By Sandra Diamond Fox
Article Launched: 10/09/2008
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin.'
-- Bob Dylan, 1963
DANBURY-- Becoming independent, challenging authority and being
carefree are just some of the things that come to mind when city
resident Bob Faubel, 58, reflects on his days as a student at Danbury
Along with more than 100 other members of his graduating class,
Faubel will get to reminisce about those times this weekend at their
The Class of '68 sure knows how to party -- the reunion will span
three days. Today, graduates will meet for appetizers and drinks at 7
p.m. at Widow Brown's Café on Federal Road.
The fun continues Saturday at the Stony Hill Inn in Bethel from 6 to
11 p.m. with a catered dinner, trivia, games and dancing with D.J.
Bill Trotta of Sound Investment Entertainment.
On Sunday, it's back to Widow Brown's Café from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for brunch.
While some graduates live locally, others are traveling from as far
as Nevada, Florida, Chicago, Colorado and Massachusetts.
The 520-member class has something to celebrate in addition to the
get-together -- they represent Danbury High School's centennial class.
"In preparing for the reunion, I recently noticed that the school's
logo says 'Founded 1868' on it, said Faubel, a minister. "No one ever
said anything about this to us the whole time we were students."
A recent article in AARP magazine said with the assassination of
Martin Luther King Jr., the war in Vietnam, political unrest, civil
rights demonstrations and the women's liberation movement, 1968 was
the most cataclysmic year in U.S. history.
"Even with all the uncertainty going on around us, though, we were
young and didn't spend time dwelling on it," said city resident Lynn
Tomanio Meeker, 57, a school nurse. "We had fun times just living our
lives day to day."
"For me, the biggest thing at that time was the music. It was the
greatest music era that ever existed," Faubel said.
"After being raised by parents who listened to conservative singers
from the '40s and '50s, like Frank Sinatra, we suddenly had groups
like The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Rascals, and especially the
Beatles, who blew the world away."
Faubel and his friends grew their hair shoulder length and became
"Beatle freaks" who tried to emulate Paul McCartney.
"My aunt bought me a three-quarter-sized acoustic guitar and I
started a band called The Realists with two other guys. My friend
used a bicycle seat for a drum and a cookie sheet for cymbals. We
played all through high school."
One unforgettable night in senior year The Doors performed at Danbury
High School to a sold-out crowd. "We all had a really great time,"
said 58-year-old Brookfield resident, Dianne Felicissimo Mariano.
Styles of clothing seen in the school's hallways reflected fashion
trends across the country. "As freshmen, we weren't allowed to wear
pants," Meeker said. "But by the time we graduated, the rules had changed."
The pants stopped at the ankle. Students also wore penny loafers
(with pennies), disposable paper dresses, madras plaid shirts, and mini-skirts.
"We had to kneel on a chair to make sure the hem of our skirt reached
the chair," Mariano said. "If it didn't, we were either given a
warning or our mothers had to bring us other clothing."
Among teachers who made a lifetime impression was Roger Schmiedel,
the housemaster who "always knew when there was a time to joke around
and a time to be strict," Mariano said.
Another was Eugene Edwards, the guidance counselor "who was like a
father to me, since my dad died when I was 12," Faubel said.
When the final bell rang, the teens flocked to the A&W Root Beer
Drive-in on Federal Road, in front of today's Home Depot. Also
popular was The Rage, a teen night club on the corner of routes 6 and
7, and co-ed Friday night stag parties at the Elks Club on Main Street.
The Class of '68 was special for yet another reason -- they were the
first class to go through all four years of high school in the
Clapboard Ridge building. Before 1964, the school was located in what
is now the White Hall building on Western Connecticut State
University's midtown campus.
"All of us shared so much together during those radical four years of
our lives," Mariano said. She added that it's great to be able to
have reunions like these to reflect on the past, catch up on the
present, and learn about plans for the future.