St. Mary’s Class of 1966 Reunites After 50 Years

By Natalie Covher


St. Mary’s Class of 1966 gathered at the home of Rosie and Bill Finical over the weekend. Classmates and spouses enjoyed the Autumn air and reminisced about life as teens in the 60s.

“McCleary’s Pharmacy had the best soda foundation,” said Tina Thomas Stroud.
“I remember going to McClung’s and getting a Cherry Phosphate,” said Rosie Prudhomme Finical. “They only cost a nickel or a dime.”

While the group thought back on which drug store made the best sodas everyone agreed that St. Mary’s had the best dances. “Little Bob and the Lollipops,” “John Fred and the Playboys” and “The Uniques” were only a few of the bands the classmates fondly recalled playing at the dances. The class of 1966 was the last class to attend St. Mary’s on the hill near the Courthouse. Their dances were held in the basement auditorium and were something that all the teens in town looked forward to.

“We spent so much time twirling that crepe paper,” said Marteel Deblieux Henry.
The group looked through old year books and found a picture of when Tina was Valentine Queen.

“The sixties were a simpler time,” said Marteel. “You didn’t have to lock your car or house. We walked everywhere or rode bikes or skated. Everybody knew everybody; there was no fear. It was free. We never thought about fear; it wasn’t a part of our lives. It was just safe, easy living.”

The way they described it would make anyone wish they could pop on over to Bernard’s Dairy or to Zesto for a burger and fries.

“Not everybody could go anywhere at any time,” said Lou Anne Prudhomme Terry. “We lived out in the country but we did get to ride our horses into town every Saturday.”
Another place they all remembered was the drive-in movie theatre located near where Trail Boss is now. “Wednesday night was buck night,” said Connie Conine. “You could bring in as many people as you could fit in the car for a dollar bill, and we could fit a lot of people in a car.”

Even though they went to the drive in movie theatre, that doesn’t mean they all had cars. The classmates said very few people had cars in high school and the traffic on the road was less than half of what it is now.

Now-a-days there is a lot of traffic on the road. Wouldn’t it be fun to hop in the car and take a trip to Natchitoches in 1966.

Classmates and spouses included Gil Stroud, Tina Thomas Stroud, Richard Zulick, Sara Nell Williams, Lou Anne Prudhomme Terry, Joe Payne Williams, Rosie Prudhomme Finical, Bill Finical, Henry Lemoine, Linda Evans Crafton, Stacy Williams, Dub Jones, Connie Conine, Amy Cloutier Hough, Wilma Jones, Marteel DeBlieux Henry and Skeeter Henry.