My Last Reunion by Peter Claussen OHS '59

Angela Bergamasco's picture

The Oakmont High School Class of 1959. Pete Claussen wanted to send this letter out to all of you:


My Last Reunion

I am so saddened every time I get an email announcing the passing of yet another member of our wonderful class.  There are so many of you that I always wished I would see at one of our gatherings, but it wasn’t to be.  Those of you I did see at the two reunions I did attend gave me some cherished moments.   I loved you all; in later years, Oh, one or two not so much, some more than others, one most of all.  But I did love you all in your own ways.

However, the last reunion I did attend was “My Last Reunion.”  That is mostly due to the fact I can’t travel very well any more.  I know, we are all suffering the ravages of aging, but no matter what, it still beats the alternative.  I’m just not ready for that next great adventure into the unknown beyond this life.  But there are a few things from my time at OHS that I would like to clear up before it is my turn for that next great adventure.

First of all, that picture on page 137 in the ’59 yearbook.  At the last reunion I attended, I was bitterly maligned for being on the ground and not helping John.  But if you look to the bottom left of the picture, there is a Swissvale player on the ground that I just knocked the crap out of before he could tackle John. 

Second, I was asked why I screwed up our Senior Class play when I blew a line.  I don’t know of any actor ever, including my own sister, who didn’t blow a line now and then.  But, our real actor, Elsa, saved the day and we were back on track.  And after all, that was 50+ years ago.  After all this time, who cares!!! 

We are all dealt a deck of cards when we are born.  Some of us played that deck better than others or just plain had better cards.  I’m not blaming the cards I was dealt; I just didn’t play them well.  I made some terrible decisions along the way, one of which was my most grievous and I made that when I was in high school.

The best news in my life since OHS, happened six years ago when I met my second and present wife, Nancy.  Shortly after I met her I said to her that I didn’t think I really knew how to love.  Over the past six years she hasn’t taught me how to love, she shows me everyday.  Along with the marriage I got a wonderful plus; a great son and daughter in law, three beautiful and wonderful grandchildren; ten year old twin girls and their older sister, fourteen.  So, in the last six years I have learned more about unconditional love, what it feels like to receive it and more importantly, how to give it.  It’s so easy when you are with the right person.  So after 70 years, I am finding out what it’s like to live a happy life.  Wow, what a difference! 

Oh, I still have my aches and pains, my seven-year battle with cancer has been tough, but now it is in remission, my legs are shot, lungs not much better and I have some heart failure.  But, you know what?  I feel better than I ever have in my life.  I am so lucky.  With our trusty golf cart named Verdi, I can still play some golf.  Nancy beats me most days but who cares.  We are out there with the fresh air, the animals of the course and just plain love being out there to play.  I started a small golf club building business about 14 years ago.  So we have new clubs when wanted or needed and I build them for family and friends as well. 

So my life, all in all, is wonderful.  Nancy and I take it one day at a time, cherishing each day, as it is, a gift.

I am sorry that I haven’t kept in touch with you, the Class of 59.  Who can believe that so many years have flown by so quickly.  To quote a line from a movie, “Doesn’t it go by in a wink!”   (Trivia question – what movie?)

So enjoy the get together and know that I am there with you all, at least in spirit. 

Enjoy each day that you have.  When you waken each day, tell yourself that it will be a great day.  It really helps.  Take care of yourselves.

Best regards to you all,




The Oakmont Historical Society

The Oakmont Historical Society is dedicated to preserving the history of Oakmont, Pennsylvania. We are located at 628 Allegheny River Blvd. Oakmont, PA 15139. Our Curator/Archivist, Colleen McGuigan may be reached at: (412) 828-3022, (412) 607-4782, 


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