Many thanks to all of you without whom this long-awaited reunion would not have been a success. Certainly, for me, this was one of the highlights of the year. For those of you who couldn't make it, let me just say this: you missed a lot, and were missed a lot as well.
To recap our activities for the reunion weekend:
Friday, July 27, 2001
Guests began arriving at the Dante Club about 7:30 PM, and were greeted by Becki Cox and Cece Linder, wives of Terry Cox and Roger Linder. Everyone signed in, and a photograph was taken of each arriving guest. Specially prepared music (from the '60s and '70s) was playing in the background, and everyone soon found themselves in roving conversations. The crowd soon swelled to over 50, there were enough appetizers to feed an army, and the bar was conveniently located adjacent to the room. By the time 11:00 PM arrived, many were still there, it wasn't 'til close to midnight that the party finally ended.
Saturday, July 28, 2001
The committee arrived back at the Dante Club at noon on Saturday to begin decorating, Shirley Dyer Breckinridge had made the centerpieces and a couple of display shields. Peggy Kenyon brought the balloons and helium and with Kathy Williams Leonard's help, the place was soon looking pretty festive. A camera was placed on each table for use during the evening.
Arriving about 5:30 PM, I set up the music for the evening and waited for the first guests to arrive. Again, they were greeted by Becki and Cece, and guests that did not attend the Friday reception were photographed. Dinner was served beginning about 6:30, with a buffet that included almond and apple stuffed chicken, prime rib, salads, fruit, bread, vegetables and dessert. No one who arrived on time went away hungry, I'm sure (a couple of latecomers had to rush to get something to eat before they put the food away).
As dinner wound down, time was set aside for some announcements. I officially greeted the crowd, and presented the committee with some thank you gifts. I made special mention of Patti Lee Klinke and Linda Best Courter for their extraordinary contributions to the planning process and locating of classmates. We also named those Fallen Knights who were no longer with us, and honored their memory with a few moments of standing silence.
I was also pleasantly surprised when the committee presented my wife and I with a gift from the class of a Thomas Kinkade print. It looks wonderful above our fireplace.
The rest of the evening flew by, with many more roving conversations, photo ops, singing of the Alma Mater and finally, Patti led a concerted effort to get some folks up for one dance, to the Beach Boys' "Surfer Girl." But the night had to end sometime, and around 12:30 AM, we wrapped it up. Or some of us did. Another group headed out for some additional partying at a local Lyons, where I understood they segregated themselves into a "drunk" table and a "non-drunk" table. Me? I went home to bed. It had been a long day, and another was coming up.
Sunday, July 29, 2001
I arrived at Gibson Ranch Sunday morning about 9:00 AM to secure a spot for the picnic, which was to begin at 11:00. We were fortunate to discover that the large picnic shelter was open and available. I snapped it right up and waited for the crowd while listening to some Todd Rundgren on my CD player.
About 11:30, the first folks began to arrive, and by the time things peaked, we had about 75 people. More photos, conversation, and a 1966 Junior High yearbook were in circulation. An impromptu horseshoes games was set up, and a volleyball net was also erected. Some folks took strolls through the park, others stayed behind in the shade. The weather was perfect.
Things began to wind down about 4 or 5 PM, until there were just a few couples left. Then an extraordinary thing happened. Ken Reinstsma began asking about how each couple met, "what's your story?" and each had to 'fess up. One would tell the story, then the other spouse would confirm or correct. At once both humorous and poignant, it couldn't have been planned any better. I'm sure all who were there until the end would agree.
But it did have to end, and although everyone was tired, I think they were going away happy. I know I did. A number of friendships were renewed, and a number of new ones were started. Who'd'a thought the Class of 1971 was up to it?
So what happens next? It doesn't have to end with the reunion. The web site will remain active, and as always, you can keep up to date with your friends via the Bios page. And you can relive the reunion (or experience it for the first time) through 339 photos from the three days in the Photo Gallery. Got some great photos of your own you'd like to share? Contact me and we'll get them into the gallery as well.
And there's always the opportunity for more personal contact. Why not call that old or new friend, or send an e-mail? Don't know how to get in touch with them? Ask me, I'll help. Get together for lunch or dinner. Have a party. Go to a Rio Linda football game. Send a Christmas card. Patronize their business. Visit their home. Visit their church. Don't wait 30 years! Don't wait 5 years!