After the preview party on Friday night, we were keyed up for the Big Event.
Oh, how it rained on Saturday morning. Winds, spirea bushes bent to the ground. Hairdos to be ruined. Posters to be delivered intact! Trouble.
Alice Mooney Sanders, who was in charge of the Memorabilia Table, solved her problem by dumping all the posters, props, Mickey Mouse mugs, Scarlett and Rhett fans, etc. into oversized garbage bags and taking the lot through the service entrance of the Wilmington Country Club.
The waiters and waitresses who were setting up for the banquet were agog over the nostalgia table and kept coming back to rave about Tyrone Power’s picture in the old movie fan magazine circa 1939.
There were round tables seating eight set up in the ballroom sporting pink tablecloths and blue and gray silk flower arrangements fashioned by Betty June Kilington Wickersham, wife of Jack Wiskersham, a class member.
A jukebox programmed with appropriate music from the glorious thirties was set up in the corner of the ballroom overlookiung a good space for dancing. There had been committee discussions of live music vs jukebox and it was decided that uncontrolled live music tended to discourqge conversation. A wise decision.
Because this group talked. They were still talking as they reuluctanly struggled out near midnight. Again, the waiters and waitresses cleaning up waved appreciation for the great music.
A few couple danced, but the majority caught up with 50 years of exchanged experiences. How many children? How many grandchildren? And surprisingly for a generation of post World War 2 brides, we haeard career talk from the “ girls”. The men too, though retired, talked of part time consulting or meaningful volunteer activities. Travel and hobbies were also mentioned.
The bond that brought people together was shared participation in school extra curricular activities. The music people, choir and orchestra, all sat together. To see the two stalwart football players (Hersh and Palczewski) looking at the team pictures and recalling key plays of a long forgotten game was heartwarming to the non-athletic journalist who had provided the pictures.
People who had shared humor in their Salad Days, were giggling like schoolgirls at the same comical happneings. And the girls, from the security of marriage and grandmotherhood, were confessing secret crushes. Joe Gilson forced Alice Mooney Sanders to jitterebug and just about finished off the old girl.
After the dinner, Ginny Russell Wrigley, took the stand, and distribuged copies of her reunion booklet, entitled “Reflections” which contained 133 autogiographies of the graduates. They had been asked to sum up 50 years of experience in 200 words or less.
The running theme was survival. Most of the men had come throught WW2, somewith the Purple Heart. Four gave their lives and were listed.
Sunday morning the party continued with the locals coming to join the out of towners at the Holiday Inn brunch. We reluctantly bid fond farewell at noon , knowing that we would never meet again as a cohesive body of the June class of 1939, P.S. Dupont High School.