Reunion is Around the Corner
If you're still counting, our 35th reunion is around the corner.
It seems like a worthwhile idea to commemorate the occasion by starting a
newsletter to keep everyone informed about where we are and what we're doing.
The newsletter will be a permanent (but irregular) publication that we hope
will serve as a vehicle to bring us together again. Accordingly, there will be
announcements, interviews, news, and of course we will always print the
newsletter using an adequately large typeface which many of us have grown to
So far the only decision we've made about the 35th reunion is
that it will be held in 1998, unless everyone gets down to the appropriate
reunion weight before then. In fact, we will offer a prize to the person who
attends the next reunion and reports the largest weight loss. Your picture will
be your proof.
Need Your Help Big Time
According to the office at Penncrest we are a very difficult
class to keep track of, which explains why we have a total of eight names on
record. The fate of our list from the last reunion is a very sad tale. Our
class list was being guarded and maintained by Rick Hevner high in an office
tower in center city Philadelphia. Remember the movie, Towering Inferno? Our
list was there. Last we heard, the EPA said that our list was exposed to a very
high dioxin level. Then they shredded the list and scattered it over a remote
So much for the old list, it's time to start again. Included with
the newsletter is the current partially reconstructed list. As you can see, we
need all the help we can get. Fortunately, there is a company attempting to
create the complete Penncrest Directory and they have a professional staff
researching names and addresses. Fortunately, they will help us.
At the moment we are working together to locate everyone, but it
isn't easy. So if you have any information about a class member, or a parent,
brother, sister, or friend please contact either Rick or Sandy at the following
Home (610) 827-2256
Work (215) 564-8280
Home (973) 744-6838
Work (973) 744-2900
Fax (973) 744-2129
If you don't have time to help us search for people, assign the
task to a parent or child, and I guess grandchildren should also be included.
Please review the list and get back to us as quickly as you can with additions
There is an unwritten law that is now written: every first issue
of a newsletter must have a name the newsletter contest. So go forth and name
it. The first prize winner will receive a choice of a free subscription to the
newsletter or a personal portrait drawn on a napkin at the reunion by the
second place contributor. Second prize is a felt tip pen and small supply of
We would also welcome any thoughts regarding newsletter topics,
or format. If you have a story, or wouldn't mind a short interview please call
or write to Sandy.
What's a reunion without committees? At the moment the only
committees are the newsletter committee and the list committee. The members
Editor, Sanford Sorkin
Contributor, Richard Hevner
List and Calling Committee:
List Keeper, Rick
Other List Keeper, Sandy
Reunion Planning (Proposed):
As you can see our resources are spread thin, and we welcome any
and all participation. Just call us and you can become the State Chairperson
for your State; if you want to be a Regional Coordinator just tell us what they
do and the position is yours. A complete list of committees will be in a
Do you want a home page? The technology is here. It seems strange
to ask the question, but the time has come. If you think we should have a home
page please send your thoughts to: Sandy@CoastalTech.com
Hard to imagine, but when we were at Penncrest, the Franklin
Institute was running a UNIVAC with tubes and they boasted that it could
compute an entire company's payroll in under 3 days.
Should we consider a class gift? What would it be and how much
would it cost?
Would you prefer a reunion dinner or a weekend reunion with
dinner one evening followed by a picnic the next day?
Where should we have the reunion? The Media area is the most
likely choice, but we can consider a hotel in downtown Philadelphia, or any
other city for that matter.
Do you think we could arrange a tour of Penncrest? Do you want a
tour of Penncrest?
When is the best time to schedule our reunion?
Any recommendations or suggestions will be included in the next
issues of the newsletter. (If nobody gets back to me with ideas and
suggestions, I will fabricate them and report them as fact.)
Planning & Startup Party
Rick Hevner will host a reunion planning party at his farm in
Chester County, PA when we get a few volunteers. He has a beautiful horse farm
out in the country with plenty of room. At the moment, he is waiting for the
committee volunteers and some suggestions regarding the best time to schedule
the Year Was 1963
The US Supreme Court ruled that all defendants are entitled to
council and decided that it was unconstitutional to recite the Lord's Prayer in
We had one movie house in Media, a train to Philadelphia, and a
trolley to Upper Darby. Fifteen cent hamburgers were introduced with ten cent
The Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was signed and Dr. M. L. King made
his "I have a dream..." speech. Coca-Cola introduced TAB and DeBakey used the
first artificial heart during an operation.
We heard about Camelot and then about Viet Nam. You could get
your driver's license the day after your 16th birthday. There were no computers
at Penncrest--the only technology we saw was a language lab.
Fly Me To the Moon was a popular song until the Beatles invented
real music and gave us I Want To Hold Your Hand.
In sports the LA Dodgers beat the Yankees 4-0 in the World
Series. The Phillies didn't quite make it.
Penncrest High School held its fifth graduation ceremony for the
Class of 1963. Many of us went to PHS from 7th to 12th grade. Most of us went
to school in buses; we saw split sessions, and never actually saw any
construction on the new wing.
1963 saw the last recorded attack by the Boston Strangler and
President Kennedy was assinated.
I've spoken to a number of people about class reunions and am
somewhat nonplussed by the reactions. In retrospect it is obvious that not
everyone loved their secondary school experience and many students wanted the
agony of high school to end so they could get on with their lives. Overall, I
guess I was very lucky to have enjoyed the high school years, which is probably
a tribute to friends and the times and not the direct result of any special
action on my part. It is also probable that many of my memories have been
"enhanced" over the years, making the good ones better and burying the bad
But thirty-five years has most likely changed us all. We will
remember our old friends and meet others who we barely recognize, taking a few
moments to remember exactly who they are (and what they looked like) and then
to recollect some mutual experience. The reunion is our time to meet again and
find that many of our old friends have traveled all over the world accumulating
stories; formed families across the United States and joined communities; some
of our classmates have probably made significant contributions that we have
read about in our newspapers while others have much more local
influence--making their significant contributions in the community. The 35th
Reunion is the time to meet our friends again--to relate our stories and to
listen to others.
I am sure that many of you remember the 25th. I remember it being
special because it wasn't a competition, it was a reunion. I received so many
warnings about what to expect, that it was heartening to see how our class came
together after so many years without missing a beat.
Another surprise was that so many from the Class of 1963 still
live in the Southeastern part of Pennsylvania. It must still have a lot to
offer for so many to remain. I don't get to the Media area very often, and I'm
told that there are malls now, and sleepy Rose Tree Road is a thoroughfare--a
shortcut to the mall. I guess there are still teenagers swimming at Springton
Reservoir watching for patrolling guards, and I wonder if Gradyville ever made
it onto a map.
Before this, and before the Media Bypass was built, our whole
community was easily isolated from the world by snow storms. A single tree
across the road would keep us at home an extra day. It's true that the snow was
deeper in those days, but that's a story for our children and we are expected
to improve the deep snow episodes before relating them to grandchildren. Now
it's difficult to imagine a parent allowing a child to hitchhike (maybe we
weren't allowed?) or play in the woods, and we will always have the memory of
the days when it wasn't necessary to lock the doors at night. I don't
personally have that particular memory, but it seems popular and expresses the
nature of the times very well.
We will have our 35th Reunion in 1998 and I am confident that we
can complete the class list so that everyone gets an invitation. Please do a
little research and phone Rick or me. If the calls come in, by the next
newsletter we will have new committee members, new ideas, and hopefully some
new stories to tell.