More than 60 years later, Patricia Rosafort can still quote passages of literature from her seventh and eighth grade English classes. Her favorite teacher, Mrs. Kennedy, taught the subject so well she made it come alive for her.
She also remembered roller skating in the gym on Saturday nights and the dances after the basketball games.
Rosafort was one of about 170 Mount Kisco High School graduates between 1940 and 1956 who returned for a reunion Saturday afternoon at the American Legion Hall in Mount Kisco.
“It was an extraordinary place to get an education because many of us, myself included, didn’t have the financial resources to go onto college so we were prepared to make a living in the real world,” said Rosafort, a member of the Class of 1950.
After 1956, the school, which is now Mount Kisco Elementary School, was consolidated into the Bedford School District. Prior to that, the building was a K-12 school, with the primary grades housed on the first floor and grades 7-12 upstairs. Each floor had its own principal and the superintendent also had an office in the building.
Although the school hasn’t existed in that same configuration for 55 years, time can’t erase the memories or the friendships. Many stayed in the area most of their lives and raised their own families. Grace Bueti DiLisio, a member of the final graduating class in 1956, is one of a group of six friends that still gets together a couple of times a month. Like many of her fellow alums, she wasn’t about to miss an opportunity to see old friends.
“It’s so wonderful to be here, so many wonderful people living in Mount Kisco who have seen so much,” DiLisio said. “They’re all so glad to be here as we are.”
While individual classes have had their reunions on a regular basis, this was the fourth all-school reunion over the years. Pat Swindell, Class of 1945, said the last one drew about 690 graduates a decade ago. They felt it was time for the next one.
“This may be the last time for many of us. We’re getting up there. We try to get together whenever we can,” Swindell said.
She said the school was special because everyone seemed to know each other’s families.
A common thread for the graduates, who enjoyed a buffet lunch and viewed memorabilia from the school, including the band’s bass drum and plenty of pictures, was the uniformly pleasant remembrances they still carry so many years later.
“They’re all good memories,” said Bob Edwards, Class of ’45, who now lives near Kingston. “All my memories of high school are very good. I had a wonderful time.”
William Thorn, who graduated in 1948, said he remembers living too close to the building so he had to go home for lunch. So he got to walk to school twice a day–in the morning and upon returning in the afternoon. He jokingly credits the daily workout for keeping him in good shape.
“I got the exercise,” Thorn said. “It kept me healthy. That’s probably why I’m still here.”
Bob Alexander, a 1952 graduate, said he ran into a former classmate he hadn’t seen since graduation. He wistfully looked at pictures of his graduating class and said he glad he participated.
“This is really an excellent opportunity to see some people you haven’t seen,” he said.