BELFAST — The Crosby High School class of 1953 got together Aug. 12 at Belfast City Park’s gazebo for a special celebration that only someone who is 86 years old can appreciate.

Sixteen alumni out of a class of approximately 56 celebrated their 68th anniversary by telling stories of old times and enjoying each other’s company on a picture-perfect summer day.

Ronnie Nickerson and Barbara (Johnson) Doyle at the Crosby class of ’53 reunion. Photo by Fran Gonzalez

Darrold Dorr, formerly a photographer for The Ellsworth American and Bar Harbor Times, said the class has always had a special bond. “We’ve always been very close and our survivors prove that.” 

There were many hugs at this year’s event, especially since the annual get-together had to be canceled last year due to the pandemic.

Sandra Voguen, speaking with classmate Marion Anderson, said they had a lot of fun in high school. “We learned to smoke and hang out,” she said.

Anderson said she remembered a saltwater pool at Belfast City Park, not too far from where they stood at the gazebo. “I remember walking up to take swimming lessons,” she said. “It was always cold and foggy.”

Barbara (Johns) Starratt, left, and Marion (Gray) Anderson, Aug. 12. Photo by Fran Gonzalez

Ed Clark has lived in Belfast his whole life. He calls Barbara Doyle his sister because they share the same birthday, which happened to be the day before the reunion. “We grew up together as babies,” he said.

Because of her small stature, Barbara said, she is always positioned in the front row for photographs. Back in the day, she said, she ran a successful taxi business in town with eight cabs — Barbara’s Taxi.

“My birthday was yesterday,” Clark said, smiling. His wife, Donna, added, “They are all 86 here.”

Donna said she and Ed were high school sweethearts. “I was a freshman and he was a senior.” As part of a day when freshmen had to do favors for seniors, she said, “He picked me and I had to carry his books in school for a whole day.”

Crosby High School class of 1953 reunion at Belfast City Park, Aug. 12.

Bill Butler, who was there with his wife, Helen — “my associate of 65 years” — said, “This is probably the closest class ever to come out of Crosby High School. We’ve always been close.”

“I have all kinds of stories,” Dorr noted, “but I’ve forgotten them.”

Lillian Kapioff said her husband, Marc, graduated from Crosby. She said he died in February from COVID-19. Lillian, who lives in Georgia, said they had attended the reunions for many years.