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AHS Class of ‘42 holds reunion
ARLINGTON — Arlington High School’s graduating class of 1942 originally boasted 68 members, but that number has dwindled down to about a dozen survivors in the decades since.
Those who remain still make a point of getting together every once in a while, though, which is how the Denny’s Restaurant at Island Crossing found itself hosting the 70th class reunion of the AHS Class of ‘42 on Tuesday, Aug. 7.
Ruth Yost — one of the three “Ruths” in the group — explained that the Class of ‘42 had previously met for their 50th, 60th and 65th reunions as well, and emphasized that the number who were able to attend the 70th reunion is not the same as the number of those who are still alive.
“Shirley Cox is in Woodinville now,” Yost said. “Lois Langsjoen planned to be here, but she had to go to the hospital just recently.”
Everyone in the room agreed that the area has become much more populated, at the same time that they lamented the loss of larger department stories from downtown Arlington. Many also expressed how fortunate they feel to have survived the war that shaped their young adult years.
“We were the first class to graduate during WWII,” Dorothy Caroll said. “We didn’t know if we would get to graduate.”
Indeed, many of the school’s teachers and other staff members were drafted into the military, and many members of the Class of ‘42 joined the service as well. Peterson went into the Army, while Haddenham and Kazen both went into the Navy. Ruth Yost’s husband Harry and Ruth Wayt’s husband Clarence, both of whom passed on in 2009, also served in the fleet together.
World War II fell under current events rather than history when this class was still attending high school, and the school newspapers that a few of them brought to the reunion included unflattering caricatures of Adolf Hitler and the Axis powers. Charles Haddenham, one of the students listed on the Feb. 24, 1942, issue of “The Eagle,” was one of the reunion’s attendees, along with his wife Ruth and their son Tim.
“I remember her hair used to be red,” Bud Peterson said as Laverne Mangum entered the room.
“All our hair has changed color,” Stan Kazen said.
“All the hair that’s left, anyway,” Peterson acknowledged.