Class of 1961 - Brattleboro, Vermont - USA
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Class of 1961 ~ "In Memoriam" ~ 2001 Project 

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"We Remember ... "

Brattleboro Reformer Article
(June 7, 2001)

Class generosity floors terrace at River Garden

Reformer Staff

BRATTLEBORO -- The '61 Colonels always had spirit.

But when the Brattleboro Union High School class gets together next week for its 40th reunion, classmates will leave a little something extra for the town -- an 800-square-foot mahogany terrace.

Installed at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden, with sweeping views of the Connecticut River, the deck will commemorate the 15 classmates who have passed on since graduation day.

"It's a labor of love," said class president William Bedard. "We were a close class, and we've stayed together for 40 years."

At $8,000, the donation has far exceeded the usual class gift, he said. Previously, the class had given money for scholarships, but with a proliferation of such funds, they wanted to do something special.

So Bedard casually asked Nelle Hanig, executive director of Building a Better Brattleboro, whether she could use any help with the organization's new public atrium. She casually mentioned the planned deck, and the price.

Class to dedicate River Garden deck

Editor of the Reformer:     (June 15, 2001 - 40 years EXACTLY to the date of our Graduation)

The Brattleboro Union High School Class of 1961 will soon be celebrating our 40th year out of high school.

Some of our classmates are no longer with us to share in this joyous occasion. In their honor and memory the class has chosen an ambitious project -- the funding and construction of the Garden Terrace at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden.

The River Garden was developed in honor of Sen. Robert Gibson. One of the newest additions to Main Street, it is a glass enclosed area overlooking the Connecticut River. It is our pleasure as a class to have been able to to fund the addition of an outdoor deck as a tribute to those classmates who are no longer with us. It is a beautiful terrace that will last many years, providing the citizens of the area (and the class of 1961) a peaceful place to meet.

On Friday, June 15, we will be gathering to dedicate this terrace. We would like to extend an invitation to the families of the following classmates: Eleanor Bartlett, Larry Cooke, Howard Eddy, Barbara Edwards, William Franklin, Ralph Grimes, Sandra Heald, Robert Herrick, Robert Howe, William Kirchberg, R. Crosby Loomis, Jeanette Plante, John Stanley, Jan Ulmer and Audry Waite. We sincerely hope you will accept this invitation to join us from 7 to 10 p.m. at the River Garden Terrace for this occasion. We look forward to seeing you there.

Class of 1961
Brattleboro Union High School

Dedication Inscription
Class of 1961 River Garden Plaque
Click on for Enlarged Photograph

Special thanks to those who were able to contribute to this project and to BABBs (Building A Better Brattleboro) for allowing us to be a special part of the the Robert Gibson River Garden Project!

It is our honor to have given a special place for the citizenry, tourists, visitors and others to come to enjoy Brattleboro's River Front.

 It is a special place for the Class of '61, Family and Friends to come to reflect on those of our class who have passed on before us.

Where are we - I haven't been home in 20 years?
( Click on the Thumbnail Photographs below for more detailed view! )

Looking down High Street towards Main

Coming down High Street Hill towards Main Street (Left)

Looking across Main from the Corner by the old Hotel Pharmacy

Looking from front entrance towards the back onto the  Terrace (Right)

Looking towards the backside from within

Looking across
 Main Street from
 the corner of High (Above)

Shot within - vendors to left - bathrooms to the right

View within-Vendors on the left and bath- rooms on the right  (Left)

View to solar roof panels

Rear doors to River Garden Terrace (Right)

Back doors onto the terrace

Looking at glassed in solar roof lines (Above)

Foundational work on terrace

Ground, foundational work and beginning floor joists going in (Left)

Beautiful mahogany decking!

Connecticut River looking towards Hinsdale, NH (Right)

View to the Connecticut River Bridge and towards Hinsdale, NH

Beautiful mahogany decking

classproj10.jpg (16674 bytes)

Hinsdale Bridge
over Connecticut
River view (Left)

classproj11.jpg (17488 bytes)

Tables and Chairs looking Northeast

classproj12.jpg (18588 bytes) Tables and Chairs on decking  looking East

classproj13.jpg (21003 bytes)

Tables and Chairs looking South towards alley (Left)

Looking East out of Center onto deck (Right)

classproj14.jpg (15494 bytes)

"BABB used up whatever funds we had to construct the building," she said. "Without this generous contribution, I don't know how we would have managed to build the terrace."

The death last year of class vice president Larry Cooke, a former BABB director, spurred thoughts of a memorial, Bedard said. But they soon realized it would be more fitting to remember all of their fallen classmates together.

"My class is that kind of group. We have been very close," he added. "We just figured this would be a nice way to give something back to the community."

The terrace was quiet Wednesday. Leaves rustled in the late-spring breeze, and traffic sounds made less of an impression than the honk of geese on the river. The memories of '61, or any other year, may grow well there.

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