Recently the Highland High School Class of 1976 held their 45th reunion at the American Legion Hall with 27 classmates in attendance.
Patti Palladino was the driving force who put the event together. She believes her class had 105 students, with 10 who have since passed away. On a table there were Chinese candle arrays that a group floated out onto Hudson River the following day in their memory.
Palladio said it is difficult to remember all that went on during her high school days, “but after 45 years I just wanted to get everybody together and with the virus it was hard. We’re planning in five years to do our 50th.”
In putting on the reunion, Palladino worked with Theresa Constantino, Fran Lakin and Allen Delmar.
“I am happy we got this many people together and one, Corey Mayer, traveled the farthest from Washington State,” she said.
Palladino came up with a few other “honors” - Donna Gilberto won for having the most broken bones and Allison Lalongo for the most children and grandchildren.
Looking back, Marc Reina said his high school years were “amazing; as far as schooling and everything, it was great. It was a blast and I wouldn’t change a thing.” He said some of his fellow classmates, “have changed a little bit and some look the same and a lot of people I haven’t seen in 45 years.”
To June Erichsen it does not seem like 45 years have passed since graduation. She has seen only a few of her former classmates in the intervening years, but for most the last time was in 1976.
“I can’t believe the years went so fast,” she said. “Even in our lives, Jerry and I went out since we were 16, so we’ve been together for 49 years and it keeps evolving. We have a good relationship and we grew up together.”
June laughs, recalling that it was her brother who introduced her to Jerry, saying “you have to go out with him and Jerry [later] told me when he first saw me that he was going to marry me.” Today the couple have three children, Victoria, Heidi and Jerry and two grandchildren born to Heidi, Adam, 6, and Liam, 6 months.
“Today, it was nice seeing everybody. Some faces I did not recognize at all but a lot of people I do recognize,” she said. “We had a good class.”