50th++ Reunion Rumblings

You have probably asked yourself…”Has anyone thought about where and when the Class of 1964 will have its 50th Reunion?” The short answer is…Yes. There have actually been two 50th reunions that have taken place in the last two years and another one is in the talking stages.

On June 20 and 21, 2014, a group who puts together reunions for a living, hosted what they called the Hialeah 60th Year Reunion (HHS opened in September 1954). This group invited alumni from all classes…1957 through 2014…to celebrate the 60th year anniversary of Hialeah High school’s existence. One learned about the event by word of mouth or Googling something like “HHS Class of 1964 reunion.” If you read about the event online, you knew this reunion wasn’t specifically for our class. The lodging and some events were held at Don Schula’s Hotel in Miami Lakes, and the main event was at Milander Event Center (it has gone through an extreme makeover and now looks great). But, having no other reunion planned for our 50th graduation anniversary, several of our classmates did their best to merge a Class of 1964 50th reunion into this 60th year anniversary event. About 35 of our classmates attended…and all had a good time.

Last October, a mini-reunion was held in Destin Florida, primarily for those 1964 HHS classmates that also attended Miami Springs Junior High. The folks that organized this mini-reunion actually invited every HHS Class of 1964 classmate for which they had an email address or other form of contact information. Although those who attended had a great time, only a dozen or so classmates could make it.

Today, a few classmates are in the process of putting together a class reunion and have decided to call it the “HHS 70th Birthday Reunion” rather than something like a “50+ year reunion.” The rationale behind this is that by the time this year ends, almost every classmate will have turned 70…or more, so it’s simply a unique way of referring to a 50+ year reunion. The folks planning this reunion do not want to hold it in the Hialeah Area. They are currently looking at hotels in the Orlando, Tampa/Sarasota, St. Augustine and Destin Florida areas that could accommodate every member of our class that wishes to attend.

The other school of thought is that we have a full-fledge 50+ + year in the Hialeah area. Although some feel a high school reunion is only reacquainting and socializing with those with whom they went to high school, others want to revisit our high school and brag how they got from a class in the auditorium to the gym in 5 or was it 7 minutes…and were never late…well maybe once. These others want to visit the football stadium (now Ted Hendrix Stadium) where they played in, were in the marching band or cheerleaders, or sat through the games…in the pouring rain. They want to visit the gym where they played basketball or went to dances after the football and basketball games. These others might want to drive by the middle schools and elementary schools where they spent 9 years getting prepared to become sophomores at HHS. These others lived somewhere near (near could mean several miles away) the high school and might want to drive by their now very “old house” in which they grew up. I am sure these others have one or two more things they would like to see again in the area…and maybe stop by and say hello to a friend’s parents who might still be living in their old neighborhood.

Other HHS classes hold their reunions in the Hialeah Area. The HHS Class of 1965 had their 50th reunion at Don Shula’s Hotel in 2015. One night they had dinner at the Hialeah Race Track and had the Mayor of Hialeah as their speaker: I understand everyone enjoyed that function. The class of 1966 has an event scheduled this summer in the Hialeah Area: http://www.classcreator.com/Hialeah-Florida-Hialeah-Senior-1966/class_custom.cfm?page_id=489765

During the first week the website has been up, 54 of our classmates registered and we have a few dozen that have been made aware of the website but have not yet registered. Once we get over a hundred classmates, we’ll be sending out surveys to everyone for whom we have an email to determine where and when we should holding our “official” 50th class reunion and what it should include. Stay tuned!

Lastly, some reading homework before attending our 50th reunion…”What I Learned at My 50th High School Reunion (by Joe McKeever)”: http://www.riggsclassof63.com/Pages/WhatILearnedatMy50thHighSchoolReunion.aspx . Joe is from a small school in Alabama, but what he says about attending a 50th reunion applies to any size high school class. Enjoy.

Vince Rusinak, President, HHS Class of 1964

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