The Carlisle Alumni Association held its 14th-annual Alumni Weekend Oct. 10-12 with the biggest festivities on Saturday, Oct. 12, at the Carlisle City Park.
For the first time in 14 years, rain threatened to keep the attendance down but luckily it went away after the early morning.
"We may have had some doubts this morning but as always, the clouds broke and the sun came out," CHS alumni president Mike Calvert said. "It’s been another typically great Carlisle event."
Calvert said he gets feedback from visitors saying that there is something special going on in Carlisle.
"It’s true when you see what these people come together and do," he said. "It’s wonderful."
Calvert, who works at Cabot High School, said the small-town atmosphere is wonderful.
"Big towns have their benefits; big towns have their drawbacks," said Calvert, who graduated from Carlisle in 1984. "There are some drawbacks of living in a small town but you can not recreate what you experience when you have this type of environment. And you cannot recreate what Carlisle has in other small towns. Carlisle is a special place. It just is."
The musical acts are always one of the big attractions of the alumni weekend. The show was coordinated by Jo McCallie, Class of 1977. The masters of ceremonies were Rich Shirey, Class of 1987, and Beth Hunt Cress, Class of 1995.
Acts included Twisted Sister, Village People, Clay Parker, Adam Ingle, Finest Forte’, Marvin and Bisonettes, Matt Campbell and CeCe Plafcan, James Gosney and the Rouse Sisters.
Perkins Abshure sang the national anthem. Phillip Batchelor gave the invocation.
One of the highlights of the annual weekend is the naming of the honorary alumni. They were Eleanor Clyburn and Ervin Kulbeth.
Mrs. Clyburn, who taught elementary school at Carlisle for several decades, was introduced by her son Brock Clyburn, who is a 2000 graduate of CHS.
"My mother graduated from Henderson State Teacher’s College in her hometown of Arkadelphia. She accepted her first job at Carlisle with the intent to stay a couple of years and move on; 48 years later, she’s still here," Brock said of his mother. "I think that says a lot about Carlisle and the quality of the people we have here.
"Over a 30 year career, she made a lasting impact on hundreds of students’ lives, including my own. She always taught me to be kind and accepting of other people; honest and hard working and to always give back more than you take. I think more importantly that academics, that’s what she passed on to her students."
Mrs. Clyburn was very thankful for the honor.
"Thank you to the Carlisle Alumni Association for this nice weekend and for this very nice honor," she said. "I’m very humbled by it and I appreciate it very much. I know they have worked hard for all of us to have a nice weekend."
Coach Kulbeth, who coached at Carlisle in the last 1960s and early 1970s, was introduced by former Bison football player Mitch Golleher, who graduated from CHS in 1973.
"His love of the game and his student-athletes is why we are here to honor him today," Golleher said. "I take great pride as we honor my coach and my friend Ervin Kulbeth with this year’s honorary alumni award."
Kulbeth attended the Bison’s victory over Brinkley in the homecoming game Oct. 10.
"Last night, I saw the Bison win and the next I want to see them win is when they win the state championship in Little Rock when they beat Junction City," Coach Kulbeth said. "I was in the right place at the right time for a group of kids who wanted to improve. I did everything that I could and visit every place that I could to take them to that next level.
"I also want to mention that this community is best community that I have ever worked in during my 38 years. You support the town, the mayor, the city council. You support the superintendent and school board and the coaching staff. That is what you have to have. In this day and time, if you don’t, you lose your school and you take too much pride in this community to let that happen. If you lose your school, you lose your identity so don’t let that happen."
Mrs. Clyburn and Coach Kulbeth join 30 other and Mrs. Nichols join 28 other honorary alumni. They include: Class of 2002: Doris Brown, Raymond H. Brown and Wesley P. Smith; Class of 2003: Jane Woodruff, Woody Woodruff and Ted Fotioo; Class of 2004: Harold Lewis, Howard Miller, Nina Gasaway and Joe Gasaway; Class of 2005: Bobbye Swears, Betty Kelly Schafer, Joy Bailey Buffalo, George Treadway, Rose Mary Buffalo and Alma Jean Washington; Class of 2006: Ava Measles and Bill Berry; Class of 2007: Bobby Glover and Cathy Plafcan; Class of 2008: Louise Pinson and Wes Woods; Class of 2009: Clara Sims and Ray Glover; Class of 2010: Pat Aycock, Chris Aycock and Leon Miles: Class of 2011: Martha Buffalo; Class of 2012 Lois Nichols and Dorothy Ferguson.