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Sunday, April 22 News

Warde Class of '64 celebrates a half-century of memories

Eighty-nine members of Andrew Warde High School's Class of 1964 turned back time Saturday night -- a half-century, both momentous and minor -- as they celebrated their 50th reunion.

With spouses, family and friends in tow, the classmates gathered at the Trumbull Marriott to leaf through yearbooks, memorabilia and photos, and to limber up on the dance floor to classic '60s songs that are the soundtrack of their lives.

"We're blessed to be able to come together for this reunion," said Bob Amaro, now a Beacon Falls resident. "At this point in our lives, it doesn't matter what level we were back in school -- we are all one now. We are all part of each other."

Doug Goodfellow, former captain of Warde's football team, huddled with fellow athletes Dave Forstrom and Daniel "Buzz" Veronesi. "Buzz was a placekicker and guard on our Eagles football team, I was the quarterback and co-captain, and Dave was a tackle," he said. "It doesn't feel like a lot of years have passed. It's an incredible dejà vu and happy time to see people that you had close relationships with. Dave and I have only seen each other twice in 50 years. It's great to connect."

Goodfellow recollected that the football team was 1-8 in the 1963-64 season, with the lone victory over Bassick High, 8-6. "We weren't great, but we had a great time," he said.

Former cheerleader Sandra Senko remembered the Warde community as a close-knit group. "It was so much fun cheering and I had a lot of memorable teachers," she said. "I became a teacher and, I think, a memorable one, too, emulating my own teachers."

Senko laughed as she recalled the school's dress code back then: "Girls could never wear pants, berets or clips in their hair," she said. "And your skirt had to touch the ground when you kneeled down or they would send you home."

Andrew Warde High School opened in 1956 and was the town's second high school at the time. The Class of 1964, which numbered 340, entered the school as freshmen in 1960. "We were one of the earliest graduating classes," Senko noted. Now known as Fairfield Warde High School, the school has undergone several transformations -- both in name and physical plant -- over the ensuing 50 years.

A highlight of the event was a collective singing of the school's alma mater, led by Ted Ringelheim, who said that his sister, Joan, wrote the music while her friend, Susan Sheatsley wrote the words. "I have the piano that they practiced on in my house," said Ringelheim.