The gas to get to their reunion Saturday was a little more expensive than the 15 cents a gallon what they were paying 70 years ago when the Class of 1947 graduated from Ripon High.
Remembering their class motto, “Safe on first – now score!” Ripon High School class of 1947 celebrated their 70-year reunion at Spring Creek Country Club dining room. Seven graduates attended.
A total of 16 were seated at the luncheon – some honoring the memories of deceased grads.
The student body president that year was Frank Jorgensen who later opened a hardware store in downtown Ripon. Grads in attendance Saturday included Carol Shoemaker, Gorman Houbein, Floyd Cover, Manuel Luis, Clara Garber-King and honorary classmate Betty Weerdhuizen. Rosie Whitmore, Raymond Eisenga and Eulys Morgan were unable to attend.
The graduation ceremonies were held in the Ripon High School auditorium at 8:15 on the night of June 6 some 70 years ago when Ripon was a much smaller community than it is today.
Saturday’s reunion program included a review of the students’ four years, entitled simply “Looking Back,” and penned by Marcelia Mulholand. A copy of the original program was found in the class yearbook at the Ripon Museum by curator, Connie Jorgensen. She had also located eight small dinner plates engraved with “Ripon High School – The Mission, 1917—1965” – along with a photo of the school’s façade from that era.” Jorgensen wrapped them as gifts and presented them to the appreciative grads who were attending. She and her husband Cliff were also celebrating their 38th wedding anniversary on Saturday as well.
The class tribute read:
“The night of nights is here and four years of schooling are done.
We’ve studied hard and long, but we’ve all had lots of fun.
Our freshman year is pretty vague, we were a shy and timid lot.
We always had something to complain about, like, ‘Look at the homework I’ve got.’
The older students ruled us hard and we were punished for misdemeanors.
But we told ourselves: ‘Don’t worry Bob, just wait until we are the seniors.’”
“Later on, as sophomores, school came to mean lots more.
We entered more into government and we thought we knew the score.
Our classmates now were well into sports and our suspects seemed quite bright.
The only thing that bothered us was our grades, they weren’t exactly right.”
“Our dream of becoming juniors finally became true.
We had to master History but our troubles were really few.
The prom in all of its splendor became an actual fact.
Us juniors were now working and there were but few that slacked.”
“And, finally last September we came to school quite proud.
We announced that we were Seniors and we announced it rather loud.
Our thoughts were the future now and we rounded out our courses.
Nothing could keep us from graduation now.”
There were 46 graduates in the Class of 1947 with Sheldon Nicolaysen winning the honor of valedictorian who also won the Degree of Distinction in U.S. High Schools, outstanding in the Debate League.
Included in the list of graduates just two years beyond the end of World War II:
Eleanor Anderson, George Ashcom, Marilyn Brooks, John Brown, Jack Bynum, Dorothy Correia, Floyd Cover, Gwendolyn Crane, Raymond Eisenga, Evelyn Ennis, Frank Esteves, Lillian Eusebio, Eleanore Franzia, Lloyd Fugett, Clara Garber, Idamae German, Robert Grunsky, Ardell Heaton, Elvira Hermansen, Gorman Houbein, Donald Huse, Rita Jesse, Francis Jorgensen, Louise Levin, Peggy Logan, Manuel Luis, Carol Migliore, Thelma Mondon, Eulys Morgan, Walter Myers, Dorothy Nelson, Sheldon Nicolaysen, Robert Palmaymesa, Bette Roberts, Violet Rodriquez, Howard Saabye, Jo Ann Schoonhoven, Bettie Schut, Dorothy Sikma, Donald Souza, Mark Swass, Gerald Thiemann, Henry Van Assen, Richard Vieira, George Weerdhuizen and Rosalie Whitmore.
The cost of living in 1947 would see $6,650 buying a new house with the average income at $2,854, a new car for $1,290, rent at $68 a month, tuition to Harvard $420 a year, movie tickets at 55 cents each, gas at 15 cents a gallon and postage stamps costing three cents each.
Stepping up to photograph the group Saturday was Diana Luis, daughter of 1947 grad Manuel Luis and sister of the late Dave Luis who led countless students in Ag throughout the years in Ripon.
To contact Glenn Kahl, email email@example.com.