Scottsdale High School alumni host 2 reunion events at community landmarks
By Terrance Thornton | Digital Free Press
‘Big Bad Leroy Brown’ filled the FM radio waves, Oreos were .59 a package and the No. 1 movie in America was ‘The Exorcist’ in calendar year 1973.
And during this time somewhere along Shea Boulevard — where the last light illuminated, those in the know say — was where Scottsdale High School students fell in love, raised hell and forged relationships still strong today.
They say it was their place to get away from parents, teachers and the familiar trappings any adolescent might feel, and those memories remain strong with organizers of the 50th reunion of the 1973 graduating class of Scottsdale High School.
You can RSVP for both events HERE.
“It was just like that, meet at the last light along Shea,” said Diana Carey Hines of the small-town feel of Scottsdale in the late 1970s through the late 1980s. “The town was 30,000 to 50,000 tops — we remember things like the first rodeo was where the Fashion Square is today. There is a real sense of tribal knowledge that goes back generations at Scottsdale High School. It was a small-town feel I think a lot of us continue to hold onto today.”
Ms. Carey Hines serves as chairman of the reunion committee and along with partner in crime — Susan Bitter Smith — the two ladies are working to keep the memory and history of Scottsdale High School alive and well.
Of Note: Scottsdale High School opened in 1923 and closed in 1983 but to commemorate the graduating class of 1973 all graduates are welcome to attend two events: The Boondocker Bar-B-Que is Friday, May 19, at Beaver’s Paradise at the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. The second event is the 50th reunion celebration at Los Olivos in Old Town Scottsdale Saturday, May 20.
For Ms. Carey Hines the 50th reunion event is a labor of love.
“You know? I believe it was a prank,” she said of being assigned chairman of the reunion committee on the last day of school in 1973. “But I am enjoying every moment of this. — it’s not just me, there are a whole batch of us.”
Ms. Bitter Smith is one of those community member volunteers.
“Both Diane and I grew up in Scottsdale and we both felt that it was unique we are celebrating 50 years,” she said. “It is no accident the Friday night event is at the Railroad Park as that has been the local attraction where you have birthday parties, bring your kids. It is a common location for all of us.”
Ms. Bitter Smith recalls a time when Scottsdale High School was across the street from City Hall instilling a sense of civic pride you could feel within high school hallways.
“We were over there a lot,” she said. “Bill Jenkins —- my history teacher was the mayor of Scottsdale —- looking back on it now, that was special. There is a special affinity for those of us who went to Scottsdale High.”
Ms. Bitter Smith explains ideas around tradition are part of the DNA of the 1973 graduating class.
“There is just a lot of coming together with our traditions,” she said. “There is a real affinity for people who graduated from Scottsdale High School. I do business today with fellow Scottsdale High graduates. People like John Berry, who was two years behind me, he and I have done development projects together. Danny Harkins has come to us with ideas on a project. We have worked together on things. There is still this unique connection you have if you went to Scottsdale High.”
President Susan Bitter Smith and Vice President Prescott Smith of Technical Solutions were named to the Sun Devil 100 Class on April 27th at Mullett Arena on ASU’s Tempe Campus. This marks the dynamic duo’s sixth consecutive recognition by the ASU Alumni Association for business practices at the Scottsdale-based public relations firm.
Scottsdale High School reunion and the Digital Age
“With social media today, we have been able to reach out to 450 alumni. We can find them and they can find us,” Ms. Carey Hines said of how humans communicate with one another in the Digital Age. “If we didn’t have that, we would have to do a mass mailing and send out PSAs. But in the digital world today we can put something out there on our website or on social media and all of a sudden we are just thrilled to have all of these folks who can respond and reach out digitally.”
According to Statista, people over the age of 45 up to up 65 years of age account for 35.9% of all users in the United States whereas there are more than 230 million daily users of the social media platform.
Ms. Carey Hines explains all are welcome at the 50th reunion of the Scottsdale High School class of 1973.
“We are having a Friday night picnic at the Railroad Park, and then we are having the main event the following afternoon at Los Olivos and our attendance, we are just leapfrogging how we are accomplishing this.”
A sense of community resonates with those who hail from Scottsdale High School, Ms. Carey Hines explains.
“Saturday night our main event is at Los Olivos, which is another one of our Scottsdale traditions,” she said of the local affection for the beloved eatery. “The Scottsdale Historical Museum will be providing some wonderful displays for the room as the historical museum was some tactual items on display that will be very visual.”
A spirit of philanthropy is part of any community and Ms. Carey Hines explains this year’s fundraising effort is geared toward efforts at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale.
“It is important for us to get together to recognize the impact that organizations in our community that brought us up as young adults and taking that forward,” she said. “How can we support the groups that helped us?”
You can RSVP for both events HERE.