Archived Story

1957 FFHS grads a close-knit group

Published 8:37am Monday, June 18, 2012 Updated 12:40pm Monday, June 18, 2012

As a member of the 544 Education Foundation, I took photos at the Fergus Falls High School Class of 1957 reunion on Friday evening, June 8. Friendships have remained since their graduation, 55 years ago.

Tudy Heinl Nycklemoe, as she has done for previous reunions, spearheaded this year’s Class of 1957 reunion which was much appreciated by classmates, spouses and guests. Mike Sigelman, a class member who spun 45 rpm records during Demolay dances at the second-floor Masonic Hall near O’Meara’s Department Store, in the 1950s, served as MC.

The reunion was held at Pebble Lake Golf Course, coinciding with the annual Fergus Falls SummerFest.

This group of FFHS alums, now 72 and 73 years of age, stay in touch via classmate Ann Johnson Arnold, who sends a monthly e-mail newsletter.

She shares e-mails and letters from classmates, a list of upcoming birthdays, Daily Journal articles etc.

Members of the Class of 1957 commended residents of School District 544 for giving voter approval to renovation of the former middle school into Kennedy Secondary School.

They also appreciate the enhancements to the elementary school system and classes at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center.

Three former FFHS athletes, hosted by yours truly, toured the front section of Kennedy Secondary School and the area near the Gold Gym, just before the reunion. Curt Reinan, Chuck Weiss and Bill Barrett were highly impressed with the FFHS Walk of Fame.

Honored are former athletes, those involved with the arts and individuals with distinguished service.

“This display of trophies, photos and memorabilia is really something special,” said Barrett. “This is college-level caliber, and Fergus area residents should be extremely proud.”

Reinan, Weiss and Barrett played on two undefeated Otter football teams their junior and senior years, before the years of the high school playoffs.

Weiss and Reinan were on the 1957 Otter boys basketball team that took third at state, with a record of 27-1. They were happy that this year’s Otter girls team surpassed them with a 30-2 record and third at state.

As noted by 1957 classmates, the foyer in Kennedy Secondary School, next to the Chamber of Commerce Sports Hall of Fame, 544 Foundation exhibit and Dollars for Scholars, now has a JFK portrait thanks to senior student Danae Rodriguez.

Her work, as noted by many people, is inspiring and is a very welcome addition to the building. The JFK quote on her painting states, “Liberty without learning is always in peril; Learning without liberty is always in vain.”

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