DUNDALK — Mary Hall Ruble doesn’t know how she got put in charge of organizing the Dundalk High School Class of 1958 luncheons, because she was no fan of high school.
“I cant believe I even do these luncheons because I didn’t like school,” Ruble explained. “Dundalk High was a lot different than what it is now.”
The Class of 1958 attempts to get together at least twice a year since 1993, hosting luncheons and get togethers.
“Dundalk was great back then,” Ruble said. “I get angry when people bad mouth Dundalk. It was a close community, with hard working people. It gets a bad rap.”
During the late 1950s, schools began to integrate, allowing both African-American and caucasian students to attend the same public institutions. Bill Boyle remembers that an African-American student who attended Dundalk High School shortly after integration became their class president.
“He went on to become a brain surgeon,” Boyle said. “I thought that was pretty cool.”
Dundalk High Class of 1958 alumnus Conrad Gilbert said at the luncheon that his was the last group to graduate from the old Dundalk High — which now serves as Dundalk’s Middle School.
The class of 1959 moved to new building before graduating, Gilbert noted.
“It was great education,” Bob Kochen said. “We had good teachers. The teachers would slap you upside the head if you weren’t paying attention. You can’t do that in this day and age. The teachers were tough but they were good.”
“I didn’t realize it then, but the education we got was head and shoulders ahead of what they get now,” alumnus Dick Downes said.
According to Ruble, the luncheon group gets smaller and smaller each year.