Class of 1949: More like family than classmates

Courtesy photoMembers of the Carson High School Class of 1949 got together for their 60th reunion this summer. In the back row, from left: Ron Lyman, Joe Pieretti, Ken McCray, Bill Awbrey, Patricia McLeod Lording, Ted Miller, Herb Gillie, Ralph Grinnell, Betty Ann Walker Service, Bill Warren, Debra Bible Bandini, Arnold Roy Odermatt, Ken Robbins and Giles Altenburg. Front row from left: Mary Cameron McDonald, Alice Kean Whitaker, Barbara Billings House, Doris Stirman Day, Beverly Stirman Davis, Catherine Baxter Mathiesen and Rosalin Marin Carvin.

Courtesy photoMembers of the Carson High School Class of 1949 got together for their 60th reunion this summer. In the back row, from left: Ron Lyman, Joe Pieretti, Ken McCray, Bill Awbrey, Patricia McLeod Lording, Ted Miller, Herb Gillie, Ralph Grinnell, Betty Ann Walker Service, Bill Warren, Debra Bible Bandini, Arnold Roy Odermatt, Ken Robbins and Giles Altenburg. Front row from left: Mary Cameron McDonald, Alice Kean Whitaker, Barbara Billings House, Doris Stirman Day, Beverly Stirman Davis, Catherine Baxter Mathiesen and Rosalin Marin Carvin.

Members of Carson High School's Class of 1949 aren't sure exactly why they remain so close after 60 years, but the 21 who attended their reunion in June are sure of one thing - the bond grows stronger every time they get together.

"We are a very close-knit group, but I don't know why," said Debra Bible Bandini of Carson City, who helped organize this year's reunion.

Maybe it was because the graduating class was only 40-strong to begin with.

"Any of us can pick up a telephone and pick up a conversation right where we started it five years ago," she said.

The high school at the time was on Bath Street, which is now Grace Bordewich-Bray Elementary School.

"Grace Bordewich was my English teacher," she said. "When we were kids growing up, we played Monopoly in part of the old Presbyterian Church. None of us dated each other. Maybe that's why we all get along so well," she said, laughing.

"We dated older guys and they dated younger girls."

Another class member, Giles Altenburg of Sparks, thinks the group stayed close as a result of locale.

"For the life of me, I can't figure out why we're so close, but there was a small nucleus that didn't go away to school that kept us together," he said.

Altenburg shared some of the statistics from the class.

"There was nobody really famous out of our class. One-third got college degrees and the other two-thirds are wealthy," he said, joking.

"Of the 40, 16 have died and five have been married to the same person more than 50 years," he said, "and five in our class went into the Korean War in 1950."

The reunion included a night of socializing, and the dinner included a gift copy of the original "Senator Hi-Lites" dated June 3, 1949, for reminiscing and laughing, Bandini said.

During the dinner, classmates were also entertained with a collection of baby pictures Bandini collected which everyone had to try to identify.

"We'll probably go to having the reunion every two years now, since we're all getting older," she said.

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