to tour.
Addition activities includes fly fishing, a horse drawn carriage ride, a group croquet tournament, shopping in the retail shops, and many walking trails for exercise.
Jim Beasley did an extensive search to find out more about the history of the “sulfur springs” and actually found the group a sampling of “sulfur water” to taste one evening. They spent five nights at the resort with two of the couples staying over a sixth night.
The group has stayed somewhat connected over the years either at reunions or simply intentionally making contact through Christmas and birthday card exchanges via mail or social media. They all had so much fun reminiscing each day during the week. After dining each evening at one of the resort’s 20 restaurants to choose from they gathered in a private room sharing life stories of those crazy high school days.