FARGO-A week after Fargo's Central High School was caught in an epic blaze April 19, 1966, more than 1,000 students there found themselves in the hallways and classrooms at North High School.
The class of 1968 would be the first to graduate from the then-newly built South High School.
But while South was being christened as the home of the Bruins, Central and North students formed new friendships and relationships together-despite being crosstown rivals.
Now, the class of '68 from South and North are celebrating a joint 50th reunion this weekend.
That was a turbulent year throng with civil rights protests as a backdrop to the Vietnam and Cold wars, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy and rising racial tensions.
"It was an insane, crazy year, and we all came through it," said South alum James Ferragut, who now resides in north Fargo.
Beginning 6 p.m. Friday, July 6, at the downtown Radisson Hotel, 201 5th St. N., classmates will kick off festivities with a mixer. This will be followed by a series of events Saturday, July 7.
At 11 a.m., there will be a golf tournament at the Fargo Country Club, as well a tour of South High for the group of alumni who were the first graduates of the school, which has since been remodeled.
Ferragut said on Saturday there will also be a performance by classmate and guitarist Dakota Dave Hull starting at 6 p.m., followed by a group class photo at 8 p.m.
Around 20 classmates plan to play in the tournament, Ferragut said, while over 200 people indicated they're attending the reunion.
Nearly 30 of Ferragut's classmates have passed away, which is why he believes it's a big turnout, especially considering many classmates are attending who missed 10th, 20th and 40th reunions.
The classmates are all age 67 or 68, but Ferragut said he still feels like he's 18.
"It's a number to me. I'm pretty vital and aware and healthy. I got a vibrant life and family," he said as he looked out at Pelican Lake after finishing up a 5 mile run.
Ferragut said even though he was the first class to graduate from South, he identifies as a north Fargo guy, where his four children graduated from.