Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Photos of the new track and football field, courtesy of Jim Nelson

LAKEWOOD, New York, USA - Jim Nelson made a trip down memory lane through Lakewood recently, stopping in to visit various folks including Randy Carlson (who is retired!) and Jim Lindell, still in the workforce at his company.

Jim passed along the photos below of the new track and football fields at SWCS. They hardly resemble the muddy football area, I remember. And I still carry a couple of black cinders in my leg from taking a tumble on the track on evening.

At our 40th Class of '66 reunion, a number of classmates responded to the plea from former SWCS gym teacher and coach Tom Priester to help fund this new facility.

Thanks for the photos Jim. Maybe we can have an impromptu football game/track meet next summer when we convene for a 45th Class of '66 reunion in Lakewood.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Wife of Class of '66 classmate Mike Coon passes away

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana, USA - I received this sad news from several sources in the last few days.

I am sure everyone's thoughts go out to our classmate Mike Coon.

Here is the obituary information from the Jamestown Post-Journal.


Nancy Ann Clements Coon, 57, Baton Rouge real estate agent, died Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010, at home after a lengthy stay at Baton Rouge General Pennington Cancer Center.
Nancy Coon
She was born to the late Joseph Dudley and Therese Virgie Landry Clements, July 8, 1953, at St. Joseph's Maternity Hospital in Houston, Texas. She was baptized at the Church of the Holy Name, Houston, Texas.
Nancy's father was a federal survey engineer and pipeline construction inspector, so consequently in her early childhood she lived in various locations across the southwest, from Texas to California. When she was a teenager her parents returned to their hometown of Abbeville, La., and she graduated from Vermilion Catholic High School in 1971.
Nancy married Michael A. Coon at St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church in La Jolla, Calif., on July 7, 1978. In 1985 they moved to and lived in Lakewood, N.Y., before relocating to Baton Rouge in 1992.
Nancy obtained her New York State real estate license in 1986. She was honored in 1990 as Realtor of the Year. Nancy was affiliated locally with Keller-Williams Realty for the past 10 years.
Nancy is survived by her husband, Mike; and three children: Trey Arthur Coon and wife, Rebecca Armour Coon of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., Krifting David Coon of San Diego, Calif., and Megan McKenzie Coon of Baton Rouge. She is also survived by her granddaughter, Alexandra Aline Thibodeaux of Baton Rouge.
In addition, she is survived by numerous nephews, nieces, cousins, other relatives and friends, plus her two black Labrador retrievers, Sabre and Hunter.
In addition to her parents, Nancy was predeceased by her former Labrador retrievers: Major, Kra-mer and Cocoa.
Visiting will be at Rabenhorst Funeral Home, 825 Government St., on Tuesday, Nov. 16, from 5 until 9 p.m., with a recitation of the Holy Rosary at 8 p.m.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by the Rev. Trey Nelson at St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church on Wednesday, Nov. 17, at 10 a.m.
Gift bearers will be her cousins from Lake Charles, La., and serving as pallbearers will be her brothers-in-law: Timothy Coon, Daniel Coon, and Mark Coon; and friends: Doug Mackey, Bob Calongne, and Clayton Spilling.
Entombment will follow at St. George Catholic Church Cemetery Mausoleum.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to KW Cares, 8686 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Class reunions in 2011 - one in Mexico, the other in Lakewood

LAKEWOOD, New York, USA - The plan to have a 45th Class of '66 reunion in Mexico in February is still on, those the details remain a little hazy.

But if you are thinking of coming down - to Puerto Vallarta and points south - get your passport in order. You will need it to cross into the land of margaritas, snorkeling and ceviche.

Randy Carlson also passed along this information about a reunion this summer - July 9 - that will not require a passport, unless New York takes its lead from Arizona.

Here's the report Randy sent me last week:
First meeting last night and the following was decided, the 60's-70 reunion will be held Sat. 7/9/2011 at the Celoron Legion again (venue and event were both well received), cocktails 6:00 and food served at 7:00.  

The cost is $20.00 per (down $5.00) which covers the hall, d.j., and dinner.  Checks can be sent to: SWCS 60's Class Reunion, 35 Gifford Avenue, Lakewood, N.Y. 14750.
It is basically the same information as the flyer you posted on your class blog 6/7/07 with only the date, cost, and mailing address different. 

Will send you pertinent updates as decided, it is lucky this dovetails with our 45th.  -- Randy

So it would seem this year will be a big year - most of the class is now eligible for Social Security, and there are two Class of '66 reunions in the works.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Jeannie (Sweeney) Hartman's mom has passed away

 I learned Tuesday that Jeannie Sweeney's mother passed away Monday.
 Below is her obituary information and information about services.
 Our condolences to Jeannie and her family...

Irene C. Sweeney, 85, of 937 Southwestern Drive, passed away Monday, August 16, 2010 peacefully at her home with her daughter and family by her side.
She was the widow of Robert J. Sweeney whom she married February 7, 1946 and who died November 13, 1988.
An area resident all of her life, Irene was born September 28, 1924 in Jamestown, the daughter of the late Raymond Leon and Laura Cecelia Himes Pangborn, and was a graduate of Lakewood High School.
She had previously been employed by the former Marlin Rockwell, Art Metal and Sterlingworth Corporations, as well as the Village of Lakewood and Stanley Home Products.
A communicant of Sacred Heart Catholic Church where she was active in the Rosary & Altar Society, she also belonged to the Sugar Grove American Legion Post 758, Busti Fire Department Auxiliary, Busti Homemakers Home Bureau, Lakewood Rod & Gun Club and the Busti-Lakewood Golden Agers.
Irene’s favorite times were those she spent with her family. She loved the trips she went on with her daughter Jeannie and her family. She also enjoyed doing crafts, taking trips with the Golden Agers and just being able to go and do things, especially playing Bingo. She was a very loving and caring mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
Surviving are two daughters, Roberta “Bert” (Ron) Snyder and Laura “Jeannie” (Ernie) Hartman, both of Busti; three grandchildren: Ronald (Tammy) Snyder of Lakewood, Robert (Amy) Snyder of Lakeland, FL and Corey Hartman of Busti; four great-grandchildren: Dylan Jay Hartman of Busti, Kayla and Cole Snyder of Lakewood and Taylor Snyder of Lakeland; and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by four brothers, Raymond Leon Jr., Edmund B., Kenneth E. and Donald F. Pangborn.
Irene’s family wishes to give a special thank you to Accredited Care, especially Andrea Rodriguez and to Lake Shore Home Health Care, especially her nurse Jeanne.
The funeral will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday in the Lind Funeral Home. Msgr. Joseph M. Dowdell will officiate. Burial will be in the Busti Cemetery.
Friends will be received from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and for ½ hour prior to the service in the funeral home Thursday. A Christian Wake Service will be held in the funeral home Wednesday at 6:45 p.m.
The family suggests memorials may be made to the Busti Fire Department, 886 Mill Road, Jamestown, NY 14701 or Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 380 E. Fairmount Ave., Lakewood, NY 14750.
You may light a candle in remembrance of Irene at

Monday, July 12, 2010

A drive-by (in a pontoon boat) at the Surf Club

BEMUS POINT, New York, USA - Shirley Adams sent along the photo below, taken when she and her daughter stopped by Bemus on their pontoon boat this past week.

Looks pretty cleaned up from what I remember, but then when I was there years ago, it was almost always dark - and/or my eyesight was impaired by some beverage. (Schlitz beer, most likely...)

Surf Club today
Surf Club, July 2010

The Surf Club was almost always part of my up-lake bar travels that usually included Snug Harbor. I once frequented a saloon known as the Mar-Mar, but found it had a lot of bikers holding down bar stools. And they had little patience for skinny 19-year-olds.

The Mar-Mar did get some class music acts from time to time, though, including The Shadows of Night, singing their classic, Gloria.

Other than the Mar-Mar, Snug Harbor and the Surf Club, I can't recall any other joints we hit regularly, except for the SeeZurh House, which had cheaper beer than most.

Here in Valois, there is a place down the road (which also fills with bikers on the weekend) known as Big Johnson's. It's not the Surf Club, but seems to evince much of the same culture as we saw 40+ years ago in Bemus. And on Friday nights, there's karaoke for the brave, or incredibly hammered. Both are in large supply. And no, I haven't been singing there. Yet.

My wife's second cousin rated a mention on the bar's outside billboard after he got married this past weekend to a local girl. 

You can't get more famous than that around here.
Big Johnson's
Big Johnson's, Hector, NY

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Email addresses and coming to Mexico in February

VALOIS, New York, USA - I sent out a missive last week about some missing addresses and got a good response from people who were able to track down some of our classmates.

Of course, I am still missing lots of emails for our classmates, but so it goes...

The Five
Five SWCS Class of '66 guys

Of the five classmates above, I have everyone's email, except, I believe, Dan Loucks (on the left). If you have contact info (even if not an email), send it along and I will phone or write to him directly.

And check out Allan Winger's newest writings... Perhaps he is related to the late Stieg Larsson...

Now, about Mexico and our reunion in February:

In my emails with various non-Class of '66 members, several have expressed an interest in coming to Mexico when the Class of '66 will have its yet-to-be-planned activities.

Sounds good to me, so unless I hear strenuous objection, I think we should post something on the other SWCS Class lists and see who shakes out and wants to come sit in the sun and drink margaritas in February.

The dates are Feb. 4-11. But if you come in earlier, or later, well, it will still be lots of fun.

Sailing by La Manzanilla
Sailing by the La Manzanilla beach

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Class of '66 members lost two moms this week

JAMESTOWN, New York, USA - Sue Siecker told me today that two of our classmates last their mothers this past week, Louis Acquisto and Carolyn Coulter.

Our condolences from all the classmates.

Here are the links to their full obituaries published in the Jamestown Post-Journal.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Grab your passports, the 45th Class reunion will be Feb. 4 to Feb. 11

VALOIS, New York, USA - The date has been set - by Barb Bunce Garlock - for the SWCS Class of '66 45th Class Reunion. At least for the reunion I've been proposing to take place in Mexico, in February of 2011.

Barb's husband Scott booked them into a time share in Puerto Vallarta starting Feb. 11, 2011 and so it seems to make sense to have the Class of '66 reunion the week prior, Feb. 4 to Feb. 11.

A week?

Sure. Why not?

In case you don't remember, there is a certain logic to traveling south of the border for a reunion. Well, maybe not logic.

But Feb. 4 to Feb. 11 the air will be warm, the ocean water will be warm, the evenings will be warm (notice a theme here?) and the beer (start calling it cerveza please) will be cold.

It will not likely be any of the above (except for the beer) north of Florida that week in February.

I would propose we simply declare that week SWCS Gringo Week, or something. And we can get together in Arroyo Seco (my pueblo), neighboring La Manzanilla, and many points between and around. And we can party all that all week. Snorkel, swim, surf, boogie board, kayak (Dave Carlson, that's for you), hike, golf, play tennis, read, take siestas, and, of course, eat some fabulous food.

After the reunion week, we can all then visit Barb and Scott in Puerto Vallarta at their time share. (I hope they have lots of room.)

The pools at the Grand Mayan in Puerto Vallarta

Since I first started writing about this idea of a class reunion in Mexico two years ago, I have had about a dozen people say they actually are considering it.

Obviously, Barb Bunce Garlock is one. Cathy Lindstrom Prince is another. Shirley Adams has been asking me about places to stay. And other folks are asking me questions about travel, lodging, food, the water, safety, and is tequila really as cheap as Coca-Cola?

No, it isn't but darn close, margarita fans, darn close. 

It should be a fun party/week. I live in Mexico because it's warm, the people are friendly, living costs are, well, downright cheap. And as an added bonus, because I get my news via the internet,  I can avoid most of the more hysterical parts of American media.

If you think you might head south for this week-long party/fiesta/reunion/extravaganza-on-a-budget, consider getting an American passport sooner rather than later. You can't really travel outside the borders of the U.S. without one anymore, with a few exceptions.

And if other states take the lead of Arizona, you might need it to get through local airports.

See you in February 2011?

The surf is almost always up.

Good surfing at Arroyo Seco
Surf's up at Playa Grande

Beach camp at Playa Chica
Typical afternoon scene - Arroyo Seco's Playa Chica

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The Surf Club in Bemus is getting a makeover

BEMUS POINT, New York, USA - Sue Siecker sent along this missive from the Jamestown Post-Journal about some changes at the Surf Club.

How many hours did we spend there the first few years out of high school?

It was a regular stop on the circuit for me, right along with Snug Harbor and a joint called the Mar-Mar.

Here's the link to the story from the PJ and the Surf Club's own site.

  • Post Journal story

  • Surf Club site
  • Sunday, April 11, 2010

    Former band leader, music teacher, W. Edward Turner dies

    ASHVILLE, New York, USA - Sue Siecker sent along the news today that former SWCS band leader W. Edward Turner has died at 79.

    Of course, when we were in high school, he was Mr. Turner, though more than a few people called him Cho-Cho Turner, in honor of the ice cream bars he consumed in the cafeteria.

    I never did band, though many of my amigos did.

    Here's Cho-Cho's obituary from the Jamestown Post Journal.


    Cho-Cho Turner
    Mr. Turner

    Ed Turner, 92, formerly of Ashville, died Saturday morning, April 10, 2010, at Heritage Village.
    A lifelong area resident, he was born March 9, 1918, in Randolph, N.Y., the son of Walter H. Turner and Gertrude Fox Turner.
    He was the first in his family to graduate from high school and also the first to receive a college degree and then two graduate degrees.
    He was married for 57 years, and he raised six children. He was hired by the state of New York to write a book about French horn playing and he performed as a soloist at hundreds of concerts. "Not bad," he would say, "for a man pronounced dead at birth."
    He graduated from Falconer High School, then Fredonia State College. He received masters' degrees from Fredonia State College and New York University. He served as music instructor first at the Arcade School system, and then with the Southwestern Central School system for 27 years. The SWCS alma mater was written by him. He retired in 1973 and opened Turner Music Studio. He returned to teaching at age 80 as band director at Holy Family Catholic School.
    He was a very active musician. He performed with a touring Broadway musical, the Hamilton Symphony Orchestra, and started several of his own bands. He is perhaps best remembered for his American Eagle Dixieland Band which played in the area extensively. He performed at Art Park and Chautauqua Institution as well as with the Jamestown Municipal Band and the Jamestown Civic Orchestra which he directed. He enjoyed arranging and composing, but mostly playing. In June 2009, he was honored as one of the founders of the Chautauqua County Music Teachers Association festival.
    He was a very devoted father to six children and loved to play with his grandchildren. His unusually creative bedtime stories will never be forgotten. He loved to play chess. He was active in several churches and enjoyed deep philosophical discussions. Most recently, he was a member of the Gerry United Methodist Church.
    He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Marabel King Turner and his younger sister Rachel Turner as well as by his six children, Ruth Wahl of Napoli, N.Y.; Tim Turner (Judith) of Canton, Texas; son, Lauren Turner of Warsaw, N.Y.; Molly Golando (David) of Sheridan, N.Y.; Paul Turner of Willoughby, Ohio; and Margaret "Peggy" Hallberg (John) of Jamestown, N.Y. He has 13 grandchildren: Christopher Wahl, Joy Golando, Grace Golando, Gregory Golando, Kalynn Turner, Elizabeth Hallberg, Emylia Hallberg, Stephen Hallberg, Tiffany Turner, Sherry Turner, Chance Turner, Lydena Sumarall and JoeCarl Turner. He has five great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
    He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Robert Alton Turner, and a sister, Pauline Turner Maxfield.
    The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday April 14, 2010, at the Lind Funeral Home, with Heather Allport-Cohoon officiating.
    Burial will be in Sunset Hill Cemetery.
    Friends will be received from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.
    In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Chautauqua County Music Teachers Association Scholarship Fund, 909 Central Ave., Dunkirk, NY 14048.

    Wednesday, April 07, 2010

    How about a week-long Class of '66 reunion in Mexico?

    ARROYO SECO, Jalisco, Mexico - After I posted a blog a few days ago about how quickly 2011 is coming up, I was hit with several questions.

    First: Exactly when would such a reunion be?

    Second: Is it safe to travel in Mexico?

    Well, in order, exactly when isn't my choice (it is yours, too), but I would suggest the second or third week of February, 2011 - and make the reunion the entire week.

    Maybe have it span two weekends so that people could get a good bang for their travel bucks.

    Playa Chica One
    Playa Chica at sunset

    I don't have any set agendas - except to say that my wife Sylvia and I would be happy to host at least one wing-ding party here in Arroyo Seco at our Pink Flamingo Bar and Recreation Center. Ok, it isn't really a bar yet, but plenty of recreation goes on. And would there only be one party here???? Doubtful... more likely we would use the Pink Flamingo as the launch pad for all week.

    In terms of recreation, between La Manzanilla, Tenacatita and Arroyo Seco, we have miles of largely deserted beaches, dozens of great restaurants, hotels, motels, houses-to-rent and camping accommodations.

    And for activities, well, there's the obvious water sports: swimming, fishing, snorkeling, boating, boogie boarding, and surfing. In addition, there is hiking, shopping (lots of shopping), golf, beach volleyball, bocce ball and, and, and... 

    And in February, it is warm, amigos. Warm. Like 80-85 degrees during-the-day warm. At night? Maybe in the mid 60s.

    Sasha starts to run into the water
    Favorite swimming hole

    And is it safe to travel to - and in - Mexico?

    Well, I obviously think so.

    The Admiral and I live here six months a year in the Costalegre and feel safer than when we live in Sacramento, California. A lot safer.

    That said, I would not spend any time in Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana or any other Mexican border town. But then I am really nervous when I drive through Oakland, California to visit my one son who lives there, too. Really nervous.

    Ditto for going through the Bronx when I am passing through New York City visiting relatives.

    Whale ho!
    When boating, sometimes you have company

    So, how about it? A reunion week

    I already have one person from the states who says she is in for sure and planning her itinerary.

    Y tu?

    Monday, April 05, 2010

    Time to get 'serious' about a Class of '66 reunion - in Mexico

    ARROYO SECO, Jalisco, Mexico - So, where does the time disappear to? Two years ago, sitting in a rented house in La Manzanilla (10 miles from here), I posted a blog suggesting that the Class of '66 should have a 45th reunion here in the winter of 2011.

    About a dozen people responded with a 'You bet,' (or something like that)...

    Well, the winter of 2011 is coming up fast.

    Really fast.

    So if this is going to happen - and it would be fun, amigos - some minor amount of planning needs to be done: dates, accommodations for housing, accumulation of boogie boards and snorkel gear, ordering of tequila for margaritas, etc...

    Vacationistas in the surf at Arroyo Seco
    Beach at Playa Grande in Arroyo Seco

    My wife Sylvia and I live Arroyo Seco - a small village that has great beaches and fabulous people - three hours south of Puerto Vallarta and one hour north of Manzanillo. Both cities have good airports and ground transportation.

    And we have a big piece of property in the center of Arroyo Seco that would be good for a party or two during a reunion. We now call the place The Pink Flamingo. That's a long story, better told later.

    The best accommodations - hotel rooms, rental casitas, etc... - are down the highway a few miles in La Manzanilla. La Manzanilla is on Tenacatita Bay, a relatively famous place for vacationing and, at last count, has about 40 restaurants.

    Almost all of them are pretty good, too.

    Bay in front of La Manzanilla
    Beach at La Manzanilla

    So to make this a short story: If the Class of '66 has a 45th reunion in February, 2011 here in the Costalegre area of Mexico - how many people are in?

    And for the record, if it's a reunion of 100 people fabulous!

    And a reunion two?

    Equally fabulous!

    Here is a link to a website about La Manzanilla:

  • Visit La Manzanilla

  • Hasta luego, amigos.

    Thursday, February 04, 2010

    Another passing of a Class of '66 parent - Margrete Davidson



    Margrete Ester Carlson Davidson passed away at 4:50 p.m. on Friday, January 29, 2010.

    Margrete, of Neits Crest in Ashville, passed away in Englewood, Fla. She was born in Jamestown on May 19, 1929, the daughter of the late Helge and Judith Soderquist Carlson.

    Margrete graduated from Jamestown High School in 1947 and married her childhood sweetheart, Robert G. Davidson on September 6, 1947. He went to be with the Lord on June 14, 2005.

    She was the proud mother of Linda (Franklin) Yartz of Ashville and Ronald (Linda) Davidson of Lakewood. She has five beloved grandchildren: Andrew (Angela) Yartz of Essex Junction, Vt., Thomas (Angela) Yartz, Eric Davidson and Leslie (Thomas) Genareo, all of Lakewood and Tracy (Joe) Musselman of Columbus, Ohio. 

    In addition, she had been blessed with six great-grandchildren: Jake, Leigh and Jared Yartz, Myla Yartz, Emily Musselman and Wilson Genareo. She was affectionately known to all as Mimi. She is also survived by a sister, Doris (Ernest) Erickson of Jamestown.

    Margrete and her husband, Bob, owned and operated Davidson's Restaurant from 1950 until their retirement in 1990. She remained a daily figure at the restaurant for the rest of her life. She was a charter member of the Lakewood Baptist Church and an associate member of the West Rotunda Community Church in Englewood, Fla.

    Her hard-working hands played and enjoyed the piano all her life. Beginning at the age of six, she loved gospel music. She and Bob attended numerous concerts and gospel cruises. They enjoyed traveling to many destinations including Sweden, Alaska and Florida. She enjoyed working on her lake home lawn and flower garden and even captured her beautiful garden in an award-winning photograph of a rainbow.

    She loved watching all sports - the Yankees and NASCAR were her favorites. In later years, she enjoyed reading Christian books. Most important to Margrete throughout her life was her love for her family and God.

    The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Friday in the Lind Funeral Home. 
    The Rev. Daniel W. Cook will officiate. Burial will be in Sunset Hill Cemetery.

    Friends will be received from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday and for one hour prior to the service in the funeral home Friday.

    The family suggests memorials be made to Lakewood Baptist Church, 150 Erie St., Lakewood, NY 14750.

    Wednesday, January 06, 2010

    More sad news about the passing of a Class of '66 parent

    JAMESTOWN, New York, USA - I received notice from several classmates that Mike Coon's mother has passed away.
    Our condolences, Mike.
    Here is the obituary from the Post Journal

    Elizabeth "Betty" Joyce Coon, 82, of Tanglewood Manor, formerly of Glidden Ave., West Ellicott, died at 4:20 a.m. Saturday, January 2, 2010, in Heritage Green Rehab and Skilled Nursing.
    A Jamestown native, she was born March 30, 1927, a daughter of the late John and Elizabeth Bauer Fish.
    She was a communicant of Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
    Surviving are six children: Michael (Nancy) Coon of Baton Rouge, La., Timothy (Kathy) Coon of Mooresville, Ind., Daniel (Mary Beth) Coon of Bemus Point, Mark (Kim) Coon of Cassadaga, Maureen (James) Hamblin of Dorset, Ohio and Lori Coon of Lakewood; 14 grandchildren: Shawn, Trey, K. David, Megan, Todd, Jamie, Lyndsey, Matthew, Christian, Allison, Miranda, Brandy, Candice and Dylan; and nine great-grandchildren.
    She was preceded in death by her husband James L. Coon, whom she married January 25, 1949, and who died August 22, 1999, a granddaughter Shannon Coon in 1986, two brothers: John Fish, Jr. and Howard Fish, and a sister, Dolores Hutchinson.
    The funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the Lind Funeral Home. Msgr. Joseph M. Dowdell will officiate.
    Burial will be in Sunset Hill Cemetery.
    Friends will be received from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday in the funeral home.
    Memorials may be made to Chautauqua County Humane Society, 2825 Strunk Road, Jamestown, NY 14701.