Saturday, July 16, 2011


Last weekend I attended the "Big Fling"  - the 50th Reunion of the Danvers High School Class of 1961.

I want to thank the 50th Class Reunion Committee (Marsha Yetman Coogan, Sue Halupowski Evans, Elaine Hayden Roy, Sue Ellen Tagg, and Barry Robertson) for organizing such a wonderful weekend of events. They chose a variety of locations and planned several different activities (e.g., bus tour of historic places in Danvers, a cocktail party, a tour of the Richmond-Holton school, a breakfast) -- each drawing a mix of classmates. Over 70 people attended the Saturday night dinner and dance party.

This was the first time I'd been invited to a Danvers school reunion (because I had left Danvers High before graduation). Quite a few other classmates were also coming back for the first time. I enjoyed making some new friends and well as connecting with old pals. A fun time!  

I especially enjoyed the stories told by my classmates about their experiences growing up in Danvers.  I hope to share many of these stories in coming columns or on this blog. I've invited my classmates to write down their memories and send them to me for inclusion in "Remembering Danvers."

See my August column "Reflecting on a High-School Reunion" (published in the Danvers Herald August 4, 2011).

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

1957 Ford Fairlane camper

In my old photo album, right after the photos of the July 1958 Horribles parade (which I posted in the entry below), I found a few photos of Niagara Falls. That was at the beginning of our family's 6-week camping trip across the country.  

We traveled in a 1957 Ford Fairlane stationwagon that my father adapted into a camper.  Here is a photo taken when we visited my uncle Dick and his family in Milwaukee.

Our family of four, two parents and two teenagers (13 and 15), were able to sleep inside that wagon, thanks to sleeping platforms my father constructed.   In this month's column, I'll describe the preparation of that car for our trip.

An important part of the camper design was the special roof-top luggage carrier, which could be opened from either side.   You can see it propped in open position below:

1st stop on our trip west,
visiting the Stevens family in Rochester, NY.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

July 4th Horribles Parade

I remember the Horribles Parade in the Danvers Highlands.

Here are two photos dated July 4, 1958.  I found them in my old album.

I recognize my mother (in light-colored dress) standing to the left of the car.

Today I found an announcement online of this year's parade:
 "Join the most horrible parade in Danvers. All are welcome. Dress up yourselves, your wagons, your bikes, make your own floats, or just march in your most festive 4th of July attire. "

I'm glad to know that the tradition continues.

Horribles Parade 1958
Our family enjoyed coming to the Highlands and  watching the parade. My parents knew some people who lived nearby and liked to talk with their friends. My sister and I liked to look at the "Horrible" costumes. Unfortunately I didn't capture any good photos of the costumes. Probably I was too busy staring at the best ones and forgot to aim my camera. (I was new at photography that year, having just received a Brownie StarFlash camera at Christmas 1957.)