January 28, 2007

The Hagerstown High School Class of 1956 celebrated its 50th anniversary class reunion in September.

The three-day affair started on Friday evening, Sept. 15, at Milestone Farm, the home of classmate Don Bowman and his wife, Jone. This was an informal gathering, with classmates mingling and chatting about the good old days and catching up with the latest about each other's lives. The Bowmans provided food, drinks and an old-time ice cream bar. They also had a few of their 1950s automobiles on display, which were a good topic of conversation.

On Saturday evening, Sept. 16, class members and their spouses and guests once again got together at the Four Points Sheraton in Hagerstown for a delicious buffet dinner and dance. Dick Miller served as master of ceremonies for the event. The band Just Us provided '50s music for everyone's listening and dancing pleasure.

The Rev. Herbert Schlotterbeck, a class member, gave the invocation and also a memorium for the deceased members of the class.


Centerpieces with touches of gold adorned the tables, and gold accents were used around the room. Each class member was given a memento, a trivet designed especially for the occasion by class member Thom Martin. Hagerstown High School and the Valencia were pictured on the trivet. The Valencia was across the street from Hagerstown High School, and was the regular hangout for students at the school.

Program booklets, which included information about each class member, history about the different schools the class attended, prices in 1956 as compared to the present, etc. were also given to the classmates. Thom Martin designed the covers of the booklet and the invitation sent to each class member.

Classmates came from all over the U.S., and one member flew in from Ecuador.

The weekend concluded with a picnic of fried chicken with all the trimmings, on the pavilion at the Funkstown American Legion. This was a nice event, where class members could be truly casual, and the stories and memories were forthcoming from all who attended.

Hagerstown High School was the only high school in Hagerstown in 1956, and graduated 434 class members that year. This was the last graduating class from HHS. South Hagerstown High School opened in the fall of 1956 and graduated its first class in the spring of 1957. Hagerstown High School became North Hagerstown High School in the fall of 1956.

Members of the reunion committee were Donna (Hein) Bachman, Don and Jone Bowman, Shirley (Lumm) Erdmanis, Faye (Neibert) Fowler, Shirley (Lillard) Gladhill, Margaret (Longanecker) Martin, Thom and Katie Martin, Chris Maugans, Dick Miller, Fran (Trager) Quinn, Mary Alice (Snively) Fritts, Alice (Weddle) and Bill Snodderly, and Margaret (Brish) Wagner.

The reunion committee is planning an informal 70th birthday party in 2008.

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