As some of you know, I was a member of the class of 1957 at Weedsport Central School. In fact, I was class president, elected on a straight party line vote — there were more boys than girls in the class! It's hard to believe that this year we are celebrating our 57th anniversary of alumniship. Most of us by now have raised families and had careers, and are now at last enjoying some form of retirement, although in a lot of ways retirement is just work by another name.
We have always been a very close class, graduating just 50 members in 1957, but small class size is one of the things that makes attending school at Weedsport so special and so rewarding. The school system is always rated as one of the best in the area, and if you want further proof of that, check out the New York state school report cards issued annually. For that matter, look at the realty ads in this paper, where one of the first attributes of a property listing in our area is "WEEDSPORT SCHOOLS"!
We have always celebrated the same weekend as the annual school alumni banquet, renting a local hall and enjoying a meal together Friday night, spending Saturday together, going to the alumni banquet Saturday evening and having a brunch somewhere Sunday morning before going our separate ways for another year. Although with the ravages of time our class has shrunk from 50 to 40 members, the rest of us soldier on as if we just came down the long driveway on East Brutus Street last week.
Although we have always had a close relationship with each other, it takes a bit of grunt work to keep us together. Our local planning committee consists of Judy Lofft, Connie Bolton, Alicia Procino, Barbara Ryan, Bruce Christopher, Burt Ward and me. Anchoring the whole shebang is our webmaster, Joan Higham in New Port Richey, Florida. Joan lists every class member's address, phone number and email address. She sends out birthday notices for everyone and keeps track of illnesses, who's been where and who's doing what. All of the writing that I have done for this paper may be viewed on this site. Writings by classmate Bob Leonardi may also be viewed here. It is a wealth of information, with links to the village, the library and the school, among others. Joan also hosts a winter mini-reunion in February for those of us fortunate enough to be able to escape the ice and snow. If you wish to climb aboard our "information highway" and find out what the class of '57 is up to, go on joanhigham.com and try to keep up with us.
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We have always been proud of the fact that we were the first class to attend school in the Brutus Street building, and we always enjoy going back. If we have one wish for the class of 2014, it is to come together often, preferably in conjunction with the alumni banquet, and always have as much fun together as we have had for the past 57 years. The accompanying photo courtesy of Joan Ashby shows us at the alumni banquet on June 21.
Shown in the front row, from left, are Lorna Jones Sande, Judy Kappesser Smith, Barbara Melvin Martino, Marcella Jorolemon Navarro, Sister Phyllis Tierney SSJ, Joan Spier Higham and Judy Williams Lofft. In the top row, from left, are David Keel, Gordon Weller, Peter O'Hara, Alicia Rosencrans Procino, Connie Goodrich Bolton,Ron Berry, John Ashby, John Bankert, Sue Whitman Guszcza, Denny Salsbury, myself, Joan Wethey Jones, Dan Jeffers, Mary Jane Shepherd DeNike, Barbara Ward Ryan, Bill Babcock and Burt Ward. Holding the banner are Dick Brown, left, and Bruce Christopher.
Until next year, when like the swallows of Capestrano the "class of a lifetime" will return to our childhood home, we wish you all the very best.