Community

Mercer View alumni return to the rock

There’s the 10-year, 20-year and dreaded 30-year high school or college reunions. But a group of former Mercer View Elementary students swept the reunion stigma aside for a two-day gathering, which took place at the Roanoke Tavern and Luther Burbank Park.

The casual atmosphere and elementary-centered theme relieved some of the normal “haven’t-seen-these-classmates-in-decades” pressure.

“It was extremely refreshing because there is not all of the stress of the ‘high school’ reunion or college, for that matter. We all saw each other in the present day as the innocent people that we were in grade school. No one talked about their career, how big their house was, car they drive ... no one cared,” wrote Pat McQuaid, who attended the gathering on Aug. 20 and 21.

The bygone elementary school closed its doors in 1980. Today, the Community Center at Mercer View occupies the former Mercer View schoolyard.

People from various classes attended the all-inclusive 30-year reunion, organizer Troy Hullin wrote in an e-mail to the Reporter.

“You either knew people (at the Roanoke or barbecue), or you knew a sister/brother of someone there,” he wrote. “We’ve all walked our different paths in life, but we all have (at least) one thing in common ... our childhood was influenced by Mercer View.”

Hullin originally planned to hold the gathering at the Community Center at Mercer View, but the lack of money for the rental fee squashed that idea.

“So the name of the event was changed to the Mercer View Recession Reunion, and it was a perfect fit,” he wrote of the reunion, which was pulled off on a shoestring budget.

Facebook played a huge part, he wrote.

“The idea was started, I created a Mercer View group and then a Mercer View Reunion group, sent out invites and waited to see who would show up,” he wrote.

Today the “Mercer View” group has 98 members.

About a dozen alumni and their families attended, in addition to former Mercer View teacher, Eileen Penny, Hullin wrote of the Facebook-advertised event.

“Mercer View was a special time. A time of innocence, discovery, personal growth, learning,” Hullin wrote, adding that there was no shortage of memories to reminisce over. “We talked about former teachers, stories of happenings and events during recess, sleepovers, sneaking off to Luther Burbank during recess, etc.”

Both Hullin and McQuaid are excited to reunite with even more classmates.

“We have all decided that we want to do it again next year and want to get more people involved. It really was refreshing and a different twist on the reunion thing. It was basically low budget and casual,” McQuaid wrote. “I think this is what made it so fun.”

Reunions

The Mercer Island High School class of 1960 will host a reunion next week from Sept. 9 through Sept. 12.

E-mail jandlbotkin@live.com for more information.

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