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Reconnect, Reminisce, Celebrate

Written by Grey Webb, August 2012.

The long hot summer is quickly coming to an end and our annual GMSAA reunion, believe it or not, is just around the corner. As you know this October, we will be celebrating Two Hundred Years of Education in Lewisburg. In my opinion Greenbrier Military School played the most significant chapter in that 200 year history. We gather this year to celebrate that role. As Herb Pearis is apt to say: “Something important happened here.”

The fact that so many of us return every year to reconnect, reminisce and celebrate our shared experiences is proof that Greenbrier Military School played a very significant part in our early lives. Those few minutes every October on the front formation court at Retreat seems to set the stage for another great weekend. Stories retold of mischievous pranks, memories of football games played on a cool crisp Saturday afternoon, or just seeing an old friend for the first time in 40 years, are just a few of the things that make the third weekend of October in Lewisburg special.

Our common experience at GMS bonds us and we recall those memories in a blink of an eye. Mention Kiwi shoe polish and we quickly bring to mind that peculiar combination of aromas with Brasso; think demerits and we all recall the beat; hear gig line and we instantly arrange our belts. So much of our life as cadets at Greenbrier was the same as those who came before and after us, making it easy to relate with others at our reunions.

For those attending our GMSAA reunion this October for the first time, you will notice changes to the old ‘Brier Campus. Of course the main building stands with it’s dignified entrance as it has for over nighty years. However, the upper drill field is now the site of new and modern multi-use buildings that have been built to facilitate the ever growing student body of The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM). Where once young uniformed GMS Cadets formed for Retreat or stood at attention for Sunday Dress Parades, now young energetic medical students stroll the campus. Education in Lewisburg, WV continues it’s 200 year tradition.

Our old campus may have changed, but not the memories. The term “Greenbrier Spirit” is often heard at our reunions. I’m not sure what that means exactly. If you ask, I’m sure you will not receive the same answer from any two alumni. As with most alumni, it’s a personal thing. After these many years, the connections we make are more important to us; they seem more meaningful. GMSAA reunions provide that connection to our shared past. Please use this special occasion to attend and find out for yourself what the “Greenbrier Spirit” means to you.

One last thing. Herb always says that, “We do church the best.” Let me personally invite you to attend the Sunday morning church service at the Old Stone Presbyterian Church. Without a doubt, it will lift your Spirit and send you off wanting to return the following year. Can I get an Amen?

--Grey Webb

Comments

John Nelson's picture

"nighty".....my old English professor, Major James Henry Parsons, would roll over in his grave asking me if I was referring to some form of nightware or was I trying to say ninety?

Grey, Thank you and the entire Board for making Reunion 2012 a grand affair! From the guest speaker, Josiah Bunting, to the wonderfully prepared prime rib at the Barbecue, to the Dinner-Dance on Saturday evening, the entire weekend was enjoyable and memorable! It was obvious to all of us that a lot of hard work and planning went into our October celebration, and it was a fitting tribute to GMS's 200th year. Again, thank you very much - hope to see you all in 2013.

Would like to replace yearbook for graduating class of 1950 from Greenbrier Military School.

Am interested in replacing for Roy M. Wheeler

May Major Parsons rest in peace, He was a great professor...I can still diagram a sentence with him in mind. I had no idea when I was at the Brier that Major Parson was married to a dear friend from Virginia Beach, Mary Morton who later willed over 200 million to the Virginia Museum of Fine Art. Major Parsons bears the distinction of having taught me how to shave. Those were the days of the simple Gillet Blue Blade. I will never forget him. And surely he would spell 90 - ninety correctly. I graduated Greenbrier 1949!