Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Golfers! Watch out for Jim Carr at this summer's reunion

Jim Carr - with a celebratory cocktail
PHOENIX, Arizona - Jim Carr has not said for sure if he is coming to the SWCS Class of '66 50th reunion July 2 in Mayville. Or if he will be out with Shirley Adams and other classmates playing golf as part of the class reunion activities.

But it seems he has been spending some time out on the links tuning up his golf skills.

He sent me the two photos here, taken after he shot a hole-in-one while playing in a foursome that I believe included his son Michael. Jim has been a golfer for years, though he's been struggling with some health issues recently. 

But a hole-in-one is a hole-in-one... Nicely done, James.

You can contact him via email directly by clicking on his name.
The Fearsome Foursome

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Golf on tap for Class of '66 50th reunion this July 2

MAYVILLE, New York - Add golf to the possible activities at the SWCS Class of '66 reunion Saturday, July 2, 2016. Yes, it's in Mayville at the Chautauqua Suites...

Is it me, or are there a LOT of sand traps?
Shirley Adams is heading up the golf efforts, so you might want to contact her (by clicking on her name above) if you are interested in chasing golf balls around while reminiscing with classmates (and spouses) about other times chasing golf balls around.

On Saturday there will be a 6-7 p.m. cocktail hour, followed by a prime rib buffet dinner. After dinner, a DJ will set up and play until midnight. I intend to nap most of Saturday afternoon so I can stay awake.

Other events - including a social soiree Friday night - are in the planning stages. But it's likely the Surf Club in Bemus Point will be one of the stops.  And there is music on the waterfront that night, too.

If you are planning on attending, it's time to get your name in to Randy Carlson if you have not already done so. PLUS, Randy is starting to collect $45 per person to cover the cost of the reunion party Saturday evening. The deadline for getting your $45 in to him is the end of April. Payments can be send to Randy Carlson, 35 Gifford Avenue, Lakewood, NY, 14750.

A nostalgia tour of the SWCS campus apparently won't happen. School officials are making some noise about insurance issues. If anyone has any pull with the SWCS administration, you might yank their chain to see if there's a possibility of getting them to change their minds.

In the meantime, Merry Christmas, y'all. Hope to see everyone in July.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Countdown clock running on July 2016 SWCS reunion

Mayville, New York - The July 2016 SWCS Class of '66 50th reunion at Chautauqua Suites in Mayville is gathering steam.

Here are the details so far:

Saturday, July 2, there will be a 6-7 p.m. cocktail hour, followed by a prime rib buffet dinner. After dinner, a DJ will set up and play until midnight. (We'll see who will last that long!)

Other events - including a social soiree Friday night - are still in the planning stages.

It's important if you are planning on attending to get your name in to Randy Carlson if you have not already done so. PLUS, Randy is starting to collect $45 per person to cover the cost of the reunion party Saturday evening. The deadline for getting your $45 in to him is the end of April. Payments can be send to Randy Carlson, 35 Gifford Avenue, Lakewood, NY, 14750.

Jim Lindell is getting lanyards made with photos of classmates. Guests and spouses will wear name tags.

Randy reports that 86 classmates have been contacted through phone calls, emails, snail mail and Facebook. He asked that you contact him with information about any classmate you believe has not already been asked about attending. Randy can be reached at

The list of people to the left of this posting have indicated they are either coming to the July 2 reunion - or thinking about it.

Please check that list over and see if there are other folks for whom you have contact information.

See you in July!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

At last count, 47 SWCS Class of '66 classmates are in for 50th reunion

MAYVILLE, New York - With addition of Marianne Jim, we now have 47 Class of '66 classmates who say they are coming to the 50th Class reunion in July.

OK, not everybody is 100 percent sure they are coming to the event. But 47 said they are planning on it.

In today's world, that's about as close to a sure thing as you can get.

More news will be forthcoming in a few weeks about the reunion. If you have ideas for activities, give a shout to Randy Carlson.

And if you are in contact with any SWCS grads from our class - whose names are NOT on the list at the upper left hand corner of this website - well, give them a shout and ask them to come.

Monday, July 27, 2015

List grows to 41 Class of '66 grads coming to the 50th reunion

LAKEWOOD, New York - By last count, the number of people who say they are in - or very likely in - to come to the July 2, 2016 SWCS Class of '66 reunion has grown to 41.

Chautauqua Suites
That's pretty amazing, considering the outreach has just been getting underway since the July 11, all-60s reunion in Lakewood.

In case this is all news to you - the reunion will be at the Chautauqua Suites in Mayville July 2, but a number of folks are seeking suggestions on what activities might be good to have in addition to a dinner, dancing, and perhaps, some amount of drinking of some beverage.

Look familiar?

A tour of SWCS has been suggested. Golfing is in the works. Tennis? Pickle ball? A 880-yard relay around the SWCS track?

Make your pitch to Randy Carlson with your ideas.

And try to make it!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Thirty signed up already for the SWCS Class of '66 50th reunion

MAYVILLE, New York - The list has jumped to 30 names for Classmates from the SWCS Class of '66 who say they are heading to the July 2, 2016 class reunion at the Chautauqua Suites.

In addition to the 30 names posted, I have talked with several other class members who I am sure are going.

By the way, my email list for the Class of '66 seems to be having serious issues. 

If you want to receive notices of these website updates, the most reliable way is to sign up for them on this site. In the upper left hand corner is the form. You just plug in your email address. You can opt out of getting the notices anytime you want.

And if you think you are going to attend and want your name posted, shoot me an email here. I'll get your name up right away.

See you next summer, I hope!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Class of '66 50th Reunion will be at Chautauqua Suites

MAYVILLE, New York - The date was set just a week ago for the reunion. It will be July 2, 2016.

Now we have a place for the SWCS Class of '66 50th Reunion next summer: Chautauqua Suites.

Randy Carlson and Jim Lindell secured the site for the reunion and have made preliminary arrangements.

Rooms can be reserved under a discounted rate of $141.99, but will go quickly. You can cancel up to three days before the reunion. The promo code is SWCS66.

The dinner and DJ will be $45 per person.

More details on the meal and other activities (maybe a tour of Southwestern?) will be coming soon.

In the meantime, if you think you might go, be sure to let me know so I can post your name on this website (upper left hand corner...). I am sure there are more folks leaning towards attending than the names I have on the current list. 

Just shoot an email in this direction (EMAIL HERE) and I will get your name posted.

See you next July, if not before.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

SWCS Class of '66 Classmate Linda Carlson Larson is ill

NINEVEH, Indiana - I heard via Cathy Lindstrom Prince that our classmate, Linda Carlson - who became Linda Carlson-Larson when she and married - is quite ill.

Cathy suggested anyone who would like to reach out to Linda and Steve, can do so by emailing them at this address:

Steve and Linda Larson
86965 South Bergman Dr. 
Nineveh, Indiana 46164

As soon as I can find a stamp, my note is on its way.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The SWCS Class of '66 reunion is on! Are you coming?

LAKEWOOD, New York - Now that the date for the 50th reunion of the Class of '66 is set (July 2, 2016), the next question is: Are you coming?

Survivors of July's SWCS 60s reunion at the Lakewood Legion 
The on-the-ground organizing team in Lakewood/Jamestown is scouting sites and would like to get a rough head count to know how big a venue to secure. (My vote? Huge! Huge!)

Sooooo... if you think that July 2, 2016 is a good date to come and have a party with classmates, please let Randy Carlson know.

This is Randy's email.

And as soon as you say "I'm in!" I will post your name on the Class of '66 website in the upper left hand corner. Even if you are not 100 percent sure, raise your hand anyway... If later on you can't make it, well, someone can give you a hall pass.

And please, if you have ideas for the reunion of any kind, please pass those along, too...

In separate post in the next week (or so!), I'll be asking people for contact information for some of our classmates with whom I have lost touch.

Did I really say, with whom? My SWCS English teachers would be proud.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

SWCS Class of '66 50th reunion is ON! July 2, 2016...

LAKEWOOD, New York - There was a rocking party Saturday night in Lakewood at the American Legion Hall on Chautauqua Avenue. Southwestern Central grads from 1960 to 1969 took to the dance floor (and the buffet table and bar, of course) for a great evening of fun.

In addition, there was a quorum of members of the Class of '66, who decided after much deliberation (okay not too much deliberation) that July 2, 2016 should be the date for our 50th Class of 1966 reunion.
Yup, looks like this is the right place...

Where will it be held?

Come on! Imagine how much wine, beer and buffet had to be consumed just to pick a date!

But watch this space (and for emails) in coming months. Plus, if you have ideas about where to hold the reunion, what activities you want, what retired SWCS teachers to cajole into coming - and anything else - pass them along to either Randy Carlson's EMAIL or to my EMAIL.

Going straight to Randy is more expeditious because if something comes to me, I will likely end up forwarding it to him.

The Saturday 60s reunion was a lot more fun than I anticipated. The Class of '66 was well represented with Linda Davidson, Barb Bunce, Cathy Lindstorm, Gloria Boutelle, Dianne Hagglund, Becky Scowden, Craig Fransen, Ward Romer, Mike Coon, Gary Lucas, Shirley Adams, Linda Anderson, Randy Carlson, Jim Lindell, Peggy Putney, and, well, me.

My apologies to the Class of '66 women listed for using their maiden names. But I knew I would slaughter their married names. Instead, I trusted my SWCS Class of '66 Yearbook to get things right.

Also, if you were at the reunion and I missed your name - lemme know right away and I will add it.

Below are some pix from Saturday's festivities. Yes, I am in a lot of them. And that's because my wife Sylvia Fox was shooting the photos.

If you have pix from Saturday and would like them posted on this site, please send them along.

In the meantime, SAVE July 2, 2016 for the SWCS Class of '66 50th Reunion.

With Barb Bunce

Millie and Mike Coon

With Cathy Lindstrom 

Barb Bunce, Cathy Lindstrom, Ward Romer, me, and Linda Davidson
Barb Bunce, Cathy Lindstrom, Ward Romer, me, Shirley Adams, Linda Davidson & Dianne Haaglund

The food - and beverage - line

Shirley Adams and Barb Bunce

Conferring with Randy Carlson and Jim Lindell

The dance floor was hopping for hours

Saying adios to Barb Bunce and Cathy Lindstrom

Thursday, June 11, 2015

A quick July 11, SWCS 60's reunion reminder

LAKEWOOD, New York - SWCS grads from the 1960s will be gathering at the American Legion in Lakewood July 11, starting at 6 p.m.

The LAKEWOOD American Legion, amigos... 

And the deadline for signing up was May 1.... (Whoopsie, you are thinking)

Well, I forgot also, but just dispatched a check so I could go. Call or email - there is probably still time.

Tom Terrific
It's going to be great fun. And if you are a member of the Class of '66, be sure to bring your Tom Terrific Thinking Cap so we can all talk about what kind of whiz-bang reunion we will have next year - and our 50th...

OH MY GOD! 50!

Reprinted below is the announcement of this year's reunion.

See you in Lakewood, July 11 - I hope!

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Mini-reunions get SWCS Class of '66 classmates together

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The fellow approaching me at The Green Festival in Washington, D.C. this weekend kept angling right for me as we approached walking from opposite ends of the exhibition.

I figured, a process server, a cop - or if I am lucky, a fan of one of my novels.

It turned out I was wrong, except that maybe now SWCS Class of '66 classmate Bryan Larson might read The Fracking War and/or Fracking Justice.

Bryan lives in the D.C. area and made a special trip into downtown just to check in with me. What a nice thing to do. 

We chatted briefly - I was scheduled to speak within a few minutes. But it's amazing how much you can catch up on in a short time. And Bryan says he will be coming to next year's 50th reunion for the Class of '66. So, who will raise their hand to help with that?

Ward Romer
Three days before that, I was signing copies of Fracking Justice at a launch party in Hector, NY when Ward Romer - yes that Ward Romer - suddenly hove into view with a book in his hand for me to sign. Ward had driven over from Ithaca where he lives now safely retired. We caught up a little bit, but not nearly enough.

I did tell him briefly about Dan Sundquist's visit earlier in the month.

Dan and his wife Sara were just starting out from their New Hampshire home on a cross-county odyssey that will take them eventually to California before returning home. Dan's life tale would take many pages and is best told to you by Dan himself.

Suffice it to say he's happy, healthy, and living the good life.

Dan Sundquist and Michael Fitzgerald
Watkins Glen, NY

Three SWCS Class of '66 classmate encounters in such a short time span has my heading spinning with memories. Dan and I chatted about the Latin teacher (Miss Cook?), the football coach (Ed Stupka) and even our music teacher, Dalton Berringer who introduced many of us at SWCS to jazz.

Dan, by the way, is a musical guy and got my 8-string ukulele in tune so I can play it again.

July 11 there will be a reunion for any SWCS grads from the 1960s. Even though it's the day after my birthday, I'm going to try to make my way west from Watkins Glen to Jamestown... 

Here's the details on that upcoming reunion: REUNION INFO.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Former SWCS librarian Doris Levin passes away

JAMESTOWN, New York - The librarian that kept us all in line at SWCS during our junior high and high school years - Doris Levin - passed away recently at 98 years old.

Here is a link to her obituary with the Lind Funeral Home: Doris Levin

A partial piece of that notice is shown below.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Ken Sonne, Class of '66 classmate has passed away

JAMESTOWN, New York - Dan Beckstrom and Sue Siecker Saullo both contacted me today with the news that our classmate Ken Sonne has passed away.

Ken was good friend of mine in grade school right through graduation. And at our 40th SWCS class reunion, we had quite a few good laughs and great conversations about our teenage years

I was looking forward to talking with him next year at our 50th. He will be missed.

Here is the information from the Lind Funeral Home. If you can't read the screen shot I took below, you can go directly to the Lind Funeral home site and check it out.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Former SWCS business and typing teacher - Mrs. King - has passed away

JAMESTOWN, New York - I received news yesterday that Mrs. King - who taught many of us to touch type - passed away March 30.

Follow the link below, provided by Jennifer Schlick, to the Class of 1974 website for the full story.

And thanks Jennifer, for letting us know.

LINK: Details about Mrs. King

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

News about former SWCS classmate Gary Shenkle

TACOMA, Washington - I am not sure exactly what sent me chasing down Gary Shenkle, a classmate of ours who left New York probably at the beginning of our sophomore year at Southwestern.

Maybe it was our upcoming reunion in July - the 60s reunion on July 11. By the way, I believe the Class of '65 is having its soiree July 10, in case you want to crash that older crowd's party.

In any event, for those of you who might be able to put a memory to that name, Gary died about three years ago, the law firm where he had worked told me. The law firm's name is Luce and Associates if anyone wants to try to get more details.

Gary Shenkle and I kept in touch after he moved for a few years. He toddled off to Wallingford, Conn. where I know he played some instrument in the high school band. Then I lost touch until maybe 10 years ago when he suddenly contacted me because of something I put on one of my blogs.

I think he accused me of being a liberal and we had a quite a lively email dialog. I am liberal by the way, as if that isn't obvious.

Gary had a younger cousin named Courtney, too, who I believe graduated from SWCS a year or two behind us.

The only other bit of intel I have about Gary is that at one point he was dentist in upstate NY - supposedly in a dental practice with Jim Burke (Class of '64?) Burke was active in football, wrestling and track and I remember him (Jim Burke) telling Nels Carlson (the Lakewood cop) that he was going into dentistry because he could make a lot of money

Gary gave up dentistry, got a law degree in Idaho and crossed the state line to Washington where he worked as a lawyer, specializing in medical malpractice. 

Dental malpractice.

RIP, Gary.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

SWCS retired teacher Bruce Crist dies

LEESBURG, Florida - Retired SWCS teacher Bruce Crist died March 3.

Mr. Crist was my 7th grade history teacher - plus, he was chief of our "home room."

I couldn't have asked for a better person to introduce me to the jungle called Junior High School!

Rest in peace, Mr. Crist.

Below is the funeral announcement from the Lind Funeral home, passed along to me by our Class of '66 classmate Dan Beckstrom.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

SWCS classmate Linda Himes has passed away

JAMESTOWN, NY - SWCS class of '66 classmate Linda Himes passed away in late February in Jamestown.

Prior to retirement, she worked for Tanglewood Manor.

Here is a PDF of the announcement published in the Jamestown Post Journal:


Monday, January 26, 2015

July 2015 60s reunion attendees starting to stack up

LAKEWOOD, New York - About a dozen members of the Class of '66 have indicated that they are a definite maybe to attend the July 11, 2015, SWCS 60s reunion in Lakewood.

The names are listed on the left at the top of this page... If you think you might be going, shoot me an email and I will post your name there, too...

Below is the poster for the event... It sounds like fun: Cocktails, dinner and dancing.


Monday, January 19, 2015

Who's going to the July 11 SWCS reunion? Don't be shy!

JAMESTOWN, New York - A few days ago I posted a notice about the July 11 event in Lakewood - a 60s reunion (the SWCS classes from 1960-1970).

Food, drink, dancing, gossip about high school.

Sounds like fun.

But one of our Class of '66 classmates wondered if there was some way to keep track of who is actually going. It's more fun if you know which of your friends from 49 years ago will be there.

So! Here's my idea.

If you are planning on going to this July 11 soiree, shoot me an email and I put your name on a list on this page of people who say they are going. My name is already up there with a growing list of our classmates... Upper left... Yup...

This isn't a commitment, just information that you intend on going.

July is a long way off - plus July 11 is the day after my birthday so there are serious hangover issues for me to consider. But still.

If you think you are going, let me know!



Here are some photos from the 2011, Class of '66 get together:

Friday, January 16, 2015

SWCS 1960-1970 Class reunions set for July 11

JAMESTOWN, New York - This just in from Randy Carlson.

There will be a reunion of people from SWCS classes from the decade 1960 to 1970 this July 11.

The notice below details it out. But basically this party will be at the American Legion Lakewood Memorial Post located at 179 Chautauqua Avenue in Lakewood.

Cocktails at 6, buffet dinner at 7, dancing until you can't stand up.

The cost is $20 per person.

If this sounds like a go, send a check AND what class you graduated in to:

SWCS 60s Class Reunion
35 Gifford Avenue
Lakewood, NY 14750

For more information, contact Ronald Ducat at 716-763-8142, or Brad Zimmer at 716-488-9396.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

A blog post without an obituary - what a concept!

WATKINS GLEN, New York - The last five postings on this website have been to chronicle the passing of either a classmate or teacher.

Damn depressing.

And so it seemed like an entry that was, well, more upbeat, was in order. 

It sounded good in concept until the gray clouds over Seneca Lake started shoving down on my head, reminding me of growing up in Lakewood and how January and February were intolerably long months.


When I left of California, Aug. 6, 1970, I traveled around the U.S. for two months and landed in Napa, Calif. That was before Napa got discovered and turned into its current incarnation of wine-snobbery and outrageously expensive living.  I stumbled on a chart that showed how many sunny days Napa has per year and compared it to how many sunny days Jamestown has.

You guessed it, Napa has as many sunny days as Jamestown has rain, snow, or simply that gray wall of clouds we used to watch coast by outside the SWCS classrooms. And that first California winter, as I barbecued steaks for New's Years day and sunburned my nose on a Valentine's Day boating trip, I also discovered that I had something called seasonal affective disorder. No wonder the gray of upstate New York winters was so depressing to me.

Of course, that's what prompted this brief blog. Here I am, 44 years later, looking out today on a snowy, gray landscape, a landscape that seems even more grim after Saturday's brilliant sunshine that was as fabulous as it was damn-near blinding as it reflected off the snow.

The weather forecast looks good for clear weather in a few days (after at least a few inches of snow accumulates), so I can be patient, a personal quality in short supply for me when we were banging around the halls of high school.

Keep healthy everybody. I prefer to report good news here... Like the news about Mike Coon...