After two years of postponement due to Covid, the Greenwich High School class of 1970 held a wonderful, well attended reunion last weekend.
The class of ’70, who have the distinction of being the last year to graduate from the “old” high school on Field Point Road, gave a nod to Woodstock 1969 with their theme: Two Days of Peace and Music.
Patti DeFelice, who was one of the organizers, said the graduating class had 760 students, and about 150 people attended each of the two events.
“Our class is very close and has stayed in touch – especially with Facebook,” DeFelice said, adding that there was a lot of reminiscing all weekend.
“Everyone remembers the class prank – the VW Bug on the third floor (of the high school),” she said. “And three of the five members of the ‘500 Club’ showed up: Bob Jansen, John Kralovenec, and Wayne Scott “
Explaining the significance of the 500 Club, DeFelice said that in 1970 the Vietnam draft was still in effect. “When the armed forces came to GHS, they administered a physical test, and endurance test,” she recalled. “There were only the five of them who passed, and they’re all alive today and in good shape.”
“They had the opportunity to go to Washington, DC and move forward with the program, but they all chose not to, except Wayne Scott, who joined the Marines,” DeFelice said.
The dinner dance at the Hyatt in Old Greenwich was the highlight of the weekend.
“At first everyone said, ‘Oh, no, we don’t want to dance,” DeFelice said. “But that dance floor was full all night long. People didn’t want to leave!”
The band, The LPs from Long Island, played songs from the late 1960s and 1970s, including The Beatles, Elton John, the Rolling Stones and some Elvis.
“The lead singer Jeff Lubin’s voice was so much like Paul McCartney’s,” DeFelice said.
Members of the class of 1970, all about 70-years old today, traveled from all over the country, including California, Michigan, Washington state, Florida, South Carolina and New Hampshire.
“The most emotional part of the night was when people saw people after such a long time and just gave each other such a hug and held it for so long,” DeFelice said. “It brought tears to my eyes. They were renewing friendships from 52 years ago.”
The other main event of the reunion weekend was a barbecue catered by Garden Catering at Tod’s Point from 12:00 to 4:00pm.
DeFelice recalled how 50 years ago, Garden Catering’s predecessor, Garden Poultry, operated on Greenwich Avenue.
“It was next to Charles Stuttig,” DeFelice said. “I remember seeing Diana Ross – she loved Garden Poultry – she’d drive herself down the Avenue in her white Rolls-Royce convertible, with her big hair, and go into Garden Poultry.”
DeFelice said classmates were excited to learn the reunion would feature Hotsy’s Chili, from Frank “Hotsy” Bertino’s original recipe.
“He did a really great job. He ran the Oasis, a tiny little nook on the Post Road next to my father’s body shop – between Mercedes and Audi,” DeFelice said.
Angie Stover, whose family owned Whidmann’s Bakery, created a memorial table for the event.
Stover took a photo of each of the classmates who had passed away, and put them in a frame with candles on a table with hearts.
“She lives in North Carolina, but was key on the committee,” DeFelice said.
At the barbecue, some of the classmates arrived in vintage cars, to everyone’s delight.
“They’ve had two of them since high school – a mustang and a VW Bug,” DeFelice said. “When they pulled up there was a roar!”
The barbecue, held in the Clambake area at Tod’s Point, buzzed with conversation.
DeFelice said people could hear the buzz of conversations all the way out in the street.
“They couldn’t stop talking. They were like bees in a nest,” she said.