Reunions Never Get Old

When they gather together July 29-31 for their 30th reunion, members of Staples’ Class of 1981 may not consider themselves old.  Reunion-goers never do.

But consider this:  On their very 1st day in high school — as sophomores in the fall of 1978 — ground was broken on a new “modernization” project.  It would tie Staples’ 9 separate buildings together, into one cohesive whole.

James Hill, Jerry Finch and Jeb Backus in the now-demolished courtyard, fall of 1980.

Three years later — a few days before graduation — a ribbon was cut celebrating the “new” Staples.

The new building lasted a long time.  But eventually it too got old.  An entirely new “new” school was needed.

Meetings were held.  Plans were created.  Objections were raised.  New drawings were drawn.  Contracts were bid.  Land surveys were made.  Construction began.

The “old” Staples was dismantled, brick by brick.  Construction continued.  Delays were encountered.  Finally, the new “new” building was finished.

And it’s been around long enough for one entire school generation — 4 years now, not 3 — to go all the way through it.  Another is well on its way.

So I don’t want to call the Class of 1981 old (even though they are).

Because I’m celebrating my reunion too this year.

And I was there in Staples’ heyday of 9 separate buildings.

Class of ’71, baby.  And we’re still young!

(Registration for the Class of 1981 reunion is open until July 15.  Click here, or call 203-856-0954. 

(The Class of 1966 has a reunion July 22-24; contact for information, and check out the website here.

(For information on the  Class of 1971 reunion August 12-14, email

(The Class of 1976 gathers this weekend — click here for information. 

(And — just to plan ahead — the Classes of 1951 and ’52 plan a reunion August 24-26, 2012.  Email for details.)

This photo was on the Class of 1981 website. It doesn't look like it was a school function -- but given the times, it might have been.

22 responses to “Reunions Never Get Old

  1. Don Willmott

    Whenever I smell roofing tar I’m immediately transported back to my first day of high school.

  2. And how fitting that the class that spent much of our 3 years living through the construction at Staples should not be allowed to enjoy the new building over some misunderstanding about the caterer!
    I am sure the reunion will be wonderful, but unfortunately I will be away and miss all of the festivities planned by the reunion committee.
    Having just watched my second child graduate from Staples, I am grateful for all that it has to offer, then and now. Although Westport has changed in so many ways since 1981, Staples remains a true asset to the town.
    Cheers to Staples class of 81! You are all still young to me!
    Jill Grossman Denowitz
    staples class of 1981

  3. Fred Cantor

    For anyone in–or related to a member of– the class of 1971 who sees this, please pass it on to any classmates you’re in touch with. Thanks

  4. Everyone was so Fit and Trim back then………………

    • America started getting fat in the early 80’s. Food manufacturers started to add bad stuff to get us addicted. No b.s. Check the obesity charts.

  5. That’s late Ray Vallone in the second photo. A truly great guy – still sorely missed by many.

  6. Jeb Backuskool aid

    Dan Woog,

    Great article Mr. Woog… That second picture was taken at the Pinecrest in Stratford CT… That day more that 100 members from the Class of 1981 went to the Pinecrest to see J Giels in concert… And of course that is just Kool Aid I am drinking!!! LOL

    Jeb Backus
    Class of 1981

  7. The Dude Abides

    45th Reunion (now you are talking some old bricks) of ’66 is weekend of July 22-24th. Contact

  8. operation mud.

  9. Fred Cantor

    I just want to give a plug for reunions in general. My wife constantly passed on going back for her class reunions but finally went back for her 40th–and she had a blast. She reconnected with some old friends and classmates. So, please don’t hesitate simply because you haven’t been back for one in all these years.

  10. A famous quote from a classmate: “If they didn’t talk to me in high school, why should I expect them to do it now?”

    • Ginny Gilbertie.

      McGEE, it’s because we’ve all had decades to get over ourselves and we can see that we have a lot in common, even if it’s just memories of losing our sandals in that damn mud.

  11. The Dude Abides

    GG: You can say that because you probably didn’t talk to the poor guy who happens to be a surgeon in Houston. We wore Bass weejuns or boat shoes in the mid-60’s. No mud. Some bricks.

  12. Great article! I am so looking forward to the class of ’81 reunion — it’s been fun being on the planning committee!

    Sharon Fogel

  13. Foot long chili dogs at the roach coach was the highlight of the Staple’s construction for me.

  14. Thanks for posting our 40th reunion info, Dan. Congrats on your 30th, Class of 1981! Sorry you had to endure construction while at Staples. Same thing is happening to my daughter here in south Jersey and it stinks for them. We were lucky not to have construction and only had the inconvenience of wearing a coat from class to class. We also didn’t have to go to Pinecrest to see J. Geils. Some advantages to being older.

  15. I saw J. Geils in the Staples auditorium and remember the concert well – the year – not so much. Maybe1972 or 1973.
    I spoke to Magic Dick at the Blues, Views & BBQ Festival in ’09; he had no memory of Staples at all. Probably the same for many graduates of the era!