It seems the class of 1970 likes to be first. The class was the first class at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School to produce a series of plays over the years. Our members were part of the first Minnesingers. In fact, a member of the class came up with the Minnesingers name. The 1970 yearbook was the first to use color photography. A class member is the first to serve as poet laureate. Among our class are past selectmen, town administrators, the county treasurer. And perhaps the first we are most proud of, the class of 1970 began the now important tradition of celebrating graduation at the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs.

So it’s appropriate that the 45th reunion of the class was held in the function room at the Barn Bowl and Bistro in Oak Bluffs, the first function in the newly opened space. Some 40 class members attended the festive occasion, celebrated on Saturday, Oct. 24.

The evening began with a convivial cocktail hour where members of the class reconnected with old friends and tried to identify classmates that we hadn’t seen in a long time. There was a high degree of hilarity and “Is that really you?” over the sound of bowling balls and falling pins that floated upstairs from the bowling alley below.

During the well-laid buffet dinner, the room got quieter while we concentrated on pasta, chicken, pizza and swordfish, until class member Ken Ivory took the stage, as he had done in class plays and Minnesinger performances. After a moment to remember the seven class members we’ve lost in the past years — Bill Look, Jeff Kelley, Jeff Lund, David Welch, Dennis Sylvia, Bobby Norton, and Steve Medeiros — Kenny directed us to the organizing committee for well-deserved recognition.

We also rewarded classmates who had traveled the farthest (from Alabama), who had moved to that other island not far away with a shopping bag prominently stating VINEYARDER, and who was the least changed in the ensuing 45 years — with four nominees and no way to decide, the prize was graciously awarded to the one woman in the group. Kenny also led us to a review of what life was like in 1970, noting the popular songs of the time and the fact that gas was about 25 cents a gallon . . . except on the Vineyard!

Steve Ewing, indeed the longstanding poet laureate from Edgartown as well as a class member, prepared a poem in honor of the occasion and happily read it to the class, once he could find his glasses. We were duly impressed and are glad to share the poem with the public.

Along with cannoli and coffee, we tossed out ideas for our next reunion, a bang-up 50th, no doubt. Fundraising has begun, a website and Facebook page will soon be up, and the class will continue to plot and plan for a big bash in 2020. Perhaps we might have the bunker hauled out of the sea and towed back on shore for a traditional beach party?

We’re looking forward to the next five years.