The *WeCaTon* - West Carrollton (Ohio) H.S. Alumni News (unofficial)
Tuesday, March 30, 2004
Date: 30 March 2004
Florida Fling, 2004
THE PRELUDE, Part 1
---Yep, I'm back! What a weekend! But before I get into that, I'm going to "clean up" all my previous e-mail and talk a bit about the "lead-in" to our spectacular weekend of fun in the Florida sun. I'll forewarn all of you that this series of write-ups are likely to be "frog-stranglers," so pull up a chair, grab your specs, and get your favorite beverage. That includes you, Larry Webster! I hear you're out there in Colorado, complaining about my e-mails. Say it isn't so! What did you expect, after marrying HARRIET Z. RICE, Class of 1960? Surely, you didn't think we would be leaving her alone forEVER, did you? As we're so fond of saying in "these here parts," just try to suck it up and pass this on to Harriet, okay? I'm going to be knocking on your door in July, probably, and you can "get even" with me, then. How's that, for something to anticipate? So, away we go, and I don't want to omit one detail or one person!
Right off the bat, I'm going to put in a huge and sincere thank-you, to each and every single one of you who took the time to send me birthday greetings. How terribly nice of you all! I was SO impressed with the collective thoughtfulness but totally unsurprised. We are, after all, WC folks and we're all bonded for life, like it or not. (Got that, Larry?)
Originally, I intended to list each and every greeting with a special thank-you acknowledgment. However, after they continued to roll in for days on end, I soon came to realize I would never be reasonably able to do that. I'm in contact with roughly a hundred of our alumni and it's all I can do to stay current now (even though I don't). So I'm in hopes that you will each know that I know who you are and that I remember each of you fondly for your very kind gesture in remembering my birthday, especially since it's one of those occasions we all like to forget, at this age, but hey, it beats the alternative.
In the days leading up to our Second Annual WC Florida Spring Fest, I would hit a lot of highs and lows. It was too fun, discovering daily the people who would be here from faraway points. But it was very disappointing, too, to hear of the ones who would not be here, after all. For instance, an awfully lot of folks were anticipating seeing ROBERT W. SMITH, Class of 1958, once again. He was making tentative plans to attend, but a work commit- ment would eventually preclude that.
However, I am given to understand that he met up in WC with his old classmate, WILLIAM R. HOWARD, while there on business. I didn't get that follow-up report, Bill and Smitty. How about telling us a little about that? In the meantime, Smitty says he'll be with us for sure, come next year. But WE all want you to be at the alumni dinner /dance, Smitty! So please don't omit that from your plans. It's our "crown jewel," event, after all. Rest assured that you were missed and fondly addressed, at Spring Fest, Smitty!
Yet another missed person was SALLY L. GILLETTE, Class of 1961. Several of your classmates were here, Sally. She was speaking tentatively of coming down with JANET L. WALTERS, also 1961, but the two of them had already recently made a trip to Florida, so it wasn't to be. But let's plan on next year, girls, hear? Also, we want to see you at the October event. Remember what fun we all had last year?
But I suppose the biggest crushing disappointment was to be that of finding out that neither DEVONA L. TAYLOR nor DONNA J. TUDOR would be coming down, after all. As most of you know, they were going to stay with me, but it didn't materialize. Donna decided she didn't want to use vacation time and Dee was getting unexpected, out-of-town company. To say that I was saddened by that news, would be an understatement. We expect you both to be with us, come next year as well as this October, hear? Boy, were you ever missed!
In addition to her birthday greeting, IDA JANE TREON, Class of 1960, sent along a newsy, but less-than-cheery, e-mail message on March 18, in which she informed that a lady named KATHY HUGHES CLENDENING had died on St. Valentine's Day. Ida thinks she was in the Class of 1970. She also took the time to inform me of the grave illness of ROSE MARIE KOKOT, Class of 1954. I think most of us will recall that she is the sister of both STEVEN M. KOKOT, Class of 1960, and also of LOIS KOKOT. (Lois, are you 1956? Please forgive me, gang! I'm sort of "winging it" on the class years. My gaggle of yearbooks are still loaded in my Excursion and I'm so "into" the writing, right now, I don't want to go and unload all of them. Please correct my errors. Thanks.)
Anyway, Steve and his wife, BARBARA O'NEIL, Class of 1962, attended Spring Fest, and we discussed Rose Marie then. There will be more later on that occasion, as we move through the events. Thanks, Ida, for letting us know about these things. I know we all appreciate it.
There were several one-liners from LAWRENCE E. "GENE" ZINK, Class of 1960, in which he wished us all a good time and said he'd like to join us. We all hope you are feeling much better, Gene. Hopefully, we'll get to see you soon at one of the gatherings. Gene has been very ill, folks, so let's all pull for a big improvement in his well- being and general health. In spite of his ailments, though, he continues to be devoted to his high school crush, SHIRLEY J. TUDOR, of whom he still speaks in glowing terms of adoration.
We were unable to coax our "WC computer guru," NANCY J. ERTEL, Class of 1961, to leave her "Land of Oz," out there in Kansas, but she does continue to work hard for us all, maintaining websites, posting photos, and keeping us all current on all things WC. We do so appreciate all your efforts, Nancy. She also sent us some very sad news, folks. We have lost yet another WC alumnus in the person of CARLOTTA ASHBURN, whose last name was Henry, upon her death. I do believe Carlotta was 1961. The message was sent to Nancy by Carlotta's husband and dated on March 28, stating she died at home. That's all the info we got. I know we all extend sympathy to Carlotta's survivors.
On a more cheery note, Nancy's request for "Rabbit Hash" brought about a barrage of responses, from both Bill Howard and EDNA L. GRAY, Class of 1961. We've determined that not only is Rabbit Hash an edible dish, but it's also a town in Kentucky. How about that? While I might be up to visiting Rabbit Hash, Kentucky, you may be sure that I will never knowingly EAT anything which is named Rabbit Hash. So there you have it. Between us all, I'll bet we can solve almost any question!
We all got a big bang out of your final e-mail, before Spring Fest, SANDRA L. BARSALOU, Class of 1958. Remember Sandy writing that we should all alert the folks in the restaurant about being with the WC group? Well, Bill Howard wrote back to Sandy, saying, "Just look for me, Sandy. I look exactly the same as I did when I graduated!" Sandy was concerned that none of us would recognize each other, after all these years. Can you even imagine that? But we all found each other. We used GARY L. WARLAUMONT, Class of 1960, as "the defining person" for locating the WC group. By the way, he DOES finally have at least a few wrinkles! (We won't discuss the location of those few wrinkles, though. Some things are better left to the imagination, right?)
The time was drawing nigh, I knew, on the day I got the e-mail from my dear friend, BRUCE E. CHENOWETH, Class of 1958, and he told me he wouldn't be on his e-mail for another two weeks, that he was leaving to come to Spring Fest. On the way, Bruce dropped by the home of Mike & Sally West in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, where they had supper together and a great visit. That's what it's all about!
Okay, so we can't all see each other as often as we may like. But we can all sure do what Bruce and Mike did. If you're near an area where there is a classmate you wish to visit, then make it a point to do it. Don't put it off! Do what they did, do what Smitty and Bill did, but do it!
Bruce sent me wonderful photos of the Ohio snow, telling me that's how it looked on my birthday. Ah, memories! Who knew they'd become so precious? JOHN MONTGOMERY, Class of 1961, sent special greetings to his classmates. You've got to be with us, come next year, John! Or better yet, be at the October event, hear?
From JUDITH FRANTZ, Class of 1961, came another sad note, even though she also sent me a terrific card for my birthday, in which she told me that EMERSON LUCAS died, a WC alumnus. Judy thinks he may be from the Class of 1963. Emerson died in mid-March and he had cancer. It's always so disconcerting to hear that one more of us has died, even if we don't know them. But thank you, Judy, for I know that some of us out there DID know Emerson and perhaps we wouldn't have known, if not for you.
From CAROLYN GILLETTE, Class of 1954, came a note of approval to return the precious yearbooks to her, which she so selflessly donated last year, now that I've got replacements. I haven't gotten around to that just yet, Carolyn, but please bear with me. I promise I'll get to it.
As the big day drew closer and closer, I got more and more e-mails from RONALD D. "TOM" FEE and from Bill Howard, both 1958, regarding the big golf outing, which was originally going to be the two of them and Bruce. But it didn't work out that way. That's another topic which will later be covered. For now, suffice to say a good time was had by all and it will be a long-rehashed WC event! Tom Fee made great efforts on this golf event and turned it into a really fun thing for all the WC participants. Many thanks, Tom!
Things were nicely falling into place when I got e-mail from Karen Walker, spouse of WILLIAM O. WALKER, Class of 1960, telling me they were already here in Florida and really looking forward to Spring Fest. Bill, you've always been among my most favored classmates and I was thrilled that you were attending. By the way, I'm also terribly fond of you, Karen!
Still hoping against hope, Mike West and I had several exchanges, but he was unable to attend for reasons of health and it's awfully tough to dispute that reason. Mike remains ill and we all hope for a great rebound for you, Mike. Please keep in touch with all of us.
Next came a great e-mail from DONNA RICHARDS, Class of 1961, and she was so excited, it was nothing short of infectious. So was I. We had all waited for this, for months and months. It was taking shape and starting to feel like it would be just as much fun as we all wanted. Little did I know! Also forthcoming was a request for an address and number for a high school sweetheart. I was only too happy to oblige and have promised not to make mention of names, but if anything occurs, one of the principals will be informing me, won't you?
SUE SOWERS, Class of 1958, checked in, but she and husband, DAVID HOWARD (also '58) wouldn't be with us for Spring Fest. We sure expect to see you both in October, though, and no excuses, hear? Unfortunately, it was the same story for CAROLE J. LEWIS, ERCELL P. PHILLIPS, and PAUL R. BEARDSLEY. Try as I might, I wasn't able to budge them down to Florida. Okay, you three, you'd better be there in October! Ditto for LARRY D. GILBERT and DALLAS K. MATHIS!
NICHOLAS P. WOLARY, Class of 1958, checked in with a note of nostalgia, telling me that the old Stragand's Market building is now a funeral home. I knew that, but I still recalled many trips into Stragand's, when I was a kid. I guess nothing stays the same.
CAROLYN SUE MCCLOUD, Class of 1960, stayed wonderfully in contact, as always, with notes and e-mail from spouse, John Mack, Jr., so we all knew we'd get to see the very glamorous Sue. Somehow, on my e-mail list, I've lost VERLA JEAN WARD, Class of 1960 (once removed), but I'll track her down again, never fear!
NANCY E. "COOKIE" BOWIE, Class of 1960, kept up a running and informative monologue, as we led up to our gathering. So I always knew she'd be there. She put in efforts to influence SHARON L. BORGER, Class of 1960, as did many people, jncluding MADELEINE D. CAMPBELL and Bruce, all to no avail. But more on that later, also. By the way, Cookie sent me a lovely spray of Washington daffodils, which are just gorgeous. How thoughtful and kind of you, Cookie! MARGIE LOU MILTON class of 1958, was also in contact, and said she couldn't get away. But we talked about you, Margie! I told you we would! Confirming attendance and meeting her commitment was LINDA L. MCAFEE, Class of 1957, and you look wonderful, Linda!
Also sending regrets were that great husband/wife team of LONNIE M. THACKER, Class of 1960 and also our class president, and LINDA J. SNELL, same class. We have a good chance of seeing them in October. We're all pulling for you two to be here, Lonnie and Linda. Do your very best. We talk about both of you, every time!
DELORES K. "DEDE" FAHRNEY, Class of 1960, was in touch, too, with the wonderful news that she would be bringing along two more WC folks, MARILYN DONALD- SON, Class of 1955 (once removed) and her sports- famous sibling, RICHARD A. FAHRNEY, Class of 1958, and football idol of GERALD A. FULLER, Class of 1960. DeDe had some extra surprises for us, too, and we will also address that in a later bulletin.
Both LINDA L. SHANK, Class of 1960, and GARY E. BARNES, Class of 1959, also sent regrets, but again, we expect to see you both in October! Linda was doing a little traveling with her grandson and Gary was just hanging around the gaming tables in Biloxi. We're much more fun, Gary! We expect to see YOU in October, too, GAIL DAUBENDICK, Class of 1961, and thank you for my "singing telegram," via the internet!
Although I made every effort to get her to attend, I wasn't able to make my sister come over with me, JUDY ANN RISNER, Class of 1956. I guess my invitation to my cousin, JUDY L. SAMUELS, Class of 1961, also didn't go much of anyplace, even though she told me she was going to attend. What happened, Judy?
Also confirming attendance were JAMES L. LINDSEY, Class of 1959, CAROLYN E. "TOOTIE" PENCE, Class of 1959, and CURTIS A. KEMP, Class of 1960. We sure did miss ALL of you and hoped all day that you'd walk through the door, darnit! What happened? Edna Gray had more or less told me she wouldn't come back down, as she'd been here in February. But we missed you, anyway, Edna, and hope to see you in October. But one of my favorite WC alumni, PATRICIA LYNNETT GARRETT, Class of 1961, assured me she'd show, and she did. Be sure to call me, the moment you come back to Florida, Lynn! Also sorely missed and fondly discussed was the wonderful EULA FAYE BAILEY, Class of 1960, who sent me lovely daisies on my 62nd birthday. We all just can't WAIT to see you again, come October, Eula Faye!
BERTHA J. HOERNER, (1957?) checked in and I knew she wouldn't be there. We talked about you, too, Bertha, and everyone wants to see you in October. There were also messages from DARELL L. TOBIAS, Class of 1958, and Darell committed to attend. He did, too, and says he's going to be in Ohio in October.
On the Monday prior to Spring Fest, Bruce arrived at my front door and was right here at the moment when my older daughter, son-in-law, and three grandsons pulled away for their new home in Colorado Springs. It was a sad day for me and my husband. We've finally stopped crying and are trying to adjust. They lived 3 doors from us for 13 years, though, and it's a real toughie. I was happy that Bruce was here, as it created a diversion for me and even happier for the Spring Fest timing, as it helped to pull me through, too. Bruce will re-arrive this afternoon, pick up his car, we'll have supper, and he'll be heading back to Ohio today, after a visit with his brother, who also lives in Florida.
CAROL ANN MUMMA, Class of 1961, and published author, let us know about her literary website and we all hope to see you, Carol, come October. Saving what just has to be best for last, I must tell that golf fanatic, "Tiger" Warlaumont, actually laid down his golf clubs for long enough to send me a birthday greeting AND to attend Spring Fest, at least in part. Fancy that!
So there's the prelude, folks, and now my typing fingers are thoroughly exhausted. It's going to be a couple of days, before I begin Part II, I believe, and that will cover the first night of Spring Fest, when we all met at the Orlando Ale House. I'll give you one, tiny hint in saying that we all had one hell of a time. Although I know you're disappointed, Larry Webster, you'll just have to wait on the next part, like everyone else. Ha! So I now leave you all, once again, with my usual wish for glowing health, great happiness, peaceful serenity, and boundless prosperity. Ciao!
---And there you have it! More at 11--- B