Dafer School alums gather for reunion
Although there were times when fewer than five students attended the Dafer School, organizers of the annual school reunion were disappointed with the turnout for Saturday's celebration in Basehor.
However, about 25 former students, spouses and families members gathered in the community room of First Bank and Trust to share memories and renew old bonds over potato salad, chicken and iced tea.
Many of the reunion participants had remained close since the date the school closed, the subject of which was shrouded in confusion.
Although one alum produced a clipping from an area newspaper proclaiming that the school closed in 1954, other graduates figured the year to be more like 1961 or even 1964.
What was more certain was that things have changed in the 40 years that have passed between last weekend's meeting in one lone room at the bank and the date students last assembled in the one room school house. The shrill ringing of cellular telephones and the quite hum of an air conditioning unit replaced the sounds and sights that dominated the atmosphere at Dafer.
"There were eight grades, one room, and a coal furnace," alumna Carol Long said. "The students had to carry the coal in the building."
Many graduates swapped stories and tried to piece back together others that were set in the building, which was southwest of Tonganoxie near 182nd Street and Metro Avenue.
"I was born a mile from there and attended the school all eight years," Bill Theno said just before poking fun at a fellow student for being a teacher's pet.
The reunion is an annual event that takes place the first Saturday in June at the bank in Basehor.