by Lisa Tome
"The years and the pounds have taken a toll."
But that didn't mean that the 30 plus members of the Rising Sun High School Class of 1963 who gathered in the town park on Saturday, didn't know one another.
"It's kind of surreal. Everyone has gray hair and is walking slowly," said Roger Cole, who served as treasurer for the Class of 1963. Cole organized the 50 year reunion and traveled 250 miles from his home in West Virginia to attend the June 15 gathering.
"Being able to bring these people together to do this makes it worthwhile," said Cole. He also said it was important that people attended the 50th year. "No one wants to come to the 51st or 52nd," he said.
Cole did a lot of the work himself locating his classmates. He used school yearbooks and the internet. He also tapped into resources provided by the Rising Sun High School Alumni Association. He said that several of his classmates aided the effort. He was able to get 34 members of the 71 classmates to commit to attending the reunion. Harry and Gilberta Deaner of Port Deposit were both members of the Class of 1963. While the class marked its 50th year on Saturday, the Deaners have a milestone of their own approaching. They married a month after graduating and will have their 50th anniversary in July. They started dating as high school freshman. "Once I got my claws in him I wouldn't let him go," laughed Gilberta Deaner. "The first time I saw here, I knew she was the one," Harry Deaner said.
Class member Joanna Osborne saw her classmate Marietta Richardson Grevis as Grevis was asking classmates to sign her yearbook. "I haven't seen her in 50 years. I think it's neat," said Osborne.
Grevis was glad she brought the yearbook.
"It's hard recognizing people. The hairstyles have changes," she said. Grevis read her personal motto in the yearbook. It read "Swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath." She said that hasn't changed.
Allan Miller traveled from Dover, Delaware to the reunion. "This makes me feel old. But it's a chance to see everybody again," said Miller. "The last 26 years flew by. They went faster than the first 25."
Mack Reece and Bill Harvey took a minute to share a joke. "They promised me they didn't notify you (about the reunion)," joked Reece.
Don Struble, 85, who was the physical education teacher for the class, stopped by the reunion. Struble quickly identified students and caught up with what they're doing now. He was greeted with hugs and handshakes. Cole mostly just sat back and watched.
"One of the few talents I have is that I'm organized. I haven't seen some of these people in 50 years. But I will let someone else organize the 75th and 100th reunions," laughed Cole. He said he found that about 80 percent of his classmates still live locally in Rising Sun, Conowingo, and Colora.