Class of 1934 reunites

June 19, 2005|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN - Jane Trace - cultivator of pedigree penguins

King Staley - the champion tight rope walker

These were some silly stabs that members of Hagerstown High School's class of 1934 took at predicting each other's future in "Maroon and Gray."

Henry Laughlin brought a copy with him to Saturday's 71-year reunion at Fountain Head Country Club.

Under "Class Prophecy," a few lines might have been serious, but several were cryptic and most were zany.

Ann Rupp - Bacillus and Sperellum - Beware!

Elmer Rouzer - a disillusioned bachelor

Stephen Schmidt - a hen-pecked husband

The class held reunions at five-year intervals until the get-togethers slipped off the cycle.


The 67-year reunion was in 2001. Thirty-one people attended out of 304 who graduated.

This year, 18 graduates were there. The turnout seems stronger after you hear Earl Wolf say that about 78 graduates are alive.

Since the last reunion, 30 classmates died, including:

Robert Liskey - a crooner rendering his influential lyrics over station BUNK and

Mary C. Miller - she got her Dan, or was it Sam?

Wolf told the group that the class gender breakdown was about even in 1934, but it's now 60-40 for the women.

"That shows that the ladies outlive us," said Wolf, who helped organize the reunion. "They may have walkers and wheelchairs, but they outlive us."

He asked his classmates, many of whom are approaching 90, to help keep the alumni list current.

"Keep us posted. So, if you die, send me an e-mail," he joked, "because I don't have e-mail."

Earl Wolfe (one of several typos in "Maroon and Gold") - sole owner of a great Auto Repair Shop

Wolf said he was interested in cars then and his father owned Wolf Auto Top Co. at Willow Lane and Frederick Street.

But Earl Wolf sold insurance as a career.

Elsewhere, "Maroon and Gold" nearly hit a bull's-eye.

Thomas Sager - Mayor of Hagerstown in 1960

That also did not happen. He and his father were in the wholesale business together in Sager-Redford Lumber, said Doris Sager, Thomas's wife for nearly 59 years.

Thomas, 89, now lives at Coffman Nursing Home in Hagerstown.

But Thomas and Doris have a son named Steven - who was Hagerstown's mayor from 1985 to 1997.

Henry Laughlin - star player in the theatrical production "Dream Man"

Page Laughlin laughed when she read that. It definitely was not her husband.

His career was psychoanalysis. He was a doctor on a World War II destroyer and at a Naval hospital in Bethesda, Md.

As Henry Laughlin passed collectible postage stamps to his classmates on Saturday, he said he twice performed appendectomies at sea.

Yet, "Maroon and Gold" could be forgiven for its assumption. One memento he brought to the reunion was a playbill from "Officer 666," the comedic senior class play - starring Henry Laughlin.

Gale Cook - manager of the New York Yankees

Lorine Obenshain - originator of certified squirtless grape fruit

Ethel L. Gilbert Ebersole hadn't been to a class reunion before. But her interest was piqued this time. Her daughter, Judy Frearson, said OK, and they flew in from Michigan.

The ride from Baltimore's airport was long and traffic-packed. When they hit Hagerstown, Ebersole wanted a drink. How about that place by City Park?

There on the wall at The Grille at Park Circle, a piece of historic decor, was a photo: the Hagerstown High School class of 1934.

Co-owner Bob Ginsberg took it down and gave them a flashlight. Frearson needed little time to pick out her mother.

"She's one of those people that didn't change much," she said.

Ebersole, who will turn 90 soon, was a buyer for Montgomery Ward for three years after high school. Then, she raised three children.

She will celebrate her 68th wedding anniversary in November and has volunteered at a hospital for 38 years.

Ebersole, a gymnast and basketball player known as "Lefty," said her high school crowd is gone, so she was meeting some classmates for the first time on Saturday.

"I'm glad we went," she said.

Lucille Cox - soda slinger with lot's of sling

Richard Hannon - a stout grandpa with a flowing soup-strainer

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