Monday, November 26, 2012

SWCS Class Reunion(s) set for July 13, 2013, really!

JAMESTOWN, New York, USA - A 1960s SWCS' reunion date for next summer has been set.

If this is old news to you, that's because Randy Carlson sent me a notice weeks ago, just as I was leaving for Boogie Board Heaven, er, I mean Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.

My wife and I have a condo here this winter so, theoretically, I can get some writing projects completed.

And drink margaritas, too...

Below is the information about the reunion as passed along to me...

Also, if you want to know more, contact these SWCS guys: -->
Ronald Ducat - (716)763-8142
Brad Zimmer - (716)488-9396


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Another SWCS Class of '66 teacher sighting

LAKEWOOD, New York - Classmate Jim Nelson was in Jamestown recently and ran into former SWCS teacher Mr. Dominey.

Like most of our teachers, none of these people ever seemed to have first names (unlike Dalton Berringer). I think his first name is Gordon, but I wouldn't bet my retirement checks on it.

Here's part of Jim's report on his close encounter:

I was with my mother waiting for my wife to conclude some shopping at the Chautauqua Mall when an elderly gentleman and his wife came out of the store.  My mom recognized this guy as an old golf league partner and neighbor.  She asked me if I knew who this gentleman was.  The man looked familiar, but I couldn't quite place him.  

It turned out to be Mr. Dominey from 8th grade Social Studies who is now 90 years old and living in a retirement home in Gerry, NY.  He looked great considering that I took his class 50 years ago.  After talking about the class, he recounted how he kept students in line with a pinch on the shoulder (similar to the Vulcan nerve pinch utilized by Mr. Spock) and, at some point, was told that he could not do that anymore by the powers that be.  After hearing that, he then told the administration that he would be retiring in two years.  

For the record, I never was on the receiving end of the Dominey nerve pinch and always thought Mr. Dominey was a great teacher.

Jim Nelson 


Also for the record, I never got one of those pinches, but I did recall them years later when I had my children. My daughter was an angel (of course!!!) and my three boys were well-behaved. But there were a few times when I used a little gentle Dominey pressure on the back of their necks to keep them under control. (Usually from whacking each other.)

Here's Jim's photo:

Monday, May 21, 2012

A close encounter with former SWCS teacher Harold Burgard

LAKEWOOD, New York, USA - This past weekend included a one-day, fast turnaround trip to Lakewood - and the former Green Farm on Chautauqua Avenue - for a celebration of life for my late cousin-in-law, Jerry Mattison.

His wife Barbara is my cousin. And her brother (and also my cousin, of course) is Gordon Puls - better known as Mr. Puls at SWCS back when we were in high school and he was teaching math there.

The celebration was very nice and it was quite the family reunion, too, with all my cousins there, including the entire McAvoy clan: Robert, Nancy and Kathleen (all SWCS grads). Kathleen McAvoy worked at Lakewood Beach in the mid 1960s as a lifeguard and swimming instructor.
My sister Evelyn (an SWCS grad) made it in, too, from her Lowell, Mass. environs.

Harold Burgard's grip is still like a vise
I also ran into Class of '66 amigo Bud Hooper who knew the Mattison family well.

But out of all the people there, the one I was really surprised to see was former SWCS history teacher Harold Burgard. He was (and is) good friends with the Puls family and knew the late Jerry Mattison well.

If you had Harold Burgard for a class, you are probably already reciting one of the many phrases he made us memorize so that we would remember our history - and get through the NY State Regents exam. 

I think I can smell the mimeograph fluid as I write this.

He's in good health, as sharp as ever and said he would be quite willing to attend at future Class of '66 reunions.

We should invite him. What a kick it would be, even if he quizzes us on world history.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Mark Swanson's obituary from the Post-Journal

JAMESTOWN, New York - Below is Mark Swanson's obituary as printed in the Jamestown Post Journal.


   Mark T. Swanson, 64, of 3732 Lakeland Road, Stow, N.Y., died Thursday, May 3, 2012, in WCA Hospital.
   A native of Ann Arbor, Mich., he was born May 2, 1948, a son of David W. Swanson and Nancy Tornebohm Blears.
   He had been employed for many years by Cummins Jamestown Engine Plant as a factory worker.
   He was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having served the church in various leadership roles.
   Mark loved the lake, skiing and fishing. Sports played an important part throughout his life, and he shared a very competitive spirit. Mark truly enjoyed music and harmony, and loved his family. He always enjoyed a good laugh.
   Surviving besides his mother of Lakewood are his wife the former Jo Anne Harp, whom he married Dec. 31, 1966; five children: Mark David (Zahra) Swanson of Midvale, Utah, Lisa (Trulan) Preece of American Fork, Utah, Luke (Joy) Swanson of Jamestown, Benjamin (Mindy) Swanson of Spring, Texas, and Katherin Swanson of Akron, N.Y.; 15 grandchildren: Mark J. and Kiersten Swanson of Midvale, Utah, Coray, Dallin, Quinn, Shadrach, Travis and Tyran Preece of American Fork, Utah, Faidrian, Alexis and Greta Swanson of Jamestown, and Hailey, Hunter, Taylor and Tanner Swanson of Spring, Texas; two brothers: Matthew (Diane) Swanson of Winnsboro, S.C., and Charles (Diane) Swanson of Pulaski, Va.; and Trudy Dublin of Pittsford, whom he considered a sister.
   He was preceded in death by his father.
   The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Monday in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 851 Forest Ave., Jamestown.
   Burial will be in Sunset Hill Cemetery.
   Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday in the Lind Funeral Home and for one hour prior to the service Monday in the church.
   Memorials may be made to the Humanitarian Services, c/o LDS Philanthropies, Joseph Smith Memorial Building, 15 E. South Temple St., 2E, Salt Lake City, UT 84150.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Class of ' 66 classmate Mark Swanson dies at 64

STOW, New York - The Jamestown Post-Journal reported this morning that classmate Mark Swanson died this morning.
LINK: Story in PJ about Mark
Here is the story, too:
  STOW - A Stow man was killed when his car drove off Stow Ferry Road nearly 40 feet into Chautauqua Lake at 5:43 a.m. Thursday.
Sheriff's deputies report Mark T. Swanson, 64, of Stow may have suffered a medical condition before the accident. He was driving east on Stow Ferry Road when he drove through a barrier onto the Stow Ferry and then 40 feet into the lake. The car was submerged in about 4 feet of water when rescue crews arrived.
  Ashville and Bemus Point volunteer firefighters responded to the scene with the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department dive team.
  They got Swanson out of the vehicle and took him to WCA Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

    I have not had any communications with Mark in many years, but remember him well. He was good guy when we were struggling our way through high school. And in retrospect, a very kind individual, too.
    I pulled the photos below from our SWCS Class of 1966 yearbook... There are lots of other photos in there of Mark, too. The one of Mark racing against Vern Ahlgren is a classic.
    When services for Mark are announced, I will post them there.