By Peg Mirenda
I couldn’t identify that magazine-size publication with the red binding. So I pulled it down off the bookshelf and immediately recognized it. I was holding the 2002 souvenir program from the 60th reunion of the class of 1942 at Wauwatosa High School (my class).
So for the next couple of hours, I wandered back in time as long-forgotten names and events came bouncing back into my memory. Homeroom classmates, Friday night football games, concert rehearsals, favorite teachers (and some not-so-favorites), class picnics, junior prom — and the list goes on and on!
A special feature of the souvenir program was the detailed, hand-drawn map of 1942 Wauwatosa, which identified many “long-gone” (by 2002) points of interest: places like the Mother Goose House, the Milk Jug, Wauwatosa band shell; Robertson Hardware; LeFebre’s General Store, Wauwatosa Arcade Bowling Alley, Blue Dalia, Gridley Dairy, and many, many more!
While reviewing the directory of names, I decided to “do-the-math” to compile a quick summary. The Wauwatosa High School combined January and June class of 1942 (there was only one high school then (no east or west) had 443 graduates—184 male and 259 female. Our class boasted six sets of twins: (two pairs of boys and four pairs of girls). And I was surprised to note that at least 17 of our high school romances had actually resulted in marriage.
But 60 years later, 121 of these individuals were listed as deceased, while 58 others could not be located. And a special section provided photos and military biographies for our eight classmates who, shortly after graduation, had become World War II casualties.
Now, all of this interesting information led me to wonder what the statistics would be if our class had another reunion this year (2017) which would mark 75 years since our graduation. But that soon led, of course, to a much more practical concern: who, from the class of 1942, would volunteer to plan and coordinate such an event!”