Well Wishes from Mike Adams & Jill Adams
Posted Saturday, November 7, 2015 09:16 PM

Heartfelt words from Jill Marie Adams Belt and Michael Adams, the first and second graduates of Kecoughtan High School (Class of 1965):

Good evening fellow Warriors and classmates! Since we are not able to attend this evening, we contacted Beverly and asked if she would be kind enough to read this message. We're honored that she agreed, and that we have the chance to share these thoughts with you. To be honest, the only reason you are hearing this is that by some cosmic coincidence, although we are not related, at least not officially, we both share the same sur-name, . . . Adams, . . . and, of course, Adams comes at the top of the alphabet. That random coincidence led us to unwittingly become the first female graduate and the first male graduate of the school. To sort out the confusion fifty years ago, whoever arranged the list for graduation had to look at our first names to give Jill the top honor, since J comes before M in the alphabet. By itself, the distinction of graduating first is interesting but not exactly front page news. But there are a couple things that make it a little more engaging. So we thought we'd share some other thoughts with you about our experience at KHS. Although Kecoughtan was and is a "civilian" school, a percentage of students, like us, were military kids, from families stationed at Langley Air Force Base and Fort Monroe. So somehow it may not be proper that the first two graduates were military brats. One drawback is shown by the fact that we are not here tonight. Being from military families, Hampton was just a stopover in our journey through adolescence. Soon after graduation, we moved away, never returning to Tidewater. If you think about it, if the first graduates had been raised in the area, they would no doubt be there with you right now. We (Jill and Michael) had no contact after graduation. We were out of touch until last month when we saw each other listed on the reunion web site. Jill says the fact that she was the first grad escaped her all these years, but Michael told friends about it a few times and recently reminded everyone about it on the graduation web site. Actually, the fact that we rendezvoused on the web site was surprising, not only because we were the first grads and we shared the same name, but more intriguing, Jill was Michael's date to the senior prom. A little background: Jill was at KHS for the first two years the school was open, junior and senior. Michael arrived only in January of senior year. In fact, KHS was the third high school Mike attended that school year. He started his senior year in September at a school in Germany where his family was stationed, then stopped off in Pittsburgh for three months where he was enrolled in a second senior class. In the new year, 1965, he finally made it to KHS. A few weeks later, somehow he managed the courage to ask Jill to the prom, and then in June of 65 they sat side by side on commencement day as they became the first graduates of the school. Last month, in our first communication in 50 years, we agreed that our one date together to the senior prom was not especially memorable. In fact, after a few cordial notes, Jill sent Michael a genuinely touching personal letter. She confessed something that, over the years, Michael never suspected, . . . But this was something she says has bothered her all this time, . . . which is that after the prom, she ditched Michael for some late fun with other friends !!! Frankly, as he conceded in his reply, this did not completely surprise Michael. He believes he was fishing out of his pond when he found nerve to ask her to the big dance. And, he says, the surprising thing is not that Jill ditched him, . . . but that she agreed to go with him in the first place. Don't you love high school ! ! ! ! Jill and Michael both married and raised families. Jill has two daughters, and five grandchildren. Michael's only daughter was married last month in England, and he and his wife Tina, of course, now have their fingers crossed. Jill met her husband Tom Belt while attending college at Georgia State University and afterward worked as a librarian and then for many years as a stewardess for Continental Airlines. She and Tom now live in Roanoke. Michael became a graphic designer and has a long career as an advertising art director. He met his wife Tina at the Ritz Taipei Hotel where he worked as the marketing director for it's launch in 1979. After many years in New York City, they now live in Pine Brook, New Jersey. That's probably enough about us!!! But finally, please listen to this wonderful poem that Jill composed to express what we are both feeling tonight: High school experiences help us all grow Some are difficult, some are so so But those we remember are special and sweet How nice that we share them whenever we meet They remind us of what's most important, you see That friendship is precious to you and to me Have fun as all of you gather tonight And remember those who are out of sight For they are there with you, wishing you fun And laughter and love, and joy to everyone . . . . We would love to hear from anyone who would like to share thoughts and memories. Jill can be reached by email at jillmbelt@aol.com. Mike can be reached by email at MA@BehindTheScenesMarketing.com We are both thinking of you all this evening, and you each have our best wishes for another happy and successful fifty years! Love to everyone, Jill and Michael 

Deborah Outten Fisk
Class of 1966