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Class of ’47 to reunite this weekend

Pat Callahan

Years ago, there was no Moffat County High School. Just a little, old building located at what is now Breeze Street Park simply called Craig High School.

Members from the class of 1947 will be celebrating a 55-year class reunion this weekend with 32 of the 60 alumni expected to attend.

The largest graduating class of its time has held six reunions since its members received their diplomas.

June Collins and Montie Burgess, both members of the class of ’47 and Craig residents, will be in attendance at this weekend’s events.

The two, who were born in Craig, said times have changed quite a bit since 1947.

“It has drastically changed,” Collins said. “In 1947, Craig was a very little town of about 3,500. It was a very nice place to grow up.”

“It has gotten bigger,” Burgess said. “We could walk anywhere, and we had to because we didn’t have cars. You can’t do that now. I liked it better in 1947. I worry about it (Craig). There has been so much growth. And I think the booms have been disastrous to us.”

Collins said the high school atmosphere was considerably different in 1947.

“We had just gone through a war,” Collins said. “It was a different world and a different place. There was a lot of rationing going on. Food and gas were both being rationed, and you couldn’t get coffee. We had no annual freshmen year because there was a paper shortage. Everything was on hold. There were no sports. We wrote a lot of letters and did a lot of praying for (the servicemen).”

Collins said everything changed when World War II ended.

“When the fellows started coming back, we started dating them and eventually married a lot of them,” Collins said. “It was an exciting time. We all had brothers in the service or knew somebody that was in the service. So it was a very exciting when the boys came home.”

Recreation for local high school teenagers was also different during the late ’40s.

“We used to go down to the river and drown squirrels,” Burgess said. “And we used to play up on the sandrocks. You can’t do that now because there’s houses up there.”

“You just had a lot of fun,” Collins said. “There was no swimming pool, so most of us learned to swim in the river. We would go to Steamboat or Juniper Springs. We’d usually swim, go to Fish Creek Falls, or have a picnic. There was also the Rainbow Dinner Dance every spring. And if you were in the high school band, you sometimes got to go to Grand Junction, which was a big thing. It was a fun place to grow up.”

Collins said back then local children would attend elementary school for six years, and then high school for six years.

Eighteen of the 60 Craig High School class of ’47 alumni attended all 12 years together.

The two former classmates said the old high school reunions are unique.

“I think it’s special because we’re all getting older, and we’ve all made mistakes,” Burgess said. “There’s no bragging about anything no ‘Our kids did this or did that.’ Because we’ve all had kids that have made mistakes. There’s no bragging.”

“Just seeing the classmates we grew up with makes it special,” Collins said. “We don’t get to see each other much, and so many usually come back. We’ve stayed close. When you don’t come back, you lose contact with a lot people. And if you don’t come to this reunion, you might not get the chance to go to the next one.”

Collins said the weekend’s events include an informal gathering at the Holiday Inn on Friday for those who arrive in town early, a Saturday dinner at the Holiday Inn and a catered Sunday picnic at Loudy-Simpson Park.

The group was last together five years ago when they celebrated 50-year class reunion.


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