‘Westies’ (West JHS ‘54) double up on reunions

       The “Westies” will continue their every-other-year reunion tradition Friday, Sept. 14, and are inviting anyone from their class - West Junior High, 1954 - to join them.
       The get-together will be in Thorndale Park at 11 a.m. Attendees need to bring their own lunches. At 1:30 p.m., current West Principal Clay Gomez will lead a tour of the school, according to the schedule provided by class member David Bylund.
       The event this year will be tied in with the 55th reunion of the Colorado Springs High School Class of 1957, which the Westies were part of. That activity will start at Palmer High School (as it's now known) around 4 p.m., including an opportunity to attend the school's football game that night.
       For more information on the Westies, call Bylund (who now lives in Oregon) at 541-301-0235.
       For more information on Palmer, call Jay Smith at 264-0096 (starting Tuesday, Aug. 14).
       Many of the Westies reconnected at their 50-year high school reunion in 2007, deciding it was so much fun that they should get together more often. Their first picnic after that was in 2008, with about 20 in attendance, followed by another in 2010.
       In interviews with the Westside Pioneer before the 2010 gathering, several class members talked about how well they got along when they were still kids - and the name “Westies” grew out of that.
       “Many attendees are still local, or at least from Colorado, but a number planning to attend [this year] are from all around the U.S.,” Bylund said in an e-mail. “One of the classmates still lives in the home where he grew-up, just a stones throw from the park. Most have not set foot on the West Junior campus since 1954 - 58 years ago.”
       Thorndale is the picnic location because of fond childhool memories playing there. “It was a gathering place to meet and play or even ice-skate in the winter when the city flooded the tennis court for that purpose,” Bylund said. “The reason to get together is the people, just getting reacquainted and enjoying memories of a great time and a great place: The Westside in the 1950s... still a great place to grow up!”

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