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60 years for four years of memories

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The 60th reunion of the Sequim High School class of 1950 returned them to familiar ground.
On Sept. 17, the former students now ages 77 and 78, toured the recently remodeled old high school.
“It took us back a few years,” said Wilma Johnson, reunion coordinator. “It’s basically where our classes were, too.”  
Students in Riley Stites’ building trades class set up old yearbooks, class pictures, a history display of Sequim and led tours for the graduates.
“His students were very nice,” Johnson said. “I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
Stites and his skills center students have worked four years on the building. He said they have more work upstairs in the 16,000-square-foot facility built in 1928.
Lea Hopson, 17, said looking through the old year-books was cool.
“It’s crazy to see how everything looked back then,” Hopson said.
Jerry Anguili shared the nostalgia.
He remembered in chemistry class his teacher Norma Allertz telling his friend and fellow graduate Dave Jones not to take a tube out of a beaker.
Jones did anyway and it exploded, covering him
in glass.
“She said, ‘Dave, what did I tell you?’” Anguili said.
The graduates shared other stories and caught up with each other’s lives during the school visit.
“It was good to talk about our stories and old teachers that we once dreaded,” Johnson said. “Now we know they meant a lot to us.”

Sizable changes

Sequim’s class sizes have grown dramatically since 1950.
There were 40 senior graduates then. Now about 200 graduate each year.
Johnson said some graduates couldn’t make the event, chose not to come or have died.
The class has held reunions after 20, 40, 50 and 55 years. A few of the graduates have lived in Sequim and Port Angeles most of their lives. Beverly Hendrickson said her family has continued living here and three generations have graduated from Sequim High School.
Anguili said he’s never lived more than two miles from Sequim, minus a three-month fishing trip in Alaska. He worked at his own business, Tire Service Company, for almost 27 years, which was a block from the center of Sequim.
“Some might say I was never smart enough to find my way out of here,” Anguili joked.
Clyde Lamb said he lived here half way through his eighth-grade year through graduation before moving to California. In high school, he played football and worked seven days a week milking cows and testing milk. After Sequim, he went into the Navy and then met his wife, Patricia, before a long career with Boeing.

Honored at halftime

The graduates had a laid back weekend despite bad weather.
They were guests of honor at the Wolves’ football game where former players and a yell leader were honored at halftime.
“We got drenched but it was fun,” Johnson said.
Prior to the game, they held a gathering in the high school cafeteria for refreshments.  
On Saturday, they met for lunch and then dinner at Cameron’s Café inside the
Sequim Senior Activity Center.
Leonard Beil, a former teacher of agriculture and woodworking, attended the dinner as well.
A total of 29 people attended the festivities.
Johnson said the reunion was a nice time for everyone.
 

Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

 

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