By Katie Dahlstrom
CLINTON — Although Evelyn Biermann Haas and Joan Holcomb grew up together and live less than 50 miles apart, they haven't laid eyes on each other in half a century.
"We used to live in the same neighborhood, go to church together, have fun, but we haven't seen each other in 50 years," said Holcomb, a member of the CHS class of 1947.
That changed Sunday during Clinton's all-class reunion.
Clinton's all-class reunion brought together 155 Clinton High School graduates from across the decades and the country to reminisce about their high school days and share new stories from their lives beyond CHS.
While the attendance was not as high as originally anticipated, there was still variety in terms of attendees, who spanned from the class of 1940 to 2013.
"Everything worked out very well," co-organizer Jeanette Petersen said. "And hopefully it will get bigger in the next years."
While many of the classes hold five-year reunions, alumni don't get the chance to see members of other classes as often.
"We like to see out friends and this is something new," class of 1947 member Betty Slach said.
Alumni were treated to more than just the Sunday reunion. The festivities started Friday when they were invited to Clinton's first football game of the season to see the inaugural class of Clinton's Hall of Fame inducted.
Saturday, they were invited to tour CHS and see the improvements to the athletic facilities and other changes to the school.
Sunday, all classes met at Vista Grande at 11 a.m. with time to mingle, rehash old memories and share new stories with former classmates and old friends.
Among those who traveled the farthest to the reunion were Tracey Clarke and Paul Cole, both from the class of 1974.
Clarke, a real-estate agent in Los Angeles, comes to Clinton at least once a year to see friends and family who still live in town, but the all-class reunion afforded her the opportunity to visit Clinton High.
"It was really great to see all of the improvements in the school. I was a little disappointed to see the bench in the Commons was gone," Clarke said, recalling a yearbook photo centered around the bench. "When you walk in those Commons you definitely remember those moments."
Cole, who works on the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on the Hawaiian Island of O'ahu, was on an airplane for nearly nine hours before arriving in Chicago and then driving to Clinton. The more than 10 hours of travel was worth it, he said.
"We had a lot of fun," Cole said of his high school days. "I made some really good friends that I've kept for 40 years and it's rewarding to see how well everyone is doing."