By Mary V. Tucker

On Friday, June 10, four of my family members (2 adults and 2 children) joined me to travel to Newport News, Virginia for my granddaughter Erin’s graduation from Woodside High School.

Because Woodsides’ auditorium is too small to seat a graduating class of 424 students and guests, the Sunday afternoon ceremony was transferred to the Hampton University Convocation Center, the second graduation held there that day.

We left for the graduation at noon; traffic was at a near standstill. We had to park a 15 minute walk away and by the time we arrived, the place was almost full. Since the reserved seats on the main floor were only for the administration, band, chorus and graduates, we ended up in the second section of the balcony. Large screens were positioned in three spots so you could view the ceremony no matter where you sat. Graduates marched in down two aisles. Each was recognized by name, moved on to receive their diploma and a hug from the principal. Compare this with an Andes graduation (2011 graduating class of 12 students) and you can imagine how long it took. We waited outside for Erin, visited with other families, and then went back to the Tucker home for a barbeque. As this area of Virginia is a designated historic site, people who couldn’t go to the graduation ceremony had a choice of interesting things to do. Kathy and her kids went swimming at Yorktown Beach, Stephen, Alice and Jim went to a wine tasting festival and of course, came back with some wine. Ian wanted to see a plane land “with the wheels touching the ground” so Uncle Richard took us to Fort Eustis airport and he got his wish. As we passed a sign for The Weapons Development Center, Ian said he wanted to go there. Since that was off limits to the public, Richard took him to the weapons museum instead. That took care of Sunday. The main graduation party was held on Saturday because those not attending the actual ceremony planned to leave on Sunday. Ed and Lyna made all the food for Saturday’s party, which started with breakfast, continued with a buffet at 2:00PM and ran through the day until around ten when a loud thunder and lightning storm drove everyone inside. Sixty some family, friends, neighbors and classmates came and went at different times until midnight when everyone retired. My crew left for home at 8:15AM Monday, this time in two cars. 

Erin got a Red Volkswagen Bug for graduation and the car she had been driving came to Delhi. After making a side trip in the Philadelphia area to pick up a passenger headed for Delhi, gas, food, rest stops and taking wrong turns a few times, we finally got to Fall Clove at 10:00PM, thankful for the safe trip home from an enjoyable four day weekend and glad to sleep in our own beds! ~

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