December 03, 2006

The Clear Spring High School Class of 1961 held its 45th anniversary reunion on Oct. 14 in the Pen Mar room of the Plaza Hotel in Hagerstown, with dinner by the Fireside Restaurant.

Twenty-three of the surviving 61 classmates were in attendance as the class shared tales of the last 45 years and memories of their years together in high school. Music from the early 50s to early 60s provided background, and decorations in the class colors of red and white greeted the gathering.

The highlight of the evening was an auction of items supplied by class members. Some of the items were homemade crafts and home decor. The most sought-after items were a new children's book, "Bison and Burro," written by classmate Betty Ann Ernst Bauer, and several bottles of homemade, competition wild berry "Tara" wine, made by classmate Steve Tucker. Auction patter provided by Lee Ridenour and Steve Tucker kept the proceedings lively. Proceeds from the auction and a 50/50 drawing go to the class treasury for planning the 50th reunion.


A table filled with memorabilia from Clear Spring High School, including copies of graduation announcements, a 1961 Trailblazer yearbook, copies of The Voice (school newspaper), playbills, newspaper clippings, a blue and gold school pennant, and a red and white class jacket were among the many items shared. Since the group has met faithfully every five years, photos of the preceding eight reunions held by the class were also on display.

Joan Tucker, chair of the reunion committee, announced that the 50th reunion committee will be headed by Lee Ridenour, who is recruiting volunteers to work with him. Joan also reminded classmates to visit the new Clear Spring library, where the Class of 1961 is recognized on the brass dedication plaque for raising more than $1,000 in contributions for the library's construction.

Betty Ann Kriner, class president, led a brief class meeting where everyone was encouraged to attend the annual Clear Spring High School Alumna banquet in June. This event serves as an opportunity to catch up with classmates and friends from other classes on a yearly basis. Addresses for all will be submitted to the alumna committee. Attendance is required in order to stay on the list.

Class photos arranged by Allan Johnson were taken for later mailing. Program books, filled with memories of the class years and updated information on all class members, composed, edited and printed by Elaine Holler and Linda Irvin-Craig, were also mailed. This booklet also contains comparative trivia about popular culture, population, prices and politics from the three years that represented major events for the class: 1943, the year most of the classmates were born; 1961, the year of graduation; and 2006.

A memorial table for the nine deceased class members, Nelson Sterling, Connie Carbaugh Douglas, Barry Mason, Richard Hawbaker, Mason Long, Phil Carpenter, Wanda Mummert Baker, Robert Bowers and Richard Johnson, along with their photos, candles and flowers, was arranged at the entrance to the banquet room. A special page in the program book was also dedicated to them.

Reunion committee members included Joan Rosenberry Tucker, chair; Betty Ann Kline Kriner, Linda Eavey Irvin-Craig, Elaine Joy Holler, Betty Sue Krontz Faith, Fred Baker, Perry Bussard, Allan Johnson, Steve Tucker and Lee Ridenour.

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