Class of 1966 celebrates 70th birthdays
Tunes from the late 1960s chased kids out of North Catasauqua William J. Albert Memorial Park when members of Catasauqua High School’s Class of 1966 — the school’s largest class — celebrated their 70th birthdays Sept. 15.
Brenda (Schenkel) Henning is the organizer for these special class events.
“We had a party for our 50th anniversary, and we celebrated when everyone turned 66,” she said.
Henning thinks this is the most active CHS class. Some of the other classes of the high school jump into the celebration.
One year, in the Dark Ages before social media existed, the organizing committee mistakenly sent an invitation to someone in the area with a similar name to one on the Catasauqua roster; she graduated from William Allen High School.
“She had a grand time and came back for a few more events. We let her win the raffle,” Henning said.
Classmates came from Maryland, New Mexico and Tennessee, while a few walked a few blocks to the North Catasauqua park.
Every reunion has a few stories. Dave Tempest, class president, was elected during freshman year.
“I didn’t know it was going to be a lifetime appointment,” he said.
He travels up from his medical practice in New Mexico for most events. Tempest has a unique story about the election. He said there were a couple of popular guys nominated along with him.
“I was kind of nerdy,” he said.
He cast his vote, and fellow classmate Tom Burkholder looked at it and changed his vote.
“He said you should vote for yourself,” Tempest said. “In those days, you didn’t vote for yourself.”
Tempest won by one vote.
According to Tempest, what kept his political career alive was the sale of brooms.
“We sold brooms our freshman year and made so much money on them we were in good shape,” he said.
The broom sales allowed the class to pay its student activity fee from the profits.
“They wanted us to sell magazines at one point, but I said ‘no.’ We had enough money,” Tempest said.
Class treasurer, Sandy Yanek, confirmed the stories.
“We always had enough money for picnics and trips,” she said.
Henning said, “We have the place reserved for next year around the same time.”