Norwin Class of 1948 to hold its last reunion this weekend
Every five years, a dedicated circle of octogenarians make their way down a roster checking off whom to mail formal invitations for their class reunion.
Each time, the list gets smaller.
“We have the old addresses,” Florence Laffoon, the class' secretary, said. “If it comes back, we know they've moved or they're dead.”
The North Huntingdon High School Class of 1948 will meet for its final class reunion Saturday. Attendance has dwindled over time due to deaths, health concerns and lack of interest.
Laffoon, 83, of Irwin, said the committee has dutifully planned reunions every five years. Sixty-five sounded like a nice number to end them on, she said.
“I guess it was a tradition. Everyone had a reunion,” she said. “There has to be an end to everything.”
A black-and-white photograph snapped in 1948 from school grounds depicts a group of smiling seniors in caps and gowns. Stamps cost just 3 cents, “The Red Shoes” was the top-grossing movie of the year and the Andrews Sisters could be heard on radios.
“It was a simple time for us,” Laffoon said.
That year, a group of 134 young men and women earned their high school diplomas from North Huntingdon High School. At last count, 84 of them have died, Laffoon said.
At the time, students either took academic classes to prepare for college, or stayed on a commercial track to prepare for the workforce.
Football games, just like now, were the big social event of the week, Laffoon said.
“North Huntingdon's boys won a title,” she said.
Kids would spend hours painting and hanging banners to transform the gym for its latest themed dance.
“I think everybody loved decorating the gym,” she said. “We had live music. We used to do the jitterbug and back then the music was more sentimental.”
Over the decades, the class met at local restaurants including the Adam House, Blue Angel and Mountain View.
One of the largest class reunions was its first, Laffoon said. In 1953, soldiers was coming home from the Korean War and turned out to socialize at the former Belvedere Club.
For its 25th reunion in 1973, North Huntingdon combined with Irwin graduates for its gatherings. Students from the municipalities were separated after the class' sophomore year.
“I think we had a wonderful class in those two years,” Lois Hancock, 82, a graduate of Irwin High School, said. “Even though the school split, there was still fellowship between the two classes.”
Hancock, among others from Irwin, will attend the final class reunion.
“At our age, we're lucky to even have 65 in,” she said. “It's the beginning of an ending of a good time.”
Amanda Dolasinski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.