May is the month when most students graduate. But that might not mean the end of homework — not even 50 years later. The Warren Easton Senior High Class of 1964 is getting together in October, and the reunion committee is working hard to find as many graduates as possible to share in the fun. They’ve even hired a private eye: Jodi LaBorde of NOLA Detective Agency.
“Actually, it’s my daughter, and that’s part of her job,” said reunion committee member Juliette Hare O’Connor. “She’s a blowin’ and a goin’, and the very first thing she did was find someone I’ve been searching for since our 25th high school reunion. And she was so excited to be found.”
The reunion is set for 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Oct. 18 at Southport Music Hall, 200 Monticello St., near River Road and the Orleans Parish line. The cost is $40 per person, which includes food, drinks and a huge collection of oldies including “He’s So Fine” by The Chiffons, “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch” by The Four Tops and “My Boyfriend’s Back” by The Angels “so we can dance all night,” O’Connor said.
Warren Easton students from 1962-64 are invited, “plus any other ’60s Eagles who would like to attend,” O’Connor said. “We always get a high turnout at our reunions, but this time we are hoping to have more first-timers.”
Over the years, many of the 398 members of the Class of 1964 have gotten together for a 10-year reunion, a 20th, a 25th and then every five years thereafter. “We have some who want to do it every year,” O’Connor said. “Along the way, we’ve picked up hitchhikers from other classes, because our reunions are so much fun. We try to limit it to the ’60s, but we get some grads from the ’50s.”
O’Connor recalled the 1964 graduation ceremony, held in Municipal Auditorium, shuttered since Katrina. The senior dance took place at the Jung Hotel on Canal Street, with music by New Orleans’ own Mac Rebennack, aka Dr. John. Other popular entertainers back then included Irma Thomas, Deacon John and Tommy Ridgley, she said.
Many Warren Easton students of the 1960s still live in the New Orleans area, and a good number married fellow alumni, said O’Connor, who graduated with her first husband, Bill Hare, who will be at the 50th reunion. “The students were all close, and we’re all still friends,” she said.
A popular part of the reunion experience is a collection of black-and-white photos and a 1,000-picture slide show, O’Connor said. Her granddaughter, Brittanie LaBorde, 24, loves the reunions as much as her elders love the twist and the Beatles, and she will man the door during the 50th reunion.
“She’s an old soul,” O’Connor said of her granddaughter, who promised that at 74 she will “be there in the audience” for the opening of a Warren Easton time capsule her grandmother helped put together for the historic school’s 100th anniversary.
“I hope I’m a little angel sitting on her shoulder,” O’Connor said.
For information contact Juliette Hare O’Connor at (504) 456-6060 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Peggy Hickey VanMatre at (504) 888-9586 or Darnell Bizot Pradat at (504) 456-0066. Information also is available on Facebook: Warren Easton High School Class 1964 – 50th Reunion.
School’s never out at Storyland
With a huge thanks to project sponsor Entergy New Orleans, New Orleans City Park is happy to announce a new Little Red School House has opened at Storyland, 7 Victory Ave. Situated between the Jack and Jill slide and the Old King Cole display, the air-conditioned school building has space for children to play, a teacher’s desk and two student desks, a chalk board for scribbling and a school bell to ring.
Storyland hours are Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Storyland will be open on Memorial Day, May 26. The cost to enter is $4 per person, and free for children shorter than three feet and for members of Friends of City Park. “We take our responsibility to give back to the community very seriously and are happy to help support City Park’s efforts to provide New Orleanians a place to spend quality time with their children,” said Charles Rice, president and CEO of Entergy New Orleans Inc.
Lynne Jensen writes about New Orleans community events and people. Contact her at email@example.com.