Friday, April 5, 2013

Hail, Hail The Gang's All Here

Once a Clairtonian...  If nothing else, those of us from the community on the Monongahela River are true to our school and hometown. What other community has annual get-togethers in Clairton as well as in Florida??!!! Some classes are more diligent than others in getting together to celebrate reunions. My own class, 1960, has had a reunion every five years starting with number ten.

Yes, it can be depressing to see the socio-economic slide the city has gone through since the steel industry collapsed. Yes, it is sad to see the population that once numbered close to 30,000 souls dwindle to around 5,500.

But look at the bright side; Clairton High School Football has set records that will not be soon broken. They have been WPIAL and State champs more often than I can count. (Math was not my strength at CHS). Alumni have begun organizations such as Reaching the Reachable that mentors the students at our school and encourages them to strive toward post-secondary education. Those are some of the reasons we celebrate our reunions with fellow CHS grads.

Take a look at the web site to see some of the positive and upbeat things that are going on in our community. These positive aspects of Clairton are rarely, if ever, noted in the media. Hmmmm.

Fifty is a biggie... The fiftieth class reunion has been celebrated by each class up to the class of 1962, which had theirs last year. The class of 1964 is already planning theirs for next year and the class of 1963 got lost and slipped a cog. But they are working hard to catch up. I recently received an email from a member of the class of 1963 which reads as follows:

If you graduated from Clairton in 1963 or know someone who did, a Reunion Committee has been set up and they need your help.  They are trying to put together a data base of names and email addresses to determine if there is enough interest at this late date to plan an event to celebrate the occasion.
Additional information that was sent to me follows.
From Rick Weber:
Several of us are trying to put together our 50th high school reunion.  As you may know, a combined reunion is held annually at Clairton Park.  This year, it will be held on September 7.  Here are the details:
An email has been set up to which you may respond.  It is:
We would really love for you to join in on our 50th reunion.
Thank you.
Rick Weber
And from Mitzi Nixon Buechele:
...thoughts on Politics, Protocol and Polident!
As I have been corresponding with Rick Weber about getting something together for our 50th Clairton High School Reunion, a theme to my thoughts emerged.  I seem to be focusing on 3 things...POLITICS, PROTOCOL and POLIDENT!  Let me explain.
POLITICS...We have all heard countless politicians ask "Are you better off today than you were 4 years ago?" since Ronald Reagan first asked the question in 1980.  With that thought in mind, I have asked myself  "Are you better off today than you were 50 years ago?"  HECK, YEAH, I tell myself.  But then, mine was not the brightest shining star in high school.  I hope that those who knew me remember me as kind, helpful, thoughtful and friendly, qualities we appreciate more as adults than we did as adolescents.  Yep, I say to myself, Popeye had it right....I Y'AM WHAT I Y'AM.  And I like it. 
PROTOCOL....Surely there is a protocol to who does what to plan a Class Reunion, isn't there, I wondered.  But if there has been no planning by this late date, no established committee meeting regularly, then let's forget about protocol and get something going!  Heck...we're all around age 68...we can do what we want to do!  That was the driving thought behind my conversations with Rick Weber.  He has willingly taken the lead to put something together so that our 50th Class Reunion will happen.  My thoughts to him were these:
Neither the venue nor the menu is important to me.  We have all been to enough fancy places in our lives, eaten enough  entrees that we had difficulty pronouncing and dressed up too many times because somebody said we had to.  What is important to most of us now is PEOPLE....remembering, reconnecting, rediscovering each other, renewing friendships and building new ones.  And we can do that wherever we meet....just so we MEET SOMEWHERE. 
Finally, POLIDENT!  That represents to me what we all have in common today.... lots of dental work and possible dentures, arthritic knees and elbows, hair coloring decisions and big smiles for our grandchildren if we have been so blessed.  That ties it all together for me.  If we were the class clown or the most serious, the best athlete or the least co-ordinated, academically gifted or challenged, we are more alike today than ever.  If we moved away from Clairton or remained close by, are retired or still working, prefer a shot and a beer or a Diet Pepsi, it doesn't matter.  We still share many common threads of events that are woven into our tapestry of life experiences.  And so it is my hope that as many of us as possible will get together this September to celebrate our 50th Class Reunion.  PLEASE SHARE THIS INFORMATION WITH ANY OTHER CLASSMATES CONNECTED TO THE CLASS OF 1963 THAT YOU ARE IN TOUCH WITH (spouses, those who moved, etc)  You and they hopefully will contact Rick at the address below and together we can make this Reunion a success. 
I hope to see you (WEARING A NAME TAG!) at our 50th Class Reunion get together on Sept. 6 and at the All Class Reunion Sept. 7.
Mitzi Nixon Buechele

(Full disclosure: Mrs. Buechele is my baby sister)

A little blogging music Maestro... "Clairton High School Alma Mater" played by the Clairton High School marching band.
Dr. Forgot

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