Seventies PHS grads give back


The enthusiasm of the Portsmouth High School graduates of the decade of the 70s returned for a while this weekend, as they came together to have some fun and at the same time, to help clean up Mound Park in Portsmouth.

“We have put together a reunion for all classes of the 1970s from Portsmouth High School,” Cathy Morris said. “We have several events throughout the weekend and we’ve decided this morning to give back to the city of Portsmouth and clean up Mound Park, plant some flowers here at the stone house and help out a little bit while we’re all in town.”

Morris said the plan was to pick up trash and straighten up and sweep the stone house patio, and add some beauty to a planting bed on the west side of the stone house by planting some perennials in that area.

“Not very often, this is sort of a special situation where we just decided to have a whole 70s party and invite all the classes because the classes were kind of small and there’s not a huge turnout for any single year, so let’s just combine it and make a whole weekend of it,” Morris said.

Paul Titus was toting a bag for picking up litter in one hand and a camera in the other, so he was ready for the event.

“It has been a long time since I’ve seen a lot of the classmates, and this was just a good chance to get together and do something good for the community,” Titus said.

No one is more familiar with the Mound Park stone house than one of the people who has made it her life’s work to restore that building and surrounding facilities in that park.

“These buildings were built in 1933 through the WPA (Work Progress Administration) program,” Allison Kalb said. “They’ve been used over the years for many many different things. There was a flight simulator in this building during World War II, and on the building over here, on the chimney, there’s a carving of a lady in the stone and they’ve done that when they built this, but I can’t find out any information. I don’t know who the carving is of or who put it in there. I think they slipped it in. I doubt it was in the original design.”

Meanwhile, Morris, Lesha Bauer and John Wittenmeyer busied themselves with planting the perennials and cleaning up the flower bed, while Mark Clifford moved down to the children’s play area and picked up trash. All in all, the classes made a special day of it with the rest of the weekend ahead.

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Cathy Morris (left), Lesha Bauer and John Wittenmeyer plant flowers next to the stone house at Mound Park Morris (left), Lesha Bauer and John Wittenmeyer plant flowers next to the stone house at Mound Park

By Frank Lewis

[email protected]

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

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