Dave Gerlits wrote (November 28, 2003)
I guess that as long as I have been administering our class web site, I have tried to stay in the background and let it be about all of us. That said, when I posted Larry Lindell’s “30 year update”, I realized that I never posted my own, and that I should take the opportunity to tell my story. After we graduated from West, I stayed in Coralville and went to the U of I. I got a Bachelor of Science degree in General Science, with a Physics and Chemistry Emphasis. I had also taken enough Education courses to get a teaching certificate, and had planned to teach secondary school science.
Fate stepped in my senior year, though, and my life has taken quite a different turn. While I was in the U of I Career center, looking at the job postings for science teachers, I saw one for teachers at the Naval Nuclear Power School in Orlando. I thought it would be cool to get out of Iowa, live in Florida, and teach heavy-duty science to the folks in what then was a high tech, cutting edge profession. I talked to the Navy, and they said that while didn’t have the course work to be an instructor, I would make a dandy student. Of course, I fell for the old “join the Navy and see the world” line, and wound up seeing it though a periscope! After Officer candidate school in Newport RI, Nuclear Power School in Orlando, and prototype training in Saratoga Springs New York, I was a Naval officer for three years on a ballistic missile submarine. These boats have two crews, so I spent half my time in Groton, CT, and the other half on my boat either at sea or docked in Holy Loch, Scotland.
I met my wife, Bobbi, while I was hiking on Mt. Monadnock in New Hampshire. She was from the Boston area, and when we got married we settled in Braintree, MA. When I got our of the Navy I put my nuclear knowledge to work at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, MA. I got my Senior Reactor Operators license and worked in the Operator Training Department for 5 years. After that, I moved to the Engineering Department where I found my “true calling” as a Systems and Safety Analysis engineer. I’ve been very happy in the job, never bored, working on all kinds of cool, geeky stuff. Bobbi had gotten her Bachelors degree in Biology, and worked as a Medical Technologist until our son Henry was born in 1983. Bobbi chose to stay at home and raise Henry and Bessie, definitely the most demanding of all careers. When the kids were small we moved from Braintree to Franklin, MA, where we have been ever since.
Both of our kids basically grew up in Franklin, and Bobbi got involved with the schools as they moved through the system. As Bessie was finishing high school, Bobbi got her Masters degree in Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation at Boston college. She’s been working for the last couple of years at a non-profit educational think tank called The Concord Consortium in Concord MA, but she’ll be starting a really cool job soon in the Franklin school district. Henry’s a junior at Wheaton College in Norton MA. He’s majoring in Religion and Philosophy, and he’ll be studying in Ireland from January to June of 2004 as his Junior Semester Abroad!
Henry’s very happy in his studies, and it’s nice that all of us in the family support his long-term goal of becoming a College Professor of Religion and / or Philosophy. He’s always been a natural born teacher, and he would definitely be the “cool professor” on campus. He works in the computer support center at Wheaton and loves technology, and he would be someone who could bring together these normally disparate, warring camps and show his students how we can all use technology to bring people together in a supportive, nurturing sense of community.
Life has been a real challenge for our daughter Bessie for about a year. It was about a year ago that we all became aware that she was struggling with some inner forces that were proving too much for her to manage. We all have been working closely with Bessie’s mental health therapist and psychiatrist, and we’ve come to understand that Bessie is living with Bipolar Disorder (it used to be called Manic-Depressive), as well as an broad array of anxiety related disorders. She’s been hospitalized many times in the past year, including two long hospitalizations at McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA. This is the hospital that the true life basis for the hospital portrayed in the Winona Ryder movie “Girl Interrupted”. With a humor and grace under fire that she’s shown through the whole ordeal, Bessie told us that she was in a adolescent girl’s treatment program similar to the program the author of the book “Girl Interrupted” was treated in. She also showed us the tunnels that run between the buildings, and told us that there really is a now abandoned bowling alley in the original main building of the hospital complex.
She graduated from Franklin High School, and started Simmons College this fall. However, she had to take a medical leave from Simmons once her symptoms got worse. Simmons gave her up to two years to return, and she’s hoping to resume her college education sometime within that window. She’s a tough, smart girl, and she’s determined to get what she wants out of life, considering what she’s dealing with!
I’ve really enjoyed being the Webmaster for our class over the years. This summer was quite difficult for us, and it made me feel really good that I could help our class to have such a successful impromptu reunion. It’s been wonderful to re-connect with so many classmates, and I’ve really needed and valued the caring and support so many of you have given me and my family.
I hope everyone has a happy holiday season, and can enjoy the blessings of home and family.
Keith Gormèzano wrote (November 14, 2003)
Dave Gerlits’ note: In answer to my question “What are you up to these days?”, Keith sent me the following two links, one to an article about him in “The Stranger”, and his letter to the editor in reply to the article. These links no longer work.
This is the link to the article Silk Suit . This is the link to Keith’s Letter to the Editor in reply to the article.In addition, Keith sent me his own commentary on the original article. I hope you enjoy reading about Keith’s crusading as much as I did. – Dave
Larry Lindell wrote (November 12, 2003)
I recently saw your updates and realized that I had never really let anyone know what has been going on in my life over the last 30 years. Sorry I did not get to the reunion. I was planning on it but at the last minute something came up and I could not go. Here is a brief summary of what I have been up to:
– Under graduate degree at Iowa State in Pre-med/Zoology.
– Medical school at University of Iowa.
– Got married to a nurse (Gayle) after my second year of Med school.
– Residency in OB/GYN at the university of Iowa.
– Moved to Des Moines in 1986 and started private practice at Iowa Methodist Hospital.
Currently live in West Des Moines. We have five children ages 20,17,15, 12 and 6. The last one we adopted from China. My two oldest are boys. Josh the oldest is married and works at UPS trying to figure out what he wants to do in life. My next one is a senior in HS and plans to go to Drake and study music. My 15 and 12 year old daughters are busy with school, dance and piano. My 6 year old blessing from China tries to rule the rest, so she keeps us hopping. My wife Gayle was a nurse by training, but quit during residency and has been a full time mom since. She home schools our children so she is quite busy.
Three years ago I left a very busy private practice to be the head of the OB/GYN department at Broadlawns Medical Center which is the county hospital for Polk county. I also am a pastor of a small non-denominational church in Des Moines called Des Moines Fellowship Church. My wife and I have taken several mission trips to China which is what peeked our interest in adopting child from there. It has been good to keep up with others on the website. Thanks Dave for all your work in that area.
Katie Collins Bretz wrote (October 13, 2003)
Hi Dave, I have really enjoyed reading about and seeing classmates on your website! My family and I were on vacation in Yellowstone at the time of the class reunion so I was unable to attend. It looks like a good time was had by all.
Dave and I have been married now for 26 years with two girls, Hannah and Hailey. Hannah is currently attending Roosevelt University in Chicago, pursuing a degree in vocal jazz performance. Hailey is a junior at Valley High School here in West Des Moines. She is a cross country/ track runner and excellent student. She is a much better student than I ever was!! I have yet to meet up with Mark Ferguson although we have talked on the phone. Go Cubbies!!!! We also are fans of the I-Cubs! Hannah (daughter) lives about one mile from Wrigley. Keep your fingers crossed that the Cubs get into the Series and that we can get tickets! Karen Davis Leibold and I see each other fairly often. I was a choir mom last year with her. I helped design and build a “show girl” headpiece for her daughter, Krista, the central figure in a showchoir broadway song.
I continue to paint and wallpaper. I love the creative aspect involved with faux painting. I also schedule my own time which allows me to volunteer for my daughters’ activities. My husband is a design engineer for Turbine Fuel Technologies; BF Goodrich. We spent half a year in England with him in ’97 while he worked with Rolls Royce. It was a great learning experience.
Hi to all my classmates-Thank you for the pics, Gene and Brenda!
Katie Collins Bretz
Sheila (Potter) Cole wrote (October 3, 2003)
I’ve been checking out the reunion pages, it is so awesome to see all those familiar faces. It’s hard to believe that high school was that long ago, the twinkle of youth was showing in everyone’s eyes! I got to looking at the updates and realized that my email data needs to be updated (again). First, we finally have moved from dial-up to high speed cable internet (and I’m wondering why I waited so long to do it). I love it! The new home email address is email@example.com. Next I got reorganized for the third time in 3 years at my work. This is going to be the last time though. This company will be around until I get my degree, then I’m going shopping for a bigger paycheck! Meanwhile I’m a controller/operations manager/ chief cook and bottle washer for another small computer products company. What the heck, it pays the bills!
The 3 young guys are our sons, the young man in the Marine uniform is Nathan, my stepson, who is 25. The tall guy in the back is the older of my 2 sons from my marriage to Randy Kral (class of ’74). That’s KJ Kral, age 25 and the young man in the white shirt is the youngest of the 3 Kass Kral, age 21. Nathan served in Iraq this past winter with the 1st Marine division. His amphib/track vehicle unit was attached to the infantry. He drove a track with 21 infantrymen and 5 track crew from Kuwait to Baghdad. Hugh and I as well as the other to boys were glued to the TV for most of March and April. We were able to find out that his unit was with the embedded reporter for MSNBC so we knew (kind of) where he was most of the time. Except that he was in the VERY front line going through Nassarya (sp?) and UmQsr. We feel very blessed that his platoon came through the experience without any casualties. Other platoons in his Company were not so lucky.
He arrived back in N. Carolina at Camp Lejeune in early June and got 2 weeks leave in early July. Needless to say we used up all of our vacation while he was home! I didn’t have any time left to get away for the reunion. I should be in a better position to get back to Iowa by the time of a 35th reunion. Besides, the youngest son is planning on moving to northern Missouri next spring, all the more reason to visit the Midwest. Especially during the summer…when we are “broiling” here in Arizona!
That’s enough for this “yearly” update. Hope all are well at your house.
“Free advice is seldom cheap”-Ferengi Rule of Acquisition #59
Arnie Moore wrote (August 18, 2003)
Sorry I missed the Class reunion. Dave is doing such a great job on the web page that when I saw the pictures I was truly jealous of those who got to attend. I had hoped that the timing would be different than it was but, oh well. My table was really full this summer. I traveled to various locations and was on my way back from California the weekend of the reunion and I think Julie preferred that I come home. After traveling for nearly six weeks I was ready to be home.
Our lives in Florida are very good. Ben our oldest, is a senior at the University of Florida studying MicroMaterials Electronics Engineering. He graduates in May and can start supporting himself, Our youngest is going to be a freshman in high school. He will be attending the same school that I teach at. Julie is a case manager at the same hospital she has worked at since we moved here. I teach computer science, all levels, in probably the best job in the school. I also keep active in school activities. I sponsor a computer competition club that has won several competitions and I announce the varsity football games. I am also actively involved in technology at our school.
We occasionally get back to Iowa but the times between trips get longer. We love the weather here especially in the fall and winter. It was really nice here last January for the Orange Bowl, which we attended, for the 60000 Hawkeyes here. There is a possibility that Julie will be going to there 30th reunion next year if any of the class of 74 happen to be reading.
Just one last note for those of you that remember my mom. She just retired this month and if you happen to be in town, stop on and say hello, she would love to see you.
All from Florida
Don Rinehart wrote (August 13, 2003)
Hi David ;
I couldn’t make the reunion, but really appreciate your efforts to keep the website going, and posting the pictures from the “bash”. Isn’t aging an amazing process!?
Noticed I hadn’t updated you on our address change and other items of probably limited interest for the bulletin board, so here goes:
Tami (Tami Thompson, Class of ’74) and I have been married for 26 years, and have two great kids – Chris 16 and Nicole 13. Chris has had a semi successful career for two years as an actor and model (gets his looks from his mom). The only downside is that we have to spend time in LA as there isn’t as much work in Phoenix. Nicole is a Jr. High Cheerleader, gymnast, and great student.
I am the President/CEO of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce (since 1998), new home to the Phoenix Coyotes NHL Hockey Team, the NFL Arizona Cardinals, and the Fiesta Bowl. Helping with the marketing of the move of these professional sports entities to our city has been an exciting time. We are currently in the process of building two huge arena/stadiums. Fun stuff.
We recently bought a small ranch and built a custom home in the foothills about 45 miles north of Phoenix. Address : 44810 n. 22nd Street, New River, Arizona 85087 Phone : 623-465-1688 (email the same). Tami manages the “ranch” and works part time for our building contractor as a design consultant. She is currently helping them acquire a small resort near Flagstaff, Arizona that we hope will be a summer haven/ semi-retirement job for us in a few years. I am rapidly growing tired of the political/corporate rat race and hope to get out in a couple of years.
Life is pretty good otherwise here in the southwest. Once the resort is whipped into shape, we’ll offer classmates smokin’ vacation deals at their very own Arizona Vacation Paradise!
Hope all went well for your daughter, David. Keep up the good work!
Janet Gregory wrote (July 27, 2003)
Gee, seeing that you’ve been maintaining a web site for our West High class for 7 years, I definitely feel like a late-comer to the party! Well, I must admit to always having felt just a little out of step….SO – secondly, sorry to have heard after the fact that there was a reunion planned this weekend. In all honestly, I wouldn’t have been able to make it, but still, would have been nice to been invited! Actually, what I suspect happened is that, even though you have my address correct, a few years ago the Post Office in its infinite governmental wisdom decided to change our zip code, and are now at the point that mail with the old zip code is being returned. aarrgghh…..
But, better late than never, here’s the scoop on my life from the last 30 or so years. I have been living in Anchorage, Alaska for the past 12 years with my husband of 22 years, Bob Raven, our 2 children, Abby (18) and Stuart (15). I own a toy store, Over The Rainbow Toys, that I’ve had for 10 years now, and that specializes in fun, creative, open ended, developmental toys. In other words, GOOD toys, as opposed to those advertised on Saturday morning cartoons and pitched at ToysRUs. My husband is a geologist (we met while both in school at U of I geology dept, where I got both a BS and MS. So now I sell toys…). With the different oil companies he worked for, we moved around several times, making the rounds of the oil patch – New Orleans, San Francisco, Dallas, London, and then when we landed here in Anchorage, decided to stay put for awhile.
My kids are great – Abby graduated from high school this years, and is still undecided as to what to do next. She is a very talented artist, and loves to sing, but realizes those might not be life skills to support herself on, so she’s taking some time to think and just work a while. Stuart is a VERY talented musician. Has played the piano since grade school. Recently, he has started the tenor sax, and is becoming the sax player I always wished I was good enough to be. He’s playing the horn I bought after graduation, back when I though I had a chance of making it as a music major! (I didn’t make it half way through Freshman Theory!) Turns out, it was a great horn I bought back then, now considered a classic, and coveted by his instructors!
I make it back to Coralville every year or so, to spend time with Mom & Dad, so I often hear bits and pieces of news through the grapevine. That’s how I heard about the reunion – Kathy Murphy stopped up to the house and talked to mom. (Thanks, Kathy!) And other bits of news – like Arnie Moore was at my sister Lynn’s birthday party…and mom sees Debbie Harris’s mom….and so on….I was home earlier in June, and had Stuart enrolled in the U of I Music dept. Jazz Band camp for the week.
My store website is www.overtherainbowtoys.com. On there is a link on the bottom that says ‘Janet’s Family.” Unfortunately, the pictures there haven’t been updated for a couple years. Stuart is my primary web master (he build the majority of my site) and sometimes it’s hard to get him to do stuff for mom…..
It’s been fun reading through the posts from the past few years. Would love to hear more news of my friends from school. I have definitely fallen out of the loop. Looking forward to hearing more.
ps – I always recommend to people the get the full overtherainbowtoys in the web address….if you go to rainbowtoys.com, or overtherainbow.com, you might not like what you get……..
Paula Tipton Wallin wrote (July 22, 2003)
Missi Strub contacted me out of the blue and told me about this website and the upcoming reunion. While I will not be able to make the reunion, I do have some updated information for you. My name still remains Paula Tipton Wallin but my updated address is 23W309 Woodcroft Drive, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137: email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
I am a single mother of a 17 year old and a 16 year old, working as an attorney for a firm that specializes in work for local government entities. I handle all the transactional work for the various municipalities, fire departments and school boards we represent in the State of Illinois. In addition I am the hearing officer for municipalities and zoning boards. In my free time, I am designing and weeding the gardens! Additionally, we have a 1-1/2 year old Mastiff and 4 cats that keep us “active.” Thanks for the web site. It’s a great idea and I am glad to finally know about it.
Paula Tipton Wallin
Deb (Nortmann) Tyer wrote (July 8, 2003)
Dave, Love this website! Bonnie Weldon led me to this and I’ve had a blast reading what everyone has sent in. Steve and I are still together after 30 years and living quietly in rural NE Iowa in a restored 100 year old farmhouse. Please add us to your list of e-mail addresses. I’d love to correspond with anyone out there! Steve and Deb (Nortmann) Tyer at firstname.lastname@example.org Looking forward to the reunion–hope to see you there!
Patty (Kennedy) McBride wrote (June 17, 2003)
Wednesday, the packers come and then move us on the 19th. I went for one last round of tests and doctors visits and got a clean bill of health from all. So I will change to Kaiser insurance when we move because that’s what Dennis has through his work. I was very thrilled that my bone scan actually came back “normal” this last time…..all seemingly due to the glucosamine chondroitin that I’m taking and has worked on what was, evidently, arthritis in my neck. They are convinced that the spot in my thoracic spine is a little collection of blood vessels and normal. Sounds great to me!
My new address will be 5059 Monaco Drive Pleasanton, CA 94566
We will not have our computer up and running from the 18th to about the 28th of June because they won’t connect the DSL for 10 days or so after you get your new phone service.
Stay in touch. Love, Patty
Gene Hartsock wrote (June 17, 2003)
My shop is featured in the International web site for Vibram® Of Italy… It showed my web page showing how I repaired a shoe normally thought of as being unrepairable.
Patty (Kennedy) McBride wrote (March 24, 2003)
Since 1973…..wow, a long time ago. I went to the U of I and graduated with a B of Science through the Physician’s Assistant Program in the medical school there. I married Dennis McBride in 1980 who I had met while he was going to medical school and I was in PA school. We moved to California where he did his residency program in ObGyn and I started working in San Francisco.
Currently we live in a bedroom community about 1 hr. north of SF and I work in a family practice clinic up here. I have two great children, Katie who is 16 and Graham who is 11. My world was turned upside down about a year and a half ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. But, I’ve been through everything….surgery, chemo & radiation and seem to be fine now. I’ve come to appreciate my life & family all that much more since this experience. I feel blest.