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Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Canajoharie, NY ,

Joshua Thomas
Alumni artists were asked to display their work. These pieces were created by Donna Williams-Short.

Joshua Thomas
Gail Bellen Failing cuts the All Alumni Reunion cake Saturday.

Joshua Thomas
Current CCS Superintendent Deborah Grimshaw welcomes alumni.

Joshua Thomas
The Class of 1954 celebrated their 60th anniversary of graduation Saturday. From left, back, Elaine Hill, Jacque Foster, Shirley Dygert, Maurice Caron, Janet Clouthier, and Mary Traudt. Front, from left, Clifford Douglass, Howard Sitterly and Delores Jones.

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Canajoharie alumni celebrate milestones at annual reunion

Thursday, May 08, 2014 - Updated: 9:41 AM

By JOSHUA THOMAS

C-S-E Editor

CANAJOHARIE -- Saturday was all about reminiscing for the hundreds of Canajoharie Central School District alumni attending the seventh annual Drums Along the Mohawk All Alumni Reunion, and many of the attendees travelled great distances to do so.

Elaine Hill (maiden name Weidman), who now lives in McAllen, Texas, travelled thousands of miles to celebrate the 60th reunion of her class, who graduated in 1954.

"I came because it was a milestone," she noted, adding that, unfortunately, about half of her 39 member class has passed away. "We lost so many from our class, and I feel it's a blessing to have these 60 years," she said of the opportunity to celebrate with her remaining friends, which she previously did once five years ago during the group's 55th reunion.

Though Hill's trip was unexpectedly fraught with a bit of relative hardship, as her checked bag containing all her hair products and clothing was left in Chicago, scheduled to arrive sometime Saturday, she said, without missing a beat, that the trip was absolutely worth the minor hassle. Hill said of her daughter, from Niskayuna, where she was staying while in New York state, "she outfitted me for the day."

Hill noted that it was good to be back in the place she once called home. "Driving up the valley this morning, going through the noses, I said 'what a historic area this is.'"

She joked of her current home, "down there, when a building is 100 years old, they revere it -- they think it's ancient."

Hill explained that it's not only the history of the area she loves, but the fact that she was able to attend school in such an intimate setting. In Texas, she said, "we have mega classes -- astroturf football fields -- stadiums."

Saturday offered Hill a chance to not only appreciate her time spent in Canajoharie, but to relive it while making new memories.

Larry Horning, of the Class of 1958, travelled 3,000 miles one way to attend the reunion, as he has annually, aside from one year he was unable to, yet still sent his warm regards.

"I've been away from Canajoharie for 50 years," Horning stated, living in Santa Clara, California and Washington, DC, prior to moving to his current home of Reno, Nevada, yet Canajoharie is a place that's never far from his heart.

To celebrate his love of Canajoharie, where his brother still lives, Horning regaled the room with a moving rendition of "The National Anthem", into which he inserted part of an old Erie Canal song, "the first song I ever learned in school," which many of his classmates also remembered.

"Somebody asked me why I travel 3,000 miles, and I said, 'it's the people I love -- it's my family.'" said Horning of his fellow CCS alumni.

And it was obvious, at the opening of the event's business meeting as the room stood to sing the Alma Mater, many singing it from memory without even glancing at their program, that most in the room felt exactly the same way.

Joshua Thomas - From left, Marilyn Ramsey (Class of 1959), Barbara Corrow (Class of 1959), Joyce Klump (Class of 1959), Teresa Mancini (Fonda, Class of 1958), Rocco Mancini (Class of 1959), and Larry Horning (Class of 1958).

Joshua Thomas - Rocco Mancini, Class of 1959, and Larry Horning, Class of 1958

Joshua Thomas - Hundreds gathered during Saturday's All Alumni reunion.

Joshua Thomas - Robert Mabie and Renee Mabie Merolli lead the crowd in singing the CCS Alma Mater.

Joshua Thomas - All Alumni Treasurer and founder Clifford Douglass reads his annual report.

     

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