1959 - the year Barbie dolls were born, the Ford Edsel died, Alaska & Hawaii became states, Ben Hur was the movie thriller, gas was 31 cents a gallon and postage stamps 4 cents each!
And - oh yes - the class of 1959 traveled to the North Penn High School auditorium to graduate from Christopher Dock (plans for an outdoor service on the Dock campus were scrubbed due to rain). No matter - forty-one of us received our hard-earned diplomas sans caps and gowns, which were verboten in those early days.
We gathered on Sunday, August 30, 2009 - fifty years later - again without caps and gowns, although clothed this time with much greater wisdom and clarity of purpose - to celebrate our golden reunion.
We thoroughly enjoyed an eye-popping tour of campus led by Susan Gingerich from the Office of Advancement. We spent long minutes in the Ad Building (now Detweiler House) reminiscing about time spent in the library, English and typing classes, and Principal Richard Detweiler's office. We mourned the demolition of Grebel Hall, where we ate Emma's lunches, attended chapel, played basketball, initiated Mr. Kauffman into an illustrious teaching career, and frequently fell in and out of love. We admired the new facilities and the well-kept grounds. We paused to pay respect to the vision of the founders of the school and wondered if they ever dreamed the school would blossom the way it has.
Then it was on to Best Western Inn, where we were joined by more classmates eager to renew acquaintances. After an inspiring prayer by Mary Landis Leatherman, we enjoyed a meal around tables decorated by lovely centerpieces made by Gisela, spouse of classmate Gerald Derstine. We enjoyed a deliciously moist reunion anniversary cake donated by Dave Landis, owner of Landis Supermarkets.
We spent moments in reflection as we listened to the names of our six deceased classmates and shared in a prayer of thanks for their friendship and contributions to our lives. Class president Willi Meyers gathered us in a circle and asked us to ponder the question, "What is your passion in life?" The highlight of our evening together was listening to the varied and moving responses to this provocative question.
The time we spent together laughing, weeping, eating, listening, and telling each other what motivates us was one more chapter in our experience as a class - one that now spans more than fifty years. We thank God for grace and guidance in our lives and for the privilege of attending Christopher Dock many years ago.