By Scott Kindberg
Roger Jackson arrived in Chautauqua County from his Clifton, N.J., home on Wednesday to begin a 10-day vacation.
"I guess we come back to visit Chautauqua Institution, come back to do some sailing on the lake and see some family locally,'' Jackson said Thursday night.
The retired high school teacher and guidance counselor also returns annually for another important reason: To see some of his former Jamestown High School buddies and teammates from nearly 60 years ago.
"It's interesting,'' said Jackson, 1956 JHS graduate, "you walk in and you pick up exactly where you left off a year later. You haven't missed a beat.''
The former Red Raiders from the mid-1950s will meet at 5:30 p.m., Saturday on the porch at the See-Zurh House in Bemus Point and then eventually move upstairs for a buffet dinner. The summer gatherings have been an annual affair for about 10 years, Jackson said.
"It's just another good experience to be together,'' Jackson said. "We'll tell some stories and enjoy each other's company. It's a good feeling to know there's people out there who support you."
Among the JHS alumni who have been part of the summer gatherings in the past are, among others, Jackson, Bob Winterburn, Tom Sharp, Jim Hannon and Brian Moynihan.
"We'll reminisce about the touchdown runs that have gotten longer and the two-hitters that are now no-hitters,'' Jackson said. " It was a very special time. Most high school athletes would agree that it's different than the college experience. It's a good feeling. We communicate - with texts and phone calls - during the course of the year."
On Saturday, the JHS alums can put their cellphones away and communicate in a far more personal way - face to face.