As I write, the reunion website counter shows 54 days since our 50th reunion. After all the anticipation and preparation, it was over much too soon. 100 classmates, 7 teachers, and our party-loving "dates" (totaling 171) gathered at Rainier Golf & CC to commemorate 50 years since graduation.
It was all the committee hoped for and more with the best turnout ever and a room full of smiles, laughter and hugs -- a true class reunion with each person in the room adding to the joy of the occasion. We enjoyed the perfect location, the wonderful food, the decorations and memorabilia, the music (singing some of it ourselves to Ralph Metcalfe's piano playing), the weather, the teachers, the memories -- but most of all we enjoyed the company and visiting with those we hadn't connected with for 50 years!
And the fun goes on -- nearly two months later the committee is still receiving happy responses from everyone there as we all continue the celebration curled up with our wonderful Memory Books and visiting the Facebook page and reunion website, with the postings of photos and comments from our special evening. It was a night to remember--a night when everyone there seemed proud of our class and proud to be a Glacier Grizzly. The Grizzly spirit seemed to grow with the years!
Thank you all for helping to make it worthy of fifty years and for looking forward to more good times to come!
Following are a few highlights of the evening and the transcript of the tribute to our class delivered during the dinner program by Reunion Chair, Diana (Stillwell) Carew:
Senior Photo -- June, 1964
Click on photos to enlarge
Senior "Citizen" Photo -- September, 2014
Good evening, everyone. I'll interrupt the visiting briefly, if I may, to present a short program, introduce your reunion committee, and to say a few words about our class and our wonderful time together this evening. You get just one 50th reunion in life and the evening is moving quickly and tomorrow this will all be a memory...and we want it to be a memory worthy of 50 years. So just a few minutes from our visiting to maybe gather our thoughts and reflect upon 50 years.
Fifty years...wow! Half a Century! That's such a long time! It's an unimaginable length of time when you're 17 or 18 looking forward. It's an instant when you're standing at your 50th reunion surrounded by old classmates and suddenly it's like you're 17 again and no time has passed at all.
Nathan Scott wrote: "It's the oldest story in the world. One day you're 17 and planning for some day, and then quietly, without you ever really noticing, some day is today, and that some day is yesterday, and this is your life."
So it's no small occasion--this 50th reunion--and we're glad so many members of our class have come from far and near to celebrate together. 101 members of our class are here, coincidentally just one less than the 102 classmates on the "lost" list when Wanda (Swansby Jones--co-chair) and I began to update the roster five years past. So we are gratified so many are here to make the most of this occasion to celebrate fifty years and remember old times.
We are joined tonight by seven of our teachers, our honored guests, whom I'll introduce in a bit, and by our spouses and family members whom we thank for coming along and for supporting and tolerating all this. 171 of us are here in the room to mark this occasion -- some coming from across the street and some from across the country. It's a small miracle and a grand occasion to have us all here!
I've been studying our class picture, (at top here) and maybe you have too -- the Glacier High School Class of 1964. I'm struck by the image of that young class looking back at us through the divide of our adult lives. High school seniors looking back at seniors of another kind -- the kind that gets senior discounts, AARP membership and all that! 236 of us are in the picture, the first of the "Baby Boomers". Not a nose ring or a "tatt" to be seen (though we may have some now). The guys with their crew cuts and some wearing ties. Us gals with our "big hair" and wearing skirts. And if that skirt was above the knees it meant being sent to the office to go home and change!
We thought we looked "cool"! But we thought that in the 10-year reunion photo too! (We look back now at the wide lapels and sideburns and wonder "what were we thinking"?)
|10-year reunion (1974)|
In our senior photo, how young and eager we look, ready to take on life. Some of the guys look like they're afraid Mr. Gordon is going to nab them when they get off the bleachers. Mr Gordon. I never knew his first name ("Flash!" remarked Jerry Thornton. "You teachers called him that too?" remarks Diana). Yes, Flash! Flash Gordon. I'm sure you guys called him a few other choice names too!
It must have been tough to keep our class in line. They must have coined the phrase "like herding cats" to describe us and our generation (witness a few minutes ago trying to get us all rounded up for our group photo in the next room!). We were the first of the Baby Boomers and we wanted to do things our own way -- still do!
It was a time of change we came out of, a time of moving on from the carefree days of the 50's with English Racers, hula hoops, and B&W television--with no remotes. (Anyone under 50 says, "What?! They had t.v.'s with no remote?!") Do you sometimes feel like a dinosaur?
It was a time of cool music, cooler cars, the Seattle World's Fair and the sophisticated style of the 60's. And our lives were touched with the insecurity of the "cold war", air raid drills, racial conflict and Sputnik circling overhead. All magnified with violence by the assassination of President Kennedy in our junior year. And then, his brother, Bobby, and Martin Luther King.
We were hearing about Vietnam (where some of our boys went, and thankfully they all came home), and we were hearing about space exploration, and a new computerized world and we weren't sure what all that would mean.
We lived in the time of being asked what we could do for our country and seeing the first man walk on the moon. We followed the rules -- mostly -- but our generation began to question authority and the status quo. Even the music signaled change in the new sound of rock and roll from a new British group with weird haircuts -- the British invasion. Remember all that? So that's where we were when our senior picture was taken and it's been a lifetime since then.
Our Senior Song, we sang moments ago, mentions that "some go east and some go west" and that we sure did. About 10 went east to Idaho, the mid-west and east coast; 3 went north to Alaska; and one went waaaay south to Putre, Chile (Barb Knapton); 12 now live in Arizona. But most stayed on the west coast in California, Oregon or Washington. Some moved away and came back. 149 of us are now living here in the state of Washington -- 7 in the same zip code as Glacier. Sadly, 48 of us have passed away* and are recognized on the memorial board in the next room.
And 101 of us came back together this day to remember our old school, our era, old friends, and celebrate this golden reunion for our class. I salute us all for the good fortune to be able to be here to celebrate together. To the future before us, to the present around us, and to the past -- the 17-year-old's in all of us! To our Glacier High School Class of '64 -- let's give ourselves a hand!
* Two more classmates were added to the memorial wall by 10/26/14 for a total of 50 of our classmates now deceased.
And now, I'd like to introduce our guests of honor, seven of our teachers who are here to celebrate with us tonight. We're happy to have them here to give us the chance to do what we probably never thought to do as students, thank them for the skills and life lessons we carried with us into life. In school we took them for granted, like young people do so many things and people, and we're pleased to thank them now for their contributions to our lives and to mark and celebrate the passage of fifty years in their lives too.
I'd like to introduce:
Lindy Aliment and his wife, Marlys. Lindy taught algebra, distributive education and was junior counselor.
Jamel (Hassen) Barden and her husband, Paul. Mrs. Barden taught typing, shorthand, and was the advisor to the cheerleading staff.
Howard Hubbard and his wife, Barbara. Mr. Hubbard taught mathematics.
Bernie Johnston who taught history and contemporary problems.
Fred Minahan who taught p.e., math, and coached basketball and j.v. baseball.
Jerry Thornton who taught biology and p.e. and coached baseball.
Joyce Williams who taught English, was a counselor, GHS '64 Class Advisor and Tri-Hi-Y Advisor.
Thank you for being with us here tonight and for making a difference in every day of our lives!
Wanda (Swansby) Jones and Alex Thole introduce all the classmates in the room A through Z.
Judy (Huntington) Jewell led the memorial tribute to our deceased classmates with a moment of silence intoned by a chime.
Ralph Metcalfe played "Sunrise, Sunset" from Fiddler on the Roof, a musical tribute to the passing of time. And who can forget our "Flash Mob" sing-along ahead of our group photo singing The Senior Song again that we sang at our Class Day?!
Co-Chairs' introduction of the Reunion Committee & presentation of orchids (our class Flower) to the Sub-Committee Chairs. Orchids to this wonderful committee!
We sang our Alma Mater led by our cheerleaders:
Glacier gals wore our Glacier blue & gold scarves handmade and presented by Hugh More:
We enjoyed all the collected memorabilia and beautiful decorations by Val Magee and the Decorations Team:
After the dinner program we enjoyed the Dessert Bistro, more visiting & picked up our Memory Books:
Beth (Strauss) Julicher holding copy of Memory Book, with editor Vicki (Hostetler) Jackson
Recognize the cover replicating that of our Senior Annual?
Thank you to Vicki Hostetler Jackson and her Memory Book Committee for our awesome memento!!
And What a Sweet Ending to our Evening!
Did you try the chocolate cupcake with peanut butter frosting and a garnish of a Reece's piece? OMG!
Thank you to Chris Parkinson Nasinec for the beautiful and delicious Dessert Bistro! So many beautiful choices -- most handmade by Chris. Talk about a labor of love! Thank you Anita Sollie Schenk for the yummy cookies too!
Most of all we enjoyed the company of our classmates and marking this milestone reunion -- GHS '64 together again in one room!
What a wonderful night! For more photos and reflections, visit the websites below. Add your photos too! And be sure to notify your co-chairs if you change your email address or move so you're in the loop for the next gathering of your Glacier Family.
Thank you to the members of the committee for the beautiful and generous gift baskets for your chair and co-chair. Such a surprise--so thoughtful and heartfelt. Thank you for making the journey so special!
Click on the links below to visit our websites:
Reunion Website and Memorial Wall
GHS '64 Private Facebook Site (Class of '64 roster only)
https://ghs6450threunion.shutterfly.com/ (To order prints of candid and group photos from our reunion)
Submitted October 31, 2014
Diana (Stillwell) Carew
Diana (Stillwell) Carew