Friday, May 20, 2016

The TOLTEC lives...





The TOLTEC lives!

As we view these images
sparking memories of those days..
We observe what seems to be
a lapsing of time..those 60 years..
We imagine the timeline stretching
with its many marks.. the in-between years..
Marks of sorrow and joy
of questions and doubts.. and of awe..
But let us in this Moment..imagine
the Toltec alive.. not yesterday
but now in this Place it recalls.. 
And in our imaginings
we may be persuaded: 
each of us right now
remains as we
were back then
that Year and this Place 
which lives in our memory:
DHS Class of '56..
---Charles Coon





That year: 1956

  
Major Event/ Sports /Prizes

Soviet troops march into Hungary
Tunisia and Morocco become independent
Sudan becomes independent
Suez Campaign
US condemns England, France and Israel
Tupelov TU-104 introduced
First trans-Atlantic telephone cable
Caravelle jet aircraft introduced

Sports

NBA: Philadelphia Warriors vs. Ft. Wayne Pistons Series: 4-1
NCAA Football: Oklahoma Record: 10-0-0
Heisman Trophy: Paul Hornung, notre dame, QB points: 1,066
Stanley Cup: Montreal Canadiens vs. Detroit Red Wings Series: 4-1
US Open Golf: Cary Middlecoff Score: 281 Course: Oak Hill CC Location: Rochester, NY
World Series: New York Yankees vs. Brooklyn Dodgers Series: 4-3

Top Songs of 1956

1. "Memories Are Made of This" ... Dean Martin 
(Played by Eileen Haffey Brown)
2. "Rock and Roll Waltz" ... Kay Starr
3.  "Lisbon Antigua" ... Nelson Riddle
4. "Poor People of Paris" ... Les Baxter
5. "Heartbreak Hotel" ...Elvis Presley
6."The Wayward Wind" ... Gogi Grant
7.  "I want you, I need you, I love you"...  Elvis Presley
8. "My Prayer" ... The Platters
9.  "Don't be Cruel/Hound Dog" ...Elvis Presley
10.  "Love me Tender"...Elvis Presley

Top Movies of 1956

1. Guys and Dolls - 
2. The King and I
3. Trapeze
4. High Society
5. I'll Cry Tomorrow
6. Picnic
7. War and Peace
8. The Eddy Duchin Story
9. Moby Dick
10. The Searchers

Academy Awards

Best Picture: "Around the World In 80 Days "
Best Director: George Stevens ... "Giant"
Best Actor: Yul Brynner ... "The King and I"
Best Actress: Ingrid Bergman ... "Anastasia"

Pulitzer Prizes

Drama: Albert Hackett & Frances Goodrich ... "The Diary of Anne Frank"
Fiction: MacKinlay Kantor ... "Andersonville"
History: Richard Hofstadter ... "The Age of Reform"


Our Timeline

Since that year which we are honoring today..we have have  experienced
success and failure..Larry Gibble reminded us..perhaps introduced us..
to our mortality and shadow..we met other departures of those very close..
these many points in our Timeline..no doubt
questions have arisen:  Who or What am I?..the insistent experience of ego and separation
have given us pause as we traveled...seemingly traveled..down a Timeline..
arriving today in this Auditorium and we color our awareness now with that special year in  our memory..1956...
---Charlie Coon



A little message to my classmates from Anne Zink Putnam..

    I was one of the youngest in the class and probably lived up to my age.  As the years have passed, I have relished getting to know the rest of you.  I so appreciate the adults you are---Spirituality seems to be the word which best identifies what you all have become.  Webster says---the spirit or soul distinguished from the body or material matters.  Concerned with the intellect, ascendancy of the spirit, refinement of thought and feeling.   Not limited to religion, church, or sacred.  
-----Anne Zink Putnam

Our Teachers 

Central Elementary School

Ms. McConnell...2nd grade
Jeanie Dawson...3rd grade
Virginia Shoser...4th grade
Dorothea Miller..5th grade
Ms. Hopkins...6th grade
Ms. Pickerell...6th grade

Charlie,
    I discovered several photos with notes sent to me by Ken Crabtree back in 2008.  It is rather late to include them in your presentation so I shall give them to you when you arrive.  Maybe you can use them at a later time. 

    Also I Toltec photo of us in the auditorium.  Shall bring it along.

My list from Central—John Ashback, Donna Trembly, Judy Hall, Theresa Gutierrez, Mary Billings, Bob Hatfield, Reese Miller, Ron Seabourn, Ceona Davis, Charles Coon, David Welch, Sylvia Gilchrist, Anne Zink, Ken Crabtree, Delbert Golightly, LaVon Royce

Finally, I shall see if I can forward a couple of photos from my computer collection.  Show some girls at the class picnic, Smiley Jr High School.
Anne


"The Girls"




Durango School Days:
a Collage

Remembering:

David Folsom in winter
no coat atop his shirtsleeves..
Alley walking to school
for those surprising discoveries to be made..
LeVon Royce's Mom's Fourth Avenue store
and the Fleer's bubble gum waiting inside..
Howard Wong's Main Avenue restaurant
making enchiladas never matched..
Also never matched were milk shakes
made only at Parson's Drugstore..
The crunch of leaves underfoot
on a Third Avenue path to school..
Lyle Howard sentencing Dallas and Darrel
to garbage truck duty after a dark
Halloween caper..
--Charles Coon

Our earliest memory..?





Charles:  Loudean Suttle Barr was a student at Central School for 1st, 
5th and 6th grades.  Attached is a photo of her 1st grade class, with 
many of our class of '56 classmates.
       ---Don Barr





Spring Thaw

Who we were 
as we recognized back then..
Sometimes with pleasure
sometimes with chagrin..
is Who we really are 
in this Auditorium today..
Do you remember a play:
"Spring Thaw"
and the roles that we played..?
My role was simplest of all
"The Law of the moment"
as which my scripted line
was only two words..
Such simplicity
directs my attention 
to that Moment..
As I reflect
a role more appropriate
could not be scripted..
That Moment
in "Spring Thaw"
draws our attention
to the eternal Moment 
unchanged over
these.. our 60 years...
~~Charles Coon






Rio de Las Animas Perdidas

This flow through our town
we observed year after year
when angry and muddy
giving way to murky
then shining in August clarity..
Our classmate Duwayne Jennings
knew these river moods..
He knew how to let it be..
Patient on the town bridge
with his fishing pole..
Did we look in these 60 years
within our mud and murkiness
and find there
the clarity of August...?
---Charles Coon





Peter

Peter was a name
a most respected name
(not  Peter Oosterhoudt!) 
which we remember here..
This was another Peter
with  auspicious  responsibility:
to maintain our linkage to 
 Mr. Chaucer and the literary world..
As you remember
it was Peter who decided
whether she arrived or not
and more than occasionally not..
A moment we reserve here
in memory of
Sharley Pike...
---Charles Coon






The Durango Herald Democrat

This newspaper prospered downtown
with a fancy office and
big printing machines..
For a short while some 60 years ago
this august paper
faced stiff competition
from an upstart publisher 
in DHS Class of '56..
Fondly we remember
David Reese Miller
and his underground Daily
named most inauspiciously 
The Daily Blat..
Staffed with roving snoopers
and an editor unmatched:
simply named "Gus.."
We became in those years
 a class most Transparent...! 
---Charles Coon



Bob Feller and Henry David Thoreau

"Robert Louis "Bob" Feller , 78, of Durango, Colorado , died 6/4/2016 Durango, Colorado . Born 5/19/1938.  Bob spent his life on the farm in the Animas Valley. He served one tour in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam era. Bob is recognized by riding his bicycle from the farm to town almost daily - he and his bike will be missed. His passing represents the end of an era. 
A service will be held at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, June 9, 2016 at Greenmount Cemetery,
Durango, CO."
Published in The Durango Herald on June 7, 2016

from Anne Zink Putnam on the passing of Bob Feller
Yesterday I attended Bob Feller’s service at Greenmont and wanted to share a bit.  The old ‘valley kids’ are fewer and fewer, but always feel glad to be together at these events.  Life in the valley is good, but so different than it was.  Dave Feller, Virginia Feller Shaaf, Sue Feller,  Noel Frizell, Ed Zink and Anne Zink Putnam, Ed Mead, Cookie Puffer Seale were there.  (Hope to remember all who fit the generalization)
Bob’s brother Dave spoke on behalf of the family and told us what had happened.  After Bob’s daily bike ride to town he was returning home and stopped to rest beside the road.  A woman driver stopped and determined that he needed medical attention.  She called 911.  Bob spent one night in the hospital and died a day or two later at home.  Several folks talked about Bob in wonderful terms.  He was known for not talking but all agreed that it didn’t mean he lacked opinions!  He had a very dry sense of humor.  A niece said that she found a book by his reading chair with a couple of bookmarks.  The one I remember was Henry David Thoreau:

“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”  

 The gathering was rather cheerful.
Ed Mead (class of 1955) thought Bob stayed in school until the 10th grade.  Ed said The Buckleys came to the Fellers’ home and tried to convince Bob to return to school.  Truly he was very gifted as were his older brother Dave and sister Dorothy who both were outstanding students.  I personally think Bob only went through the 8th grade, but I have also learned not to trust my memory.
Anne

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. ” 
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods



The Purple Pumpkin

Waiting for the white paper
which underlies this writing
to loose a flow of words
finding Peace
in the facing-off:
a pumpkin and a purple cushion..
Henry David Thoreau chose
to sit on a solitary pumpkin
not a crowded purple cushion..
Many we know might charge him
with most slothful neglect..
Our venerable teachers 
have exhorted us to
lift up the purple
with their assumption:
what is real is purple..
Yet we..startled by experience
find that very often
purple is pain..
We long to sit on that pumpkin
long since overgrown
with dead purple vines..
At last in our longing
the pumpkin may speak
of what lies in hiding
.. 'til just now..
with Peace emerging
the Pumpkin is Purple...
---Charles Coon








Ken Spalding's Reflections on Time

REFLECTIONS ON TIME

Time flies when you’re having fun. Sixty three years ago, a critically important period of our personal development began for all of us gathered here in Durango. Our “high school” years had arrived, and, frankly, most of us were not quite sure what to expect, what we were going to deal with, or what challenges we would face in the coming three years.

We now have the luxury of 20/20 hindsight and a view of our lives using a 60 year old rear-view mirror containing the prisms of experience, life encounters, adversity, and love. With these insights, we can try to better understand the importance of our experiences during those formative years.

We all dealt with the challenges of the academic processes involved with the high school experience. What we perhaps didn’t understand well enough were the non-academic teachings available to us during those critical years. The existential concepts shared by Dirk Dersinski went way beyond the basics of music. Harvey Hollar’s home spun outlook on life was much richer than the basics of agriculture. Leon Burrows looked on life as much more than coaching the basics of a “T” formation. Werner Schneider taught much more than how to square up a block of wood. Upon reflection, all of us were enriched in the classrooms by our wonderful teachers much more than the mere syllabus of the class would have indicated. Sadly, many of us weren’t prepared to accept the guidance and counsel offered, distracted as we were by raging hormones or a penchant for peer recognition.

More importantly, the “high school” years provided probably the most important basic lessons about how to deal with the life on life’s terms.

We all dealt with physical and psychological challenges, normal with
the growing up process. But we also faced life lessons about truths and untruths, honesty and dishonesty, integrity, resourcefulness, and the importance of self-respect and respect of and by others.

In short, we began to become independent souls facing the challenges of the world on our own with newly gained academic and cultural tools. The degree to which we took the teachings to heart framed to a large degree the paths our lives took after graduation. The diversity and successes of the members of the Class of 1956 attest to the moral values, academic accomplishments, and social and cultural skills we attained during those critical “high school” years. Equally as important, we also shared in the daily joys and ups and downs of life as we walked the halls of DHS.

On this occasion of celebrating sixty years of living life on life’s terms in wonderful and diverse ways, and sharing those experiences with very close friends, let’s pause and give thanks and praise to those who’ve gone before us, classmates and teachers alike, and the teaching moments they all gave us. Celebrate each member of this very, very special group of people gathered on this unique occasion.

God bless each and every one of the celebrants.

and from Sylvia Gilchrist Smith's rebuttal..!
as recored for our 30th Reunion:

Q:  Do you feel that DHS prepared you for "Life" after high school..?
A:  No.!
Q:  What would you have changed..?
Every teacher I had.  I often wonder what difference some counselors with career 
information would have made..



Ron and Shirley Evensen

Memories of Durango High School

Ronald (Ron) Evensen

One day walking on my way on 3rd Avenue to Smiley Junior High School, I saw the most beautiful and amazing young woman, coming out of one of the homes, and walking ahead of me towards school. I didn’t know who she was and imagined she was headed to the high school because she seemed to be more sure and wise than I felt I was. I fell in love with her immediately. I was amazed when she walked past the high school and went into Smiley. I then officially met her in chorus. But she was more interested in other young men. So I ended up dating several other very nice young women. Some time later, my brother, Val, saw her and asked if she would please date me because I was miserable when she didn’t respond to my asking her out. Finally she responded positively and we had a fun date to see Elvis Presley in “Love Me Tender…” at the Kiva Theater. However, she still continued to date others, I am sure, fine young men. But I never gave up and we just celebrated our 59th wedding anniversary. She is an amazing, wonderful, beautiful woman – Shirley Teague. We have been blessed with three children, seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. My family is number one in my life.

Durango High School brings back a number of other wonderful memories - playing a short time on the football team. I loved that time and I actually passed one time for a touchdown with the varsity. My name was even in the Durango Herald. After Shirley and I were married a couple of years, I mentioned to her that I wished I had cut it out. She said, “I think I did.” She looked in her memory book and there it was. I was excited and looked at it. She had underlined the name of the young man who received the pass, Jack Real. I guess I wasn’t number one in her life then. I did love sports and played with Old Timers baseball and ran on the track team. Another special memory – receiving my Eagle Scout award along with Charlie Coon.

Music has always been a big part of my life and high school provided many opportunities – The Four by Eights with my brother, Val, Jerry McKenzie, Bill Dosher, Sue Malernee, Fred Harris, Sharon Wallis, Gwen Goforth, Anona Gumerson, Leroy Rowe, Terry Dorsett, Dan Briggs, Mrs. Hawley, accompanist; Boys Quartette with Leroy Rowe, Jerry McKenzie and Val Evensen; Four Quarters with Shirley Teague, Ken Spalding, and Eileen Haffey accompanied by Mr. Dersinski, Boys Glee Club, Madrigal Singers, topping it all off with being one of many singing the Messiah, directed by Mr. Dersinski.

Other special memories are playing a lawyer in “January Thaw”, serving as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Senior Class with Ken Spalding, Leo Lloyd, Don Brown, and sponsors Mr. Putnam and Mr. Hollar.


Where would I be without 163 classmates who graduated with me, other life long friends, the teachers who taught and inspired me to graduate, go to the university and make something of my life. I am a CPA, was a partner in a national CPA firm, and for the past 30 years have taught Continuing Professional Education for CPAs throughout the United States. I have thoroughly enjoyed my professional life. Among the teachers I remember best are: Warren Buckley, Leon Burrows, Frank Campbell, Elvin Cobb, Thomas Dersinski, Dwight Dilley, Vernon Fuller, Shirley Hawley, Pauline Wilbanks, and the one who kept it all together, Principal Lyle Howard. THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES!!!
---Ron and Shirley Evensen


Gary Hutchinson's Memories of Long-lost Friends

As I have worked and traveled over much of the world and watched closely the nurturing, education, and maturing of my three sons, I have often reflected on the fortunate situation we all had growing up in an isolated community where we were responsible to each other for the building of a social founation of enduring and true friendships that we could take out into the world and test against all of the associations and friendships we later encountered through our long and complicated lives.  

In retrospection, as our 60th reunion draws near, I can say that the relationships I developed at Central Grade school, Smiley Junior High and Durango High School, remain the purest of all relationships developed since 1956 except for the relationships developed out of unconditional love of children and grandchildren.  Certainly the relationships I have with my progeny are in part, the experiences I had with my family and childhood friends during my carefree days in Durango Colorado.  

My memories of the unique and pure character of Lucy Elliot, Leo Lloyd, Matt Martinez, Reece Miller, Carol Becker, Jack Sadler, Sue Ayres, Annie Zink, Dorothy Eggers, Judy Hall, Larry Cummins,  Bobby Hatfield, and Johnny Garcia, to name a few, have been  carried with me through life as a measuring stick against others I’ve met who did not have the good fortune to develop in an environment where family, friends and parents of friends have influenced my confidence and social advancement in exposure to the rest of the world.  

Here are a few of the most memorable characters and how the childhood memories added to my life after Durango High School.   They have left us alone to dwell on their individual personalities and what they ultimately meant to us, begging the question of, “How would they be different if they were with us today at our 60th reunion?”  Not much I would guess.

SYLVIA GILCHRIST met me at my first recess at Central the first day I arrived for school in the fifth grade.  In her unflappable and vivacious manner, she let me know that if I played my cards according to her game, that we could be friends.  I must have played by cards right because we retained the kind of friendship that transcends time and circumstances.  Her warm and vivacious demeanor, which she shared with all, overshadowed her high natural intelligence.  There were few people and fewer problems that she didn’t conquer with her responsible thought processes and introspection.   I can’t remember her speaking an unkind word to anyone and her propensity to feel life and grasp it everyday no matter her private disappointments, or self imposed responsibilities at the time, lives on with me.  

With every presidential election year, I think about the mock election we held in Jr. High inTommy Neal’s class where Sylvia and Carol Becker were the co-campaign managers for Eisenhower.  They took on the job with such zeal, finesse and popularity that Ken Crabtree didn’t stand a chance.  15 election seasons later, I remember and enjoy the vitality of Sylvia.  I can’t think of anything she didn’t do well.  

Sylvia’s vitality for life, her compassion, and her complete dedication to those she loved is unequalled in my experience. 

DALE ANDREW first took me up Junction Creek behind his river rock house.  I was in heaven, as we quietly crept up the tail to the fishing/swimming hole almost completely hidden from view.  I had spent the previous summer living on Wolf Creek Pass where I spend a great deal of time in the woods comfortable being alone.  Dale was also an explorer.  We would go to church camps up on the Pine and pitch a tent as far away from the other campers as possible and explore the woods showing up only for meals.  He was one of those people that you could be with for hours in the woods, rarely speaking words but always knowing what the other guy was seeing and thinking.  

When we could get a parent to take us up to the top of Coal Bank Hill for a cross county ski through the woods to the lodge down the pass, I would want to race down the beaten path but not Dale, he wanted to break new trails and find ways to get to the lodge without getting rimrocked or tangled in the willows crossing snow covered creeks.  He loved being in the woods and snow.  When he got a car, one of the first in our class, he would call me up at 5 am when there was new snow at Stoner Ski area.  He wouldn’t take no for an answer.  We were crazy to drive to Cortez and up to Stoner in blizzard like conditions but we did it without a second thought.  Dale was compelled to get out in the snow; the deeper the better.  Dale was an excellent back country skier for our time and, as a ski racer, i tried to interest him but to no avail.  Skiing, hiking, and camping to Dale were just means to the end of being out in the arms of mother nature.  

I’m certain that his heart was pounding in quiet anticipation of skiing 54” of powder at the Durango Ski Basin where skied into the trees making first tracks and never came out.  I miss Dale and have used his quiet intense determination as a guideline to get out into the woods just to be there.  I have three sons; two in Jackson Hole Wyoming who are world class back country skiers.  They too just love being there and anything else to do with being out of doors.  As they were growing up, we spent many many nights on back pack trips sitting by a fire while the night envelops us.  I told them often about the similar nights that Dale and i spent doing the same thing.  He taught me that the only way to enjoy the woods was to the into them.  I miss his drive and quiet determination.  I know I have quietly passed it on to my boys. 

I owe my sense of comfort and serenity of being in the woods today, in large part to Dale.  Getting there is but a small part of being there.   

NORM PUTNAM was not a close friend as much as he was one whose personality I admired while in high school.  Norm seemed much more mature than the rest of us.  Perhaps it was his demeanor as a calm gentle giant that attracted my admiration and created the special bond that I felt between us.  In retrospect, I think Norm made everyone feel that they were worthwhile in his eyes.  “Arrogance" and “superiority” are two works that would have zero weight in describing Norm.  However, one look of disapproval from those deep set eyes could bring a sense of  gravity to any childhood prank or even the thought of a prank. “Steadfastness” and “knowingly understanding” more accurately describe my memories of Norm as a student.  I can only imagine how his demeanor positively influenced his students and children.  

Though my career in the unforgiving and sometimes violent industries, I have been fortunate to have the support and allegiance of gentle giants,  similar in spirit to Norm Putnam.  My aggressive and outspoken management style would not have been as successful without the Norm’s I had in my corner.  I hope his family members, students, and associates understand the honor of having Norm Putnam in their lives.  

Other Durango people who imparted a lasting affect on my life and career include:

LYLE HOWARD, our Principal, knew me to be a devil-may-care, flippant, cocky, fun-loving high school senior enjoying the moment and whose attention was rarely directed towards study or grades.  He also knew that my respect for his authority was boundless.  One day a few weeks before graduation, and after I had accepted a scholarship to Mines, I was summoned by note to his office.  Upon arrival, he excused his staff and CLOSED THE DOOR!  My brain scrambled to figure out what I had done this time as he stood across that long, red, chest high bench in the Office, pointed his finger at me and said, “Gary, if you don’t change your attitude, grow up, and stop wasting your time, the profs at Mines will flunk you out of there in 90 days.”  Not waiting for a response, he turned away and went to his big desk summarily dismissing me.  For once, I kept my mouth shut and left in shock and awe.  

That was more than 60 years ago but in my memory, it could have been yesterday.  Eye contact with his finger pointed at you is a memory never forgotten. A few weeks later and within a couple of days of graduation, I was sent to live and work in Silverton surveying for the alignment for a new highway to be built up Molas Pass.  When I complained about my last time to be with my friends, I was given the choice of quoting to be with my friends or getting an education.  I always suspected a conspiracy existed but maybe not.  

I was given 3 days to pack and get to Golden for the start of college.  The first day of class and everyday there after, Lyle Howard’s words rang in my ears.  I have never worked so long and so hard as I did that first semester at Mines proving to myself that Mr. Howard’s advice was given out of his love for his job and his students.  Thank God for Lyle Howard.  

Over the years, I have learned that I was not alone in receiving a heart felt shove from him.  I have learned that he not only motivated slackers like me but actually encouraged others to understand how to get to college, what to study, and how to graduate.  College counseling was not his job, it was his silent passion; and yes, his love of his job and students.  

LEON BURROWS, our coach, took pity on me as a sophomore trying out for the football team.  When he couldn’t find a set of pads small enough for me, convinced me to participate in the team as a manager.  Somehow he recognized my desire to “manage” things well before I did.  He patiently taught me the job and grew to depend on me; constantly assigning me more jobs.  I grew to understand logistics and strategy of a complete team and the thought process necessary in being a good coach.  

As a junior, I was a little bigger and tried again with all the enthusiasm I could muster.  Coach Burrows knew he had a good team that year and again gently guided me towards a manager job.  He was right.  The Durango Demons were state Co-Champions.  As a senior, I was finally big enough to kick and return punts without getting killed.  I was determined to play quarterback and coach included me in the quarterback meetings before games.  By that time I knew every play and the strategy behind every formation.  He put me in for a few plays on the varsity and gave me free reign to run the Jr. varsity offense.  I think the JV team won every game.  I was finally satisfied.  

Coach Burrows sent me off into the world of college and beyond with a sense of the importance of intensity of self application, importance of detail in all endeavors, that little is accomplished without teamwork, rewards of teamwork in reaping life’s rewards,  and that there is no “I” in “team”.  I have been fortunate to build several organizations during by career with the help of what Leon Burrows taught me through high school athletics.  

Memories of how I was treated by “Coach Burrows”, caused me to expose my sons to team athletics in high school.  They have all benefited.  

“EFFIE” SMITH ? taught us Algebra in Jr. High.  Maybe in the 9th grade.  That short, crippled, little person scared me to death.  I was fearful of making a stupid mistake that she could spot as she walked up and down the aisles.   I covered up my work as much as I could.  An admonition from Effie, would make me want to crawl under my desk in embarrassment.  

My extraordinary Dad, who was a self educated Professional Engineer when he died, taught me to love math and its abstract concepts beginning at an early age.  Thanks to him and not to any of the mediocre, at best,  high school math teachers, I excelled at engineering math at Mines where Math and science are more religions with the profs than academic teachings.  With my engineering and economics backgrounds from Mines,  some associates say that I think in Mathematics.  Maybe I do, but because of little, crippled Effie Smith and the fear of making a stupid math mistake she built into me so long ago, I always step back and take a look at the common sense of my mathematical conclusions before anybody sees them.  As is the case with all of us, I have made some gargantuan mistakes in judgement of people but few, I hope, where mathematics is involved. 

I remember John Hitti as an intense athlete; dedicated to making a team successful.  But my most poignant memory of John is his unconditional respect and admiration of his mother.  I think they were extraordinarily close.  
See you in a few weeks and look forward to your program.   
---Gary Hutchinson


Crystal Hafling Carroll's Remarkable Journey
as recorded for our 30th Reunion

"The serene and peaceful person of 50 is the one who follows her heart, lives in the NOW, is honest with herself, refuses to worry, knows that forgiving brings freedom, Loves, Laughs, Listens, respects who she is, takes time for stillness, is searching for truths &simplicity, celebrates LIFE, and has the goal of inner peace."


Ken Crabtree's Remembrance

I didn't really know Jack Baudino until the closing month or so of  our senior year.  After school one day, Jack came from his locker to mine to ask if we wanted to room together in the CU dormitory.  I was amazed.  Not only did I not really know him, I couldn't figure out why he would want me for his college roommate.  I thought he was my best bet, so I said yes.  

It was one of the best decisions I ever made.  In four years, he became one of the most memorable friends I have ever had.  He got me to join the CU Men’s Marching Band and we had many good times together.  
After college, we lost touch and I did not hear from him until I read in one of the Class of ’56 newsletters that he had passed away.  I regret that we didn’t keep in contact, but I appreciate very much his friendship and helpfulness during the time we were at CU.


A Dave Welch Update

Hi Charlie it's been a while since graduation from DHS as I recall you left for West Point and I went to Graceland College in Lamoni Iowa After graduation I went to work for a Kansas City company that designed And built meat processing plants in the United States Mexico and Central America Did a short stint with the US Army When the Laplata draft board requested my presence To assist President Kennedy with his Cuban crisis .I graduated from Fort Sill OCS class 2/63 didn't much care for the Army life.My active duty. Ended the same week President Kennedy was assassinated. I returned to Kansas City Missouri to resume work with a meat processing plant contractor Got married have six children 23 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren Time flies when you're having fun Good to hear from you hope you have a great class reunion kind regards Dave Welsh

Dorothy Eggars Glascock remembers McPhee...and Larry Gibble

Hi Charles Ray,  Thanks for the updates on the reunion.  I"m looking forward to seeing everyone.  In the Remembrance I would like to mention Larry Gibble. He seemed to enjoy life and had a great sense of humor.I remember his wonderful smile and blue eyes that could light up my world.  What do you remember of our time in McPhee?  I have a vivid memory of the trouble we got into for going into your folks garden and eating the tips off all of the asparagus plants.  Best asparagus I ever had, but my mom was really angry and yours wasn't too happy either.  See you soon.  Dorothy Kay


Dallas and Darrell and Mr. Howard

Darrell Fosberg and I were good friends from about 6th grade on, and we would stay over at each others house. Always a good time, Darrell's 
 Mom was a very good cook, I always looked forward to what she would put on their table. One Halloween, we went around the neighborhood dumping over 
 garbage cans. Was fun until the next day when Mr. Howard came and took us out of class, and we rode the garbage trucks thru the alleys cleaning them up. 
 Do you know how bad garbage smells?

Betty Jo Bashor remembers Lyle Howard

A memory of Lyle Howard.

In the fall of 1956 I was in nursing school in Denver.  Mr. Howard was in Denver with his wife and daughter for the state Rainbow Girls conference.  I don't remember how he contacted me but I went to dinner with he and his wife.  What I do remember though is he must have been walking me back to the hospital and we were talking.  Finally we just sat on the street curb and talked.  No problems to solve, just talked.
Betty Jo

Barry Owen remembers:  Bob Chapman, Bud Barry, Dick Fiorini, Dick and Dee Harris, 
and Del Sutton

Bob Chapman was one of my closest friends in HS.  We both liked tinkering with our old cars--Bob had a '46 Ford coupe and I had a '47 Merc.
Bud Barry was probably the strongest man I ever knew.  He assisted in the move when Shell Oil moved its office from Durango to Farmington--He would handle large objects with ease!
Dick Fiorini left his motorcycle with me in the summer of '57.  As I remember he had joined the military and would be gone for training--this was my first and last experience riding a motorcycle.  I rode it to work (Culhones Honey Farm) approximately 15 miles.  Each day I gained confidence and went faster, until I almost lost control on a gravel road, and that is that was the last time I rode a cycle.
Dick and Dee Harris I remember these guys as the only ones who were even more shy than I was at the time!
Del Sutton was a good leader during my 6 years in the National guard.  I was proud of him when he went to OCS and became an officer!

And speaking of Bud Barry...

He was strong..and brave..! 
He brought a piece of furniture to Colorado Springs for me
after my mother passed away in 2000..
Bud and his loving and dedicated wife, Angie
were our guests for dinner one evening..
During the dinner, Bud and Angie related this amazing story..!
It seems that on one summer night they left their bedroom window open
inviting the intrusion of Mr. Bear..right there in their bedroom..
Bud leaped from their bed in his underwear
and grabbed a trusty .22 rifle and with repeated firing finally felled the bear..
Angie was quick with praise of Bud as her Hero..
And national newspapers screamed their headlines:
"Man kills a Bear in his Underwear...!
---Charles Coon

Nancy Poer Ryan was there!

Hi Anne, Class Reunion -- I will be thinking of all of 
my classmates more so than usual, classmates are even on one's mind! I 
wish everyone a spectacular time getting reacquainted. I know it is lots of 
work to pull off and thanks to all who made this reunion possible. Wishing 

I was there! Warmest regards to all, Nancy


Adrian Wade remembers Robert Grosley, and a lost ring..


After high school, I spent the next 4 years in the army.  I was stationed on Okinawa from 1957 to December 1959. Walking out of a movie theatre in Naha Bob Grosley was going in.  I did not know he was on Okinawa.  As I remember he was in the Air force.  That may have been the last conversation I had with him.

In 1955 or 56 our class mate, Veral Shores’ parents were having a
picnic at their home near Marvel, South of the old Fort Lewis College.
Louella Snyder wore my class ring around her neck. When we were ready to leave the picnic, she noticed the ring and chain were gone. The group looked in the yard, but to no avail. The next day we went back to the Shores to look for the ring again. The ring and chain were just lost.
17 years later, I got a call from Barbara Ward Owen that her next door neighbor had a relative visiting from California that had a metal detector and was combing the grass in front of the First Baptist Church and had found a class ring with initials AW and 1956 on it and knew that Barbara Owen had graduated that same year. The nice folks returned my ring and I took them out to dinner.
Yes! We had met in front of the First Baptist Church to car pool to the Shores picnic and that is where Louella had lost the ring.

I still have the ring, but it only fits on my left little finger now.

Don Brown's long Memory...!

I have great memories of our time at DHS, some are good and some not so good. I am forever grateful for the many friends. I sincerely thank our classmates and appreciate each and every one.
I remember:
As freshmen, Jerry Knitsel, Benny Gallegos, and I ditched class and drove Jerry’s Nash up and down third avenue. We went back to school late and ended up with spats from Hoyt Miller.
Reese Miller’s daily blat.
Mr. Toltec, Bob Hatfield and Ferdie Romero. Miss Toltec, Eileen Haffey, Helen Cummins and Ciona Davis.
All the royalty: Eileen Haffey, Nancy Poer, Rosalie Slade, Elaine Lucas, Sue Ayers, and Anne Zink.
Leo Loyd, Eileen Haffey, Helen Cummins, Sue Ayers, Frank Anesi and Nancy Poer out of the DHS Class of 56 at St. Columba School.
Larry Dennison and our group going to the Eureka Grange Hall dances. Larry playing the guitar all the way out there.
Frank Anesi, Mark Downtown, John Ashback John Hitti, Matt Martinez, Norm Putnam, Gerald Franchini on the State Champs of 1954 football team. Speaking of that State Champ team, I have great memories of Coaches Leon Burrows and Cal Putnam.
When I hurt my knee in the JV game in Dove Creek, as a Freshman, it was Leon Burrows who arranged for my surgery. Leon helped pay for the surgery and 10-day hospital stay. He gave me guidance throughout my recovery. He was a compassionate and caring man. Leon and Cal helped me re-focus and move from running back to guard on the football team.
Cal Putnam has been my personal friend and mentor over the years. He was responsible for helping me get the school bus driver job as a senior so I could afford the cap and gown. Cal was still at the high school when I returned to Durango to teach and he recruited me to drive school bus and activity bus trips. I have countless memories of our discussions of life philosophy. He was a great friend and was a great man.
Other teachers I have fond memories of are Werner Schneider. There was no messing around in his shop class. I still use some of the methods learned in shop in my woodworking.
Harvey Hollar planted the seed for my love of History and my major in U.S. History at Adams State. I enjoyed renewing our friendship when I served on Durango City Council and Harvey was a LaPlata County Commissioner.
My memory is very vivid of the compassion and kindness shown me when my Mother passed away our senior year. The entire class showed so much empathy and respect with love. Especially the parents of Frank Anesi and Mark Downtown, lifelong friends. Edie Anesi and Flora Downtown were always offering me Polenta, spaghetti and other Italian delights. Excellent food, friends and I still appreciate their support.

The Class of 56 truly is the best! We were a close knit class, who never let each other down. We may have been separated by time and space but always
---Don Brown

Don Aspromonte's Greeting and his MUSIC...


Charles,

Sorry to miss the reunion but after 40 years of constant International travel I really only travel from Dallas to Austin monthly to see my sister. She has had M.S. for 27 years and is now entirely paralyzed but is a strong Christian and surprisingly cheerful most of the time.  My wife, Sandi, retired from being a Nurse Anesthetist for many years and is adjusting to slowing down a bit. 
I am keeping busy doing branding for law firms in Canada (thank you very much, Skype!) and performing with my trio (Happy Hour Ukuleles). Our name says it all, we are only available to perform during typical Happy Hour festivities and our current gig is the Four Bullets Brewery Tap Room...a real kick! Then to bed earlier than seems reasonable...but there it is.

We pray all is well with everyone at the reunion and those who cannot attend.

Love,
Don & Sandra Aspromonte
6007 Marlow Ave
Dallas, TX 75252
214.734.0278
SKYPE: donaspromonte

Attached Picture is from 1980 at Copper Mountain where we took the kids skiing every weekend when it was still affordable.

also from Don Aspromonte:

Children of “The Greatest Generation" A Short Memoir 

 Born in the 1930s and early 40s, we exist as a very special age cohort. 
We are the Silent Generation. We are the smallest number of children born since the early 1900s. We are the "last ones." 
 We are the last generation, climbing out of the depression, who can remember the winds of war and the impact of a world at war which rattled the structure of our daily lives for years. 
We are the last to remember ration books for everything from gas to sugar to shoes to stoves. 
 We saved tin foil and poured fat into tin cans. 
 We hand mixed ’white stuff’ with ‘yellow stuff’ to make fake butter. 
 We saw cars up on blocks because tires weren't available. 
 We can remember milk being delivered to our house early in the morning and placed in the “milk box” on the porch.      
 We are the last to hear Roosevelt's radio assurances and to see gold stars in the front windows of our grieving neighbors. 
 We can also remember the parades on August 15, 1945; VJ Day. 
 We saw the 'boys' home from the war build their Cape Cod style houses, pouring the cellar, tar papering it over and living there until they could afford the time and money to build it out.         
 We are the last generation who spent childhood without television; 
instead we imagined what we heard on the radio.  As we all like to brag, with no TV, we spent our childhood "playing outside until the street lights came on." 
 We did play outside and we did play on our own. 
 There was no little league. 
 There was no city playground for kids. 
 To play in the water, we turned the fire hydrants on and ran through the spray or jumped in a creek or river. 
 The lack of television in our early years meant, for most of us, that we had little real understanding of what the world was like.  Our Saturday afternoons, if at the movies, gave us newsreels of the war and the holocaust sandwiched in between westerns and cartoons. 
 Telephones were one to a house, often shared and hung on the wall. 
 Computers were called calculators and were hand cranked; typewriters were driven by pounding fingers, throwing the carriage, and changing the ribbon. 
 The ‘internet’ and ‘GOOGLE’ were words that didn’t exist. 
 Newspapers and magazines were written mostly for adults. 
 We are the last group who had to find out for ourselves. 
 As we grew up, the country was exploding with growth. 
 The G.I. Bill gave returning veterans the means to get an education and spurred colleges to grow. 
 VA loans fanned a housing boom. 
 Pent up demand coupled with new installment payment plans put factories to work. 
 New highways would bring jobs and mobility. 
 The veterans joined civic clubs and became active in politics. 
 In the late 40s and early 50's the country seemed to lie in the embrace of brisk but quiet order as it gave birth to its new middle class (which became known as ‘Baby Boomers’). 
 The radio network expanded from 3 stations to thousands of stations 
 The telephone started to become a common method of communications and "Faxes" sent hard copy around the world. 
 Our parents were suddenly free from the confines of the depression and the war and they threw themselves into exploring opportunities they had never imagined. 
 We weren’t neglected by our parents but we weren’t today’s all-consuming family focus. They were glad we played by ourselves ‘ until the street lights came on’ or supper was called.  They were busy discovering the post war world. 
 Most of us had no life plan, but with the unexpected virtue of ignorance and an economic rising tide we simply stepped into the world and started to find out what the world was about. 
 We entered a world of overflowing plenty and opportunity; a world where we were welcomed.  Based on our na├»ve belief that there was more where this came from, we shaped life as we went. 
 We enjoyed a luxury; we felt secure in our future. 
 Of course, just as today, not all Americans shared in this experience just because that is real life. 
 Depression poverty was deep rooted. 
 Polio was still a crippler. 
 The Korean War was a dark presage in the early 50s and by mid-decade school children were ducking under desks. 
 Russia built the “Iron Curtin” and China became Red China. 
 Eisenhower sent the first 'advisors' to Vietnam ; and years later, Johnson invented a war there. 
 Castro set up camp in Cuba and Khrushchev came to power. 
 We are the last generation to experience an interlude when there were no existential threats to our homeland. 
 We came of age in the 40s and early 50s. 
 The war was over and the cold war, terrorism, Martin Luther King, civil rights, technological upheaval, “global warming”, and perpetual economic insecurity had yet to haunt life with insistent unease. 
 Only our generation can remember both a time of apocalyptic war and a time when our world was secure and full of bright promise and plenty. We have lived through both. 
We grew up at the best possible time, a time when the world was getting better; not worse. 
 We are the Silent Generation;  'the last ones.' 

 The last of us was born in 1942, more than 99.9% of us are either retired or dead; and all of us believe we grew up in the best of times!
---Anonymous 




Tribute to Those Departed

Ed Alexander   Dale Andrew   Bud Berry   Jack Baudino   Dan Briggs
James Candelaria   Bob Chapman   Helen Cummins Miller
Robert Dalia   Angela Dallabetta Candaleria   Lora Delay Boughan
Larry Dennison   Donna Drinnen  Catherine Dufer Price   Dick Fiorini
Darrell Fosberg   Ben Gallegos   Johnny Garcia   Nita Geymont
Larry Gibble   Sylvia Gilchrist   Delbert Golightly   Bob Grosley
Joanne Grosly   Dick Harris   Dee Harris   John Hitti
Hattie Huey Peironnet   Dwayne Jennings   Wallace Lee   
Cecile Leyshon   Aurelia Martinez   Harlene Park Murray
Norm Putnam   Fern Queen   LeVon Royce   Jack Sadler
Vangie Sanchez   Rona Steenbergen   Del Sutton
Donald Tinker   Donna Trembly McConnell   Louise Tsosie
Susan Wetter Lewis   Yvonne Yeager Howe

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