A Washingtonville High School 60-Year Reunion
By George Wontz
On June 23, 1959, as 34 student embers of the Washingtonville High School graduating seniors walked down the center aisle of the now Middle School Gymnasium for their commencement ceremony. The current and then auditorium was being refurbished. At that time it housed Kindergarten through Grade 12.
Not one of us at the time had the thought of 40, 50 or 60 years passing so quickly. All concurred that we should set a date and arrange a 60th High School Reunion. Regretfully, eight of our classmates have deceased. We, being a closely knit class all grieved their loss. But happily, with the help of Al Kirkpatrick, Patricia Flynn Ladehoff, Carole Snider McDermott and George V. Wontz, we were able to arrange and host a most unforgettable 60th Reunion.The festivities began on October 15, 2019 with a Welcome Reception held at the home of George V. and Carol Wontz. Only a short time after each of the classmates walked through the front door of the Wontzes, an indescribable feeling of love and friendship prevailed. It was just like having been together while attending WHS.
The following day the classmates gathered on the Pride of the Hudson Boat for a viewing of the beautiful Hudson River. after which we had Dinner at the Bull’s Head Inn. After enjoying a delicious meal, everyone still had more time to reminisce and visit with each other. The evening went quickly.
The following morning Mr. Dennis A. Barnett, President of the Board of Trustees of the Moffat Library allowed us to have a detailed tour with Library Director Carol Mc Crosen. We were in awe of the beauty and history of the facility. We shared memories of our own days there taking ballroom dance, holding beauty pageants, music and dance recitals. It was perhaps one of the best events of the reunion. After the tour, all gathered at Betty’s Country Kitchen for lunch, and then on to the former High School (now Middle School) where Ms. Donna Abrams brought us on a tour of our former classrooms, Guidance offices, gym, etc. It brought back many memories and gave enjoyment to her as well, watching our reactions.
Later that evening we all gathered at Union Station on Route 17K for a farewell dinner and sad Goodbyes. It was very emotional for each of us, not knowing when we would be able to see each other again. It was a very bittersweet event. We are confident that the administration of the High School would be very proud of the Class of 1959, just as we are proud to say we graduated from Washingtonville High School.