Proud of East Texas: Alto Class of 58' - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Proud of East Texas: Alto Class of 58'

(Source: KLTV) (Source: KLTV)
(Source: KLTV) (Source: KLTV)
RUSK, TX (KLTV) -

This group of senior citizens first met each other as Alto Elementary School first graders and they've been close friends ever since.

Like many East Texans of that period, Mary Lang and Connie Black Draper lived on farms.

"Do you remember your first day at school? Scared to death," says Mary Lang. "I'm probably in the back row. I was always the tallest one," says Mary.

The Alto yearbook is a cherished reminder of life as it was in 1958. 

Looking a photo of Mr. and Mrs. AHS, "That's me right there," says Glenda Robison. Where does the "speedo" come from? "Because I'm extremely slow," says Glenda. But she must not have been very slow since she was a cheerleader, class officer and member of several clubs.

Linda Findley Steed and Sue Jones gave up school activities early when they fell in love and dropped out of school.

"That girl over there in black. She was my first girlfriend and the girl with the striped shirt was my second girlfriend," says Dwight Lyons.

So, you were Dwight's first girlfriend? " We'd go to the show a lot of times on Saturday night and maybe hold hands...maybe."

While none of the romances with classmates lasted past graduation, their friendships have lasted.

"We all just kind of liked each other," says Gary Dominy. "We have been a tight-knit group through the years," says Hazel Jones.

"I lived out, far out in the country and I didn't get to everything like some of the town people did. What I did I enjoyed," says Connie Black Draper.

These classmates from the Alto graduation class of 1958 have seen a lot of changes since they were bright eyed six-year-olds just beginning their education. 

In 1946, Harry Truman was president, World War II had just ended. In 1958, Dwight D. Eisenhower was president and the Vietnam War was two years away.

 While illness has slowed some of the Class of '58 down, their friendships have remained strong. They'll be the first to tell you, their friendships are forever.

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