OSKALOOSA — The old home town is still pretty much the old home town for Oskaloosa High School and Jefferson Elementary School alumni.
The second all-class reunion was held June 6–8, in conjunction with Friday after Five and Art on the Square festivities. In addition, a reunion for students at the former Jefferson School – now the location of New Hope Community Center was held.
There are some changes alumni have noticed, including the sports field, the facade updates downtown and construction of new buildings.
Garry Allgood, class of 1994 said this reunion was his second and the 2019 experience had been great.
"I love it," he said. "I love the name tags. It's been 20-some years since I've been here so it's good to recognize the name and the face."
Bill Brown, class of '82 also said he enjoyed the all-alumni reunion. Brown has lived in Oskaloosa his whole life.
Alumni celebrated at Thankful Thursday in The Alley and the Oskaloosa City Band. Friday's events included Friday after Five and Art on the Square. Fundraisers for the 52577 scholarship fund were held as well.
Jefferson School reunion
Visitors toured the former Jefferson school, now the home of New Hope Community Center. The building is over 100 years old, said Joan Vos, of New Hope. The community center is raising funds for repair and restoration of the building.
Vos said a building specialist recently went through the building and said the structure is phenomenal. However, there are roofing problems, with water leaking into the historic building as well as boiler issues.
Vos said it is important to repair the building for the community.
"It should not be forgotten," she said.
Millie Wanders, Sandy DeHaan, Kim Roozeboom, Kathy Grubb and Ruby Snyder congregated in a hallway, peering into former classrooms.
The school bell is no longer in the building, but visitors reminisced about students getting to help pull the rope.
DeHaan, Grubb and Snyder all went to school at Jefferson together, starting in 1952. Wanders said she graduated eighth grade from Jefferson in 1951. Roozeboom came through Jefferson 12 years after the others.
The group had fond memories of the building, the teachers and classmates.
Roozeboom remembered her teacher, Mrs. Dowstra saying "Juno the capital of Alaska" over and over to the class.
"We couldn't figure it out," she said. "We'd guess and and guess and finally, she's say 'Juno, the capital of Alaska' and I never forgot it."
The group said they loved going to summer school, remembered Mr. Chase, the principal and recalled Miss Marshall reading the first-grade students 'The Boxcar Children.'
The women said they hoped New Hope's repair efforts were successful.
DeHaan said her mother went to school at Jefferson, she herself did, and her daughter as well.
Roozeboom said a big memory for her was the time Duane Ellett and his puppet dog, Floppy visited.
"Mom was instrumental in getting Duane and Floppy to come he," she said. "It was the night of fun night - we always had fun night - that one year we had Duane and Floppy. It was probably '69 or '70, somewhere in there."
The students got to beep Floppy's nose, Roozeboom said.
"That was a big score to get him to come," she said.
Roozeboom also remembered lining up in the gymnasium for smallpox vaccinations.
"You guys didn't have the gym, but we lined up in the gym and we got smallpox vaccinations, like in an assembly line," she said. "And we had to drink that stuff – polio too. They did it as school, just in an assembly line."
Synder said she always enjoyed the cakewalks.
"We didn't have a lot of that at home," she said. "I worked hard to win that cake, boy."