They had planned to celebrate their 60th high school reunion last year.
But like many gatherings in 2020, it fell victim to the pandemic.
Instead, members of the Escalon High School Class of 1960 had their ‘60 Years plus One’ reunion on Saturday, Oct. 2 in Escalon.
It was originally supposed to be at The Fruityard but a scheduling conflict meant either canceling or relocating, and they didn’t want to miss out a second time. So the class gathered at the Hogan-Ennis Park pavilion on Saturday for a meal, conversation, rekindling of old friendships and sharing plenty of memories.
Some El Escalon yearbooks were placed on picnic tables, memorials for classmates lost were also provided, and the group had a couple of different photo shoots as well. Some featured just the Class of 1960 members, while others also included spouses.
“To me, our class was a very tight knit class and it was very important for me to get these kids together,” said reunion committee chairperson Loretta (Lucia) Fager.
She also took charge at the event, directing the photo opportunities and making sure everyone knew when it was time to stop the chit chat and get in the lunch line.
“In high school, they didn’t even know who I was, I was just so quiet and shy,” she admitted.
Fager added that her fellow committee members were on board with finding a new location for this year’s event, not wanting to skip two years in trying to reunite the Class of 1960.
The class had gathered previously for a big three-day event at their 50-year reunion and also had a big gathering at the Fruityard for the 55th.
“I just felt it was important to get together and we have come from a wide area, some from Oregon, Minnesota,” said Fager, who lives close by in Modesto.
Wendell Naraghi and Doug George were among those helping out on the reunion committee and George also brought in his 1950 restored Buick for his classmates to see.
“I had a ’57 in high school,” he said. “I found this one in Modesto and it has been about 18 years in the making. It’s fun.”
Gary Berg traveled from Minnesota to attend.
“These are people I’ve known since I was in first grade and it’s wonderful to see them,” Berg said.
He and his wife made the trip here, staying with his sister in Modesto for a few days, then traveling to Yosemite, with a final stop in San Francisco before heading home.
He served as chaplain for the VA in St. Cloud, Minnesota for 25 years and has also pastored several churches in Minnesota after attending seminary to become a Lutheran pastor.
George and Marie Nunes put on the luncheon, Maria well known for her work through her business, Maria’s Catering out of Riverbank.
Fager said she was pleased both with the turnout and the event itself.
“It has been wonderful,” she said.