Let’s Talk Clovis: Remembering 1936-2006 reunions

By Peg Bos, Clovis Museum

The ninth Clovis High all school reunion will be held on June 3, 4, and 5, 2016. The activities will be held at the Clovis Veterans Memorial Building with a special class parade in Old town on June 4. We are reviewing the previous reunions held.

1936: The 1920 Clovis High School campus was the center of activity. Alumni officers were: Orville (Dutch) Ambrosia ’26, Vice President Jewel Andrew Ambrosia ’29, Secretary Nellie Rose ’30 and Treasurer Ruth Burke’26.

Ressie Hays Reyburn authored the letter sent to Alumni’s. She graduated from Clovis High in 1906. There were seven graduates that year. Their graduation was held at the Baptist Church (NE corner of DeWitt and 4th).

She requested a prompt remittance of dues (50 cents) for expenses. Four fund raising Alumni dances (35 cents entry) were held at John Good’s Hall (NW corner of 5th and Clovis Ave). Events included picnic lunches on the High School lawn, tea at Women’s Clubhouse, Band concert, baseball games and parade.

1946: Alumni Officers: President George Kastner ’37, Vice President Don Reyburn ’29, Secretary Mildred Landers ’37 and Treasurer Irma Pendergrass Wamsley ’41. Graduates from 1902-1945 participated in the celebration.

Events held: Saturday night gathering at private homes, Roeding Park, DeVaux Swimming pool and the Methodist Church (Woodworth and 5th) basement. Their dance was held at the Clovis High tennis courts.

1956: Rally night was held at the High School Auditorium. Frank Mesple ’42 was Master of Ceremonies, Paul Kinzel ’40 Song Leader and Vocalist, Aura Landers ’13 and Georgia Gross ’13 were coordinators and Bob Gross ’37 was Alumni President.

Mayor John Weldon was present. Superintendent William Atkin introduced speaker former Superintendent (1925-1946) Paul E. Andrew. Sally Macias Wright ’48 was Mistress of Ceremonies. Lee Brown and Emory Reyburn (first Clovis High graduates of 1902) were honored. Alumni from 1902 through 1956 attended the celebration.

1966: Officers: President Bernard Poduska, Vice President Phil Garver, Secretary Wanda Rogers and Treasurer Judith Barkman. Jake Abbott was Principal of Clovis High. Rally night was held at the High School auditorium with Spurgeon Avakian as Master of Ceremonies.

Bill McFarlane introduced Marion P. Gaines, Clovis High counselor/educator (1925-1961). Her message cautioned that the Alumni Walk would not continue when the high school moved to the new location on Fowler. Jake Abbott was Principal of Clovis High.

1976: Officers: President Stan Gajarian, Vice President Bill McFarlane, Secretary Cheryl Chance and Treasurer Joy Gajarian. Superintendent Dr. Floyd B. Buchanan, Roxie Varadian, John Quill, Mercedes Edwards and Dennis Harris received special recognition.

Principal Wm. J. Contente introduced guest speaker Daryle Lamonica. Bill McFarlane chaired the sausage and pancake breakfast ($2 a plate). Proceeds supported the Band Trip to Washington, D.C.

1986: Officers: President Ron Wheeler, Co-Vice President Bob Althoff, Co-Vice President Karolyn Westmoreland, Secretary Arlene Sassano and Treasurer Denise Mesple. Special recognition was given to Freda Westrup Holcomb (Class of 1911) and Phoebe Smith Daniels (Class of 1914) who were the oldest participating Alumni.

Mickey C. Cox (class of 1953) was remembered as an educator from 1960 to his death in 1979. Mickey Cox Elementary School was named in his honor. The rally was held at Lamonica Stadium. George “Tink” Kastner was guest of honor and Dr. Floyd B. Buchanan was the guest speaker.

1996: Officers: President Tom Wright, Vice President Leta Ciavaglia, Secretary Patricia Holladay, Treasurer Denise Mesple and Past President Ron Wheeler. Karen (Cook) McNally ‘58 received the first distinguished Alumni Award. Karen (faculty member at University of California) became world renown in the field of seismology.

There was a rededication of class stones that had been relocated to the Veteran’s Memorial Square. The 1926 Clovis High graduates and Principal Paul E. Andrews began the tradition. The time capsules placed under the stones (if intact) were returned to a class member. The stone tradition ended in 1969 when the Clovis High School moved to their present location on Fowler Ave.

2006: Officers: President Tom Wright, Vice President Leta Ciavaglia and Secretary-Treasurer Karolyn Westmoreland. Azalea Ball-Biglione ’27 and Carma and Cuma Drury ’30 received special recognition as the oldest “Old Timers” participating in the celebration.

The kickoff rally was held at Lamonica Stadium and hospitality booths for all classes were available at the Clovis Rodeo location. The distinguished Alumni of Clovis Awards were held at Copper River Country Club.

Quality education has always been a major priority for Clovis. The Alumni of Clovis High School document the success of that focus. They remain loyal to our traditions. They are major contributors to our heritage.