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09/09/15 04:22 PM #101    

Gunnard Johnston


Hey, Jim, very generous of you!   Love to join you and will certainly do so if time permits.   Put my wife and I down as a "Maybe".

And Kevin, your "memories" are etched forever, brother.   We will get to relive them as often as we like!!   laugh ​  ​

Those memories are ours for all eternity, and NO ONE can take them away!!


Gunnard "Zach" Johnston

09/27/15 11:45 AM #102    


Kevin Tracey

The Reunion

It's over, I survived, had fun, loved seeing so many of my childhood friends. Friends who have lived in my memory "forever young."  Until last night.
I had written the following years ago.  I thought of it this morning and dug it out.  It is why last night was so easy, so comfortable for me.

                                                              Stand By Me

At the end of the movie, Stand By Me, the story that had been told as a flashback shifts to the present as the narrator/writer is seen finishing up the story on an old word processor.  He gives a summation of what had happened, as best he knew, to those friends from his past.  Friends lost in time, the best friends he ever had.  He writes how we move on and how those friends who meant so much when you were twelve become guys you pass in the hall in high school with barely a nod.  We go down different paths.  But, oh how important was that place we all started from as we began that journey from childhood into young adults!

As to the following, some of it may have been "plagerized" from a book that I read .  I would love to give credit to the author that put these thoughts into my memory bank but I draw a blank whenever I try.  Anyway, why last night was so easy, so comforting:

The friends from our youth went with us through many of the changes we had to go through to become an adult.  They know the hand we were dealt.  They understand us better than the friends we have made as adults because of that shared youth, shared promise, shared pain.  They are more likely to forgive us.  Less likely to judge us.  And, can still make us laugh at ourselves even in the worst of times.  They knew us once when life was still ahead of us.  Their mere presence can give us back some of what we have lost.  If only for a little while.  XO

09/27/15 06:15 PM #103    

Jeanne Mahoney (Leffers)

Reunion Follow-up


Thank you Kevin for the comments but most especially, thanks to you and the entire Reunion Committee for planning this event for us. It was a great time and I know that you all worked very hard! 

My reflections are similar to yours as I too lived almost my entire life in Needham until I left NHS for college. I feel very blessed to have had the opportunities I did to live in a community that was safe, had excellent schools and great outdoor places to explore and enjoy (including my 5 years of work at Rosemary Lake :). The opportunity to be in a room surrounded by those I knew from kindergarten, from Pollard (7-9 and 8-18) and NHS, some of our teachers, as well as those who came to Needham in high school, and those who moved away but came back to share our reunion evoked very powerful feelings.  It also brought so many memories of our classmates who have passed away as well as those not in attendance.  I believe we are all products of the collective influence of one another, our teachers and a town that so strongly supported education. Though we have had joys and challenges along our journeys (and new knees, hips, and help for eyes, ears and hearts and the like as well as wrinkles, gray hair and rounder bodies (at least me), I thought we were a great group! I too felt that promise you spoke of, Kevin, but in a celebratory way.  Sharing our stories and hearing those of some who are living far away or not with us this weekend, reminded me that whatever our path I believe we have made good on a promise (as we left NHS) to help our world.  For some it was military service (thanks to those men and women from '65 who served), for government service (from Trish Robey as Town Meeting Member to Peter DeFazio in the US House (4th District Oregon) and I am sure many others), and our roles in education, construction, health care, manufacturing, law, the arts, social service, business and so forth, I am convinced that we were a positive influence through our work and play in our own little corners of the world.  It was fun to laugh (lots of those) smile and reconnect with so many of you.  I do hope this is not our last reunion (Hey, my husband Jim Leffers '65 says he will volunteer to help with our 75th!) and that we can find a way to financially support this great website moving forward.  I left our weekend feeling greatly blessed to have you all as part of my life and formative years. Thanks and stay healthy and happy until next time!  You all are filling some space in my heart!  hugs, Jeanne

09/27/15 06:22 PM #104    


Carol Salvaggio (Beals)

I would like to thank the committee and all who put together last night's wonderful event. A lot of hard work but it was appreciated.  It was so good to see and speak w/old friends. 

09/27/15 07:56 PM #105    


Jeffrey Feeley

To the entire Reunion Committee, Martha and I say well done, well done indeed! What a magnificent gathering!

We may not look like we did but we all have a similar frame of reference. The NHS experiance was a "gentle" experiance." No significant difference in any of us. I don't think we knew anyone whose parents were super rich or super poor. The downside was we probably never met the high or the low. That might have broadened our frame of reference.

We were sheltered. I never met a black person, an Asian person, a Native American person until I went to college...and maybe then...only 3 or 4.  Needham was  "Happy Days" personified!

I close with a Irish Blessing...

May those who love me always love me. 

May the Good Lord change the hearts of those who don't

But if He can't change their hearts may he turn their ankles

So  I might recognize them  by their limp. 

Go Rockets!!!

Jeff Feeley

God Bless Joan Tulley...a mind like no other.


09/28/15 01:19 PM #106    


Thomas Fontecchio

What a GREAT JOB done by the Reunion Committee.  I was such a fun night for all.  I feel sorry for those that did not make it because The Class of 65' has alot of Class!!  Thanks again and I hope all of us are healthy enough to do it again!!  God Bless!!

09/28/15 01:23 PM #107    


Susan Beers (St Pierre)

Kevin, I have all the stories you have sent me through the years stored in my Advocate--my little treasure of memories.  I still wish I had your ability to recall all that, but thanks for helping me get back so many.

I loved the reunion.  Thank you to all who made it possible.  Thank you to all that attended.  I stayed until I literally could not speak, and I am sad I missed talking to so many of you.  We really did miss those who could not attend and asked about and thought about you.  Maybe you will find your way to this forum and post some pictures and memories.

Will continue to look for ways to stay in touch.  




09/28/15 05:00 PM #108    


Linda Cerullo (Ricker)

As I sift through all the pictures of Needham High and our 50th reunion it brings back so many memories. Even thou I was unable to attend the reunion everyone's pictures made it  possible to capture the moments.  I especially loved the video on you tube of the Needham I once knew. As I watched it the second time! It brought tears to my eyes.  Thank you Les for making it possible to share.  I also want to thank Dave Downs for taking the pictures of inside Needham Highschool.  I have not set foot in that school for fifty years!  I always make a special trip when I am in Needham to drive by. Thanks to everyone who are sharing all the pictures on Facebook and this website!  My best wishes to all of you. "Class of 65". Needham will always be forever my hometown.    Stay well and safe.     Linda(cerullo)Ricker. Carmel,Maine 

09/29/15 12:26 PM #109    


Jane Weaver (Lawrence)

I want to add my enthusiastic thanks to our Reunion Committee and all the others who contributed to the success and enjoyment of last Saturday evening, and to echo the sentiments that those who have written before me have expressed so well.  My only regret is that one evening was not long enough to catch up with all of the classmates I had hoped to (never mind letting my hair down on the dance floor)!  We'll just have to do it again . . . soon!        Jane (Weaver) Lawrence


09/29/15 12:33 PM #110    

John Halbrooks

I wanted to add my thanks for our Reunion weekend. Everything worked out very nicely. The Meet & Greet was great and gave me time to catch up with new and old friends. The dinner was delicious and the hall was impressive. I have to admit I stood in on conversations that made me realize just how much effort it took to pull the weekend off, so I have to say again how much I appreciate how hard the Reunion Committee worked to make it all possible. It was great seeing old friends and fun to get to know people you never knew well back in the day. Only wish I'd been able to be part of every activity offered. So thanks for the memories.

09/29/15 01:02 PM #111    


Russell Provost

I wasn't going to go.  I really didn't know that many of my fellow classmates. Maybe it was because I moved into  in the middle of 6th grade.   Maybe because I  was shy, always sitting in the back of the class and not having my first date until half way  through senior year.  That being said Needham High School was a positive part of my life. I made many friends along the way. 

At the reunion we talked about many things like parties, sports, girlfriends and boyfriends, teachers and more. These were an important part of our experience. However, on a serious note, for me  two events that occurred  during our years at Needham shaped the rest of my life. I rememember them like it happened  yesterday. First was the Cuban Missle  crisis.  I remember walking home one day  not knowing whether tommorow would come. Nuclear war seemed a real possibility and Needham and Boston would be ground zero. It didn't happen. Second was the assassination of Kennedy.  I am sure everyone knew extactly where they were when they got that news.  We, our friends and classmates, made  it through both of these terrible events. I believe  it made us stronger,  caring people. 

Anyways enough of the serious. Great work done by all the people who organized  this event. Great turnout. I heard many people say this would probably be the last reunion for our class. Hopefully not. I am glad I decided to go. 

09/30/15 09:40 AM #112    


Henry Digiorgio

What a fantastic time last weekend seeing old friends and classmates! Many thanks to the Reunion Committee for a super job putting together a memorable weekend for all of us.

09/30/15 01:18 PM #113    


Carol Hartshorn (Tracy)

You can never get enough thank yous, so I will add mine to the committee for a great night.  Was wonderful to catch up with classmates, see those that I thought didni't change at all (Steve Hazam, Jane Greely et al) and those it took me a minute to recognize  (Frank Brown, Paula Daniels et al) and those I did not recognize at all (Amy Biagi, Paul King et all).  It took the renuinion to meet some classmates I did not know at NHS, my neighbor Mike Riley in Walpole and a good friend of my cousin (Ken Hartshorn) Lenny Vara.  I am sure as others mentioned  that I missed catching up with some classmates. Again job well done!

09/30/15 04:03 PM #114    


Sherry Mernick

Shared history  is a magnificent thing! From elementary crayola (burnt sienna anyone?), scissors with rounded edges, and finger several special years on the hill and beyond, we shared many good times and friendships in the relatively stable, endearing neighborhoods of Needham. It was wonderful to spend an evening with lifelong friends and classmates, even if only for a few hours. Many thanks to the reunion committee for their diligent work and to the NHS '65 community of friends/extended family.

Short poem by Mary Jean Irion

Let me be aware of the treasure you are,

Let me not pass by you in search of some rare and perfect tomorrow.

Let me hold you while I may, for it will not always be so.

One day I shall raise my arms to the sky,

Or dig my fingers into the earth,

Or bury my face in my pillow,

And want more than all the world your return.


Best wishes to all, Sherry

09/30/15 04:12 PM #115    

Jeanne Mahoney (Leffers)

Thank you Sherry for the wonderful poem and sentiments.  Yes, it was a very special weekend! 

10/01/15 01:39 AM #116    

John Hazam

Even some of us who  could not make it to the  Reunion thank the Committee and all others who  helped make the website, the photos and the Reunion activities such a success.  I have been able through the website to renew contacts with classmates and to follow the Reunion events.  I too have read many of Kevin Tracy's short stories about our  school days - he has applied his talent and really captured what it was like to grow up in Needham at that time.  I would like to nominate Kevin as our NHS Class65 Scribe!  Another thought, has there been an effort through  those who registered and those who showed up, to track down any missing classmates?

10/01/15 02:04 PM #117    


David Drake

Hi John,

It is good to hear from you again.  At our Reunion Party, I had the pleasure of sitting next to Steve during dinner.  We had a great time talking about many subjects (including you).

The Reunion Committee has put a lot of effort into finding missing classmates and we have asked our classmates to also help.  The person who found the most missing classmates, by far, was Les McKechnie.  He did a fantastic job!  I have heard from several people in other classes who wanted to know how and why our list of missing classmates was so small.  It is amazing what you can find these days through the internet and social media.

10/01/15 02:11 PM #118    


David Drake

For those who receive the Needham Hometown Weekly newspaper, the October 1st edition has a brief article on our Reunion on page 21 with two pictures.

For those who don't receive the paper and/or if you want to see more pictures, go to their website at, click on Needham Photo Galleries, then Needham Events, and Reunion pictures to see the seven pictures.

10/04/15 04:35 PM #119    

Gunnard Johnston

It was nothing short of fantastic for my wife and me to attend the reunion.   I've got to confess I had some apprehension as the day drew close and even on the drive down from NH.   Although I have been back to visit Needham countless times -- even living there for a short time in 1971 -- and have brought my wife and son to my old homes, schools, and other haunts, I still had some butterflies over the last 24 hours before the event.  

But that was totally unnecessary as all we could feel upon our arrival was an overwhelming warmth and love from everybody we met.  The atmosphere was so alive, electric, filled with heart.  My wife and I met so many of my old friends, classmates, and even a few upperclassmen, like Jim Cruickshank.  My only regret was it went by so quickly and I did not have enough time to meet everyone or to spend the amount of time I wanted to spend with each person we did meet.

Major kudos are due to all who worked on this event.   I have to say that it was Jeff Feeley who first contacted me from the class about ten years ago.  Kevin Tracey and Scott Stover were soon to follow, and then John Halbrooks got in touch.   Almost roped me into "the great car transport caper".   Thanks, guys, you don't know what this has meant to me, and by extension to my family. 

Just a side note example:   my son starting writing a "short story" when he was 14 years old, nine years ago.  It eventually turned into a 161 page "novel".   Nobody told him to do it, he just felt called.   His story was based upon a similar theme as the Harry Potter and other adolescent stories, but here's the interesting part:  he wrote it as taking place in Needham.  Mind you, we were living overseas at the time, in Lithuania, and had been there since he was four and a half years old.   Before that we had lived in Manchester, NH, from the time he was born.   He had only visited Needham as a young child once or twice.   Yet somehow he had picked up a lot of particulars about Needham, including Pollard, Webster Street, and the Hill.   Guess it was from me.

Thanks again to all for making this such a great reunion. It was a very special time.  I hope we have a chance to get together again and spend more time getting re-acquainted.  Love to all.


10/10/15 11:14 AM #120    

Class Administrator

Hi all-

Jeff Feeley asked me to post this for him.. He said "

Martha, PK and I went to Mario’s before and after the [reunion] dinner. A lot of us hung out and drank there (even in HS; heaven forbid) back in the day. The current proprietor, Paul Virgilio, is Mario’s nephew. He is NHS ’92. Anyhow, we were talking about the good, old days at Mario’s and he said he thought he could dig out the menu from ’65. He shortly came back with the attached; the original menu from 1965! Amazing.

Notice the telephone number. They didn’t have area codes back them!

10/11/15 04:36 PM #121    


Carolyn Campbell (Kay)

Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Love the prices. 

11/14/15 07:46 PM #122    

Gunnard Johnston

And that restaurant is a half mile from my family's first home in Needham.   25 Carter Street, off Reservoir Street, and eventually -- a few years after we arrived there -- immediately abutting Route 128/I-95.   Our family was the first family to live in this house.   Then the powers that be decided to put Route 128 across our front yard, taking out the the entire neighborhood:  many of my neighbors homes, the "haunted" house across the street as well as the great sledding hill that was behind it, and even the street used by the Boston Marathon one year ...   saw Johnny Kelly and tons of others run by and grab some water on their way.  I first learned to ice skate on New Pond and the Charles River near Echo Bridge.

With the imminent construction of 128 literally at our door step, we moved out in 1956, up to 743 Webster Street, near the town center, a few blocks from Stephen Palmer, Pollard, and the high school.   But Carter Street was our first home in Needham.    

Small world.

12/23/15 07:01 PM #123    


James Maloney


It was a great reunion!! 

So many great memories & old friends!

Thank all of you that contacted my Dad... he so touched & cannot stop talking about the many messages he received from our class of 1965...he has told me many times that this class was special in so many ways..from the "headliners" to the "grinders."

Through Mrs. Duval's (our English Teacher) husband Harry who played on the State Hockey championship team of 1955 that my Dad coached...he & Harry spent hours on the phone replaying that championship season...Dad has reconnected with NHS dispite living so far away for long.


Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to all of you...& remember you are never more than two degrees of seperation of all things Needham!


Be safe..Be well!


Jim & Ann Marie Maloney

12/27/15 11:33 AM #124    


David Downs


I enjoyed reading your  “Magical” memories of Christmas in Needham.  Thanks

01/10/18 10:55 AM #125    

Class Administrator

Sad to hear of the passing of Mort Shea in December, 2017.  Here's a link to an obituary:


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