Baker High's last reunion set for this weekend

By Andrew Wittenberg  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - This weekend, hundreds of Baker High School graduates will reunite on the grounds of the once booming place of education.

Over the years, there have been many such reunions, but this one is special because it is likely the last such reunion before the legendary Columbus school is torn down.

Football games, dances, young love.

All captured in the minds of thousands, remembered now only through old photos and passing conversation.

Diane Griffin graduated from Baker in 1970.

"Every Friday night, we would have a school dance and it would usually be after a football game and everybody, whether we lost or would win, we would come to the sock hop and have a great time, just dancing and being teenagers," Griffin said.

This weekend's reunion and celebration of Baker's history will likely serve as a final tribute before this historic building is torn down.

A student hasn't graduated from Baker since 1991...and in the last 19 years, alumni like John Crimmel, class of 1970, have fought tooth and nail to have the building saved, along with their memories.

"We went through a lot together...and I think that's what brings us back to Columbus and to these reunions is the fact that we went through so much together as a school," Crimmel said.

The history of Baker is closely tied to the military.

At one point the largest high school in Georgia, students had a common bond, especially during times of war, recalls 1955 Baker Graduate J. Marvin Mills.

"In 1965, when the 11th Air Assault was sent to Vietnam, along that area, there was 28 hundred students at Baker at that time," Mills said.

Many, who still call Columbus home, went through the best of times and worst of times in these halls...and the photos on the wall...will soon be all that remain.

"As long as anybody that went to Baker has a sane mind, Baker High School will never die...and that's a good point," Mills said.

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