Archive for Thursday, June 15, 2000

Grads welcomed home

DeSoto’s high school reunion results in some recognition challenges

June 15, 2000

Longtime DeSoto residents may have seen some familiar faces in DeSoto last weekend as high school alumni returned for an all-class reunion.

DeSoto High School graduates gathered at the VFW for a dance Saturday night and at Lexington Trails Middle School for a picnic lunch Sunday afternoon.

The class of 1970 kicked things off before the dance with a dinner social at the community center.

City Clerk Lana McPherson was among those celebrating the 30-year reunion.

"We try to get together every five years or so," McPherson said.

She helped organize the event and was pleased with the turnout.

Close to half of the 99 students in the class of 1970 showed up for the reunion. Some people needed help recognizing their classmates after 30 years.

Sue Thomas-Hayes lived in Illinois for several years before recently moving to Manhattan, Kan. Less than 10 minutes after arriving at the reunion, she realized how much everyone had changed over the years.

"Most of these people I haven't seen since I graduated," she said. "I've already had to check the yearbook a few times and see who I could match up."

Hayes had an easier time recognizing her hometown.

"The town really hasn't changed that much. Some of the buildings I remember are gone, but for the most part, it looks the same," she said.

Tony Meyers came from California for the reunion. He too thought the town had changed less than his classmates.

"The area around DeSoto has really changed but the town, no. It looks the same. When I pulled into town and saw the school building, I knew I was home," he said.

The class of 1970 graduated from what is now Lexington Trails Middle School.

Meyers was surprised, however, with the growth that's evident between Kansas City and DeSoto.

"If I had to rely on landmarks to find my way to town, I would never have found it," he said.

Coming home is a refreshing experience, Meyers said. As much as he enjoys life in California, he said, DeSoto will always be home for him.

"I feel a real tie to this place. It seems like everyone from California is from there and I always feel a little left out when they talk about it," he said. "Growing up in DeSoto was special. I always felt like I was in a bubble here, like I was safe and secure."

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