Class of ’66 50th Reunion

information flyer.jpgPOSTThere’s going to be a big Central High School Class of 1966 50th Reunion June 24 and 25. If you are a member of the Class of ’66, your eyesight might not be what it once was, so you can click on the poster to make it bigger.

How it happened

Some of the Florida CHS contingent have been holding impromptu get-togethers down here in the Sunshine State for several years. The main instigators are Wife Lila Perry Steinhoff, Bill/Jacqie Jackson, and Terry Hopkins. They’d put out the word they were going to be in such-and-such Florida city, and if you wanted to show up, a gab-fest would ensue.

It might have been Terry who said, “I’m gonna be back in Cape in June. Let’s put the word out that anybody who wants to get together can join us.” Before long, Marilyn Maevers Miller was dragged in as the local organizer, and soon things were cooking. (Literally, in the case of Marilyn, who is going to provide some of the good eats.)

It’s a no-stress gathering

Here’s what Lila had to say about it in a post to the Central High School Class of 1966 Facebook page:

A few minutes ago, I talked to a friend whose 35th HS reunion is in June. She decided not to go, because she had gained weight and didn’t want her classmates to see her like she is now.

That made me think of the CHS ’66 50th coming up. At 68 years old, I don’t think anyone from our class cares about that kind of stuff anymore, but just in case…..

REALITY CHECK!!! People, we ALL are 50 years older, and we ALL have a lot more miles on our odometers. I have wrinkles, gray hair, a saggy butt, scars and I weigh 40 pounds more than I did in 1966. The only things that still fit are my earrings. So there you have it! Now, you won’t be surprised when you see me. And if you are surprised, I won’t care.

I am guessing that a pretty fair number of you probably recognize yourselves, to some degree, in that description… depending on how good your plastic surgeon is. Ha!

What doesn’t change? Hopefully, they are the friends who made us laugh, who made us roll our eyes regularly and who were there even after high school. There were classmates that we avoided at all costs, or who ran in different circles than we did. No matter who they were or how you felt about them back then, they also are 50 years older… and I’m betting they’ve mellowed a little, too.

ALL of us have 50 years under our belts, and our 50th rolls around only ONCE. So, come. We are going to eat, drink, tell some tales and be merry. Whatever your definition of merry is, I bet we have it covered.

June is coming, and I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of wrinkled, graying, mellowed 66ers who still know how to rock and roll.

Classmates coming as of April 29, 2016

This thing started growing like crazy. Every day, word came in about more classmates who wanted to attend.

To help put names with faces, Lila started working on name tags that will contain each person’s 1966 Girardot senior picture along with their name IN BIG LETTERS so you won’t have to strain your eyes. Here are some of the folks who say they are going to be there. Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the gallery.

 

2015 in Review

Newspapers are big on year in review stories because they can be written well in advance as space fillers for the slow holiday weeks. Why should I be any different (except for the part about doing it well in advance)?

I have to admit I’ve slacked off this year. After almost three years of posting seven days a week except for when there was a technical glitch, I took some big chunks of time off when I was caring for my mother before she died this spring. Once I found that the world wouldn’t end if I skipped a day or three, I started doing it more often when I was busy.

The most popular post last year was a piece I originally posted in 2011 about the burning and sinking of the steamboat Stonewall near Neely’s Landing. Two or three hundred people burned or drowned in the disaster. Sixty or 70 bodies were buried in a mass grave that I have searched for unsuccessfully.

I followed up the original post with a few others:

“See you later”

Mary Steinhoff funeral 06-24-2015You readers were extraordinarily kind when I wrote about Mother’s death in June. An account of the family’s rather unconventional graveside ceremony was the second-most read story for the year. My family and I appreciate the many notes you all left.

Mother seldom said, “Goodbye.” She preferred “See you later,” and Brother David scratched that phrase on her casket before it was lowered in the ground.

Kermit “Moose” Meystedt

1963 Girardot Kermit MeystedtOur lives are marked by special dates and ceremonies. When we are kids, we attend birthday parties of our classmates. As we get older, we’re go to proms, ballgames and dances. Not long after that, it’s weddings, followed by baby showers. We have a bit of a gap before we start attending the funerals of the parents of friends. Finally, when we are at the stage where we have more yesterdays than tomorrows, it’s our turn to show up in the obituary pages.

Kermit “Moose” Meystedt, one of Central High School’s finest athletes, died January 10, 2015. An account of his life was the third highest-read post of the year.

Dean Kahler, survivor of Kent State shootings

Curator Jessica and I toured the Kent State May 4 Vistors Center on one of my Ohio rambles. We were fortunate enough to meet Dean Kahler, one of the students shot by the National Guard that day in 1970. He is one of the most remarkable men I’ve met, and I don’t say that about a lot of people. His story was in fourth place.

His description of that day is haunting. Click on the video if you don’t follow a single other link.

“I knew I had been shot because it felt like a bee sting. I knew immediately because my legs got real tight, then they relaxed just like in zoology class when you pith a frog,” he said. He never walked again, but he has turned into a highly competitive wheelchair athlete.

After the shooting stopped, he called out to see if there were any Boy Scouts around who could turn him over. “The only thought that came into my head was if I was turned over, would I bleed more internally than externally? I thought (shrugs shoulders) there’s a 50 / 50 chance that you’re going to die one way or the other. I knew I might die. I had a really good chance of dying, so I wanted to see the sky, the sun, leaves, peoples faces. I didn’t want to be eating grass when I died.”

Tower Rock Quarry Exposed

Tower rock and quarry at low water 10-28-2011I started posting old story links to a Facebook page for folks who are interested in the Mississippi River. That’s probably why this 2011 story about Tower Rock and how the low water had exposed an old stone quarry south of the Rock was pushed to fifth place.

Mary Welch Steinhoff 1921- 2015

MLS Card 06-03-2015I wrote so many stories about Mother (some of them were even true) that complete strangers would come up to her in the grocery store and ask if she was “Ken’s Mother?” She pretended not to like that, but I know she enjoyed the attention. When I wrote her obituary on June 23, 2015, I came up with a list of more than three dozen links before I quit searching. I guess that’s why she became the mother everybody had (or wished they had had).

You can’t know how comforting it was to read the comments you left about a woman many of you knew only through my late-night ramblings. She had a great run. October will forever be Birthday Season.

The picture is a card sent to Mother at the Lutheran Home from someone who had never met her in person. I think it captures her spirit.

The Old Burnt Mill

Burnt Mill - Perry county 11-19-2015Sometimes you run across a reference to a place and you just have to go searching for it. That’s how I ended up at the Old Burnt Mill in Perry county.

It’s an interesting building with a fascinating history of hubris, double-dealing, maybe a murder and a haunting.

This picture drives me crazy

Cape CHS Girls volleyballThis copyrighted photo of girls wearing “ugly” gym suits has been stolen by I can’t count how many websites. It’s been shared hundreds of thousands of times, even though I’ve been quick to file DCMA takedown notices every time I find it posted.

The crazy thing is that hundreds swear that the photo was taken at their high school and even contains their sisters. Trust me, I took the photo and have the original 4×5 negative in a file box. It was taken at Central High School. And, if Rosanne Hecht or Joni Tickel aren’t your sisters, then you’re wrong.

For the record, I love it when people share links to my posts, but I get really cranky if you copy and publish a photo without permission.

It was only number eight on the hit parade, but it would be a lot higher if the folks who ripped it off had posted links.

CHS 2015 class reunion

2015 CHS reunion 07-31-2015It’s not fair that Terry Hopkins can still fit in his letter jacket without sucking in his stomach so much that his eyes bug out. There was a big difference between the last get-together and the 2015 Central High School reunion. We’ve all gotten a lot grayer and a lot less spry. (Except for Terry, of course, who was probably the reason that the post scored the number nine spot.)

A celebration of Wimpy’s

Wimpy composite 8x10The Centenary United Methodist Church held a one-day only Wimpy’s Day, featuring the original Wimpy’s family cooking to the original recipes.

Here are photos of the Lewis family and friends at work.

 

 

CHS 2015 Reunion

2015 CHS reunion 07-31-2015Folks from the 1960s decade of Central High School classes gathered at the Arena building for a mixer Friday night. We’re getting to be a grayer group, but Terry Hopkins can still don his letter sweater without splitting the seams. Others – too many of us – are no longer around.

I kept looking around wishing I could see Bill East, who was at the 2010 reunion. Alas, he was one of the good guys taken way too early by cancer in 2012.

I apologize for the quality of some of the photos. The building was dark as the inside of a whale’s belly, and the lighting color balance was all over the charts. Maybe I should say the fuzzy pictures were a feature to make us look better rather than a technical drawback.

Reunion photo gallery

Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the gallery. On a personal note, thanks to all of you who said nice things about this blog and who told me how much they appreciated Mother, even though most of you had never met her in person.

 

 

Hill and Hill Model

Hill and Hill sign by General Sign CoWhen I dipped into the General Sign Company box loaned by Terry Hopkins, the bright colors of the Hill and Hill Kentucky bourbon caught my eye. Since the sign company roamed all over the region, I don’t know where this particular building lived.

Painter brought along a model

Hill and Hill sign by General Sign CoIt was only when the picture was enlarged on the computer monitor that I saw that the sign painter had brought along a model.

Check out the bourbon bottle on the ground under the sign. (Click on the photos to make them larger.)

I wonder if it made is back home safely?