PRESTONSBURG — After decades of twirling and teaching others how to do so, former Prestonsburg High School majorettes sponsor Juanita “Boots” Adams says squad reunions over the last few years have left her filled with pride for what her former students have done since high school.
“I’ve always been proud of the girls and what they accomplished after school,” Adams said.
Adams seemingly has spent her entire life with a baton in her hand. She was a majorette with Model High School and later at Eastern Kentucky University. In 1961, when she moved to Prestonsburg, she began coaching PHS majorettes, a post she held until 1995. She even continued her own twirling career, marching in the alumni band at EKU’s homecoming each year, until she turned 61.
“I enjoyed it,” Adams recalled. “We had the better students. It was something they were proud of and wanted to do.”
Adams says she believes the majorettes program taught students discipline, responsibilty and self-confidence. She said those lessons were important ones which have helped former majorettes throughout their lives.
“If they could go out there with their heads up and feeling good about themselves, they can go anywhere in the world and do the same thing,” Adams said.
And over a career of proud moments, Adams said two stand out. The first was the State Fair Championship win the majorettes earned in the late-1980s. The other came during the first reunion.
“The other one was three years ago, when I saw how many [alumni] attended,” Adams said. “They wouldn’t have come back if they didn’t enjoy it, so that was a proud moment.”
Now, Adams is preparing to see familiar faces once again, as the PHS majorettes prepare to hold their third annual all-class reunion next month.
The reunion will take place Oct. 11 and 12, during the Jenny Wiley Pioneer Festival. The group will meet at First Presbyterian Church, in Prestonsburg, Oct. 11, at 10 a.m., where they will catch up with one another, have a meal and then head out to the PHS football field to practice for their halftime show, later that evening. There will be an evening meal in the band room, as well as a group picture at some point in the evening, before the girls, now women, take the field to once again put into practice many of them learned under Adams’ tutelage.
The next day, the group will again meet at the church at 10 a.m., for breakfast, practice and float decoration, prior to the afternoon parade. Alumni will perform in the parade, and those who are unable to perform can ride the float. Those who wish to ride the float in the parade can meet at the church or at the parade starting point at 2 p.m.
Afterwards, the group will end the evening with a 6 p.m. banquet at May Lodge, in Jenny Wiley State Resort Park. Old uniforms and memorabilia will be on display, and group and other pictures will be taken, and videos of the weekend’s and other performances will be shown.
All who participate are asked to purchase new t-shirts, which are being made to commemorate the reunion.
Family and friends of deceased majorette alumni are welcome to join the group in the parade. Anyone interested in doing so is asked to contact any participating majorette alum or to call Carol Jo Clark May at (606) 874-2244 or (606) 226-2565, or email her at email@example.com.
Prior to the reunion, practices are held 3 p.m., Sundays, on the PHS football field, or at Allen Baptist church in the event of rain.
Letters have been mailed or emailed to those for who addresses are available. Addresses are still needed for the following:
• Vera Baldridge Brock, 1950-51
• Emma Lee Rice, 1953
• Patty Smith, 1959
• Brenda Kay Hicks, 1961
• Carleen Sue Patton, 1967-68
• Debby Burchett, 1968-69
• Lisa Johnson, 1979-80
• Malesa Hicks, 1982
• Jennifer Gilbert, 1982
• Beth Horn, 1987
• Clyde Preston Lewis, 1990
• Amy Lewis, 1992
• Angel Stephens, 1997-98
• Tonya Estep, 1997-98
• Bethany Smith Briscoe, 1995-98
• Rachel Rae Justice, 1995-98
• Stephanie Hicks, 1998-2000
• Valerie Ratliff, 2000
• Robbie Risner, 2004
Interested alumni or anyone with address information may contact Carol Jo Clark May at (606) 874-2244 or (606) 226-2565, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.