By Glen Mason
Fine Arts and Cultural Correspondent
New Journal and Guide
They marched to the school board to protest moving their school to Tidewater Drive and changing its name. A group of them spent the summer putting together a massive hit, one became the youngest principal in Norfolk, and one became a local newscaster and became a female prison warden.
Some left after their senior year for careers at Virginia Power and Gas, C &P Telephone Company, Newport News Shipyard, and ILA No. 1248. The Military.
Whatever happened to Junior Achievement, Upward Bound, and the STOP program?
Those are just a few topics of conversation for the 50th reunion of the 1972 graduating class of Booker T. Washington High School in Norfolk. The class is planning a reunion they hope they will never forget. It won’t be a personal success they’ll be celebrating either. Giving back to their alma Walker,” said Rodney Johnson, a trumpet player in the famed Marching Bookers band.
“Being in the band at Booker T. was more than a musical experience. It was a whole lot of things rolled into one. You had an experience that was a life experience! That’s where Mr. Walker came in. You knew he was always there for you no matter what. You could go to him for things going on in your home. He was more to Booker T. than just being a band director.
“There were people in that band that he changed the direction they were going,” Johnson said, reminiscing over a cup of tea. mater and its Cooley High-like spirit will be the topic of the day October 7-8, 2022.
“I came out of the same school of music as the musicians of Mass Production,” said Rodney Johnson, a trumpet player in the BTW band directed by the late, great Reginald”He was the second most influential teacher I had in school. He brought a sense of discipline to people they weren’t getting from other places. “
“As a proud member of the 1972 Class of Booker T. Washington’s 50th Anniversary and the Scholarship Chair, I am exceedingly thrilled to be among my classmates who will be celebrating 50 years as the ‘Fighting Bookers’,” said Dr. Deborah “Skinner” Foreman Speller.
“Every time I hear the pulsating saxophone intro of Marvin Gaye’s WHAT’S GOING ON, I think of classmate Patrecea Johnson (Lamb). I can still remember the basketball prowess of Anthony Smith and the mathematical excellence of the Clark twins, Richard and Reginald,” said Tony Felton.
“In short, I went to school with the absolute best! And come this October, we will honor the legacy of Mr. Booker T. Washington, the man that bears the name of the school.”
“FIFTY (50) YEARS IS, INDEED, A BIG FREAKING DEAL! Booker T. Washington High School is an iconic institution! This reunion will not be a cheese and crackers event. We appeal to our remaining classmates of 1972 to come and join us in this once of a lifetime affair.”
For more information about the 1972 class reunion of Booker T. Washington High, contact Glynis Winfield-Mason at 757- 717-9194.
Fighting Bookers Class of 1972 Photo: Courtesy