Newsday Article

50 years makes Elmont homecoming even sweeter

Updated October 23, 2016 11:36 AM
By Chris Boyle  Special to


Elmont Memorial High School's 2016 homecoming was 50 years in the making for one very special group of participants.

The theme of Elmont’s homecoming festivities this year was “Celebrating the Decades,” a way of looking back at the school’s rich history.

An especially poignant aspect of these festivities took place during Elmont’s homecoming game against Mepham on Saturday, when the school welcomed graduates from the Class of 1966 as their special guests, explained student activity director Patricia Justin.

“This group wanted to plan their visit around homecoming… a 50-year high school reunion is a big deal, and people are flying in from all over the country to attend,” she said. “They wanted to go on a tour and see how the school has changed over the years. And the [current students] are great with them, they love hearing about how things were here in the ’60s.”

Ellen Seigel, nee Streitfeld, who currently resides in Florida, noted that she had not seen the halls of Elmont since graduating.

Since arriving for the reunion she said she had been experiencing a flood of memories she thought were long since forgotten.

“The Class of 1966 had an idyllic childhood,” she said. “Elmont was the type of town where you could hide your house key under the doormat and not worry,” she said. “We also experienced a lot of seminal events in U.S. history, such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, and the beginning of the Vietnam War.”

Carol Bachmann, nee Blauvelt, and her husband William -- who also reside in Florida -- were high school sweethearts who married three years after graduating.

“It's surprising that so much is the same since we left,” Carol said. “We're getting a tour of the school later, and the first thing I want to do is go by where my old locker is… I still remember where it is.”

“We have memories of some very good times,” William added. “However, I'm also reminded of some friends that we've lost since graduation, so it’s bittersweet.”

Initially the alumni members were slated to march in the homecoming parade, but a downpour changed those plans to an impromptu halftime gathering in the high school’s cafeteria instead.

Freshman Key Club member Saverta Guillet saw this as a special opportunity to make them all honorary judges in the school’s homecoming banner competition.

“It’s exciting that the Class of 1966 is having their 50th reunion here, so I thought it would be nice to help make them feel like a part of their old high school again,” she said. “We thought this would be a good way to let them know that they are appreciated and that we remember them.”

Shiela Gerchick, nee Abramowitz, another Florida resident, said that she was happy to see the sense of community she experienced as an Elmont student had carried over to the youth of today.”

“Elmont back in the 1960s was very friendly, very active… everyone got along,” she said. “And it's nice to see after all these years that these positive aspects continue to exist here to this very day.”