Incline High class of 1973 gathers for 40-year reunion

Andrea Phillips
Special to the Bonanza
The group gathered outside Bar Bar Bar on Saturday night. Back row: Kenny Poochoff and James Conkey. Middle row: Pete Meredith, Chad Faulkerson, Mr. Conkey, Ralph Lein, Andrea Phillips, Jan Shipstead, Molly Mollhagen and Scott Norris. Front row: Rahn Merrill and Tammy Kornmayer.
Photos courtesy Andrea Phillips |

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — This past Labor Day weekend, members of the Incline High School class of 1973 gathered at various locations throughout the community — including Bar Bar Bar, Ski Beach and the high school itself — to celebrate their 40-year reunion.

In this group of 1973 graduates, must of us came to Incline Village in the early 1960s, when it was a very small community with friendly neighbors and lots of snow.

Our class was the first to attend IHS from seventh grade through graduation at the “new” high school. Prior to this, the students were bused to Reno daily until the school was completed in 1968.

Mr. James Conkey was our science teacher at IHS for many years; we all took biology, chemistry and limnology (the study of fresh water; we were the only school to offer it at the time) classes.

When he came to the party, he brought his old grade books, and it was very entertaining to hear our grades. He was also the teacher who would take our class into the forest to smell the trees (they smell like vanilla). I think you had to be there to appreciate it.

We discussed how Incline Village has changed in the past 40-50 years. We all worked after school and during the summers at the Ponderosa Ranch, the Chessman, Ski Incline, King’s Castle and Eagle Thrifty. There was no rec center then — just the pool and bowling alley.

For PE, due to the heavy snows in the winter, the entire school was bused to Ski Incline (we know it now as Diamond Peak) at noon on Wednesdays for a free lesson and free skiing all afternoon. We also used the bowling alley for PE.

The entire weekend was just a group of friends for 50-plus years who grew up in an era and location that was fun, fantastic and surreal. We made a group decision to meet annually — before our age catches up with us.

The tales of Tahoe and old Incline Village just kept flowing — someone needs to write a book!

Andrea Phillips is a professional photographer and a member of the 1973 graduating class at Incline High School.

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