Lufkin’s 2019 Redland School Reunion was a day full of catching up on the present and reminiscing on the past.

Sarah Stevens, a main organizer of the event, helped to have the Pitser Garrison Convention Center decorated from wall-to-wall with nostalgic decorations. There was a Bill Haley and the Comets poster, an old-timey scoreboard and even an old blue and white car sitting next to a vintage gas pump.

In addition to the decorations from the past, there was more personable memorabilia from from Redland’s 100 years of existence, before its integration into the Lufkin school district in 1970. This included pictures of sports teams, former students and of course the 1969 basketball team’s district championship trophy.

Class of 1957 graduate Orren Schmidt and his wife Alice Schmidt both attended Redland school. They grew up across the street from each other and have now been married for 49 years. Orren shared one of his fondest memories of one of his teachers at Redland, who would throw blackboard erasers at him and his classmates if they were talking instead of paying attention in his class.

“You could look on the wall from where he missed, and you’d see dust from that eraser,” Orren said.

Class of 1965 graduate Bobby Short said he had “good times” and really enjoyed attending school at Redland. He believes that a large part of what made Redland so enjoyable was that “everybody knew everybody.” Bobby and other attendees of the reunion talked about how they keep in touch just by frequently running into old classmates around various stores in Lufkin.

Redland school may not have its own building any longer, but its legacy and its former students and teachers live on. A day filled with nostalgia, laughs and good times proves the small-town charm that former Redland students enjoyed didn’t disappear when they left the school.

Dena Stokes’ email address is

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