November 2, 2022
On several occasions, I have shared stories about my Southport High School graduating class of 1960. I’m thinking that we were a very normal group of students and friends at that time.
We all had very good friends. We also had neighborhood friends. As we grew into junior high and high school, our number of friends grew quite a bit as we connected with classmates that had attended different grade schools.
During my 6 years of junior high and high school, I had lots of good friends and we had a great amount of fun during those years. If my number of good friends numbered 25 to 30, there would have been about 300 classmates that I might have known a little. Maybe we had classes together or lockers were close. We mostly had our little clicks and the years passed quickly.
Several years after our graduation, we began having class reunions. I believe our first one (No.10) really slipped up fast and we really didn’t get together for a couple of years (No.12).
We have turned 180 degrees now and we celebrate a reunion every year. We just completed this years reunion a couple of weeks ago (No. 62). It is so special to reconnect with classmates that I maybe haven’t seen for many years.
Our class also holds a monthly breakfast for a group and a different group has a monthly lunch. The breakfast is mostly guys and is held in the same location each month. That way, we don’t have that “YIKES” moment that morning while trying to remember where the breakfast will be in about 45 minutes.
The lunch group enjoys a different location each month. I have been a member of both groups for several years. I have been in charge of the November lunch location for most of that time. I always choose Shapiro’s Deli. We will be having lunch at Shapiro’s today (Nov. 2nd) and this addition of The Southsider Voice came out this morning. (I will bring a few copies for everyone).
I always check with Shapiro’s a few days before our lunch to let them know about how many will be attending and also have lunch. I did that last Friday.
A really good friend of mine that is also a 1960 classmate accompanied me last Friday. Sharon David is a member of the lunch bunch and is also a member of The Southport / Perry Township Historical Society. I knew Sharon in high school but not very well. We were in different groups and I don’t even remember if we had any classes together.
Sharon’s family owned and operated a drycleaning business on the Southside. Darko & Son’s Drycleaners was located on Shelby Street near Garfield Park. I remember our family stopping by and doing business with Darko Cleaners during my grade school years. We traveled Shelby Street quite often during those days. My grandparents lived just North of Raymond Street.
Sharon has assisted me during my pre-lunch visits to Shapiro’s for a few years. It is so important that I get everything lined up properly so that the lunch will be enjoyed by everyone. Sharon has been a big help each time.
After we got everything all arranged for the upcoming lunch and we had finished our lunch, we decided to drive on to the downtown area and see how many FFA members we could spot while here for their convention. It wasn’t hard. We saw hundreds of them. It was very interesting.
We had encountered a few road construction detours on our way to Shapiro’s. After we drove through downtown, I decided to drive out toward Fountain Square and take Shelby Street back to the Southside.
We also found construction on Shelby Street and had to drive through some neighborhoods. It was Sharon Darko and family’s early neighborhood. She showed me the first Dry Cleaning shop and her grandparent’s house. It was amazing.
Shonk is a 1960 graduate of Southport High School, a ’63 grad of Indiana Central College (now the University of Indianapolis) and a retired bus driver from Beech Grove Schools. He can be reached through email at email@example.com.