By Chip Kessler
Grant High School, class of 1965
The largest high school class in Oregon up to that time (1965), and the largest Grant graduating class ever celebrated its 50th reunion on August 21, 22 and 23.
Things have changed a little in 50 years. One ring on the family phone back then and it was your neighbors, two rings and it was your house.
The volunteer committee figured out early on that word of mouth and Facebook would not get the job done in contacting as many classmates as possible. We chose Reunions With Class as the company helping us in finding as many as possible and put on the main event Saturday night.
We had 894 graduating seniors, of those we found 635 people, 168 students could not be found, 92 are deceased and we ended up with 300 classmates and spouses attending Saturday night’s big event.
Before Saturday night came Fremont on Friday, all of the feeder grade schools chose a meeting place Friday on Fremont for dinner and catch-up knowing the next night would be overwhelming.
One exception was Kennedy school, they just had to meet at McMenamins Kennedy School.
After dinner and drinks it was wonderful wandering Fremont to see who you bumped into or could recognize. There was a great turn out at all the sites.
Saturday night was at Riverside Country Club. The five hours at Riverside were gone in a wisp. Committee members set up a memorabilia table with many flashes from the past, letter-man sweaters, group shots from back in the day, photos of Yaws, The Speck, KISN Radio etc.
A photo board of all the classmates who have passed was also displayed. Our true celebrity classmate Sally Struthers made it and graciously put up with many selfies. The time just flew by.
We were not finished yet. Sunday was an ice cream social at U. S. Grant attended by around 150. We hired the head custodian to open the school for us. After ice cream and an hour or so wandering the hallowed halls (center hall got small and there really is an elevator now) we met in the auditorium for a short talk by Wayne Curtin the head custodian laying out what was planned to happen in two years when the remodel happens.
The Royal Blues then performed some new songs they were just learning and then the Grant anthem and fight song. Give me a G. The ice cream donations raised $200 that will be donated to the Royal Blues. We are looking forward to our 55th and seeing how that wonderful high school has been transformed.