Magazine on grads part of Lanier/Miller 60th reunion

Staff reportOctober 10, 2013 

Lanier Boys Class of 1953

When members of the Lanier and Miller high school classes of 1953 gather in Macon this weekend for their 60th reunion, they’ll get more than hugs and handshakes.

During their Saturday night party at The Brickyard, they’ll receive a 48-page magazine with profiles of 110 members of Lanier’s class, along with stories on many of those graduates. The publication is called “The Poet Leader 2013,” which plays off the name of Lanier’s newspaper (and the school’s motto, “We Lead.”)

Elliott Brack, a member of the class, came up with the idea for the publication. He was news editor for The Poet Leader in 1953 and went on to a long newspaper career.

Back in June, he said, “I just got to thinking about what (the graduates had) been up to, and I said, ‘Why don’t I try to find out.’ ”

Finding and contacting them wasn’t the easiest task. Brack had a list of emails from the reunion 10 years ago, but some of those were out of date, and not all of the 1953 grads had email.

“We had to call them to find out,” he said.

Once Brack compiled a list of questions for the graduates to answer -- about their work, their family and their hobbies, for example -- the project started to click.

He also wanted a current picture of the graduates, but some of them didn’t know how to use a cellphone to take a picture.

“But their grandchildren did,” Brack said, chuckling.

The magazine cover is a painting of the old Lanier building by an artist in Charleston, S.C. The actual painting will be auctioned off Saturday night.

Jerome Kaplan, a reunion committee chairman, said he expects about 100 of the 225 members of the Lanier class to attend.

Members of the class also approached Macon companies, many of which were in business in 1953, and sold ads that helped cover the printing cost.

Among the 1953 graduates noted in the magazine are:

• Dr. Cecil Wilson, of Winter Park, Fla., who was president of the American Medical Association last year and is the current president of the World Medical Association.

• Tom Dubose, of Macon, who retired as president of the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers International Union, with some 216,000 members.

• Henry Middlebrooks, of Macon, the class president, who was the first headmaster of First Presbyterian Day School.

Lanier, an all-boys school for white students, moved to Holt Avenue in 1924. Its counterpart, A.L. Miller Senior High School for Girls, was located on Montpelier Avenue, blocks from the Lanier campus.

In the late 1960s and early ’70s, Bibb County’s schools faced a court-ordered integration. Lanier and Miller merged to help create the Central High School complex.

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