Saturday, January 28, 2006

Make the name tags big, REALLY BIG, OK?

Dana Bolles
Originally uploaded by Brite light photos.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - I walked into a press conference two days ago and spotted, I thought, a woman who worked for a local radio station with whom I really needed to chat.

As I got close to her, the tiny name tag on her jacket fuzzed out (I can't see worth a damn up close) and, so I said hello Jenny, when in fact her name was Kathleen.

Wrong name, wrong person.

Merde! (See, I did learn some French in high school, thought 'merde' came from Phil Parks, who was several years ahead of us in high school and whose mother was French)

So this latest name tag debacle - and dream I had last night about our upcoming 40th reunion - prompted me to think that we better have REALLY BIG name tags or there will be a whole lot of goofy 'who the hell is that?' kind of looks being shot around the room.

Of course, in addition to that, we could ask people to comb their hair like they did in high school or maybe find a similar outfit to wear. Cheryl Towers had on kind of tennis sweater sort of thing. Or in Dana Bolles case, have him find a plaid jacket that comes close to what he wore in his yearbook photo.

I had one of those sportscoats, too, but mercifully when my mother pushed me out the door for school the day our photos were taken, she didn't make me wear it. I wasn't so lucky when I went to Villanova and my photos from that era - one of which I posted - are about as geeky as geeky gets. Thank God the photos are all in black and white. My plaid sportscoat was purple.

Purple. Jaysus.

Dana, by the way, has still not been located, though Randy Carlson found what he believes is a good address for him and mailed him an invitation. I seem to remember that Dana married Celeste Windoft, daughter of Byron, our American history teacher. And wasn't his dad, Harry, a referee at football games? I seem to remember Dana taking a lot of crap for that.

Dana was also a guitar player - that I remember for sure, and at one point was involved in radio.

In my dream last night, numerous women from our class were coming up and hugging me (it was dream, ok...) but I couldn't recognize any of them! As each one walked away, my wife would ask, 'And who was that?' in a voice that any husband in our class would recognize as the precursor to a full nuclear launch.

Name tags, amigos. BIG ONES?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Let's hoist a glass to toast our former teachers

Grey Goose vodka
Originally uploaded by Brite light photos.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - I couldn't find a really good photo of an appetizing meal to post with today's blog.

And frankly, I was a little worried about even searching for what kind of image might come up if I Googled Chautauqua Chicken. (An algae-covered breast of poultry, gently sauteed in...forget it...)

(For the record, I have ordered Chautauqua Chicken to eat at our reunion banquet/soiree/sockhop/freaky-dancing event. Can't wait...)

And I expect to hoist a couple of Grey Goose vodka tonics at the bar with Jim Carr, who is to blame for my keeping a bottle of that stuff in the freezer.

But what I wanted to throw out on the table (Good pun? Bad pun?) is having us (Class of '66 classmates) pay for the dinners and/or drinks of any of our former teachers who might be inclined to show up.

I posted the list of teachers the other day and I hope that some of those folks will come to one or more of the events. But it seems like it would be a nice gesture if, say, Harold Burgard showed up, to buy his dinner.

The Class of '66 is about to send out invitations to these folks, so time is of the essence.

As I suggested it, I suppose I should say I'll kick in the first $25 to the pot towards purchasing any dinners for our former wardens, er, teachers. I don't how many of our former wardens (sorry, slipped) would be willing to traverse the highways to Mayville for Chicken Chautauqua (or other such delicacies). But if we had 10 of these people
show up, (Who are actually older than us, can you believe it?) it would be a miracle and triumph of geriatric medicine.

So, please let Randy Carlson know via email if you are willing to throw in a few bucks towards buying dinner and/or drinks for our former teachers. (Ha! You thought I was going to say wardens again, right?)


Well, it sure would be fun to do the following (particularly after a Grey Goose or two):

- Slap Gunny Anderson on the back and say Hi Gunny!
- Ask Gene Munson why he never mentioned we would eventually need to retire.
- Ask Bruce Crist what he thinks about American democracy - now.
- Give a squirtgun to Tony LoGuidice and let him go table-to-table wreaking havoc,
- If we ever find Dalton Berringer, make him play, As Time Goes By...


Dance with Ethel Goller Enserro, to As Time Goes By, of course.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Break out the tennis togs, it's springtime

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Definitely some wishful thinking going on on my part, but the sun is out again this morning and the prediction is that we might hit 70 degrees here today, after doing so yesterday...


So even though I'm limping around the house and can barely get outside onto the brick patio, I think I'll pull out my tennis racquet and bash the ball into the back yard for the dog to chase - and retrieve.

The photo today with the blog is of our SWCS tennis team, most likely during junior year given that Ted Bootey is in it, kneeling in front of Coach Tom Priester.

Ted's dad was a judge, you might remember, and it seemed like whenever I got a speeding ticket, he was the justice that heard the case.

I didn't play tennis much in high school, it wasn't until I was in my 30s that I started to enjoy it. I played every afternoon with one of the editors at the Chico Enterprise-Record (where I was editor). We would smash the ball with great abandon to work out our frustrations of working for arguably the most conservative publisher in America.

How conservative? Well, let's say he thought that public education was a waste of taxpayer's good money, for example. Now that I write about education all the time, I'm beginning to understand his point a little better, although the alternatives are pretty unpalatable.

When I did play tennis, usually at the Lakewood Beach tennis courts, I remember there was a decided advantage depending on how hard the wind was blowing off the lake. If you tried to hit into it when it was ripping, the ball would barely make it over the net. Hitting it downwind, you could loft one to Terrace Avenue if you weren't careful.

One afternoon in the spring of our senior year, my 50-plus-year-old aunt, Ethel Puls (Gordy Puls' mother) whipped me in two out of three sets. Must've been that darned wind.

One particular note from this photo:

Standing next to Tom Priester is Merle Butler, who was killed in Vietnam and whose name I always look up when the traveling Vietnam Veteran's Memorial comes to Sacramento.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Searching for Joe Rushin, I found Miss Brownrigg

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla - Shelley Kales set me on the track of finding Joe Rushin yesterday and while I didn't find Joe, exactly, I did find his wife (and maybe him).

Joe married Miss Brownrigg, one of our SWCS librarians, after his first wife died, all of which happened I think while we were still in high school.

But Miss Brownrigg (now Mrs. Rushin) left Jamestown when Joe retired in 1982 and moved to Florida where she started cranking out novels, all of which you can find at under Beverly Rushin.

One book just came out in paperback and I'll let you know how it is.

Here's her mailing address in Florida, at least according to the Herkimer High School from which she graduated in 1953.

The other data - and message from Beverly Brownrigg Rushin - all comes from the HHS website:

Address: 1342 S.E. Sandia Drive, Port St. Lucie, FL 34583
Phone: (561) 879-0872
Occupation: Former librarian
Family: Married to Joe Rushin

"After graduation from HHS and from SUNY at Oswego in 1957, I recieved my MS from Syracuse Univ. in 1968. We lived in Jamestown, NY for many years until Joe retired in 1982. At that time we moved to Port St. Lucie where I became interested in community activities and also joined a writers group. I now have five published books. Three are at the local public library in Herkimer and I hope some of you will enjoy reading them. The titles of all five are, By the Sea, A Sudden Change of Plans, Broadsided by Love, My Rose and Shades of Love."

By the way, the list of teacher's addresses and contact information that I posted yesterday was compiled in good part from Tom Priester who has been helping get the reunion together. I think Tom is still selling bricks, too, as a fundraiser for the school.

I didn't get any of the letters off to teachers that I intended to yesterday - the over-the-counter painkillers keeping my knee injury under control stopped doing their job and I had to shift to a grape-based pain reliever.

Maybe later today I'll pen a couple of those letters, but no more grape-based remedies. The headache was worse the the knee-ache.