by Harry T. Roman


During this season of graduation parties, I thought quite a bit about that hot, humid, June 27th evening back in 1966 when 635 baby-boomers in formal suits and dresses, under their stifling blue gowns, graduated from Barringer High School.

Somewhere in my photo files is a picture of a very thin, smiling young man, with coiffed hair, attired in a green sharkskin suit. Standing there in front of my North 5th Street house with my best buddy Jim, our night of distinction was about to begin. Also there is Jim’s 3-speed, stick-shift, 1964 silver Barracuda….our vehicle of choice for the evening, as we soon motored over to the high school for the last time.

It was the final time our class would be together, singing our alma mater’s song, and rejoicing in the beginning of the next phase of our lives. A recent check of the old year book and some e-mail activity shows our class to have been scattered to the winds, with some folks literally all over the world. I wonder how many of them think of that night as this time of year comes around. Almost 40 Junes have come and gone since then.

Later that evening, after graduation ceremonies, I remember a pretty impressive thunderstorm, perhaps a Greek chorus exclamation point to the many tough times we would most certainly face in the real world.

I did go to my 10th re-union and for the most part, except for folks getting married and such, everybody looked pretty much the same. Would be interesting to see what 40 years has done to us.

I’ve kept close tabs on a few friends and the Internet has re-united me with a bunch more. Several of us went to the same college, so we stayed close through the years. The majority are memories, captured forever young, in my mind.

Bumped into a fellow graduate recently. Paul works at The Newark Library, just a quick walk up Broad Street from my PSE&G office. He has been working there for 20+ years and we never knew how physically close we were to each other. We now enjoy lunches together to reminisce and talk shop. Last Fall, we visited some Newark high schools and gave career talks to students. That certainly was different! Now we are the teachers.


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