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Comin’ Home to Chester…

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Fifty Year Class of 1965 (L-R) Donald Austin, Julie Niskanen Swol, Annette Fimbel LaMountain, Ed Woodis, Walter Boomsma, Elinore Whitcher Gordon, Bruce Cooper, Donald Blanchard

Chester – As over 100 Chester High Alumni and friends gathered in town, there developed a picture of history, nostalgia, and community/school spirit.  The annual reunion and meeting always draws a large number of people associated with the former Chester High School, including Chester Residents who attended or graduated from Gateway after Chester High School closed in the late 1960’s. This year’s meeting was held on June 27 at the restored Chester Train Station.

Special recognition was given to Aldo Bazazarro from the class of 1938 who was present for his 77th reunion. Bazazaro was given the distinct honor of leading the buffet line together with Eleanor Laurent class of 1939 through the delicious spread prepared by Chester Foundation workers.

Association President Walter Boomsma noted that these reunions are “drifting in the direction of becoming as much a town event as a school reunion.” Noting that the Chester Foundation handled most of the meeting arrangements and food, he also pointed out that the Historical Society supports the occasion by offering special hours for alumni to visit prior to the reunion. “I think this is proof that small town America is alive and well, at least here in Chester,” he said.

Nine former teachers also attended the annual event. Anthony Russo, former English Teacher and Vice Principal confessed to the group that while he’s never attended his own high school reunion, he has attended a number in Chester. He explained that Chester was his first teaching position and a big impact on his life. “Chester is family,” Russo explained. “I will never forget the support and connections I have here.” Russo joked that he wasn’t much older than his first students—the graduating class of 1965 and this year’s fifty-year anniversary class. Returning members included Bruce Cooper, Annette Fimbel LaMountain, Walter Boomsma, Julie Niskanen Swol, Donald Austin, Donald Blanchard, Edward Woodis and Elinore Whitcher Gordon.

The Association elected Walter Boomsma as President for his tenth year. Also returned to office were Vice President Robert Goewey, Secretary Annette Fimbel LaMountain, and Treasurer George Morey, Jr. Morey is the only treasurer the organization has ever had with a record of service spanning over sixty years. When introduced and acknowledged for his service, he replied, “I’ll keep doing this as long as I can.”

Brenda Davenport Budreau and Tino Cardarelli were reelected to the Board of Directors. Duane C. Please was reelected as a Scholarship Custodian. Scholarship awards were presented to Charlotte LeBarron, Nicolas McClafin, Sarah Otterbeck, Samuel Bean, John LaHue, and Spencer Rock—all 2015 graduates from Gateway Regional High School.

The Association has already started planning for the next annual meeting, scheduled for June 25, 2016. Members agreed unanimously to maintain the Chester location and time of the annual event because “it’s good to be home.” Those associated with or in some way connected with Chester and/or Chester High School are encouraged to be certain the Association has current mailing information by contacting Annette LaMountain, Association Secretary, PO Box 206, Chester MA 01011.  The Association also maintains an informational website at https://chesterhigh.wordpress.com and a Facebook page.

Reunion 2015 Images

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Mr. Russo Writes Book!

December 18, 2014 Leave a comment

Those who attended CHS from the mid-late sixties will remember Mr. Russo for many different things… his teaching, his administration, his friendship, his sense of humor and his buffalo.

Well, he’s published a book! His official author’s bio says, “Tony Russo has spent his life as an educator, teaching English in both secondary and college classrooms while nurturing his writing muse. ‘It took a long time, but I never gave up, and I encourage you to do the same.'”

PuppetmasterThis is the first Joe Crane mystery.

In the mid-1980s, Lottery Fever gripped the nation. States with lotteries saw larger and larger multimillion-dollar payoffs. When in September 1984, $40 million dollars were won in the Illinois State Lottery, imaginations exploded across the land. Across the border in Missouri, a persistent faction pushed for a Lottery. Tired of losing revenue to Illinois, a growing number of Missouri business and political leaders demanded a State Lottery.

Unaware of his underworld connections, the Lottery Commission appointed Vincent Mancini as the Comptroller. As Comptroller, he controlled the movement of large amounts of cash through a series of banks to always get the best interest rate. Utilizing his underworld contacts to several offshore banks, he could to wash a significant amount of drug-earned cash.

Mancini’s plan was working well until his actions brought him to the attention of Joe Crane. Now it is a race between Mancini and Crane, which threatens Crane and those closest to him, and a wrong move could cost him his life.

The Puppetmaster: A Joe Crane Mystery [Paperback]

The Puppetmaster: A Joe Crane Mystery [Kindle Edition]

Bring your copy to the 2015 Reunion, because he’s planning to be there… you can have an autographed copy!

Association Announces CIA Subcommittee

spywith magnify glassHaving solved a number of mysteries–such as the origins of our Alma Mater–Chester High School’s Alumni Association is pleased to announced the informal formation of a CIA (Chester Inquiry Assistance) Subcommittee. Every member of the Association is on the committee. For that matter, anyone who has lived in Chester belongs to the CIA.

We are indebted to Fay Piergiovanni of the Chester Historical Society for recognizing the potential of forming such a group. You can remain “undercover” by sending your information via email or a Facebook Message on our page. Or you can “come out” by posting your comments and findings here on our website.

Your current assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to help us find a slide show. Fay has stayed in touch with John Costello who was a Principal at Chester Grammar School the years before we joined Gateway Regional in 1968. John (Mr. Costello) asked recently what happened to the slide show they put together providing commentary on the state of Chester Grammar School. He thinks it was put together specifically  for the school committees, probably in the mid-sixties.

If you have any information or ideas, let us know! How cool would it be to find it and post it on the site? Our CIA subcommittee has an excellent track record, having recently solved a mystery presented on the 2015 Chester Historical Society Calendar. We’ll post the mystery and solution soon… but another mystery you can solve is whether or not you’ve ordered your calendar. If not, do so soon!

Twenty Five Years Ago…

The Country Journal published the week of our reunion included a short article “25 years ago” regarding our 85th reunion in 1988. The guest list is certainly interesting! Angie Hunt Rogers celebrated her 69th year. The class of 1938 was the 50 year class: Margaret Sherwood Austin, Aldo J. Bizzozero, Kenneth Bloomrose, Gilbert Davenport, Frank C. Dellecese, Pearl Hitchcock Hultman, Millard C. Osgood, Ethel Sanderson Rice, and Hazel Van Wert.

Also interesting is that there were 166 members and guests in attendance. For several years now, we’ve been averaging 110 – 120. Our math teachers would be proud that we recognize that as a 27% decrease, and even more proud that may not be statistically valid. While I’m not sure where we’d put that many people at the Chester Depot, it would be a nice problem to have!

 

More Reunion Updates

We also had a note from Marguerite Merrill Ketchum (home economics teacher, mid-sixties)… “Carroll and I are doing well and keeping busy. We plan to attend the Good Sam Really in Syracuse NY June 13-16 then head for Berlin Ohio to the Amish area. Also Parkersburg WV to visit a friend and who knows where else! Probably gone for 2-3 weeks… Our daughter Holly is doing phlebotomy at Gifford Hospital in Randolph and working at Tozier’s Restaurant. Jay works at GW Plastics next door to us… Our one and only grandchild, Joyia was three on April 1… she lots of fun!”

John Roberts Reaches 92

November 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Mr. Roberts who taught music in Chester from 1949 until 1960 will be 92 on Nov. 17th.  Anyone wishing to send a card may do so to:

 Mr. John B. Roberts
202 South Street
Chesterfield, MA 01012

 or you may telephone a wish: 413-296-4762.

Thanks to Janice Leone Brown and the Chester Historical Society for this “birthday tip!”