After 55 Years—Revisiting the Townhouse
by Jan (Wolf) Wheeler

As part of their 55th reunion weekend (in addition to dancing and dining at El Segundo’s Embassy Suites), the Westchester High School class of 1956 embarked on a sentimental journey to one of its old haunts—the Westchester Townhouse . . . that revered site of teenage dance and romance.

It was now October 2011—55 years and a few months after these alumni last set foot on the WHS campus or attended one of the weekly, magical Wednesday night Townhouse dances. Yet here they were—in a small building that at one time seemed so large to them, but otherwise looked quite the same, and even smelled the same (a well-recognized mustiness that, all by itself, brought back so many memories).


For something like three hours, this happy group socialized, caught up on one another’s lives, shared a lunch, laughed at old Townhouse escapades, engaged in pop quizzes, listened to favorite R&B recordings, and made brave attempts to recall the name of that unfortunate lady who struggled so hard to chaperone the kids every Wednesday night.  Ah . . . that’s right, it was Mrs. Henry (in those days, of course, no kid ever called an adult by their first name).


In addition to all that fun, there was entertainment.  Turns out, unbeknown to the other alumni, some of the former classmates have talent.  John was quite the troubadour, strumming his guitar and singing old folk songs—even coaxing people to join in on Peter, Paul and Mary’s Where Have all the Flowers Gone? (of course, this brought a tear to everyone’s eye).  Len, practically a stand up comedian, did one of his funny routines, and Hal did a hilarious take on the 1950s satirist Tom Lehrer. 


All in all, it was quite an affair—full of laughter, nostalgia, and good will. In fact, it seemed like when the time came to leave, people were literally dragging their feet.  After all, this was their Townhouse—a place that had seen quite a lot of their teenage years—a place that had shaped so many of their memories.

 (With our appreciation to Jaymes Bellous and the Westchester Townhouse Board of Directors)

Story was requested by Westchester Townhouse Board of Directors for submission to Newspapers.

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