Reminiscing: joint 50th year FCHS and PHS reunion scheduled for July

Reunions — they’re all about sharing old memories and making some new ones.

July 30-Aug. 1, members of the 1965 graduating classes from Fort Collins and Poudre High schools will have a rare opportunity to spend time reliving their high school days with each other at their 50th reunion.

Why the combination of the two schools?

In the fall 1964, a brand new high school opened, the second in Fort Collins. Fort Collins High School had become overcrowded and the solution was a new school that would bring together the senior class students from Fort Collins, LaPorte and Wellington high schools. The LaPorte and Wellington schools closed their doors and Fort Collins became more manageable with fewer students.

The move was positive in the long run, but difficult for some students who had been together throughout their school careers and now found themselves adjusting to a new school and a new group of peers.

“Our senior class was split according to where we lived in the district, but we never experienced a psychological split,” said reunion committee member Bill Busch, a Fort Collins High School graduate. “Seems all our girlfriends ended up at Poudre, so we spent as much time there as we could. Many of us got to go to two proms.”

Friendships remained over time and the senior classes from the two schools have held reunions together ever since.

Busch explained that while he’d never met Richard Seaworth, student body president and 1965 graduate of Poudre High School, they have since become neighbors in Wellington and such good friends that they have vacationed together, along with their wives.

This summer, they will be sharing the double reunion. The festivities will begin on Friday with a scramble golf tournament at Mariana Buttes in Loveland, followed by a catered buffet dinner at Club Tico – an old high school hangout. Club Tico was recently remodeled and is a perfect setting for music by the Esquires, once a Fort Collins High School band. Three band members, Pete Friese, Eddie Galvadon and Russ Gallegos are all 1966 FCHS grads and were delighted to get their band together again for the occasion.

On Saturday, there will be tours of both high schools followed by an evening celebration dinner at the Fort Collins Senior Center. There will be a cash bar, drinks and appetizers on the patio, a sit-down catered dinner and music by classmate Kenny Cordova and his Olde Rock Band. A professional photographer will be there to record the event.

Ceremonies on Sunday will welcome Fort Collins graduates as members of the school’s 50-year club and Poudre graduates will become the first class to be so designated for their school.

Busch has created an all-inclusive Website, www.FCHS-PHS1965.com, which will answer many questions and provide an opportunity to register for the various events. Already 45 graduates and 26 guests are registered.

The reunion committee has been working hard and using all the technology available to contact 1965 graduates. They don’t want to leave anyone out. So far, reservations have come from California, Oregon, Florida, Arizona, Maine and North Carolina. Please share contact information through the website if you know of someone who may have been missed.

Fifty years ago, FCHS represented tradition and the new PHS stood for consolidation and inclusion. Those concepts have remained through the years, weaving back and forth with the times, according to Busch.

He urges local graduates to sign up and encourages their classmates from near and far to do the same.

A few words from the website’s home page reflect the joy of a reunion: “There’s no friend like an old friend. Old friends know all about us and like us anyway. You don’t have to explain anything to an old friend, they already know.”

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