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Fiftieth Class Reunions

September 5, 2018


Fifty-year Circle of CHS


by Alice Jane-Marie Massa



In 1983, when my high school Class of 1968 was enjoying being a young thirty-three years of age, my mother, Mary Lanzone Massa, and a few of her friends of the Clinton High School class of 1933 were planning their fiftieth class reunion.  The Class of ’33 has been remembered through the years because this class of the Depression Era initiated the Boyd-Lahti Award which is still being given each year to a honored graduate now of South Vermillion High School (Indiana).  As some of you may recall, Mr. Boyd and Ms. Lahti were the sponsors of the Class of ’33.


Knowing how much my mother enjoyed being on  the planning committee and attending the reunions, I was surprised to hear that the committee decided that their 50th class reunion would be their last.  Although I thought of my mother as being “old” during the year of her 50th class reunion, I encouraged her to convince the planning committee to have other reunions after the 50th because this CHS alumni group certainly seemed well enough to continue with their traditions.  However, for the Class of ’33, the fiftieth class reunion was the last although my mother lived on until July 3, 2001.


Remembering so distinctly the year of 1983, I am amazed to find my CHS Class of ’68 at the same landmark in our lives of a 50th class reunion.  Of course, from my current perspective, I have re-defined the term “old.”  No, we are not yet “old.”  Nevertheless, where have the past five decades gone?


For me, much of these past decades have gone to studying, teaching, and writing.  After earning a BA and MS at Indiana State University, I, at age forty, returned to school for a second master’s degree at Western Michigan University.  For the final twenty years of my teaching career, I was a full-time instructor at Milwaukee Area Technical College.  From chalkboards to Smartboards, so many changes occurred throughout my last fourteen years of teaching essay writing and public speaking.


Always at my side since March  21, 1990, have been my four guide dogs.  My Leader Dogs–Keller, a golden retriever; Heather, a Yellow Lab; Zoe, a Black Lab/Golden Retriever; and now Willow, a British Black Lab–have tremendously enhanced my life and have made so many accomplishments possible.  I am enormously grateful to Leader Dogs for the Blind (Rochester, Michigan) for these four greatest gifts of my life.


After retiring from teaching, I initiated this weekly blog entitled WORDWALK and continue to post a variety of pieces each Wednesday.


Another retirement adventure was writing the book The Christmas Carriage and Other Writings of the Holiday Season–a collection of some of my short stories, memoirs, essays, and poetry.  A highlight of 2017 was having my print book made available in braille and audio.  To read more about my holiday book, please visit:


Through four years of working on our high school newspaper and being inspired by the wonderful CHS teachers, I know that Clinton High School gave me an important springboard to those upcoming decades that have now drifted by all too quickly.


My Class of ’68 celebrated its fiftieth class reunion this past Saturday during Clinton’s Little Italy Festival.  Unlike my mother’s high school class, my CHS Class of 1968 has already made plans to meet again next year for a luncheon during the Little Italy Festival.  All these 68-year-olds plan to continue celebrating high school memories and future gatherings.  Cheers for the CHS Class of 1968 and their future endeavors!


May all of your reunions be happy ones!

Alice and Leader Dog Willow


September 5, 2018, Wednesday



From → Uncategorized

  1. Sue McKendry permalink

    Alice–Finally got my computer back, so can let you know I’m following your blog. Last week I tried to respond with my tablet, which is an entirely different animal with a mind of its own, so don’t know if it got through or not. Anyway, enjoyed your perspective on 50th class reunions as mine was some time back–Sue

    • Hi, Sue–Your comment came through just fine this week.  Many thanks!

      Enjoy these rain-free days!

      Alice and Willow

  2. Dear Alice,
    You have certainly had a productive fifty years since your graduation from CHS! Congratulations on all of your outstanding achievements and contributions. I do remember how much Mother enjoyed working with her classmates to plan the class reunions. Living so far away from Indiana, I have not participated in the planning of my class reunions, but I have appreciated the time and efforts of my classmates and friends who have worked to make the events very special. The amazing technology developed during the past fifty years allows CHS grads near and far to easily keep in touch through e-mail and text messages. Of course, the technology also allows your readers to enjoy your weekly blogs!

    With thanks and best wishes to you and Willow,

    • Hi, Mary–Thanks for adding your comment!  Amazingly, the desks at Clinton High School still had the round cut-out for the long-ago inkwell.  “High tech” then was an electric typewriter. Screens for overhead projectors were the latest in equipment of that era.

      Take care!  Have a good semester! Alice and Willow

  3. Carole permalink

    Alice, your reunion gift to our classmates was very thoughtful and appreciated. Even though I wish you could have been able to attend, you were definitely there in spirit! Happy 50th!

    • To my cousin with whom I shared the school years from first-grade through graduation from college–Many thanks for sharing these thoughts on this blog post!  How these milestones just sneak up on us!

      Best always–Alice and Willow

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