<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> 50th High School Reunions

50th High School Reunion Events, 2008

After a famine of going without contact with any of my high school class for 50 years, yes 50 years, this summer has been a feast of contacts with them. Nancy and I flew to Spokane the first weekend in May for the official class of 1958 reunion. Then again on September 19 we flew to Spokane and drove to Hayden Lake, Idaho, for a retreat of members from the class of 1958 with a few from the class of 1957 and 1959. This travel story describes both trips, referring to the first as the reunion and the second as the retreat. First here is the class photo taken at the reunion.

FRONT ROW: (left to right) Richard Martin, Rose Marie (Hoerling) Tiffany, Bill King, Harold Beebe, Beth (Kinder) Klein, Ruby (Ott) Miller, Bob Freitas (faculty)
SECOND ROW: Marilyn (Unsell) Kelln, Sandy (Knauft) Wallace, Judy (Adler) Roff,
BACK ROWS (left to Right): Ron Anderson, Frank Lingscheit, Bette (Schlagel) Rogers, Donna (McDow) Carr, Glenda (Klouse) Beckett, Nadine (Curry) Nelson (hidden), Margie (Ellis) Momb, Carol Lynn (Pester) Woodbury, Eva Lou (Carlson) Diebel, Thelma (Johnson) Brown, Sandy (Knauft) Wallace, Vivian (Locke) Lathrop, Carolyn (McWold) Stentzel, Barb (Wagner) Schwarz, Joan (Easton) Carter, Jim Minor, Dale Wendt, Bill Lugenbeal, Beth Freitas, Jim Hughes

      People have asked why I am the only one looking at the camera. Well, Nancy took the picture among a crowd of about 6 other photographers at the same time. Please also ask why I have less gray in my hair than all the others. Well, I dye my hair. No, my father had anti-gray genes and kept his brown hair most of his life.
      In case you don’t know, my high school was Upper Columbia Academy (UCA), a Seventh Day Adventist boarding school. Most of my classmates remain in the Washington-Oregon area. One of the reunion weekend surprises was that I talked to quite a few who were from Yakima and remembered our whole family well. They include Glenda (Klouse) Becket and Betty (Schlagel) Rogers. They were both in my class at the Brookside Elementary School in Yakima for my 9th-grade year and UCA for three years.
Another person from Yakima was Bill Lugenbeal. Bill was a member of my trombone trio. Bill has worked as an electronic technician and still lives in the Yakima Valley.
      I had forgotten that in high school and college there were too many students to be close friends with everyone. For over two thirds of my 47 classmates, I can remember their faces, and usually their names, but not necessarily which name goes with which face, and I remembered almost nothing else about them. Well, I am sure that few of them remember much, if anything, about me, especially since I did not show up at any of their functions for 50 years.

      The reunion consisted of two dinners and one Saturday afternoon event on the school campus where a few alumni meet to meet and chat with classmates. In between time I fit in visits to cousins Leonard Hodge and John Goldman. My visit with Cousin Leonard and his wife Nyla (see photo) was very pleasant. Here is a picture of them in front of their house.

Their house is amazing, as is their boat house and gigantic dock, both on Coeur d’ Alene Lake.  The drive to Idaho through Spokane brought back memories, although I had forgotten how beautiful the area is with snow-covered Mt. Spokane in the distance and rolling hills covered with dense and tall pine trees.
      Leonard and Nyla’s home is on the northeast corner of the lake. To get there you drive a winding, narrow road for about 10 miles. It is a beautiful drive with glimpses of the lake from small mountains high above the lake. I saw a family of deer and they sometimes have bears, moose, and other wild animals in their yard. Even though there are houses nearby, their house has the look and feel of a rustic, remote cabin where one would spend summer vacation. The other side of their bay is undeveloped and will probably remain conserved.
      I remember Spokane from having taken trips there for shopping during high school and from visiting Grandpa Anderson, Aunt Bernice and Aunt Leona. Len said Grandpa’s house is still there. Spokane is a beautiful city with the downtown built along the River. The downtown is an attractive mix of old and new buildings. It was very crowded during our visit because it was the weekend for the Bloom run. Every year at this time over 40,000 runners and their families descend on the city. My class organized a dinner Friday night at the Shenanigans restaurant downtown. About 25 attended the dinner.

On Saturday morning we drove to John Goodman’s house, which is way up on the northern rim of Spokane. They have 5 acres with dense woods that bring deer, turkeys, moose, coyotes, bear, and other wild animals out of the woods from time to time. As we drove up at 11 in the morning a large herd of deer grazed in their front yard. In this picture are John and June with daughter Jackie in the center.
       John was Spokane County Sheriff but the past 10 years ran a federally funded program in community corrections. The program is ending so he is shopping for career phrasing-out options as well. One of their sons is an attorney and lives in Madison, Wisconsin. So we will try to look him up.
      At the reunion a number of my classmates were genuinely glad to see me and to reminisce. That made it a fun and interesting weekend. That is mainly why I wanted to go to the retreat in September at Camp Mivoden on Hayden Lake.

Mivoden Retreat, September 2008

Hayden Lake is beautiful as are the surrounding pine and spruce forests. To get their requires driving through hundreds of sharp turns in a 12 mile stretch that takes 40 minutes, but the scenery is great. Despite a lot more homes in the woods around the lake, no businesses can be seen. We saw deer along the road that didn't worry about a car driving by.


Camp Mivoden is an Adventist summer camp at which I spent a week each summer during high school years. This picture shows the activities buildings as well as the sleeping rooms. Now it is like a mountain resort, but 50 years ago it was rather primitive.

We only spent 8 hours with my former classmates at the Camp. It was enough time to reconnect with about 12 old friends, but not enough to talk to the others with whom I had not been close. A major highlight for me was meeting up for the first time in 50 years with my former roommate and close friend Larry Merklin. He lives in Portland nearly his three sons and grandchildren. He never went to college and still won't talk about the work he has done, but we have always connected around music. He played the trumpet and I the trombone and we did a lot of musical activities together. Here on the right is Larry with his significant other, Meriam. They drove up from Portland in his shinny Corvette.

Another highlight for me was re-connecting with T. Joe Willey, who got his PhD at Berkeley and then taught neuroscience at Loma Linda University for many years. We had some very good discussions. He still lives in that area with his wife, so I will try to meet up with him when visiting my Mother and sister this Christmas.

Below is a photo of Joe Willey, Jim Schoepflin, and me. I did not learn until later that we all were retired University professors. Jim taught music for many years at Washington State University in Pullman. He specializes in the clarinet and played some wonderful music for us. On the right are some interesting wild flowers that Nancy found in the forest.

Below is another picture that Nancy took of the class of 1958. You will see a few faces that were not in the reunion photo at the beginning of this story. But still it was a smaller group than appeared for the reunion.