Class of ’66’s 70th Birthday Party

© Ken Steinhoff – Class of 1966 70th Birthday Reunion

Wife Lila and some of her friends threw together an impromptu 50th class reunion in 2016. They realized that most of them are turning 70 years old in 2018, so it was a good time to have a 70th Birthday Party.

Marilyn Maevers Miller of Charleston and the Class of 66 Lunch Bunch handled the local logistics and provided excellent eats.

The classmates gathered at an outdoor pavilion in South County Park Friday night. The photo shows about 50 attendees, and even more might have missed being in the group shot. Click on the image to make it large enough to see faces. Anyone who appears in the group shot above has my express permission to reproduce it for personal use.

Singing broke out

Bill Jacqie Jackson brought his karaoke equipment from his South Florida post-retirement job, and attracted an active group of “singers” toward the end of the evening.

The good thing about attending a group 70s Birthday Party is that all of the people who would yell, “Turn that music down!” are AT the party.

A cold front moved through on Saturday, so Bob Ward offered up space in the Elk’s Club to get the group out of rain and cold winds.

Earlier posts about other CHS reunions

 

 

Class of ’66’s 50th Reunion

CHS Class of 1966 50th Reunion 06.25.2016The idea got started in Florida when Wife Lila sent this email to Marilyn Maevers Miller in Charleston in January:

I’d like to run something by you.

During the reunion, there was some interest in a get together in Cape for the Class of 66’s 50th in 2016, independent of the big event every 5 years. Terry [Hopkins], Bill [Jackson] and I have decided that we are going to Cape this summer for our 50th, even if there is no one but us at the shindig. However, we are hoping there will be a few 66ers who’d like to join us… possibly, some of the lunch bunch group would be interested.

Reality Check

Promo posterBy March, things were really beginning to take shape. On March 10, she set the tone of the event in a Facebook post:

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.

Mike Ervin won a shiny dime

Lila Steinhoff - Mike Ervin - Terry Hopkins 06-25-2016_8266Terry Hopkins promised a shiny dime to the person who traveled the greatest distance to attend the reunion. Mike Ervin claimed the prize, when he visited with classmates through a live broadcast social media connection from South Africa.

By the time June 24 rolled around, 87 classmates had signed up for the reunion; about 136 people, including guests showed up at North County Park for what sounded like a great weekend. You could hear the laughter and talking from 100 feet away.

Marilyn fed the crowd and was the local cat herder. The original four organizers got plenty of help from classmates who brought food, drinks, electric fans, and who helped string lights and clean up afterwards.

Anyone who appears in the group photo at the top of the page has my express permission to reproduce it for personal use. Click on the photos to make them larger.

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.

 

I Should Have Felt Something

CHS gym last open to public 01-30-2016I’ve been dragging my feet putting this post up, because I’m not exactly sure why I didn’t feel more emotion at my visit to the Central High School Gymnasium Saturday, the last public viewing before it’s torn down sometime during this month and March.

Here, by the way is a panorama shot from the top of the south bleachers looking to the north. Click on it to make it larger.

Maybe I didn’t connect because all of the spirit signs, the Tiger logos, the baseball brag board and the Alma Mater had all been removed from the walls. My knees didn’t like the bleachers that we were made to run up and down in P.E.

It was the noise that was missing

CHS gym last open to public 01-30-2016It was too quiet. There were no basketballs bouncing off the shiny floor. No coaches blowing their whistles and bellowing at lackadaisical students like me. There was no hollering nor the SPLAT! of one of those red rubber dodgeballs leaving an equally red mark on some slow-to-move freshman.

No fond memories

CHS gym last open to public 01-30-2016I can’t think of any fond memories I had about that room. I hated physical education class with a purple passion. I had neither the skills nor the desire to play sports.

I attended tens of dances and proms, but, with few exceptions, my job was to wait until this queen or that queen was crowned, then head home to process my film for The Missourian, The Tiger or The Girardot.

First high school girlfriend Shari found out I wasn’t fibbing when I told her I didn’t know how to dance, and last high school girlfriend Wife Lila will confirm that I never got any better.

I thought the showers were bigger

CHS gym last open to public 01-30-2016When I journeyed to the locker room and showers, I was astounded at how small the shower room was. It’s hard to believe that you could cram a dozen or more guys in there at one time, even considering that I was half the size I am today.

I stand by a description I wrote in 2013: “We guys were herded into gang showers where earsplitting hoots and hollers echoed off the tile walls like a bad prison movie. At least once during this session (which I tried to complete as quickly as possible), there would be something that sounded like a space shuttle lifting off, followed by a sulfurous cloud of methane gas that rolled off the tiles in a green cloud, prompting another Neanderthal to try to best the earlier contribution.”

If the dodgeballs went “SPLAT!” the snapping of wet towels sounded like a wild bunch of cowboys trying to get the herd moving by cracking their bullwhips.

Bleacher and floor signup sheet

CHS gym last open to public 01-30-2016There was a signup sheet near the entrance where people could leave their names if they were interested in getting pieces of the bleachers or floor when the building is being torn down. I talked with Coach Terry Kitchen Monday to get details, but he said the administration hadn’t made a decision yet on what will happen with the salvage. He asked me to check back later this week to see what was going to happen. When I hear, I’ll post an update.

I have to admit I wouldn’t mind having a chunk of bleacher.

A moment with Terry Crass

CHS gym last open to public 01-30-2016On my way out, I stopped to chat with a man wearing an orange shirt. It turned out to be Terry Crass, probably one of the nicest guys who ever walked the halls of Central High School. As team manager of just about every sport except Chess, he kept players patched up, and he’s doing much the same work today at the Veterans Home.

After a few minutes of chit-chat, Terry said, “On the afternoon JFK got killed, I was in Mr. Ford’s algebra class. The weather was bad. It was a lousy-looking day. Mr. Wilferth came on the PA and said the president had been shot. We didn’t know anything.

“The bell rings and I hit out to the study hall. Nobody was saying anything. Everybody was crying. There was a big black and white TV in there. That’s when Walter Cronkite looked up at the clock over his shoulder and said, “From Dallas, Texas, the FLASH, apparently official, President Kennedy died at 1 p.m. Central Standard Time, 2 o’clock Eastern Standard Time, some 38 minutes ago.” [I inserted the actual quote, but Terry pretty much nailed it from memory.]

I had a flashback

CHS gym last open to public 01-30-2016I flashed back to another TV on that day. One that was sitting in the gym with shocked students staring at it. “All you could hear was breathing,” I told The Missourian when I rushed my photo to the paper to make my first EXTRA edition.

Suddenly, I must have swallowed a marble because I couldn’t say anything, and there was a lot of dust in the air that caused my eyes to water.

I guess I DID leave a little piece of myself in that old gym.

Last Day photo gallery

Here are some random photos of folks saying goodbye to the old building. Click on any picture to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move around.

Copyright © Ken Steinhoff. All rights reserved.