Grads from the 70s to reunite during Old Home Week

PAT FRIDGEN
The years have not dimmed the enthusiasm of a group of Greencastle-Antrim High School alumni who are planning a class reunion for anyone who graduated in the 70s. Among the committee members who met recently to coordinate details were, from left, front row: Gary Eberly, Jeff Hartman, Randy Kuhn. Second row: Marcie Berger Zimmerman, Trudy Cisney Gunder, Cheryl Kiser Rock, Kim Fisher Burger, Tammy Hendershott Heefner. Third row: Teresa Barnhart McCauley, Mary Ellen Hege Sommerfeld, Cathy Rice Keefer, Lois Oberholzer Baer and Robin Pensinger Rock.

'That 70s Show' has nothing on Greencastle-Antrim High School graduates from the same era. Actors Topher Grace, Wilmer Valderrama and Laura Prepon pretend to be groovy teens going through rites of passage on the Fox network situation comedy.

They may put on period clothes for a scene shoot, but they never donned leisure suits, hip huggers and bell bottoms voluntarily and thought they were cool. They didn't hang out at the Round Table on Friday nights, or get cherry cokes at Greenpoint, or go to Bill Shuman's dances at the old high school. The actors may listen to Led Zeppelin on the set, but have they heard Joker's Wild?

Such memories will be among those recalled when a decade's worth of G-AHS graduates meet up at the first-ever joint class reunion during Old Home Week this summer.

Representatives from every class from 1970 through 1979 have been meeting since January to plan the mass reunion.

"We were laying by the pool and came up with this idea," said Cheryl Kiser Rock, '75. She and Fred Heefner, '75, and Tami Hendershott Heefner, '76, pondered what had happened to various classmates. One thought led to another, they contacted other local residents who attended school before and after them, and soon the All 70s Reunion became a real possibility.

"Word of mouth is doing real well," said Gary Eberly, '77. "Everyone is excited and getting wound up."

The committee members have been networking from old address lists, Facebook, online white pages and classmate Web sites, trying to notify everyone of the event. They have hit many deadends. Even many 'Save the Date' postcards have been returned undeliverable.

They hope that the public can contact the committee, or notify family and friends who have moved away to get in touch, so everyone can be invited to the July 31 party. It will be held from noon to 6 p.m. at the American Legion grounds, featuring a pig roast, a DJ playing 1970s music, games and a group photo. The crowd can sit in the sun or inside tents, and the planners have ordered good weather.

The organizers are also anxious to touch base with former teachers and advisors, who are welcome to attend the reunion.

At a recent meeting, the committee members drifted off task, remembering one-piece gym suits, Smoker's Corner, crossing the state line to Maryland or West Virginia, where drinking was legal for 18-year-olds. Now parents and grandparents, they remembered decorating for Prom, where the cost of attendance was moderate.

While Old Home Week does have an alumni banquet, the 70s crew realized it has typically been attended by the generation above them. They hope this reunion will spur interest in the younger set coming home to participate in OHW activities and renew friendships.

Graduates from the 1970s have held reunions, some on a regular basis, some not so. Attendance has been low, maybe 30 to 60 per class. By combining, the folks in charge see a benefit - that they can also mingle with the students of other grades, those they hung out with as athletes and in extracurricular activities. And husbands and wives from different graduating years won't be abandoned at the spouse table.

None of the committee members will drive to the reunion in a Falcon or Pinto this time, but a letter jacket or two, and maybe a polyester dress, could surface. They are energized to kick off OHW with their gathering and hope most of their classmates will find a way to come home.

Contacts

Committee member collecting addresses are:

Class of 1970, Trudy Cisney Gunder, tagunder@comcast.net, 762-9375.

Class of 1971, Kim Fisher Burger, burgerteacher56@aol.com, 597-4978.

Class of 1972. Lois Oberholzer Baer, loisbaer@remax.net, 977-6098.

Class of 1973, Cathy Rice Keefer, cnckeefer@comcast.net, 597-5660.

Class of 1974, Diane Kesselring Haugh, 404-2807.

Class of 1975, Cheryl Kiser Rock, ckrock@comcast.net, 597-2405.

Class of 1976, Tammy Hendershott Heefner, fheefner@comcast.net, 597-8022.

Class of 1977, Gary Eberly, garyeberly@comcast.net, 597-9814.

Class of 1978, Teresa Barnhart McCauley, teresa634@embarqmail.com, 597-1301.

Class of 1979, Jeff Hartman, 597-8155.