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Help locate these missing FHS Classmates
The Class of 1953
If you know where any of our missing classmates can be located, please contact:
Correspondence from Classmates
John Day, Class of 1953 writes:
September 17, 2003
An Open Letter to the Class of 1953
Fayetteville Senior High School
I am sorry that I will be unable to attend the 50th
Reunion in three weeks. I know you will all have a great time. Since I can’t
be there, I thought I would write a brief letter to let everyone know what has
happened to me in the past 50 years, and to extend my best wishes to you all.
Fayetteville seems a long way back – 50 years. I am not sure I have even driven through Fayetteville the past 50 years. But I have not forgotten. I was a Bragg Brat, and spent my last three years in high school with you. There were so many good friends – but I have lost contact with most. I wonder where they are today.
I believe Chuck Schlapkohl became an Orthodontist (?) and lived in Boca Raton (?), Florida. Tom Rogers went to West Point, I believe, but I have had no contact. What happened to Connie Dyess? Mary Oates? Patsy McDaniel, well, she will speak for herself, but we crossed paths in Boston, Mexico City, and now Northern California.
I actually found my old yearbook recently. What a kick. Why do all the women look so great, and all the men are 12-years-old?
I had a number of friends in other high school classes. George Sibert graduated from West Point and I know he flew helicopters in Viet Nam, but I don’t know where is he today? Fritz Rall was a year ahead of us – he also went to West Point, served in Viet Nam, and is retired in Florida. Elizabeth Harrison was living in Seattle area a few years back (she was behind us one year). Norwood Bryan was in the class ahead of us, but I ran into him when he was at Yale Law School. I was always intimidated by a lawyer who sells used cars.
My memory is not as quick as it once was. I remember our Senior Play (The Man Who Came to Dinner), and even saw it performed on the local California stage a few years ago. We had a great group of Boy Scouts out at Bragg – putting motor scooters on roofs. Got my first traffic ticket on the road from Fayetteville to Bragg. It would have been really bad, except the father of one of the girls in our high school was the Judge (and he was kind to me – I don’t remember her name?).
For me, I went from Fayetteville High straight to MIT in Boston. It was a big jump in more ways than distance. I had an appointment to go to West Point, but when we graduated in 1953, I was 16 and too young to enter West Point. (I had to wait a year until I was 17 before I could begin West Point.) So I took off for MIT intending a year “holding pattern”. My clothes arrived at MIT Freshman year in typical Ft. Bragg military transportation style - they were crated in good North Carolina pine and addressed to the “Military Institute of T”, Cambridge, Massachusetts (so help me). So my one-year holding pattern at MIT turned into over five year including graduate school (degrees in Physics and a Masters in Mechanical Engineering). After graduate school the Army finally got me for six months as a Second Lieutenant in the Combat Engineers.
When I got out of the Army, I married a woman I had met in Boston. We are still together 44 years later, two daughters, and three grandchildren and having fun growing older together.
We moved to Northern California in 1959 (after seeing Patsy McDaniel in Mexico when my wife and I were on our honeymoon). I worked as an engineer in the space program, before going back to the Stanford Graduate School of Business for an MBA. We live in Silicon Valley in what is our third home located within 5 miles of our first apartment of 44 years ago.
I have been involved in high technology my professional career, about 17 years in the semiconductor industry and the last 15 in optical communications. I have started two companies, one successful and one unsuccessful. Fortunately, the successful one was second. My last company, a publisher of market reports in high technology, was sold to a New England publishing house, and I retired last year after 24 years in technical publishing.
In community service things I serve on the Board and am Treasurer for the largest Community Services charity in town. I have been active in fund raising for a new community pool, am active in the local Episcopal Church, weigh about 20 pounds more than I did when I got out of college, swim about a half-mile many mornings, have my share of aches, but fortunately have been blessed with good health most of my life.
I would enjoy learning about others from the class. How many still live in the Fayetteville area? If you have a roster of who attends the reunion, I would love to see it. Also perhaps a copy of the class of 1953 membership mailing list – to see who else is around.
Best wishes to all. If any of you remember me, let me hear from you.
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