Mary Kennedy Mays' Senior yearbook photo.
I caught up with our former classmate, Mary Kennedy Mays, as she was lining up meetings regarding her upcoming mayoral race. While I could talk to her about that all day long (and probably will in the near future), we really needed to start with the years at Calhoun High School.
Question: How is your day going?
Mary: Good! No complaints. Lining up meetings to get some advice for this mayor’s race.
Question: Any particular kind of advice?
Mary: Considerations for someone running as a woman.
Question: What is the focus of your candidacy?
Mary: Much of the development seems to be happening around Calhoun and not in it. The county does well but downtown Calhoun is empty after six o’clock. Our downtown needs to be better utilized. For example, there are no entertainment options here, not even a movie theater anymore. And the opportunities for local growth don’t seem to be happening. Also, we need better care for our youth and senior citizens.
Question: I’m glad to see you are still pushing to make things better. Our years at CHS came at a particularly interesting time. There was a lot going on in the world including along the lines of social progress. How do you feel your experience in school was shaped by all that?
Mary: I was raised up not to consider things like skin color. It was just never an issue. Nor did it seem to be much of an issue with our classmates. It was around but we, as a class, just went about our business. Yet, we were a radical group of kids. Movers and shakers. But we always came back together in unity.
Question: Anyone in particular that influenced you from that time?
Mary: Our whole class. I really believe we were the best class to come out of the school.
Question: What is your strongest memory from your years at CHS?
Mary: Trying out for cheerleading. I knew I had scored well but I was put in as a substitute. I went to get the material for the uniform and was told it was all sold out. Still, I got the uniform made and got the shoes and showed up for the first game. I think some were surprised I showed up but classmates like Pam Wade, Julie Jordan and Lynn McBee were my friends. They helped me out which just shows what a great class we had.
Question: Do you feel at this point in life that you’ve accomplished all you’ve set out to do?
Mary: No! There’s much more to do. My husband and I decided not to do bucket lists but rather just go out and do whatever presents itself. Grab it and start doing it.
Question: What would you say to someone unsure about coming to the reunion?
Mary: You need to come. Why should you even have to think about it?