Boulder High’s class of 1946 is having one last reunion, its 75th, on June 19 at their old school.
The youngest of the some 200 class members, 92-year-old Lynden Petersen, is organizing the event. He’s tracked down 12 class members and is hoping to find a few more to attend to swap stories and take a tour to see how Boulder High has changed. A class member and singer also plans to lead them in the Boulder High fight song and popular 1940s tunes.
The cost of admission will include lunch and a donation to the Boulder High Panther Scholarship Fund. The school is asking members to bring their old photos and mementos to add to a school history project.
For more information on attending the reunion, call Petersen at 303-766-1776.
He said their last reunion was 10 years ago, with about 40 members attending. Their “gold medal” class produced doctors, dentists, educators, engineers, ranchers, farmers, mechanics, writers and business owners. Members included a longtime Grand Canyon ranger, the owner of a model rocket business and a woman who joined a sect and died after drinking poison-laced punch in Jonestown, Guyana, South America.
Many stayed in Colorado and raised families. Petersen, who went into the Navy before working for the Western Electric Co., bought a house with his wife in Aurora, where they raised two children.
“Our class had a successful group of people,” he said.
In 1946, he said, the seniors — and the country — were consumed with the news of the end of World War II. The class dedicated their yearbook, the Odaroloc (Colorado spelled backward), to those who died in the war. Without their sacrifice, according to the dedication, there “might never be high schools or football games or a chance for all of us.”
He said the building still felt new when he attended. Boulder High, at 1604 Arapahoe, was built as a Public Works Administration project in 1936 and completed in 1937. But that was enough time to establish traditions, including asking sophomores — the school started with 10th grade — to kneel in front of “Minnie” and “Jake,” a pair of bas relief concrete sculptures on the front of the building.
“We all sort of hated Minnie and Jake,” he said, noting the word on the street was the school board chose the statues instead of a swimming pool.
Another tradition he remembers fondly is sophomore teams trying to get poles with gold and purple pennants to the top of Flagstaff Mountain before sundown. Juniors tried to stop them, while seniors supervised. His sophomore team succeeded, avoiding the juniors by going up the south side.
He also learned to waltz at Boulder High and spent time with his science teacher, a ham radio enthusiast, talking to people in South America and Europe. And he kept in touch with another favorite teacher, who he said “had a great deal in shaping my life.”
“I had a lot of good teachers there,” he said.