HGHS Class of 1960 saunters down Memory Lane, helps put others on the road to college

Mayer in a boatneck sweater his mother knitted for him when he was at HGHS
More photos in “Read more” and in Photo Gallery
October 22, 2010
by Gay Mayer

The Horace Greeley Class of 1960 gathered over the weekend of October 15-17th to celebrate their 50th Reunion. Over 70 members of the class came back to meet old friends and catch up in some cases with people that they may not have seen since graduation, June 27th, 1960!  It was a great occasion which began with dinner at the Holiday Inn in Mount Kisco on Friday night. It was a dark and stormy night brightened with smiles and laughter as folks said “flip it” so that they could read name tags which featured their 1960 yearbook pictures. Lots of changes in the ensuing years.

Saturday the group gathered in Chappaqua at the residence of Peter and Fran Davidson for an afternoon picnic. Highlights included a reading of poetry by classmate Ken Nye who after retiring as a high school principal in Maine has published four books of poetry. Despite brisk breezes – the looks of intensity and recognition on the faces of the folks sitting around Ken were incredible. We all found there were common links regarding parents, partners, children and grandchildren that made for energetic conversation. Many of us returned home with copies of his books which will keep these memories very fresh.

The Class of 1960 raise funds for Horace Greeley Scholarship Fund, Rotary adds more

The highlight of the weekend was the Saturday dinner celebration. Key to the evening was an auction that featured wonderful items donated by fellow classmates and some of the Greeley faculty. The intention was to raise money for the Horace Greeley Scholarship Fund.  A matching challenge by the Chappaqua Rotary made the auction even more interesting. The matching challenge initiative was the brainchild of Peter Davidson, an active member of Rotary as well as a Class of ‘60 member.  Working closely with the Horace Greeley Scholarship Fund, classmates, and the Rotary, he put in motion the project, which by the end of the evening raised over $4000, plus the $2000 Rotary challenge contribution.  One of the unique auction items was a wooden bowl which had been signed by all of the returning classmates. The winning bid was a joint effort which allowed the bowl (pictured below) to be presented to one of our classmates who has recently moved to a nursing home but was able to attend in a wheelchair all of the weekend events. Very special….

The dinner included four teachers who played a role in shaping the class from fourth grade through senior year. Alan Lindsay, John Behonek, Roe Halpern and Jeanne Irwin came back and it was a truly special time for many of their former students to share thoughts and memories with them.

As we gathered in the lobby to say good bye on Sunday morning- much emotion was evident. The reality of being at a 50th Reunion was settling in.  Over 50% of the class was at the reunion and we were starting to think about when we would want to gather again and share our history, our dreams and our deep friendships for one another.

It was a very personal reunion for the members of the Class of ’60.  Sharing memories of special times in the place where they all came of age, learning about where the journey of life had taken various classmates, and being able to give back by way of their combined contributions to the Horace Greeley Scholarship Fund made for a very fulfilling and meaningful weekend.

Gay Mayer a long time resident of Chappaqua,  now resides in New Jersey. In his resume he regrets that he cannot claim to be an “original” in the Class of 1960 having moved here in the first grade.

Mayer, then and now

Peter Davidson left, with Dave Williams today; below, 50 years ago

Peter Davidson is a long-time resident of Chappaqua, and lives in the house on Brevoort Road where he grew up.  Peter, a Rotarian, is active in the community and can often be seen traveling the area on one of his many motorcycles.  He is a graduate of Kansas University and a practicing attorney.

Dave Williams is an “original Greeleyite” having attended school in Chappaqua from kindergarten through high school.  Among his memories of the town is his first “real” job at what is now Lange’s Little Store.  Dave retired from the US Air Force in 1992 and had a second career as an elementary school teacher from which he recently also retired.  He resides in Puyallup, Washington.  He was a beneficiary of the HGSF. “It was $250,” said Williams, “and I don’t know the equivalent nowadays, but it put me ‘over the top’ in terms of having the money to start college. That and a state scholarship of around $750 just about covered the first year.  It made a lot of difference in my life.”

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Thank you class of ‘60. The average grant recipient received about $5,800 last year. The $6,000 raised will pay for one more Greeley student to be placed “over the top” for their college needs and dreams for the future.

By HGSF Board Member on 10/22/2010 at 9:36 am

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