Friday, July 28, 2006

A little lake time was in order at the reunion

LAKEWOOD, New York - As the photo with today's blog attests, I wasn't the only one who took to the water at our class reunion.

Jim Lindell went tubing on Saturday while I was out trying to upend the sailboat on which I was racing in the Chautauqua Lake Yacht Club Regatta. At least Jim meant to get wet.

Growing up - and living right on the shore the lake - meant that any day the weather was even halfway decent it was time to drag out the waterskiis and find someone willing to pony up some money for gasoline so we could zoom around for hours.

Today, while out test-driving a new auto (Do not get me started on that fiasco!) I drove past the twin of the boat I owned as a teenager - a 14-foot MFG with a 50 HP Mercury hanging on the back. Was it a sign from the heavens? Was it a hallucination after seeing the sticker price on the cars I was test driving? I think the second hypothesis is the most likely.

The last time I was on water skis I tried to do one of the few tricks I ever mastered - putting the tow rope between my knees while skiing on two skis. I made it about 50 feet before I crashed, all captured in living color on the video camera. We used to fall a lot when we skied - part of the fun, I suppose. Now, well, it can hurt.

The new technology of tubing looks like it's a lot of fun, particularly with the speed of boats today. While we were content with 40 mph, even jetskis can hit 70 now - and pull a tube I've noticed.

Jim wasn't alone tubing (hard to drive and tube at the same time). Among the other suspects with him was Louie Acquisto, though no photos of Louie crashing about the waters of Lake Chautauqua have made it to me yet.

Louie on the water
Louis Acquisto enjoying the water

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The part of the Class of '66 Reunion I missed

JAMESTOWN, New York - I never played golf (the real kind, not the miniature version) largely because I didn't own golf clubs as a kid and the nearsightedness limited my ability to whack the little white pill very far.

I learned early what a divot was and my brief tryout for the golf team ended very quickly and with a lot of shouting on the part of Dick Shevalier, if my memory serves me.

So, I didn't get involved with the golfing Saturday at the reunion, instead I went down to the Chautauqua Lake Yacht Club and quickly hooked a ride on a sailboat as crew in the charity regatta going on. The whole club was buzzing with racers and if you haven't seen the yacht club in recent years, they have installed a large in-ground swimming pool. Very upscale.

I landed on a boat owned by Geoffrey Bond, who lives in the old Bootey house (we called it the Bootey mansion, when I was a kid) next to Lakewood Beach. We had two great sailing races (took a second and a fourth) and had I not almost swamped the boat in the second race, might have done every better.

Whatever. I did get a world-class sunburn on my face, which was exacerbated by far too many glasses of Pinot Grigio Saturday night during dinner and after in between dances. That song "Hot, Hot, Hot," is still stuck in my head.

Fitz & Captain Geoffrey
Fitz & Captain Geoffrey Bond (center)

While I was getting ready for the race, I ran into Sharon Ticknor (Class of '69) who was crewing in the regatta also, but on a large cruising boat. My boat was about 16-feet long, a little tender and we forgot the cooler with the drinks.

No wonder pirates say Arrrrrgh - it's when they run out of beer!

Sharon Ticknor & daughter
Sharon Ticknor & her daughter

I've received several more reunion photos - thanks Randy and Allan - so I have an excuse to keep typing and avoiding the writing deadlines I have the rest of this week and next.

But if you didn't take a close look at the golf photo of Jack Eckdahl at the top, look at it again. What a great grin - at least before he takes the shot.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Easily recognizable, and still smiling after 40 years

MAYVILLE, New York - A few more photos have trickled out of my photo file from the Class of '66 reunion, including this shot of Dan, Ken and Steve at the dinner.

All three guys are clearly the people we graduated with - even Dan who is arguably a foot taller than I remember him as being! Steroids - or a late bloomer?

Ken Sonne is retired after a long and successful teaching career. Steve and Dan are still among the ranks of the employed, Dan with his own company (if I remember what he told me correctly) and Steve has a security clearance, I believe. You'll have to email Steve about what he does, I don't have a high enough clearance. In fact, as a journalist, I probably have a negative rating when it comes to security clearances.

I also found this shot of Craig Fransen, who was one of my closest friends growing up. In the early 1960s, Craig, Gary Shenkle, Tom Short, the late Ron Hurlburt and I would lift weights in his basement (Craig obviously kept at it and it shows) and then go upstairs to feast in his family kitchen.

One summer we all bought sweatshirts and used a Magic Marker to write "Fransen's Gym" on the front of them.

On the back we wrote "Bigger Biceps for '64"

I really wish I had kept that sweatshirt.

That winter I bought my own set of barbells to have at the house. It should have been a sign that I had to have someone carry the box from the store and put it in my car.

Craig Fransen
Craig Fransen

And lastly, here's yet another dance shot - nope, not Shelley Kales and I again (though I do have another one to post). This is another group shot, but of a circle dance... (As opposed to a square dance? Sorry.) And what exactly is Linda Davidson doing/saying in this photo?

Dancin' in a circle

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Yes, more table shots and more dance photos

Dinner for five?
Originally uploaded by Brite light photos.
MAYVILLE, New York - The well is almost dry, but not quite, of contributed photos from the SWCS Class of '66 Reunion, held more than a week ago. In the top photo, Sue Guertin-Chandler (on the right), Marianne jim (seated next to her) and Gloria Boutelle Olson are all pretty recognizable.

I believe the blonde head belongs to Linda Davidson, but I can't be sure.

I spent a good part of today trying to figure out what to put on the memorial brick for John Rupp. I have space for three lines with 15 characters each, which is barely room for me to say hello, let alone craft a snappy brick-eulogy.

So, I'll take any suggestions. Limericks are ok, too. John would appreciate a funny ditty on his brick.

There once was a lad from Lakewood... (won't work - too long).

I finally watched the video of the dancing, by the way, and, well, mercifully enough the lighting is pretty bad. In other words, we all look pretty good dancing! I'll see what I can do with it when I try to import it into my movie program.

In the meantime, here's a few dance shot stills that I'll incorporate into the video.

The stroll
Doing the stroll

Yet another shot of Fitz and Shelley Kales
Fitz & Shelley Kales

Kathy Lindstrom shows some style
Kathy Lindstrom shows real style

Monday, July 24, 2006

Herr Pfaff made it to the Class of '66 reunion

BEMUS POINT, New York - Jim Nelson sent along this photo yesterday of Herr Pfaff of Southwestern teacher fame, who made it to the See Zurh House Friday night but in the hubbub, I missed him entirely.

Damn! (How do you say that in German?)

If you look at his smile, you see he's the same guy - just add 40 years.

(Hmm... I guess that goes for Jim Nelson and the rest of us, too.)

Mr. Pfaff was my homeroom teacher senior year and always seemed to be busy and in a hurry, but never so busy or in a hurry that he couldn't take a minute to listen to my laments.

I had a serious case of senioritis our last year and wasn't particularly interested in anything other than the writing my gossip column (with John Rupp) called The Eavesdroppers for the Trojan.

I'm pretty sure that Mr. Pfaff interceded on my behalf with a couple of the teachers (like that maniac who taught French, Jon Giacco) to give me a break.

Jim sent along several other photos - plus I have more from Gloria Boutelle to post.

Here's a couple to jog your short-term memories about what we were doing a little over a week ago.

Great Dancing shot
Dance, dance, dance

Jesse Dowd
Jesse Dowd

Louis and Larry
Louie Acquisto and Larry Nelson

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Gloria Boutelle Olson's camera comes through

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The electrons were still spinning on my plea for more reunion photos when Gloria sent along a number of photos from Saturday night.

Her camera was afflicted with the same problems as mine, except many of her photos came out well within tolerable levels.

In fact, most of us will like some of the soft focus shots. Damn those wrinkles anyway.

So, Gloria, many thanks for the pictures and the Mallo cups!

Kathy Lindstrom and husband dancing
Kathy Lindstrom dancing with her husband

Gary Lucas and spouse
Gary Lucas and his wife

Four amigos
The four amigos...