Alumni of county's last K-12 school reunite

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:48

    franklin-The town of Franklin does not have a high school, but that was not always the case. From 1928-1982 the Franklin School was the only K-12 school in the county. That distinction ended 22 years ago when Wallkill Valley Regional High School opened. This past weekend, the Franklin Historical Society sponsored a Franklin High School All-Class Reunion at the Fireman's Park on Buckwheat Road, and more than 400 old grads came from as far away as California to reacquaint themselves and reminisce. As part of the day's activities shuttle buses ran from Fireman's Park to the Franklin School and Heritage Museum, where tours were conducted. Sally Babb McGrath, treasurer of the Franklin Historical Society and a graduate of Franklin High School in 1953, was pleased with the turnout. "We started selling the tickets in January as a fund raiser for the Historical Society. It's a lot of work but it's worth it," she said. "This is the fourth all-class reunion and the second sponsored by the Historical Society." Though the exterior of the Franklin School remains almost unchanged, the interior has gone through many changes, and as former students roamed the hallways, many were surprised by how little they remember. Alice Hulbert, who graduated in 1940, looked into a room with couches and comfortable chairs and is sure that she went there daily for French class. "I'm surprised by how little I actually remember, it all seems so different. It's good to visit, but I wouldn't relish going back to high school. I can still smell the boiled eggs," she said. Back at the Fireman's Field, the old school friends caught up on each others' lives while they enjoyed dinner and dancing. Ed Remus from the graduating class of 1933 was the oldest former student attending the reunion. "When I was in school, the teachers were all friendly and we had discipline," he recalled. "I didn't play sports myself because I was too small, but I used to support the football team, and I used to like to watch the girls play basketball. At that time we had a county champion basketball team. "We used to go to the games in a truck," he continued. "We would take benches from the gymnasium and put them in the truck and off we would go."