Westborough High School class of “58 celebrates 55th reunion
By Alexandra Molnar and Zenya Molnar, Contributing Writers
Westborough – Despite time and distance separating the Westborough High School class of 1958, alums still look forward to reuniting every five years. Most recently, members of the class of “58 came together for their 55th reunion the weekend of Sept. 14.
Spread across the country from Alaska to Maine, 20 alums out of a class of 52 students joined together for a whole weekend of festivities. This year, former classmates and their spouses celebrated at alum Bill Linnane's house followed by a dinner at the Chateau Restaurant in Westborough and a few days on Cape Cod.
Being a close-knit class, alums talked as if no time had passed as they reflected on events they attended, activities they pursued, and classes which they fondly or not-so-fondly remember.
Derreth Montgomery, a cheerleader during all four years of high school, said, “We all have fun; we all have a sense of humor.” Montgomery is a retired elementary school teacher and currently resides in North Carolina.
“We get together without fail every five years,” said Pat Delong of Maine. Four graduates from their class still
live in Westborough, while about six live in Massachusetts and the rest live out of state. Reunion activities and location vary each year.
Janet Meigs of Auburn explained that for the 50th reunion, a group visited the archives at Westborough High School and looked at their old report cards.
“We love each other for the individuals that we are,” she said.
Donald Barr, who has lived in New Market, Md., for 40 years, has fond memories of the Westborough he knew as a young adult and was surprised by some of the changes. He said that the town has grown tremendously but the roads are the same. Barr, the co-captain of the football and baseball teams, rode horses at Dunn Farm in Westborough when he was younger and went on to pursue a career as a thoroughbred racehorse trainer.
The class of 1958 saw a major change while at high school – during their senior year, they moved to a new building on Fisher Street, which is currently the Westborough Police Station. One alum commented that their school was much smaller than the current Westborough High School.
Delong said that most parents of her classmates worked at Bay State Abrasives, a company that produced grinding wheels, which was located in the current Baystate Commons shopping center. This was Westborough's main industry at the time.
Elizabeth “Betty Lou” O”Brien, from Plum Island, enjoyed English and French in school and later had a career as a nurse practitioner from which she retired in 2006. She remembers having a lot of freedom growing up in Westborough in the 1950s, such as taking her bike out for the whole day and returning home in the evening.
“It was safe. Everybody knew everybody,” she recalled. At the same time, she believed her generation was sheltered because televisions were not common in households, so she was not exposed to world events, like the Korean War.
Some graduates, such as David Roche of Nashua, N.H., had ideas about their future careers while still in high school. Roche, who was a member of the golf team for four years, enjoyed drawing and considered himself an artist. He then studied industrial design at Rhode Island School of Design and started his own business in 1971. He jokingly remembered that he was an “odd person” in high school who wore “strange clothes,” including pink slacks which he said were an uncommon sight.
Linnane, who worked as a civil engineer, played on the football team along with fellow graduate Bill Brown. Brown, who served as class president, cited Hopkinton and Northborough as their biggest sports rivals. He is a lawyer and currently lives in Florida. Linnane recalled that when he attended Westborough High, there was some separation between the students planning to attend college and the students following a commercial track. That separation does not exist today among the alums.
The reunion was organized by Bill Linnane, Barbara Johnson, Janet Meigs, Mickey Casey, Judy Foster Kaprelian, and Pat Delong.
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