Monday, August 25, 2008

Out of the Blue: Another Viking Achiever

The search for our 1958 classmates continues. Sometimes we find them. Sometimes they find us.

Recently I received an email from James Davis (JT or Jim), who is living in Cambridge, England. At the time he first wrote, he was unaware of our reunion but he had found my email address on our blogsite. Seems he's been reminiscing about his high school days and wanted to know if I could supply any details.

Here are some very interesting details he has shared in our continuing correspondence: He left us in our junior year to join the US Navy. When he retired from the Navy, he was recruited by Texas Instruments and moved to England. While he was in the Navy, a fire at his St. Pete home destroyed items such as his freshman Viking Log and his 1958 class ring that was sent to him when he received a graduation certificate from the Navy (after 2 years of Electronic Computer School).

He recalls being in classes with Rena Counts and with Connie Counts. He remembers topping by the gas station that Rena's family owned and where she worked. He also remembered a good friendship with George Siemers, and said he wondered whatever happened to him.He remembers George as a "really good and caring friend...he loved to play the piano."

Jim recalls when he was sent to "some newly established base called Port Canaveral...had many a fight with alligators, armadillos, snakes, sharks, rays and jellyfish." He recalls the days of the Polaris Project when "it was in its infancy." For several years, Jim had a house in Norfolk, VA on a tributary of Chesapeake Bay.

Jim, who like Dave Larson, has a talent for writing, belongs to a writer's circle in his community. Here's a sample of how he describes the current state of England (which blew my romantic concepts all to pieces): "Gone are the sleepy villages, the polite rural life, genteel coffee mornings at the local church, and living where the most heinous crime was that someone has stolen Mrs. Brown's milk again or someone rode off on Archibalt's bike and left it next to the fence on the square."

Friday, June 20, 2008

Let's Promote Each Other

As we have become re-connected as a senior class, we have found that some of us are happily retired. Some are partly retired, but maintaining a sideline revenue-producing career. And some are still working more-or-less fulltime.

Lately, I have been gearing up to do some "ghost writing"---not just somebody's life story but short articles commissioned by somebody on an Internet web site. My background as a writer enables me to work fast, research effectively, and produce copy in short order.

So...the thought occurred to me...maybe some of you out there would like to get the word out about whatever kind of work you do, with contact information for potential customers. If that's something that appeals to you, drop me a note at with the details. I'll put the information you authorize in a blog posting. And who knows? We could get a network going that helps a lot of us.

Let me know what you think.

Memory Joggers

I was just looking through a 1958 copy of "Soundings", the NEHS literary magazine, when I turned to the advertisers' pages at the back of the book. See if any of these business names bring back any memories:

Fremac's Men's and Boys Wear. Dog 'N Suds Drive In (at US 19 and 53rd Ave. N.) The Huddle (on 9th St. N.) Swanson's Super Market (on 4th St. N. Owned by Lynn Swanson's dad.) P.K. Smith and Co. (office supplies. That store was our version of Office Depot).

Counts Home and Auto Supply (Haines Road and 24th St. Was that owned by Rena's family or Connie's family?) Hood's Dairy. 5 Point Hardware (9th St. N. at 33rd Ave.) Ed's Chateau (a pizza place at Haines Road and US 19 intersection, long before we ever saw a Pizza Hut or a Hungry Howie's or Domino's).

Willson-Chase Co. (a department store on Central Ave. owned by Jim Willson's family). Slap Happy 5 & 10 (9th St. N. and 33rd Ave. Remember that long-ago phrase "The five-and-dime", our version of the discount store back then?) Glass Inn (2600 4th St. N. featuring "the best dressed chicken in St. Pete" and "Pennsylvania Dutch treats".)

Some names of note in this issue of "The Soundings": Sharon Thompson editor-in-chief; Linda Crain, managing editor; June Sharpe, advertising editor. Linda contributed a book review to the issue of the magazine. Judi Stacey wrote several poems in the edition, too.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

What If.......?

The class reunion we just experienced was possible in large part because of the Internet and cell phones. People became "detectives", scouting across the nation for names not yet located, so that we could send those people invitations.

I got to thinking....what if we had had cell phones (like every teenager seems to have now) when we were in Northeast High classes? And what if we had had computers at home with access to the Internet?

1. Those "notes" on paper that we passed to each other ("Meet me in the cafeteria", "At 1:30 everybody drop their books on the floor"), would have been unnecessary. We would have text-messaged each other, and the teacher could never have caught us with the guilty evidence of paper "notes".

2. The cell phones would have put our social lives on full-throttle speed because we could reach our friends (platonic, romantic, whatever) all during the day rather than using the family phone when we got home or a pay phone (if we had the coins).

3. Access to the Internet would have saved me a lot of trips to Haslam's Bookstore on Central Ave. to find back issues of magazines. I wouldn't have had to deal with Lucy Lanphear in the school library (actually, she never gave me any problems) and I wouldn't have had to deal with the "card catalogue" , where books had complicated classification numbers.

4. Access to the Internet would have meant I could have researched a term paper in a few hours on one evening instead of making multiple trips to the library, looking for books that somebody faster than I had already checked out.

5. Researching a college to attend would have been an Internet project, not a matter of looking over a bunch of college catalogs in the school library or the guidance office.

6. And wouldn't it have been fun to "Google" our friends by looking for their names on the Internet? Back in those high school days, our private lives were known only by close friends, family members, and for the girls, the pages of a personal "diary". Nowadays, our lives are open books, subject to research by anyone from St. Petersburg to Tokyo.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Gifts That Go On Giving

One of the upshots of our 2008 Reunion was the creation of a scholarship fund with the St. Petersburg College Foundation. The funds go to help students from Northeast High pay for their education at SPC (formerly St. Petersburg Junior College).

Karolyn Bagg Foreman sent along this donors list:

In the Viking group ($1000 to $2499) are: Aloyse (Flood) and Dave Larson; Bruce and Jeannie Little, and Karolyn (Bagg) and Steve Foreman.

In the Thors group ($500-$999) are: Buck Merritt, Pat (Smith) and Frank Kapocsi, David Britner, and Judy (Baker) and Jim Philson.

In the Warriors group ($200-$499) are: Marion (Kline) and Errol Zeiger; Bruce and Roberta Hugill, Carol (Rupert) and Robert Buss, Ann (Leedy) and Ben Bartlett, and Carley (Freck) and Laird Bryson.

In the Shields group ($100-$199) are: Jean (Robertson) Champ, Gary and Phoebe Billing, Larry and Judy Fannin, Skip and Betty Cleveland, Kathleen (Hutchins) Hintz, Margie (Meyer) and Ed Smith, Larry Britner, Judy (Huber) and Tim Grissette, Robert and Rebecca Forman, Martha (Heath) and Rudy Baker, Terry (Reichelderfer) and Ed Stinson, Trudy (Andringa) and John Krege, Duane Tobey and Bill and Eva Redman.

In the Explorers group ($50-$99) are: Jean (Sheridan) Clark, Helen (Leigh) Wagner, Clarice (Slover) and Mike Coughlin, Larry Thompson, Ralph and Brenda Ames, Joan (Moody) and Ted Vetter.

In the Dragons group ($49 and under) are: Jean (Davis) Brown, Ben and Joy Wall, Dale Davis, and John Hardman.

Vikings in South Florida

Barbara Monrose Parrish wrote to say she and her husband will be entertaining a daughter and grandkids (from Deland) for the month of July. Then they'll set off on an odyssey (that's an English major word for "long trip") to California with plans to take a leisurely return trip back by going wherever they feel like going.

Carolyn Gramling McAleese just got back from a packed week of family activities. Her daughter Cindy and granddaughter flew down from the Carolinas, and then they all headed over to Sarasota to see son Steve and his family. Carolyn will soon be getting back in the hospital routine of training mothers-to-be about that landmark we call "Labor and Delivery".

Doug and Jan Hotalen in Key West lost their son Kent to cancer recently. Your prayers and expressions of friendship would be meaningful to them, I'm sure.

Updated Memory Books

Some of you purchased the Memory Books at the class reunion--red looseleaf notebooks with names, addresses and bios of classmates.

Already that book needs to be updated, with additional people who have been located and with some additional bio material that has come through the email round-robin.

When I complete the update, you'll see a notice on this blogsite. To get the whole book, including looseleaf notebook and shipping, the cost will be about $20. However, for those of you with email addresses, and who perhaps already have the original book, I will set a lesser charge. Then I can email you the document for you to print out.

Personally, I keep my Memory Book right beside my computer because the names, addresses and phone numbers come in handy.

The Blog is Back!

After returning from that sensationally successful class reunion in St. Petersburg, I took a sabbatical (intentional or unintentional--I'm not sure which) from blogging. But comments from some of you let me know that you enjoyed the stream of information you got from this NEHS here we go again.

Watch for updates of people who have been "found" since the reunion---including one who is very much alive, after appearing on our "In Memoriam" list.

Karolyn Bagg Foreman and I will be working on a periodic newsletter as a follow-up to our reunion. Classmates with email addresses will get the info via the Internet. Those without email addresses will get the newsletter by snail mail.

One of the nicest things about the reunion we just experienced is that it is still going on. People have re-connected--and not for just one week--but in some cases, for years to come. The relentless search for those on our "Where Are They?" list continues, a collective effort with a lot of credit going to people like Larry Britner, Barb Wells Preston, and others whose names will come back to me (and I'll credit you in later posts).

Thanks for being such a neat group of people to graduate from high school with (yes, that's a dangling preposition and I'm an English major--Sue me.)

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Part of the program at the Coliseum on May 15 was a memorial, created by Bruce Hugill, to honor those in our class who have died. There were recitations of poetry, something from Kahlil Gibran, and some Scripture verses. And then we watched as photos of each of those remembered appeared on the large screen.

A sad note was that seven more names had just been added to our already adequate list; these names were the product of the ongoing research to find the "missing". Unfortunately these seven left us before we had the chance to say good-bye.

In their memory, a scholarship fund is being endowed at St. Petersburg College, specifically targeted annually at a Northeast High student who wants to go to college but who lacks the finances. A sum of $5000 is required to start the fund in our Class of 1958 name and then as we increase the endowment to $10,000 or so, there will be enough to present an annual scholarship. For more details, contact Sue Bagg-Foreman.

For your information, the scholarship fund got its first burst of life through items donated for a raffle at the Coliseum. Mardi Kline Zeiger brought back from Israel two stunning pieces of Armenian design ceramics and Rosie Ramsey McKnight donated a CD of her singing group's music, all for the scholarship raffle.

Blasts From the Past

Barbara Wells Preston created an amazing display of photos, clippings, T-shirts, and other assorted items from our school days. She set up the items first in the Information Center at the Hampton Inn and then transferred the display to the Coliseum for our Big Night May 15.

As a personal note, my two grandsons who stopped by to see me at the Hampton were stunned by the full-page article on Elvis Presley's visit to the Florida Theatre back in our days. They stared at the large photos, perhaps not realizing that their Nana had heard of Elvis Presley. So I played historian and explained the background of the "King's" visit. For a first-hand view, you would have to ask Barb because she was a Florida Theatre employee (who had her own conversations with Elvis--just ask her.) Apparently, the event was a mob scene, made up of countless screaming teen-aged females who wanted to get as close to their idol as possible.

The photo scrapbooks that Barb assembled (complete with name IDs) took a lot of us back in time and gave us a refresher course in our high school biography.

Marriages That Lasted

Do you remember some of the pop songs from our era that told us that "puppy love" would never last, that teen romances were only temporary?

Well, our 1958 graduating class has evidence that blows that sentiment all to pieces. At our reunion there were living examples of couples who met each other in high school, said their "I do's" after graduation and are still married to their "first husband" or "first wife".

Bobby LaBrant met Sara Emery at Northeast and took her on a blind date with Bob Vannatta. This couple has not only stayed married but they have worked together in various business interests all their lives. And they STILL love each other. It's not hard to tell.

Dave Larson met Aloyse Flood at Northeast and they were an "item" from that moment on. Dave always has high compliments (and book dedications) to Aloyse when he writes another volume in his family biography. She has that bright-eyed, sparkling look in her eyes that she always had and when you see Dave, you see Aloyse. Those two are "keepers".

John Krege met Trudy Andringa at Northeast; that led to a wedding while they were in college. It should be against the law how good they look these days. They do a lot of traveling (which you know that you don't do with people you don't like.)

Mike Coughlin (who always had a mischievous twinkle in his eye as he walked around the campus) met Clarice Slover at Northeast. Clarice was tall and slender (still is) with dignity and grace (still applies) and she said yes to Mike's proposal. Those two are still an attractive couple, enjoying each other's company.

Carly Freck, one of our active-in-everything classmates, was attracted to someone in the graduating class just ahead of ours. She married Laird Bryson and has been his partner as he has practiced medicine and then switched over into a vocation in the clergy. Now they tour the USA in an RV, so you know they must enjoy each other's company. And they both look great.

Frank Kapocsi met Pat Smith at Northeast, married her, and shared his life with her as a Publix executive. They live in Lakeland now, enjoying their children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren. They both looked younger than ever (it should be against the law) and were a living example of "marriages that work".

Ed Stinson met Terry Reichelderfer at Northeast. (Note: I am so proud that I can spell her maiden name correctly because I first learned how when we were students at North Ward Elementary.) They are another couple who experienced that "young love", decided to make it a permanent thing, and stayed in love all this time. They're enjoying the "country quiet" of Dunnellon after living in Pinellas County for a lot of years. (Ed was employed by the Clearwater Fire Department.)

WOW! What a Reunion!

The Big Event we've planning for for many months finally happened---and it was indescribably delicious!

For those of you who couldn't be there, I wish you could have seen the countless "buzz groups" of classmates--sometimes in twos, or in threes, or fours---drawn to each other like magnets. The Information Center (a hospitality suite in the Hampton Suite) was one place that the reconnecting started. Another was the "Girls Night Out" at Ann Leedy's house and the Guys Night Out at a local sports bar.

We wore name tags that had our class pictures on them...and there were many times we needed those tags because as we looked face-to-face at someone else, our brain was saying, "WHO is this?" while our mouth was stalling for time. The photo on the other person's tag led us to say "OHHHH...You're...[fill in the blank]!!!" And off the conversation would go.

The Wednesday morning (May 14) picnic at Sawgrass Lake Park brought people together...and then people starting trickling (and then flooding) into the Info Room after the picnic. If you saw Roger Whitehead, you could probably count on seeing Ron Murphy, Bobby LaBrant and Woody (Reed) Tanner somewhere close by.

Carolyn Tanner, Woody's jewel of a wife, is my nominee for Saint of the Year. She worked countless hours long before the reunion ever started and then worked more countless hours in making sure that all the details--gift bags, table arrangements, printed materials, name tags, etc.---came together in the right place at the right time. We could not have had the reunion without her, even though she kept a low profile and worked "behind the scenes". (If you get the chance, and you were at the reunion, send her a quick email THANKS, won't you?)

We missed those of you who couldn't come, but you were not forgotten. Campus stories that are 50 or more years old were retold and laughed about, and friendships were revived from long ago.

Watch for news about an annual gathering on the first Saturday in November in St. Petersburg. And if some of you create local groups in your state/region/etc. , send me a note so I can promote your meetings in the blog.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Take a Look at Our Newspaper

One of the memorabilia items you're going to see at the Reunion is my old volume of Noreasters (the school newspaper) for the 1957-1958 school year. Barb Wells Preston has offered to make special page markers so that you can turn to the pages easily (the 50-year-old paper is a bit crackly).

Here are some of the items I've marked for you to take a look at... (The dates are all from 1957 and 1958.)

Cheerleaders (Sept. 27); Sandra Creitz, the Homecoming Queen (Oct. 25); the Viking Log (yearbook) staff, (Oct. 25); the Viking Football Team (Oct. 25); Mickey Moustakas profile (Nov. 27); Christmas Concert (school choral group) (Dec. 19); my interview with Miss America, Marilyn Van Derbur (Dec. 19); Northeast Hosts and Hostesses (Dec. 19); Jim Willson profile (president of National Honor Society) (Jan. 31); Dave and Aloyse , the King and Queen of Hearts (Feb. 14); Roger Whitehead profile (Feb. 14); our principal John Sexton (Feb. 28); Duane Tobey (head of the Viking Band) (Feb. 18); Senior Superlatives (March 14); Bob Vannatta profile (March 14); and the Northeast Baseball Team (April 24).

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Big Red (Viking) Purse

Karolyn Sue Bagg-Foreman, the endless fountain of ideas that she is, has added a very attractive detail to our quest for scholarship funds. The purse you see pictured here is her contribution to the raffle items for the May 15 gala at the Coliseum. The purse's first purpose is to hold checks and cash contributions that our classmates pitch in toward the $5000 goal of endowing a scholarship account (with our name on it) at St. Petersburg College.

Three more of us---John and Trudy Krege and Duane Tobey--have sent donations to the scholarship fund. You too can put your donation in the Big Red Purse if you're at the Coliseum on May 15. But that's not all, folks. The purse, emptied of the contributions, will go on the raffle items listing, along with art items and a CD of Rosie Ramsey's music.

Even if you can't be at the Reunion, you can still be part of this classwide project--creating a fund to help a worthy student get an education at SPC. Make the check to "SPC Foundation". On the memo line, write "For Northeast High". Mail the check to Sue Foreman, 1940 Summerland Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789.

Last Minute Notes

May 10--

We're at the weekend before we all leave to arrive in St. Petersburg for the reunion...and here are some assorted pieces of information I hope you'll find useful...

1. The Information Room, set up in the Hampton Inn & Suites on Beach Drive, will be at your service...with St. Pete brochures, sign-in forms for the Reunion, memorabilia display set up by Barb Wells Preston. The room will be open from 2 pm to 5 or 6 pm on Wednesday, May 14, and from 2 pm to 5 pm on Thursday, May 15.
2. Memory Books will be available for purchase at $10 per book. For those of you who are reading this but who won't be able to attend the reunion, a copy of the book can be sent to you for $15, which includes cost of the book and cost of shipping and mailing. Send a check made out to Patricia Fulton to 8814 SW 72nd St. G139, Miami, FL 33173.
3. Tom Fincher's published novel The Pepper Tree Demon will also be available for sale in the Info Room. It's a wild and crazy suspense novel, set in St. Pete but including scenes at a Brooksville drag racing track, US 19, Pinellas Park, and Weekiwachee. Cost of the book is $15, but Tom has said he will make a donation from each sale to our Class of 1958 scholarship fund.

Do You Remember the Prom Theme?

Barb Wells Preston just called me and one of her questions was, "Do you remember what the theme was for our Senior Prom?" I have no clue (although I know that the prom that our class created as juniors had an Egyptian theme).

My old copies of the Noreaster tell me that the prom was on May 23, 1958, but I don't have the newspaper issues that include a story about the prom.

Sooo...if any of you remember this piece of trivia--what was the theme of our senior prom...get in touch with Barb at

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

One Week To Go

One week from today some of us will start arriving in St. Petersburg for the Big Reunion we've been talking and writing about for many months.

For many of us, the reunion has already started, as people have connected through emails, phone calls, and personal visits. Larry Britner's round-robin emails and this blogsite have kept you posted with new developments, shared memories, shared photos, and new discoveries of formerly "lost" classmates. We have also shared news of classmates who were added to the "In Memoriam" list.

As the clock ticks down toward our seeing each other at the Coliseum (and other places) in St. Pete, there's a reality that some of us are dealing with because we are people who are 50 years beyond high school. Good health is a gift, something to say thanks for. Some of us will not be able to attend because of health issues; keep those people in your thoughts and prayers and if good health is one of your gifts right now, say a "thank you" prayer for it.

Our Viking Legacy

A number of months ago, in the email chit-chat among us, the topic came up of making some sort of financial gift to Northeast. Mardi Kline Zeiger offered to purchase some art items during her visit to Israel and to donate them for a raffle, with the proceeds going toward a class contribution to a worthy cause (such as our alma mater). She has made those purchases.

Well, Sue Karolyn Bagg did some research with the St. Petersburg College Foundation on what it takes to set up a scholarship fund. According to their rules, it takes $5000 for the fund to have our name on it. (Anything less than that goes into the general fund.) What is being discussed in emails now is a scholarship for a worthy student at Northeast who can't afford to fund an education at SPC (formerly St. Petersburg Junior College). There are 71 at Northeast now who fit this description.

Sue broke down the $5000 this way: 1 person donates $1000. 4 people donate $500 each. 20 people donate $100. Checks for $25 and $50 are also welcome. When the total endowment (with our name on it) reaches $12,500, that would produce $1000 a year for scholarship(s). Raising $50,000 means we could fund two scholarships a year.

Already David Britner and Carley Freck Bryson have sent in checks to Sue to get the project rolling. If you would like to follow their admirable example, make out a check to "SPC Foundation" with the notation "For Northeast High" and send it to Sue Foreman, 1940 Summerland Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789.

Hampton Inn: Some Details

If you're staying at the Hampton Inn (Beach Drive) during the NEHS reunion, here are a few details that Carolyn Graming McAleese and I picked up in a recent phone call to the hotel:

1. The rooms have refrigerators (we're assuming this is true of most of the rooms) so if you want to purchase snacks and beverages that need to stay cold, you're in business.

2. The hotel does not accept personal checks. Most people pay by credit cards anyway, but in case you were planning on using your checkbook, you will need a bank-authorized cashier's check.

3. There is a continental breakfast available each morning: eggs, pastries, cereal, milk, coffee, etc.

4. This item is probably a "DUH" item that you already knew, but the hotel has a swimming pool in case you want to swim or work on your tan.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Girls Night Out: Parking Spaces

For those of you planning to attend "Girls Night Out" around 6 pm on Wednesday, May 14 at Ann Leedy's home (5947 Bayou Grande Blvd NE), here are the parking arrangements:

Because parking is limited at Ann's home, we have permission to park in the lot of Shore Acres Elementary School (1800 62nd Ave NE). The parking lot is at the corner of 62nd Ave.NE and Tanglewood Dr.

Ann's husband Ben will run a shuttle from the parking lot to the house and back. (Our hero!)

Ann says that if you have any questions, you can call her at 727-527-7050.

PS: For those of you who are coming from out-of-town, here is a refresher on the directions to Ann's home (and the Shore Acres Elementary property): From the downtown St. Pete area, go north on 4th St. N to 62nd Ave. Make a right turn and continue until you see the elementary school on your right. Pull into the parking lot and wait for Ben's shuttle.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Faculty Popularity Contest

One of the questions on our bio form, used for compiling the Memory Book, was "Who was your favorite teacher(s)?"

The all-time favorites--and a lot of you think alike---include Dorothy Clonts (chorus); Eugene Beeman (band), Kenneth Pschorr (physiology); Robert Challener (drama); Coach Lee Benjamin; Eric Whitted (assistant principal); Dorothy Adams (social studies); Mrs. Wentworth; Mrs. Overholtz (business classes); Coach Crum; Mrs. Shrum (Spanish); Beth Cheesmond (English).

Where We're Living Now

At the back of the upcoming Memory Book are 2 1/3 pages, listing the states (plus Australia) where our classmates live now. Here are some figures, subject to your corrections if you choose to move:

Australia has 1: Len Scipioni Scott. Virginia has 1: Woody Reed Tanner. Oklahoma has 1: Bruce Hugill. New York has 1: Clarissa Rogers Hamilton. Hawaii has 1: Judy Baker Philson. Nevada has 1: Mary Ellen LeVan Snyder. Washington (the state, not the national capital) has 1: Alice Hantz Johnston. Missouri has 1: Dolores Warfield Boulton. Alabama has 1: Barbara Wells Preston. (Until his recent death, Jim Willson lived in Alabama, too.) Arizona has 1: David Bruneau. Kentucky has 1: Rosa Lee Ramsey McKnight.

Colorado has 2: Carol Curran Rushmore and Jean Davis Brown. (They get together every now and then.)

For the rest of the states, here are the numbers (because there isn't room to write all the names): Tennessee-- 6; Texas--3; North Carolina--8 (Sarah and Bobby have dual residence: NC and FL); Georgia--9; California--7.

As you may have guessed, the numbers champion is Florida where 117 of our class are now living. (The numbers are based on the current database of "found" classmates and are subject to change as more of our "lost" ones get "discovered in the future.)

Your Classmates are Truly Interesting!

As I prepared the Memory Books to bring to the reunion, I discovered some remarkable facts about our classmates...and I thought I would share some of them with you.

Judy Nicholson was president of her Kiwanis Club (years and years ago, it used to be an all-guys club) and she is now the Lt. Governor-elect of her district....Fran Thomas and her husband Larry (she married someone who had the same last name she had before she married him) are volunteers for Campus Crusade for Christ Prison Ministry. They go into prisons across the nation with the Bill Glass "Champions for Life" Ministries.

Kathy Hutchins Hinz puts flowers in the backstage dressing rooms at the Mahaffey Theatre in St. Petersburg. She tells us that in an earlier period of her life, she was the first female computer programmer in St. Petersburg....Bruce Hugill is currently on the Budget and Finance Committee for the Air Force Sergeants Association. He is national secretary for the International Fellowship of Christian Businessmen...Betty Lou Hankey Melcher is an assistant bakery manager for Albertson's and raises Boston terriers as a hobby...John Eaddy is a family physician at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Bill Coate is a published writer and a teacher...David Britner is the co-inventor of the fire sprinkler system now found in many hotels, motels and high-rise residential buildings. He's also a retired Assistant Fire Chief for the City of St. Petersburg...John Krege and Trudy Andringa Krege spent time in Jordan for Habitat for Humanity, building a cement block house addition...Bobby Labrant and Sarah Emery Labrant make a lot of people happy every summer when they operate their bed-and-breakfast in cool, scenic Black Mountain, NC. (It's the kind of place that those of us in South Florida fantasize about while we're sweating out the hot tropical summers.)

Carley Freck Bryson learned how to scuba dive at age 42 (she was just a kid then!)...and Duane Tobey got his pilot's license when he was no longer a kid. (He doesn't specify the age he passed the test, and we won't ask.) Barbara Wells Preston wrote the first Backyard Bible Club materials for the Southern Baptist Convention's Sunday School Board. She also wrote the book What It Means To Be a Christian for children, along with a teacher's guide.

Big News! An Alma Mater Tour!

Class President Woody Reed Tanner, after extensive conversations with Coach Dudley (who was on NEHS faculty for 35 years), has gotten clearance for us to tour Northeast High School--all as part of our scheduled bus tour on Thursday, May 15.

(Note: A second bus has been chartered because more people wanted to participate. There are still 12 seats available on that bus. Tour cost is $12 [preferably in cash]. Checks can be made out to NEHS Reunion.)

The May 15 tour, starting at 9 am at Hampton Inn Hotel on Beach Drive, will take us to downtown improvement areas and other places of note, with an hour allotted to see Northeast High and how it has changed since we left it. (Remember, how we envied Boca Ciega High's swimming pool? Well, Northeast has a pool of it own and a football stadium, too.)

The tour will end around 1 pm back at the Hampton Inn, where everyone will be on their own for lunch.

If you're interested in reserving a place on the tour bus, contact Woody at

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Update on the Memory Book

April 24--Today I finished the basic draft of the Memory Book. (I will insert a sample in this post to show you what it looks like.) The book will include a listing of names, addresses, phone numbers, bio information (if submitted), a listing of classmates by the states where they live now, and a listing of those "in memoriam".

Because producing this book involves purchase of red loose-leaf notebook covers, paper, and printer ink, I plan to produce 20 initially. Cost is $10, to cover expenses. However, if more than 20 people contact me at, letting me know that they want one of the books, I will increase the number of books to be printed.

Here's a sample of one of the pages:

GEORGE HARRY ADALIAN (Garry)…Airline pilot; 21 Cats Paw Cape, Coronado, CA 92218; 619-424-6937;

PATRICIA ANN AINSWORTH-NORRIS..Homemaker, driver’s license examiner; 4733 NE 137th Road, Oxford, FL 34484; 352-748-6915

PATRICIA SUE ALBRECHT-HANSEN (Pat)…Fla. State HRS/Meal on Wheels volunteer; 535 31st Ave. N., St. Petersburg, FL 33704; (summers in 56 Fir Circle, Canton, NC 28716); 727-822-6722;

RALPH H. AMES…Navy/Air Force 20 years; Postal Service 17 years; 6753 Codell Street, Navarre, FL 32566; 850-936-9474

TRUDY LYNNE ANDRINGA-KREGE (Trudy)3002 Henderson Road, Greensboro, NC 27410; 336-294-4456;

MORE ABOUT TRUDY: Married to: John Krege (also Class of 1958). Three children (Kathy, John, Jim). 7 grandchildren. Went to University of Florida and enrolled in School of Nursing. Married John when we were juniors and had our first baby as seniors. Moved to Atlanta where John was in medical school at emory University. Worked in nursing until second child was born. John joined the Air Force in his senior year. Moved to San Antonio, TX and Lackland AFB where John did his internship and orthopedic surgery residency. We had our third child there and then spend three years in Weisbaden, Germany. Lived in England where John completed a hip replacement fellowship. Returned to Lackland where John was on the orthopedic staff. Moved to Greensboro, NC where we have lived for 30 years. Our hobbies include tennis, reading and traveling. John is an avid photographer. Our latest trip was to Jordan with Habitat International. We helped build a cement block house addition.

GERALD CLIFFORD ASPEN (Gerry)24 Apple Orchard Road, Hendersonville, NC 28792; 828-699-7459;

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

More Reunions To Come!

Rena Counts-Wheeler has announced that from now on, she will host an annual get-together for everyone who can make it on the first Saturday of every November. If you're an out-of-towner, you may want to schedule a fall trip for the event.

St. Pete events: The St. Pete alum group will meet Monday, May 5 and Thursday, June 12, with both gatherings starting at 7:30 pm at Kristina's Restaurant, 3590 34th St. (US 19 North), St. Petersburg.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Quiche and Carrot Cake for South Florida

The second get-together for the South Florida NEHS 58 group today (April 21) was an undeniable success, if the happy smiles and vigorous appetites were any indicators.

Carolyn Gramling-McAleese made the Food Channel proud with her quiche, specially prepared asparagus, ambrosia (that's a delicious fruit salad for you uninitiated)...and Pat Teague Fulton contributed a carrot cake, topped with cream cheese icing and chopped walnuts.

Bobbie Todd discovered that she and Carolyn's husband George McAleese had something in common: Louisville, KY. Bobbie and her husband (a funeral director) had lived and worked in Louisville, which is George's home town. Bobbie will be unable to attend the reunion in May because her husband, who recently had a kidney transplant, is scheduled for his final checkup and clearance by his doctors while the rest of us are in St. Pete.

Bill Redman and his vivacious wife Eva told us about Bill's cooking specialty: South Maryland Stuffed Ham...which he has offered to prepare for all of us at one of our future gatherings.

There was a lot of looking at old Northeast yearbooks...Bill looked for a favorite math teacher of his to mention on his bio sheet. Pat brought some prints of old photos of St. Petersburg...including the Festival of States parade queen float, circa 1938; Central Avenue photos (1940s) showing green benches filled with people, a night-time shot of Webb's City when a big open-air show was going on, right in the middle of 9th St. S. There was also a print of an ooooold shot of the Coliseum and one of Mirror Lake Junior High, long before any of us went to class there.

The gathered group talked about a possible trip to Key West (with Barb Monrose, Sandy Creitz, and Bob Vannatta to be invited, too) to drop in on Doug Hotalen.

Bobbie Todd agreed to go with Carolyn to Carolyn's book review group in the next week or so. All in all, everybody enjoyed everybody else's company, and the future prospect for more get-togethers is bright and shiny.

More Room on the Bus!

When class president Woody Reed Tanner first announced the bus tour of St. Pete (Thursday May 15, 9 am), the reservations came in in a flash and the bus was marked FULL. But a second bus is now available...

So for you procrastinators, here's your chance. The tour costs about $12, starts at the Hampton Inn at 9 am and returns there around 12:30 pm. Contact Woody or send an email to me at and I'll pass the word on to Woody..But be quick about it. Each bus only holds around 36 people.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Take a Look at Central Avenue

You may remember Central Avenue from your school days as the dividing line between North and South in St. Petersburg. It's downtown area was busy when you were a kid. Later it died a horrible death. But Central Ave. has come back from the dead....and if you've been away from St. Pete for 30 or more years, let me encourage you to take a tour.

Start at Beach Drive and continue all the way to 34th St. (US 19). You will be amazed at the "new look": new art places, new storefronts, landscaping, lighting, information boards on street corners.

From 16th St. to 34th St., a section that took longer to re-develop than downtown St. Pete, there is vigorous life and renewal. While you're in the area of 16th St., turn south and drive by the stadium that houses our hometown's first Major League baseball team (The Rays).

While You're in St. Petersburg....

For those of you who have the time, here are some places to see (as well as their web sites, where available) while you're back in the Old Home Town:

Artspace Artist Studios, 10 Fifth St. N.
Florida Craftsmen, 501 Central Ave., www.
The Pier Aquarium, 800 2nd Ave. NE (2nd floor of The Pier)
The Arts Center, 719 Central Ave.
Florida International Museum, 244 Second Ave. N.,
Sunken Gardens, 1825 4th St. N. 727-551-3102 (10 am to 4:30 pm)
Craftsman House Gallery, 2955 Central Avenue,

What to Wear! What to Wear!

Sue Bagg-Foreman has some fashion words of wisdom for those of you (particularly you gentlemen) who are wrestling with the phrase "dressy casual" as the dress code for the May 15 gala at the Coliseum.

Here are her thoughts on the matter: Here in Winter Park, for the men it means no tie and maybe even no jacket if the temperature goes above 80 degrees. No tennis shoes unless your feet hurt, in which case pick a pair where your toes don't stick through the end. You could go as casual as the Lawton Chiles uniform (EDITOR: He was a past governor of Fla. and a former U.S. Senator, in case you've forgotten) of khaki pants and nice plaid or beach shirt. Probably not hot weather golf attire. Closed-toe shoes. You could also go to dress pants, an open collar shirt and sport jacket.

In other cities, dressy casual means a tie for sure. I say let the guys decide what's comfortable and what they want for the class picture.

For the ladies: Whatever you look good in. Pants suit, dress with jacket, sun dress (but who has the arms we want to let out of their caves), flats or heels. Sort of the cocktail look but maybe more the outdoor dressy.

Summary: Not too dressy, not too messy. Whatever you have that you like and feel comfortable in. The temperature could be 75 or 85 that evening.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Additions to Reunion Schedule

While women classmates are yakking it up at Ann Leedy Bartlett's house on Wednesday, May 14, the guys have an event all their own, too. Larry Britner has nicknamed it "Enlisted Men's Club", but a draft card is not necessary for admission.

The party will be at the Ringside Cafe, 2742 4th St. N., from 7 pm until whenever. For those of you who are returning to St. Pete after a very long absence, the Ringside Cafe is a two-story house that has been transformed into a restaurant-sports bar. You'll find it on the left side of 4th St. (on a corner) as you're headed north.

Farewell Breakfast, Sunday May 18: A separate banquet room has been reserved at the Picadilly Restaurant (1900 34th St.--US 19 N). Breakfast hours are 9 am to 11 am. Judy Nicholson made the arrangements.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

St. Pete, Watch Your Back!

Our St. Pete alumni group, chaired by Larry Britner, is the oldest and the largest when it comes to get-togethers among NEHS 58 classmates. But South Florida is on a roll.

Bob Vannatta, living in Palm Beach Gardens where he owns a company in the financial services industry (who knew!), was contacted today with an invitation to join our South Fla. group. (Current members: Barbara Monrose Parrish, Sandy Creitz Logue, Carolyn Gramling McAleese, Bobbie Todd, Bill Redman, and Pat Teague Fulton).

He has children and grandchildren in Fort Lauderdale, so he said it's no problem to drive to Broward County for a Northeast meet-and-greet.

Next goal: Doug Hotalen lives in Key West. What would it take to get him to a South Florida Viking party?

Quick Review (There's a Test on Friday)

Karolyn Sue Bagg Foreman sent out this finalized itinerary for Reunion Week, May 14-17. Mark your calendars, Blackberries, and PDAs accordingly:

Wed. May 14 2-6 pm Hospitality Room open at Hampton Inn and Suites (80 Beach Drive NE)
Come and pre-register for the Coliseum get-together. Enjoy a cup of coffee, or soda or water and pastries. Check out the schedule of activities in the area or join one of the reunion's other events. See if your classmates have arrived, and if so, if they have left a message for you. Carolyn Gramling McAleese and Pat Teague Fulton will be hospitality hostesses.

Wed. May 14 11 am--till??? Bring-a-dish picnic at Sawgrass Lake Park. For directions and more information, email Larry Britner at

Wed. May 14 6 pm--till??? Girls Night Out. Ann Leedy Bartlett is the hostess for this feminine "study group". (Translate that "lots and lots and lots of talking.") Bring a snack food, wine, etc. to contribute to the party. For directions and information, email Ann at or Karolyn Bagg Foreman at

Thurs. May 15 9 am to 12:30 pm Bus Tour of St. Pete to see how the place has changed since you left. Leaves Hampton Inn at 9 am. Bring snacks if you prefer or wait for lunch until end of tour. To suggest places you want to see, contact Woody at

Thurs. May 15 12 pm - 4 pm Hospitality Room at the Hampton Inn. Drop by for pre-registration, to view memorabilia and the information board. Carolyn and Pat will be your greeters.

Thurs. May 15 3 pm - 5:30 pm Coliseum Decorating. Volunteers, you know who you are. Thanks in advance.

Thurs. May 15 6 pm - 11 pm Reunion Gala. Coliseum, 4th Ave. N. Cost at the door (if not pre-paid), $85. Group photos around 7 pm. Scrumptious buffet dinner. Special program. Dancing.

Fri., May 16 8 am. Tee Time for golf at Vinoy Golf and Country Club. Call or email Woody for information.

Fri., May 16 9 am Bowling Party, Sunrise Lanes. Fee for games and shoes. Email Larry Britner for information and directions.

Fri., May 16 7 pm. Pot Luck supper at the Mainlands, US 19 and 49th St. Call or email Judy Nicholson at or call 727-577-5494.

Sat., May 17 Continuation of Picnic at Sawgrass Lake Park. Contact Larry Britner.

Sun., May 18 Farewell Breakfast, Picadilly Restaurant. Contact Larry Britner.

Add These to the Reservation List

Class President Woody Reed Tanner says that these classmates have made reservations for the Thursday (May 15) gala at the Coliseum: Mickey Moustakas, Garrett Johnson (he's coming with classmate Jan Wilfong); Ron Hagan, and Maridell Haram Weaver.

Happy Discovery in South Florida

So I was sitting at my computer in Miami, putting together the Memory Book for our reunion, when I ran across Bill Redman's name in the database list. And his address says that he lives in BOCA RATON! That means he's eligible for our South Florida NEHS group!

So I call Bill on the phone and we have a mini-reunion right there. He has been living in Boca for 32 years, has a career as a computer designer (CAD, for you techies). He visits St. Pete 3 or 4 times a year because he has family and friends there. He's coming to the reunion...and he recalls Carolyn Gramling McAleese, another of our South Florida group, because she lived right around the corner from him when he was in high school.

The small world is becoming even smaller.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Names for the Memory Book

Here are the grads who have submitted the bio information for the Memory Book (last names only; for female grads, your maiden name will appear in this list). (If your name isn't here, either you haven't sent in the info or it got lost in the Black Hole of Cyberspace. If that's the case, and you want more than your address and phone in the book, send a note to Pat Fulton to get another copy of the bio form.)

Last Names: Andringa, Bagg, Britner (David and Larry); Comeau; Crain, Creitz, Cruz, Davis (Dale); Davis (Jean); Dillon; Emery, Fincher, Goree (Sue); Gramling; Groves, Hagan, Hantz, Heath, Hugill, Hutchins, Kapocsi, Kline, Krege, LaBrant, Leigh (Helen); Little, McKenzie, Moody, Nicholson, Payne, Ramsey, Reed (Donna); Reed( Woody Tanner), Reichelderfer, Robertson, Rogers, Rupert, Sheridan, Smith, Stinson, Teague, Tobey, Welch, Wells (Jacqueline); Wells (Barbara).

A Certificate Just for You!

If you're planning to be at the May 15 gala at the Coliseum (and if you've made a reservation or at least let the planners know that you're coming), you will receive an award certificate, suitable for framing. The certificates (for grads only--not spouses unless the spouse is a grad) will acknowledge your supreme achievement in arriving at 50 years worth of life after high school graduation.

If you haven't passed the word on that you're coming, at least send an email to Pat Fulton ( so a certificate will be ready for you.


South Florida Vikings--Lunch Again

Bobbie Jean Todd-Barnett, newly discovered in Hollywood, has been invited to a lunch at Carolyn Gramling-McAleese's home April 21. Barb Monrose-Parrish has a prior engagement, and Sandra Creitz-Logue has been invited if her schedule allows. Carolyn is preparing the entree and Pat Teague-Fulton will bring the dessert.

Our South Florida group is nowhere the size of the Tampa Bay group but we're glad we've got each other.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Photo Reminder

If you would like to get a print of the class group photo, to be taken May 15 at the Coliseum, let me know by sending your name and mailing address. (

The cost is $20. (Make the checks out to Graham Photography.) The photo print will be mailed to you at the address you provide.

If you plan to attend the May 15 event, you can bring the check with you to the Coliseum. If you will not be there but you still want a picture, send a check (made out to Graham Photography) and mail it to me at Pat Fulton, 8814 SW 72nd St., G139, Miami, FL 33173. Allow enough time for mailing for the check to reach me before I leave for St. Pete on Tuesday, May 14.

Hello, Joan Madden!

Our "found" census has increased by one more! Sue Bagg Foreman got the word from Bobbie Todd Barnett that Joan had married Ken Renner (he was one class ahead of us at Northeast) and was living in Longwood, FL. Ken taught at University of Central Fla. and Joan was a medical office manager.

Unfortunately the Renners will be headed to Alaska the week we're re-uniting in St. Pete but they have been sent our class list.

Our "found" total is 172. The still-to-be-found list stands at 73. Ken has said he will forward the list of those still missing to his brothers (Howard--class of 1956--I think; and Arville, class of 1959.)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Larry Britner update

As many of you know, Larry Britner is recovering from surgery to replace a vein in one of his legs. His brother David Britner sent an update note to Sue Bagg Foreman, who passed it along. As of April 1, Larry was scheduled for an April 2 for a checkup on the surgery and on the vein replacement performed on his other leg at an earlier date.

His computer connection, i.e., DSL and phone, will be up and running in a few days. (Larry moved recently, assisted by Charles Welch and other friends in the St. Pete area.)

David mentioned that frequent visits by Charles and Duane Tobey have been a boost to Larry's spirits. David said that Larry is very appreciative of all the inquiries made by his Northeast classmates.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Changes in St. Petersburg

If you've been away from St. Pete for more than 10 years, here are some things to look for when you come back to the reunion in May:

Do you remember Beach Drive? It was the downtown, very posh and ritzy shopping district near the downtown waterfront? Well, it's changed a lot. Not only new shops but lots and lots of verrrry tall condos.

On 2nd St. NE there is a huge (well, huge for St. Petersburg) shopping mall called "Baywalk". Has outdoor entertainment, a lot of neat shops, and Muvico theatres. (The theatres you remember from your childhood in St. Pete all died, but Baywalk has revived the joys of a downtown theatre.)

The Bayfront Auditorium you may remember has been torn down and is being rebuilt. I believe that the Salvador Dali Museum is going to move into that new building because it needs more exhibition space.

The old Al Lang Field is being made over into a new baseball playing area. (I haven't seen it myself yet. Perhaps one of you St. Pete residents can send us some description of it.)

There's a new St. Petersburg Historical Museum on the approach to the Pier. You can see a replica there of the plane that Tony Jannus flew across Tampa Bay when the first commercial "airline" in the US got its start.

The Jannus Landing block (Central Ave. on the north, 1st Ave. on the south, 2nd St. on the east, and 3rd St. on the west) has all kinds of restaurants, art places--it was the first area in downtown St. Pete to revive from a long period of decline and decay.

What used to be the Maas Brothers department store has been turned into the Florida International Museum (Just across the street from Jannus Landing).

In the old days, there NO large grocery stores in the immediate downtown area. Now a Publix has opened on the site of the former Dew Cadillac building, just south of Central Ave.

If you were a small kid growing up in St. Petersburg, you may remember the trolleycars on Central Avenue. They went away. But now there is a Downtown Trolley, sponsored by the City, that takes visitors and shoppers to various parts of the downtown area. Give it a try while you're in town.

Sunken Gardens, formerly owned by the Turner family, has been sold to the City and redone. It's located on 4th St. N. around 19th or 20th Avenue.

If you drive west on Central Avenue, from downtown St. Petersburg toward the Gulf Beaches, you will see lots of changes in streetscape, shops, landscaping, etc. The area south of Central Avenue has been revitalized for retail, streetscape, etc.. If you go south on 16th Street, from the stadium toward 18th Ave. and 22th Ave., you will see definite improvements.

Fourth Street North, which used to be filled with motels to accommodate the winter tourists, has redesigned itself and created its own merchant association. Motels have been torn down and replaced by other retail buildings or have been renovated for new uses.

St. Petersburg at a Glance

The City of St. Petersburg sent me some sample brochures for use at our reunion. One of them has an overview of St. Petersburg's size and other features.

For those of you who have been away for a lot of years, here's a refresher course in your home town:

Population: 253,902
City Median Age: 39 years (
Is that one a surprise to you?)
Average Household Income: $52,373
Average Temperature: 73.7 degrees
Waterfront: 260 miles of shoreline along Tampa Bay, Boca Ciega Bay, Gulf of Mexico and Intracoastal waterways.

Sister City: Takamatsu, Japan
Twin City: St. Petersburg, Russia
Number of Employees: 3,190 full and part-time employees, including 540 sworn police officers and 326 uniformed fire personnel

Parks: 137 city parks on 2,300 acres. These include the 245-acre Boyd Hill Nature Preserve (beside Lake Maggiore on the south side of town); Sunken Gardens (now owned by the city, no longer by a private family); Pinellas Trail (47-mile hiking/biking train connecting St. Petersburg with central and north Pinellas County)

Schools: 152,000 students enrolled at 144 public schools, 72 private schools and 5 vocational/technical schools;

Universities: St. Petersburg College (used to be St. Petersburg Junior College); Eckerd College, University of South Florida, Pinellas Technical Education Center, and Stetson University College of Law.

Professional Sports: Tampa Bay Rays (baseball); Buccaneers (football); Lightning (hockey); Storm (Arena Football)

Tallest Building: Bank of America tower, 28 floors, 330,000 square feet

Assorted Memories and Notes

Did you know that Roger Whitehead set a record for the pole vault at Northeast High that went unbroken for 8 years after he graduated?

Did you know that Roger was ranked third in the state in the pole vault in his senior year?

Were you there the day that Bobby LaBrant came to school in a verrrrry sloppy outfit? Asst. Principal Eric Whitted told him to go home and change into more presentable clothing. Bobby came back, looking handsome in his tuxedo. Mr. Whitted still wasn't satisfied and sent Bobby home again.

Woody (Reed) Tanner remembers the day he wore a white dress shirt with his jeans, but he didn't tuck in the shirt. Well, Mr. Whitted stopped Woody in the hallway and told him to tuck in the shirt. Woody said he would do it later (but he didn't). Mr. Whitted spotted Woody a second time, still with the shirt untucked. The next scene took place in Mr. Whitted's office where Woody had an encounter with the Paddle of Justice.

Woody also recalls Mr. Parks, who taught mechanical drawing. Mr. Parks had a rule (to teach respect for one's equipment) that if your pencil or some other piece of equipment rolled off your desk and onto the floor, you had to stand in the corner. If you committed three such offenses, you had to go to the front of the class, bend over, and receive the Paddle of Justice.

EDITORIAL NOTE: Mr. Parks and Mr. Whitted would probably face lawsuits today for their discipline.

Did you know that Woody (Reed) Tanner was a doctor for 8 years at the Richmond International Speedway, where he met many NASCAR celebrities such as Dale Earnhart (both Sr. and Jr.), Bobby LaBonte, and Jeff Gordon. Woody paid a price, however, for the being around the excitement of the track. Years of the high noise level left their mark on his hearing.

Reunion Update

Woody (Reed) Tanner, his very gracious wife Carolyn, and I got together for a lunch in Williamsburg, VA recently, and I came away with pages of notes--things to tell you about on the blog.

Do you remember the soft drink called "Nehi"? Well, there is a gift shop in Williamsburg that sells NEHI in grape and orange flavors. Carolyn spotted the bottles on a visit to the shop...there is a possibility that as a souvenir of the Reunion, our returning alumni will each get one of those sodas..because the name is also ours: "NEHI".

Bruce Hugill and Buck Merritt will be in charge of a special Memorial segment of our May 15 program at the Coliseum. It will include a PowerPoint presentation, reminding us of our classmates who cannot be with us. One of them, Joyce Crow, passed on to Dave Larson a sum of money left over from an earlier reunion, which will be used for flowers and for the PowerPoint presentation.

Another of our deceased classmates, George Siemers, will be represented by his sister at the Reunion. She has given a statement to be read, in which George described what his high school class meant to him. We will also hear a small portion on CD of a piano concerto George wrote in response to the Chinese students in Peking who resisted the Chinese army and protested for their freedom.

George's sister wants to set up a scholarship at Northeast High, but the school administration has not responded to her.

Welcome Back, Robert Thorpe!

Small World Department: Our president Woody (Reed) Tanner got a phone contact recently from Robert Thorpe, who was a freshman and sophomore with us at Northeast before moving to another state. It seems that Thorpe is a consultant with Home Deport in St. Petersburg and works on the Coliseum account.

When he found out about our May 15 event at the Coliseum, he asked Coliseum management for Woody's contact number. Management notified Woody instead, providing them with Thorpe's contact information. Thorpe told Woody he remembered Jo Ann Terrie from his freshman homeroom class. He made reservations to join us for Reunion Night.

Note: A note from Sue Bagg Foreman indicates that it was Jo Ann who was responsible for finding Robert.

The Five Fowls

Have you heard the story about The Five Fowls? It was a sort-of fraternity formed at Northeast by Roger Whitehead, Woody Reed, Ronnie Murphy, Doug Hotalen and Norm Wagner. A sixth "fowl" was added later: Mickey Moustakas. The mascot was a ruptured duck with his wing in a sling.

There was one day when the "all for one and one for all" theme didn't quite work out. The group agreed that they would shave their heads, dye their heads, and come to school that way the next day. Apparently some of the guys thought better of the idea or got a case of the "chickens", but on the next day, Ronnie Murphy was the only one who showed up with a shaved, dyed head. Ronnie wanted to do serious bodily harm to his "fowl" buddies.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Consumer Alert: Alumni Directory

Lyda Graser received some correspondence from a "Pinellas County School District Directory Office" in Chesapeake, VA. The correspondence, signed by a Kelly Hardy, asked her to check with them to make sure that her listing was correct.

This directory--or whatever it is--has nothing to do with the Memory Book I am preparing for distribution at the Reunion. It will list class members, information as current as we have it on addresses and phone numbers, and comments submitted on the bio form we sent out. The book will be in a red loose-leaf notebook cover (I'm hoping to get a Viking decal to put on the cover). Cost for materials is $10 (paper, notebooks, copy costs, etc.)

Look Who's Coming, Part II

Here are more people who have paid reservations for our Reunion Night at the Coliseum, May 15, 2008:

Frank Kapocsi and Pat Smith Kapocsi; Marion Kline Zeiger and Errol Zeiger; Ann Leedy Bartlett and Ben Bartlett; Helen Leigh Wagner and Clint Wagner; Lois Martin Walls and Ray Walls; Shirley McClendon Hutching; Frederick McKenzie; Robert (Buck) Merritt; Margie Meyer Smith and Ed Smith; Barbara Monrose Parrish and Wesley Parrish; Joan Moody Vetter; Arleen Murfin Doney; Ron Murphy and Bobbie Woods; Judy Nicholson; Donna Quick Starr and David Starr; William and Eva Redman; Woody Reed Tanner and Carolyn Tanner; Glenda Joyce; Donna Reed Smith and Charles Ray Smith; Terry Lyn Reichelderfer Stinson and Ed Stinson; Jean Robertson Champ and Jackie Banning; Clarissa Rogers Hamilton and Walter Barnhart; Carol Ann Rupert Buss and Bob Buss; June Sharpe Henry; Evelyn Sheridan Clark; Melody Siplon Jameson; Loretta Smith Franco and Manuel Franco; Walter Smith; Wanda Smith; Helen Smith Manuel and Bill Manuel; Louanne Cecconi; Pat Teague Fulton; Frances Thomas and Larry Thomas; Larry and Windy Thompson; Ronnie Tichenor; Duane Tobey; Robert and Linda Vannatta; Norman Bill Wagner and Carole Simpson; Ben and Joy Wall, Toni Ree, Bob Simpson, Peggy Simpson, Billie Mills, Buddy Whitehead, Diane Whitehead; Charles Welch; Roger and Sarah Whitehead; Bill Argyros, Barbara Argyros, Ronnie Taylor, Beverly Taylor; Jan Wilfong; Jacqueline Wells Dean and Vernon Dean; Barbara Wells Preston; Shirlie Zumwalt Matthews.

Look Who's Coming, Part I

Class president Woody Reed Tanner has sent along a list of the people who have paid for reservations to the Reunion. The current total is 91 classmates, 39 spouses, and 26 guests.

Because the list is long, you'll find it in a couple of installments. (I'm including all these names because I know that you want to know who to look for at the Coliseum).

Ralph and Brenda Ames; John Krege and Trudy Andringa Krege; Karolyn Sue Bagg Foreman and Steve Foreman; John and Margie Bagg (he's Sue's older brother); Judy Philson Baker, Gary and Phoebe Billing; David Britner; Larry Britner; Skip and Betty Cleveland; Janice Comeau Mineo and Jack Mineo; Mike Coughlin and Clarice Slover Coughlin; Rena Counts Wheeler; Connie Counts Plants and Duane "Duke" Plants; Deanne Karner, David Karner; Sandy Creitz Logue; Carol Curran Rushmore and Robert Rushmore; Angela Custode Stephenson and Don Stephenson; Jean Davis Brown; Sarah Emery LaBrant and Bobby LaBrant; Larry and Judith Fannin; Tom Fincher; Aloyce Flood Larson and David Larson; Robert and Rebecca Forman; Ginny Foster; Larry and Bev Foster; Richard and Nancy Fraze; Carley Freck Bryson and Laird Bryson; Patricia Gant Miller and Phyllis Gant Kolbiaz; Gary Goree; Susan Goree Noyes and Frank Noyes; Carolyn Gramling McAleese; Lyda Graser; Judi Groves Hopkins; Shirley Hadsock Lydic and Bill Lydic; Alice Hantz Johnston; John and Martha Hardman; Pat Harmon Karn and Raymond Karn; Judy Hauser Orman and Carol Latta Milner; Betty Hankey Melcher and David Melcher; Martha Lee Heath Baker and Rudy Baker; Dennis and Ginny Hootman; Doug and Jan Hotalen; Judy Huber Grissette and Tim Grissette; Bruce and Roberta Hugill; Kathy Hutchins Hintz.

To be continued.

Looking for Freebies

Special Note to St. Petersburg: If you hometown people know of some merchants who would be willing to donate coupons or promotional items for our "goody bags" at the Reunion, drop me a line at It would be good advertising for the merchant and encourage our out-of-town classmates to patronize the merchant.

Currently, we will have Visitors Handbooks from the Chamber of Commerce and some items from the City of St. Petersburg (I haven't received the sample box yet), so any additional items that you can help us find will be icing on the Reunion cake.

Thanks in advance.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Nor'easter November 27, 1958--News In Review

Here are highlights from the Nor'easter edition of November 27, 1958, just in case you had forgotten:

The DCT Club took up a project of creating a master landscaping plan for the school. Kenneth Sassaman was chairman of the group drawing up the plans.

College Day on Nov. 14 was successful, when students got to meet representatives from colleges and schools such as Duke University, University of Alabama, Antioch College, Florida State University, Southern Technical Institute, and University of Florida.

Marjorie Myers was shown in a photo on page 3, leading a meeting of Future Homemakers of America. The National Honor Society, headed by Jim Willson, announced plans to tap new members during second semester of the school year.

David Larson and Aloyse Larson were an item in the "Shootin' the Breeze" gossip column. Surprise! Surprise! They were going steady!

In another juicy item, Louis Ateek opened Karolyn Bagg's purse in the hallway, and a banana fell out.

At the Homecoming Dance, queen Sandy Creitz and escort Johnny Barker had a moment of frustration. During the Queen's Dance, balloons were supposed to tumble all over the place. But they didn't. So when the dance was over, Johnny came to the rescue and released the balloons with some human intervention.

Mickey Moustakas was profiled in a sports article, with the headline "Pint-Sized Pigskin Player Makes TDs with Ease; Has Been Active in Sports Since Grammar School." During that current football season, Mickey had racked up 13 points as a halfback. He told the reporter he planned to major in physical education at University of Florida or Florida State.

Reunion Update

Girls Night Out (aka Viking Study Group): So far 12 bold and daring Viking 58 women have RSVP'ed a yes for the "study group" session at Ann Leedy Bartlett's house.

Bowling Details: Would someone who has the specific details for the bowling session please email the date and time to me at so that I can include it in the blog? I know that plans are being made, but I need more specifics. Thanks.

Summit Meeting: Because I'll be making a trip to Virginia to see my daughter and grandkids from March 26 to March 30, I'll be getting together with Woody Reed Tanner and Carolyn for a mini-reunion. If there are any big announcements from our class president, I'll be sure to include them in the blog when I get back March 30. (Well, give me a day to recover from the grandkids.)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Note to Poets: Do NOT Recycle!

Tom Fincher shares a poem and an accompanying story, which has a serious moral for you men who want to charm your women with a few lines of verse.

While in Chicago, he wrote a love poem for a certain woman who was his "significant other". The poem brought him a great deal of "positive reinforcement" from the lady in his life.

At a later point, that relationship moved on and so did Tom. He moved back to Pinellas County and found another "significant other". Remembering the benefits the poem had earned him in an earlier episode of his life, he changed the title of the poem to the name of the woman then his current amour. Things went well, until she discovered the original copy stored away somewhere.

The relationship came to a screeching halt. But the poem is worth sharing.

For The One I Love
Tom Fincher

Your presence stirs a
Feeling I thought gone
From me

Your touch brings to me an
Awareness unrealized
For years

Your being carries me
To a place
Long forgotten

Your embrace
Heals my wounds
Beneath their scars

While loving you
I hold your hand
And feel your soul
Flowing with mine

After our love
The serenity of
Your face
Takes me to a
Place of

Our past lives
And former loves
Matter not

Only us
Only now

Thursday, March 20, 2008

We Have a Friend at City Hall

The City of St. Pete has an absolutely wonderful person in the Marketing Department whose name I want to pass along to you, along with a website address.

First, the website: When you arrive at the home page, click on the Visitors tab at the top of the page and find a menu with topics such as Downtown, Attractions, Events, Beaches, Culture and Arts, Maps, Hotels, Calendar of Events. If you're connected to the Internet, you can take a look at your old home town, no matter where you're living now. The cityscape has changed, what with new construction, reconstruction of older buildings, and new land uses we never thought of.

Now, the wonderful person in the Marketing Department: Kim Tyre; 727-551-3001; email to; fax 727-892-5372.

She is warm and friendly and ready to provide us with brochures and other items for our "good bags" at the Information Center at the Hampton Inn.

If you're looking for information on the City or you need some assistance relating to a Reunion event you're working on, Kim can be a resource.

Susan McGowan-Ackerman: Your Thoughts and Prayers

Our 1958 NEHS class stands with each other when various needs arise. Here's one for your thoughts and prayers: Susan McGowan-Ackerman is about to be a caregiver to her daughter in Seattle who will donate a kidney to Susan's son-in-law. They will each require about six weeks of special care following the surgeries.

We will miss Susan at the reunion, but she has her priorities straight. You can drop her a note of encouragement at

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Reunion "Study" Group (No Guys Allowed!)

An email invitation is making the rounds for the "Girls Night Out". Officially, it's called the NEHI '58 Reunion Study Group (wink-wink).

Here are the details and the contact numbers if you're a female Viking and you want to be in on the fun. The "study group" (translate that "party") starts at 6 pm, Wednesday, May 14. Place is Ann Leedy Bartlett's home at 5947 Bayou Grande (in Shore Acres).

For more information you can call 727-527-7050 or 407-342-3242.
You can contribute to the "discussion" by bringing junk food, some sodas, or wine, or other appropriate party food. We will kick our shoes off, laugh and giggle a lot, and spend our time in "girl talk". (You guys wouldn't understand...and you probably wouldn't be interested even if you DID understand. We will not be discussing the NFL or NBA drafts, pitching averages, NASCAR rankings, or the latest tool sale at Home Depot. So you guys can see that you would bored out of your minds if you were there.)

If you're interested in coming, call one of the phone numbers listed above so that a half-way accurate count can be made ahead of time. If you're not sure, but you think there is a chance you can come, call one of the contact numbers and indicate that, too.

Names in the Memory Book

If you see your name listed here, we have a bio form on file for you, to use in preparation of our class Memory Book. If your name isn't listed, there will still be a basic entry for you, consisting of the database information obtained from Sue Bagg-Foreman (name, address, email, etc.)

Thanks to the following who have sent in their bio information: Trudy Andringa-Krege, Sue Bagg-Foreman, Jean Brown-Davis, David Britner, Larry Britner, Linda Crain-Cocks, Sandra Creitz-Logue, Rose Marie Cruz-Martin, Dale Davis, Anne Gloria Dillon-Langan, Tom Fincher, Sue Goree-Noyes, Carolyn Gramling-McAleece, Judi Groves-Hopkins, Ron Hagan, Alice Ruth Hantz-Johnson, Martha Lee Heath-Baker, Bruce Hugill, Kathy Hutchins-Hintz, Mardi Kline-Zeiger, Frank Kapocsi, John Krege, Helen Leigh-Wagner, Bob and Sarah LaBrant, Bruce Little, Fred McKenzie, Joan Moody-Vetter, Judy Nicholson, Virginia Payne-Pauley, Rosa Lee Ramsey-McKnight, Woody Reed-Tanner, Terry Reichelderfer-Stinson, Jean Robertson-Champ, Clarice Rogers-Hamilton, Jean Sheridan-Clark, Pat Smith-Kapocsi, Ed Stinson, Duane Tobey, Charles Welch, and Barbara Wells-Preston.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

People News

Larry Britner came through his surgery successfully at Bay Pines VA Hospital and is now back at home. He sends his thanks for the cards, calls, and visits.

Lois Martin Walls writes that she and husband Ray can only be with us for the May 15 event because their 12-year-old granddaughter is living with them and will be in the midst of final exams. Ray just had cataract surgery so Lois has been doing all the driving.

Barb Wells Preston attended the memorial service for Jim Willson and sends this description of the experience: The services were as I would expect, purely Jim! It was proper, polite, warm, friendly, comforting, and even funny at times. Most of the laughs were from the tales the minister told about Jim and his neighbors and about Linda and Jim taking care of the church's rose gardens. The gardens are in perfect condition under Jim and Linda's tender, loving, hands-on care. They are not in bloom right now but I plan to go over and take pictures when my roses begin to bloom. The rose beds at the church showed healthy bushes with lots of new growth and small buds beginning to form. I believe that Linda will continue to tend the rosebuds. Did they teach rose gardening at North Ward?

Len Scipioni (Scott) writes from Australia that he regrets he can't be with us for the reunion. His daughter is graduating on May 15, and there is no way he and his family can make it to St. Petersburg. But he wants us to know that he is and will be thinking of us.

Mardi Kline Zeiger is in Israel right now, visiting friends and family.

Tom Fincher is polishing up a manuscript for a novel to send off to a publisher, mid-way in another novel, and making notes for two or three more novels. You can still get a copy of his first novel The Pepper Tree Demon, which takes place in St. Petersburg, by dropping him a line and a check for $15. His email is If you want the author's autograph, just ask.

Reunion Reservation Numbers

There's good news to report on the paid reservations for our May reunion. Sue Bagg-Foreman writes that as of March 17, 148 paid reservations are in! This includes 79 classmates, 37 mates, and 20 guests.

says that the 79 classmates total is about 20 more than had been located one year ago.

Hampton Inn had told us that we needed to have at least 8 reservations at their hotel in order to get the Information Room we have told you about. Well, to date (March 15, 2008), the bookings at the Hampton are up to 20.

We know that more reservations will come in between now and May, but the current numbers promise a huge success in something that started as a long-shot but an act of faith by some very hard-working class representatives.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Your List of Things To Do

If you're planning on being a part of a once-in-a-lifetime 50th anniversary in St. Petersburg, here are some details to take care of:

1. Send your reservation with a check for $70 to Woody Reed Tanner. (The complete address is in an earlier posting.)
2. Send your bio to Pat Fulton ( for insertion in the Memory Book. (More details on what to include in the bio are in an earlier posting.)
3. Send photos and scanned images of other items you'd like included in the visual presentation at the Coliseum to Barb Wells Preston. (See an earlier posting for the address.)
4. Send to Pat Fulton an email with these details: date of arrival, date of departure, cell phone number where you can be reached during the reunion days, and if desired, where you'll be staying in the St. Pete area.
5. Do an archaeological dig in those boxes in your attic, garage, storage area, etc. for items you can bring to share in the NEHS display--pompoms, ticket stubs, letter sweaters, helmets, award ribbons, movie posters, anything that will remind us of the good old days.
6. Make a list of landmarks in St. Pete that you'd like to check out one more time--to see how they've changed or if they're still there. (Bad news: Toot n Tellit at Haines Road and 16th St. is long gone. So is the old Municipal Pier as you remembered it, replaced by an "upside down triangle". )
7. Strictly optional: a diet, hair transplants, update of hair styles, new makeup (for women only). If none of these are possible, we don't care. We just want to see you.

Orlando FL has its own mini-reunion

One more group of NEHS 58 grads has met for a mini-reunion--this time in the Orlando, FL area. In the photo sent along by Sue Bagg-Foreman, we see the distinguished charter members: (Left to right) Bill Parke, Celeste Cipriano Northrup, Sue Bagg-Foreman and Buck(y) Merritt.

To make sure that they'd recognize each other when they met at Seasons 52 restaurant, they all wore red. A special dispensation was made for Bucky because he's an Episcopal priest now, with more conservative requirements for his attire. Incidentally, he combined his divinely-ordered responsibilities with a career in insurance/marketing and still has not retired completely from either career.

Celeste sewed some school letters she had received (big Ns) inside her jacket. She reminded the group that she was the roller skating queen of the class, beside her groundbreaking feat of riding to school on a scooter each day during her senior year. From scooter riding she went on to medical school and recently retired from Jackson Memorial in Miami. She and her husband live in Casselberry, north of Orlando, and have a river place on the St. Johns River between Lake Harney and Lake Monroe.

Bill Parke was a member of the NEHS swim team, doing the backstroke and the individual medley for the team that went to state finals. He remembers the bus rides to the meets, but preferred the open-air feel of scooters and cycles. He worked at Publix and launched an entrepreneurial career as a windshield cleaner at a 4th Street gas station. After he left us on Graduation Night, he went on to Penn State, a radio/broadcasting career, and is now in commercial real estate.

And Sue--we don't have to tell you much about her because you already know that she is one of the driving forces behind the Big Reunion. She recently returned from Antarctica (try and top THOSE stories) with a zillion photos to share. By the way, she too was a backstroker for the NEHS swim team. And then there was that little honor of being Miss St. Petersburg.

If You Can't Make It to the Reunion....

Perhaps it won't be possible for some of you to join us in St. Petersburg in May for the reunion, but there is a way you can be with us...

If you send some photos and a message to the rest of us, Barb Wells Preston and Bruce Hugill will make sure that they are part of the PowerPoint presentation that will be a large display at the Coliseum.

For ideas on what to send along, take a look at the posting that appears after this one: The Parade of Memories.

Here are some ideas: photos from past reunions, college graduation pictures, a photo taken when you won an award, military photos, your engagement and/or wedding announcement.

If you can send us a photo and a "hello" message, pass it along (and please do it soon) to Barb at or mail it to Barbara W. Preston, 1226 Barcelona Dr., Mobile, AL 36693-4403.

A Parade of Memories

Here's one more reason that your evening at the Coliseum in St. Petersburg on May 15 this year will be special:

While you are standing at the registration table, waiting to sign in, you can look up and see a large-screen presentation (via PowerPoint for you computer literates) that will bring back memories. Assuming that enough of you send contributions of pictures to Barbara Wells Preston, there will be a lengthy visual parade of places you used to know, classmates as they looked "back then", and even some reminders of your grade school days.

Barb is currently accepting the items you submit, labeling the people in the photos (so we won't have to guess), and then Bruce Hugill will create the PowerPoint production.

Here are some items we're looking for:

Old newspaper clippings, school athletic letters or cheerleading letters, prom favors, helmets, ribbons won, college graduation pictures, pictures for special recognition you received, anything saved from the good old days at NEHS.

Scan and email the photos, clippings, articles, etc. to Barb at Phone contact is at 1-251-661-3756 (home) or 1-251-656-5588 (cell). Mailing address is Barbara W. Preston, 1226 Barcelona Drive, Mobile, AL 36693-4403.

If you plan to bring some items to the reunion (as opposed to scanning and emailing) let Barb know what you're bringing. Items will be shown on display boards with locking plastic ties. They will not be left unattended at any time.

She's looking for old cheerleading or majorette uniforms or maybe any other Northeast "uniform" that might have been part of your life.