12.01.2006

Newton High/NNHS Alumni Directory

The fat Newton High School/Newton North High School Alumni Directory arrived in the mail this week. It's comprehensive, and in many ways better than class-based activities like reunion updates and class websites in that you can see what's happening to people from other classes ... if they responded.

So, when I got the book, I immediately did what every other recipient did: Looked up old flames and crushes. Then, friends whom I haven't heard from in years, like some guys I knew on the soccer team. Then acquaintances. Then bullies and class clowns. Then anyone else whose name I remembered.

The entries could include name, married name, current address and phone number, email, occupation, spouse's first name, and kids' names. Some alumni left out pieces of information. A lot of people responded -- I'd say a third to half of the people in my class had a diamond next to the entry, indicating that they had responded to the survey last winter. Other people were listed as well, but it looked like old information -- occupations included student and home addresses were still in Newton. Still others didn't have any listing at all, I think because they asked not to be included, or their status was "unknown."

The back of the book was interesting. They had complete class lists for some years as far back as 1925. But other years had only a few dozen entries, like 1926. Then there were the giant classes from the 1960s and 1970s, with more than a thousand names in each class -- these were the baby boomers, and part of the reason why Newton High was split into Newton South and Newton North.

Another interesting section: Alumni by town of residence. They broke it up by country, state, and city. About 400 alumni who responded listed Waltham as their city of residence. And that's just the people who responded. The number is probably over 500, and this comes to no surprise to Borderline -- about half the people on my street in Waltham grew up in Newton, mostly in northern areas such as The Lake, West Newton, and Auburndale. We knew Waltham growing up -- and hung out on Moody Street and Wal-lex as kids -- and when we couldn't afford housing in in our hometown (or didn't want to put up with the taxes in Newton) we settled to Waltham. By comparison, less than 200 alums listed Watertown as their place of residence.

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