From left, Dan Blevins, of Port Angeles, and Gordone Bloomquist, of Burns, Oregon, visit the tiki bar at the Battle Ground High School class of 1969 reunion in Ridgefield Aug. 17. 

For the last 10 years, the Battle Ground High School Class of 1969 has been getting together once a year to reunite with old friends over food and memories.

Saturday, Aug. 17, was no different. 

“I don’t think we’ve missed any the last 10 years,” said Gordon Bloomquist, explaining how his brother’s class has had two or three reunions in the last 48 years. “We’re a tight class.”


Tim Ryerse, of Battle Ground, speaks to the group gathered for the class of 1969 reunion in Ridgefield Aug. 17.

Bloomquist reminisced over memories he and Dan Blevins had at Battle Ground Lake in the 1960s. 

“I remember all the parties we had at Battle Ground Lake before it was a state park,” he said. “I had a brand new ‘68 GTO and I was climbing ‘those hills’ in my ‘68 GTO.”

Bloomquist said his favorite part about the class reunions is seeing what everyone is up to and where they have been. Bloomquist moved to Burns, Oregon, to raise cattle because Burns is “a lot like what Battle Ground used to look like.”

Randy Meir traveled to the reunion from Kasilof, Alaska, and said when he thinks back to high school he’s reminded of all the sporting activities he competed in and the relationships that flourished from that. 


From left, Will Stark, of Battle Ground, speaks with Sam Arola, of Amboy, during an interview with The Reflector at the class of 1969 reunion in Ridgefield Aug. 17. Stark and Arola originally met in second grade and have been best friends ever since. 

“No one was ever superstars, but we tried and did OK,” he said.

Ken Behrens echoed Meir’s thoughts about the relationships built playing sports and mentioned how he played basketball with Meir. Behrens’ most distinct basketball memory is a fight on the basketball court between Kelso and Battle Ground in 1969. 

“It was right on the basketball court,” Behrens said. “We ended up finishing the game with four players.” 

Behrens said the fight was started by an accidental elbow to the face. After that, the fight started between the players. Eventually, people from the stands came down and participated in the commotion, causing the game to be declared over before the final buzzer after players were ejected. 

Joe Bafford, who wore his letterman jacket to the event, remembers the time he spent playing in track, football and band. He said his favorite part of the reunions is seeing old friends. 

“I saw an old friend (at the event) that I hadn’t seen in 50 years,” Bafford said. “I love to tell them stories (of the old days).”


From left, Joe Bafford, of Amboy, points out photos to his wife of 40 years Susien Bafford during the class of 1969 reunion in Ridgefield Aug. 17. Joe Bafford played football and track and was in band when he went to Battle Ground High School. 

Bafford now lives on a farm in Yacolt with his wife Susien on a grass-fed cattle farm. He said he just “can’t get out of the area.” He said he spent time in the National Guard on the East Coast but Battle Ground brought him back. 

“I always loved Battle Ground,” Bafford said. “I tried to move out of the area my whole life and never could.”

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