High school reunion to welcome classes of 1960-1970

Friday, August 5, 2005

High school students in the 1960s saw a psychedelic super ride that included a lunar landing, a rock 'n' roll British Invasion and a war in the jungle. For many of them, history happened before they reached their 18th birthday.

Today, however, the oldest graduates of the '60s are actually in their 60s, but about 500 of those still young-at-heart are expected to return to Cape Girardeau this weekend for a little glimpse back at their golden years. Cape Girardeau Central High School graduates from the classes of 1960 to 1970 will Twist and Shout their way into the Show Me Center today and Saturday for the decade's high school reunion.

The reunion begins at 3 p.m. today with an antique car display at the Show Me Center parking lot. Other events include taking class pictures, a tour of the new Central High School building, and plenty of food and mingling on both Friday and Saturday nights. The reunion also will feature a 50/50 raffle both nights to sponsor a scholarship for a current Central High School senior who plans to go to Southeast Missouri State University.

Friends from other classes

Mark Stuart, who is helping organize the reunion, said the event will be a chance for people to catch up with old friends who may not have graduated in their specific classes.

"I have been in charge of my class reunion in the past, and I kind of wanted to see some people I was in school with besides those in my class," Stuart said. "And the decade of the '50s has done three or four of these."

Stuart, class of 1968, was one of the organizers of the decade's first class reunion in 2001, which drew a crowd of more than 800 people. Stuart said another of the original organizers, Donna Shivelbine Grantham, class of 1966, won't be able to make this year's reunion because she was recently involved in a traffic accident.

Vicky McDowell, a reunion organizer who graduated in 1966, said a decade reunion makes for a better time because more people are in attendance.

"As time goes by, it gets harder to find people and reunions get smaller and smaller," said McDowell, whose maiden name is Seabaugh. "Also, some people may live far away and have friends in other classes but never get to see them."

McDowell said probably the most well-known 1960s Central graduate is political commentator Rush Limbaugh, who graduated in 1969. But so far, she said, Limbaugh has not registered for the reunion.

Other '60s luminaries include Gary Forsee, class of 1968, who is the CEO of Sprint, New York opera singer Judy Farris, class of 1963, and Al Spradling III, a former Cape Girardeau mayor who graduated in 1965.


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