Class of a Class: A Reunion Recap

For those of you who are not part of the New Bern High School Class of 1989, I can only hope your class has half of the chemistry, character, and charisma of my class. With the tagline “living life to the fullest” my class spent this past weekend (August 15-17) reflecting on and celebrating 25 years since we crossed the stage on a Monday night in June 1989.

Some classmates have passed on and others were unable to attend for various reasons. Those who did attend the Reunion had the experience of a lifetime. Classmates traveled from Florida, California, Atlanta, Washington, DC, and many other places to meet up in the birthplace of Pepsi (how many of you knew that?) to reminisce and reinvigorate. From the Friday night Meet and Greet event at the Doubletree by Hilton New Bern Riverfront to the Sunday morning send-off breakfast hosted by our classmate Greg Collins at his wonderful Ghent Sandwich Shop, it was non-stop energy and camaraderie.

I had the honor of emceeing the Saturday night Black, Red, and White affair at the wonderfully appointed Riverfront Convention Center in New Bern. Looking across the room I could see my classmates dressed to impress and sharing many magic moments and memories. Our class really is one big family and it struck me that we had all this energy despite the fact only about 1/3 of our class was present at this Reunion.

Post-Reunion has seen a flurry of pictures, posts, and Facebook shares.  People are still talking about the event and the great time we had with each other. One of the many talented members of my class, Sean Nyberg, penned this poem upon reflecting on the weekend’s events:

25 Year Journey

It seems 1989 was long ago

Our class has taken many paths

Military, school, hard life only part of the blueprint

The course was circular for some

Leaving New Bern, but only for a second

Looking back, it isn’t high school drama

Cliques, race, or problems that we focused on

Thinking about the good is why people go to reunions

It may be success of the sports teams

A high school crush

Someone that kept a nightmare class laughable

A party that may have been epic

Skipping school for a beach trip

Or just good times from our youth

When learning from a mistake

Made us who we are today

We’ve all changed since 89

Family status may have cycled like the seasons

A few pounds gained

Hair lost, hair turned gray

Financial success or failure

But at the reunion we were just 89 Bears

Though Classic 89 Bears

The classmates we’ve lost, were there in our thoughts

The ones that just couldn’t make it, were there in spirit

Set your calendar for 2019

Our class novel will add a few more chapters

Thanks to all of you who attended and many thanks to those who did the work to make it possible. And a huge thanks to my classmate and friend, Torri Thibodeaux who spearheaded the Reunion undertaking.

Best wishes to my classmates and I look to see all of you at our 30-year Reunion. Go Bears!



  1. Dave McFadyen

    John – I was so disappointed not to be able to see all of you at the reunion, but a prearranged family trip conflicted with the entire weekend! God willing, I hope to see you all at the 30th – if not before! Go Bears! ’89!!!!

  2. Henry Fields

    Looking forward to being apart of the 2019 thirty year celebration!

  3. Merrie Jo Alcoke


    Thanks for all your hard work on the reunion. You are the best!

    Looking forward to 2019,

    Merrie Jo Alcoke

    • Merrie Jo, you are too kind. It was great to see you at the Reunion and I really appreciate all your leadership and encouragement on the two previous Reunions which clearly helped create the momentum which led to the success of our 25th. Can’t wait to see you again. All the best my friend and fellow member of the Bar.


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