The *WeCaTon* - West Carrollton (Ohio) H.S. Alumni News (unofficial)
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
(from your humble editor: I have been unable to access the Blog manager for several months. Google changed the login requirements and I forgot the new password! Apologies-
Here are several of Bonnie's reports that remained unposted until today)
WECATON NEWS REPORT!!!--- (date uncertain)
Okay, I'm, "up and runnin," once again. I meant to get back sooner, but as I think I may have previously mentioned (at least a billion times, I guess) I'm still in the throes of placing and putting-away. I actually did get to the very last crate and/or box, on this very day. I thought I never would. So I'm taking a break and will treat myself to an interval of journalistic efforts.
Let's see, I believe our last installment ended with all of us still at Frisch's or was it the old Girl Scout House or where? I don't know, actually, but what stands out in my mind is the fact that I failed to mention one of the great reconnections of the night; that being, with two old golfing pals, 1960's THOMAS D. YOUNG and his crony, DAVID A. BLAIR. Earlier that day, I confess, I called Dave to tell him that Tom would be at Frisch's and I told him he was one of the people about whom Tom had specifically asked.
The two of them had a wonderful visit, apparent to all, and I understand they have also connected again, just since that time. Tom also visited with his WC golfing mentor, MURL E. HUFFMAN, I understand.
Also present was JOANN K. STEMLEY, looking just as vibrant as ever. (Please tell me you really were there, Jo, and that I'm not imagining this.) I'm also seeing (in my mind's eye) the presence of 1960's DOROTHY J. "DOTTIE" WILLMAN and her 1958 spouse, VINCENT A. BRODBECK. There was also W. BAILEY HAWKINS. Bailey, did I see a blip in the Miamisburg/West Carrollton News, during the past 2- 3 months, in which either one of your daughters was married or you had a new grandchild? It seems as though I did. By the way, folks, Bailey looks beyond wonderful! What's in your water, Bailey? I want some of that stuff.
Also, I want to be sure everyone knows about my wonderful dinner engagement of the previous night (Thursday). Did I tell you about this already? I'll bet. Anyway, we all went to the great Paragon Restaurant, with everything prearranged by my close pal, Bruce. In attendance, were 1960's MICHAEL S. WEST, who served as my escort, T. BARRY RUSSELLO and his 1959 spouse, BETSY R. MURPHY, Bruce's companion and 1971 class member, PATTY J. WHEELBARGER, 1960's GARY L. WARLAUMONT and wife, Jill, the ever-present-at-all-things-WC, 1960's GERALD A. FULLER, and his WC-honorary spouse, Becky. Among the no-shows, who were SUPPOSED to be there, was one more of my 1960 classmates CHARLES V. CARTER and wife Pam. However, they got the night confused and didn't make it. We shall not have THAT again!
Gary and Jerry continue to look as though they've just stepped off the pages of the 1960 Piratan. Of course, our fashion icons, the Russellos, continue to keep the bar high for us all. They appear to do this naturally, no effort at all. Betsy is glamorous and always groomed impeccably, while Barry could always be on the cover of the latest issue of GQ. I'm always thrilled to be in the company of so many youthful-looking people and I keep hoping I'll look that way, too. (Yeah, sure!) But it was a great evening and forgive me, if I've repeated myself. Hey, I warned you all! Again, I ask you all to remind me if you were at Frisch's or the Girl Scout House, and I missed your name. We surely want an accurate accounting of our festivities, don't we? You all have to help me with that, please. In the event I may have missed your name, please be assured that it doesn't mean I don't love you. It's just simply too long for this feeble brain to recall all the details, that's all.
Since my last, brief bulletin, we've had some more of our people sending forwardings, and I'm going to get that done right now. They include 1954's WILLIAM L. MCNABB; 1955's FREDA P. FLETCHER; 1958's WILLIAM R. HOWARD; 1959's GARY E. BARNES, BETSY R. MURPHY, 1958's ROBERT W. "SMITTY" SMITH; 1960's STEVEN M. KOKOT, the widow of 1960's RONALD P. CRAIG, (I always like to make intermittent mention of Ronnie. He was my dear, dear
friend and I want to be sure he's never forgotten), RICHARD S. HOLT, DAVID G. OTT; 1961's BARBARA J. TURNINGTON, SALLY L. GILLETTE,
SHARON K. WENDELKEN, NANCY J. ERTEL, SANDRA S. HOLLINGSWORTH, RICHARD C. CALL (via wife, Jean), BARBARA T. O'NEAL, 1963's SANDRA A. MINIX, and the more-recently-discovered, JOHN A COMBS, 1964. Thanks to all for maintaining contact.
Speaking of contact, we've "lost" a few of us. If you can help, please do so. We don't want to lose a one of us. It was too many years and too much effort, putting us all back together again. Among the missing are 1955's CARL R. MAYS, whose e-mail keeps being returned , 1957's BERTHA JAN HOERNER, (with the same problem, but only intermittently. What's up, Bertha?), 1957's THOMAS D. ELLIOTT and THERESA M. MOSES (does anyone have an update on them?) Also among the "lost" are 1956's CAROL ANNA PFISTER and spouse RONALD L. "PETE" BECKETT, but I'm reasonably sure they're being covered by Pete's sis, 1958's LINDA L. BECKETT. I have long ago lost 1960's RICHARD G. "JERRY" BROWN, so if anyone has an update on him, please let me know.
There is also DAVID C. SCHRADER, who I think is 1966. Everything to him is being rejected. Update, anyone, please? Anyone? Also covered by other alumni are 1958's JUDITH MARIE SMITH, covered by 1955's NORMAN E. JACKSON. There is also 1957's SARAH MARIE "JACKIE" MASON, whose 1956 sibling, ANITA RAE MASON, is keeping her posted. Obviously, we've also lost 1955's DONNA G. TUDOR, who always received her e-mail at WPAFB. But since she retired on December 31, that's been terminated. But I'm happy to report that she's being covered by sis, SHIRLEY J. TUDOR, of 1960, until she's back online at home. Wow! Every time I write that you have e-mail, Shirley, I just have to grin from ear to ear. I never thought I'd see the day. Ha!
Now, I'm going to do some reporting which is out of the chronological order of things, primarily so that I can get everything current and up to date, as I delete the e-mails, one name after another, once I record their input. It's so much easier than skipping around when we're this far in arrears. So once again, I ask your tolerance.
First of all, I will tell you (very regretfully) that I got only 5-6 responses to the bulletin on the 2007 WC Florida Spring Fest. All were of a negative nature, in regard to attending, this year. Obviously, this means there is little or no interest out there any longer, for this event. Hmmmm! I'm sure wondering why that is? We had about 40 of us in The Villages last year, and many of those came from out of state or traveled a long way within Florida, in order to attend. What's happened? I'm so mystified. Perhaps some of you can enlighten me. Of course, this means we aren't going to be able to have our event this year. Is this the end of it? Shall we move it? Should we just stop it? Input from all of you is needed, in order to make these many weighty decisions. Please register your candid opinion, and thank you. Okay, on to other matters. Lest I should overlook this, I want to be sure everyone knows that two positive responses DID reach me. Who were they? Well, need you ask? Of course, it was 1958's BRUCE E. CHENOWETH and 1960's GERALD A. FULLER. Who else? If it's got WC attached to it, I assure you, those two will be there, wherEVER!
As all of you are very well aware, severe tornadoes swept through Central Florida on February 2. I had a number of calls from a number of you, requesting info on the welfare of anyone named MAYS, who lived in the hard-hit area, The Villages. Those queries would include a special e-mail from Dave's classmate (and our official world traveler, I might add) ROBERTA A. RICE. I, too, was concerned about them. There were also inquiries for 1957's GARY D. MAYS, who lives in DeLand, which is in the same county from which I had just moved, Volusia.
So I set about trying to see what I could discover. Just like everyone else in the world (of WC), I dialed the home number of 1960's J. DAVID MAYS and wife, Ann. Of course, there was no success. Next, I tried their cell phone with the same result. I repeated this unsuccessful process with Gary's home number. At this point, I decided to try what I felt would just NEVER work---e-mail. But of course, it DID work. I soon had a reply from Ann, in which she confirmed that she and Dave were fine. The storms had come terribly near to them, but completely missed their place. At that time, their houseguests were fellow 1960 classmate and close friends, THOMAS L. WOLF, JR., and his wife, Susan (the very charming and glamorous Susan, I might add.) Everyone was safe.
On the very next day, Dave was able to get through on his cell phone, so he and I had a lengthy chat, in which he described having been awake around 3:20 a.m., and hearing a roaring sound. Of course, we all know now just what that was. Dave also told me that Gary was fine and he'd finally been able to contact him. I had similar concerns about a couple of other 1960 classmates in that area, namely CHARLOTTE LEE HUEY and MADELEINE D. CAMPBELL. I also knew that JOANN K. STEMLEY was roaming around the area somewhere. Dave, however, was able to tell me that the bad weather had missed the areas where Charlotte and Madeleine are located. Later, on that same day, I got a call from Jo Ann, so we knew she was okay, too.
Ann also provided info which was unrelated to the storms. She wrote that The Villages continues to be a paradise for her and Dave. She also wrote that 1960 classmate, DANNY L. WALTERS, will be spending a couple of months in The Villages with wife Phyllis, and their houseguests will be newlyweds (August of 2006) 1960's CHARLES A. "BUD" LOWMAN III and his 1961 spouse, SALLY L. GILLETTE. I'm told that yet one more 1960 classmate, LARRY M. PENDLEY (aka, "my first husband") and wife, Judi, may also join the crew there.
Dave and Ann took a trip to Key West in January, with friends from Dayton. So how did that go, Ann? I've been to Key West many times. It's ever-entertaining and a truly great place, that's for sure.
Quite coincidentally, I had a call on the same day as Dave and I chatted, right after the storms, from my old friend and classmate, CHARLES A. HIGH, JR. He's a fellow Miami Shores Kid. Charlie and I go back to the beginning of time, it seems. He's having quite a tough time, still. He's got continuing heart problems, needs yet another surgery, and is still trying to care for his ill wife, all on his own. She is a stroke victim and is also wheelchair-bound. To his credit, and no surprise to me, Charlie is devoted to her and determined to see to her care. As admirable as that is, I can't help but think he may be taking on a bit too much, due to his own condition. So let's all keep Charlie in our good thoughts and prayers.
Many thanks to 1963's ANNA MAE STOKES who has delivered another alumnus to us, in the person of her classmate, BARBARA L. CRIDER. So welcome aboard, Barbara! Barb's sister, LORETTA, was a pretty good pal of mine in school. We'd sure like to have your older sis on board, too, Barbara. Do you have her e-mail address, by chance?
E-mails have been frequent of late, between me and 1954's JO ANNE MCCLURE. It seems she's trying to sell her Florida home, so if anyone is interested, be sure to contact me and I'll put you in contact. She is also thinking of moving elsewhere, as I have done. I wish you good luck with that, Jo Anne.
Toward the end of November, I got a cordial e-mail from T. BARRY RUSSELLO, in which he indicated that he and spouse, BETSY R. MURPHY, aren't receiving the bulletins. Since that time, I've gotten Betsy's home e-mail and so I'm sending the bulletins to that address, hoping for greater success. Betsy, keep me posted, okay?
Also, I heard from Betsy. But the news was not good. She reported that her niece, 1961's OTHEL MURPHY (current last name, McQuistion), is quite ill. I was truly distressed to hear of Othel's illness. During the first week of February, Othel suffered a very major heart attack and may have also had a stroke at the same time. She is comatose (at this writing) and Betsy reports that they don't know if she will emerge or not. She has sent the following address, if any of you wish to send a card to her. Betsy reads things to her. We don't know, you know, if people who are comatose can hear or not. So if you're inclined to do so, please send a card to Othel Murphy McQuistion, Sycamore Life Care Center, Room 4004, Bed 2, 2150 Leiter Road, Miamisburg, Ohio 45342. Better yet, go and visit her. I know we all wish only the very best for her and a speedy and full recovery.
We have a couple of other alumnus who are currently experiencing some health problems, too. Recently, I got an e-mail from 1958's WILLIAM R. HOWARD, in which he sent an update on the status of RICHARD L. SCHINDLER, his classmate. It was forwarded to him by another classmate, RICHARD LEE JOHNSON. It sounds as though we all need to also keep Dick in our good thoughts and prayers. He has cancer and he's undergoing in-depth treatments. He's feeling badly, as we can well imagine, an awfully lot of the time. We all want you to be well again, Dick, so hang in there!
In an ironic note, not longer after Bill sent me a report on Dick, he also had to go into the hospital to have a cancer operation. I'm given to understand that Bill is fighting prostate cancer. He had two procedures the week of February 19, and is currently at home (I do believe) recuperating. This news came to me in the strictest confidence, from RONALD D. "TOM" FEE, or else I'd have shared it sooner. But Tom gave me the go-ahead, just the other day. So let's pull for all our people who are ill and under the weather. We all want all of them to pull through with flying colors. If you are so inclined, send cards, e-mail, or call. Let's let them know we're thinking of them, okay? By the way, Tom was also one of those on the long list, who made inquiry about the welfare of the Mayses, when the bad storms hit Florida.
Now, let's back up a bit and get to the annual alumni dinner/dance. What a gig! It was truly spectacular and if you missed it, I surely hope you won't make that mistake again, come next year. Our people who do all that work on the alumni committee are nothing less than awesome! I think I've got this right when I name 1970's THOMAS A. DORSEY, 1964's STEVEN F. SHADE, 1958's K. JUNE CRUTCHFIELD (and might I add that her position gives us the benefit of the work of her spouse, also 1958, JAMES E. RICHARDSON), and 1948's JACQUELYN A. CRITZER. I know there are others who deserve recognition, but I don't know who they are. However, I do know that all the people I have mentioned deserve a slug of credit. So thank you all, on behalf of all of us.
The festivities began at 6 that night, and many people were there, very early, with everyone obviously excited -ly anticipating another great evening of nostalgia and getting reconnected with old friends. What fun it was!
I would see many familiar and beloved faces and had great visits with all of them (or at least as many as I possibly could.)
The spotlight class of the evening, as I'd previously written, was 1956, of which my sister, JUDY ANN RISNER, is a member. I'm not quite sure now, but I do believe they had numbers in the 30s, representing their class. If any of you 1956 people are reading this, please tell me if that's right or wrong. Every member was announced by Tom Dorsey, as they celebrated the 50th anniversary of their graduation. They'd also shared a nice meal, just their class members, on the previous night.
My class (1960) and the class to which I've come to refer as, "our sister class," (1961) were also heavily represented. My best recall of the 1960 people includes SHIRLEY J. TUDOR, THOMAS L. WOLF, JR., EDGARD L. KELLY, CHARLES V. CARTER, DOUGLAS A. RENAS, GARY D. RICHARDS, DAVID G. OTT, CHARLES A. "BUD" LOWMAN III, LARRY M. PENDLEY, T. BARRY RUSSELLO, DOROTHY J. "DOTTIE" WILLMAN. There may have been others. Please let me know, if you were there.
From 1961, somewhere on that weekend (probably at the alumni dinner, but maybe the previous night), I can recall seeing ROBERT W. BRANE, SANDRA J. CASEY, THOMAS D. WELLER, CHRIS L. CLEARY, JAMES E. CURTIS, MICHAEL R. FORSYTH, JACK L. GODBY, EDNA L. GRAY, RICHARD E. KNEER,
JACQUELYN N. LESHER, CAROLE J. LEWIS, P. LYNNETTE GARRETT, JOHN L. MONTGOMERY, CAROL A. MUMMA, DONNA J. RICHARDS, JANET L. WALTERS, PAULA R. WILSON. That class nearly always has a great turnout for all things WC.
For some reason, though, the 1959 class always has a very sparse turnout, and no one seems to know why. But we know we can always count on seeing GARY E. BARNES and BETSY R. MURPHY. So that's a plus.
From 1957, we saw DARELL L. TOBIAS, LOIS M. KOKOT, and SARAH MARIE "JACKIE" MASON. I hadn't seen Jackie in years and she looked positively smashing. In our youth, Jackie, and her 1956 sister, ANITA RAE MASON, had been our neighbors, and my sister and I spent many an hour with Jackie and Anita, in our childhood. It was great to see both of them again.
No one can work the crowd the way teacher, MURL E. HUFFMAN can, though, and on this night, he did not disappoint. His legacy continued as he held court all over the room, recalling one name after another, and recounting incident after incident, to an attentive and spellbound audience. His degree of accuracy is simply astounding, in view of the fact that some of the occurrences took place decades ago. I'm sure I can speak for us all, when I write that we hope to see him at each and every WC event!
Without a doubt, though, the highlight of the evening just had to be the fabulous entrance of my long-lost, 1960 classmate, EDGAR L. "EDDIE" KELLY. He called me on my cell phone to tell me he was on the way. He was greeted in the parking lot by two of the finest of the 1961 class, PAULA R. WILSON and her joined-at-the-hip, lifelong best friend, DONNA JEAN RICHARDS. What an entry they made! Even after 46 years-plus, Eddie still had, "it." He was still the cool guy, the hip guy, who could take down the whole room without saying a word, just like he so often did in high school. He still had the old swagger.
With Paula on one arm and Donna on the other, into the big ballroom he came. Now picture this. He was wearing the full regalia of an Irish kilt. Eddie takes pride in his Irish heritage and, of course, such dress is considered the same as a military uniform, thereby acceptable attire at any function. He had it perfect, from head to toe.
There was the tam, tilted precisely ajar atop his head. Next came the puff-sleeved shirt (shades of a Jerry Seinfeld episode) with the lacing at the neck. Yes, he had a shillelagh, too. Then, there was the huge belt (sorry, Eddie, I don't know the right name for that) with the pouch in front. Of course, there was the fabulous kilt, itself, perfectly crafted with precisely-hanging pleats and made of top-quality pure wool, the knee socks, and the hiking shoes. He surely presented a positively spectacular sight. All heads turned, as he walked through the crowd.
As the evening went into full swing, Eddie and Paula hit the dance floor together. He said he had to be careful as he made the turns and dips, as he didn't want to, "flash anyone." So does that answer the age-old question, "What do they wear under those kilts, anyway?" Ha! Paula didn't have quite enough, I guess, for very soon, we looked over and saw her atop the table, still dancing, to the sound of cheers and whistles and clapping. Way to go, Paula!
Eddie had a long visit with former teacher, DAVID E. COLLINS, who displayed obvious delight with being reunited with Eddie. Of course, Mr. C. was in the company of his vibrant and gorgeous spouse, the 1961 homecoming queen, CHRIS L. CLEARY, who somehow manages never to age. Eddie also got in a visit with another of his close school pals in 1962's RICHARD C. CALL, who made a special effort to drop by and see Eddie. I saw a lot of smiling and laughing, as the two of them sat together, for the first time in over 46 years. It was truly an evening of rich rewards and Eddie had a circus. He later saw his old high school girlfriend, DIANA J. MILTON, who has suffered some health problems of her own. We hope she is doing better by now, and faring well. Eddie and I got to visit a lot and he sent me a cordial and wonderful e-mail, upon his return home to his wife, Marilyn, in Nampa, Idaho. We sure look forward to seeing you again this October in Ohio, Eddie! You, too, Marilyn!
Also actively courting the room were 1957's DARELL L. TOBIAS, looking always-dashing, suave, and of course, impeccably groomed. Giving him a run for his money was 1958's ever-present-at-all-functions-WC, BRUCE E. CHENOWETH. However, conspicuously absent, for perhaps the first time ever, was anyone named MAYS, except for WILLMA. I'm sorry, Willma, I don't know your class year, right off the top of my head. Where were you, DAVE or DOUG or GARY or CARL or SCOTT or DANNY? (Boy, I sure hope I got all those names right! Did I, Dave? In any case, you know my heart is in the right place.) But we sure did miss all of you. A gathering of WC folks with none of the Mays brothers (or sisters) present---well, it's just not quite, "right," now is it? However, we ARE thrilled that YOU were there, Willma! You "saved" the family.
Across the room, the spotlight class of 1956 were all engaged in animated conversation for the entire time the function lasted. It was obvious they were enjoying each other immensely. The long-traveled SUSAN M. MASON looked youthful and fit and her glowing smile had survived the years. Spouses CAROL ANNA PFISTER and R. L. "PETE" BECKETT, who came all the way from Alaska, were also making the rounds.
In close proximity sat 1955's NORMAN E. JACKSON with wife Nancy. He shared much of his time with the beautiful JUDITH MARIE SMITH of 1958, as they got current on the passing of the years. Judy had also traveled quite a ways to be there. She and Norm both looked wonderful, too.
Since I've made mention of Norm, I want to tell all of you that it just so happens that he and wife Nancy were the very first WC visitors I had, in my Tennessee home. On this very day, (it's now Monday, March 5) they came to visit us, as they were on their way home from a trip to Florida and parts far and wide, visiting family and friends. I took them through our house, on the old, "ten-cent tour," and then we all took a trip to the nearby Perkins (a big favorite of mine AND the Youngs) for lunch and some quality chatting and many reminiscences. Our grandson was with us, too, and the Jacksons treated us all. I tried hard to get them to spend the night (or as long as they wanted, for that matter) but they said they had to return home to care for Norm's elderly mother. It was a wonderful visit, though, and many thanks to you both for stopping on your way home.
Okay, so let's get back to the alumni dinner report.
DENNIS A . MICHAEL (1956 and he always comes up from Florida, as I once did) and classmate RALPH D. WILSON were also having a great time. About six weeks after our function, Dennis wrote to say that he and his wife were ensconced in their new Florida home and truly enjoying life again. Great, Dennis! We all look forward to seeing you in Ohio again, come this October.
Soon, I was in the hallway, and there were a few of my own classmates, blocking the traffic flow, so I joined them. It was those newlyweds, 1960's CHARLES A. LOWMAN III (aka Bud) and his 1961 spouse SALLY L. GILLETTE, in the company of, "my first husband," 1960's LARRY M. PENDLEY and wife Judi. Soon, our fashion icons appeared, T. BARRY RUSSELLO (1960) and 1959's BETSY R. MURPHY. This was all just TOO fun! But the fact is, it was also all just too physcially-exhausting for this old bag of bones. So I finally reluctantly made my way back to my temporary digs, and I must confess, I was quite disappointed at the rapid pace with which my stamina had dissipated, since I really wanted to spend more time there than I did. I know I've missed a lot of names, and would truly SO much appreciate it, if all of you would write and tell me what functions you attended, and let me know if your name isn't in here. As I've previously written, we want to have some accurate records of our functions, right? So help me out!
Our alumni weekend was concluded all too quickly and I found myself back on the road to my Florida home, of course, little suspecting that it would be the very last time I'd ever make the trek from Florida. Messages came pouring in on my e-mail, afterward, and everyone was elated that they'd once again seen all their old WC pals, as was I. We had missed 1960 's MICHAEL S. WEST at the dinner, but I knew there would be a valid reason for that and he did write to tell me that he'd had to return unexpectedly to Gatlinburg, his home. I had tried repeatedly to call him, as had Bruce. So we were glad to know he was all right, when he finally did reach one of us (I've forgotten which one.)
Just days later, I got a great e-mail from Eddie Kelly, which he entitled, "On Cloud Nine," and he proceeded to give me ALL the credit for putting him there. Now, that was flattering, to say the least, but certainly not altogether true. However, I certainly loved reading it and was once again thrilled that Eddie had made the effort to come all the way from Idaho. I'll forever have wonderful memories of his entry in that kilt outfit!
Also missed on that weekend was 1954's WILLIAM L. MCNABB, whose moniker is surely one of the most historic in the annals (and hallways) of WC. But he said the addition on his house hadn't been completed until October 27. Well, you were surely missed, Bill. He recently sent me a news clipping from 1950, and it was about the Miami Shores flood that year, which I vividly recall. I thank you much for that, Bill! He also copied a couple of my old Piratans and returned them to me, and it was the very least I could do, after what he'd done for me, a little more than 2 years ago. He sat, hour after hour, transmitting to me, all the pages of the early editions of what was then the WeCaTon. I was very happy to be able to return the favor.
Another, well-remembered Miami Shores Kid, 1954's FREDA P. FLETCHER, also didn't make it, and I had very much wanted to spend some time talking with her about the good, ol' days. Freda, you've just got to get to these things, "don't'cha know!"
A gracious thanks arrived from 1956's SUSAN M. MASON, who had long since returned to her home in California. We hope it won't be another 50 years until we see that gorgeous face, Susan!
Very soon, it was time to begin working on our 2006 WC Florida Holiday Brunch, which is always held at the Dixie Crossroads in Titusville. While this is not a heavily-attended event, historically, it is nevertheless one of my favorites. The smaller crowd allows for lots of quality visiting. It fell on December 2 and I knew by this time that it would be my final one, as a permanent resident of Florida, for my house had sold during the previous month. Immediately afterward, I hit the road to Tennessee, where I wound up buying this house!
As I recall, we had 14 people in attendance. Not bad, not bad. In addition to myself, there was BRUCE E. CHENOWETH (1958), RICHARD E. KNEER (1961), GERALD A. FULLER (1960) and WC-honorary wife Becky, ROBERTA A. RICE (1960), DAVID G. OTT (1960) with his 1963 spouse,SANDRA A. MINIX, RONALD D. "TOM" FEE and wife Sandy, CURTIS A. KEMP and spouse Maria, 1960 's JOANN K. STEMLEY and spouse Ron Hall, and I know this is only 13 people. I'll SWEAR there were 14 of us. I'm so mad at myself for not being able to recall the other name. So once again, I ask for you to write me back and tell me who you were. I've called Bruce, and he can't remember, either. As I type, I'm calling Jerry Fuller. Thank God for Becky, who gave me one more name. My next call will be Tom Fee. Alas! He didn't remember who the 14th person was, either. I tried you, Curt, and there was no answer. Roberta, why don't I have your home phone number? But the 13 of us, as well as that 14th person, had a rousing good time, of that you may be sure.
If I enumerated each and every e-mail from Mike West during the period when I was planning my move from Florida, we'd be here all day, and I've already been on this bulletin for a week. Suffice to say that hell will surely freeze over, before I can ever repay him and Sally for all the help they gave me, as I was planning to migrate north. So that took up a huge amount of time, and was worth each and every minute. Mike and Sally are in the admirable business of saving homeless dogs and being sort of, "foster parents," to them, much the same as 1960's THOMAS D. YOUNG and wife Sandi. The Youngs take care of both dogs AND cats, although it is in a somewhat different type of environment than that of the Wests.
With joy, I will announce to you all that my new agent for my homeowners insurance is 1958's DONALD I. MCCOY, who is not only a fellow alumnus but also a fellow Miami Shores Kid. So I feel that I now truly AM, "in good hands," and that I have a good neighbor who really IS there! As soon as I change the vehicle records, he'll be doing that, too. If any of you are in the market for any insurance, I urge you to contact one of our own. Don owns the Insurance Store of Ohio, in Middletown. Thanks for the great job, Don!
Warmest good wishes were extended to me, upon the occasion of my move to Tennessee, by both Mike and Don. But there were many others, too. Among them were 1958's NICHOLAS P. WOLARY (who is also a recent Tennessee transplant), 1963's SHIRLEY A. RANKIN (another Tennessee resident), 1961's JAMES E. CURTIS (yes, he lives in Tennessee, too), NANCY J. ERTEL, JUDY M. FRANTZ, JACK L. GODBY (do ANY of us NOT love Jack!!), 1960's EULA FAYE BAILEY (who has 200 cousins here in Kingsport, she writes), LINDA J. SNELL, LONNIE M. THACKER, and ROBERTA A. RICE, 1955's FREDA P. FLETCHER (still in Florida) and NORMAN E. JACKSON, 1957's DARELL L. TOBIAS, SHIRLEY ANN HILE, 1961's SALLY L. GILLETTE and 1960 spouse, CHARLES A. "BUD" LOWMAN, 1985's M. CYNTHEA POTEET, 1971's PAMELA K. SHIPLEY, 1954's WILLIAM L. MCNABB, 1960's DAVID G. OTT and 1963 spouse, SANDRA A. MINIX,1959's DIANA SUE RAY (also a Tennessee resident), 1960's DAVID A. BLAIR, and here's a good one for you you. I actually finally heard from 1958's (wait, is it 1957?) LINDA L. MCAFEE. Yep, she wrote me an e-mail about Tennessee, as her mother lives there. But I haven't heard from her since. Are you there, Linda?
In a very ironic twist, I got a long and interesting e-mail from 1971's PAMELA K. SHIPLEY, in which she gave me a long description (much-appreciated, I might add), and informed me that the place which is now my home, Kingsport, just happens to be her hometown! So come on down, Pam, and show me around!
I even got a wonderful e-mail about the state of Tennessee on November 22, from the late SANDRA L. BARSALOU, 1958, whose mother had lived here for years. Sandy died, not long afterward.
We did have some losses, as it seems we always do, with each passing year. Not only was there Sandy, but we also lost teacher DOROTHY BANKER, who was with WC for 26 years. I remember her well and I thank 1958's DAVID L. HOWARD, for letting us all know of this. Dave wrote that Mrs. Banker was 100 years old, when she died, and also that her funeral service was conducted by former student, 1956's GWINN LACEY. Mrs. Banker spent 23 of those years at my former elementary school, C. F. Holliday, and it is also the school from which my classmate, Dave Mays, retired as the principal. We also lost another teacher, ROBERT DITTMAN, whom I did not know, but I know many of you did. Thanks for this one goes
to 1960's DAVID G. OTT . From 1961's SALLY L. GILLETTE came news of the passing of 1953's PATTI PRICE. I remember her well. She died during the first week of February. Thanks, Sally.
We also lost an extremely popular WC alumnus in the person of 1958's HERBERT GATES. I was very sorry to hear of Herb's death. He was a truly nice person, kind and polite and personable. I know all of us were pleased that Herb joined us at the alumni dinner about 2003, I think it was. It was good to see him. Thanks to 1961's DONNA JEAN RICHARDS for sharing this with us.
We also lost the 1930 class valedictorian, ERMA JANE TREON, on March 1. She was in a hospice care center in Sun City, Arizona. She was 94 years and 9 months old. I want to give a few lines to the late
Mrs. McClellan. Not only was she a WC valedictorian, but she bore the WC-famous Treon name. She was born on May 1, 1912, in the home of her parents at 9 East Main Street, WC. That home still stands on that spot. Mrs. McClellan attended Miami-Jacobs Junior College and also worked at Frigidaire. She was also a server and cafeteria worker at WC schools, until the 1970s, when she retired. Naturally, WC's Swart Funeral Home handled her arrangements. She will be laid to rest beside her husband of 52 years, Robert McClellan. This information came to us from 1966's JOHN E. MCCLELLAN, her son. Many thanks, John, and we all offer sincerest condolences for your loss.
Lest I should forget, by the way, I want to thank those who sent info about Sandy Barsalou, upon her death. They include 1960's RICHARD S. HOLT, JANE GEBHART (what year, Jane?), 1959's GARY E. BARNES (who is always so generous with his kind words), 1961's SHARON K. WENDELKEN, and 1960's DANNY L. WALTERS.
E-mails have been rapidly flying back and forth from cousin JUDITH L. SAMUELS. She and husband, Bill Van Cleef, remain in their Holly Hill home. I'm trying to coax them into moving up here, too, since it's so very inexpensive to live here. However, they pretty much
run an Eagles Lodge in Holly Hill and are very rooted there, so I don't think I'm going to be able to uproot them, but we will be having a visit from them, some-
time in May, she tells me.
Let me back up to the month of December for a bit. I didn't get much Christmas spirit, obviously, as I was up to my ears in packing for my move. But I got a few wondrous and welcome messages from SO very many of you, and I want to thank you for each and every single one of them. One of those people was teacher, MURL E. HUFFMAN.
Of course, his December 29 birthday served as our WC-most-significant-event of December. That same birthday is shared by 1960's BOYD H. JENKINS. You
are in good company, Boyd, and where are you?
Mr. H. turned 88 and makes no secret of his age. Neither would I, if I were like he is, at 88! Actually, I don't, anyway. It's a wasted effort, amongst those with whom we attended school, right? We all know each others' secrets. Ha! Many of you sent requests about Mr. H.'s birthday. They include 1955's DONNA G. TUDOR, 1956's SUSAN M. MASON, 1958's DONALD I. MCCOY, 1963's SHIRLEY RANKIN, and many others.
It was also in December that 1961's P. LYNNETTE GARRET would make her final visit to Florida, while I was a resident there. She was accompanied by her spouse, Frank Hawvermale (my not-so-secret crush, as you all know.) I had hoped to get in a visit with Lynn, but it just didn't come together that time. She was caring for her ill mother and I was moving my life to another state. But we did get to chat few times. Lynn, I'm going to resume our calls, as soon as I can get a breath. I'm slowly getting current. Please be patient. By the way, Lynn did report that she had seen 1959's DAVID PIERCE in November and that he looks great. Well, don't we ALL? There was some- thing in the water in WC, during those days.
We also experienced a bit of old-fashioned WC nostalgia, during the holiday season. For instance, I got an e-mail from 1971's PAMELA K. SHIPLEY, in which she asked if we'd ever had school colors of red and cream, rather than our red and black. So I set about doing all the research I could, but wasn't able to uncover any colors but red and black. We've got some true WC history experts among our readers, so I know one of them will know for sure. How about it, gang? Does anyone know for sure?
Also during this period, I received a wonderful e-mail from 1967's MARY J. CONDON. I may have already let you all know that she made my entire year, by sending me a couple of very old WeCaTons (original), and she even has others which she is sending me,
when she gets around to it. What a thrill! Many thanks, Mary Jo!
From 1961's LARRY D. GILBERT came a great story of our, "good, ol' days," in Miami Shores. I just love hearing all of those and thanks for a great one, Larry. I have such good memories of all those times. I think you sort of, "had to be there," as so many of us were.
You will all remember that I asked you if you have an e-mail address for 1957's THERESA M. MOSES and THOMAS D. ELLIOTT, right? Well, I got an e-mail from them on November 22. It reflects the exact same e-mail address I have. Yet things are returned. So if someone knows it, please send me confirmation. We had a couple of e-mail changes, too, during this long period of my absence from the bulletins. Included in that group is 1965's ROBERT E. HALLER and his 1967 spouse, MARY J. CONDON. There is also 1960's MONTY ESTEP and 1963 spouse BEVERLY J. WALKER. So if any of you are not up to date on these alumni, please let me know. By the way, Mary and her husband have experienced some severe losses over the past year, with illnesses and family members, so let me say, Mary, we all wish a better year for you in 2007, okay?
At the beginning of the year, I got numerous, warm greetings, regarding my final time in Florida. One of them came from 1959's JAMES L. LINDSEY. Also, during the holiday season, I got a wonderful card from class president LONNIE M. THACKER and spouse LINDA J. SNELL. In that card was a simply fabulous photo of the two of them. Believe me when I tell you that both of them are keeping up the grand tradition of good-looking WC alumni. Lonnie and Linda, you both look simply wonderful. Please do come back to Ohio in October, so that we can all see you!
My 1960 classmate, JUDITH ANN SLIFE, awaits the birth of her next grandchild, sometime toward the end of this month (March). Judy is a resident of the Dayton suburb of Englewood, where my sister lives. We've yet to pry you out of the house for a WC function, Judy, but I keep hoping, and I'm SURE going to keep trying. After all, you can't avoid us forEVER, can you?
Before I forget, I'm going to do an advance apology to those who are not taking e-mails (out of town or what- ever the reason), when I send this. You see, I've now got over 400 alumni on my list. It's an impossibility, as you can well imagine, for me to weed through a list of that length, and weed out just two or three names, so they don't receive the bulletin. So please forgive me, if you are inconvenienced by the receipt of a bulletin at a time when you didn't want it to arrive.
SHIRLEY ANN HILE (1957) and I have been sending messages back and forth about the joys of living in the beautiful state of Tennessee. I told her I finally did get my first electric bill, which was $31.77 (yes, it's $31.77, no mistake). Of that bill, $20 was the sign-up charge for a new subscriber. So all I can say is, "God bless Theodore Roosevelt and the TVA." The period covered by the actual charge of $11.77ranged from January 9 through February 8. In this day and age, it is nearly impossible to believe that, isn't it?
From 1961's SHARON K. WENDELKEN came a report on her classmate, NORBERT I. "BUDDY" BUNN. She wrote that Buddy is a minister in a church in Illinois. She and Buddy were an item when they were juniors. She also recalled that he served as the toastmaster for the junior-senior prom one year. His wife is also a minister.
Our continuing RV travelers are doing well. They are 1960's GERALD A. FULLER and WILLIAM O. WALKER, who both criss-cross the U.S. in their big RVs. By the way, they share the same birthday of Setpember 22, 1942. They are accompanied, of course, by the their respective, WC-honorary spouses who love that lifestyle, Becky and Karen. They are both safe and well and that's the most important. I keep hoping to see one or both of them come into my driveway, which is about 120' long, so I can host both RVs at once, if need be. Hey, I'm in the county and on unrestricted ground, so you can stay as long as you want, no hassles! Bill and Karen are renovating a house right now. It's inTexas. They lived there for years and their son is still there.
We had notes from a few people who were trying to contact other WC alumni. That's always good to hear. For instance, 1960's DANNY L. WALTERS asked me how to reach classmate, EUGENE GRAY. I didn't know, but I did put him in touch with Gene's cousin, 1961's EDNA L. GRAY. I haven't yet heard a follow- up on that, Dan. How did it go? Did you find Gene? Edna, WHERE have you been?
Also trying to locate her 1962 classmate, was SUE L. SPEELMAN. She wanted to contact MARTHA J. CARTER, younger sister of 1960's CHARLES V. CARTER. I was heartbroken to have to tell her that Martha died very tragically, many years ago. So we weren't able to get a happy ending on that one. Sue had lived directly across the street from Martha and Charles on South Moraine Blvd, right behind the old Indian River Fruit Market. Other attempts at contact included 1958's RICHARD L. JOHNSON, who asked for an e-mail on 1957's BETTY J. HAMILTON. Hey, that's what we do best---put people together. I was only too happy to oblige!
Not long after the alumni dinner, I got a long call from 1957's MICHAEL D. SMITH and we chatted for quite a spell. He went on at length about how great Jackie Mason looked. I think I mentioned that, earlier. Then, he had 1955's NORMAN E. JACKSON send me his name and phone number. I think we'll be seeing Mike again, at future functions.
Okay, now pay attention, especially you folks in the 1961 class. It seems that CAROL A. MUMMA took a lot of photos at your 45th class reunion. I've been asked by NANCY J. ERTEL to include the website in this bulletin, so that you can all see them. Lord knows I hope I get this right. I'm not always so very good at this sort of thing. But here goes:
( http://freepages.school-alumni.rootsweb.com/~vlwest/ ) Wow, that's a long one, isn't it? Have at it!
We heard from 1961's RICHARD E. KNEER, via his wife, Becky, who wrote that she doesn't think Dick would ever be able to stand cold weather anymore. I had spoken to Dick, at the holiday brunch. He did say he hates the cold now.
DARELL L. TOBIAS reported that he's spent time with his son in Tampa, over the Thanksgiving holiday. He returned soon after to his Franklin, NC. home. He isn't very far from where I now live. I'll have to get down there for a visit.
There are a few alumni among us, upon who we can always depend, to keep us up to date on the newest
buzz and happenings in WC. Among those are 1960 s THOMAS L. WOLF, JR., and 1959's GARY E. BARNES. They did not disappoint. Tom wrote me on November 18, to report the sale of the Woody's Market building. A place called Taste of Elegance will be there. I understand it's quite an upscale bakery and that some of the people involved were once the bakers in Woody's Bakery. How fitting! Thanks for that, Tom. Now, listen! I'm still expecting GARY E. BARNES, WILLIAM R. HOWARD, and anyone who can, to "get me a piece of Woody's," when it's razed. You, RICHARD G. DENNY, remain on standby, to get them out of jail and represent them, pro bono. Okay, is everyone sitting on ready? Oh, and BRUCE E. CHENOWETH is standing at the ready to supervise the operation.
Gary's news was that the Lions Club has sold the old Girl Scout House, which broke my heart. They surely aren't really going to tear it down!?!? I'm appalled by that. That building has great WC history. Tom Wolf, you must stop this insanity! In the interim, though, Gary and wife Pat were going to Florida. While there, they were going to be visiting 1958's JAMES E. KECKLER and wife Janet. Did you have a safe trip and how did it go?
After moving to Tennessee, I received a wordy and wonderful e-mail from CURTIS A. KEMP. I hope to see him in my driveway soon, for a visit in his RV. Do come on up here, Curt. You'll love it, too! A call came in from 1957's ERCELL P. PHILLIPS. It's the 50th for his class and he needs Piratans. I was able to help him with a 1954 and a 1956. But those1957s are so scarce and I sold the last one, a couple of years ago to WILLIAM R. HOWARD, so I told Ercell to call you, Bill, thinking you might lend it to him. Good luck with that, Ercell. I sent out your 1954 and 1956 in the Monday mail, via media mail rate.
When I was returning from Tennessee in December, after buying my house, I stopped at the mountainside chalet of MICHAEL S. WEST and wife Sally. We had a fabulous visit and Sally prepared a great meal. It was SO fun! What a view they have!
Okay now, believe it or not, this covers all the e-mails and messages I have received. This means I'm back up to date and back on board with the regular reports. I have to tell you all, though, that I'm disappointed at what appears to be the demise of WC Florida Spring Fest. I still hope that someone will grab the ball on the event and keep it going. It's always been such fun.
But to my amazement, when I made the tongue-in-cheek remark about beginning a, "Tennessee Tour," I received a rousing response. MURL E. HUFFMAN,
who wrote that he'd love a trip to the Great Smokies in the Springtime. Apparently, the Elliotts said they would love to come here, too. So did the Phillips and even a few others. My place is 2.78 acres, has a drive which will accommodate 30-odd cars and lots of wide-open space. So guess what? I'm perfectly willing to do this event. Shall I wait until next April or should I do it this year? Let me know. I want to hear from a lot more of you than I did, when I asked about Spring Fest.
Before I sign off on this ridiculously-lengthy report, which has taken me 3 weeks to do, I offer an apology to all of you, for jumping around like I did. After 6 1/2 years of doing these reports, you'd think I'd finally get it right, wouldn't you? But there was no "flow" to this report. I just had SO much to do, I didn't get to use as many organizational skills. But we're back up to snuff and all is well. Please be sure to send me your news---births, parties, trips, all family news, new cars,any and all windfalls, Lotto winners, fabulous vacations, everything! Without all of you, there is NO WeCaTon News Report. So help me, please.
In closing, I leave you with my usual wish for glowing
health, great happiness, peaceful serenity, spiritual harmony, and boundless prosperity. Ciao!
(Whoops! Here's a P.S.)
Does anyone out there know if Stephanie Donisi was related to the late SANDRA L. BARSALOU, whose married name was Donisi? M. CYNTHEA POTEET wants to know. This inquiry led to a long exchange on the topic of the Vic Cassano/Mom Donisi pizza place of our old 1950s days. Anyway, if you know, please let me know.
---And there you have it! More at 11--- B
WECATON NEWS REPORT!!!--- (date uncertain)
My pesky calendar tells me that it was March 6, the last time I sent out a full report. I'm beginning this one on April 3, in the hope that I will possibly complete it in time for just maybe two-month lapse, or less, if possible. After all, I don't want to lose any of you, as readers. Since you were all loyal and faithful and true, throughout my interstate moving experience, I don't want to take any chances. I might also add that you were all very kind to me, as regards correcting my last, long report, which was (I just know) oh-so-lax in memory, as regards who among you attended which function. But I sure did get a ration of grief on that whole FDR/Teddy Roosevelt goof, when I made that mention of the TVA. However, as I've written so often, I need all of you to keep me straight, anyway., and I guess that was no exception. Believe it or not, I'm still putting things away, organizing things, and most of all, still hanging items on walls. (I could have opened my own art gallery, little did I know!)
There's lots of news, so let's get going. Before I begin our regular news, I'll list our folks who sent me forward -ed materials, as always. They include1954's WM. L. MCNABB;1955's NORMAN E. JACKSON, FREDA P. FLETCHER; 1957's LINDA L. MCAFEE, ERCELL P. PHILLIPS, DARELL L. TOBIAS; 1958's RONALD D. "TOM" FEE, BRUCE K. COPSEY, WILLIAM. R. HOWARD; 1959's GARY E. BARNES, BETSY R. MURPHY; 1960's RICHARD S. HOLT, MICHAEL S. WEST, J. DAVID MAYS (via wife Ann), JOANN K. STEMLEY,GERALD A. FULLER, (via wife Becky), C. SUE MCCLOUD, STEVEN M. KOKOT, LARRY M. PENDLEY (via wife Judi), DELORES K. "DEDE" FAHRNEY, CHARLES A. "BUD" LOWMAN III (via wife Sally), FRED L. DOOLEY, JR., DAVID G. OTT, JUDITH A. SLIFE; 1961's SANDRA S. HOLLINGS-WORTH, SALLY L. GILLETTE, BARBARA J. TURN-INGTON, SHARON K. WENDELKEN, DALLAS K. MATHIS, SANDRA L. BROCK, LARRY D. GILBERT, PAUL R. BEARDSLEY; 1962's RICHARD C. CALL (via wife Jean), BARBARA T. O'NEAL; 1963's SANDRA A. MINIX; 1964's RICKEY A. BUSCH. As all of you regular readers are aware, we didn't hear from a few folks from whom we usually do. But on the plus side, we did hear from a few folks, from whom we usually don't. Thanks to all, though. Even if it's not something which is personal, at least we know you're okay.
In addition to the list of forwardings, I want to back up to last month for just a bit. I forgot to mention I heard from my "birthday twin," 1960's DEVONA S. TAYLOR when she called me, as she always does, around our joint birthday. We talk about 3-4 times, annually, and. perhaps I'll even get to visit her now, since she's not so far from me.
But Dee and I weren't the only ones having a March birthday. Indeed, I'm sure there are many others who haven't yet told me. But I did happen to know about the March 14 birthday of 1961's SALLY L. GILLETTE, and I set about trying to contact her to wish her a good one. I tracked her down, through the cell phone of her new spouse, 1960's CHARLES A. "BUD" LOWMAN III, only to find that they were whooping it up in Florida at The Villages. Now, let's see, I hope I can get this right. Also present at her birthday celebration were 1960's DANNY L. WALTERS and wife Phyllis, also J. DAVID MAYS and wife Ann, and I'm not sure, but I think maybe one other couple, ("my first husband") LARRY M. PENDLEY and wife Judi were also there. Is that right or wrong? Anyway, it sounded like a great group of WC folks having a wonderful get-together for Sally's birthday. She told me they were having a truly wonderful time, once I coerced Bud into finally giving her the phone. I love you, Bud, but it was HER birthday so I will call soon to talk to YOU, okay?
My 65th birthday arrived just 2 days after Sally's (no, she isn't 65, she's only 64), and so many of you were so aware of that (my birthday, I mean), I was bowled over. I heard a rumor to the effect that someone from the 1961 class had put out a bulletin to tell all of you that it was my 65th birthday. Gee, I wonder who that could have been. I was thinking perhaps YOU might know, NANCY J. ERTEL, 1961. Any ideas? Ha! In any case, I've got a list about a mile long, of those among you who sent me birthday greetings via the internet and/or via the postal service and/or the cell phone and/or the land-line. I thank you, one and all. Listing each one would make this bulletin even more ridiculously lengthy than it normally is, for there are well over one hundred of you. Bless you all!
Anyway, my birthday was fun and busy and surprises were in store, too! My lifelong friend, 1958's BRUCE E. CHENOWETH, drove down from Miamisburg for my birthday, along with his 1971 longtime companion, PATTY J. WHEELBARGER. They were my first, WC, overnight guests. (You may recall that NORMAN E. JACKSON, 1955, and wife Nancy, were my very first WC visitors here, but didn't spend the night, although they were certainly invited to do so.)
Anyway, my husband and Bruce have become pretty good pals over the the past several years, and we're also both very fond of YOU, Patty. So it was quite a pleasant visit. We went out for supper at our nearby, favorite Italian restaurant and spent the evening in a great visit, catching up on all the news. The following morning, we all went out for breakfast at the nearby Perkins Restaurant. Bruce and Patty tooled around the city of Kingsport a bit, taking in the considerably-panoramic scenery (which I learned long ago is so very commonplace in Tennessee) and returned with a beautiful pair of 14k gold earrings for my birthday.
Patty is pretty sneaky, I learned. On the previous eve, we had had an earring discussion, during which I had described in detail a very favorite pair of mine, and the fact that I'd lost one. She described that same event in her own life. Well, she sure did remember my description well! They somehow managed to return with a pair which were nearly identical! I wear them often and think of you both fondly, Bruce and Patty. Thanks again! But as we all know, all good things must come to an end, as did Bruce and Patty's visit. They returned to Ohio on the following day, leaving me officially one year older than they'd found me. We are very much looking forward to their next visit.
Before I get to the e-mails which were submitted for our news, I also want to cover a few phone calls I've received during this bulletin period. There was my 1960 classmate, T. BARRY RUSSELLO, who some- how never misses that birthday phone call. I make mention of your call inparticularly, Barry, due to the update you gave me on the health of your and Betsy's niece, 1961's OTHEL MURPHY.
Barry reported on that day that Othel remains much the same as my description in the original, special bulletin about her. She has extensive family support and care, which is wonderful. He told me that Othel's husband is at her side at each and every opportunity, for hours on end. Othel also has two sons. I wasn't aware that one of her sons is married to the daughter of 1959's LARRY A. BOWMAN. That was a surprise to me. Wouldn't you all have thought that I, of all WC people, would've known that? Anyway, thank you for the update on Othel, Barry, and for remembering me on my birthday.
By the way, BETSY R. MURPHY (1959), I get a lot of requests about updates on Othel's condition. Do you have any news for us yet? I think there are SO many of us who care about Othel's welfare and the state of her health. Her classmate, DONNA J. RICHARDS, recently e-mailed me, stating that she had gone to the facility in Miamisburg to visit Othel. They didn't have her in there any longer, Donna said. I also recently got a request from 1961's NANCY J. ERTEL and from SHARON K. WENDELKEN. So if you can share anything with us, we'd all appreciate it.
The search is officially off for a good e-mail address on my 2 "lost" 1957 people, THERESA M. MOSES and THOMAS D. ELLIOTT. Theresa and I did finally figure out the problem. We were both very slightly at fault, but with this e-mail stuff, all it takes is one letter, one dot, one dash, and you're done, as we all know. In any case, they're back on board, and thanks for help from classmates, ERCELL P. PHILLIPS and BETTY J. HAMILTON. Ditto for VICTOR C. NOEL, who has also recently rejoined our list following an absence which I believe was due to an address being changed and failing to notify me. Thanks to 1955 class member, FREDA P. FLETCHER, for getting Vic back into the fold. We have also hopefully added 1955's CARL R. MAYS back into the mix once again, thanks to efforts of his sister-in-law, Ann Mays, wife of his 1960 brother, J. DAVID MAYS. Thanks, Ann. We also received an update on the address of 1964's STEPHEN A. ELLIS. Thanks, Steph. It sure is tough to keep things current if people don't give me their new e-mail addresses, should they change them.
Does anyone have any info on Class of 1958's KEITH E. ANDERSON? Keith sent me an e-mail in whch he requested people try to contact him through his cell phone number only, as he would be gone for quite a spell due to serious illness in his family. He sent no other details, so I have no update on this situation. In any case, Keith, I know we all wish you well, whatever the situation may be. Please let us know.
Many thanks to you, NICHOLAS P. WOLARY, 1958, for taking the time to update me on your new e-mail address. I trust we will see you in October? As most are already aware, Nick and wife Marilyn have also become Tennessee residents. They are located in Sevierville, not too far from another,very longstanding Tennessee resident, 1960's MICHAEL S. WEST and wife Sally. There are a BUNCH of us here now!
GARY E. BARNES, Class of 1959, sure does make the rounds! Gary reports that he and wife Pat took a trip at the end of February. They visited with 1958's JAMES E. KECKLER and wife Janet, in Florida. On the return trip, they dropped in on 1957's DARELL L. TOBIAS at his Franklin, North Carolina, home. Good going, Pat and Gary. Keep traveling and keep send- ing in that news!
SHIRLEY ANN HILE, 1957, has written to say she won't be attending her 50th in October. She has a prior commitment, but hopes to be in Ohio for at least a Sunday morning brunch with her classmates. Well, you will surely be missed, Shirley, and we all do hope to see you on that Sunday morning!
Many thanks to 1961's RICHARD L. DOLL for his appreciative remarks about the WeCaTon Reports. I humbly thank you, Richard, and hope that you will continue to find pleasure in the reading. It is just that type of e-mail which motivates me and keeps me so interested in continuing this. I'm addicted to it now, as it's been nearly 7 years (come November) since I began the reports, although they didn't originate as reports. As I continually tell everyone, this has been the most rewarding and pleasant accident of my life. It's simply thrilling to me that so many of you want to read them.
Sadly, it is time to address our losses for this bulletin period. The first one who comes to mind is 1957's BERTHA JAN HOERNER. When I last heard from Bertha, she indicated that she intended to be in Ohio for her 50th. Sadly, that will not happen. She died on March 22. Bertha was a fellow Miami Shores Kid. I vividly remember her and the entireHoerner family. Sincerest condolences upon your loss. This news came to me from Bertha's sister, 1955's BARBARA E. HOERNER. Thank you, Barbara.
About March 30, I believe it was, the son (and only child) of NANCY L. BOWMAN, (Class of 1965?) died at his mother's home. Nancy, as I'm sure we all know, is the younger daughter of WOODROW W. "WOODY" BOWMAN, the late founder and owner of Woody's Supermarket which has just recently been razed along old Route 25. Her son (MATTHEW ANTHONY S. "TONY" TANKERSLEY) was but 41 years old. If he was a WC grad (and I assume he was), his class year was probably about 1984, I'd guess, but don't know for sure. I further believe that Tony was also the nephew of 1959's ROBERT L. TANKERSLEY. This is really and truly tragic, and I know we all wish the best for Nancy and the entire Bowman family, in this time of tragedy and loss.
On March 31, 1957's RICHARD E. BOWDEN died.I certainly recognize that last name, but I didn't have a good recall of this alumnus' face, as I normally do. I looked him up in the 1957 book. I do clearly recall a Barbara Bowden and I assume they were related.It is very sad when any of us dies, but especially so when it's during the calendar year of your 50th. My thanks to 1960's RICHARD S. HOLT for sending this one.
A recent conversation with my sister, 1956's JUDY ANN RISNER, revealed the death of the mother of my classmate (1960), DOROTHY J. WILLMAN, who is the spouse of 1958's VINCENT A. BRODBECK. To the entire Brodbeck household, I know we all offer sincerest condolences.
We also extend condolences to 1956's GARY LEE. GAULDIN and 1959's VIRGINIA K. GAULDIN, upon the recent loss of their mother, who was 91 years old. I'd never have normally known about this one, I don't think. But as it happens, the Gauldins are cousins to my classmate and close friend,1960's THOMAS D. YOUNG, with whom I'm in regular contact, and even moreso with Tom's wife, Sandi. I remember both of the Gauldins, as I'm sure many of you do. I learned that the Hile family are related to Tom, also. I guess I probably knew this, way back in school, but over the years---well, you all know only too well how that goes!Anyway, it was Tom who told me of the death of Gary and Virginia's mother.
Some of you may remember JACK W. STRADER (SR.), Class of 1948. Jack died on April 11, at the age of 77. I don't remember Jack and didn't know him, but I sure do recall the Strader name vividly. I got this news from 1957's DARELL L. TOBIAS, who was apparently well-acquainted with the Strader family. Thanks, Darell.
More recently, on April 14, the Class of 1959 lost one of the most unforgettable characters who ever trod the WC halls, in the person of FREDERICK W. (aka, "Freddy Bill') PRICE. Did anyone who ever went to WC not know Freddy? If so, I don't know who they might have been. He was ornery and loud and fun and full of mischief (among other substances of which one might be, "full of," I might add). He was a mere 65 years old. How sad! Thanks goes to his 1959 classmate, GARY E. BARNES, and to 1960's RICHARD S. HOLT, for transmitting this info to me.
We also have a few illnesses and rehabilitational situations to cover. I had a recent conversation with 1957's GARY D. MAYS. During our chat, I asked the status of the health of his brother,1963's DOUGLAS M. MAYS. Gary was guarded in his response, indicating that Doug is very private about this issue, but did offer that he's doing well. We sure don't mean to pry, Doug, but all your old WC buddies are very interested in your welfare and we all wish you well. You are, after all, a member of our very own, "Royal Family of WC."
Gary also told me of a shoulder operation which was done on his sister-in-law, 1960's NANCY E. BOWIE (aka, "Cookie," who was our very own one-name wonder, before anyone ever heard of Cher, along with that other WC, one-name wonder, "Tootie," aka 1959's CAROLYN E. PENCE.) Anyway, Gary said Cookie is doing much better now. I got your phone number, Cookie, so you're in trouble now. I intend to call you soon. Thanks for sharing info with all of us, Gary. We appreciate it.
My sister also told me of the current illness of her classmate, (and lifelong friend of us both) ANITA RAE MASON, who's a cancer survivor. Apparently, Anita has had a really nasty cold or flu or some such thing, and at this writing, she's at home trying to regain her health. Her sister, 1957's SARAH M. "JACKIE" MASON, was providing for her care and looking in on her.I think they both live in the city of Miamisburg. The two of them, and my sister and me, spent untold hours in each others' company, when we lived right across the big field of the old Elter Farm in Miami Shores, as all 4 of us grew to maturity in that warm, secure, oh-so-wonderful environment.
My latest reports on RICHARD L. SCHINDLER, 1958 (right?), indicate that he's certainly still ill, but hanging in there. Classmate DONALD I. MCCOY has had relatively recent contact with Dick and had planned on taking him out for lunch. Did that occur, Don? If so, give us a brief report, okay?
We have several WC people trying to make contact with other WC people. I'm always so thrilled when I get an e-mail, asking me if I can provide contact for this person or that person. Not only did Don ask me how to contact Dick, he also asked me how to reach 1955's CARL R. MAYS, saying he had a photo he wanted to share with Carl. Did you get him, Don?
Also trying to reach Carl was VICTOR C. NOEL. I do hope you were able to reach him, Vic. Did you have any luck? Carl, if you're reading this, it seems you're the popular guy for this bulletin period. So contact Vic and Don, if you haven't already done so.
In my own class, 1960, MICHAEL S. WEST made inquiries about WILLIAM O. WALKER, due to his recent accident, as did THOMAS D. YOUNG. We all want to know where you are, Bill, and HOW you are, so tell Karen to send us an update. Mike sent in an e-mail in which he reported that another of our 1960 classmates, BEVERLY J. HAAS, is doing well and is in good health. She still lives in the tiny town of Alpine, California. In fact, she's probably fewer than a hundred miles from WILLIAM M. ROHLER, who's in Bombay Beach, California.
My old pal, SHANNON N. ASTOR, telephoned me recently and we had a lengthy chat. Shannon still is employed, and working steadily.She informed me that she's considering a move to Tennessee,also, from her lifelong, Ohio home, once she retires. She called yet again, on the morning of April 20 with sad news of the death of JANIE MARIE YARCKOW of 1960's class (current name Clayton). She'd been hospitalized in Dayton at Miami Valley since Jan. 7, undergoing treatment for a variety of health issues and just generally poor health, Shannon reported. I know we're all sorry to hear that. Shannon always had maintained contact with Jane, over the years, and says Jane had always had a very tough life and also didn't take very good care of her own health, in deference to caring for others in her life.Jane had suffered from a number of serious health disorders. She hadn't yet even turned 65. Shannon is adopting Jane's pet cats. I have no details at this time on the funeral arrangements but it can be accessed on the internet, I'm sure, in a day or two, probably.
Our own JUDY M. FRANTZ, 1961, is employed at Miami Valley Hospital, by the way. I learned a while back, that she's not in a position to know about these things, though. Judy is in an entirely different office of the facility. So thanks for letting us all know about Jane, Shannon.
My world caved in just a bit when I got an e-mail two weeks ago from Pamela J. Carter, spouse of 1960's CHARLES V. CARTER. She wrote that she has breast cancer. She's currently undergoing treatment for it. She has a fabulous attitude about it, even humorous, and says she knows she's going to be fine. I know her well and she's got what it takes to get through this. Charles, on the other hand, isn't doing nearly as well as Pam. But he's going to get through it, too, simply because Pam will PULL him through it! We're all pulling for YOU, Pam, so do keep me posted, please.
Most of you remember the fact that, on or about
March 19, WILLIAM O. WALKER and his WC-honorary spouse, Karen, were driving on a 2-lane road in Dade City, Florida. They were hit at a head-on angle, unavoidably, by a driver who was changing a radio station and drifted over into their lane. This could have been the end for them, but they both survived, thank God. Karen suffered many extensive soft-tissue injuries and many more severe cuts and bruises, I am told. Bill, however, fared much worse, with all the same injuries, plus a broken leg. They have put a steel rod in that leg which will be there for life. We're planning to appoint him as our official weather forecaster, wherever he may be!
This report came to me through the joint efforts of GERALD A. FULLER and his WC-honorary spouse, Becky, and also JOANN K. STEMLEY and spouse, Ronald R. Hall. All of them were en route to visit Bill when they called me. I spoke to him that day, too. He seemed in good spirits and thrilled to be alive. I was told that Karen was staying with Bill's mom, who is a Florida resident. By the way, the accident took place in Hernando County, not Hillsborough County, as I'd originally quoted. I knew it was one of them and was quite sure I'd pick the wrong one, as I did. Shades of the TVA and the FDR/Teddy Roosevelt debacle, eh? Thanks to FREDA P. FLETCHER, 1955, for the correction.
Continuing in his successful and speedy recovery from his cancer operation in February is 1958's WILLIAM R. HOWARD. No, Bill, you didn't tell me that. However, your fellow retired police officer (of the Class of 1961) PAUL R. BEARDSLEY, did tell me. So thank you, Paul, and keep getting better and better, Bill!
Also on the plus side of WC health issues, I got a quick note from my former Social Studies teacher, JAMES C. JOHNSON, and another note from my former Civics teacher, MURL E. HUFFMAN, so I'm happy to know that both of them are in apparently good health.
Attention, STEVEN F. SHADE, Class of 1964! How did we do on reuniting that class ring with its owner? Was there any success there? I'm sure hoping so. We got some incredibly-detailed assistance (not surprisingly) from 1960's THOMAS L. WOLF, JR., who's a wellspring of WC info and data. Tom was right on that one for us. Did we do any good? Bill Howard formulated the brilliant notion of contacting Josten's, who made the ring, to see if they possibly keep any such records.
Our official records keeper (as far as I'M concerned and for the purposes of this WeCaTon) is MICHAEL S. WEST, 1960. He wanted an update on our WC losses. The official records keeper for the school is, I believe, the aforementioned Steve Shade. So if any of you hear of a WC death and you get it to me, I'll always pass it on to all of you and Steve is on our list. But make sure one of us knows. f there is any possible way, we sure don't want to miss any of them, although I wish I didn't have to report any. Mike, I did read your list, and I think it is complete, aside from the most recent ones. I'd suggest a quick e-mail to Steve, as I'm sure he's far more well-informed than I.
But thanks for all the consistent efforts in continuing the regular posting of reports on the blog you made for us all.
A positively lovely e-mail came through from 1954's JO ANNE MCCLURE, who was very gracious and so appreciative of my writing the WeCaTon Reports. Well, Jo Anne, as I keep writing all the time, it's so rewarding to receive those types of e-mails. It's the stuff which keeps me motivated. By the way, let's all remember to market Jo Anne's condo, which is for sale in south Florida, if anyone's in the market. Also checking in with those encouraging words of praise was 1957's BETTY J. HAMILTON, who definitely will be with us in October, 1959's JAMES L. LINDSEY, who didn't yet say if he's going to attend, but loves the reports,
On March 10, a coincidental, chance meeting took place in Dayton. It seems that 1960's T. BARRY RUSSELLO and1959 spouse, BETSY R. MURPHY are fond of a little place in the Oregon District called CoCo's. So they dropped in there for a little toddy on that night. Well, lo and behold, right there in that same spot sat Barry's 1960 classmate, JUDITH A. SLIFE, with one of her friends. Not much time had passed until they made the connection. Judy and Barry and Betsy hadn't seen each other in many years, but believe me when I tell you, neither Betsy nor Barry have changed that much over the years. I got an e-mail from Betsy about it, and the very next day, Judy wrote me one, too. Their stories were of course identical, and Judy told me she recognized Barry immediately. I'm not surprised at all! See, you Russello people!! I keep telling you both how good you look. Now, maybe you'll believe me, eh? Judy also sent a lovely e-mail, thanking me for the job on writing the WeCaTon.Thank you, too, Judy, for being a faithful and enthused reader. It just does not get any better than that, for those of us who have the, "journalist's gene," in us. Since I'm no longer doing newspaper reporting, it gives me more time to make these things even longer. (Yes, yes, I hear a couple of groans. Ha!)
What fun it is for me when I pull up an e-mail which is from 1960's SHIRLEY J. TUDOR! I grin from ear to ear. You're smiling, too, aren't you, Shirley? This is a big deal for her and me. You see, I was, "on her case," for at least 5 years about this e-mail thing. Well, it seems that hell finally DID freeze over, eh, Shirley? Love it!
From DELORES K. "DEDE" FAHRNEY, 1960, came a great note in which she expressed her feelings of loss for the warm, Florida winters, since moving back to Ohio. I can understand that, DeDe, having been in Florida for nearly 30 years, myself. But since I chose to move to Tennessee, although there sure ARE cold winters here, it's nothing to compare to the intensity of those in Ohio. DeDe, if you follow through with your thoughts of Tennessee, I'd guess you sure won't be sorry. I'm not!
Now here's a cheery piece of news for all of you. We all know how involved is 1959's GARY E. BARNES in our WC events. He always attends everything and jumps in with both feet to help with anything any of us may need. We all thank you for that, Gary, by the way. He is also listed as one of our most accomplished and prominent athletes in the school's history, right? Well, our Gary and wife Pat are great-grandparents! How about that? I looked at the photo and this is one good-looking boy! Braden Barnes was born on March 14, to Pat and Gary's son, Chris, and his wife, Sara. Heartiest and sincerest congratulations to the entire family! Writing about your great-grandchild, Pat and Gary, reminds me that it's time ask for an update on the grandchildren of 1964's KARL R. BURRUS. You and your wife were blessed with twin grandchildren, were you not, Karl? So give us an update, please! How are they doing? Are you spoiling them? Your note of last month did not go unnoticed and thanks.
Lest I should forget this, I want to make sure all of us are aware that we have professional services of which we should avail ourselves. When WC people have WC needs, it would behoove us to seek out one of our own, to provide those services. In that group is the Vandalia business, The Realty Group. Its owners are 1960's T. BARRY RUSSELLO and 1959 spouse BETSY R. MURPHY. I've heard great things about the level of their professionalism and knowledge and I've called them, myself, over the years, from time to time, to get advice on real estate matters.
There is also insurance available for any properties you might buy, via The Insurance Store of Ohio, which is owned by 1958's DONALD I. MCCOY. I've got first -hand knowledge on that one, as Don is my agent for my Tennessee home. He's Johnny-on-the-spot, each and every time I have a question, need paperwork, or want copies of anything. Rates are reasonable and he covers more states than just Ohio, obviously. I feel very secure, doing business with a fellow Miami Shores Kid, too. I know there must be plenty of others among us who offer varied services, but these two are prominent in my mind. Don, by the way, offers a wide variety of insurance services, not just homeowners.
Are we going to talk about the destruction of the WC legacy, Woody's Supermarket? Well, of course! How could we NOT do that? I found it rather ironic that the first hit from the wrecking ball occurred on my 65th birthday. This is a sad occurrence, almost tragic, in fact. I will maintain, always, that the city of WC should have bought that entire building and made it into an historice site, using it as a city facility. That market put WC on the map, literally. It was WC history and meant a lot to SO many. It's quite simply a travesty that it is no longer there.
Joining me in mourning for Woody's, and also offering to get pieces of it for me, and/or sending me photos of it were 1955's NORMAN E. JACKSON, FREDA P. FLETCHER; 1958's BRUCE K. COPSEY, WM. R. HOWARD, RONALD D. "TOM" FEE, BRUCE E. CHENOWETH, RICHARD L. JOHNSON; 1959 's GARY E. BARNES;1960 's THOMAS L. WOLF, JR., RICHARD S. HOLT, MICHAEL S. WEST, STEVEN M. KOKOT, EULA FAYE BAILEY; 1961 's SANDRA L. BROCK, PAUL R. BEARDSLEY, DONNA JEAN RICHARDS, LARRY D. GILBERT, SHARON KAYE WENDELKEN;1962's BARBARA T. O'NEAL, 1963's JERRY T. EUBANK, 1964's RICKEY A. BUSCH, 1970's VICKI JO GILBERT; and 1987's SHARLENE N. MERKER. Thanks to all, for the many articles and photos and comments you sent.
Most amusing, though, was probably the numerous plans to get bricks and other pieces of the store for me. For instance, 1959's GARY E. BARNES wrote that he would do things the right way, if possible, and ask permission. But he also wrote if that didn't work, he'd, "Send out the Pirates." From 1958's WM. E. HOWARD came a note in which he said you'd think they had something valuable on that site, the way they were guarding those bricks! (Well, they DO, Bill! It's the heritage of the entire city of WC!) Anyway, Bill ventured onto the site and got a few bricks for me. He obviously ignored the no trespassing signs, retired police officer that he is. A note from RICHARD S. HOLT, 1960, also offered to spirit away some bricks for me. Yet one more of my classmates, the ever-distinguished and oh-so-proper THOMAS L. WOLF, JR., (retired from the WC school system, yet!) wrote that he'd survey the situation and see what he could do, following with, "Perhaps under cover of night!" How I loved that, Tom, as I sat here smiling at a mental image of you, in an attempt to "heist" bricks from Woody's for ME, even slinking around the site at night, trying to avoid being apprehended. Ha! I was truly touched and I know that would be a simply over-the-top thing for YOU to do. But I've got to tell you, I'm so thrilled that you still have that touch of mischief!
Some of you, I know, are wondering just what I will do with these Woody's bricks. Yes, I'm going to tell you. I will, of course, take every single one I can get. It is my plan to have a bricklayer construct a circular (if I get enough of them), little structure in which I will plant a few nice flowers and in the center of which I will erect my red-and-black bell post with the Pirate flag on the side of it. (There will also be a little sign which will commemorate Woody's, of course.) So do keep the bricks for me!
Many of us will sorely miss walking beneath the big, lighted, Woody's sign, won't we? Well, fear not! You don't have to miss that, at all. Guess what? I'm sure you've all read in the paper about someone buying the entire, big sign, complete with the apostrophe, haven't you? Well, do you know what that was? No, it wasn't me. It was my very close friend, 1958's BRUCE E. CHENOWETH, and he bought it for ME!! I was just overwhelmed, I have to tell you, when he told me the news. He said he thought it would look great on the hillside of our new place in Tennessee. Well, he is definitely right about THAT. I may even mount it on my brand-new and beautiful, two-story deck.
So how are all of YOU going to see it? Well, that just happens to bring me to my very next topic. It seems that our WC Florida Spring Fest has died of natural causes, due to my move from Florida, I'm sorry to say. I had hoped someone would pick up the ball and carry on with that function. But it didn't happen. So I guess we also will no longer have the WC Florida Holiday Brunch, either, now that I'm gone from Florida.
But new horizons loom in Tennessee, folks! Just as you predicted, NANCY J. ERTEL, 1961, I'm going to propose a gathering in Tennessee. Further, I'm going to propose that it take place at my new abode. I have a 260' driveway, a huge yard and acreage, a gigantic house, the highrise deck, a covered porch, and more-than-adequate facilities to host this shindig.You will all finally meet my spouse of 32 years, and I know a lot of you think I just, "made him up," because he doesn't attend anything. Ha! But he simply won't leave home, that's all.
Obviously, I can't do it this year. I'm still finishing off the move. But do mark your calendars for the last Saturday of April in 2008. (Won't that be April 26? I think so, but not 100% sure yet.) In the brief time I've lived here, I've learned that Tennessee touches more state borders than any other state. That's especially true of this little northeastern corner where I live. It's a wonderful area and so accessible. Naturally, I'll have it later in the year, due to the loss of Florida weather. So this means we'll have the function here in April and the official one, as usual, in October in Ohio. That's a nice 6-month spread each year, eh? I'm awaiting all suggestions for names for our now-moved-north, new, annual gig. I like the Spring Fest words. But with what words shall we preface that? ("WC Tennessee Tour Spring Fest?" That's a bit too wordy and long, isn't it?) How about, "WC Tennessee Trot?" Anyway, the important part isn't the name, it's being here. So I'm giving you all more than a year to plan for this jaunt. Please do be here for it. I think you'll love it.
There are reasonably-priced motels nearby. Also, I've got 6 bedrooms here. We use but 2 of them. There's one which will be reserved for Bruce and the other 3 are up for grabs. Some of you are already aware of my, "houseguest rules," but for those of you who are not, I shall recap them for you:
1.) Elvis was never fat.
2.) Elvis never abused drugs.
3.) Elvis was always faithful to Priscilla.
4.) (This one is a new addition.) Please be sure you know the phrase, "guest towels," is no more than an expression. Don't take that too literally, please. Do you remember those oh-so-neatly-arranged towels, which all match and look brand new and hang on the towel bars in the bathroom? Well, they look brand-new because they ARE! If you use them to wipe off water and toothpaste and dry your hair, etc., then I must launder them and they will not have that brand-new look anymore. In fact, I will have to buy all new towels, if you do that, because I want those towels to ALWAYS look brand-new.There are dozens of towels in the house for you to use, but do NOT use THOSE! I can literally HEAR the smiles spreading across faces of those among us who have repeatedly experienced this same thing!
So bearing in mind all these, "rules," please do send me your reservation request, so that I can, "book you" into one of my suites. Available for use is a room with a bed which is a standard double size.Also available are my 2 downstairs areas, which adjoin.One is a single bed and the other is a king. The people who use this area will need to be quite friendly, as king -sleepers will have to walk right by the single-sleeper, in the event of a bathroom call in the wee hours. So keep this in mind. It is my hope that, by that time, I'll have the Woody's sign placed, secured, and able to be lighted, once again. As is always the case, we all should plan to bring enough food and drink for all in our own party, for the duration of the day. Tentatively, we will, "launch the party," about noon. Check your map on Expedia.com and/or MapQuest to see how long a trip it is for you. My complete address (which you will need, in order to get the mapping online) is 305 McTeer Drive, Kingsport, Tennessee 37663. I sure hope to see (among many, many others) all our WC folks who are Tennessee residents.Like Florida, there are many of us!
Naturally, our crown jewel event is always going to be the annual dinner/dance. I've gotten a note from our alumni officer, 1958's K. JUNE CRUTCHFIELD, in which she requests that I remind all of you to mark your calendars for this year's event, which will take place on October 13, 2007. Of course, that is on a Saturday. I will not be driving quite so far, THIS year. "Lord willin' and the creek don't rise," So this would mean that our Frisch's Frolic will take place on the night before, October 12. Don't miss that one, either. I definitely plan to be there, at both events. While I'm writing about events, by the way, I want to mention that June's spouse, 1958's JAMES E. RICHARDSON, also works diligently on all of our events. He's not an officer, but he does plently, and I want to take each and every opportunity to recognize the efforts of not only Jim and June, but of the entire alumni board. But it also just so happens I have a soft spot for you, Jim. We were Miami Shores kids together and pretty good pals, too! June wrote that reservation forms will be mailed in latter July or in August. Also, be sure to visit the website maintained by Class of 1964's STEVEN F. SHADE. I believe it is as follows: www.wchsalumni.org (for official notices and other news.) Let's all try to be much quicker about the return of those forms this year. It makes things very tough for our planners, when we wait until the very last minute. If not for June's reminder, I would've forgotten to send in my OWN reservation and I was guilty of the last-minute thing, myself. June, I promise to try and do much better this year! In closing this topic, I wish to stress to all of you that my info and this bulletin are NOT official WC items. I'm merely, "socializing" with all of you, at my leisure. This bulletin is nothing more than a very coincidental and happy accident, which occurred nearly 7 years ago.
As earlier mentioned, the spotlight class is 1957 this year. Working diligently on efforts for a record turnout are THOMAS D. ELLIOTT and spouse THERESA M. MOSES. So let's all pitch in and give them all the aid we possibly can, when it comes to finding their class alumni. Tom and Theresa are specifically searching for JANICE A. BUSH, MARILYN J. MILLAT, PHILLIP A. BRIERLEY, and then BERTHA J. HOERNER was also on the short list. However, Bertha sadly died, as we all now know. I'm pretty sure I located Janice in Florida, and I think I probably found Phil out in Rock Springs, Wyoming. But I don't yet have a firm lead for them on Marilyn. So let's do all we can.
Also assisting in the 1957 class effort is ERCELL P. PHILLIPS (and I'll bet Betty is helping, too). He sent me a request for a 1957 Piratan, in order to do a bit of research. Unfortunately, that 1957 is a rare bird, and I didn't have it. I was, however, able to send him a 1956 and another year which slips my mind. So I hope those will help.
Speaking of Piratans, I have to touch on this topic. My supply has dwindled considerably. I've gone back to all my sources, several times, and they've pretty much dried up. I intend to contine to try, of course. But I do want all of you to remain on the watch, especially the WC people who still live in that general area, for any books you may find from any source---garage sales, old book stores, deceased alumni, unwanted or old books, ANY source---and I will buy them all. Just let me know.
Now this next thing is also about Piratans, so please read this carefully. If you are one of the people to whom I sold one of my 1958 Piratans, will you please be kind enough to carefully inspect the book? I have somehow inadvertently sent my own, personal copy to someone. I still have the one I meant to send to that person. My book has inscriptions in it, which are to me, of course, so it will be easy to tell if you have it. I'll send you the other one, right away, but PLEASE do return my copy! I nearly flipped out, when I discovered I'd done that stupid trick. I ask for help from each of you to whom I've sold a 1958 Piratan to help recitfy this stupid move I made. Thank you, one and all.
A notice has come in from 1987's SHARLENE N. MERKER. She has asked me to spread the word about the July 21 class reunion which will take place at the WC VFW Club. So let's spread the word on that event. If you have info or contacts for Sharlene, please e-mail her at ( email@example.com ). I'm sure she will get right back to you.
Apparently, a lot of that college basketball occurred of late. Our NANCY J. ERTEL, 1961, is quite an ardent fan. She repeatedly tried to turn me into one, too, but I'm afraid it was without success. So I'm just going to let Nancy do those college picks for me, too, and hope her teams win.
Does anyone remember the twins, Class of 1969's RONALD and DONALD DOLL? I'm sure you do and they are the younger siblings of 1961's RICHARD L. DOLL. Anyway, Richard reports that Don is in the process of moving to Florida. As one who has just moved FROM Florida, I can tell you all that Don is in for some HUGE expenses---property taxes, utilites, and homeowners insurance, to name just a few. But he probably is already aware of that. At least, I hope he is. But I know we all wish him luck there.
With this bulletin, we introduce yet another 1959 class member, in the person of MICHAEL L. SWANK. I do remember Mike well. I'm sure many of you do, too. I got an e-mail from Mike today (April 20), in which he asked to be added to the list. He lives in Arizona and gets snippets of our news from 1960's LONNIE M. THACKER and LINDA J. SNELL. I didn't even know he was there. Lonnie and Linda, why didn't you let me know about Mike? We could've added him, long ago! Anyway, we're happy you've joined us, Mike. Your 1959 class is always so sparsely represented and we would love to see more of you at our functions. I'm now awaiting a, "life story," from Mike and when it gets here, I'll share it with all of you. But in the interim, I'll simply say, "Welcome aboard, Mike! We're all glad to have you back in the fold."
Do we have travelers this time? Boy, do we ever!! I got news from 1960's DAVID G. OTT in which he wrote that he and spouse,1963's SANDRA A . MINIX, are traveling in Africa. Wow! Now THAT is a trip! I can just see you, ROBERTA A. RICE, reading every word on the edge of your seat. (For those of you who don't know, Roberta, 1960, is our official traveler of the world. She's been EVERYwhere!) Anyway, at last report, Dave and Sandy were in North Africa. He asked about you, though, Bill Walker, even from way over there, and wished you well in your recovery. Up to that point, they'd been on a Kenyan safari and had ridden camels around the Pyramids in Egypt, among other things. How great, Dave and Sandy, and what wondrous memories. Keep those reports coming. He wrote that they will see us later, "if we have any money left." Ha!
Then there's those FULLER people--1960's GERALD A. and his WC-honorary spouse, Becky. Who in the world can keep pace with THEM? In one e-mail, they are in Savannah, Georgia. In another e-mail, they're in Sebring, Florida. In yet another, they're on Tybee Island in Georgia. Hey, I think that's great and I'm just jealous, so pay me no mind. You two stay safe out there and watch your backs. Stay healthy and have a great time!
Cousin JUDITH L. SAMUELS, 1961, and her spouse take jaunts constantly. On one of these jaunts which will occur next month, she and Bill will be coming up to see a few sights in Gatlinburg. But before they do, they are coming here to Kingsport to spend a couple of nights with us, so we're really looking forward to that. They recently visited Ybor City, too. Even more recently, they visited the, "Rolling Hawvermales." If you don't know that is, it's 1961's P. LYNNETTE GARRETT and her husband, Frank (my not-so-secret boyfriend), at their home in Henderson, Nevada. The Hawvermales have houses everywhere! They're my claim to fame and may possibly be my only wealthy, close friends. Ha! Lynn and I just talked at length this morning. It is my hope that they will be visiting me soon, here in Tennessee, as they make their way back to yet another of their homes (Germantown).
Then there's my other rich friend, 1955's FREDA P. FLETCHER, who is also a fellow Miami Shores Kid. Freda just recently left her Florida home, bound for Ohio to help celebrate the 90th birthday of her mother, who is in a care facility in Miamisburg (I believe it's Miamisburg, anyway).
Day before yesterday, I talked for a while to Marilyn Kelly, spouse of 1960's EDGAR L. "EDDIE" KELLY (who was the life of the party at the 2006 dinner/ dance). We talked for about 15 minutes. Marilyn told me Ed was lying down, but she also told me that the two of them plan to be with us in October. We're all sure looking forward, Marilyn, to meeting the woman who has spent so many years with Ed, I can tell you that! Ed, don't forget your kilt outfit!
One of our most dependable sources of WC info, 1960's THOMAS L. WOLF, JR., and his charming spouse, Susan, also hit road lately. They attended a school board convention in San Francisco (and a function which was also attended by former president, Bill Clinton). From there, they went to Portland, Or., to visit Susan's sister, and then it was on to Colorado Springs to visit one of their 3 sons, who has long lived in that area. (The other two are in South Carolina and in Cincinnati, as I recall.) So listen, Tom, we don't want you to wind up in the pokey, out stealing bricks from Woody's for me, now do we? Wouldn't it be a hell of a note to come from a school board convention and seeing a former president, to being in the local jail of the city from whose school you retired? Ha! You keep an eye on him, Susan!
A recent e-mail from two 1961-ers, SANDRA L. BROCK and spouse PAUL R. BEARDSLEY, says they will be traveling, too, and when they do, they'll stop to see me Kingsport. Well, come on down, you two. I've got plenty of room and you're welcome.
Recently returning from their trip to Florida were the newlyweds, 1960's CHARLES A. "BUD" LOWMAN III and 1961's SALLY L. GILLETTE. Sally reports that she and Bud are very excited at the prospect of their own, brand-new place. She wrote they'd had a great time in Florida, though.
WC Civics teacher, MURL E. HUFFMAN, who must never sit still, tells me he's coming to Tennessee and will be here for a visit. Well, your room awaits. Like all of us, I'd be more than happy to see you, either here or at any WC function. Besides, what's a WC function without you, anyway? Mr. H. reported that DONNA COURTNEY has just had a hip replacement and is doing fine. He said she's 1952, but I'm thinking it was a more recent class for Donna Courtney. However, I woudn't be at all surprised to find that he is right and I'm the one who's wrong.
Finally, on the topic of travels, I'm going to be doing a bit of traveling, myself. But I'm not going far. I'll be on a little jaunt next week, up to Bristol, Virginia, which isn't far at all. Thanks to the sleuthing of 1958's WM. L HOWARD, I found my cousin on my mother's side of the family, with whom I used to spend my summers as a child. We haven't visited since about 1957 or 1958, as nearly as I can remember. Tonight, we talked for about 25-30 minutes, and had lots of, "catching-up" to do. So this going to be very fun for me. A big thank- you to you, Bill!
Apparently, 1958's RONALD D. "TOM" FEE isn't doing much traveling at all. He wrote that he loves having a sedentary lifestyle. I'm not so sure I believe ALL of that, though, Tom. Did you finally really retire? I thought you wre still working.
The record stands for 1955's NORMAN E. JACKSON (sender of all things wonderful for nostalgia items.) He sent another great one, this time. Did you all read and hear that? Sending along a few more interesting musings was 1960's MICHAEL S. WEST, who made some comparisons on costs of living in Ohio versus Tennessee. Very interesting, Mike! I was already aware of some of those figures, but they are some sobering statistics, aren't they? When we made the monumental decision to move out of Florida, after being in the same house for nearly 30 years, we had Ohio on the short list of places we might consider. But my research indicated that winters are still very bitter, it's a state-income tax state (which sets the stage for many other imposed taxes), AND the property taxes are out of this world. So it was quickly eliiminated, although it will always have a piece of my heart. It does, after all, contain WC!
So that's it for this edition, folks! I'm sure you're all breathing a huge sigh of relief, as you uncross your eyes. However, please remember this. When the bulletins are longer, it means more WC folks have sent in more news. That can NEVER be bad, right?
It is my hope that I'm completely current now and back to our regular intervals. DON'T FORGET ABOUT OUR DINNER/DANCE!! Make that date (October 13) your top priority. Be there!!! I leave you all with my usual wish for glowing health, great happiness, peaceful serenity, spiritual harmony, and boundless prosperity. Ciao!
---And there you have it! More at 11--- B
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Bonnie sent this recent Mays family photo
taken at The Villages, FL. The ladies look
fantastic, the boys look pretty good!
Isn't that always the case?
WECATON NEWS REPORT!!! 12 JUN 2007
Yes, it's me again! I'm just like the bad penny, huh? But I'm hoping I'm not soon going anywhere. So let's brace up for this next onslaught. I'm beginning this one on Saturday, June 9, at 12:15 pm., so just for fun, let's see how long it will take me to complete it. I'm of the opinion that it will be several days, if not longer. As a rule, I usually sit down and pound away for about 1 to2 hours, depending upon what I'm doing on any given day. At that rate, I normally get them done in several days. I also include all material which arrives, during my typing time, by the way.
So many of you have written and asked for updates on how my move has gone and how we like our new house. So I'll give you a brief rundown. We are quite literally taken with Tennessee, and I do mean both of us. It's a picturesque and beautiful state, to say the very least. This northeastern region, where we have fortunately landed, albeit quite blindly, is a tiny piece of paradise. A simple trip to the grocery or the drugstore will allow you to see beautiful, natural, lush landscape. The climate is incredible (which was a real surprise), and we adore being able to sit on our huge, raised deck and view the Holston Mountain Range. This is the best thing I've ever done, in my life, and no amount of money would ever get us to return to Florida, even after having lived there nearly 30 years. We're both amazed to feel this way!
Our reverie, however, is about to be soundly put to rest. Ha! At the end of this week (Friday, June 14), my two children, their two mates, and the remaining 4 of my 5 grandchildren (one is already with us), will be arriving on our doorstep, en masse! It's a good thing this house is as big as it is.
As most of you are well aware, I'm quite close to my classmate, THOMAS D. YOUNG (1960) and perhaps even closer to his wife, Sandi, who is doubtless one of my favorite people on God's green earth. She and I have wonderful, in-depth, humorous conversations about every topic there is, especially about our kids. Sandi is terribly intelligent, very street-savvy, and also incredibly wise about the ways of the world. So she and I agree on the idea that the folks who do the TV sitcoms should finally wise up and stop showing all the scenes where children are saying, "Well, I can't do anything THIS weekend. My parents will be here and you know how THAT goes!" as they raise their eye-brows to their hairlines in the most Groucho Marx-ish manner.
Instead, we believe there should be a sitcom about parents whose nest is empty (as most of ours are), where the parents say, "Oh, my God! What on earth will we ever do, with all the kids and grandkids here at once? How will we cope with that? HOW did we let this happen? I don't think we can get through it." THAT seems much more realistic than the other way around, quite frankly, don't you think? In any case, I'm going to try hard to get this bulletin done by Friday afternoon, since life as we know it, will not be the same for us for roughly another month, after that.
So let's begin as we always do, with those who have sent me forwarded materials. They include 1955's NORMAN E. JACKSON, FREDA P. FLETCHER; 1957's DARELL L. TOBIAS, ERCELL P. PHILLIPS; 1958's RONALD D. "TOM" FEE, WM. L. HOWARD, DONALD I. MCCOY, BRUCE E. CHENOWETH; 1959's BETSY R. MURPHY, GARY E. BARNES; 1960's J. DAVID MAYS, FRED L. DOOLEY, JR., RICHARD S. HOLT, EDGAR L. KELLY, CAROLYN SUE MCCLOUD, STEVEN M. KOKOT, MICHAEL S. WEST, DELORES K. "DEDE" FAHRNEY;1961's PAUL R. BEARDSLEY, SANDRA L. BROCK, JOHN W. OBERLIES, JR., SALLY LYNNE GILLETTE, P. LYNNETTE GARRETT , SHARON K. WENDELKEN, LARRY D. GILBERT, BARBARA J. TURNINGTON; 1962's RICHARD C. CALL, BARBARA T. O'NEAL; 1971's RODNEY R. GABBARD. So thanks to all for letting us know you're around and still with us. We'd all love to have some updates on your personal life, too, and of course, I know that many of you have sent us exactly that. We'll be covering that news as we go.
There were two deaths during this bulletin period, of which I'm aware. I don't believe either of them were WC alumnus. The wife of 1959's GARY L. SIZER, Karen Crader Sizer, passed away on April 21. I had sent you all a special bulletin which covered that, but just in case it was overlooked, I'm mentioning it in this newest bulletin. Gary and Karen had been wed for 44 years, so Gary is surely a bit lost. We're all pulling for you, Gary, and do hope that you will join us this year at WC functions. Gary's daughter-in-law, SHARLENE N. MERKER, Class of 1987, sent me a notice about this. She's married to their son, JEFFREY A., another WC alumnus, and is also the daughter of my lifelong friend, 1960's SHIRLEY J. TUDOR. We all wish you well, Gary, and send our sincerest condolences upon this sad occasion. My thanks also to 1960 classmate RICHARD S. HOLT, for forwarding a copy of the obit which appeared in the DDN. You're always so great about that, Richard. I do appreciate it so much.
The other death of which I am aware is that of Ora Brown Melzoni. She was 91 years old and was the mother of THOMAS D., JR., HOWARD, and 1959's CAROLYN MELZONI. It was amazing how I learned of this one, though. As you all well know, I now reside in Kingsport, Tennessee. I'm an avid newspaper reader and I read the obituaries every day, even though I do not know anyone here. As I scanned the names in the obits on about the last day of April, there was that name, Melzoni. I read further, and sure enough, it was the ones from WC. Mrs. Melzoni had lived in this area, in nearby Pennington Gap, Virginia, at the time of her death, so that's why it was in my local paper. So we all extend condolences to the Melzoni family, also.
We've also got a few illnesses and mishaps to cover, so let's get those out of the way, too. On May 2, the wife of 1960's THOMAS D. YOUNG, Sandi, took quite a serious spill at her place of employment, and broke her right arm. Sandi is doing well, though, and Tom has been very diligent in caring for her, as she recovered. (I shall NOT write any details about just how diligent he WAS, though. You'll have to consult with the family mischief-maker, Jennifer (Sandi's first- born) for that one, I'm afraid. Anyway, we all wish you a full and speedy recovery, Sandi!
As it happens, Tom is also going to probably have to have some sort of surgery on a blocked, carotid (sp?) artery, in the very near future. The blockage came to light, during a routine x-ray, just about two weeks ago. The doctors continue to gather more information and will probably do something very soon, I'm told. On June 24, Tom will be 66. We all wish you the very best, Tom, and a very healthy and quick recovery, in the event you do have surgery.
The wife of 1960's CHARLES V. CARTER, Pamela, is thriving now. I just spoke to them, the other night, and Pam says she's doing great after her treatment for breast cancer. She says she's feeling fine and she anticipates no further complications. That was great news. She tells she and Charles will be coming down to visit. I can scarcely wait!
Also suffering from breast cancer is Class of 1961's JAQUELYN N. LESHER. As many of you will recall, Jackie has been married for many years to 1957's PAUL H. PETTIT. They live in Waynesville and she apparently recently found out about the breast cancer. She's undergoing chemo and radiation and is so far doing well, I'm told. But she has specifically asked for the prayers and good thoughts of her fellow WC folks, and I'm sure I can speak for us all when I write, "Not to worry, Jackie, you've sure got that! We're all pulling for you and wish you a full recovery."
In the Class of 1971, RODNEY R. GABBARD, has serious back problems and his mobility is terribly limited. Let's all pull for good things to happen for Rod. He's a former firefighter and a veteran. We all wish you the best, Rod!
Also having a few health problems is 1961's SALLY L. GILLETTE, and we don't know a lot about that one, but spouse, 1960's CHARLES A. "BUD" LOWMAN III, has indicated that he feels Sally will soon be fine. We all sure hope so, Sally. You know we all wish only good things for you. By the way, Sally, Pam Carter said to thank you for calling her. She tried to return your call, but the number had been changed. Pam and Charles are in the book.
The news doesn't seem good for 1958's RICHARD L. SCHINDLER. I received a forwarded e-mail from his classmate, WILLIAM R. HOWARD, who'd received a note from another 1958-er, REX E. HEETER. Rex wrote that Richard is terribly ill, having a tough time keeping up his nutrition, and is just so weary all the time. Rex further wrote that Richard's wife, Jean, is very encouraging of contact from old friends, which might help to inspire Richard. He's fighting a hard battle against his cancer, I'm told, but very weak right now. So let's keep him uppermost in our prayers and good thoughts, too. We're all in your corner, Richard! Keep up your strength and keep fighting as hard as you can, please. Thanks very much, Bill, for letting us know about Richard.
From 1959's BETSY R. MURPHY comes a report on her niece, 1961's OTHEL MURPHY. She remains in a care facility, wrote Betsy, which is located in Lima, Ohio. Betsy says Othel is very weary and sometimes cries for long periods of time. She says she tries to recognize people and sometimes you think she does, but other times, she probably doesn't. Her husband remains a constant, and is devoted to her care. We all send our best to Othel, Betsy, so if there's some way to let her know, please do.
Also on the ill list, but hanging in there, is my old pal and fellow Miami Shores Kid, CHARLES A. HIGH, JR. Charlie called me recently. We try to talk at least 5-6 times each year. Charlie has had numerous and extensive surgeries, mostly relative to his heart. His wife of many years, Carolyn, is relegated to a wheel- chair, due to a couple of strokes and Charlie remains totally dedicated to her 24/7 care, in spite of his own serious health problems. We all hope you will both be improving, Charlie. In the meantime, I'm sure we all admire your determined dedication. I know I sure do!
So as you have all just read, we have a number of our alumni and/or related people, who are ill or recovering from recent accidents and/or surgeries. Let's pull for all of them, as I know we all do, anyway. If you know of someone who is ill, please let them know we all care deeply about their welfare and we'd like to be made aware so that we can offer support and send cards and e-mails and visit and call, when possible, etc. I know we have some among us who are more private than others about their health issues. Certainly, that is their right. But just know there are many people in the ranks of WC alumni who do care about your welfare and your recovery. ";Nuff said!"
At one point during this bulletin period, I thought I had, "lost," our wonderful world traveler, 1960's ROBERTA A. RICE. So of course, I swung into immediate action to find her again, as her e-mail was returned briefly to me. I actually dropped her a postal note, to which she quickly responded. Her e-mail server, it seems, was just out of whack for a bit, and all is well again. We've no intention of losing you again, Roberta! You're our international connection to the world of travel and you long ago became an important part of our network! I, for one, would also like to see and hear a lot more of your twin, HARRIET Z. RICE, too! Are you out there, Harriet? Write us a line!
Also among the, "lost," (and actually, still lost) is none other than my old pal and fellow Miami Shores Kid, W. BAILEY HAWKINS. All of Bailey's e-mail is being returned to me, for some reason. I've been on a mission to find some way to restore him to the list, including even trying to find an alternate address for his brother, A. REED HAWKINS. So far, though, no luck! Can any of you give me a hand with this one? I'm fairly certain that Bailey is right there in WC, living on Carnation Drive, and in the phone book. So why can't I get a good e-mail address for him, eh?
Recently, we'd also lost 1959's WILLIAM H. FULLER and 1955's CARL R. MAYS. But thanks to a diligent effort by their 2 sisters-in-law (Becky Fuller and Annie Mays, respectively), we got both of them back into the loop. We don't want to lose ANYone!
Since my move, I've now hosted 10 sets of visitors and/or houseguests---yes, 10! We have immensely enjoyed each and every single one, I might add. My 11th set of visitors will arrive Wednesday, will depart Friday morning, and the 12th and 13th set of company will arrive on Friday, in the persons of the two units of my children's families, as you already read. Among prior visitors was cousin JUDITH L. SAMUELS and spouse, Bill Van Cleef. They arrived prior to Memorial Day Weekend, spent a couple of nights, and then went on down to the tourist area in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Dollywood, and the surrounding areas.
We had a great visit and went out to eat several times and sat on my front porch a lot, viewing the mountain range and all the wild birds, whom we regularly feed and water. Judy and I stay in pretty close touch and we have numerous conversational exchanges about the foibles of having retired husbands at home, the astronomical costs of senior health care, and trying to figure out ways to keep husbands out of our kitchens. Ha! So far, we haven't managed to solve these very weighty issues of pith and moment, but we do keep trying. Judy and Bill continue to take regular 2- and 3- day trips, here and there, as Bill's health permits. He has been having some problems with his legs, but is being treated.
Back on April 23, reported Judy, none other than 1957's LINDA L. MCAFEE came walking into the local Eagles Lodge (which Judy's husband runs), just to visit with Judy. Linda was with her husband and Judy reports they had a great visit. That's terrific! As it happens, Linda is the current president of the Eagles Lodge in Crescent City, Florida. She resides in near-by Samsula. As many of you may recall, I once rode my Harley-Davidson over to her house about 3 years ago, side by side with 1957's DARELL L. TOBIAS, on his own Harley-Davidson. We had a nice visit that day. We need to hear a little something from YOU, Linda! Where are you?
For those of you who just may not be aware of it, I got a number of wonderful photos, during this period of bulletin news. Further, we have our own blog for them, courtesy of 1960's MICHAEL S. WEST, who is quite solicitous of posting all of them for our collective view-ing pleasure, along with all of my bulletins, for those of you who might want to do a bit of, "catch-up," reading. That blog is as follows: ( www.wchs.blogspot.com ) So let's use it as often as possible and do remember to thank Mike for his efforts. Anyway, let's get to the photos, shall we?
First came a great photo of siblings, 1955's ROGER P. DUNCAN and his sister, 1953's JACQUELYN A. DUNCAN, who was the homecoming queen of her class, as I'm sure many of us recall. Jackie went on to marry WOODROW W. "WOODY" BOWMAN in 2004, late proprietor of the recently-razed WC institution, Woody's Supermarket, in 2004. She would also sadly go on to become his legal widow, when he died just last July. As sad as I was about his death, there's a part of me who was glad he didn't see the store as it was being demolished.
This photo was sent through the efforts of Roger's 1955 classmate, NORMAN E. JACKSON. He and Roger and the late E. EARL JENKINS were quite a trio in the 1950s, as they cruised through Frisch's in a convertible, smiling all the way around the parking lot. I don't think there was one female student, from junior high school to the senior class, who didn't have a big crush on at least ONE of them. I sure know I did! All 3 of them were Silver Screen/Photoplay handsome, so they made quite an impression. (Remember those 2 old movie magazines?) As it turns out, though, Norm told me he was carrying a huge torch in those days for you, 1954's JO ANNE MCCLURE, an "older woman." Did you know about that, Jo Anne? It's always terribly amusing to rehash all of these things, in later years, I think. Anyway, that's a great photo, Norm! I am now forwarding it to Mike, even as I type, and thank you so much for sending it.
Speaking of Mike, folks, he sent me a great shot of the black bear who walked across the back porch rail of his and Sally's Gatlinburg mountain chalet home on May 9. It's a wondrous shot and what a beautiful, big animal! Mike, don't forget to post that, please! Just in case you don't have yours any longer, I'm forwarding this back to you, so that all of us can view it.
An absolutely fabulous photo came to me, courtesy of Annie Mays, wife of 1960's J. DAVID MAYS. Naturally it's a shot of our own, "WC Royal Family," the Mays clan, as they convened in The Villages, Florida. They aren't ALL present, but there are 5 of the 6 surviving brothers and their wives/significant others. It was on or about April 23. In the photo is 1955's CARL R., 1957's GARY D., 1963's DOUGLAS M., GREG (of what year?), and of course, Dave. The photo and an accompanying article also appeared in an upcoming edition of The Villages Paper. How fitting! Thank you SO much, Annie, for sharing with all of us. We all love the Mays Family!
Then there is always the plethora of wonderful shots of the newest "toys" of my dear friend, 1958's BRUCE E. CHENOWETH. Bruce never disappoints and he didn't this time, either. Bruce has recently purchased a new motorcycle, red and white, and very snazzy. I think he and longtime companion, 1971's PATTY JO WHEELBARGER, are burning up the southern Ohio roads, with some quality Spring/Summer-soon riding, and I'm green with envy, frankly! You two stay safe out there, Bruce and Patty!
But that's not the end of Bruce's toys, folks! On June 3, he won a trophy with his oh-so-gorgeous Model A, at Ohio's Lancaster Car Club Show. Be sure to take a gander! It's a stunning, old car, just gorgeous. So big congratulations, Bruce! I'm so thrilled for you, as I do know how much you enjoy that sort of thing. I am not at all surprised by your victory. What a beauty! He also took second place in a local car show on April 21 with his 1956 Oldsmobile 88. Soon, Bruce will need his own, dedicated trophy room (but I'll bet you already have one, don't you, Bruce?)
We've got a couple of new sign-ons, folks, and I'm so happy with every name we add, aren't you? It's such a thrill knowing that another one of us is alive and well and reading the bulletins. I remain humbly thrilled by the extensive interest in this bulletin and I again want to thank each and every one of you. My pal, 1960's THOMAS L. WOLF, JR., always refers to you all (and himself) as my, "legion of readers." How I do love it! This time, we add 1963's FRANCES J. PEFFLY. We are all so pleased to have you with us, Fran! Please do make it a point to come to the WC functions and, in your spare time, please do send us a little bio of yourself---married? kids? ages? grandkids? life's work, etc., okay? We'd love to read about your life.
The same goes for our other new addition, 1958's REX E. HEETER. Welcome aboard, Rex! It's been a while since I heard your name, but I vividly remember you and I know we all hope you're doing well. You be sure to come to the WC functions, too, PLEASE! It'll be your class' 50th next year, so you need to do a trial run this year, and show up and get reacquainted with everyone, okay? For Fran's sign-up, thanks to her classmate, ANNA MAE STOKES, and for Rex's sign-up, we thank the joint efforts of two his classmates, RICHARD L. SCHINDLER, (who's been sending all my bulletins to him for quite a spell, I'm told, and it was unbeknownst to me, so thank you, Richard) and WM. R. HOWARD, who's the one who suggested adding him directly to the regular list.
Lots of us are out there, criss-crossing the U.S. on our trips, some of us in RVs. I haven't heard anything in quite a while from our full-time RV residents, 1960's WILLIAM O. WALKER and his WC-honorary spouse, Karen, so I'm wondering what's happening there. You two had that accident several months ago and we are all awaiting an update on the status of your health and on the latest location. So write us, please!
That other WC-honorary spouse, Becky Fuller, wife of 1960's GERALD A. FULLER, does a jam-up job of keeping us posted and she writes some great reports for us all and also supplies us with terrific photos. The Fullers have recently spent time with the Walkers and with classmate JOANN K. STEMLEY and her spouse Ron Hall. I've already sent those photos to you, Mike, but just in case they got lost in the shuffle, I'm sending them again, so that they can be posted with all the others. (Are you worn out yet? Ha!) You all recall, I know, that last great report from Becky, which I sent to you in its entirety. There was no way to improve on her report, that's for sure. We all greatly appreciate what you do, Becky! Among my greatest wishes are that of seeing the Fullers, the Walkers, or the Halls (aka Jo Ann Stemley) pulling into my driveway in their big RVs and having a nice visit.
Apparently, also still gallivanting around the country is 1961's JOHN W. OBERLIES, JR. I constantly get the instant replies from John's office, which say he's out of the office until a certain date. Write us a line, John, and tell us about your travels, please.
Will my, "mystery donors," please identify themselves, even if only to ME, so that I can thank you? I promise not to put your names in the bulletin, if that's what you want (and obviously, it is). I refer, once again, to two people among you who have anonymously sent me $100 bills. I know it's from WC people who are on the bulletin list because the typewritten note in one of the envelopes reads, "I so love your bulletins! You must spend a great deal of time doing these and spend a great deal of money on paper and ink supplies and such. Please put this in the WC kitty." The other one says (and it's in block printing, handwritten, but I could never identify the writer), "You are a true WC treasure, if ever there was one. There's a very special spot in heaven for people like you. Add this to the alumni fund, please." I know the two of you are not going to come clean and tell me who you are. But I also know you are reading this bulletin and that you both do still live in Ohio. So just let me say thank you so much for your contribution to, "the alumni effort," and I shall put those funds to good use for us all. In the future, at least let ME know who you are, will you? I'd love to properly thank you and I promise anonymity. Thank you both for your wonderfully-kind words of praise, whoever you are. I love doing the bulletins as much as you love to read them!
Those were not the only wonderful words of praise I received, though. From 1961's much-loved JACK L. GODBY came a brief note, stating (as always) how much he enjoys the bulletins, too. Thank you, Jack, and I hope you're doing wonderfully. Where's your little brother, W. THOMAS GODBY? Tom, are you still out west? Drop me a line and fill me in on the latest!
Also very complimentary was 1959's JAMES L. LIND -SEY. Jim wrote that he's doing okay and he also said he'd give anything to see his old cronies again, the HAWKINS brothers, A. REED and W. BAILEY. He wrote about their many basketball games in Miami Shores. Those were great days, Jim! We just didn't realize at the time, how quickly they'd end. Jim also reported that old cohorts, PETE BAILEY and SONNY WILLIAMS, still live right there in Miami Shores. They were both best buddies with CARL F. ROBBINS, first husband of my late classmate and close friend in junior high, B. ARLENE OGAN. I'll have to keep a sharp eye peeled for Pete and Sonny when I next go rolling through Miami Shores. I'm told that Pete looks exactly the way he did, 40 years ago, so he shouldn't hard to spot.
As much as I hate to pass along this info, I simply can do nothing else. As I've been typing here, I've just gotten mail on my machine from Class of 1961's P. LYNNETTE GARRETT. In it, she advises me that a man named Bill Stanley has been killed recently in a tractor-trailer crash. He's the son of CAROLYN MELZONI's sister, wrote Lynn, and I think Carolyn is Class of 1959. Is that correct, Lynn? But why don't I know the sister's name, who would be mother of the deceased? In any case, he was 49 years old and an ordained minister, someplace in Moraine City. He had 3 children. Lynn further wrote that he was a WC alumnus, but I went through the books for 1975, 1976, and 1977, and didn't find him. That does not mean he wasn't, however. I also went online to the Dayton Daily News obituaries and didn't find one for him. I believe this to be factual, though, and sorry I don't have more details for all of you.
Lynn and I always maintain good contact, so she tells me all the news she gets. So far, she's never told me one thing which is erroneous, so that's why I'm sure it is legitimate. On June 7, reported Lynn, she met with 4 of classmates (SALLY L. GILLETTE, CAROLE J. LEWIS, DONNA J. RICHARDS, and JANET L. WALTERS). A good time was had by all, reported Lynn, Donna brought photos of her new grandbaby (was it September, Donna?) and everyone caught up on all the latest gossip. The 1961 class does a great job of maintaining contact and they make it a point to schedule time for each other. They've done that, all through the years and it sets a great example. Way to go, you 1961-ers! Keep up the good work. Lynn also reports that she had contact with yet another Miami Shores Kid, HARRIET BURKE. Why isn't Harriet on our list, Lynn? Let's try to do that.
Lynn gets around pretty well, when it comes to contact with WC people. She and husband, Frank, are our official, "land baron couple," since they own no less than 5 houses and 2 of them are in Nevada. While they were there during April, at the one they keep for themselves, cousin (mine) JUDITH L. SAMUELS and her husband visited Henderson and spent some time with them. Lynn said they had a great time. Hey, it's time for you and Frank to come to Tennessee, Lynn! You've already BEEN to all the other states. Get down here!
Okay, MURL E. HUFFMAN, what's this I hear about you having had some sort of surgery done, earlier in the year, down in Cincinnati? Is this correct? I'll bet it is. It came from a pretty reliable source, who shall remain nameless. Foul! Foul! Foul! We always tell you EVERYthing! (We're all still afraid NOT to do so. Ha!) So why didn't you tell us about this, so we could send cards and flowers and follow up with a few of our pesky phone calls, eh? "Enquiring minds want to know!" How about a little report, telling us of your procedure and how it went? Of course, if this should be just some unfounded rumor, then let me know and I shall retract all queries. Please be aware that we all hope you are in glowing health.
Exchanges continue with 1957's SHIRLEY ANN HILE and, although she's not going to make her class' 50th gathering, we still hold out hopes of seeing her on the next Sunday morning for the brunch. Shirley was once a Tennessee resident, too, and is talking about being one, once again. I can sure understand that, Shirley! I can't imagine ever living anywhere else now. We're all going to miss you fiercely at the dinner/dance.
Many thanks to 1961's JANET L. WALTERS for the address of JACQUELYN N. LESHER. I wanted to send a note to Jackie, which I did. Janet reported she is feeling fine and also told me that brother, DANNY L. WALTERS, 1960, is also in good health. It's always great news to be able to report having good health! We will see you both in October, Janet and Danny! (We WILL see you both, won't we?)
Once again, I'm going to thank 1958's WILLIAM R. HOWARD, publicly, for helping me to find my longlost, childhood cousin, to whom I now live very near. She's in Bristol, along with another, much-older cousin (85) who may not have many years left. Thanks to Bill's detective work, I was able to connect with these folks, who are among the tiny number of relatives still alive on my mother's side. We've had several wonderful visits and continue to see each other regularly.
Bill was recently in contact with 1959's CAROLYN E. "TOOTIE" PENCE, he reported. Bill says Tootie has moved back down to Melbourne, Florida. I remember that she'd moved back to Ohio from there, several years ago. But I guess she wasn't happy in Ohio and she probably missed her sisters, with whom she is very close. I believe most of them are in Florida. So send us an e-mail, Tootie, and let us know how you're doing. Your WC fan club is alive and well, and I still get a lot of queries about how you are and where you are. We hope you'll come to the dinner/dance!
Bill continues a so-far wonderfully-successful recovery from a bout with cancer, back in February. He and I shared a reminiscent exchange about our humble beginnings in Miami Shores and a few of our many adventures there. I always enjoy that.
The latest news from 1960's EULA FAYE BAILEY is that the buyer for her Overland Park, Kansas, condo has failed to qualify, as so often happens these days, in what I'm told is a really faltering real estate market. I know, first-hand, that it's terrible in Florida and hardly anything is selling. In my own former neighborhood, I am personally aware of two homes which have now been on the market for nearly 2 years. But Eula Faye is holding open houses every Sunday, she tells me, and getting lots of lookers. She wants to move to a smaller place and become a renter, she says. She also loves her new job. However, due to the condo NOT selling, and due to family commitments, I'm just crushed to have to report that Eula Faye has told me she's NOT going to make her normally-annual trip to Tennessee this summer. We had planned a visit and I know that you, Mike West, had also been looking very much forward to seeing here, while she was here. I'm terribly disappointed!
Also looking to sell her condo in Centerville (I think) is 1961's SALLY L. GILLETTE. She writes that she and spouse, 1960's CHARLES A. "BUD" LOWMAN III, are really looking forward to settling into a place which they can call, "ours," rather than, "his," or, "hers." But they want out from under the expense of maintaining 2 homes and I can sure understand THAT! I did that on two different occasions, myself, and will never again do it. It's just not my cup of tea. Sally and Eula Faye, we all wish you a lot of luck in selling your places!
NANCY J. ERTEL, 1961, writes that she's working on a page for her website which is concentrated on the Great Smokey Mountains area. Well, it's sure a great area to highlight, Nancy. I've never seen a prettier or more unspoiled area in the entire U.S. I guess I'd best stop bragging so much about it, or else everyone will be coming here. Ha!
My old pal, EDGAR L. "EDDIE" KELLY sends fond greetings to everyone. He writes that he's doing well and looking forward to our next gathering. Well, I sure hope so, Eddie! After the splash you made in October with your beautiful Highland kilt outfit, it just wouldn't be the same without you. We all also look forward to meeting you, Marilyn!
So now we come to the issue of our dear, departed, Woody's Supermarket, don't we? How kind you all were, to have spirited away so many bricks for me from the construction site. Without that, I'd never have been able to entertain the idea of constructing a small garden area at my new home, using only Woody's bricks. Of course, I'll have to get them from the many homes. But on my list of thanks are 1957's "nameless lady" (who requested anonymity because she actual-ly circumvented the no-trespassing sign to get them for me; 1958's WILLIAM E. HOWARD, BRUCE E. CHENOWETH; 1959's GARY E. BARNES; 1960's RICHARD S. HOLT. I do appreciate the efforts of each and every single one of you. I also appreciate materials which were sent to me by 1960's PHILIP H. WOLFORD and 1987's SHARLENE N. MERKER. Jim Lindsey specifically requested one of the bricks and both Bill Howard and Gary Barnes jumped right in and said they'd be sure he gets one. Hang in there, Jim, as I'm sure one of them is going to send you one, very soon.
This next thing is worth sharing. I got such a kick out of it, when I read your e-mail, Bill Howard, about those bricks at Woody's demolition site. Only those of us who are WC kids can appreciate this. He wrote, "The people who are tearing down that building simply have no respect for how important that place was to all of us." I had to smile and agree, as I'm sure we all do. You're so right, Bill! Neither does anyone else. My husband just shakes his head in amazement about the reaction of us all, to the demise of Woody's. He doesn't, "get it," nor will he, ever!
From 1958's DONALD I. MCCOY came several news -worthy tidbits. Don writes that he drives through the old Miami Shores stomping grounds with regularity, just to see how things have changed. I know what you mean, Don. I do it, every time I'm there. He continues to try to contact 1955's CARL R. MAYS, but had the same problem I did, with mail being rejected. As I've earlier written, Carl apparently changed his e-mail address, so try this one and see if you get through, Don ( firstname.lastname@example.org ). I can't imagine Carl having any problem with any WC people having his e-mail address, so I hope this works for you. Carl, if you're reading this, please contact Don. His e-mail address is ( email@example.com ) So I hope you two get, "hooked up!" Let me know.
As most of us are aware, Don is still very active in the world of music and belongs to a group whose name is "Moment in Thyme." They do a lot of folk music and will soon release a CD. His son, Chris, is also into the music scene, lives in Columbus, and his group will be doing a European tour in July. Great news, Don, and thanks for the report.
From 1963's SHIRLEY ANN RANKIN came several e-mails about stuff she and husband Terry are doing and where they are. They're working in the tourist sector in Pigeon Forge at Dollywood for the summer. They had lived in California for years, Shirley wrote, but said the cost of living out there was just insane. (Hey, this sounds familiar to me, too, Shirley!) So they found Tennessee (just as I did) and decided to live in this state.
Shirley and Terry are living in their RV at Eagles' Nest RV Park in Pigeon Forge, for the season. She's at the candy and ice cream shop at Christmas Place on the Parkway, so if any of you get in that area this summer, be sure to stop and see Shirley. I want to go there, but it doesn't look very promising for me to make it this year. But Shirley, many thanks for your offer to get me tickets and accommodations. I'm thinking it will likely be next summer before I can get away. Thanks for your wonderful report and enjoy your summer! Terry and Shirley have a Disney Cruise set for October 27 through November 10, so I guess they'll be ready for a well-deserved rest by then.
Back to Gary Barnes! I must inform all of you that he and Pat are great-grandparents. I'm thinking I've put that in one of the earlier bulletins, but here's a tidbit from Gary which I have NOT yet written. He sent a report in which he wrote that he played golf on April 20 with several old golfing buddies and friends, who included 1960's MONTY ESTEP and CHARLES A. "BUD" LOWMAN III, and 1959's JOE E. STOMPS. Hey, Gary, why isn't Joe on our bulletin list? Isn't he married to 1961's DONNA PRICE? That would be a double-header. Let's work on that! Over the past few years, I've repeatedly heard that you, Monty Estep, are a world-class golfer. Is there any truth to that? I'm betting there is, as I've heard it from SO many, even the golf-addicted GARY L. WARLAUMONT, 1960. It just MUST be true!
Okay, are you still reading this, 1959's. BETSY R. MURPHY? Help me through this, will you? As Betsy was writing her report to me on the condition of her niece, Othel, she included a bit of info on Othel's sons. I believe I already mentioned that one of Othel's sons is wed to one of LARRY A. BOWMAN's (Class of 1959) daughters. Well, if I'm correctly reading your e-mail, Betsy, you're writing that a granddaughter whose genes are collectively shared by Othel and Larry, is now living in California, and shooting some sort of cosmetics ad for a big company, right? That's kind of a neat piece of news, eh? As all our longtime readers are well aware, the very chic Betsy and her equally- dashing 1960 spouse, T. BARRY RUSSELLO, have long served (to me) as the glowing example of how chic and dashing we can all be, even in our 60s. I look forward to seeing you both in October.
Another of our alumnus is also a chic-looking lady (we have many, of course) and I refer to 1961's EDNA L. GRAY. Each time I see you, Edna, I can't help wonder -ing how you always look as you do. That seems to be a common trait in the women of the Class of 1961, I have noticed. But I got a long and newsy e-mail from Edna, this time, folks! Of course, I had to prod her a bit, but that was okay. You're an informative, newsy e-mail writer, Edna, just what I like!
Edna's husband had some surgery in April and he's slowly coming along. Hang in there, Dick, and get better soon. Edna wrote that she loves seeing her old friends and is always up for a visit. Sadly, she and Dick aren't traveling as much as they once did, so I do sorely miss those wonderful travelogues. When Dick recovers sufficiently, be sure to take another trip and write me a report, Edna! Edna expressed concern for the illness of classmate, Jackie Lesher, and she also reported that her sister, 1960's FLOSSIE J. GRAY is doing well and stays very busy. Edna enjoys all her flowers and her birds and squirrels. We'll all see you soon, Edna, and thanks for writing.
The last piece of WC news was sent to me by 1961's RICHARD L. DOLL. This is so interesting to me, I've saved it for my final topic, purposely. As many of you are well aware, Dick is a retired history teacher, who has an abiding interest in archaeology. He resides in Westerville, Ohio, in the section known as Little Turtle. He has recently discovered the presence of an Early Woodlands Indian campsite, no more than 600 yards from his home. So he's very excited, of course, and has spent much time there.
In the course of this discovery, he's found a number of artifacts which are of historical significance. He took them to the Ohio Historical Society where he was told that some of the arrowheads could be as much as 800-1000 years old. The stem of one of them could even be 2000 years old, he was told! He also found scraping tools which are about 200 years old. This is VERY exciting!
As a result of his discoveries, he will be completing a form which allows him the distinct honor of naming this site. As soon as he gets approval, he's going to let me know what the official name is. That's just terrific, Dick! I know you must be very excited by this. By the way, all of you who might wish to see a few of his discoveries can soon go to our blog where the photo will doubtless be posted. I'm forwarding it to the long-suffering Mike West, who's always so diligent about this. I was going to include this in my earlier list of photographic submissions, but this one was so significant, I felt it deserved its very own section, don't you agree? And so goes yet another feather in the cap (pun intended) of our terribly-talented WC alumni!Thanks so much for that report, Dick! Be sure to give us the follow-up and congratulations on your very, very significant accomplishment.
Okay, that wraps up all the WC e-mail since my last WNR bulletin. So do me a favor, please. If you're just bored and have nothing else to do, go through this report and count the number of WC names which are included. I'm sure it's not more than maybe 40-50, if that. What's my point? Well, you KNOW I'm going to tell you! In case you're unaware, there are roughly 450 of you on my list (i.e., "legion of readers," the phrase coined by my MIA pal, 1960's THOMAS L. WOLF, JR.). So where is the news from the REST of you? If you're reading this, then you've got news, okay? So many of you who read this, are NEVER in it. It's also been a very long time since I heard from a lot of you. As I keep telling you all, without all of you, there is NO bulletin! I am nothing more than merely, "the typing handmaiden," of the news you all send to me. If you don't send it, I can't put it into the bulletins. If I don't get enough news, then there IS no bulletin! I need to hear about vacations of all kinds. I want to know all about grandchildren and new cars and home additions and new homes and moves and illnesses and accidents and surgeries and all the special accomplishments (such as those outlined in the previous paragraph). Sadly, I also need to know about the deaths. I know summer is here and that means vacations, so there's lots of news out there. SEND IT TO ME!!! Do you like the bulletins? Then you must be a PART of them or I can't do them. Thank you, one and all.
With that mild admonition, I shall close this edition of the WeCaTon News Report. But before I do, I must let you know that you need to plan ahead to attend our crown jewel event, the annual dinner/dance, which will this year be held on October 13 at 6 p.m. at the big Holiday Inn ballroom, just west of I-95, and just east of the intersection of Routes 741 and 725. Obviously, our spotlight class this year will be that of 1957. DO NOT MISS THIS EVENT!!! Reservation forms will be sent. If you do not have one by about the first week of September, go online to ( www.wchsalumni.org ) and download a copy by following the prompts. STEVEN F. SHADE, 1965, maintains this website. He's also an alumni officer. Get those forms remitted to another officer, 1958's K. JUNE CRUTCHFIELD, in a timely manner. These folks, along with 1971's THOMAS A. DORSEY and 1948's JACQUELYN A. CRITZER, are the ones who work like dogs to make this event come together for us all. Let's help them in every possible way.
Okay, I'm really going, this time.It's a good thing, too! I have just received a phone call indicating the arrival next week of those guests who will be my 14th(!) set of visitors to my new home (or is it 15th?) By the way, remember when I said I'd see how long this took, in the very first paragraph? Wel, as I sign off, it's 11:15 a.m. on Tuesday, June 12. Not bad, not bad! In any case, I've got lots of cleaning to do! As always, I leave all of you with my sincerest wish for glowing health, great happiness, peaceful serenity, spiritual harmony, and boundless prosperity. Ciao!
-- Bonnie --