SEQUIM — They gathered once again, as they have many times in the past seven decades, to remember classmates and resurrect old memories.
Who had children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Who had a favorite teacher and a least favorite.
Which classmate had died and when, and who may still be alive but who knows where they live now.
Who married well, who didn’t.
Who had a crossed eye and who got hurt so bad in a wreck that they were never the same again.
Who got so mad at another classmate they nearly threw him out a second-floor window.
And who lived on a farm that does or doesn’t exist anymore, all these years later.
Four classmates of Sequim High School’s Class of 1947 — Robert Clark, Dorothy Daniels (now Ludke), Mary Dryke (now Pogue) and Ramona Heaton (now Robb) — celebrated their 75th reunion with a meal, some cake and family fanfare at the Mariner Café on May 3.
“I don’t know many classes that have made it to 75 years,” Clark said.
“I think we need to recognize the 75.”
Added Heaton: “And we made it.”
Clark said 51 Sequim teens graduated that year, by his count, with most sporting fine threads in their school photos displayed on a poster board in the café.
After that, he said, the class decided to host a reunion every five years.
After this one, however, Clark said he hopes to get the class together every year.
This month’s gathering was planned for six classmates, but two who still live in the Sequim area were unable to join.
Clark presided over the festivities, recalling fond memories of his three classmates and their families and others.
“I’ll never forget your dad, Red (Daniels); he’d get so mad at basketball games,” Clark told Daniels.
Clark recalled a time he was in the hospital at the same time as Daniels’ brother, Jack; both were in to have their tonsils removed.
Clark remembers Jack saying, “Take him, he’s smaller.”
“Your mom,” Clark told Dryke, “was a good cook.”
Growing up right across the road from a school was great, Dryke recalled, unless you skipped: “Your mother knew it before you got in the back door.”
Clark said a Sequim High tradition for incoming first-day freshmen encouraged boys to dress as girls, and the girls to come in bathing suits.
“I must have skipped,” Dryke said.
Heaton remembered baseball scouts coming to talk with her brothers about playing baseball — she had 12 siblings, seven of them brothers — but that, being farmers, that wasn’t going to happen.
Clark recalled Daniels was the lead actress in the senior class play, “Almost 18,” while Bob Matthews was the leading man.
Lorraine Fiddler was the class valedictorian, George Delbert “Del” Hansen was the class president and, perhaps to no one’s surprise at the table, Clark was the class speaker.
He still is.
The eight-term Clallam County treasurer who was approached by both county Democrat and Republican parties to run for office in 1957 (he ran as a Democrat, since they asked him two weeks before the GOP did), Clark said he would be recognized by people on the street who’d say, “I’ve written checks to you for years.”
Retired since 1995 from decades of public service and six years with the Washington State Grange, Clark said he likes to keep connecting with his class and others. He’s active as vice president with the Sequim Alumni Association, the group leading an All-Schools Reunion set for Aug. 19-21. The reunion includes several activities, including a morning and evening gathering, pancake breakfast, Hawaiian luau dinner, golf tournament and, to cap it off, a pioneer picnic at the Sequim Prairie Grange; see facebook.com/groups/2234038586 for more information.
“We wouldn’t have had as many successful reunions without him,” Dryke said.