The weather outside was approaching frightful, but the atmosphere inside seemed delightful as alumni, current and former employees and students at Marietta High School gathered Friday for the school's fifth annual Holiday Homecoming.
Seventy-nine people attended the annual event, in which former students and staff members are invited back to the school. The tally was just one less than last year, despite the cold weather and snow.
"I appreciate them opening their doors to us. It makes us feel welcome again," said Pete Kincaid, 67, of Marietta, who taught for 34 years at the school.
EVAN BEVINS The Marietta Times
Marietta High School seniors, clockwise from left, Amelia Cain, Amelia Gulick and Michael Reese share a conversation and laughter with 2012 graduates Paige and Tim Grosel Friday in the school library during the fifth annual Holiday Homecoming.
English teacher Joseph Rabbene, adviser to the school's National Honor Society, which organizes the homecoming, said he was glad to see folks in attendance besides recent graduates.
"This has kind of evolved over the years," he said. "We're trying to include more and more of the community.
"In the best of all possible worlds, a school should be a reflection of its community; it shouldn't be isolated from it," Rabbene said.
Marietta residents Lorn and Judy Dimit said they've stayed connected with the school since they graduated in 1958, with two children attending and Judy working as a secretary/cashier there for 15 years. Friday was the first time they'd been to the holiday homecoming, "just to see some of the people, employees," said Judy Dimit, 72.
They also enjoyed perusing the yearbooks, dating back several decades.
"Found his brothers and sisters in there," Judy Dimit said. "Ours is missing," she added with a laugh.
The yearbooks were a point of interest to current students as well. Senior Trevor Strahler said he had to admit his father was right about how much the two look alike after seeing his high school portrait.
"He keeps telling me, 'If you just had blond hair, you'd look a lot like me,' and I'm like, 'OK,'" Strahler said.
In a way, Rabbene sees familiar faces in all the yearbooks.
"The faces remain the same; it's just the hairstyles that changed," he said. "Young people in yearbooks either look confused, scared or hopeful (or) a combination thereof."
The Class of 2012 was well represented at the event. Matt Roberts, 19, said he hasn't been in touch with many former classmates since he started this fall at the University of Evansville in Indiana.
"I haven't been here since I graduated, so it'll be nice to see everyone I knew, catch up with teachers," he said. "It's nice to come back and see how much has changed and what everyone's aspiring to."
National Honor Society member Kara Carpenter said she enjoyed preparing for the event and hopes to attend next year after her own graduation.
"I think it would be nice to run into some people," she said.