A Reunion 60 Years in the Making

The Hawkeye Restaurant will play host to a special reunion on Saturday to celebrate the Keokuk Community College 1958 Basketball Junior College State Championship.

One of the group organizers, Gene Weber, said members of the team have met off and on over the years, but they decided they needed to have at least one last get together.

“The former teammates, we’ve been in touch and everything, you know. Donnie Romes, who is kind of our leader, and I had been talking last winter or spring about (how) we wanted to meet on more time,” Weber said. 

This reunion will be different from past ones; however, as members of the basketball teams that Weber coached in the late 60’s and other former athletes and other KCC and Southeastern Community College alumni will be in attendance as well.

Although they had trouble finding contact info for many people and there was very little publication, Weber said they expect there could be more than 100 people in attendance and that number could approach 150. They will also have nametags for people who have passed away, that way they can also still be part of the reunion.

“We thought at least they won’t be forgotten,” Weber said

Festivities will run with social hour from 2-6 PM then dinner afterwards on Saturday and Weber said the event is also open to the public as well. He is hoping that some people who have not notified him will still show up.

“When you set a date for a reunion, whether it is family or whether it’s a college reunion, whatever it is, sometimes you’re lucky to get 50%. One time we thought we were doing quite a bit better than that,” Weber said.

“I have a feeling that we’ll get quite a few people that still live in Keokuk that will at least make an appearance,” Weber said. 

Reflecting back on the 1958 championship, Weber said a title was not on the minds of the team as the season began.

“We didn’t go into that year thinking we were going to be competing for a state championship or anything, but as the year went on and everything I think we just seemed to get a little stronger,” Weber said. 

According to Weber, people will be coming from across the state of Iowa and from other states around the country as well.

Altogether, Weber and others are very excited to see everyone back in Keokuk for the event.

“When some of these guys that are 65, 70 years old are so excited to come back, almost like little kids and see people they haven’t seen in forty-some years, they get me excited to,” Weber said. “It’s been a lot of work, but it will be very worthwhile.”