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Mechanicsburg High School Wildcats Celebrate 70 - abc27 WHTM

Mechanicsburg High School Wildcats Celebrate 70

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For Roy Cramer, it was a greeting he repeated throughout the reunion luncheon. "Well, that's good. Great to see you."

It was seven decades ago on the calendar, but for some of Mechanicsburg High School class of '43, graduation was yesterday.

20 of more than 160 original class members shared hugs, laughs and memories at the long awaited gathering, held recently at Hoss's Steak and Seafood in Mechanicsburg. Some travelled from as far away as the West Coast. One classmate attended by way of a cardboard cutout. All recalled graduation plans dominated by a World War.

"It didn't matter where you went," remembered Cramer. "It was all patriotism and a big strong desire to fight this battle and win it."

Vera Shaull Fittrer talked about the uncertain future for the boys in her class. "They could enlist in the last semester of the year and still get their diplomas," said Fittrer. "So, they would enlist. And, some of them didn't come home."

"Thorley Hollinger, who was voted by his classmates most likely to succeed, died in a German prison camp," said Fittrer.

"And Johnny Westfall was killed when two planes that were practicing went together."

Owen Chisley's didn't know it at the time, but his call to service launched an Army career that spanned three wars, after which he retired as Lt. Colonel.

"In World War Two I was in the Battle of the Bulge with Patton," he recalled. "I was an enlisted man at that time."

The gathering was a chance to catch up with old friends and remember people and events that made their high school years special. I was honored to briefly address the class and share some laughs.

"Pinkie" Grundon, former captain of the "Wildcats" cheerleading squad, was among those who couldn't wait for the reunion.

"I was so excited about coming here," she said. "I was afraid something was going to happen that I wouldn't make it." She concluded her comments with one of the cheers with a makeshift pom-pon.

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