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Dunkirk’s ’51 grads were special, loving group

“In the halls of Dunkirk High School, till we reach our journey’s end we will work with all our might and main, our honor to defend.”

Those words simple but true were written 65 years ago to define and preserve for posterity the make up of those who were members of th Class of 1951.

Only time, too much or too little, will tell us sadly the embedded story within a story for those who remember their school days at DHS. It is sad not to know who will read this — and who will not.

It was the year 1947 that the Class of 1951 entered the portals of Dunkirk High School as freshmen. If one truly cared, the doors in kindergarten were open in the year 1939.

Though those many years have come and gone, it is hopeful our focus has been not on our destination, but rather on enjoying the journey — enjoying the ride if you will — and taking time to smell the roses.

It has been said “that life is a journey and if you fall in love with the journey, you will be in love forever.”

The beginning for us as classmates began on the first day that we entered grade school, and of course our journey was guided by the restatement once written about our class.

I once read that the moments of happiness we enjoy in our lifetime sometims take us by surprise, not because we seize them, but more so to live and enjoy the momentum.

If we think about it, it’s funny but true. Sometimes we never realize the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.

Therefore as we go back in time, retain in rememberance the following moments. The class of ’51, much like many classes over the years that have attended Dunkirk High School, was truly something to behold.

I can say that, since I was a member of this class, above all else it gave credence to the feelings that one loves those most whom is loved first. Of course this is a presumption, one that I hold for better or worse, that many of us as classmates have never forgotten our high school days — or have we?

I sometimes give thought to my class and when I do, if I could have one thing above all others … .it might very well be to bottle all of those class memories into ajar and keep it by my bedside only to be revisited whenever I pleased.

Wow. Wouldn’t that be great.

As classmates and friends, who could ever forget those early morning wakeups, coupled with a long and quite walk to school along side a friend which, may very well have presented a way to forget those early morning conversations we sometime had such as “Yes Mom. No Mom.”

To some, and perhaps many of us — if not all of us — though recalling and longing for the past. In truth it may not always have been the best of times.

It has been said, that good times as well as bad times will always exist — and only because for us to enjoy the good times , there needs to be some bad times in order to to know the difference.

Those long gone moments when one thinks about it may very well offer an upliftng light hearted playful “feel good essance” reminiscent of what it feels like when we were young and carefree.

For certain a glance aat our mkeup enticed us to be who we seaked to be the unretumed romantic crushes that often went nowhere, the persistant embarrassment and desperate struggles for popularity, as well as coping with parental pressure and perhaps above all competion in social, athletic and academic venues.

I have a feeling for which I have always had, that for better or for worse many of us as classmates have never really forgotten each other. And if it wasn’t for the ocassional reminders we received from one another, one could only guess what could have happened with our recollections .

I cannot help but remember one person in particular above all others who shoud receive a pat on the back, and a hug if you will for promoting the closeness and harmony we as a class have enjoyed over the years. That person is Pat Reed Frey, a girl who walked in quite confidence never chasing or clamoring for attention. I loved that girl

I truly admired her leadership and her dedication for not allowing any member of the Class of ’51 to forget each other.

With Pat in mind along with members of the “Class of 1951” wouldn’t a roll call be fitting and take us as Classmates back into a” homeroom atmosphere.” A roll call would lend both smiles and tears to those sceeds of childhood while taking us back to a stage in our lives that allows us to be kids again. And though sadly some of our beloved classmates may no longer be with us in body, those of us who remember will always hold them in spirit close to our hearts.

Along with members of Our Class I am truly hopeful that loved ones of those departed will join us in rememberance of our classmates. I will therefore ask, Wives and Husbands, Brothers and Sisters Aunts and Uncles, Cousins and Nephews along with Neises, Neighbors and Friends to bring to mind, thoughts of those departed ,and return there memory back to the present. So as a classmate and or loved one, your attention no matter where you are, please stand and be recognized as a member of the “Class of 1951”:

They include: Geraldine Adamski, Concetti Aroraci, Beatrice Babcock, Frank Barnes, Ralph Bartkowiak, Maxine Bennett, Shirley Bennett, Jant Bentley, John Bernard, Joan Bennett, Clara Bialaszewski, Annette Bielat, Robert Bielawski, Wallace Blair, Marcella Borowski, Donald Briggs, Howard Brown, Joan Brown, Patricia Bruce, Shirley Buckley, Richard Burgstrom, Ronald Cabaj, Patricia Carlato, Marcia Carlyon, Clara Casella, Charles Cash, Carmelita Celino, Patricia Cirrito, James Cloos, Mary Ann Cornwall, Phyllis Cybulski, Delanor Dascenzo, Richard Davidson, Meredith DeLand, Joan Dilenkofer, Arthur Dobeck, Andrew Doedyns, Angeline Dolce, Howard Donovan, Robert Douglas.

Marilyn Fulks, Jenne Foley, Barbara Gawlowicz, Ray Gawronski, Romemarie Giacchino, Clement Gillson, Frank Guarnati, Helen Gula, Roman Halasinski, Frank Halick, Virginia Hannum, Robin Harris, Robin Holloway, Lenora Ingavo, Patricia Jaguszewski, Joan James, Richard Jesionowski, Natalie Jesse, Mary Ellen Johnson, Phyllis Jean Jopek, Marion Jourdanais, Richard Jusko, Robert Karalus, Robert Kaus, Evelyn Kokocinski, John Koper, Jane Marie Kozlowski, Deloris Krzakala, Frank Lagana, Jacqueline Lancaster, Joyce Landis, William Lanski, Alyson Lacklites, Harry Lehan, Barbara Lentz, Jacqueline Logan, Mathew Ludes.

Monica Meade, Robert Merritee, Alice Michalak, Anthony Mleczko, Nancy Mleczko, Shirley Mourer, Mildred Murino, Carol Muscato, Leonard Nasca, Noreen Naslund, Paul Nelson, Patricia Nichols, Carol Nikitas, Donald Novelli, Joel Obenchain, Carol Parker, Garnet Pattison, Betty Ann Pawiak, Lucille Petrella, Antoniette Pietro, Robert Pleszewski, Robert Polaski, Frank Razek, John Raths, Aileen Reading, Patrica Reed, Raymond Rich, James Rose, Ronald Rucinski.

Carl Saglimben, Consance Salisbury, Nancy Ann Sampson, Lois Schineider, Margret Schrantz, Theresa Schrantz, Andrew Snyder, James Sobkowski, Christina Spence, Nancy Spencer, Shela Spencer, Naida Stowell, Joanne Stringer, Joseph Strong, James Strychalski, Francis Symans, John Szczerbacki, Raymond Szukzlz, Robert Thompson, Nancy Towne, Joesph Triaga, Catherine Vandura, Henry Walldorff, Ward Washington, Jean Wolf, Nancy Wolf, Deloris Wollert and Joanne Wright.

Memories. What would life be without them? For certain they remind us of who we have become. For some, it is common to suppose memores are just about remembering, but truly if we think about it they are much more.

From the time we met and became classmates, we started learning, all which has helped to make us who we have grown to be as well as , who we have become and recognized as the Class of 1951.

As I begin to give thought about closing this walk down Memory Lane, I have one request to make. Consider the following: take the time to contact at least one member of our class, just one bosom buddyfor the purpose of renewing your friendship and therefore remembering the Class of 1951. You can do it either by phone, by mail, or a knock on the door. Who knows. Your friendship, rather than being about memories, may very well be about the moment.

I must tell you, I have truly enjoyed having you as a member of my class — the Class of 1951. Your memories made you who you are, but please remember this: Sometimes we will never really know the value of moment, until it becomes a memory.

Carl Saglimben is currently an Allegany resident.

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