1959 40th Reunion
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The 45th reunion of the AHS Class of 1959
A Review by Bill Cato
The Albany High School class of 1959 celebrated its 45th reunion in Albany on August 6th and 7th. It was a truly wonderful reunion. There may have been fewer participants than past reunions, but there was a real quality about this gathering. The quality most likely can be attributed to the group who organized and oversaw all of the activities. There was also an air of anticipation about the arrival of two classmates who were attending for the first time. One of these, Mike Merren, of San Antonio, Texas is the only known doctor in the class of 1959. Mike is an urologist. The other, who did not arrive until Saturday night, caused quite a stir on Friday. Many stories of his high school exploits began to surface. Seems that everyone had a story to tell of how he threatened or beat up someone. He is Mr. Harry Ort of Birmingham, Alabama and Destin, Florida. A number of stories were openly told on Saturday night about the bully exploits of Harry during our high school years. I for one was very pleased to see both of these classmates after so many years. I’m certain I was not the only one who felt this way.
The reunion officially began on Friday, August 6th with a golf tournament at in the morning followed by an evening of excellent food and beverages at the old Carnegie Library. The food, for the most part, was prepared by local members of the class. For example, John Vansant provided a really fine barbeque. I’m not certain who brought the other food, but John told me he did the BBQ and it was truly good. Friday evening was a time to mingle and catch up on what has happened in everyone’s life since the last reunion. The evening was very informal as well as informative. Many of us still find out things that happened back in the 50’s that we didn’t know about and now find somewhat hard to believe. Could these stories have grown more interesting after 45 years?
Saturday began with a second round of golf for those who played. Spencer Lee noted later that having looked at the scores, no one actually played. They all just played at it. On Saturday afternoon, a picnic was held at the new River Front Park. The weather was absolutely great for being out of doors. Topping off this event was a private showing of the River Front Park Aquarium with Emily Haley McAfee (class of 1960) as our guide. The folks in Albany should be very proud of the park and aquarium.
Saturday’s finale was a dinner and dance at the Knights of Columbus. Spencer Lee was, as always the master of ceremonies and did a pretty good skit of xxxxx the Magnificent with Robin Leeger Voiers. A number of people also took center stage to tell stories about the “good old days”. Like I said earlier, I believe some of the stories were embellished just a bit. Two coaches from our period, Graham Lowe and Bob Fowler were special guests. Both of these men came to Albany very close to the time of our freshmen year so they are only a few years older than most of the class of 1959. Joe Watkins would be the exception as he and the coaches are about the same age.
All in all it was a great reunion. After all, it was a great class. How many other classes had a Bones, a Doodle, a Super Duck, a Dumbo, a Spider Monkey, a Fatty, a Rug Head, a Plasma Head, a Toilet, a Hinky, a Lobo, and an Edsel as class members?
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