By DON STINE
Students from the graduating class of 1967 got a special tour of the Woodrow Wilson Elementary School in Neptune City recently, hoping to relive memories and see old friends.
“Being in elementary school together is something special and it’s where students begin their first social bonds,” said Richard Mackay, who helped organize the tour.
About 30 former classmates in the 76-student graduating class attended the event, which lasted longer than its proposed half-hour tour.
“A lot of people had not seen each other in years since they graduated. It was like a monumental event and everybody loved it. Almost all of them had not been in the school in 50 years and it was very nostalgic. People were remembering past events, like where they were in the school when it was announced that President Kennedy had been assassinated,” Mackay said.
He said classmates came from as far away as Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and California.
Spring Lake resident John Martin, who attended the Woodrow Wilson School but went to the Ranney School for eighth and ninth grades, said he was hoping to bring back fond memories.
He said he learned about the tour through social media and from old classmates.
“So, I decided to come. It’s been 50 years and I am hoping to see old friends,” he said.
School Business Administrator William Folk, who has held the job for 25 years, said he was excited that people wsere coming back to tour the school, where he graduated in 1968.
“The school has changed a lot in 50 years and this will be the first time some graduates have come back. It will be an eye-opener, for sure,” he said.
Folk also wore his “Pirates” t-shirt to show graduates the name of the school’s teams and its mascot remain the same.
Mackay said some classmates had a 47th reunion at the school in 2014, adding that he doubts there will be any more.
“This may be our last one but you never know. We are all getting older and ain’t that the truth,” he said.