When relatives started cleaning out the garage of Pete Furnish, who passed away recently and was an avid supporter of athletes here in the county for many years, they found a surprising treasure.
In the garage, they found a large photo saluting the Vevay High School athletes who were a part of winning the All Sports trophy in the Ohio River Valley Conference for the 1962-63 school year.
The large photo, now over 50 years old, was taken and given to Ernie McKenzie, who oversaw having the photo placed in a frame along with some minor repairs to the picture itself.
“They asked me to put it in a frame,” McKenzie said. “Apparently Pete found it in the Old Gym.”
Wanting to preserve the photo, Furnish took the picture home, where it remained on West Pike Street until the clean up got underway.
“Pete had a lot of Vevay High School graduating class photos in there, too,” McKenzie said. “Rita Sullivan and Karen Miller got ahold of this one and gave it to me, so I put it in a wooden frame with some plastic to protect it.
The photo brings back a lot of memories that are over a half a century old now.
Kenny Miller, who was a senior that year and is found in the middle of the front row of the photo along with the other seniors, now lives next door to the newspaper office, and he was invited over to see the picture.
Also coming to the newspaper office was Pat Collier, who was a junior that year and is located in the middle of the second row.
Do they remember the picture?
“I don’t even remember taking the picture?” Collier said with a laugh. “I remember us doing it (winning the All Sports trophy) and the fact we did it, but I don’t remember us getting together.”
“I sure don’t remember those ties,” a laughing Kenny Miller said. “Look at those thin ties. They were in style way back then.”
“A sign of the times,” Collier laughed. “We can look and see who’s got on a wide tie, because they would have gotten that from their dad!”
The photo also gave the men a moment to remember long lost teammates and classmates.
“A lot of them are gone now,” Collier said as he scanned the picture. “Bobby Joe’s gone. Harry’s gone. Denny. Max drowned the year after he graduated. Lowell Wayne’s gone. There are a lot of them.”
The photo was taken outside of the Vevay High School gym - commonly known now as the Old Gym – and the choir risers were used to make sure everyone could be seen.
The men remembered Dennis Hudson – one of the ‘dam people’ – those whose families moved here to work at the Markland Dam; and many others who have all gone their separate ways.
“We all looked pretty serious, didn’t we?” Miller said with a smile. “I guess that’s how they wanted us to look, kinda tough.”
The three men spent more time, pointing out boys in the photo and relaying stories of the men they became. Sometimes there was laughter, other times silence.
Over 50 years later, memories and friendships stay strong.
The photo was next heading to the Vevay American Legion, where others can see it while a more permanent home is found.