A rather remarkable number of our classmates actually didn’t look all that different from their ‘57 pictures. The rest of us were actually far better-looking 45 years later, unless, of course, we were far better looking than the average back then, in which case we are far, far better looking today. Yes. Of course. Who would question that?
The attendee list totalled 102, 72 of whom were members of the Class of ‘57. Five who had signed up didn’t show up. Take a look at the list if you want to see who was there.
Anyway, the evening was wonderful. Fred Haggerty MC’d the evening for us. It was very low-key, very relaxed. We were all old enough just to be glad to be back together, to see each other, and to remember some good times without worrying very much about those questions that make people hate reunions.
Fred arranged, through personal visits with the Oakley kitchen staff, a very fine sit-down dinner for us. We had recorded music of the ‘50s and ‘60s to listen to, and every now and then Joe DiNunzio sat down and played some tunes for us at the piano.
The sad moment of the proceedings was Roy Wilkins’ reading of the roster of deceased classmates, numbering 22, nearly 10% of our class of 253. We have since received word of the passing of Joanne Spadaro McCaleb 12 years ago, an event of which we were unaware. Since the reunion we have also lost Nancy Simpson Porter, John McBride and Carol Talerico Dow.
One of the many happy moments occurred when Fred recognized Class of ‘57 Vice President Sam Smith and Joan (Sullivan) Smith, who had made the journey from Roanoke, VA, an arduous trip for Sam, who had a very serious stroke early in 2002. Sam reports that he had a wonderful time and that he was very touched by having so many of his friends come over to spend some time with him.
Another very happy moment was Fred’s awarding of the “Angel” award to Wayne and Winni (Branch) Paskerian for their multiple trips to Roanoke to help Sam and Joan after Sam’s stroke. They both helped Joan in Sam’s recovery program and in keeping things whole in a very trying time; and Wayne built ramps all over the Smith house to make it possible for Sam to get around in a wheelchair. Wayne and Winni neither expected nor wanted the recognition, and probably don’t want it here either - but they are so representative of what is good about our class that it must be recorded.
Class President Bill Stoneman also graced all of us with a very heart-warming greeting, and introduced guests Mary Ellen Rigano, widow of Richie Rigano, and his own sister, Dorothy Stoneman (BHS ‘59), who attended because of the fond memories she has of the members of our class.
On one side of the Oakley ballroom in which we had the event was a table loaded with photos and memorabilia from all of the Belmont grammar schools, Belmont Junior High School, BHS. and prior reunions. Your Webmaster managed to procure several photos and other materials and tmany of them have been posted on this site. Be sure to come back to see any new things that might be appearing.
We have received many e-mails since the reunion, some from people who attended, some from classmates who could not be there. You can see them posted on our E-mails page.