Friendships forged in high school during World War II were renewed and celebrated Saturday as more than two dozen members of the Roger Ludlowe High School Class of 1945 held their 70th class reunion.

“It was the best and worst of times as Charles Dickens used to say,” said Ken Williams, reunion chairman, who opened the program at Port 5 Naval Veterans Hall in Bridgeport by telling the assembled group, “If you remember the blacksmith shop, trolley cars and the Ritz Ballroom, you’re in the right place.”

Williams said anyone absent from Fairfield over the last seven decades would find their GPS useless in locating old landmarks. “Clampett’s Drug Store is now Victoria’s Secret, Gendron’s Ice Cream Parlor (is) now a tanning salon and (the old) Sherman School is a parking lot … A huge slice of life has melted into memories.”

They spent the afternoon reminiscing about places from mid-20th-Century Fairfield and memories during their high school days, sharing stories about life since they last saw each other and posing for photographs.

“It went by so fast, too fast. You shut your eyes and you wake up and you’re ten years older,” said Betty (Rowe) Mercurio of Fairfield, a member of the reunion committee.

In addition to a toast to the 28 classmates in attendance, they observed a moment of silence for the friends they have lost over the years. There were 219 in the Class of ’45. Now, fewer than 75 remain, one person said.

The hallmark of the Class of ’45 seemed to be humor, perhaps because of the seriousness of the war that dominated their high school years and the military service that awaited them after graduation. Len Sabia recalled being the first student to get a special diploma from Principal Harold Swafield. It was before the graduation ceremony. Sabia had left school in February of his senior year for basic training at Camp Pendleton in California.

Their humor was on display throughout the day as they poked fun at each other and at themselves.

“Do you want to help me up?” Bob Barnum jokingly asked Williams when the reunion chairman asked him to stand to speak to his classmates, as they all did.

“When do we start dancing on the tables?” Mercurio joked.

Adel (Daley) Thomas said, “I’m not only still living, I’m still living on the same street that I grew up on, South Pine Creek.”

The classmates were as free with the compliments as they were with the jokes.

Marion Queripel of Fairfield said she was proud that she recognized everybody. “You haven’t changed a bit … They all look good.”

“As soon as they smile you remember who they are … It was a good day,” commented Helen Greenwald, who was attending her first class reunion since the 50th gathering 20 years ago.

Susan (Fisher) Benton of Fairfield said classmate Pearl (Pollack) Strasser, also still a Fairfielder, was a star athlete and “she had smarts. She was quite the scholar. You were no slouch,” Benton told Strasser.

Someone else remembered that under the yearbook photo of Bill Skoog, now a Trumbull resident, it said “For a friend in need he’ll do a good deed.”

Strasser said she hadn’t seen some of the reunion attendees since graduation. Others have maintained life-long friendships despite geographic distance between them. Bob Sadowski, the class valedictorian who now lives in Skaneateles, N.Y.; Bob Waehler, now of Peabody, Mass., and Bob Bohman, of East Greenwich, R.I., sat together. Bohman got a bit emotional as he recalled the unusual circumstances of his daughter Mary Kate Bohman’s birth. Mary Kate, who was at the reunion, was born on the then-Connecticut Turnpike by Exit 18 in Westport as he was racing his wife to Norwalk Hospital decades ago.

Pete Stranko was attending his 18th out of the 19 reunions the class has held since graduation. He missed the first one in 1950 because he had re-enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1946 and was still serving.

First Selectman Michael Tetreau said he looks forward to his 45th class reunion Aug. 8 even more so having paid a visit to this group’s event. “Now I’m getting excited about mine,” he said.

A couple of people wondered if Saturday’s event would be their last reunion, but others said they are already looking forward to their 75th class reunion.

“See you in another five, God willing,” Carl Peterson told his classmates.