MICHELLE T. BERNARD
Senior Staff Writer
After she was gifted a collection of annuals (yearbooks) from Lincolnton High School as well as others from Lincolnton schools, Dianne Stanley, who graduated from Lincolnton High School herself, went on a trip down memory lane.
“I’m from Lincolnton and while I was looking at the annuals, I realized I knew a lot of the people,” she said. “Really when you get down to it, Lincolnton’s a small town and somebody that you know, knows other people.”
Stanley wanted to share her gold mine with others. She was a member of the Facebook group, “You might be from Lincolnton (NC) if …” so she asked the moderator if she could start sharing photos from the yearbooks and he agreed. These photos been extraordinarily popular and have turned into almost a side job for Stanley. She goes through each yearbook and posts a picture of each class member, teachers, sports teams, clubs and other pictures in each book before going on to the next.
On Jan. 18, Stanley posted a picture of Danny McCurry and Linda Clark, members of the Lincolnton High School Class of 1970.
“I knew they were boyfriend and girlfriend in school,” she said. “It just so happened that Danny was a member of the page too. He asked if anyone knew where Linda was at. Several people responded and Linda was tracked down to living in Crouse.”
Both had married other people, but both were now widowed. The two went on a second-first date. Long story short, they rekindled their relationship and got married – 50 years after they dated in high school.
In this day and age of rampant ugliness that seems to permeate social media, Stanley’s pictures have brought a community together. When Stanley posted that Times-News was going to be doing this story, 92 people commented on what they liked about these photos from the past.
“I love it,” Jill Gladden Goins said. “It takes me back to a simpler life, less problems and a world so different than the one we live in now. Love all the pictures of classmates and friends and the buildings from back then.”
Ginger Thompson said that she loved seeing the places that she visited when she was a little girl, many of which are no longer there.
“I was raised in Lincolnton and my family had two different businesses, Cochrane Furniture and Crowell Memorial Hospital, that were important for a lot of people before they went out of business,” she said. “I wish they were still in business today and I would be working for one of them. Almost all my family went to Lincolnton High School starting with my grandfather.”
Thomas Angel enjoys the list to catch up on friends he hasn’t seen in years and reminiscing about places and good times that he enjoyed in his youth and remembering the people and places that made up the best small town that anyone could hope to grow up and live in.
“I live out of town now and it’s very refreshing to see the photos that renew so many memories of friends and families of my youth,” Cheryle Klein said. “Some memories are so funny and others so endearing that it truly brightens my day. I loved growing up in a small town like Lincolnton. We all have the ‘remember when’ stories, some more than others. Times may have changed so much over the years, but not the people and they are what makes Lincolnton my hometown.”
List members have reached out to Stanley to ask if she could find pictures of loved ones.
“It became so much more than I anticipated,” she said. “I pick out a year, and so I don’t miss anyone, I go all the way through until I finish so I don’t miss anyone.”
Stanley plans to continue to make memories, one picture at a time. Who knows how many more relationships she may rekindle through this labor of love?