Presented to the class by 1960 Sailors Association Inc.
  
A fellowship of classmates

       

The members of Class of 1960 of Oceanside High School, Oceanside, Long Island, New
  York, have learned over the years, largely through a series of wonderful class reunions,
    that there is
something special that bonds so many of our classmates together after
     being dispersed over great distances and separated for over five and a half decades.
  
   And as we prepared for and attended our 40-year reunion, at the dawn of the new
  millennium, in the year 2000, when this website was first created, it became apparent that  bond the among us is even stronger than ever. And by now, we have celebrated our
55-Year Reunion! 

    
 
 

   
"I am the Spirit of the graduating class of 1960. I am a mixture of its laughs, its tears, is cries of victory, its groans of defeat. I have over five hundred facets, my seniors, each one adding his own lustre and sparkle to the whole ... for in your shining faces is compounded that intangible thing, spirit, which makes a high school outstanding.

"... The end of this school year will mean to some of you the breaking of ties, ... the separation of old friends. ... For all, however, it will be a momentous time, a time of change. ... I will not, however, for as long as you remember this year, I will flourish and grow."
  

 

  

  ― Spindrift, 1960

 
  

Over the last half century and more, our classmates have earned high achievements in careers in virtually all fields of endeavor, including, among others, business, law, medicine, accounting, government and education. We have raised our children and been blessed with grandchildren, among the other fruits of our labors that we now enjoy. But we have not forgotten our most formative years as a class at Oceanside High School and before that, at what we then called Oceanside Jr. High School. These fond memories that we share of those less complicated times we spent together growing up in our little town have given us, as a class, a bond of friendship that we believe must be unmatched. Our sincere appreciation is not only for the wonderful times, our friendships and social experiences spent together there, but it extends also to the high quality of education that we received there over 50 years ago.

  

We have learned over the years that there was a great deal of truth in the 1960 Spindrift prophesy quoted above. The proud Class of 1960 was a very special class of Sailors, the last class to have spent virtually all of its high school years in the magical 1950s ─ when high school was a very special place to be, indeed ─ the stuff legends are made of! Although we have drifted apart in years and miles, so many of us remain closely bound together in our hearts and spirits and our shared memories. Appropriately, one classmate (Lloyd Becker) termed that special something, "The Spirit of '60."  (So that's what we named our cyber-cruise ship.)  

    

Another one of our classmates (Karen Nover) observed that "our nostalgic feelings for our high school days are completely disproportionate to the brief time we spent there." Yes, ours were certainly times worth remembering  ─ precious and short-lived, indeed. And we may wonder why we remember these happy days from 1954 to 1960 (and most particularly, the high school years) more fondly and vividly than any other period of our lives quite as fleeting, and why we had so much fun concentrated in so little time. Surely, it was in large part a function of the times and of our time of life as teenagers (see The Way We Were). But mostly, I think, it was that we spent virtually all of our time surrounded by all of our dearest and wonderful friends. It just doesn't happen like that any more, either in our careers (where most of us spend 40 years or more) or anywhere else in our "adult" worlds. This is probably why we are so nostalgic. And it is a great privilege for the 1960 Sailors Association Inc. to be able to help these nostalgic feelings rise to the surface of your consciousness.

       

On the many pages of this site, you will find the most incredible and nostalgic virtual time trip of your life an electronic scrapbook in celebration of our youth, a cyber-monument to our hometown memories, and an online museum featuring a sentimental journey back to the kinder, gentler place and time that we shared when we were young. It is very likely the closest thing to time travel you will ever experience ─ over 200 pages and 90 megabytes, with close to 3,000 embedded photo and other graphic image and sound files for your pleasure. It is quite possibly the largest collection of electronic memorabilia of its kind from its time ever assembled on the web an electronically simulated re-creation of your own adolescence.

One classmate (Barbara Blum) called it, "a bridge to the past."  Another (Bobbi Traynor) wrote, "With one click, I've been brought back to my youth," and a third (the now late Barbara Rubeck) wrote, "I have never seen nor felt anything like it." Tom Naumann called it "an intense, emotional, nostalgic journey, activating my memory cells to recall the past with pleasure and enjoyment," Bobbi Alfin said "Every time I go there, it makes me feel like 16 again," and Ed Chilton (now deceased) wrote:

   
"We think the website is the best example of its genre on the worldwide web. 1960sailors.net goes beyond simple class reunions and linking of old friends to examine the culture and times in which we lived. It also examines in detail some of the forgotten or overlooked history of Oceanside and Long Island/NYC surround."

Read more of how our classmates and
others have been cheering about this site.
Start here,and follow the links.

Andy Rooney once said on 60 Minutes, "Sometimes, all you can remember is what you would rather forget." Well, here on this site is a lot of stuff you would likely rather remember. Here you will find — carefully chronicled, in words, images and that wonderful music of our youth ─ our music ─ more memories than ever found in any traditional high school yearbook. With memories and melodies inseparably intertwined, we richly recapture the brief time we spent bound together as a unit, a great class of Sailors just six short years of adolescence from junior high through high school graduation. And here you will also find a record of our fabulous reunions, too, where we periodically shared, rejuvenated and rekindled those sometimes fading memories of the joyous time we spent together.

Because it was such a special time that we all shared, and because as we keep getting older, we realize more and more how special it was ─ that is why we need the 1960 Sailors Association Inc. and that is why we need a class website! 

   

Click here to read the a full-page article about this
website published February 15, 2007, in the

Oceanside/Island Park HERALD
 
(successor to the Beacon of our time).
  

At the end of the popular Broadway musical about high school life in the late 1950s, Grease, the graduates sing, "We will always be together," a highly impractical and unlikely goal for the rapidly increasing mobility of society of our times. No longer was it, or would it ever be again, customary to live one's entire life in the same neighborhood with one's parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren. Well, Sailors, now, through the magic of technology, we can be together again despite our lives' divergent voyages. 

    
Through this class website ─ our very own technological time capsule ─ we can now enrich the sunset years of our lives, share our nostalgic sentiments, reconnect with our past, and refresh our aging, fading memories of that short
  but
very special time that we spent in almost daily contact with one another.
    And we can examine and explore the reasons for our
very special and
   lasting  bond
, consider how lucky we were, and try (hopeless as it may
 seem) to explain it to our children and grandchildren.

 

And speaking of technology, the following quote was used by Gerda Balding (now, Mrs. Joe Kunkel), at the opening of her prophetic commencement valedictory address to our class on our Graduation Day, June 26, 1960.


                                                                                     
 
James F. Bell  

Click here for the full text of Gerda's valedictory address, which she was so kind to share with us again for this website.  And Gerda graciously supplemented it there for us forty years later with her present day perspective that includes the following words, apropos to the question, "Why a class website?":

"… there is ─ I believe ─ some relationship between the optimism of 1960 and that of our high-tech shift into Y2K.  Sandwiched between the two experiences were 40 years marked by a lost war, public cynicism, and a widening rift between participants in the American Dream and the marginally successful, but also by Human Rights Movements, the end of the Cold War, and a computer revolution."


                   
       Oceanside High School’s Alma Mater 

So climb aboard our rockin' 'n' rollin' cyber-cruise
ship,
"The Spirit of '60," and let's set sail!

  

POSTSCRIPT: Someone sent me the following piece, which is called "KEEPERS."  It was written by an unknown author who articulates a moving sentiment that many of us share, and it is worth reading:

"Some things you keep. Like good teeth. Warm coats. Bald husbands.  They're good for you, reliable and practical and so sublime that to throw them away would make the garbage man a thief. So you hang on, because something old is sometimes better than something new, and what you know is often better than a stranger.

"These are my thoughts, they make me sound old, old and tame, and dull at a time when everybody else is risky and racy and flashing all that's new and improved in their lives. New careers, new thighs, new lips, new cars. The world is dizzy with trade-ins. I could keep track, but I don't think I want to.

"I grew up in the fifties with practical parents
a mother, God bless her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it and still does. A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones.

"They weren't poor, my parents, they were just satisfied. Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away. I can see them now, Dad in trousers and tee shirt and Mom in a house dress, lawn mower in one hand, dishtowel in the other. It was a time for fixing things — a curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress.

"Things you keep. It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, reheating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant there'd always be more.

"But then my father died, and on that clear autumn night, in the chill of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't any 'more.' Sometimes what you care about most gets all used up and goes away, never to return.

"So, while you have it, it's best to love it and care for it and fix it when it's broken and heal it when it's sick. That's true for marriage and old cars and children with bad report cards and dogs with bad hips and aging parents. You keep them because they're worth it, because you're worth it.

"Some things you keep. Like a
best friend that moved away or a classmate you grew up with, there's just some things that make life important ... people you know are special ... and you keep them close!"

                                          

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