Photo by Dani Wilson
From left, Alton High class of 1967 members include Cathy Weirich, Teresa Powell, Linda Basden and Peggy Voumard. The last weekend in September, 10 years of graduating classes from the ’60s get together at Mac’s Time Out in Alton to celebrate.
Alton High School class of 1967 member Teresa Powell calls the 1960s “a defining decade.”
Those years brought new music, fashion and moral stances — they “changed everything,” Powell said. The 1960s classes of Alton and Marquette Catholic high schools are well aware of the influence of their era, and they celebrate it every year with a huge party. The last weekend in September, 10 years of graduating classes from the ’60s gather at Mac’s Time Out in Alton to celebrate.
One of the minds behind the party, Cathy Weirich, says the idea started in 2011 when a member of the class of 1967 created a video honoring deceased members of their class.
“It really affected all of us, so we decided we should get together more often,” Weirich said.
Since then, they have had three class parties — this Saturday will be the fourth. Members of the decade’s classes come from all over the country — “from Alaska to Florida,” Weirich said. One of the planning members, Teresa Powell, comes from Texas to spend the whole week with her friends planning the party. This year, for the first time, the party will feature live music and a photographer to cover the event. Attendees will spend the evening visiting, reconnecting and rekindling old friendships — and dancing, of course, Weirich said.
The party will include a 50/50 drawing and other drawings for “nice prizes,” Weirich said. Proceeds from the drawings will pay for music for the next party. Otherwise, there’s no entrance fee — the planning members decided not to have an entrance fee so everyone could be involved.
“A lot of people can’t go to their class reunions because they can’t afford it,” planning member Linda Basden said.
The planning members say the party could not keep going without sponsorships from local businesses.
“The business community has really embraced us,” Weirich said.
The planners specifically thank Mac Lenhardt, owner of Mac’s Time Out.
“From day one, he’s really backed us and supported us and done anything we needed,” Weirich said.
Planning member Peggy Voumard said the class of ’67 will hold a “warm-up party” the night before the event at Chez Marilyn’s, 119 W. Third St. in downtown Alton. The party will feature music from the Soulard Blues Band.
“We encourage everyone to come,” she said.
“We’re already in party mode,” Basden added.
The ’60s class party brings a generation of people back to the origins of social life today, Powell said.
“We were the defining force in what’s going on today,” Powell said.
They say they were the party generation, and they’re coming back every year to reminisce and have fun while showing the younger crowd how it’s done.
“This is the night when the old people teach the young people how to party,” Weirich said.
This year’s party will happen at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27. The planning members say it will happen the last Saturday in September for years to come.