Roberta (Lamb) Svendsen points out a classmate while visiting with her brother, Joe "Weldon" Lamb, and his wife, Arta, at a check-in party for the Steamboat Springs High School classes of 1948 and 1949 reunion.

Photo by John F. Russell

Roberta (Lamb) Svendsen points out a classmate while visiting with her brother, Joe "Weldon" Lamb, and his wife, Arta, at a check-in party for the Steamboat Springs High School classes of 1948 and 1949 reunion.

Reunion brings together SSHS classes of '48 and '49

Reconnecting with old friends

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— It's been 61 years since Weldon Lamb has seen Betty Cary, the first girl he asked out on a date.

He said a lot has changed since she turned him down at age 15, three years before they graduated from high school in 1948. Lamb went by Weldon in high school and now goes by Joe, his first name and what his Army buddies called him. And Cary changed her last name when she married Lewis Kemry.

"I bet if I mentioned it to her, she wouldn't remember," Lamb said about the date.

On the contrary.

"We rode the bus together," Betty (Cary) Kemry said. "I remember we held hands."

She did, however, forget turning Lamb down - but she said it was probably because she didn't date in those days.

Lamb and Kemry were just two of the many graduates of the Steamboat Springs High School classes of 1948 and 1949 who gathered Tuesday afternoon at the George P. Sauer Human Services Center - what used to be the high school - on Seventh Street, to sign in for the reunion activities this week.

Reunion co-organizer Mel Compestine, Class of '49, said they estimated 50 to 55 of about 80 classmates, between both classes, would return to Steamboat for the two-day event that's been in the works for three months.

Festivities included dinner downtown Tuesday night. The group will meet for breakfast this morning, and a picnic is scheduled for noon today at Bette Kuntz's house on River Road.

Compestine, who's lived in Steamboat his entire life, said the class of '49 has gotten together in town about every five years.

"We might have missed a couple, but not many," he said.

Kuntz, Class of '49, another co-organizer, said the reunion gave classmates an opportunity to update one another on the past five years or, in some cases, longer.

"To keep a bond in some way, if we can," she said.

A number of the attendees traveled from across the country to attend the reunion, many returning to Steamboat for the first time in many years.

Lamb, who spends summers in McCall, Idaho, and winters in St. George, Utah, said he immediately made plans to attend the reunion after being notified. He's only been back to Steamboat twice since he left two weeks after graduating in 1948. And his sister, Roberta (Lamb) Svendsen, also a 1948 graduate, had only returned once in that time. Lamb said no one knew where they were.

"Neither Joe nor I kept in contact with anyone after we left," said Svendsen, who now lives in Arizona. "We went to college and lost touch with everyone. I thought it would be interesting to see the classmates I haven't seen in 60 years. The class reunion is great. : It's great to see all the old kids."

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