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Baraboo grads to hold 70-year reunion -- which could be their last

September 22, 2018

When the Baraboo High School Class of 1948 graduated, the mascot was an elephant, not the Thunderbirds. The school colors weren’t blue and gold, but an array of gray, gold and red that depended on the sport. Football games and track and field meets were held on the riverfront at what is now Mary Rountree Evans Park. Classes were held at a Second Street building that’s now the Baraboo Civic Center.

“Things change over 70 years,” Fran Wilson said.

She’s organizing the class’ 70th — and possibly last — reunion, to be held today at Glacier Rock in West Baraboo. Thirty-two guests, including 21 classmates, have signed up to attend. They’ll share lunch and relive funny moments from their high school days.

“We share such good stories,” said Sharon McArthur, who publishes the class newsletter. “It’s really a good bunch.”

The class’ 124 graduates held their first reunion at the old Devi-Bara Resort in 1953, enjoying a $6 turkey dinner. It held reunions every five years until its 50th in 1998, when it started gathering annually, often at the old Farm Kitchen. Wilson said this year’s reunion may be the last. “It’s harder now that we’re getting older,” she said.

Saturday’s lunch will draw classmates from several states, as well as some — like Wilson and McArthur — who live in Baraboo. “We all agree it’s the best place in the world,” Wilson said. “It’s a beautiful place to be.”

She made it a point never to miss the reunions. “It was a really good thing for your soul,” Wilson said.

The class of ’48 prides itself on its chemistry and its history. Even if the reunions end at the 70th anniversary, the graduates whose class rings depict elephants had a good, long run. “We’re happy to be doing it,” McArthur said. “We think we’re special for surviving this long.”

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