50/60 Reunion Recap


      We were seniors once.  And for some, a second time when receiving that college diploma.
      Now, once again, we're seniors -- at least by the calendar -- and most of us have an advanced degree from the College of Experience.
      But when we of the Newton High School Class of 1950 gather, the calendar seems to be forgotten, appearances notwithstanding. We're all transported back to another time, six decades and longer in the past, sharing what have turned out to be common interests and memories.
      So it was when about two score members of the class and spouses gathered in Newton for three days in early October 2010 to mark the passing of 60 years since our graduation one May evening.
      There was a lot of catching up -- news of families, children, grandchildren, other class members and friends -- and a bit of celebrating as well.  It took place over a dinner and a luncheon at the Fox Ridge Restaurant, a morning brunch at the home of Maggie Morgan, and in participation by some in events celebrating the 125th anniversary of the high school.
      One highlight was the display of a banner celebrating the Class of 1950, provided by Jim Gray and his family.  It was eye-catching and rekindled some memories of that year we graduated.  The banner was also displayed during an open house at the renovated high school on West Twelfth.  It was subsequently passed on to the school for permanent display.
      Then there was Sid Gates' video covering past reunions, which generated more recollections of those events and of members attending.  Equally interesting to some was his showing of part of the film of the Newton-Wichita East basketball game in Lindley Hall our senior year. 
Newton won, 49-47.  More than one viewer agreed it showed "basketball as it was meant to be played."
      On the sobering side was the circulation of a list of deceased class members and reports on those who are missing over the years or who are dealing with health problems.
      Scanning a couple of scrapbooks at various times brought members up to date on a range of events in friends' lives and also generated more recollections about some of those now gone or from whom little has been heard in recent years.  Perhaps those times of remembering help strengthen the bonds that have come to entwine the individual members of the class over these six decades.
      So it is that we have become a closer-knit circle that remembers, celebrates, cares and occasionally mourns as the events of our lives pass along a corridor of time that always seems to have a passageway leading back to a place called Newton . . . and Newton High school.
      Once again, our thanks to those who made this reunion possible through their hard work, and to those who contributed in whatever way to its success.  In addition, our deep gratitude to those who keep track of members and who do their best to keep us all in touch with one another.
      So it came to pass that, following a delicious brunch on a sunny autumn Sunday morning, we parted ways.  At the same time, we looked forward to gathering again in three years in October 2013.
      Yeah, we're seniors according to the calendar, but within we're still a bunch of spirited youngsters.  See y'all in three years!


Dale Stewart