Tisbury '51 turns 55

The Tisbury High School class of 1951 held their 55th reunion in Vineyard Haven.
The Tisbury High School class of 1951 held their 55th reunion in Vineyard Haven.

By Condon McDonough - September 21, 2006

Befitting the small classes of those years, the Tisbury High School Class of 1951 recently held a reunion celebrating 55 years at the McDonough home on Causeway Road in Vineyard Haven. Thirteen members of those long ago class years, plus family and friends, gathered and celebrated. It was only the second such rejoining.

Five years ago the class celebrated their first formal reunion entitled "Our First and Fiftieth," scheduled in the same week the nation was assaulted - September 11, 2001.

Shocked as all in the country were, it proved particularly ironic and sobering for the class. Born in the years of the depression, entering the Tisbury School first grade the year after the great hurricane of 1938 (no kindergarten in those days), experiencing, as 8 and 9 year olds, the Pearl Harbor surprise attacks on our nation that brought us into WW II - announced to us over the radio that fateful Sunday, December 7, 1941, and for now a second time, bearing witness to coverage of a deadly attack on our country. Including much more, it has been an event-filled span of years.

Tisbury High School plaque.
This plaque hangs in the foyer of the
Tisbury School in honor of Tisbury High.

Included in the various experiences, happy and sad, over all those years, classmates shared with fondness the recalling of our High School, now gone; as with our great competitors, Oak Bluffs High School and Edgartown High School. Tisbury High is honored by a plaque (shown below) in the foyer of the current Tisbury Elementary School.

It notes the parallel with the extinct heath hen, long displayed in the school, last seen on the Vineyard, but not forgotten.

The attending classmates were: Pearl Andrews Sylvia, Virginia Lopes Foley, Joe Costa, Louise Pachico Robinson, Jeanne White Odams, Joanne Medeiros Smith, Jane Austin Crave, Barbara Frieh Brunelle, Joyce Humphries Duarte, Buddy Mayhew,

Carol Cronig Abrams, Roberta Hopkins Mendlovitz, Condon McDonough and former teacher, Dorothy Bangs.

Adding to abundant shared food and fellowship, a joyful song of memories was sung recalling some of the teachers, classes and highlights of those long ago years. As the chorus proclaimed:

A very special place, was that ole Tisbury High
My memory's gone - Help me, tell me why,...
I'm smiling and I'm singing as I look back on those days.
Those days that happened all those years ago.