2008.09.24 Please plan our reunion

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

At a recent wedding—not one of my own kids, for a change—I did a little table hopping to sit next to my classmate Dwight Mansfield for a few minutes.

When Dwight and I have one of our brief encounters, we often talk about events from around 40 years ago when we both were making our way through high school in Morenci, in the old building on Summit Street.

We didn’t hang out together back then. Dwight was an FFA guy and I lived in town. Come to think of it, I don’t even know where he lived. Must have been on a farm somewhere west of town.

Still, we got along fine, we just didn’t have a lot of common paths.

When we talked the previous weekend, the subject turned to the classmates who are no longer with us. I think we’ve been on that topic before. It seems that too many of our class of 64 people died rather young. Dow and Jo Anne. Ruth and Shirley. Brad and Sherry. Maybe another one, according to Dwight.

This reminds me of a column I wrote a few months ago about aging:

The age 63 has a special meaning to the typical American, Kinsley writes, because your associates begin disappearing then.

When you reach age 63, you should expect to lose one member of your group every year, then the pace accelerates.

Dwight and I aren’t at that age yet, and I always remind him that he’s a lot older than I am.

We spent a few minutes with “whatever happened to so-and-so?” Oddly enough, another person at the table—the much younger Kirk Onweller—seemed to have a better track on the Class of ’68 than either Dwight or I.

I’m looking through the yearbook now  and there appears to be only 16 of us who still have Morenci addresses, and perhaps another eight live not too far away.

But there remain a few question marks. Marlyn Dickerson, Mark Evers, Vickie Farquhar, Judy Huff, Lila Jones, Sandy Zimmerman. Are you nearby and I just don’t recognize you?

In the photo caption for the National Honor Society officers, there’s mention of Mrs. Stahl starting an Honor Code system that emphasized character more than scholarship. I think that had something to do with the club’s president, the Green kid, who Mrs. Stahl thought was destroying the organization with his questionable behavior.

Well, sure, there was the alternative school newspaper incident. I wonder if she also knew I was involved in hanging that big “Dream” sign on the front of the high school one Sunday night.

Certainly she heard about Ramon Towne and me making too much noise in honor study hall where our homework consisted of playing Crazy Eights. And I suppose she was aware of how Mr. Thompson in the adjoining chemistry room blew rotten egg fumes through the electrical outlet and forced Ramon and I to flee.

I wouldn’t go as far as using the word “troublemaker,” but I suppose I caused some problems.

The best way to review these stories from the past and to get all the connections to old classmates straight would be at a reunion. I wouldn’t have even thought about that, but Dwight had to bring it up. This is the year for our 40th and it’s rapidly going by.

Dwight didn’t sound as though he was about to do any organizing for a reunion. In the past, we relied on Brad Mansfield and Ruth Walton, now both gone, and Janet Hall, now moved away.

There was an informal club in our class known as The Mafia and maybe they could get something done. Jim McDowell, Gary Camburn and Jim Brink still live here. That sounds like a trustworthy trio to cook up some refreshments, at least.

I thought Dennis Dominique and Terry Ely were part of the group, too, but they aren’t in the Mafia yearbook photo. I keep going back to Dennis’s senior photo. Did he have stitches hanging out of his forehead from a recent mishap or was there just some dust on the printing plate?

If we’re going to re-unite before it becomes 41 years, we’d probably do best to turn to someone else to help us out.

Maybe Renée Allen, Rosine Price and Bill VanValkenburg from the junior class could pull something together for us. They’re all good organizers. And, of course, Kirk Onweller, who knows more about us than we do.

So go to it, guys. Just let us know when and where and we’ll be there.

  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.

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