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Proud to be a member of WHS class of 1973 & our half days & our roles as pall bearers.

Western High School is a mile away from Russiaville, in Howard County. The class of 1973 had 168 members. A lot of us attended grades 1 to 12 w/in Western School Corporation About 25% attended Saturday’s reunion dinner in Kokomo. I’d seen few of my classmates since ‘73. 1/7

In 1961 we were little kids and started first grade at one of three elementary schools. In the years that followed, our experiences were little different from experiences of other kids our age in the USA, but two events, each from grade school, came to mind as we swapped stories. 2/7

1: half-days. On 4/11/65 the Palm Sunday tornadoes destroyed most of Russiaville & Alto, and leveled all but 1 of Western’s elementary schools. The rest of 4th, and all of 5th, grades we shared classrooms & attended school in morning and afternoon shifts. We learned to adapt. 3/7

2: pall bearers. Terry Dyer transferred to New London elementary in 1963. Mrs Coleford, 1 of 2 3rd grade teachers, was great. I thought Terry was in our class. I don’t have a class roster. He was in Cub Scouts & he was a good kid. .On 5/29/66 Terry, his Mom & his 8-year-old brother 4/7

Patrick died after a car wreck. n in a car wreck. Cub Scouts in our Pack 111 were told to attend services at New London Friends Assembly and to wear our uniforms. Men had to help Terry’s Dad. I’d never seen a grown man sob. After services, we were told we were pall bearers. 5/7

Today some parents might be angered by our surprise assignment to carry caskets of our friend and his little brother. They might say we could be traumatized, but to learn about living, there are tasks both necessary and unpleasant, but someone had to carry those caskets. 6/7

If we had refused to perform these duties, I believe our trauma could have been greater. Again, we learned to adapt. Our WHS class of 1973 learned and adapted. I’m proud to be a member of
that class. I salute my classmates. I think we turned out okay. 7/7

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