I kicked off reunion day with a round of afternoon golf at Rancocas Golf Club with my long-time good buddy Jim McKee (3rd row, 4th from left in photo below). It was a sunny day, 70 degrees....we both hit some good shots...and the bad shots...well...who really cares when it's 70 degrees and sunny?!!
After a quick cleanup, Jim and I hopped into our wayback machine, set the dial for 1978, and prepared ourselves to mingle with the 8th-grade graduating class of St. Peter Celestine School:
Here's my attempt to name all of the people in the above picture:
Top Row: Pete Oswald, Bill Nicoletti, Neil Webber, Greg Saldutti, Bart Heenan, Eric Basting, Tony Maladra
2nd Row from Top: Pappy Strasser, Sandra Davi, Joan Walsh, Teresa Patterson, Peggy Wysocki, Melissa Shannon, Faith Long, Sandy Rodio, Brian Ehrman
Middle Row: Billy Cark, Srikanth Rajan, Bruce Wnek, Jim McKee, Shaun Connolly, Mike Camardo, Mark Marrazzo, Joe Messina, Jeff Wahl, Steve DeLuca, Charlie Spencer, Anthony Spica
2nd Row from Bottom: Lisa Staas, Patty McGrogan, Mary Beth Cunney, Maureen Haney, Amanda Gamel, Carol Durso, Karen Graham, Teresa Driscoll, Irene McClure, Teresa Ianuzzi
Bottom Row: Amy O'Brien, Jackie Verme, Mary Micale, Sister Nancy (Principal), Monseigneur Sharkey, Sister Wanda (Teacher), Ms. Flynn (Teacher), Nora Burdenski, Eileen Moriarty, Mary Jean Bellino
About 25 of the 40 or so kids in the picture attended the reunion along with a handful of others who attended but moved on prior to our graduating year. I was able to recognize almost all of my ex-classmates. Apologies go to Tim, Melissa, and Maureen for my awkward struggle to remember your names. What can I say? I'm sure this won't be the last of such senior moments for me. :-)
It was great catching up on what everyone has been up to over the past few....decades. Ouch, that hurts.
Among the attendees, we had nurses, engineers, teachers, one retired teacher launching her own boutique store in Princeton, IT consultants, a handful of small business owners, homemakers, a CIO, a forensic accountant, an anesthesiologist, etc., etc.
Many had children under the age of 10. My 8th grade best buddy Bill Nicoletti (top row, 2nd from left) has 3 kids (a 3 year old and 1 year old twins) with a 4th child on the way. Yikers! I felt like the old guy in the crowd with my 16 year old daughter and 13 year old son.
Even our physical education teacher, Mrs. Andress, showed up...which was really cool. We reminisced with her about how she used to march us through our warmups, rotating our heads to her commands of "left, center, right, center, left, center...". Many of us also fondly remembered our winter weekend retreat to Andress Farm out near Hazleton, PA. It was wickedly cold with a fresh foot of snow. The giant hill across the street from the farmhouse kept us busy sledding all day long!
Lots of classic photos were shared. We had some fashion plates in our class back then...as well as folks like me who were ideal candidates for the TLC show What Not To Wear. Gotta burn those old photos before they fall into the wrong hands! ;-)
The time flew by and a great time was had by all!
UPDATE ON MAY 13:
Click here to view the online photo gallery of the St. Peter Celestine 1978 Class Reunion.
A WORD OF THANKS
While I am sure many folks had a hand in making this reunion happen, I'd like to personally thank Patty McGrogan-Fost, Kevin Brake, and Irene McClure for taking the lead on hunting everyone down, arranging the venue, sending out all of the invites, etc.
Well done and thank you!