The museum used to be the old Williams High School, where many of the partygoers had attended. The Alumni Room, where the party was held, was filled with senior pictures and sports banners from victories of yesteryear.
Friends who hadn’t seen each other in some time, embraced and caught one another up on their kids and neighbors. Laughter and fond memories filled the air. Many of the guests walked around and discussed friends from their childhood. MaryLou Kittle pointed out a photo of a classmate and jokingly asked, “Is she still kicking?”
Ethel Marie Markusen shared a story of when she had attended the school and played hooky.
“We went to buy pickles from the store,” she recalled.
Afraid to get caught, Markusen remembers that she and her friends hid in the lockers for a time before they realized that they better hurry back to science class.
“They said they were going to tell our parents, but I don’t think they actually did,” Markusen said.
Fresh flowers adorned the tables and typical birthday decorations of balloons and banners were hung. Patrons enjoyed a lunch of salad, fruit, rolls, iced tea, and of course, birthday cake.
Discussions were lively as memories were relived. The event is the first of its kind and the turnout was considered a success by museum staff. About 35 people attended.
“It was quite a get together,” said World War II veteran Bob Dutil who said he recognized many classmates after they gave him a little reminder. In particular, Dutil remembered the Ag building where he attended his favorite classes.
Senior Citizens today, many still active well into their golden years, say 80 is the new 60.
According to the Center for Disease Control, the current growth in the number and proportion of older adults in the United States is unprecedented in our nation’s history. By 2050, it is anticipated that Americans aged 65 or older will number nearly 89 million people, or more than double the number of older adults in the United States in 2010.
Plans for future events are undoubted, said Cindy Gobel who hosted the event.
“Thank goodness the weather wasn’t 100 degrees today,” Gobel said with a smile, as she considers dates for the next party, planning around the typical weather. ■