Ted Vallas is the head of public relations for the Lynn English High School Class of 1942 and he’s heading up the reunion effort of getting out the message to those who graduated in that class, most of whom are 87 or older today.
Vallas, for many years was a columnist for the Lynn Sunday Post. He was in the restaurant business, serving as the manager of the dining room at the Danversport Yacht Club.
He looks to this effort as perhaps his last.
He is a 1942 graduate of LEHS which was the largest graduating class in the high school’s long and distinguished history.
As many as 750 young men and women graduated that year from LEHS.
It was of course a wartime class. Pearl Harbor was bombed in December 1941.
“We were the first graduating class after Pearl Harbor,” Vallas recalled. “These were momentous times,” he said.
Many many kids from that class joined the armed forces upon graduation.
According to Vallas, former House Speaker Tommy McGee, Sr. graduated in 1942 and joined the Marines immediately. Like many, many young men and women from this class, McGee joined to fight for freedom wherever he was sent.
And when he was up to it, McGee attended many a reunion of this class.
Vallas, joined the Army. Many of his classmates joined the armed forces. A number of graduates from this class gave their lives in the war.
He has attended many reunions – and he says this one is important.
“Many people we grew up with and who we went to LEHS with did not return from the war – and many others were greatly changed by the war and everything it did to the world and to all of us,” he said.
Bob and Louise Yeaton are spearheading the effort to have a grand reunion for the surviving members of the class of 1942.
It is tentatively planned for early October at a time and place to be announced.
Obviously, enough members must be found in order to justify the reunion, Vallas said.
Interested former class members need to respond in order for definite plans to be made.
The success of the event depends on this sought for response.
“Our ranks are thinning. We are all aged 87 or more. So this could be our final class reunion. Reach out. Join us. Or you will miss what is likely the last opportunity to take part,” said Vallas.
Answer the plea by answering Bob or Louise Yeaton at 978-535-7894.
The Yeatons have been the whole committee all through the years, said Vallas.
“This couple has kept the reunion going through thick and thin, throughout the decades of our lives,” Vallas said.
“It will likely be our last hurrah,” he said with a laugh.
“It may be our last reunion to top everything that came before,” he added.
Three years ago, the Class of 1942 held its most recent reunion at the Danversport Yacht Club. Thirty members of the class were present for night of music and dancing.
“But only three couples were well enough to get up and dance,” Vallas said.
“There’s no sense in getting a band for this reunion,” he added.