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For the week of August 18th, 1999 through August 24th, 1999

Class of ’69 gathers for 30th reunion

"So Much to Do, So Little Done."

The class motto was "So Much to Do, So Little Done."

They’ve done plenty in the 30 years since their graduation from Hailey’s Wood River High School.

But the years dissolved into a convivial two-day trip down Memory Lane when the Class of 1969 observed its 30th reunion Aug. 6-7 in Ketchum and Hailey.

About 38 members of the 87-student class attended. The reunion, consisted of a Friday golf scramble at Warm Springs Golf Course and an all-day party at Lawrence Heagle (Della View) Park in Hailey.

They played volleyball, horseshoes and socialized. The party was catered by The Pioneer Saloon.

It was quite a year, 1969, and quite a class. Many of the seniors stayed in the Wood River Valley—working, playing and thoroughly enjoying the place where they grew up.

The Vietnam War was raging. It was the summer of Woodstock, and the first lunar landing. The "Easy Rider" road epic opened in theaters, and the 100-1 shot "Miracle Mets" won the World Series.

It was a time of enormous change in the United States. But the Wood River Valley was fairly isolated, maintaining its small-town quality.

Richard "Dick" Jones was Wood River High School principal and Vern Exner was superintendent of schools. On the school board were Nick Purdy, Bill Mallory, Carl Pothier, Macey Trotter and Milton Bame.

King and Queen reigning over the 1969 annual were Phil Packer and Pat Anderson, who later married. Anderson and Linda Rainey were co-editors of the school newspaper, called the Hi-Lites.

Janitors were Gayle Worthington and Hunter Nelson. Bus drivers included Dude Green, Shirley Hurst, Glenn Wright, Bill Kelly, Ralph Hanselman, George Goodman, Myrle Bowcutt and John Woodbury.

The high school was located in the building that now houses Hailey Elementary School. The high school football field—called Wertheimer Field—is now Nelson Field, by the hospital and rodeo grounds.

Homecoming King and Queen were Scott Bowlden and Wendy Roubicek. Wood River trounced the Glenns Ferry Pilots 39-0 in the 1968 Homecoming football game en route to an outstanding 8-1 season which included a 25-0 victory over Shoshone in the Big Six/SCIC title game.

Bowlden, a National Math Award winner, went on to become class co-valedictorian with Sharon Williams and he was also an important member of the 1968-69 Wolverine basketball team that won the SCIC championship with an 18-4 record.

The junior varsity basketball coach was Phil Homer and the freshman basketball coach was Chuck Turner. Both recently retired after long, distinguished careers in the Blaine County School District and were honored as grand marshals of the Days of the Old West parade.

In addition, the Wood River cross country team made history by winning the State Class B championship. Runners were Ken Browning, Dennis Wilson, Bill Vernon, Walter Pyne, Don Wilson, Leon Culver and Jamie Patterson.

As always, school life revolved around athletic activities—and Wood River fielded some of its greatest teams in 1968-69.

But times were different for the Wolverine girls. Their only athletic team was track. They spent much of their time in the Pep Club, as cheerleaders and on the Drill Team.

In all, there were about 370 students in the ninth through 12th grades in 1969—compared to nearly 700 at Wood River High in 1999.

By the way, 1968-69 was a decent snow year in the valley.

In fact, Ketchum’s Vern Thomas won the "Snow Derby" for correctly predicting that all the snow would be off Della Mountain on May 26—about the time fishing season opened.


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