Steamboat Springs High School Class of 1959 returns for reunion |

Steamboat Springs High School Class of 1959 returns for reunion

Jack Weinstein

— They smiled and laughed as they caught up and reminisced.

A number of things have changed since Steamboat Springs High School’s Class of 1959 graduated.

“The old girls aren’t as good-looking as they were in high school,” joked Orval “Jr.” Bedell. “Maybe we’re not neither.”

Bedell was joined by a number of his classmates Friday evening at Steamboat Lake Outfitters in North Routt County. The informal gathering was the first in a series of events this weekend to commemorate the class for its 50-year reunion.

Reunion organizer Alice Selch-Stephenson, who now lives in Sedona, Ariz., said as many as 27 of the 45 graduates could return to Steamboat for the reunion.

A ceremony is planned for noon today at the George P. Sauer Human Services Center on Seventh Street, the site of the former high school. A barbecue will follow, and the weekend will culminate with brunch Sunday morning.

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Things have changed in 50 years, the class members said.

Much of the class – Selch-Stephenson estimated about 20 of which went to school together since first grade – moved away from Steamboat to attend college and begin their careers. Some stayed. But each person has a story to tell, she said.

“We’ve had some amazing journeys,” Selch-Stephenson said. “People have had some amazing careers and been all over the world.”

Not bad for 45 country kids, she added.

Bonnie Bogue became a lawyer and now lives in the San Francisco area. Sam “Butch” McBride, an engineer, lives in Sandy, Utah. Chris Andrew, who spent 32 years at the University of Florida, splits time between Steamboat and Gainesville, Fla.

Loris Werner, Bud’s younger brother, was vice president of Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. for 32 years. Kirk Mahaffey spent his career with Yampa Valley Electric Association before retiring 11 years ago. Both have lived near Steamboat since graduating.

Those are just a few of the stories and some of the things that have happened since 1959 when Steamboat was a small town of 2,000 people.

“We were all country kids back then,” said Chris Andrew. “Even if you lived in town, you were a country kid. Steamboat’s different now.”

Bonnie Bogue said “when you move away, you realize how unusual a small town Steamboat was.”

Despite its changes, many said they loved their time growing up in town.

“They were the ideal years to grow up here because the growth hadn’t started yet,” Selch-Stephenson said.

Even a former teacher returned for the reunion. Marshall Sanborn, who taught the class in seventh and eighth grades and their senior year, made the trip Friday from Harbor, Wash., to reminisce with his former students.

“I’m very fond of this bunch,” he said. “I left Steamboat and went elsewhere the year after they graduated. I’ve been back for a couple of the reunions.”

Selch-Stephenson said many of her classmates haven’t seen one another since their last reunion 10 years ago. But, she said, some haven’t seen one another since they graduated.

“It’s been a real treat,” said Leona Kimball-Adamson. “I haven’t seen most of these people for the full 50 years.”

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