Class of ’66 Party Group

Class of '66 lunch 08-08-2014The Central High School Class of 1966 is big on lunching and partying. Let’s get the IDs out of the way first. According to my best sources, the folks are, from left to right: Dick McClard, Judy McClard, Marilyn Maevers, Lynn Davis McLain, David McLain, Brad Brune, Terry Hopkins and Gerald Ruessler.

Brune was there when I arrived

Class of '66 lunch 08-08-2014I wrote about the semi-official monthly luncheon attended by Mother and me. The ’66ers invited us, I’m sure, so they’d look younger in comparison.

Terry Hopkins blew into town on Wednesday and we made a Blue Hole BBQ sauce run and stopped in at Nickie’s Cafe and Sweets in Altenburg before looking in on the L&M Tool Exhibit at the Lutheran Heritage Center and Museum.

He announced that he had invited a bunch of his classmates to lunch on Friday at noon, “but I told Brad Brune we were going to meet at 11:30 because he operates on Brune Standard Time and is always late.” (His excuse last time was that he set his cellphone alarm for 12, but got confused between noon and midnight).

Thursday I got a text from Brune “Come on, Guys!! This is not funny. I’m standing down here in the rain playing pocket pool. It’s 12:23 and I got here at 11:15 so I wouldn’t get razzed about Brune Time late again!!! You guys are DEAD TO ME!!

It gave me great pleasure to point out that he couldn’t differentiate between noon and midnight for our last gathering, but, now, he didn’t know the difference between Thursday and Friday.

I arrived a few minutes after noon on Friday to see that Brune was already seated. For all I know, he may have slept in the restaurant overnight to avoid further humiliation.

The Dick McClard Memorial Watch

Watch sent to Ken Steinhoff from Dick McClard 08-29-2013Long about this time last year, a package from Dick McClard arrived at my house. Ever since a stalker ex-husband sent a live snake to his ex at work, and I made the mistake of volunteering to open the box for her, I have been very cautious about unexpected things that arrive in the mail.

Inside the box was a piece of very fine jewelry. It didn’t fit my wrist, so Wife Lila decorated her kitchen wall with it.

At the time, Mr. Hopkins hinted very strongly that he would love to have that watch or one just like it.

I left town to go to Cape, and Mr. Hopkins came visiting in West Palm Beach. He slept on my nap bed, ate us out of house and home, and departed with my precious watch. I wasn’t sure how I was going to break the news to Dick that his gift had gone missing from my life.

 Hopkins displays his prize

Class of '66 lunch 08-08-2014Terry has been showing his prize to anyone who will look. When Dick saw how good it looked on Terry’s arm, I thought he was going to ask for it back. The Man of a Thousand Hawaiian Shirts and One Tuxedo says he may auction it off since it has become so popular. The only catch, he added, is that the recipient must promise to wear it for at least a month.

By the way, the reason the colors are so funky is that the restaurant has a wall lined with red neon signs. There’s only so much color correction you can do in that situation.

Adjourned to Main Street

Class of '66 lunch 08-08-2014After the raucous group drove away all the other patrons of the establishment, someone suggested we adjourn to the out-of-doors where Brune passed around some of his signature cheap chocolate-flavored cigars bought for about $12 per railroad boxcar.

When one of those things fires up, Bob Dylan was right, “you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”

Photo gallery from the lunch

Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the images. They have been filtered to remove the smell of cheap cigar, but I couldn’t get the red out of all of them.

Dick McClard’s Many Talents

Dick McClard glass studio 04-29-2014Wife Lila’s Class of ’66 buddy Dick McClard and I are political oil and water. We enjoy sparring with each other, but we can do it without rancor and with good humor. What I’m beginning to realize is that he’s a man of many talents.

We started talking last year about what he thought was a lead on where the mass grave from the steamboat The Stonewall might be located. Weather and pressing business kept us from getting out there until this trip.

When I stopped by his house for the ramble, he invited me into his stained glass studio where his wife, Judy, and daughter, Jennifer, were doing restoration work on stained glass windows for the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Annunciation. Dick was responsible for getting me into the church before it opened after a major renovation project.

Here, he’s showing how Belinda Schearf has been creating color window panes by building up and firing multiple layers of different colors. This is a technique used in the huge eyebrow window in the other photos.

More than just a glass guy

Dick McClard glass studio 04-29-2014Dick is quite the historian, too. He and some other folks have collaborated in tracking 40,000 McClard/McLard/McLaird/MacLaird and Related Families from 1767 through 2003 (and growing). Volume One, an interesting history even if you aren’t a McClard, is 499 pages long; Volume II, an index and family tree listing, is 1,049 pages long. It’s available in pdf format because printing it would be too costly, he said.

We spent the day roaming Cape and Perry counties, poking around in old cemeteries, meeting oldtimers he knew and avoiding political discussions. Oh, and we’re not sure if we located the mass grave we started out looking for. We’re going to have to check back on that.

Glass studio photo gallery

If you walk into St. Mary’s some day and see these window pieces, think of Dick and his family. Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to navigate through he gallery.

Copyright © Ken Steinhoff. All rights reserved.