INDEPENDENCE – The Independence High School class of 1956 recently celebrated its 65th Reunion at VFW Post 2440. In addition to local classmates, others came from as far away as Texas and Arizona.
The Class of ’56 was the first class to graduate from the “new” school, located at the corner of 5th Avenue SE and 5th Street SE, as the “old high school,” located at the corner of 2nd Avenue SW and 2nd Street SW, burned in 1955. The “new” building was originally designed as a junior high school. Today, River’sEDGE is located in the spot of the old school. The aquatic center is located on the south end of the “new” school property.
The class reminisced about several incidents, including when, as a sophomore, classmate Larry Ehler was asked to play on the varsity team at the state playoffs held in Iowa City. It was the first time Independence went to state. The team lost, but it could have been because they were distracted by Ehlers being beaten up in the hotel a few days beforehand. Ehlers was hospitalized for three days, but at the urging of Coach Deines he played. His teammates suggested they put Daryl Johnson on the floor, but to no avail.