Five years have hur­ried by; it’s re­union time again

The Register Citizen (Torrington, CT) - - FRONT PAGE - Owen Canfield

We’ve been wait­ing five years for this. Fi­nally, it’s Tor­ring­ton High School class of 1952 re­union time. We’ll com­mence our 65th on Aug. 5 at Fairview Farm Golf Club’s well-ap­pointed restau­rant, which has plenty of space for our af­ter­noon cel­e­bra­tion.

I have a list of all the “cats and chicks who will get their kicks at the hop.” (You re­mem­ber that jumpin’ old tune, right? What, be­fore your time? Oh, well)

This par­tic­u­lar hop will be very well at­tended, all things con­sid­ered. One of those things to con­sider is that we, as a class, are a lit­tle long in the tooth and not as frisky as we were back in the prover­bial day. Of course, we don’t ad­mit that.

It has been noted, but lit­tle is be­ing made of, the fact that this will be our last re­union. But in the strictest sense, it won’t be the ab­so­lute last, be­cause every month, April through Oc­to­ber, the class has lunch at Fairview for all FiftyT­wo­ers who can make it. Ob­vi­ously, most out-of-town­ers can’t travel to th­ese gath­er­ings, but oc­ca­sion­ally, some­one will be back home on the right day and will at-

tend. I try not to miss out, be­cause there is al­ways news to gather and a cer­tain warmth that set­tle in on us.

Can you tell I’m ex­cited about the up­com­ing 65th? Well, I’m not try­ing to sup­press it, be­cause it’s go­ing to be a mem­o­rable, happy time of re­new­ing friend­ships or ac­quain­tance­ships that had their be­gin­nings all those years ago.

As a clown­ish car­toon char­ac­ter in a mostly-for­got­ten comic strip from long, long ago used to say, “A lot of stuff has gone un­der the thing,” since then. He meant “a lot of wa­ter has gone un­der the bridge,” of course, but he was a car­toon char­ac­ter who couldn’t re­mem­ber any­thing, and hey, whadadya want?

Nat­u­rally, we’ve lost some mem­bers in the past five years, since the last hop. Among them is Bob Summa, who died last month af­ter an ex­tended bat­tle, which was noth­ing short of heroic, with his dam­aged heart. Summa was toast­mas­ter last time. That was a good one, and I missed it be­cause of an auto ac­ci­dent that al­most did me in. My dear friend and fel­low class­mate Maureen Mur­phy Pugs­ley missed it too, be­cause of the same ac­ci­dent.

Any­way, we’re OK now, and we’re not about to miss this one.

This event isn’t just hap­pen­ing by magic, though it will be mag­i­cal. Jean Wylie Reid and Mar­lene Horn­fis­cher Parker are lead­ing and have led the tire­less group who has put it all to­gether. You’ve got to love th­ese two for their ded­i­ca­tion to the cause and un­stint­ing hard work. With­out them, it sim­ply wouldn’t hap­pen, and if it didn’t, that would bor­der on tragic.

Other com­mit­tee mem­bers have con­trib­uted vast amounts of time and work too, and they should be sin­gled out. So, here’s sin­gling: Judy Wei­d­haas Brown, Lu­cille Dusi Merati, Carol Dou­glas Cian­ci­olo, Claire McDon­ald, Mar­i­lyn Za­vatkay Tucker, Elsie Gottschall Gan­gell. There. If I missed any­one, I’ll pay what­ever penalty is as­sessed and of­fer un­end­ing apolo­gies.

The ir­re­place­able Jean Reid in­formed me Fri­day that Mary Gallo Wilt will be there. Mary wrote a class song, not “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” but an­other spe­cial one which fit the class per­fectly. Mary’s dear friend Roberta DeMichael Keesler, with whom she made mu­sic and with whom she some­times per­formed, died not too long ago. With Mary, we mourn Bobbi.

J. Reid also said she had been in touch with Bill Schaller who, a few reunions ago, pre­sented ev­ery­one there with a 1952 quar­ter, which he had been sav­ing for sev­eral years. This time, for­mer U.S. Post Of­fice de­liv­ery man Schaller in­formed Jean that he would at­tend and would be wear­ing a spe­cial pair of shoes.

It seems Bill worked in a shoe store dur­ing that grad­u­a­tion year, ‘52. There was a com­pe­ti­tion among em­ploy­ees to see which of them could sell the most Cor­dovans, the win­ner to re­ceive a pair of Cor­dovans.

“They were great shoes and I worked my head off to try to win those Cor­dovans,” Bill told Jean, “And I did it. I won. I’ve still got those shoes and I’m go­ing to wear them to the re­union.”

Such sto­ries will dom­i­nate at every ta­ble on Aug. 5, which is guar­an­teed to be a day to re­mem­ber.

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