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Kenmare High School graduates representing 80 years of the school’s history were back in town to relive the memories of their youth, memories that surprising to many have not faded over time.
At least 400 alumni were engaged in numerous class reunions around town. The largest was the Kenmare Area Community Foundation banquet held in the high school gym Friday night with 210 registered guests.
That banquet alone, represented 33 graduating classes of
Class reunions from 1947-1952 were held at the One Stop Burger Shop with about 50 people in attendance. It featured early ‘50s music by Joe Ethen and a nostalgic decor in the restaurant.
Graduates from 1959 through 1965 met at the Kenmare Fire Hall with a crowd estimated at about 50 and several other smaller reunions were held at the country club and in people’s homes.
It was a time to visit and bring back the old high school days. Some grads hadn’t seen each other in as many as 50 years so initial reunions created a lot of emotion.
But it was also a time for fun and games, silly humor and laughter not seen since graduation day.
Charlotte (Thompson) Martin is a 1960 graduate who came from
Bob said he left Bowbells right out of high school for a job at Boeing and hasn’t been back since.
They stayed in the hotel in Bowbells because she said there were no rooms available in Kenmare and she checked months ago.
Following the reunion at the fire hall, the Martins were looking forward to Saturday’s parade and visiting others.
“I’m so glad I grew up here,”
Lloyd Mickelsen, 1949, lives in
“I’ve been in
Audrey Hanson, 1950, who lives in
Lillian (Lucke) Norwick, a 1948 graduate from Moses Lake, Wash., loves reunions because it’s a lot of fun trying to figure out who everyone is.
She said Lloyd Mickelsen was her savior, picking her up at the train station in
“1988 was the last time I was in Kenmare,” she said. “I couldn’t find people’s homes. They’ve been torn down and replaced.”
Dick Hanson graduated in 1958. One of his memories was being on an FFA trip in
After high school, Hanson spent some time at
“I wanted to be a coach in the worst way,” Hanson said. “But we got caught in a blizzard after a basketball game in Bottineau. It took five hours to get to Kenmare. After that I said there has to be a better way.”
Allan Essler, ‘54 and his wife Twila, ‘57, Kenmare, were mixing it up with classmates and friends during the social before the banquet. Both were beaming as if they were 18 years old again.
Brenda Christensen, a 1978 graduate living in
One of her classmates, Janis Melin, Kenmare, is also a ‘57 grad. She has lived in Kenmare all her life and said she sees several of her classmates regularly.
“It’s just fun to see everyone,” she said. “We don’t see each other often enough.”
Bob Buzzell, also ‘57, did the impossible and was in two places at one time! Buzzell,
But he was also hanging out at the Kenmare Country Club in the form of a full-sized cardboard cutout of him from his sophomore or junior year in high school.
“I was in high school and I was in a dark suit with a top hat,” he said. “I don’t remember, but I think it was announcements or a program or something.”
Buzzell made a challenge to see if anyone visiting the country club could remember who or what the cut-out figure was about.
The reunion had many other features including the Schweyen siblings and father and son Ron and Ryan Rauschenberger.
It was a weekend to remember, a weekend these graduates will be talking about a long time... Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!