Monday, July 15, 2024

Plains Class of 74 gathers for reunion

Valley Press | July 10, 2024 12:00 AM

David Proctor knew he had a big task ahead. 

Although there were just 29 graduates from Plains High School in 1974, he was given the job of finding them and arranging the 50th PHS Reunion this past weekend. 

“We had 44 kids to start with,” Proctor said while standing adjacent to the entrance to his old high school. “Twenty-nine graduated and we tried to get ahold of everyone”. 

A respectful poster board with pictures of eight students who have passed away since graduation was a solemn reminder of life and memories from the past. 

For the nine graduates who attended the reunion, it was a success no matter the numbers. 

“We found most of the people on Facebook,” said Proctor, who after moving away from Plains returned to stay a year ago.   

Those who returned were treated to a tour of the school, a visit to the Paradise Center, which was a school some of the students also attended back in the mid-70s, and several other events in and around Plains. 

“We used to wrestle at what is now the dental office,” said Clarence “Bub” Arnold, who also played football for the Horsemen. 

There were no sports for girls in 1974, so all were glad to see the Plains softball stadium and get a look at the high school football stadium.  Arnold and David shared memories of the high school’s still present running track, which in those days was lined with red cinder as a running surface. 

“There were no Trotters, no girls' sports,” said several of the female graduates. 

One of the fondest memories of the graduation was where it was held. 

“They finished what is currently the main gym just in time for us to use it for commencement,” Arnold remembered with a laugh. “This was a pretty good place to be”. 

Arnold, who now lives in St. Maries, Idaho, added that Plains in 1974 was not what would be considered a rowdy town. 

The graduate who traveled the furthest to get to Plains was Mary Smith Supola who made the trip with her husband, Steve. 

“This was a cowboy town,” he said. “Not much trouble to get into and there were some jobs for the kids to get, including at the old sawmill.”

And as is the case to this day, the town up Highway 200 was a sports rival. 

“They were a bigger school than us,” Proctor said. “But it was still a big rivalry whenever we played Thompson Falls.” 

All agreed it was good to see a place that was so important in their teen years. 

After two days of seeing the school and catching up on the years gone by, the group closed out Saturday evening with a round of drinks at the Plains VFW. They left the poster board with the names and pictures of their deceased classmates behind, but went back to retrieve it, Proctor said, Sunday morning. 

“I offered to settle their tab but the bartender said they did not cause any problems, so it was on the house,” Proctor said of the faces on the posterboard, with a laugh.