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KHS Class of '47 reunites

It’s been 70 years since the class of 1947 graduated from Kenmare High School, but for those who are able, their intent is to be part of the All-School reunion this weekend.

6/27/17 (Tue)

It’s been 70 years since the class of 1947 graduated from Kenmare High School, but for those who are able, their intent is to be part of the All-School reunion this weekend.

Classes from this group that once had 42 students, up through 2007, will be represented either at the Kenmare Community Foundation banquet, or separate reunion parties around town.

It’s unclear if anyone prior to the graduating class of 1947 is coming, but it seems when these reunions happen, someone will always surprise the rest of the class.

James Schweyen is one of the members of the Class of ‘47 and is looking forward to attending and seeing old friends who may or may not necessarily be in the same class.

Schweyen lives in Minot so he doesn’t have too far to travel, but he is hoping to see a number of his classmates.

“1947, there aren’t too many of us left from that class,” Schweyen said. “It will be good to get to Kenmare and see people and they start talking and it jogs your memory.”

Schweyen, 88, has been in contact with some of his other classmates. In fact, he named several who he thinks, and is hoping, are there on Friday or Saturday.

They include Mardell Anderson, Inez Gravesen, Marilyn Ackerman, Geraldine Peterson and Lowell Hoffman. He also said he got a call from Floyd Mickelsen who indicated a desire to attend.

“I don’t know who may be there, but I can’t think of any close friends,” he said. “My sister is ordering tickets, so my brother from Montana and my sister from Washington, D.C., are going. I’m just riding along.”

Schweyen indicated that one of his siblings had passed away, but the other three intend to reunite in the school they once attended.

He said over the years, he has gone to various reunions, but no longer remembers specifically which ones he attended.

His father had the Gambles store in Kenmare and the family moved to Minot in 1957, so he has lost track of many of the people he knew when he was younger.

“I’m looking forward to this,” Schweyen said. “I no longer have relatives or close friends in Kenmare, but I remember the last time there was a reunion, people would look for the badge to see who you were.”

He also remembers that during some reunions, classmates would come from far away, sometimes outside the United States, but some from home don’t show up.

“I can’t quite understand that,” he said.

Geraldine Peterson, who lives in Kenmare, said she is planning on going, but a lot will depend on how she feels.

She said the recent loss of her son David creates a mood obviously not conducive to a celebration.

However, she did agree that perhaps visiting with classmates and old friends might be a way to get her mind off the recent past.

Peterson said she speaks to Schweyen occasionally when she sees him in Minot, but hasn’t been in contact with other classmates who are living out of town.

She confirmed that her class is meeting at the One Stop Burger Shop on Friday at 5:30 p.m., but then so are five other classes, from hers through 1952.

In fact, One Stop will be closed Friday night for that private party.

“I’m thinking there might be 10 of us,” she said. “It might get a little crowded in there with all those classes.”

Peterson added that a lot of people have gone through a lot of work to make this reunion happen and alumni should probably attend since it’s for the their benefit.

In addition to One Stop, other businesses in Kenmare are hosting reunions or will accommodate a reunion if contacted.

The Kenmare Country Club is hosting the Class of ‘67 on Friday and the Class of ‘57 on Saturday after the parade.

Dave’s Place owner Dave Beck said he is open to accommodating a class reunion if a group wants to get together in that establishment, formerly known as South of the Border Restaurant.

The Kenmare Area Community Foundation is also hosting a large group, according to spokesperson Amy Ones.

She said 175 people representing 30 different classes, are registered guests for the All-School reunion banquet being held in the high school gymnasium Friday starting at 6 p.m... Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!