2008 Bulletin Board Postings

Edith Sieg wrote (December 28, 2008)

Dear Friends:

Happy New Year!

I hope you take the opportunity to reflect on the wonderful times of 2008. These will be the memories to cherish. For me, 2008 has been an important year of growth.

In January I started a year long coaching program with Jim Bunch called TUG (The Ultimate Game of Life). Little did I know the impact that would have on me. It has been profound. Jim works his magic from the inside out. Every week we explored how we think and what our beliefs are. Then these were examined to see how effectively they are serving us now in our life and how they help or hinder us in having the life we want. It is amazing how much we take for granted that isn’t so, just because someone of influence said it (often parents or teachers) and how much baggage we’re all carrying around that weighs us down and has no relevance to us and doesn’t support us. Now, twelve months later I walk with greater ease (figuratively) than ever before and I have a spring in my step and hold my head up high ­ not with a nose up in the air, but with a sense of confidence and the pleasure of being alive like I haven’t for a very long time.

Specific accomplishments in 2008: My life coaching practice has made it from the beginning stages to a level of proficiency. I am well qualified to work with clients, help them get clarity in their life and get on track to the life they desire. I take great pleasure in seeing my clients flourish.

Personally, I traveled to Japan (a client invited me to her wedding) and Canada for a much needed break of rest and relaxation. There I started my book in earnest, but have not taken it further after I got back. I did get published this year. Two books “Living in Clarity” and “Wake Up Women” came out this year and the first one ended up making the Barnes & Noble Bestseller list, climbing to #21 in October, 2008. Thank you to all of you who purchased books during the bestseller promotion.

Very significantly, my mother and I have the best relationship in decades (more work needs to be done but we have a terrific start), and I have developed friendships and feel supported and no longer alone in the world in ways that defy description. I feel gratitude and appreciation for the wonderful friends who have come into my life and are staying. The coaching community is very important for me. I feel as if I finally belong, no more feeling like the ugly duckling. Jim Bunch always says, “Wealth is a team sport” (and life is a team sport.) Looking back over the year, it must have really sunk in. I even, with a personal nudge from Jim, overcame my resistance and hired a bookkeeper. I always thought that, when it came to business, if I knew how to do it, I should do it myself. Now I finally understand that in business, unlike as an employee, it is my responsibility to do the things I’m best at and love doing and delegate the rest to competent people who love to do what I don’t. Life truly is so much better when shared with like minded people. Having formed bonds with several people with whom I feel truly connected has made all the difference.

Laura, my American sister, and I have reconnected. West High School had its 35th High School Reunion and it was good to reconnect with many of my classmates. Sadly we also got to witness the worst flood that Iowa City has ever experienced and we are reminded that, in the end, it is not the physical possessions, but the people that truly matter in our lives.My health is excellent. I have dropped four clothing sizes and 40 lbs since I started swimming and dancing again 2 years ago. I feel healthy and fit with healthier habits that effortlessly allow me to maintain my weight without depriving myself of anything I wish to eat. I have devoted a chapter in my next book to sharing what I have learned.

As for the rest of my family:
My daughter, Tania, is still keeping her outrageously busy schedule. She still trains hard on the diving team for Northwestern, and she made the Dean’s list in the school of communications. A junior in college, she is ever forward thinking, she is already thinking ahead to graduate school and applying for scholarships.

Eric was accepted into the senior Jazz dance company at his dance school: FJDT1. I am so proud of him. He is a talented dancer, works extremely hard at it and loves dance above all. He still works hard at his studies and is well on his way to make colleges take notice. He is a junior in High School. This year he has already performed at the University of Arizona and other places, and will be heading to Austria for performances next summer. Eric also has an uncanny gift for understanding people and situations.

Ryan is 15, a sophomore in High School. He is keeping his interests close to the vest for now and I don’t blame him. He is a phenomenal student, and a master at efficiency. He realizes that he is growing up fast and treasures his free time. He is in chorus and his voice is lovely, if that is the right word for someone at the bottom of the vocal range.

Marc is continuing to work hard at making IDC Global a successful company. He also enjoys chauffeuring the kids to their lessons and generally tries to be of service. He has taken more interest in cooking and puts out some nice meals on a fairly regular basis.

May you cherish your own highlights of 2008 and the families and friends who are dear to you. May your 2009 bring you much love and happiness.

Edith Sieg

P.S. Give me a call and stay in touch ­ I look forward to hearing from you.

Judy (Becker) Bryant wrote (December 27, 2008)

2008 Holiday Greetings from the Bryant Family

We are currently enjoying some welcome December chill (at least for Florida) as we race toward the end of another busy year. Last December we had just moved into this house. We’re now much more (though not completely) settled in. The extra space is great. Our short street is very private and peaceful, and we have lots of wildlife in the woods around us including deer, armadillos, possums, raccoons and even wild boars. The boys appreciate their short bicycle rides to school. As for the old house, we used the holidays to get it ready for sale and, amazingly, sold it in just a week last January.

Both boys continue to be active and happy. Ben (9 in May) is an honor student, excelling in math and science. In fact, he attended science camp at USF last summer. After completing a year playing chimes, he was chosen for this year’s 4th grade hand bell choir. He looks very sharp in his black dress clothes with red cummerbund and bow tie. Currently a first year Webelo, his Cub Scout accomplishments include creating a trophy-winning sleeping bag car for the pinewood derby and coming in 2nd in the pack’s raingutter regatta. Ben also likes sports. He attended several summer sports camps, is again playing recreation league soccer, and participates in the school’s running club, which just ran in a 1 mile charity race. He’s a funny, friendly, confident guy who has already caught the eye of some neighborhood girls.

Sam is just as busy. He has settled more into middle school, where he is making lots of friends and has been on the honor roll. For the past year, Sam has been playing tuba in the school band. His morning practices upstairs are sounding pretty good. He got to play a sousaphone with the high school marching band in the fall and had a great time. One of Sam’s passions is currently all things lizard. He knows an incredible amount about them, which is reflected in a term paper he’s completing on lizard defense mechanisms. To earn his Boy Scout merit badge for Reptile and Amphibian Study, he had to care for a leopard gecko for a month, and we were surprised when she laid two eggs. He is particularly happy with Saphira, a uromastyx lizard who joined our family a few weeks ago. She is named for a dragon in one of the boys’ favorite books. Sam’s scout troop goes camping almost monthly and went to summer camp in Georgia. These trips have given him opportunities to earn many merit badges and demonstrate teaching and leadership skills, which helped get him elected Patrol Leader recently. He advanced to First Class Scout in just over a year and will earn his Star rank in a few weeks. Breaking his little finger playing football in August did not slow him down noticeably in any of these activities. And nothing has slowed Sam’s growth: he is now 1 ” taller than Judy. Especially when he chooses to wear his glasses, he looks much older than a boy who only turned 12 in August.

Sam’s was not the only injury this year. Our 5-year-old Rottweiler Rommel tore his ACL in June. No, it wasn’t a sports injury; he made a sharp turn chasing a squirrel. His recovery was necessarily slow, and he spent part of it travelling with us in the RV on summer vacation. This year we headed through Denver (where we had a brief visit with Judy’s college friend Lisa Brooks) to Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Parks. We enjoyed mostly perfect weather, some great hikes, and lots of wildlife including antelope, elk, bison, big horn sheep, mountain goats, fox cubs, a coyote, and bears. As we meandered to Iowa to visit Judy’s father, we also saw Mt. Rushmore, Devils Tower, Little Big Horn, the Badlands, the new Minute Man Missile National Historic Site, the Winnebago factory, and oddities such as the Jolly Green Giant statue in Blue Earth, MN. While we were in Iowa City we decided to spend more time on the road and head to upstate New York to see Dave’s family. An earlier spring break camping trip enabled us to hunt for and discover many terrific fossils in the Peace River.

Despite the bad economy, Dave’s polygraph business is thriving. His work for the police department included two homicide investigations and some internal affairs matters. Dave continues to teach firearms and has been in demand certifying retired officers for nationwide carry under a new federal law. He gave well-received presentations about polygraph at the Oaknoll Retirement Residence when we were in Iowa and at Sam’s middle school for the Great American Teach-In. After five years leading the boys’ Cub Scout pack, Dave was appointed Unit Commissioner for the District and will take over as Scoutmaster for Sam’s Troop in the spring.

Although Judy’s relishing the fact that her brother Craig is on the transition team dealing with the Department of Labor, work has kept her too busy to gloat much about the election. The Psychology Department at the University of South Florida has been largely spared state-mandated budget cuts. In fact, it hired the first developmental psychologist since Judy arrived over 27 years ago. She continues to enjoy the challenges of directing the doctoral program in Cognition, Neuroscience, and Social Psychology. Last spring she received a teaching award from the Mortar Board chapter. In an attempt to become better informed about the boys, she has been serving on the School Advisory Councils for both their schools.

In contrast to all our blessings, Dave’s brother Ron was killed in a motorcycle crash in August when a careless driver turned left in front of him. Dave made trips to NY for the funeral and to help his mother. Like Dave, Ron was an active Shrine Mason and Blue Knight and held leadership roles in both. Both groups showed up in force for the funeral, which was a huge gathering and fitting tribute. It was nice to see Ron honored and of course to visit, albeit too briefly, with relatives. Grief is tough.

We look forward to seeing relatives and friends over the next year and hope that this letter finds you happy and healthy and ready for 2009.

Bonnie Weldon wrote (December 27, 2008)


It sounds like you had a good holiday season so far.  We have freezing rain here again today………..with more snow predicted.  Amazing but we had 50 degrees at midnight last night and it got rid of much of the snow and ice we had.  Of course, here we go again.

Annette Hanson, Sue Hansen, Brenda and myself had breakfast yesterday.  We had a picture taken, so if you want to put it on the web site, go ahead.  I am forwarding it to you.

Have a good New Years and 2009 has got to better than last year.



the girls 2008

Jim Peterson wrote (December 21, 2008)

Dear Dave,

Season’s Greetings!!!

I went to an Eagle Scout Court of Honor yesterday for a former classmate of my son Jeffrey.  His name is Anthony Joseph Bonila.  He is attending Harvard this semester as a freshman. It was attended by our new Pastor Father Cirilo Flores, J.D. who I sat next to.  Our former pastor left in July at St. Norberts, and I hadn’t really had a chance to talk to the new Pastor. Father Benedict Yang, also attended.  He is from Korea.  My son Jeffrey has a roommate from Korea at Berkeley so Father Benedict taught Jeff Korean words for Hello, Goodbye and I am hungry.  All good to know!  Jeff and Anthony have been classmates since the fourth grade.  A young lady, Jordan, also a Harvard student, came for the ceremony.  Her home is in Irvine, CA.  She remarked that it seemed like Harvard is practically all of Cambridge and it needs to expand to adjacent cities.  Anthony earned 29 merit badges and the Catholic merit badge.  His high school journalism teacher spoke.  He was co-editor of the Villa Park High School newspaper and is on the editorial board for the Harvard newspaper this year. He wants to be a Supreme Court Justice some day.  They had letters of commendation at the banquet from Presidents, Senators, Representatives, State Senators and Assemblypeople, Supreme Court Justices, Chairmen of large corporations, and many others.  He is a good kid.

I take unemployed people to cash their unemployment checks.  Some people can’t afford their cars anymore.  Sadly, there is an economic downturn here as well as elsewhere. People that were proud and could support their children are shell shocked from months of being out of work.  I can’t take it.  So I have to do something.  Sadly, they are angry, not necessarily thankful.  I used to have my sons help at Mary’s Kitchen a soup kitchen in Orange.  Mary was 100 when she died a few years back. She used to warn me that when people are so beaten down, that they are angry and not thankful and you had to see through that sometimes.

I flipped the channels today.  Out of 600 channels, only one religious program about the birth of our Savior.  One station JLTV had a stellar program for Hannukah.

Kind of miss the old days when Christmas was about Christ and Santa Claus and gift giving was a lesser purpose.

I used to sing and play for the Midnight mass when I was Choir Leader eleven years ago.  I sang with a Choir in Los Altos, CA Wednesday night on my way back from picking up Jeffrey from Berkeley.  I have been going to that Church for 30 years when I am in the Bay area. I finally hit the one night that they had Choir practice when I stopped in to say a few prayers before heading back to Orange County.  They were a large group.  The music director was a Berkeley graduate.  I had stopped there a month ago to say a few prayers when my son David called me on his cell phone.  He said his girlfriend Meaghan had just been in a serious car accident.  I said, let’s pray.  I am in a church.  So I brought David and Meaghan and introduced them to the Choir and explained to them that I had great confidence that Saint Simon Church is an excellent place to pray.  I think they already knew but they appreciated the affirmation, I think.  Meaghan demonstrated a full recovery for them to underscore the success of prayer in their house of worship.

I hope that everyone else has caught the spirit of Christmas. I know I will in a day or two.  Maybe we will go home to see the family.  My mom fell last week and was hospitalized for observation last weekend.  They made her use a walker so she doesn’t tip over again.  Grandma Mickey is getting older. Her spirit is that of an eighteen year old, she just needs a minor tune-up and she will be good for another 40,000 miles.

Jeffrey has a long furlough until January 18.  David doesn’t go back to college until the first week of February.  Robby was out sick for two weeks so he will be doing make-up work for the holidays.  Thomas decorated the tree last night.

I am studying Saint Thomas More.  He was a neat guy.  Brave.  He had a sense of humor too.  I want to read his work Utopia.  He was the real deal.

Have a Blessed Christmas with your family and a Happy New Year!

All for now.

Your classmate,

Jim Peterson

Karen (Ranshaw) Tardy wrote (December 15, 2008)

Hey Dave,

Apparently, I have been a “lost sheep.” My name is Karen Ranshaw, a West High classmate of 1973. I have not been in contact with classmates for several years. I found out about our class reunion this past summer through my seventy-something year old mother. Now how sad is that!!! My mom had met up with Bonnie Tappan and she past the word on to me. However, I did not get the information  in time to make arrangements.

I am hoping that you would be kind enough to update me on the web site.

My married name is Tardy. Yes, just like late for school. It appears that my last name is Tandy on the website. [Note: this has been fixed-Webmaster]

I live in Lakewood, Co. which is a S.W. suburb of Denver.  I moved out here in the fall of 1976. I am a Certified Orthoptist and work for a group of pediatric ophthalmologists. My husbands nick name is O’Malley, a good Irish, catholic boy. He is an attorney in Lakewood.  We have one daughter, 22 who is engaged to a lieutenant in the air force and lives near Pensacola, Fl.

Hopefully, I will be able to catch the future class reunion.  I appreciate your help and thank you for your time and support in keeping the web site going.  I have enjoyed viewing the site.

Take Care,

Karen Ranshaw Tardy

Don Rinehart wrote (December 1, 2008)

Hi Dave :

Just a Holiday update from Arizona for the bulletin board.  Not much has changed since my summer posting, other than our daughter, Nicci, and her boyfriend were in a bad car accident in October.  Thankfully, neither were hurt too seriously, but Nicci’s car was destroyed. She did suffer some neurological damage that will, hopefully only temporarily, put a hold on her competitive cheerleading career.  She did miss 5 weeks of school due to the accident, but still plans to graduate at the semester and go to Arizona State University.

Son, Chris, remains the #1 salesman in Discover Card’s Phoenix Regional office and may temporarily give up college to travel as a sales trainer with Discover after the first of the year.

I’m still plugging away at the Chamber and playing band gigs with my 50’s band (www.comebackbuddy.com) on weekends. Tami is still managing the “Scrapbooks To Remember” retail store, but the economy is really taking its toll on small businesses here and the store’s future is somewhat uncertain after the first of the year.  Keeping our fingers crossed for a busy holiday season!

Thanks for all you do to keep the site up, Dave.  I know all of us really appreciate your updates and keeping us in touch with one another.  Through the site I’ve been able to reconnect with nearly a dozen classmates that I’d lost track of…….so who needs Classmates.com!!!!!!!

Wishing everyone a great Holiday Season!

Don & Tami (Thompson) Rinehart

Dave Gerlits wrote (November 22, 2008)

I end up posting things for our classmate Paul Roberts, because his lovely wife Julie is the one who emails us on his behalf. Today she wrote:


FYI- Just a little notice about Paul’s latest theatrics.  I don’t know if you can open this link from here or have to go to the website but the title of the article is Dinner and a Show in the Entertainment section of press-citizen.com.



The show runs through Dec 14 at the Colony Village Restaurant in Amana. To whet your appetite, I’ll share the photo from the article (that’s Paul on the left).

Jim Peterson wrote (November 22, 2008)

Dear Dave,

We are going to Berkeley for Thanksgiving with Jeffrey.  David and Robby are both getting college applications done.  Thomas the eleven year old is trying to pick a name for his newly formed rock and roll band.  They have a talent show coming up.  His red headed friend Jonathan is the drummer, because his folks bought him a drum set.  Josh Lopez’s parents bought him a guitar so he is the guitarist.  Thomas’s three older brothers let him use their stuff so he plays a few things and sings.  Jonathan’s older brother in seventh grade plays cello with gusto so of course he is in.

The first name was mental hazard.  I said no way.  The second name was Tranquilizer.  I said no go again.  The drums said Pulse so Jonathan said How about Pulse?  That had a built in convenience.  Then as a joke Blue Day.  Ha Ha.  Then Good Reputation, but Robby our senior told his little brother Thomas, but you all have bad reputations that will only get worse when you play!!!.  Thomas says Robby is a jerk.  Then Paper Clip, then Bluu Moon, then Clear.

How Clear can this be?  Does this Clear it all up?  Their meaning is Clear!!  So Clear is holding steady for the moment and the band’s current name tag.

They have a few songs that they have written in the key of G.  Catchy little tunes.  They haven’t actually practiced together with everyone, just Thomas and Jonathan. But what they don’t know won’t hurt them.

I met the Dean of Students at Chapman University yesterday.  His name is Jerry Price.  He went to Iowa State and Drake University!  He and his wife did graduate work at Drake.

My cousin, Raynette Meyers works for fundraising or something there, she was second runner up for Miss Iowa, a nicer person you will never know.  He knew my cousin.  We lived next door to the Dean of the Business School at Drake, when we were in Des Moines, Dr. Gene Paul.  I used to baby sit their three kids and Brad my younger brother used to say mass in our back yard with them and our seven in attendance when he was eight.  Now he is Pastor Brad Peterson.  Our other neighbor was Father Ring, the Pastor of St. Pius X Church in Urbandale where four of us went for elementary school.  Chapman is here in Orange and my son David is attending there.  Small world.

I don’t know if he can fix your parking tickets if you ever visit Chapman but I am sure he is a good guy and sounds like he is a Go Iowa transplant here.

I have many thoughts that I need to refine before I get the cartoon strip going.  If only I had Mike Reed here for inspiration and guidance.  At least it will be dedicated to Mike, and also Paul Olin.

All for now.


Jim Peterson

Jim Peterson wrote (October 19, 2008)

Dear Dave,

My younger brother Brad who would have been in the West High Class of 1976, has become Pastor of Saint Agnes Catholic Church in Phoenix, Arizona.  He is a priest in the Carmelite Order.  He studied in Washington, D.C. and Massechusetts, and served teaching in Chicago and Tuscon and working for the poor in New York City, before returning to Saint Agnes which was our family’s home parish after they migrated there in 1974.  My little brother Gerard and my father went to heaven there and are interned in Mesa, Arizona.

My sister Cindy Class of 1975, has five children and her husband Michael Leonard works for IBM.  Her oldest son John, married last summer in Oregon and is now working for the Peace Corps for the next two years in Fiji.

She has four boys and one girl, Kelley Rose, who went to Moscow to perform in a singing and dance group from Phoenix.  Benny is in college, Andy is working, and Mikey is in high school.  They are all bigger than me. Cindy teaches Natural Family Planning and has been on the radio in Phoenix.  She finished ASU in three years magnum cum laude. Her hubby is Mike Leonard, and he used to run the choir at Saint Agnes. There were an awful lot of Peterson’s and Leonard’s in the choir I might add.

My brother Joe and his wife Patty have five kids.  Rachel the oldest graduated from UCLA last year.  Kurt is attending USC, Luke and Nathan are in high school, and Elizabeth is their youngest.  They have an angel in heaven, baby Peter.  Joe is putting the fear of God in all the contractors who dare to build on projects he is a construction manager for, and Patty organizes West side summer recreation activities and the whole family is very active with their church whose minister once played quarterback for UCLA and was back up quarterback to Joe Namath.

Brian is a sound designer for the Arizona Theater Company in Tuscon and has won numerous awards for his work.  It hasn’t snagged him a wife yet, as he works hallacious hours all over the country traveling to set up sound design from California to Maine.  If you have been to a play and you liked the sound design, it was probably Brian Jerome Peterson’s handy work.

Kerry my youngest sister was born three months premature in Des Moines.  She weighed as little as 1 pound three ounces as they lose weight when they are born and spent the better part of the year in Methodist hospital in an incubator.  Mrs. Lucas her nurse fell in love with her and nursed her to be a Gate Student, who finished at ASU, married Scott LaMountain, a computer geek (Oh well) and they have three kids Matthew, Gabrielle, and Steven.  Kerry wins awards for her paintings now and was given a scholarship to go back to study painting.  Kerry helps teach Natural Family Planning as well.

Me, I am just plugging along, waiting to get up the energy to go see Pat Vaughan and Ted Hyde.
I have been running up to Berkeley every two or three weeks.  I have to go back this next weekend.
I will try to send some pictures of the campus and surroundings this time.

I have a joke for you from my youngest son Thomas.  He is eleven and in the sixth grade.

A patrolman pulls over a speeder and after the speeder rolls down his window and hands the officer his license the patrolman asks,
“Sir.  Why were you driving so dang fast???!!!”

The speeder said nonplussed,
“Well officer, this is Highway 80 and we’re supposed to drive 80 right?”

The officer said loudly and with a hint of frustration,
“Nooooo!!!! That ain’t the way it works.  You don’t drive the highway number as the speed limit, look over there, you drive what it says on the SPEED LIMIT sign, see?”

Just then the speeder’s shaking and quivering old grandmother spoke up from the back seat.
“Woulda been nice to know that before, when we was on the 405!!!”

Yuck, yuck, yuck!  I thought that was pretty good.Next time I will tell you all the Chuck Norris jokes that my kids have to offer.

Hey, does anyone know where we can get a hold of old Glenn McCord?

All for now,



Jackie (Dague) Nicholson wrote (October 5, 2008)

Hi Dave,

Thanks again for keeping us all connected!  I have some more news for our West High web site:  Paul Roberts and I met at the Fiddler’s Picnic in Sept. and jammed all afternoon at the 4-H fairgrounds.  It was great fun playing with Paul and all his friends!  He can really play the banjo!  Iowa Public TV was there recording the event, which is put on by the Friends of Old Time Music.

Take care,

Jackie (Dague) Nicholson

Jackie and Paul
Paul, Jackie, and the gang


Jim Peterson wrote (September 28, 2008)

Dear Dave,

Today is my number three son Robby’s 17th birthday.  My oldest son David will be 23 on October 2.

Homecoming at U.C. Berkeley is next weekend.  My number two son Jeffrey is eighteen and a freshman there.  He has three roommates in a dorm on campus.  It reminds me of the University of Iowa Campus. The big difference, is that the main campus is a separate rectangular parcel, surrounded on the west and south by downtown Berkeley.  The east side is a hilly area bigger than the main campus that houses Lawrence Livermore Labs Cyclotron.  I haven’t seen that yet.  To the north are a row of off campus buildings, then apartments, then houses.

West of the western downtown is an area called the flats, that runs to the Bay.  The campus is sloped uphill to the east, and is edged by steeper hills to the east in which the Cyclotron area is nestled.  There is much more vegetation and pine trees, redwoods, and coniferous trees in Berkeley than here in Orange County. My wife was born in San Francisco, and later moved to Los Altos.  That area is less densely populated, and has more computer office parks, and is newer.

I go up every three weeks or so for business and to help my son get settled in. He is taking an engineering overview class, and repeating calculus and chemistry, and then is taking bio-engineering.  He has to design a wind turbine for his mechanical module by Tuesday.

My birthday boy, has a double sprained ankle and a sprained knee. He was injured two games ago, and even though he was limping, they used him for two plays in the most recent game until he landed with his leg behind his back.

So he can get the week off to study for SAT’s and ACT’s.

My youngest Thomas is on year round school and is off until October 12.  We are probably going to go visit grandparents in Los Altos, and our Jeffrey before Thomas heads back to school.

Thomas was in football, but we are taking a little hiatus until his coach gets counseling for being a bully. You might have more sensitivity to this issue back East, but we still let the coaches push the little kids around way too much.

I have to go blow out candles right now with Robby.
More later.

Yours truly,

Jim Peterson

Keith Gormèzano wrote (September 6, 2008)

I got mentioned in USA Today on Friday (bottom left hand corner/side bar column):

If you can’t afford it, then get it for free

Dave Gerlits wrote (August 30, 2008)


I finally got a picture of me in the “Class Manager” letter jacket. Thanks so much to everyone for your generous gifts at the reunion!


Dave in his Class Manager Letter Jacket

Arnie Moore wrote (August 20, 2008)

Hi Dave,

Survived another storm, just a lot of rain and wind. We did get two extra days off from school but with the weather no riding and no golf, just sitting around the house watching the Olympics.

Attached is a link that tell of West’s 40th anniversary since it opened.  Rather interesting. Please pass it on. Hope everyone enjoys it

ArnieIf the link does not work, just copy and paste

(Note: We have reproduced the story below, so that classmates can continue to enjoy it.)


August 19, 2008

40 years since the rise of Troy

Rob Daniel
Iowa City Press-Citizen

The year 1968 was a turbulent one.

Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated within a few months of each other. The Vietnam War was raging, and in the last week of August, police in Chicago put down violent protests at the Democratic National Convention.

It was in the midst of this, on Sept. 3, 1968, that West High opened its doors for the first time.

Built for about $5 million, the new school was the new home for 1,099 students, among them 500 seventh- and eighth-graders, according to a Press-Citizen story.

It had been designed to ease growth at the 29-year-old City High building and the 9-year-old South East Junior High, said Ed Barker, West High’s first principal.”

The idea was to have a 7 through 12 building until a new junior high could be built in Coralville,” said Barker, referring to Northwest Junior High’s opening in 1972.

Since then, the Iowa City School District has made three additions to the West High building and surrounding campus, including a new auditorium and football field in 1994 and a ninth-grade wing in 2005. The auditorium was built as part of an $11.1 million bond issue approved in 1991 while the football field was built using $350,000 raised largely from fundraisers by parents, said Jerry Arganbright, who has been principal since 1984. The fundraiser, he said, was a sign of the Iowa City area accepting West High on its own merits.

“It took the community a long time to come to terms with Iowa City having two high schools,” said Arganbright, who is the school’s third principal. Barker, who was principal for 11 years, was followed by Duane Carnes. “Those facilities are there because the west side community came together.”

Building a new school community took work. One decision that helped, Barker said, was getting would-be seniors from City High involved. During the 1967-68 school year, after coming to Iowa City from Boone where he had been the high school principal, Barker met periodically with juniors who were the leaders of clubs. Those leaders helped with a flag-raising ceremony on the first day of classes at the new school in September 1968.

“We knew the seniors wouldn’t be terribly enthused (about moving to the new school),” Barker said. “We worked real hard in having the seniors form the activities at the new school.”

The activities were few and far between for the first few years. Sports teams, which did not compete in a conference the first year, suffered through several losing seasons. There was no homecoming the first year, with students instead celebrating “The Rise of Troy.” The school also developed a domestic affairs week program, where speakers of different political stripes were invited to meet with students.

“There was some controversy because conservatives don’t like to have liberals talk to students and liberals don’t like to have conservatives talk to students,” Barker said about the program that ran for three years.

The politics of the time affected what students learned, said Ann Wallace, a 1974 West High graduate who lives in Iowa City with husband and fellow ’74 West High graduate, Bill Gay.

History and English literature were taught in the context of the political scandals of the time, such as the Watergate scandal and the Vietnam War. Pace chemistry, in which students worked through the course mostly on their own, also was the rage.

However, things soon began to change.

Sports teams that had suffered through losing seasons began winning state championships, starting with the boys’ basketball team in 1977. The school was building a strong debate program under the leadership of Dave Kanellis. The curriculum also grew from offering only one advanced placement English class in the early 1970s to more than 25 AP and honors courses this year.

“The curriculum is more challenging (now),” said Wallace, who has sent two children through West High and currently has a daughter as a junior there. “There’s way more opportunities for kids.”

The opportunities have helped students such as Tara Meade, 22, a 2004 West High graduate who graduated in music education from Luther College in 2008. She said the curriculum, along with high expectations in activities, have pushed West High students to achieve.

“I got a sense of pride in athletics,” said Meade, who was part of West High’s state championship tennis team in 2004. “It kind of gives kids a big head, but it makes you work hard.”

The school also is looking ahead. Now at its capacity of about 1,800 students and with continued growth in Coralville and North Liberty, the school could be split up in the coming years with the construction of a new high school. Arganbright said he hopes the right decisions are made on dealing with the growth.

“There’s unlimited potential in what our students can do,” he said. “We try to get better in everything we’re doing. You don’t want to take a strong high school and through some decisions with kids make it an average high school.”

Dave Gerlits wrote (August 10, 2008)


I offered to write a little something for Ruth Noth, to pass on the unfortunate news about her husband Tom Noth.  It looks as though two of the three cancers he his battling may be out of remission.  Tom and Ruth will be returning to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota on August 18th for tests and possible treatment, depending upon results. The brain fluid was clear, so they are suspecting that he has a non-secreting indicator again which only Mayo might find.

Please keep Tom and Ruth in your thoughts and prayers.


Bonnie Weldon wrote (July 19, 2008)


I just wanted to thank all of those involved in helping with the reunion.  Obviously, there were may other executive decision makers through out the process.  Everyone did a great job of pulling together and making it happen.  I especially want to thank everyone for the gift card.  From what I could see and hear, we all had a fabulous time.  I know I most certainly did!  City High has asked that we do it again with them.  I think that is a great idea.  They also seemed to have a great time.

As all of you know, the last eight months has been the absolute worst time of my life.  Losing Larry is still the hardest thing I have ever had to go through and it will take me a long time to maybe even start to get through it all.  He was the love of my life and the one thing I can be grateful for is the love we shared for over 34 years.  I realize may people will never ever have that type of love.  So thankfully, I was given that great gift to cherish forever.  I also know Larry  was at the reunion with me in spirit.  Thank you to all the wonderful friends I have that have been there for me every step of the way.  Brenda calls or stops by on a daily basis and many other people call, e-mail and stop by to make sure I am okay.  I can now call many people from the class  new found friends  that have shown up out of the blue to be there for me.  You all will never know what that means to me.  I truly appreciate all of the support.

Thanks to Dave Gerlits for all he does.  He has made this all possible by his great work done on the web site of keeping us all connected.  It was great that he and Bobbie got back for the reunion.  It was great to finally see him in person.  And thanks to Bobbi for  making the suggestion in the first place.

As I have learned in the past few months, we need to cherish every moment in the day we have with our family and  friends as we never know what the next second will bring.  Be kind to each other, never be afraid to say I love you to those you truly love and enjoy each moment as if it were your last.  You will never regret it…….  ever.

I hope everyone did have a good time.  And I just want to say I love you all.


Jane (Howell) Sinense wrote (July 18, 2008)

I would so much like to be there for the 35th West High reunion, although I am not, officially,  a West High graduate. I left Iowa City in 1969 but a little bit of my heart stayed there forever. I’ve kept in touch with Bonnie, of course, and still have family in Iowa City.

All my good thoughts are with you all as you get together this weekend. Part of the reason I’m unable to attend (Mike Mellecker, you can relate to this) my Mother is still recovering from two fractures in her vertabrae, C1 and C2, and I’ve been with her throughout her recovery. She also just celebrated her 92nd birthday (!) and we are so thankful she is alive and well. Instead, I’m sending some photos of Mom with Rachael Ray at Christmas plus some photos of me (heavily photoshopped of course!)

I’ll spare you the biography of my life since leaving West High as I’m without portfolio, CV or resume. I’m lucky to say that I DID get married, to a great guy many years younger than I.  This does not  make me a couger, although I should have given a little more thought to the fact I was marrying a guy who now only looks about 25 years old (those damn Asian genes!) while I look like… well never mind.

I’m with you in spirit as you celebrate this weekend. I hope I can be there next year or whenever. I have to say that I’ve always missed and loved my friends from those years at West High and hope to see you again. I have never experienced such wonderful people … I don’t know if our little class was something special or it is just an ‘Iowa’ thing. But it’s not to be found elsewhere in the world.

Jane Howell (now Jane Sinense)


Ted Hyde wrote (July 8, 2008)

Hi Dave,

I just (finally) figured out that you have a class site.  Way cool of you to do all this.  Here are a couple of pictures that might be ok to publish.  That’s Dave Kacina and Kevin Kelly with yours truly.  I must point out that I am still the least heavy of the group, although we all have a little middle girth to consider.  Ah the ravages of time.

I just returned from a wonderful trip to visit my little brother who has a beautiful house on Lake MacBride.


Ted Hyde

Don Rinehart wrote (July 8, 2008)

Hi Dave :

My best to you and the others gathering for our 35th reunion July 19.  Hopefully I can make the 40th!  Sorry I can’t be there, but will provide an update for anyone interested.

Tami (Thompson ’74) and I have been married for 31 years now and still live in New River, Arizona (about 35 miles north of Phoenix).  Kids are now 18 (Nicci) and 21 (Chris). Nicci is a senior in high school, does some professional modeling, and plans to go to Arizona State upon graduation.  Chris is a part time college student at Glendale Community College and full time partyer, but does have a good job in sales at Discover Card in Phoenix.  I’m still managing the Glendale Chamber of Commerce (hosted the Super Bowl this past year, quite an experience!) and playing drums on weekends with a Buddy Holly 50’s tribute band “Come Back Buddy”.  You can check us out at www.comebackbuddy.com  We are playing in Vegas at the Cashman Convention Center September 5-6-7 if anyone happens to be there at that time….stop by and say hi!  Tami quit teaching school a year ago and is now managing a retail scrapbooking store near where we live and teaching scrapbooking classes on weekends.

Tami’s dad still lives in Iowa City and my folks live in Cedar Rapids, both on high ground, so they were spared in the flooding!

Know there a few Class of 73’ers in the Phoenix area, so anyone interested in emailing me can do so at drinehart@glendaleazchamber.org  My best to everyone who gets back to the reunion, and if you’re ever out in the Phoenix area….let me know!

Don Rinehart

Sheila (Potter) Cole wrote (June 30, 2008)

Hi Dave,

I will probably not be able to attend the reunion this year.  I started a new job with a real estate development company at the beginning of May and it’s just too soon to request the time off.  I would really love to be able to attend but unless something changes count me as a “regret” on the RSVP. I am assistant controller for Glimcher Ventures Southwest, a national developer of shopping and destination malls.  If anyone is interested they can check it out at www.gvsw.com.  They still have to update the site to list me on the team I’m so new to the group.

While browsing the Iowa City Press-Citizen online newspaper recently I noticed that another West High class had posted a notice about a reunion.  If there are other “expatriate Iowa Citians” like me who read the local news maybe a posting there would get the word out to “lost” classmates.  After umpteen straight days of temps at 110 and above a trip to the old hometown and cooler temps would be nice.  I’ve been keeping tabs on the flooding and my heart and prayers go out the people of Iowa City and Johnson County.  Plumbers Supply where my step-brother Roger Litton (West High class of ’74) and his wife Patty work was flooded out.  Patty and Roger got to meet President Bush when he toured the town, Patty even got her picture taken with the President.

Windmill Manor is a very nice facility. My Dad was a patient there just before he passed away.  I was able to visit with him there and I found that the staff was caring to both the patient and the family. Your Dad is in good hands there.

Take care and enjoy your trip to Iowa,


Arnie Moore wrote (June 28, 2008)

Hi Dave and Class of 73,

First Dave, you have done a great job with this sight and want to thank you for your time and effort. I know many of you are planning to attend the class reunion, unfortunately, I will not be able to attend. I will be in Iowa, but timing will not allow me to come to the festivities.  My older brother Curt is involved with the Bicyclists of Iowa.  He is in charge of transportation and logistics for RAGBRAI and had asked me to help long before I knew the dates of the reunion.

I have become something of a cyclist myself, riding to school daily and taking longer rides on the weekends. In the past 10 months I have ridden about 2500 miles and only driving my car 2300 miles.  I plan to ride RAGBRAI next year,2009, Julie as my transport and rescue driver.  If there is anyone thinking about that let me know and we can hook up.  Might be something for the “Bucket List”.

Julie and I just returned from a cruise up the east coast into to Canada and is attached a current photo of use taken on the cruise, turned out very nice for a couple of aging Trojans.

Arnie and Julie Moore cruise picture

I hope everyone has a great time at the reunion and I wish I was going to be there.Arnie Moore

Ruth (Jurgens) Noth wrote (June 14, 2008)

Hi Dave

While I don’t have pictures, national news or Channel 2 in CR is quite enough. You just get glued to it. I worked at City Hall for nearly 10 years. We are fine where we are, but we will run out of water in about 24 hours here they say, if people really don’t curb. We’ve only used about 3 gallons each day – just for flushing toilets once a day. Just had a downpouring of rain here again this afternoon. I decided to harvest it for toilet flushing, at the least. Collected 3 five gallon waste cans and a 30 gallon trash can of it. Plus have 30 gallons in the back of our pick up truck in the garage. It could get so bad here in CR as to have to set up a portable solid waste station in your garages and worry about disposal later, regardless of how safe you are from the flooding. We haven’t had any water in our home, thank the Lord.

To think of 8 feet of water on the main floor of our downtown library; Linn Co prisoners sent to 4 other facilities; Mercy Hospital has been evacuated to St. Luke’s and other sites around Iowa, our Czech Museum with water up to the roof line – so devastating here in CR – just unbelieveable almost. You just sit in disbelief and now more rain. I know Coralville is being hit hard and Iowa City will be soon – they aren’t even expected to crest until Tues or Wed – until this afternoon, our waters were beginning to recede. They say at first glance, a minimum of 376 million lost in homes alone here – not including all the Federal, County and City buildings that are under water, including Alliant’s main offices. Simply incredible. Take care all.

Deb (Nortmann) Tyer wrote (June 14, 2008)


I am glad that Bonnie, Dave and you are keeping everyone up to date on the monumental disaster affecting the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City areas.  We still lived there back in ’93 and remember all too well the devistation caused by that flood.  We have been keeping close tabs as well on the news reports coming from the south as we have family and friends still in the area. Fortunately, our children and grandchildren remain high and dry and we do not believe their homes will be affected by high water.  My 91 year old Uncle has not fared so well in Cedar Rapids.

The place he has called home for 65 years we believe is now all but destroyed. We spent 4 frantic hours playing phone tag thursday night with relatives once we heard the alert that he was in the emergency evacuation area, and living 2 hours away and unable to reach him, I must say I got a little panic stricken. We finally received word that his neighbor was able to rescue him from his home and deliver him safely to his son living in Marion. I was never so glad to hear his voice!  Of course, until the water receeds we have no way of knowing the damage to his home, but from watching news clips of boats traveling down the next street over from his, we anticipate that the majority of his main level is underwater.

Unfortunately, I have become all too familiar with flood cleanup, as the little community of Elkader (in NE Iowa) we live near now was inundated with flood water Monday night.  Despite frantic sandbagging, the town levee was breached, and the Turkey River flooded most of the south end of town. I believe the estimates are that 60 homes and 20 businesses have damage, which may seem small in comparison to Cedar Rapids, but in a town of 13,000 is quite significant. Fortunately, the Courthouse where I work was not affected.  We are now in the process by day of helping homeowners by duplicating their legal documents that were destroyed for FEMA,  as well as helping the 2 banks in town duplicate all of their mortgage records and liens. Both suffered heavy damage, as well as our only grocery store. By night, those of us at the Courthouse not directly in the flood’s path, don our old clothes and rubber boots and advance into the flood zone and help with cleanup.  I now have a new appreciation for floors that are not covered in black gooey slime.

Our banks are not yet functional, so money is becoming an issue (no deposits = no cash! ) but the outpouring of help the affected residents are receiving makes us glad we live in a small community.  No one has wanted for food or shelter, and volunteers head home at night covered in black goo but ready to do it all again the next day. ( No power in the affected area, so work ends at nightfall.)  The National Guard and Red Cross arrived in town on thursday, and while their help is appreciated, our recovery efforts were already well underway, and they have remarked at how well we are managing. It will be along recovery for us, but we are very optomistic about bringing Elkader back. Folks up here cannot even fathom what it will take to rebuild Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Coralville.  I am attaching a link to show what our “Little Town that Could” was faced with, but know that our prayers now go out to the people in our “Original Home Town” as well.

Deb Tyer

Mike Mellecker wrote (June 13, 2008)


I’m doing pretty well.  The web site is great, nice to read about everyone.  Like I told Bonnie I won’t be able to attend the 35th reunion.  My oldest son Tony is graduating from basic training at Ft Jackson, SC that weekend and we’re going out to see that.

I have been married for 23 yrs in Sept to Lynn Jungblut, she graduated from Dub Hempstead in 1979 and live in Hills.  We have 2 boys Tony graduated from West in 2006 and Kevin graduated this year from West. I had worked 20 yrs for a Ruan Transport and then 9 years for Atrium Village retirement facility in Hills.  In 2001 I was having nerve spasms shooting down both arms when I bent my neck down.  After a couple of MRI’s they found out I had a broken neck.  The Nero Surgeon ask me when did I have a trauma to my neck before I was 5yrs old, told him I fell over a 2 story banister when I was 2 and landed on my head.  He said I had a broken neck since then and my neck muscles held my head on.  On July 31, 01 I had C1, C21 fusion to attach my head back on.  I had lost control of my left side and to learn to walk all over again.  I had about 3 set backs the first 3 months and they had found that I have MS which now I have a numb feeling from my neck down and lost fine motor skills.

I do a lot of volunteering for local youth baseball leagues, association manager for youth bowling, Lynn & I were Co-Chairs for Club West Concession stand committee and I have just completed my first year as the Head Coach for West High Bowling team before that I was the assistant coach for 4 yrs.

You may add me to all your lists.

That’s about it; sorry I won’t be able to see everyone but have a beer or 2 for me.

Mike Mellecker

Edith Sieg wrote (May 19, 2008)

Hi Dave,

a quick update:

I just got back from Irvine, CA. I spent Friday and Saturday networking with my co-authors of the best selling series “Wake Up live the life you love” and we learned about how to promote our upcoming book. On Sunday several of us went to the church service at Agape – held by Michael Beckwith – the guy from the movie “The Secret”. That was quite an amazing experience.

Now I’m back from swimming laps in the warm out-of-doors in the hotel pool under palm trees, back to swimming laps indoors at the health club in the Chicago area. Oh well – it was nice while it lasted.

Ruth Noth wrote (April 30, 2008)

We had our big consultation today after Tom had his PET/CT scan last Friday. Three cancers in remission! The liver looked baseline he said, and all lymph nodes were back to normal looking. There was a spot on the upper liver, and I can’t remember his exact words and don’t have my notes in front of me, but basically said it was nebulous, so went with that. The bones showed some activity, but he was sure it was left over from Neulasta white cell booster shots and normal to see this and was nothing to worry about at all. BIG sigh of relief. Of course, how long he’ll have three in remission is anyone’s guess, but it’s a miracle we’re here.

So, he’s working on a car getting it ready to sell, getting his flower beds in order and planning a new retaining wall garden for the front of the house, so is doing all the things he loves to do, carefully!!! Still a bit wobbly on his feet, but that’s coming along, too. No chemo pill even – doc said there wasn’t enough cases showing great benefit and he thought with all the chemo Tom’s had, it was time to let his body rest from all of it – so that was our only surprise today.

All for now. Bless you all for your thoughts and prayers. We appreciate them more than you’ll ever know!!!


Mike Reed wrote (April 26, 2008)

Dave, wish I knew about this site a long time ago.

Yes, please put my name on the list. I’m living in Connecticut and have a 18 year old daughter. Still, in the film business. These days I am just doing commericals. Victoria Secerts, US army, vitamin water, ESPN. I stopped doing movies about three years ago, it just got to be to much.Some that I did work on, Cider House Rules, Mona Lisa Smiles, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Forgotten,The object of my Affection, Stewart Little 2, Spiderman 1 and 2.

Hope to make it back for the reunion. Anybody up for a round of golf? Thanks and keep up the great work!

Andrew Hummel-Schluger wrote (April 15, 2008)

Hi Dave!  It’s great getting the updates.

Here’s the Reader’s Digest version of My Life since High School:

I graduated from West at mid-year, and went off to college on the East Coast the following Autumn.  Graduated four years later with a degree in Drama and moved to Seattle to seek fame and fortune.  Instead, I found a job training monkeys at the University of Washington.  I’ve worked at the UW pretty much ever since (with time off for good behavior to earn another degree in Computer Science and teach Ballroom Dance…)  Most of my time now is spent as a glorified Statistician.

I got married about 15 years ago (and am probably the only guy in the Class of ’73 who has a Maiden Name), and have three kids of varying very diverse backgrounds – my daughter is Costa Rican and one son is Thai.

My wife, both sons and I all are involved in Tae Kwon Do.  Both boys and I are Black Belts, and my wife is testing for hers in two months.

I don’t know if we’ll get back to Iowa City again soon, but if we do I’ll look folks up.

Take care.

The Hummel Family

Dave Gerlits wrote (April 13, 2008)

Bonnie (Tappan) Weldon and Pat Vaughan both told me that David Kacena’s Dad died on April 5, 2008. Here, with David’s permission, is his father’s obituary. We’re all very sorry for your loss, David.

James Kacena

James Kacena, 74

James “Jimmie” Lee Kacena, 74, of Burlington, died at 9:45 a.m. Saturday, April 5, 2008, at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.

Born October 1, 1933 in Iowa City, he was the son of Alene and John Kacena. On September 18, 1954, he married Carolyn Marner in Iowa City. She survives.

Mr. Kacena was a graduate of Iowa City High School and attended the University of Iowa. He was in business in Iowa City until 1974 when the family moved to Burlington where Jim owned and operated Kacena Equipment, Inc., John Deere dealership. After retiring, he became a licensed real estate agent, owned Midwest Lease Company, and owned and managed rental properties. He obtained his pilot’s license and flew his own plane for a number of years.

Mr. Kacena was a member of the Board of Directors at Farmers and Merchants Bank in Burlington since 1980. He was a member of Burlington Rotary Club, Burlington Golf Club, First United Methodist Church, former member of Des Moines County Zoning commission and volunteered in the building of two homes of Habitat for Humanity. He was an active member and past president of Carthage Lake Club, where he enjoyed many friendships. He was an enthusiastic outdoorsman and enjoyed hunting, fishing and boating with his friends and family. He took pleasure in collecting antique duck decoys, gardening and building wooduck houses for the Rotary Club. He was an avid reader and supporter of the new Burlington Public Library and a longtime Iowa Hawkeye fan. He was a thoughtful and loving husband and a caring father and grandfather.

Survivors include his loving wife, Carolyn Kacena and their five children; David Kacena of Iowa City, Christopher (Shawn) Kacena of Sherwood, Arkansas, Kathryn (Lorry) Lazenby of Joplin, Missouri, Cynthia (Lynn) Cavett of Macomb, Illinois, and Jennifer (Randy) Frice of Burlington; eleven grandchildren, Ashton, Abby, and Cameron Kacena, Amy (Blaik) Mason, Jacob and Nicholas Kacena, Hannah, John, and Rachel Lazenby, Maxwell and Jackson Cavett; one step grandson, Blake (Amanda) Shadell; three great grandchildren, Aiden, Brennan, and Chloe Mason; two brothers, Robert (Betty) Kacena and Stanley (Carole) Kacena; one sister, Karen (Tom) Diltz; a cousin, Albert Spetrino and many nieces and nephews.

His parents and one grandchild, Nathaniel Lazenby, preceded him in death.

The funeral service for Mr. Kacena was Tuesday, April 8, at 11 a.m. in Lunning Chapel with the Rev. Ken Royar officiating. Interment will follow at a later date in Memory Gardens in Iowa City.

Family and friends are invited to join the family for a luncheon at Carthage Lake Club following the funeral service.

Memorials have been established for the Carthage Lake Club Habitat Fund and Des Moines County Partners for Conservation Bike Trail.

Bonnie (Tappan) Weldon wrote (April 11, 2008)

Hello All….Just wanted to let you know that Braylon James arrived at 5:11 PM today, April 11, 2008.

He was 9 LBS. 6 oz and 21 3/4 long.  He looks like a carbon copy of Matt when he was born.  Lots of black curls, long fingers and big feet.  Very adorable if I can say so myself.

Jazlyn was very excited to see her new brother and wanted to take him home with her right now!!!!!.

I know he is going to be a bass player for sure.  Larry’s bass will be waiting for him……..


Dan Hackmann wrote (April 4, 2008)

Hey Dave,

Always read with great interest your various newsiness and whatever with regard to our good old class of 73, but I must say, this last missive of yours also gave me a good giggle.  I just wish to throw in my two cents worth that it’s probably better that you get in touch with your inner Goofy that to be totally full of Pooh (as we perhaps all are anyway ; ).

I haven’t been sending many regular updates about my activities, as I am not always so sure if what I tell will interest or bore everyone, but since last May my company has done two major projects of note: one in a structural mill (steel mill) in Whyalla, South Australia, and one in a hot strip steel mill in Galati, Romania.  We have achieved a first in the whole steel industry, in that we have invented and installed IT-systems that take dynamic measurements of the mill’s geometry during production in realtime and run monitoring applications on webservers on very small industrial computers (about 10cm x 20cm x 20cm) that are connected via VPN to our hosting servers in Switzerland, where we run our hosted Component Management software that collects and correlates everything and allows for optimization of the mill prodution and maintenance processes.  I know this all sounds pretty technical (which it is), but it’s pretty exciting stuff for us.

Our systems are part of complete solutions for steel mills that we offer together with the 6 generations-old company that belongs to my business partner in Germany.  At the end of November and early December we spent 17 days in the in Romania managing our group of 25 employees that restored and refurbished three millstands and installed many new components in a 14-stand hot strip mill (the whole mill setup is around 1.5 kilometers long!).  It was, needless to say, a very interesting time that left us with many deep impressions.

After Christmas Mücki and I went skiing with friends (and by ourselves) for three weeks in the alps around St. Moritz.  It was a much needed relaxing time.

We are now preparing for various new jobs and new phases of continuing jobs in various places, most of which are quite far from us at home, places like Kazakstan, Australia (again), and the good old US.  My parents, who have retired up in Maine, and have lived there since 1998, are coming to visit us in the Zurich area for more than two weeks at the beginning of June.  We’re looking forward to this time very much, since we only usually see each other about once a year, and the last time they came to see us in Switzerland was in 2001.

At this point I do not know if I will be able to attend the reunion or not.  My sister Carol (West High 1984) and her husband still live in Iowa City, but the rest of the family is pretty much everywhere else but there.  I would very much like to be there, and will keep you posted as to whether I can manage to work it into a trip over there.  What is currently planned is a trip to NYC to meetings starting on June 24, but after that there’s a big question mark in my schedule, depending on how various opportunites come in.

Thanks again for keeping everyone up to speed and wishing you a great weekend,


Janet Gregory wrote (March 30, 2008)

Hi, Dave, and my fellow classmates!

After several years of enjoying and appreciating Dave’s updates, I thought it was probably time to supply one of my own.  (Actually, it is a way to avoid the stack of work waiting for me here at the dining room table, when I would rather continue to sit and stare out the window and surf the internet!)

I continue to live here in Anchorage, Alaska, along with my husband Bob.  I continue to run my toy store, Over The Rainbow Toys, where the tagline is “Toys for the Mind and the Imagination” and our mission statement is “to strive to promote discovery and imagination in children of all ages through innovative products and outstanding customer service”.   I guess that about sums up the toy store!  I’ve had my business for 16 years now, it has been a struggle through raising kids, economy challenges, 3 location moves, the various ups and downs, but through it all we’ve managed to hang in there, and at long last have a business that I can honestly say I am quite proud of!  As we all move toward the grandparent stage of life, don’t forget that play really is the most important thing for children to be doing, it really is a critical part of their development, and it really is more important (especially for small children) to be playing in a real, human, 3-dimensional world, with child-directed play, and not in a 2-dimensional video-dominated world where toys are telling the child what to do….  OK.  Enough of my soap box!

As for my own children (who, yes, got to play with more than their share of video games and watch too much TV…), I am at the stage of learning/trying to gracefully let go of them.  Abby will be 23 next month, is off on her own adventure living with her boyfriend in Los Angeles, but like her mother loves to travel and so I manage to see her on various trips we both take.  I go to New York every February for the big Toy Fair trade show, and Abby has discovered that a week in New York on mom’s nickel is a good thing, so she continues to join me for that!  It’s such a joy to watch her evolve into the wonderful young, independent woman she’s becoming.

My son, Stuart, soon to be 20 (yikes!  I seem to have survived the teen-age years!!)  is currently at the Berklee College of Music in Boston (no, has nothing to do with Berkley in California…) where he is studying jazz.  Primarily he is a pianist, but also plays saxophone (that makes mom smile!), drums, last year he picked up trumpet, and anything else he can get his hands on.  At this point he’s talking about majoring in jazz composition, but whatever he does he will always be performing.  I asked him, am I a bad mom because when he tells me he had a performance, I have to ask what instrument was he playing?….

My husband, Bob, continues his geologic consulting business, continues to be frustrated by the limitations of gardening in Alaska, and still enjoys getting out to walk in the incredible scenery here whenever he can.  As an aside…I met Bob back in the Geology Dept at UofI when I was also getting my degrees there.  Catching up on the news of our class today, and reading about Andy Hoppin’s loss of his brother…when I was in the Geology Dept. back in the late 70’s, I never made the connection between my professor, Dr. Hoppin, and my high school classmate!  Admittedly, I didn’t really know Andy well, but you’d think the name would have registered.  But no.

My condolences and thoughts for the Hoppin family in the loss of Art.

As for me, as I said I stay busy with my business, especially now that the kids are moving on.  I love to travel, and take every opportunity to do so, although most of the travel tends to revolve around ‘toy things’ – meetings and trade shows and such.  Any day now, I will be able to start taking ‘non-toy’ travel!  I still enjoy sewing when I have the time.  I plan on being back in Coralville early May to see my folks, while on my way out to Boston to fetch Stuart back home for the summer.  Don’t know how much free time I’ll have – depends on how Mom & Dad are doing, but if anyone is around and wants to get together, drop me an email orainbow@alaska.net and I’ll give you my phone number.  I’m going to try to make it back in July for the reunion as well….but plane fares are outrageous this summer.  Here in Alaska we do like what $100/barrel oil does for our state coffers, but like everyone else, what is does to the price of everything else is getting quite daunting.

I continue to enjoy reading about my fellow class of ’73 – the paths we’ve all taken, and where we continue to intersect….could Keith Gormazano really help me with the parts of Quickbooks I don’t understand on my next trip to Seattle?  Does Don Rhinehart know my friend Kate with the toystore in Glendale (I’ll have to ask her!)….as the mother of a musician, it’s wonderful to read about Martin Anderson’s career in music…..and perhaps, Dave, when I’m in Boston with Stuart, we could do lunch!  What an idea!

Best wishes to all, take care, and enjoy you lives!

P.S. – all you 50 something women – last night I went to see Menopause the Musical.  If you have the chance, grab some girlfriends and make a date to see it!  I have not laughed that much and that hard in a very long time!!

P.P.S. – Dave, As I continue to sit here and stare out the window, pondering life in general, perhaps you could share with our on-line community, for those that remain in the Iowa City area, that my thoughts (and I’m sure those of many others) are with them, for comfort and healing in our home community, as they struggle with the aftermath of the horrific deaths that occurred there this week.

Thank you.

Janet Gregory
Over The Rainbow Toys
12201 Industry Way D5
Anchorage,  Alaska   99515
fax 907-522-8185
Toys for the Mind and the Imagination!

Bonnie Weldon and David Kacena wrote (March 20 and Mar 27, 2008)

Bonnie said:

I also wanted to let you know that there was an article on Paul Roberts in the CR Gazette yesterday.  Nice picture and article about his band.  So, for a change some nice news.

Here’s the article:

‘It’s About All’ you need in a radio show

Iowa Mennonite School to hold fifth annual ‘broadcast’

By Meredith Hines-Dochterman

It’s lights, no camera and live action for the Iowa Mennonite School’s annual oldfashioned radio show Saturday.”It’s About All!,” a live-action radio show modeled after Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion, gives its fifth annual performance this weekend.

“(The title) is based on a colloquialism in our area spoken by some when something is at the end or is done,” said Mary Forney, the school’s English and drama instructor. “It’s also a play on words for the radio show being about everything and anything at all.”

The performance is part of the school’s fine arts series, which promotes about five fine arts events for the community each year. Past performances have included the Spiritual Project Choir from Denver, Colo., the Maia Quartet and Acoustic Mayhem from the Iowa City area and a Messiah sing with the Southeast Iowa Symphony.

“We try to cover different areas of the fine arts: drama, music, visual arts,” Forney said.

“It’s About All!” is the series’ only annual event.

The show consists of commercials that highlight local businesses, made-up stories about unique characters that are eerily similar to people who live in Kalona, musical performances and group sing-alongs.

This year’s show features some past favorites: TriBorough News Chat and Tales from ERP (English River Pellets). Special guests include Paul Roberts as the show’s host, The Great Bluegrass Herons, The Banjoy Band and fiddler Joy Ward.

“The radio show gives our community a chance to celebrate, lampoon and laugh at our local color, and to laugh at ourselves,” Forney said. “The show may not be universally interesting, but it sure is a fun way to spend a night laughing with friends after a long winter.”

Paul Roberts and his banjo

Paul Roberts gets ready to play with his band, the McPunk Brothers, at the Kalona Bluegrass Festival held at the Windmill Ridge Campgrounds on July 13, 2003

Dave Kacena said:

DaveI attended an Iowa Theatre Artists Company performance of “Pump Boys and Dinettes” and playing the part of Eddie and strumming the guitar and picking the banjo (quite nicely) was classmate Paul Roberts.  Thought I’d send a photo for you to post.  This was part of the set they used.


Paul in “Pump Boys and Dinettes”

Edwin Barker wrote (Mar 27, 2008)

Ethel and I began buying apartments in 1975.  In 1979 I retired from school administration.  We have been managing the apartments since then.  Our two sons, David and Jim along with David’s wife Sarah eventually joined us in the management area along with being partners in the ownership.

Our two daughters, Alice and Susan live in Up State New York along with their families.  We have 10 grandchildren, 5 in New York and 5 in Iowa City.

One of my main hobbies has been traveling throughout the world, visiting between 50 and 60 countries in six continents.  Most of these countries are ones that most people hesitate or refuse to visit.  My traveling partner, a college friend, and I find them intriguing and extremely educational.  One trip took us around the world which included going on the Trans Siberian Railroad from Vladivostok to Moscow.  I have been to the Soviet Union/Russia about 13 times, visiting 13 of the 15 republics.  Our wives do not like to travel the way we do and are always relieved when we return from each trip.

Thanks for all of the work you do on the web site and the reunions.

Ed Barker, Principal, West High, 1968-1979

Karen (Davis) Leibold wrote (Mar 26, 2008)

Sad news to share. Our thoughts are with you, Andy.


Art Hoppin

Art Hoppin, 57

Archeologist, accomplished chef, naturalist, and mentor, Art Hoppin, died Thursday, March 13, 2008, at the age of 57. A memorial service will be held at Good Shepherd Church in Decorah on Saturday, March 22 at 1:00 p.m.

Son of Margery and Richard Hoppin, Art attended University High School in Iowa City, where he grew up in a home that fostered a quiet love for learning, an incisive intellectual rigor, a respect for the past, and a commitment to the future. Art’s family went along when his father taught at geology field schools in the Black Hills and Big Horn Mountains and there Art developed a deep reverence for nature. Early on, he also became an avid, lifelong Iowa Hawkeyes fan.

He graduated from Luther College in 1973 and, from that time onward, Northeast Iowa was Art’s home base. He bought land north of Decorah near Burr Oak and built a house to share with his wife, Karla Presler, whom he had met at Luther College. They married in 1979. It was the landscape, the rivers, the flora, and fauna that convinced Art and Karla to make northeast Iowa their home. A born naturalist and woodsman, Art knew how to listen to the natural world as few can. It was a source of profound joy for him. It also turned him into a fiercely competitive morel hunter each spring. He developed a fondness for angling and cherished the fishing trips he took with his close friend and neighbor Lindsay Lee.

Art was a highly respected archeologist, working on jobs contracted through college professors, the State of Iowa, and Bear Creek Archeology. He loved the work, though it could be both backbreaking and painstaking and often kept him from his beloved home for long periods of time. He was also a superb cook and supplemented his archeology income with work as a chef at the Cliff House, McCaffrey’s Restaurant, and The Café Deluxe. His special Sunday night suppers at the Café may have been Decorah’s first excursion into gourmet dining.

Art was the sort of private man to whom, nevertheless, other people are naturally drawn. His gentle humor and nonjudgmental wisdom attracted people to him as much as his ubiquitous smile and the glint in his eye. Both as an archeologist and as a cook, Art had the opportunity to work with and guide many young people who remember him as a friend and mentor.

Art knew the value of a secret–whether it was a personal confidence or where the best morels were hiding–but perhaps the greatest secret he kept was how such a quiet, private man could touch so many lives.

Art is survived by his wife Karla Presler, of rural Decorah; his mother Margery and his father Richard, of Iowa City; his brothers Andy of Minneapolis, and Charles (wife Bonnie) of Atlanta; his sister Jan Hensel (husband Paul) of Minneapolis; four nephews and two nieces.

Ruth Noth wrote (Feb 25, 2008)

Just a quick update, Dave which can be posted if you wish. Tom will be undergoing his 9th of 12 treatments tomorrow for the metastasized colon cancer to his liver. We’ll be 3/4 done – boy that sounds great.  He continues to do well and we are truly blessed. He’s my walking miracle – literally. He is now walking without his cane in the house, and sometimes when on errands if we don’t have snow and ice. Bracing for another storm tomorrow – freezing rain and snow. Hope it doesn’t get too bad until we get back home from chemo. Tom is also now driving again – another item we didn’t think he’d ever do. He’s amazing. As I head for 53, I’m grateful to have this man in my life yet, and as well as he’s doing, hope that is so for many more years to come. He’s beaten so many odds, and I only wish and pray that others could do the same. Blessings to everyone.

Kevin Megan wrote (Feb 24, 2008)

(Webmaster’s note: Kevin’s brother Michael died Feb 21, 2008, and we sent him our condolences. The following is his reply)

Thanks very much Dave for Bobbi and your thoughts. Lynne and I appreciate it. As we get older, it unfortunately becomes more of a reality for many of us to deal with, so it’s sad and you just have to do the best one can. I’ll certainly miss him. I think the obit will be out tomorrow’s paper and feel free to pass on the news.  I appreciate you keeping us all connected. The best to you and your family!!!


Below is the obituary, as it appeared in the Press Citizen:

Michael Megan

Michael J. Megan, 64, of West Branch, formerly of Iowa City died peacefully Thursday, February 21, 2008 at his home following a brief illness.

Private family committal services will be held at a later date, with burial in the Lone Tree Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in his name. Arrangements are with Lensing Funeral and Cremation Service.

Michael was born on April 4, 1943, the son of Francis “Chick” and Marjorie Boorman Megan.

Michael was a 1961 graduate of City High School. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa, and the UI College of Law. Michael practiced law in Iowa City for many years. After retirement from private practice he owned and operated businesses in West Branch.

Michael was truly the definition of a good person who was loved by his family and friends. Michael lived life on his own terms. He will be dearly missed by all those who knew him. May God bless him.

Michael is survived by his loving brothers, David Megan and his wife, Beverly (Probst) of Dacula, GA. And Kevin Megan and his wife, Lynne of St. Paul, MN; nieces and nephews, Christina, Aaron, Sean, Ryan, Michael and Michelle.

Online condolences and memories may be shared at www.lensingfuneral.com.

Jim Funcke wrote (Feb 22, 2008)

Dear Dave,

Yes this is that Jim Funcke.  I think I visited the website along time ago…I enjoyed seeing it again.

As far as what has happened since 1973. well alot of water under the bridge as they say.  I’ve worked for Hy-Vee for 30 years doing about every job in the store and it’s really a job that I love.  For the past 9 years I’ve managed the Wine & Spirits store.  I’ve been married to Ellen, a tech at the VA,  for 25 years and we have 2 children–Kelley, 23 who graduated from Iowa last year and is currently a student teacher at Clear Creek Amana and Solon.  She was also recently married to a fellow Hy-Vee employee.  Our son Jeff is a sophomore at Iowa who is student manager for the Iowa swim team.

We built a house on the other side of the interstate five years ago that we really enjoy.  Other distractions we partake in are landscaping, cycling, and Hawkeye sporting events.  My two best friends are the same as they were in high school, Jerry Halvorsen and Denny Hartvigsen who both graduated in ’74.  Great job on the website…hope to make it to the reunion.

Keith Gormèzano wrote (Feb 15, 2008)

Hi Dave,

Thought you would like to see the following blog article about my activities as a QuickBooks (and Quicken) trainer in Seattle: http://blog.teachstreet.com/2008/02/05/spotlight-on-a-quickbooks-instructor-teaching-small-businesses-to-fish/

I’ve created a little niche market in Greater Seattle by being the only person who specializes in only teaching the accounting and bookkeeping software program one-on-one and in-person by going to people’s offices and homes so they don’t have to be bored in a class while going at the slowest person’s pace. It’s fun.

Feel free to pass my contact information along if you have any friends who own a small business in this area or who might be coming here on business and need help. I also get down to Portland and up to Vancouver, B.C. several times a year.

I will try to get to ’73 West High 35th Reunion which is scheduled for Saturday July 19, 2008. It turns out that I am scheduled to attend a family reunion in Toronto in August 2008 so I may be able to take a summer vacation this year now that I am in control of my time. Although I am not thrilled about dealing with the heat.

Keith Gormezano, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisorQuickBooks (and Quicken) Trainer & Tutor, Financial Records Check Up, and Bookkeeping
“Dr. QuickBooks – I make house calls to teach you to fish for yourself.”
“Make your bookkeeping software work for you, instead of against you.”
(New business networking group, free to join, ask me for an invite)
Better Business Bureau Accredited Business

Steve Riggan wrote (Feb 6, 2008)


It’s great to hear from you after all these 35 years!  We all hope that you can make it back for this years reunion.

Tracy and I both said we would never get married again, this is proof that one should never say never !  We are both very happy, and looking forward to the years to come.  We do have a lot going on this year, my oldest son Zack and his wife Samantha, are having their first child(Annabelle) this coming April, and we are very excited about being grand parents. Also, Tracy’s daughter is making plans to be married this coming October.  So you can see we do not lack for great days ahead.

I will get our wedding program to you soon, and hope you will all find the story to be entertaining, or at least somewhat entertaining.

Thanks Dave, for being the class of 73 go to guy, we appreciate your efforts!!

Take care and best wishes’


Gene Hartsock wrote (Feb 4, 2008)

(Note: Bonnie Weldon emailed me Feb 3 to tell me that Gene’s father had passed away. The following is Gene’s reply to our condolences:)


thank you, My dad’s name was Ernest, but to most of his friends and family, he was Jr.  His dad also was Ernest. (that provided some interesting conversations when I was working at the shoe shop in Iowa city… I had to find out what Ernest they were asking about…)

He was 82 years old when he died this morning at 9:45, with mom at his side.  Because of the bad weather in southeastern Iowa, it wasn’t sure if she could be there, even though it is only  10 miles from Brighton to Washington.

She made it in time to be with him this morning as he died from complications of phenomia. He had been sick off and on since Thanksgiving.

He was born in the country between Hills and Sharon Center, and later moved with his family to Oxford Iowa…When his family sold the farm, we moved into Iowa City in 1967.  He and my mom both worked at Mercy hospital…My mom ran the coffee shop they had for a few years, until they incorporated it back into the cafeteria.

After their retirement, they first moved to Kalona where they had a garden that was admired by the buses that drove hundreds of people to the quilting shows in Kalona.

The past 7 years they have been living in Brighton Iowa, in a House that my dad “designed” for their olden days…

The funeral will be on Friday at 11.00AM. My wife and I will provide the music for the funeral.

He is survived by 4 brothers, and one sister.  My brother, and I and 2 grandchildren (my children) and my son’s daughter.

He was a gardener even after moving away from the farm. This was the first year they didn’t have their garden…

David Kacena wrote (Feb 3, 2008)


Finally got around to sending you some photos of Steve Riggan and Tracy Lacina’s wedding on New Years Eve.  Kevin Kelly was the Host of the reception.


Mark Ferguson wrote (Jan 24, 2008)

Hi, Dave:

I thought I would let you know that I ran into a former West High graduate from the class of 1972, Dave Hughes.  He had a younger sister, Diane Hughes, who played oboe in the band with me.  I don’t think I knew Dave while he was in school with me, but he recognized my brother Neil’s name.

Susan and I went to Summerset Winery near Indianola, IA with another couple for their “Margaritaville” winter bash.  At our table sat Dave and Mary Beth Hughes with another couple they knew.  As we chatted, Dave and I found out we both went to West High together.  I thought I would enclose a picture of our table and our outfits.  Dave Hughes and his wife are sitting next to Susan and me (We have the maracas).  We all had a great time!

Dave said he attended his class’ 35th reunion last summer seeing some of the classmates that he hasn’t seen since graduating  I hope we have as good success with our upcoming reunion.

Mark Ferguson

The Fergusons and Hughes

Gene Hartsock wrote (Jan 14, 2008)

My health is good, I have been on dialysis now for almost 2 and a half years….I have completed the requirements to get back on the list, and by Jan 31st I should be.    ( I was so sick back in the Fall of 2005 that I basically didn’t want to keep going to the doctor that much)

Talking about Parents,  My father is now in a Nursing Home In Washington Iowa…He was getting too weak, and was falling down too much…He resisted the move, and my Mom kinda had to disguise how she had to bring him to the nursing home…She could no longer help him help himself.

My grand daughter is now a bit over a year old, and is a charmer, and knows she is good looking! I attached a picture from Christmas with her in my son’s (Rob’s) arms…..Her name is Serenna  (not Serena)

Rob and Serenna Hartsock

Judy (Becker) Bryant wrote (Jan 5, 2008)

Season’s Greetings from
The Bryant Family

16305 Heathrow Drive, Tampa, Florida 33647-2640

NOTE OUR NEW ADDRESS! Taking advantage of the current real estate market, we moved to a bigger house last month. It’s only a mile from the old place and still in Tampa Palms. Same schools, phone number, etc., but moving is still a hassle. We’re adjusting and the additional space is great.

This has been a year of accomplishments and transitions for Sam. Last spring he continued to play soccer and participate in the school chorus, singing in a wonderful songfest with children from area elementary schools near the end of the school year. Also in the spring, his aircraft carrier-themed pinewood derby car won a trophy at the pack level. Sam earned his Webelos badge and Arrow of Light award. He has since crossed over to Boy Scouts where, in a very active troop, he has been on monthly campouts and already earned several merit badges and been promoted to Second Class. Over the summer he had his first solo trip, traveling to Massachusetts to spend some time with one of his best friends. With the move to 6th grade in a large middle school in August, Sam has been learning to cope with different teachers for all his classes, the rigors of keeping a planner and studying for numerous tests in the honors program, and many diverse students entering puberty. He is often astonished at the behavior and dress of some of his peers. After enduring a long bus ride to and from school for several weeks, Sam ultimately decided to bike three miles both ways instead. This is keeping him fit, though doesn’t explain the fact that he has suddenly grown as tall as Judy even though he’s not yet 11. Sam’s latest accomplishment was winning $100 in a VWF essay contest on patriotism.

Not to be outdone by his big brother, Ben (who turned 8 in May), is also tall for his age. He’s doing extremely well in third grade and his gifted classes, showing a great facility for reading and math. He maintains his energetic and happy demeanor – at least most of the time. Ben too played soccer last year and continues this fall. In the Bryant boy tradition, his pinewood derby car, a Cub Scout popcorn box, won first place for design at the pack, district, and council levels. Soon he’ll earn his Bear badge in scouts, and his recycling collage won a prize in a PTA contest. In a new fun activity, Ben was chosen to play in the third grade chimes choir where he has learned to read music and manipulate the chimes with great style.

Having just ended her academic semester, Judy is looking forward to a break from a busy and tiring year. She was honored to be invited to write three book chapters on pragmatic development and this fall served on two tenure and promotion committees, chaired a search for a new faculty member in developmental (the first such hire since she came to USF in 1981), and tackled the regular duties of teaching and the area directorship of the doctoral program in cognition, neuroscience, and social psychology. In the spring, she attended a developmental conference in Boston, which was a great opportunity to see old friends. When possible, she tries to stay involved with the boys’ schools. This seems to get more challenging as they get older, but she serves on the school advisory councils for both boys. Her regular trips to Iowa City are now just to see her father; her mother died in April. She and her father were helped in coping by looking forward to the Supreme Court argument her brother Craig made just a week after this sad event.

Dave continues his private polygraph business and testified as an expert witness in federal court last January. In September he was invited to a meeting of the Vidocq Society in Philadelphia where he reviewed a polygraph exam and provided a better theory for a cold case homicide. He also still works as a detective for the police department and teaches firearms and driving at the academy. His driving skills were enhanced while we were in Phoenix, where Dave checked off one of his life goals by taking the Bondurant high performance driving course. When he’s not working, he pursues his other interests, riding his motorcycle to New Orleans for a Blue Knights convention in October and laboring hard all year as Cubmaster for the pack and training his replacement.

Last summer we took a month long journey west in our motor home. We ate jambalaya on the bayou in Louisiana, visited NASA in Houston, the Alamo in San Antonio, the Capital in Austin, saw caves and bats at Carlsbad Caverns, reenacted the gunfight at the OK Corral in Tombstone, went deep into a copper mine in Bisbee, visited Aunt Eva and her dogs in Phoenix, hiked in wonder at the Grand Canyon, stood on the corners of 4 states, climbed and crawled through the cliff dwelling ruins at Mesa Verde, rode the tram up Sandia Peak in Albuquerque, ate at the Owl on Route 66, handled reptiles while visiting our friends the Clark’s in Dallas, toured the Texas Ranger museum in Waco, and lots more in between. It was quite an adventure and even Rommel had a good time on the road.

Our big trip was bracketed by two others: 2 weeks before, we took the RV up to Rochester to visit Dave’s family, then on to Yale for Judy’s 30th reunion. Two weeks after, we went on a cruise out of Miami for a family reunion with Judy’s dad and extended family. The ship took us to the Mayan ruins on the Yucatan of Mexico. Not too many weeks later, Dave and his father visited relatives in Bradford, PA, some of whom Dave hadn’t seen in years. He learned more about his great grandmother (a Seneca Indian) and English ancestors who arrived in the 1600s. Shortly after he returned, Judy went to Iowa City for a reunion of friends from University High School. After all this traveling, we decided to stay put this vacation!

Judy, Dave, Ben and Sam Bryant

Ruth (Jurgens) Noth wrote (Jan 3, 2008)

Tom is doing well. He’s walking without his walker indoors carefully, since just before Christmas, and now has clear evidence that the chemo is working on the colon cancer that metastasized to his liver. His count for that went from 86 to four and three tenths (4.30) in less than half the treatments. Zero to three is normal. The cancer in his brain is controlled at present. Condolences to all who have lost loved ones, and anyone struggling with anything, know that you are in our prayers, even though we don’t know who you are or what your situation is. Please feel free to visit with me anytime about anything. I’m never too wrapped up in our own lives to listen to a classmate. Blessings in 2008!

Martin Andersen wrote (Jan 1, 2008)

Holiday Greetings from Martin and Chris Andersen

Martin and Christina Andersen

The environment has once again become a major issue in the news. Reminds me of the first Earth Day over thirty years ago. Only now it appears that we will no longer be able to ignore the situation: if it’s not just the Al Gores of the world that are sounding the alarm, but when conservative evangelicals call for “an ethical stewardship of God’s creation”; when former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan says in his new book (very good reading, by the way) that almost without question mankind is having significant impact on global warming, and that the world’s economic future may hinge upon what we do to address climate change issues — when you can see with you own eyes (or at least in the National Geographic) that the polar ice cap is melting away at a rate that alarms even the experts who study such phenomena–then you know that, regardless of one’s politics, almost everyone is beginning to take the protection of our physical environment seriously. And, I believe, not a moment too soon. I just pray that we’re not too late.

Should such a serious situation cause us to despair? Not necessarily. Early in December I happened to be passing by Rockefeller Center in Manhattan. If you haven’t been there in person during the holiday season, you’ve no doubt seen it on television: the channel gardens decorated with angels, the huge decorated Christmas tree, skaters on the ice rink. But what also caught my eye was the horizontally sprawling golden form of Prometheus who, according to Greek myth, stole fire from the gods to give to humanity. It surprised me how deeply I was moved by this scene. The inscription beneath the sculpture, a quote from Aeschylus, drove home the meaning: “Prometheus, teacher in every art, brought the fire that hath proved to mortals a means to mighty ends.” Fire given to man (like the bite of the apple) implies human responsibility for human actions. And indeed many great deeds (along with the horrible and mediocre) have been wrought by the species over the ages. May we have Promethean courage to face these current issues squarely and honestly, and take action.

Now that the sermon is over — to bring you up to date on this year’s activities:

Chris  –is in her ninth year of business at Christina Andersen Floral Design. She has had a busy year of special events along with her weekly corporate and restaurant accounts. This November she participated in the Taste of Hoboken, a large annual fundraiser for the YMCA, in which patrons are able to sample the wares of thirty of the town’s many fine restaurants. She made a large, towering arrangement of Burning Bush branches for the main centerpiece, and helped design and decorate the large space used for the event. She was also on the circuit of the 26th Hoboken Artist Studio Tour in October. And during the present season she and other artists at her studio building at 720 Monroe presented a holiday open house sale and party‹they turned an artist loft into a cozy living room, filled with crafts, food, and fun.

Chris got back to Rockford Illinois for a week around Halloween to spend time with her mom and sibs.


–is in his 28th year as a violist in the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. A highlight of the season was a recent series of performances of Gustav Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony, joined by the Westminster Chorale. Quite a moving piece, one hundred minutes without intermission, that deals with transcendental issues of death and afterlife. It’s a wonderful work that is a thrill to perform or listen to.

Martin’s in his third year of teaching college at Stevens Institute of Technology, enjoying giving private lessons and coaching the student string quartet. This fall he also performed on the Steven’s Artist-in-Residence concert, playing a sonata for viola and piano by Hindemith.

In August he was performing out at Grand Teton Music Festival. More about that below.

An event that has proved to be life-changing to Martin was a diagnosis and successful treatment of reactive hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). He has to eat a certain foods every two hours. Energy, mood, stamina‹everything in life feels and is better. Much gratitude to a thorough internist for finding and treating a condition he’s probably had his whole life.

Martin has been participating in a great new leisure activity this year‹boy’s movie night out. Friend Bryan Mynard makes the calls; 3 to five of us pile into his minivan to see flicks that the wives would rather take a pass on. If it’s not too late we finish off at a local pub. It’s surprising how much he looks forward to these evenings!

Another local fun activity comes courtesy of an avid chamber music amateur, Seth Grosshandler, who lives just a few blocks away. He has frequent chamber music sessions, and invites fellow amateurs and professionals to meet to read through trios, quartets, etc. The music, food and wine is always good.

Martin does a certain amount of committee work at NJSO. He is secretary of the Dress Code Committee (what does a musician wear to a concert? and how do we get management to enforce this?). And in November he represented the NJSO musicians and the local musician’s union at an American Federation of Musicians National Media Summit in Washington, D.C. The discussion centered on how to promote AFM orchestras in both local and national radio markets. While there he got to have a brief visit and sleepover with old friends Jodi Beder and Jimmy Tarlau; and his first ride on the Amtrak Acela fast train. Trains are fun!

Speaking of committees, Martin was also recently elected to the post of Secretary of People for Open Government, a local group that has succeeded in passing Pay to Play and other “sunshine” legislation in an attempt to make Hoboken government more transparent. God knows we need that around here!

Chris and Martin

–had a lot of visitors, events, and trips together. We spent Easter week in California with Martin’s parents who are retired (if you can call it that) in Palm Springs. We also spent a couple of days in San Diego visiting Martin’s old buddy Jeff Thayer and his girlfriend Carol. Local activities included visiting the S.D. Zoo and Coronado Island. In May we attended our niece Lucy Kaminsky’s graduation from Bard College. We had a summer party for twenty in late June that Chris wanted to be a birthday party (for Martin). At his request she dropped that idea and between us came to refer to it as the non‹birthday party party”.

August in Jackson Hole seems to have become the center of our yearly vacation activities‹and this time Martin played there four weeks instead of the usual three. This made the stay even more relaxed. While Martin hiked one of his most ambitious peaks to date–Table Mountain–Chris went kayaking on the Snake River. We also had a record number of visitors come through the valley. Chris’ brother Brian’s wife Deanna’s family had a reunion in the hole; everyone enjoyed themselves so much that they’re already making plans to return. Chris’ friend Michelle (a master jeweler who has a studio right down the hall from Chris) flew to Jackson with her husband Tony, who had a business conference nearby. We enjoyed hiking and dining with them. Friends Steve and Miki Nuding and Steve’s brother were touring Yellowstone and the Tetons; we saw them the day before they left for home. And finally, Chris’ cousin Anne from Seattle drove through, visiting us on her way to Colorado and Illinois. We love to show people our home away from home that is Jackson Hole.After the festival we headed north to Glacier National Park in Montana. Glacier was well worth the nine hour drive from Jackson — in fact, the drive was spectacularly beautiful. Approaching the town of West Glacier, one can see mountains very different than the Tetons: quite irregular and wild looking. Probably the centerpiece of our visit was a day long hike up to Grinnell Glacier. To do this one takes two excursion boats to get to the trailhead. A park naturalist led us in a party of 25 through some quite steep terrain (bravo, Chris) and incredible vistas until we were actually able to reach out and touch the glacier itself. Our guide showed us how, only eighty years ago,  ice had completely covered a vast field in front of us, stretching out nearly a half mile, and over three hundred feet deep! The present glacier, along with all the others in the park (only 23 remain, down from 153 a century ago) are expected to completely melt before the year 2030. You don’t have to go to the arctic to plainly see the effects of global warming. We saw numerous mountain sheep on that day, including one close enough to petŠbut no, we did not.

The Many Glacier section of the park is a must see. But another main attraction is the fifty mile Going to the Sun Road, which bisects Glacier from east to west. You can drive your car to quite a high altitude, saving the legs for the side trails. Near the visitor center we took such a trail near sunset and saw the animals come out — many mountain sheep and goats, really up close.

The other aspect of Glacier that Chris especially appreciated was the “lodge experience”.  We stayed in the three main park lodges throughout the week. Aesthetic appeal and cozy feel were the main criteria for evaluation. Top on the list: Lake MacDonald Lodge. Best lobby for hanging out and writing post cards, and the nicest dining room. Honorable mention: Many Glacier Lodge.

Heading south from Glacier we drove through the National Bison Refuge. We always enjoy the buffalo, but we also saw, in the space of several hours, pronghorn, eagles, hawks, and three black bears. We also spent a half day in the very attractive university town of Missoula.

In October we met Martin’s old high school buddy Sheldon Smith and wife Corrine in lower Manhattan. Shel is a computer systems guy who frequently travels on business. It was a good opportunity to catch up.

Our good friends from Jackson Wyoming, Anne and Ben Read, came out to the east coast in early December, looking at colleges with son Owen. They stayed overnight — was so nice to be able to visit with them in a different context and to show them how we live.

This is being finished in Rockford, Illinois, with snow on the ground and family all around. Actually the snow is melting today — Christmas Day — with mild weather, sunshine, little wind, and a general warm feeling hanging in the air.

Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season.

Martin and Chris