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Ridgeville Township News

Notes from the August 2008 Ridgeville Township newsletter…

There were 148 reservations for the 54th annual alumni banquet, Saturday, July 12 at the Ridgeville Legion Hall. Honored classes were 1938, 1943, 1948, 1953, 1958, 1963, and 1968.

Next year’s officers are Ted Ripke, president; Delbert Damman, vice president; Karen Gerken Maassel, secretary; and Lillian Helberg Wachtman, treasurer. The banquet will be July 11, 2009.

Wilbur Wesche ’38 said he went to school in the depression years and carried his lunch. He said there were 10 boys in his class and the superintendent said he would let them graduate so he could get rid of them.

Walter Delventhal ’43 mentioned rationing during the war years. They were given a four-gallon gas stamp to drive team members to basketball games. In 1939, the first cafeteria opened. Meals were 10¢. Forty students started and 20 graduated; of these, 13 are still living.

He said the two empty seats at graduation were reminders that classmates Ray Norden and Clarence Rathge were serving their country.

Bernetta Fluckinger Krauss remembered the chicken pie dinners and that the seniors had to help clean the chickens.

Ned Knape ’48 said that Ruth Max was a favorite teacher. Dudley Ebersole was the coach, and some who went on to play professional ball were Bob Norden, Junior Schnitkey, and Mart Miller. A popular recreation was to go skating at Giffey Hall.

Thirty-nine students graduated 60 years ago. A reunion was at the Trinity Center of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Napoleon, on July 12.

Marilyn Drewes Freytag ’53 said they had 27 girls and nine boys graduate. Spanish rice was not a favorite food, but hamburger gravy was. Good sportsmanship was emphasized and students rode only on the bus to school- no cars.

Roger Meyer ’53 remembered the band trips and Thursday night band concerts. Nissen’s was a favorite gathering place after school functions.

Orville Paul Lohse ’58 mentioned lunch at Nissen’s for 35¢, dances starting at school, the popularity of Elvis Pressley, drive-in theatres, Eisenhower’s visit to Defiance, TV just starting, and being able to watch World Series ballgames during study hall. He also said the senior class waited for the train in Defiance to go on their trip to Washington and it did not stop; they had to wait for the next one several hours later.

Bob Frey said that he, as an auctioneer, sold the school for $30,000 to Christ Community Church.

Eldor Gerken ’63 said there were five girls and 12 boys in his class. Favorite teachers were Betty Miller, Ruth Max, and Vern Hesterman.

Ron Bahler ’68 said they had 32 graduates. He took lessons on the trombone and when it was time to decide on buying the instrument, Mr. Engler, band teacher, said, “You can continue, but it would be throwing money away.”

This was the time of the Vietnam War; many classmates had the choice of going into the service or to college. Cars were common and classmates would drive together. The Beatles were popular. He said the school shut down for a mock military takeover by guardsmen from Defiance in camouflage.

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