Annual Nabs and Coke Reunion set for July 19-20

A longtime Forest tradition will be continued with the 9th annual Forest High School Nabs and Coke Reunion scheduled for July 19-20. Organizers are putting the final touches on plans for the event and are looking for the biggest crowds in the event’s history.

This year’s reunion weekend will kick-off with dinner on July 19, followed by a day of visiting and socializing on July 20.

Kaye Smith Hodges, a 1963 Forest High School graduate, has led the effort organizing this event each of the nine years. The Nabs and Coke reunion was started by the FHS Reminiscing internet message board and web site and has grown into a wonderful event enjoyed by FHS alumnus each year.

“We have had some wonderful times getting together and talking about the memories we all have from growing up in Forest and attending Forest High School,” Hodges said. “We have had great crowds the last few years and it just keeps growing.”

The reunion was originally a one day event, but in 2015 a Friday night activity was added for those who arrived in town early. This year, the Friday night festivities will include dinner at the historic B. Gatewood Studio and Art Gallery on Front Street at 6:00 p.m. Reservations are required to attend the gallery dinner. “There are a few more opening for dinner on Friday night,” Hodges said. “Anyone who would like to attend can either call me or visit the FHS Reminiscing website to put in their reservation.”

At 8:00 p.m. on Friday night the City of Forest Downtown Development has scheduled a public concert in the park across from the Gatewood Studio featuring Forest native Trey Jones and the Luckenbach Willie Tribute Band.

“The concert was a new addition to the weekend in 2017. It’s a public concert and offers even more time to visit while enjoying great music,” Hodges said. “You might want to stash a lawn chair in your car for this year’s concert.”

On the morning of July 20, reunion attendees will be welcomed to Jimmy Shaw’s “Remember When” museum at 186 East Third St. next door to the old Tastee Freeze.

Jimmy Shaw has replicas of a gas station, soda fountain and general store just as they appeared decades ago. The museum will be open for reunion attendees starting at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday.

The Nabs and Coke reunion will start at 1:30 p.m. on July 20 at Kat’s Kave (Forest Community Center) on Highway 80 near the intersection with Highway 35. Admission to the reunion is merely a pack of Nabs and a Cold Coca Cola (or water).

Hodges said the snack admission is attributed to a tradition that Forest residents practiced decades ago. “If you have never been to a Bearcat Nabs Party, you don’t know what you are missing,” she said.

Hodges said the idea for the reunion was inspired by the gathering of classmates to honor a Forest graduate among them.

“We started the reunion as a means of getting classmates together to see a close friend who had cancer and give him a chance to see all of us. It just grew from there,” she recalls.

For more information, or to make reservations call or text Hodges at 901-481-0001 or John Roby at 601-613-5615, you can also visit the FHS Reminiscing website at