Members of the Chestertown Central School Class of 1957 have cake during their recent 55th reunion.
The Chestertown Central School Class of 1957 recently celebrated its 55th reunion.
“We were one of the smallest classes (9 students) to graduate from Chestertown Central School," (CCS) said Larry Kingsley, Class of 1957 senior president. "We are like family and try to have regular 5-year reunions even though several live some distance from Chestertown. Our roots run deep in Chester and we value close ties with our classmates.”
The class of ‘57 consists of Denise (Hidley) Bean of Avon, Conn.; Janet Blanke (deceased); Irving DeMatties of Queensbury; Gus Giersberg of Columbia, Mo.; David Goodrich of Warrensburg; Richard Hedler of Melbourne, Fla.; Larry Kingsley of Cary, N.C.; Eleanor (Smith) Sitterly of Fort Plain; and Kathy (Flachbarth) Tennyson of Chestertown. Three classmates — Gus Giersberg, David Goodrich and Denise Bean — were unable to attend.
Irving DeMatties was the chief organizer for the reunion. He helped put the four-day reunion together, beginning with a “meet and greet" afternoon event on Thursday Sept. 20. Following the afternoon meeting the class members and spouses traveled to downtown Glens Falls for the Classic/Antique Car "Cruise-In," Balloon Festival and fireworks. Each class member drove one of Irving’s five classic cars to the festival and enjoyed a dinner at the Gourmet Cafe on Glen Street.
On Friday, the reunion continued with a backyard lunch at the DeMatties home in Queensbury with the remainder of the afternoon spent aboard the Mohican, enjoying a spectacular sun-filled afternoon cruise on Lake George.
On Saturday morning, class members and spouses gathered at the Chestertown Municipal Center (formerly Chestertown Central School) for a tour of their Alma Mater and the Chester Museum.
That evening, several couples attended the annual CCS Alumni Reunion Banquet, at the Roaring Brook Resort in Lake George, with alumni from all classes that attended CCS, as well as several faculty and staff of the school. Class members and spouses attended church on Sunday, Sept. 23, followed by a farewell luncheon at the Main Street Ice Cream Parlor located in the old Chestertown schoolhouse.
A CD (rendition of the 1972 song by the Statler Brothers - "The Class of '57") with lyrics modified to fit the CCS Class of '57 was sung and recorded by Irv DeMatties, Jeff Inglee and Wendell Breault. A copy was presented to each of the classmates to commemorate the occasion. A forthcoming DVD is under production by DeMatties that will include pictures and 1950s music for both the 50th and 55th reunion.
With townspeople doing much of the work, Chestertown Central School was converted to the present-day Town of Chester Municipal Center (Town Hall, Library and Museum), which saved the school from likely demolition. Because of this unselfish work, graduates like the class of ’57 have a place to return and reminisce, and for this we are forever grateful.