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Preparing to turn back clock with classmates

Commentary

It’s the last hurrah for the Dunkirk High School Class of 1969.

Our 50-year reunion took a lifetime to get here, yet graduation seems like only yesterday. The event, which is being held Aug. 1 to 4, will also be the last formal reunion — so listen up, fellow classmates.

This is your ONLY chance to spend an evening in a ’60s time machine, reminiscing with your long-lost high school friends while nostalgic music plays in the background. For the players on the Southwestern League championship football team, it will likely be your only opportunity to reunite with your beloved Coach Vincent Keough, who will be the main speaker.

Four days of activities have been planned by the hard-working committee. Music in the Park, with our own special tent, kicks off the festivities in Memorial Park Thursday, Aug. 1, beginning at 5 p.m and featuring “The Who” Tribute Band. Friday is a casual meet ‘n greet at Rookies Sports Bar at 8 p.m. with the main event taking place at the Dunkirk American Legion Post 62 on Saturday.

The Legion banquet room will be chock-full of high school memorabilia and decorated in a ’60s theme. Knowing the artistic prowess of some of my classmates, the atmosphere will be totally transformed into that wondrous time when we were all young and anticipating the future. It’s mind-boggling to come to terms with the fact that the same future we looked forward to so eagerly has now become our past. But what memories and hilarious anecdotes are waiting to be told!

The grand party commences Saturday, Aug. 3 at 6 p.m. with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Since every party centers around food, the committee has guaranteed that no one will go away hungry by providing not just one, but two entrees to each guest: rolled sirloin in burgundy sauce and country-stuffed asiago chicken. Dinner is at 7 p.m with a group photo immediately preceding dinner.

The reunion committee has planned a fun-filled night with a DJ, the presentation of a high school diploma 50 years after the fact, skits, a salute to the veterans in our class, a time capsule and class gift to our alma mater, a remembrance service for deceased class members, and a surprise or two.

The reunion wraps up with a Memorial Mass to be celebrated at St. Hyacinth Church Aug. 4 at 10 a.m. The names of our 28 deceased class members (out of a class of 222) will be read just prior to the Mass. Classmate Barney Kuzara will play taps and Amazing Grace on the trumpet. Family members and friends of the deceased are warmly welcomed to attend this Memorial Mass. An optional brunch at the Clarion will be held immediately following the Mass.

Now that I have described this oh-so-special occasion in its entirety, I would like to take the opportunity to address the members of the Class of ’69, in particular those who live in the area. The reunion committee has spent countless hours organizing this event, not for themselves, but for you. If you do not have a prior commitment that weekend, please make every attempt to come to your 50th reunion. I have had a sneak peek at what is planned and I GUARANTEE (just like Joe Namath) that this reunion is going to be a real winner — one to be etched in your memory for years to come. So please be sure to attend and bear witness to the indomitable spirit of your school: Once a Marauder, always a Marauder.

Anyone desiring further information is asked to call Judy Tenamore, reunion chairman, at 785-4209.

I said this five years ago for our 45th reunion and it bears repeating:

BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

Mary Ann Herrington is a Dunkirk resident and a regular contributor to the OBSERVER.

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