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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Tales from the old-timer

PHS Class of 1974

By Jane Thibodeau Martin,

daughter of the Old-Timer



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I was excited when I returned home late Friday night from a trip to find an invitation I’d been waiting for - my high school class reunion. The Peshtigo High School class of 1974 is fortunate to have a spark-plug organizer in Robin (Dohr) Swiatnicki - I know of other PHS classes who don’t have any reunions, and my husband’s Mosinee High School class lacks an organizer too. It’s such a shame when no one steps up to get old classmates together. We are lucky to have Robin take care of this for us.

The fun of the reunion starts with the invitation, since a wave of memories immediately comes back and the anticipation starts. Our class is now 40 years removed from high school graduation, and I’ve found each succeeding five year reunion is more fun. We’ve all grown up, and left behind those divisions of farmers vs. city kids; smart kids and athletes - band kids and those who just wanted to take auto mechanics. Our hair (if we are lucky enough to have some) is gray, and our butts got bigger. But now we are just happy to see each other, share a memory or two, listen to some of “our” music, and show off pictures of grandchildren.

A few key things that were important in those days:

White socks were NOT worn. Uber-nerdy.

Women had nearly uniformly long hair. Guys too.

Ponchos were stylish as were long, loosely-knit sweater vests. You teamed them up with “waffle-stomper” short boots.

Top songs - “The Way We Were” - Barbara Streisand, “Seasons in the Sun” - Terry Jacks (let me tell you, this is one pitiful song, so awful it’s hard to listen to the drivel) and “Dancing Machine” - the Jackson 5.

Dodge Challengers and Chargers were hot, sought after cars. (Note the current retro styling, reflecting our tastes!)

After graduation, we scattered quickly. Some got married, some to work in local businesses, some to military duty and others off to college in far-flung locations. My guess is about 75% of the class lives or works within a 75 mile radius of “home,” but it’s hard to tell for sure. Unfortunately, everyone has lost contact with a few of the graduates, and no one knows where they are or what they are doing. And some don’t ever join us, but they are remembered and missed all the same.

If you haven’t yet gotten included and were a member of the class, or you have a son, brother or sister who was, please contact Robin at (715) 582-3786. We’d LOVE to see you this summer, or at least hear from you if you can’t join us. It’s fun to rediscover, for just a few hours, that 18 year old that still lives somewhere in your heart.


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841 Maple St
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Peshtigo, WI 54157
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