by Donna Roye
Special to Fayette Newspapers
In February of 1956, Troup County High School opened its doors and 500 students from Rosemont, Mountville, and Gray Hill schools attended the newly-constructed school. Bobby Roye was a senior that year and he drove a black 1947 Plymouth. At the end of the school year, Bobby and 51 of his classmates received their high school diplomas under the guidance of Principal Clayton Bowers. They represented the first graduating class of Troup County High School.
Also attending the new high school that year was a sub-freshman named Wanda (Faye) Johnston. Bobby and Faye did not know each other during high school but four years later they were married, and they will soon celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.
Although 62 years have passed since his graduation, Bobby still has his yearbook entitled “The Trooper.” The yearbook contains photographs of both Bobby and Faye from 1956. Bobby is featured in a group photo with other members of the Key Club. Throughout high school, Bobby’s friends gave him the nickname of “Rob Roye.” The quote printed alongside his senior photo reads “Napoleon was short too.”
Bobby started his senior year in 1955 at LaGrange High School. During high school, he worked for the Big Apple, the Dairy Queen, and the A & P in LaGrange. He was also a member of the Boy Scouts and worked as a pin-setter for the Calumet Bowling Alley. According to Bobby, life was very different back then. In fact, he remembers that the bowling balls did not have holes. He also recalls shoveling coal during the winter months at school. When Bobby grew up, most parents worked the second or third shifts in the cotton mills. All the kids would listen to vinyl records or gather at the skating rink. The Collegiate Grill was also a well-known hangout, along with the “Y” and the drive-in movie. By the time he graduated, Bobby was driving his second car, which was a 1937 Chevy.
Faye attended Mountville Elementary before she became a sub-freshman at Troup County High. During high school, Faye was a member of Sunnyside Baptist Church, and she worked at the Spinning Wheel and Holms’ Drug Store. She was a member of the Glee Club and she participated in the drama club’s production of “South Pacific.” Faye says she can still remember wearing poodle skirts, sweaters, crinolines, bobby socks, and saddle oxfords to school.
“All the guys wore blue jeans and white t-shirts,” she says.
Her fondest memories are watching Dick Clark on “American Bandstand” and singing tunes from Brenda Lee and Eddie Arnold.
After high school graduation, Bobby joined the Air Force and was stationed at Amarillo, Texas for basic training. He later transferred to Tampa, Florida at MacDill Air Force Base. In 1957, Bobby was granted leave and he returned home to LaGrange where he met Faye at a baseball game. Their first date was a trip to the popular Hanson’s Drive-In, where burgers, shakes, and fries were delivered by carhops. Hanson’s was the place to be in the 1950’s. Anyone who lived in LaGrange went to Hanson’s where the main attraction was listening to the jukebox. The hit songs during this time included “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Heartbreak Hotel” by Elvis Presley and “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and the Comets.
Bobby was seriously injured in an aircraft accident in 1958. After his recovery, the couple decided to marry in June of 1959 in Phenix City, Alabama. Bobby says he can still recall asking the Justice of the Peace how much he owed him for performing the marriage. According to Bobby, the preacher said, “How much is she worth?” Bobby still jokes about paying the preacher five dollars.
Bobby was transferred to Peru, Indiana where he was stationed at Bunker Hill Air Force Base. Bobby left the Air Force in 1960 and the couple moved back to LaGrange for several years. They moved to Miami, Florida where Bobby obtained his A & P License. He was offered a job with at the Atlanta Airport with Eastern Airlines where he worked for 30 years as a lead mechanic.
Many years have passed since Bobby and Faye attended Troup County High School. They have lived in the Atlanta area since 1965 and they have three children: Donna Roye, Lynn Smith (Bobby) and Rob Roye; three grandchildren: Brittany Smith Baugh (Matt); Mindy Smith; and Rachel Roye; and two great-grandchildren: Kalel and Lucas Baugh. Bobby and Faye are residents of Senoia, Ga. and they are members of New Hope Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Ga. where they have attended for over 20 years. They have one Dachshund, Sara. Bobby is the son of Henry and Minnie Roye of LaGrange, Ga. Faye is the daughter of Glenn P. Johnston and Ruby E. Pike also of LaGrange.
Anyone who graduated from Troup County High School in 1956 is encouraged to contact Bobby or Faye at firstname.lastname@example.org.