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Nov 06 2017

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Class of ’57 and guests enjoy 60th class reunion

 

 

By Jackie De Hon
Special to the News

In July my husband René and I enjoyed two mini-60TH Reunions with small groups of close friends. I sent our story to the San Benito News, where it was subsequently published. This past week the Class of ‘57 had a full-blown Reunion, and it was grand! I’m sharing this account so those who couldn’t join us can enjoy it now.
In addition to giving us an excuse to return to our beloved San Benito, the Reunion gave us the opportunity to get reacquainted with old friends. What fun!
We arrived around 5 p.m. on Thursday and were pleased to see how very nice our motel, Executive Inn & Suites, was.

Friday we drove around town and enjoyed our happy memories.
At 10:30 we met Committee members and their lovely families as they began to decorate the patio.
At noon we met Judy and Louis Oden and their group of the Class of ’55–which also had a reunion this weekend—at the old Hygeia Ice Cream Parlor for lunch!
Then on Friday night 70 classmates, spouses, and friends met at the Hollywood Club Patio for a delicious catered dinner of chicken and brisket and a memorable get-together. We felt a warm welcome as we entered the beautifully-decorated patio with its lovely purple and gold tablecloths, giant mums, and megaphones. Memorabilia of our era were tastefully situated around the area. A poster wall featuring an old-fashioned jukebox with nostalgic photos of class members–including Freddy Fender, a.k.a Baldemar Huerta–attracted many…to enjoy and to remember.
A clever purple picture frame large enough for 2 or 3 people and decorated with our colors proved popular with attendees as one group after another captured each other’s images and created memories of this lovely evening.
Classmates visited and renewed old friendships during our delicious meal. Afterwards, we listened to an amazing selection of songs from the ‘50s which stirred old memories as people visited, remembered, and swayed with or danced to familiar rhythms.
All in all, our first night was quite wonderful thanks to Committee Members–Rosa Juarez Sanchez, Mary Alice Lerma Tapia, Minerva Garcia Salinas, and Rosie Carrera Olivarez–who created this 60th Reunion for the Class of ’57 and their guests.
Saturday we drove around town looking at landmarks, favorite buildings, and our former homes. We were amazed at how small they now seem, compared to when we were children!
Saturday night’s main event was held at Fiesta Mayan, a lovely space with colorful piñatas hanging from the ceiling. It began warmly as classmates gathered around an enlarged class photo, searching for ourselves and others we recognized. This proved to be the most popular of the lovely decorations this evening. Another, more sobering photo display featured classmates who have passed on since graduation.
We at the reunion were full of life and enthusiasm. Getting reacquainted and recognizing each other were the theme. This involved sharing stories and remembrances of days gone by.
René De Hon served as M.C. When he recognized the Organization Committee the crowd showed its thanks with powerful applause! He led us in observing a few moments of silence for classmates who were no longer with us and offered the invocation.
After a sumptuous meal of chicken and beef fajitas with all the trimmings, De Hon provided a few historic facts and statistics to remind us of “the good old days” when gas was 25 cents a gallon, eggs were 28 cents a dozen, and the average salary was $4,500 a year!
Ruben Limas served as D.J. both evenings. He played a wonderful mix of music starting each evening with a song by Freddy Fender. He mentioned that Fender was popular in both Mexico and the U.S. We heard country, conjunto, and Spanish songs that were popular during our high school years.
We had a lovely evening filled with greetings, hugs, and laughter. As folks started leaving we were asked if we’d do this again in 10 years. I told them, “At our age, we’d better make it two!” We wished each other safe trips home and happy, healthy lives!
It was great to see old friends! I loved our high school years. I was not the only one, judging from the large crowd which gathered this weekend to re-live wonderful memories and enjoy each other’s company one more time!

Permanent link to this article: https://www.sbnewspaper.com/2017/11/06/class-of-57-and-guests-enjoy-60th-class-reunion/

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