The United States was entering a World War and dancers were flocking to hear a young crooner Frank Sinatra.
And at Wednesday’s Seaside High School reunion for the graduating classes of 1941 through 1951, memories of that decade were shared once again. The event showed the strength of longtime friendships, forged decades ago and carefully tended between then and now.
On July 29 at the Seaside Elks Lodge, former classmates eagerly searched for their friends to snap photographs of themselves at the reunion in an atmosphere reminiscent of the last day of high school. Old copies of Seaside’s yearbook, the Sea Breeze, from the 1940s and ’50s were spread across tables, along with other memorabilia.
Dozens of attendees enjoyed a picnic lunch — in addition to laughs and conversation — surrounded by large black-and-white photographs from an earlier era, as young athletes, cheerleaders, class officers and even fresh-faced grade-schoolers.
Photos of birthdays, reunions and parties throughout the years were shared at the event.
Mistress of Ceremony Gloria Stiger Linkey, class of 1947, noted the distance between their high school years and present day, addressing the changes time has brought.
Some people might say they were raised among disadvantages, she said. There were no cellphones, no computers and no iPads. Television was not yet widespread. Many lived through ration cards and the Great Depression.
“But were we disadvantaged? No,” Linkey said. “We were the luckiest generations in the whole world.”
They developed strong friendships, as evidenced “by all you who have come out for this reunion,” she added.
“We had the best time growing up in Seaside that any people could have,” Linkey said.
During the program, Terry Dahlgren, the current band director at Seaside High School and Broadway Middle School, presented a slideshow of band photos starting in the 1940s. The photographic journey, he said, was a way to share history and show the audience today’s young musicians.
Event speaker Jim Auld, class of ‘61, provided a history of the high school’s Hall of Fame, a display of student and athletic achievement. In the early 2000s, a committee was created and the first of 106 current members were selected.
Along with athletes, the Hall of Fame recognizes student-athletes and students noted for career accomplishments, involvement in the arts and sciences, meritorious service and military service. Entire teams have been honored for their collective success.
The next induction will be in September. Two teams and seven individuals will be inducted, Auld said.
Of the graduates gathered for the reunion, several are included in the school’s Hall of Fame.
Before the event drew to a close, Sally McBride, of the class of 1948, and Carlysle Dehner, of the class of 1950, joined 1950 graduate Patsy Kerwin onstage to lead the group in singing the school’s alma mater and official fight song.
The event, organized by Kerwin, marked “the last huge class reunion” for the graduates of those particular years. With individuals moving and advancing in age, it has been increasingly difficult to keep track of everyone and gather a group large enough to make the preparation worth it, she said.
In her concluding comments, Linkey noted that fact, as well.
“This is it,” she said.
As the reunion wound down, grads continued to share memories with friends, including a trip to the high school’s Hall of Fame and a visit to the office of the Signal, where they could glimpse the pages from their past.