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September 28, 2006 - Image 37

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2006-09-28

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Oak Park Memories

Staff photos by Angie Baan

High school classes of '65 and '66
share the reunion spotlight.

d Hi
Se van of California Jan Klein.

o -West Bloomfiett laine Selvan L vi
I, aithis and Sandi
and David Levin

Hyman Selvan


Gail -HatOrod Katz Vie t

Elloomfield and Sieveftelifman of

Debora eviis

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of Farmington HMS


orty fabulous years
were cause for cel-
ebration at the Westin
Hotel in Southfield as the Oak
Park High School classes of
1965 and 1966 came together
for a joint 40-year reunion.
Balloons in the school colors,
red and white, filled the ball-
room where a DJ played old-
time music, including Motown
hits from the Supremes to the
Temptations. Black-and-white
videos of Oak Park students
taken at school events back in the '60s also
brought back memories as they flashed on
a giant video screen. More than 350 people
from the two classes turned out to recon-
nect with childhood friends and reminisce.
A majority of the school's students at that
time were Jewish.
"It was the nicest party ever," said orga-
nizer Linda DeNike Ketterer of West
Bloomfield, the Pep Club president back in
high school.
"We had such a good turnout, and the
combination of the two classes was some-
thing that kind of just happened, but it
worked so well":
Partygoers enjoyed appetizers, drinks
and a buffet dinner with a retro menu of
Coney dogs, pizza, sliders and, of course,
Sanders hot fudge sundaes. There were
memory books, which featured senior
Several married couples who started out
as high school sweethearts were among the
crowd, including: Allison Holzman Rose
and David Rose of Farmington Hills;
Rochelle Goldstein Elson and Bill Elson
of Troy; Cheryl Weinstein LaKritz and
Barry LaKritz of West Bloomfield (Cheryl
was a homecoming queen); and Lonnie
Cutler Sussman and Ronnie Sussman of
Ann Arbor. Lauren Posner Bruss of West
Bloomfield attended with several lifelong
friends. "I refuse to believe that so many
years have passed',' Bruss said, laughing.
"This is just a 40-year reunion with a lot of
40-year-old women!"
"Oak Park was a very close-knit com-
munity 40 years ago, and people went to
elementary, junior high and high school
with the same people said Bob VanNess
of Royal Oak, another reunion organizer. "It
led to a lot of friendships; everybody kind
of stuck together:'
Many people came a long way to see

their old classmates. There
were partygoers from as far
away as California, Oregon,
Florida, Texas and Arkansas.
A few teachers even made
it to the event, including
Howard Stone, Al Delidow
and Bob Lichtman, all of
West Bloomfield. Lichtman
still teaches social studies at
Oak Park High School.
Being among old friends
brought back fond memo-
ries of simpler times, when
students took square dancing in gym class,
girls played powder puff football, and the
school mascot was the Redskins.
"You could walk home from school; you
didn't have all the fancy busing you have
nova' Ketterer said. "There were street
lights; you had to be home before the
street lights came on. We didn't have video
games. We weren't on the computer for
hours a day. The world is just so different
Ketterer has helped organize her class
reunions for the last three decades. She
said the more time passes, the more mean-
ingful the events become and the more she
appreciates how special her experience was
as a student in Oak Park in the 1960s.
"I think we realize how lucky we were
to be in Oak Park at that time,' she said.
"Education was so important, and it was
just such a strong base for all of us:"
Spotted in the crowd at the Sept. 2
reunion, from the class of 1965: Ken
Axlerad, Linda Cohn Golden and Jim
Ginzler, all of Bloomfield Hills; Gail
Beresh Wolin of Commerce Township;
Phil Lieberman of Beverly Hills; Arnie
Rubin of Howell; Harvey Resnick, Linda
Ferst Garfield, Mark Altus and Lonny
Zimmerman, all of West Bloomfield; and
Alan Kessler of Farmington Hills.
From the class of 1966: Jan Balcon
Sherman and Stan Sherman, Steve
Ceresnie, Fran Klein Parker and Gail
Harwood Katz, all of West Bloomfield;
Cindy Colman Leff, Larry Miller and
Joel Seidman, all of Bloomfield Hills; Bob
Burnstein of Auburn Hills; Debbie Pevos
Silverman and Judy Stovack Kessler,
both of Farmington Hills; Diana Kuper of
Oak Park; Marty Blank of Whitmore Lake;
and Marcy Rose Shulman of Orchard
Lake. r

Harvey Cohen

Cohen of Commerce

ee e4

arlin Rubin of
Aeberman of

September 28 2006


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