THE LBHS CLASS OF 1963
CELEBRATES IN STYLE
By Ellen Sherin
It was a hot weekend that summer in June of 1963. Long Beach High School seniors were getting ready for graduation. Heads held high, caps and gowns in place, they lined up outside the Laurel Theatre waiting to receive their diplomas. They filed in slowly, took their seats (this time without their feet on the chair in front of them!), and waited to be called to the stage.
It was a hot weekend that summer in July of 2003. Long Beach High School's Class of 1963 - getting ready for their 40th High School Reunion.
This incredible weekend started Friday, July 4th. A gathering of us at what was once a restaurant called 'LaSerenata' ..now called Sutton Place. Most of us remember LaSerenata as a small, family owned Italian restaurant where running into your friends or the parents of your friends wasn't unusual especially on the weekend. A popular place for a date and a pretty short walk to the boardwalk for dessert (Carvel!). Well, this is where we had our first night of hugs and handshakes, tears and laughter. It was a wonderful beginning.a different kind of celebration on July the 4th!
Saturday, July 5th was a day for the beach. It was a perfect day and a good time was had by all who got some of that *Long Beach Sand In Their Shoes (again)*
That evening at around 7:00pm the "graduates" were arriving. We began walking into the Lido Golf Club and instead of placecards that have greeted us so many times for weddings, bar mitzvahs and retirement parties (RETIREMENT PARTIES??), we now looked at a sea of photo-buttons placed on a table. Each button laminated with our yearbook photo and our names printed 'just a little bit larger' for this reunion .
Okay we've put our buttons on. Some, not wanting to make a hole in their clothes from the pin, became creative and pinned the photo-button on a belt, or pinned it on a bag, though it was difficult to bend down to see the name (only kidding!). Some put their photos on a chain around their neck....that was better. Some 'graduates' remarking 'I haven't changed at alI don't need to wear this' .. REALLY? The DJ was there..ready to take us back to another time musically, the bar was open ready to take us back to 'wherever' and we were ready to party!
The evening was fun, some of us danced the night away and some of us took to the outside deck where the familiar smell of the water and the cool breeze kept us in a Long Beach 'state of mind'. After an evening of picture taking, dancing the stroll and the lindy, singing our school songs with Mike Maglio, our music teacher at the lead, football players standing with their coach. Tony Piazza; Eli Stark and Bob Andrews gathering around their 'students'..'Oh, What a Night..' as the song goes. We dedicated our 40th Reunion Yearbook to our friends and classmates who are no longer with us.
Sunday morning we were back at the golf club for brunch!
I don't think we stopped eating all weekend for more than ten minutes! The brunch was great.and as the morning turned into afternoon and the crowd started to thin out ... last goodbyes.....call me! Email me! Or, see you tomorrow!!. Some rushing to catch a flight or the train back to the city; some had to drive half a mile or so and some others just a little further. But for a weekend we were all 'home'. Back to our City By The Sea.
Ellen (Spooner) Sherin
Long Beach High School
Class of 1963