Donnie's Updates

February 2018

UPDATE  FEBRUARY 2018

 

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OUR CLASSMATE ROD GILLILAND recently passed away in Kansas, where he resided for many yearsOur classmate Denese Clark Bigelow had been a longtime friend of Rod, and four months ago (October 2017) was the last time she visited Rod at his home in Kansas. A very friendly and nice guy, he was with many of us from grade school through high school in Security. When we were youngsters at Sproul Junior High, Rod was the second boyfriend of our classmate Della Romero. She was the first girlfriend I ever had. She and I were in 4th or 5th grade at North Security Elementary School when we went steady. I bought her a ring at Simms Grocery Store, where her father worked, and Della proudly wore the ring on a chain around her neck. Throughout the time she and Rod were together in junior high and part of high school, Della and I remained good friends and had many good laughs.

 

Rod was one of many of our classmates who were featured in the “slam book” that was popular when we were in junior high and high school in Security. A journal of classmates' opinions of one another, the slam book contained a sign-in page on which participants entered their names next to a specific number. Participants then used those assigned numbers to correspond to their remarks about classmates and topics listed throughout the slam book. Listed below are some of the comments about Rod in the slam book that our classmate Patti Kueck Daniel had from 8th grade when we were in junior high in Security.

 

"Real cute and sweet.”

“A doll, lots of fun."

"Nut, but very cool."

"Good dancer."

"Nice guy."

"Wow, adore him. He's all Della's."

 

Attached in JPEG format is a modern-day photo of Rod. In case you forgot what Rod looked like when he was with us for many years at school in Security, his photo is among the online senior photos that were emailed in PDF format to all of our classmates in July 2017.

 

Rods father (who died in 2015) was only nine years old in the early 1930s when he and his parents and siblings moved from a small town in Kansas to the small town of Fountain, Colorado, where he learned the practice of “bartering” by using a horse-drawn wagon to haul fruits and vegetables from the Gilliland ranch to the dirt main street in FountainIt was there that he met Fountains grocery store owner, whose daughter Margaret later married Rod’s father in the early 1940s after they graduated from Fountain High SchoolBefore they started having childrenRod’s father joined the Marines to serve in World War II at which time he flew fighter planes (two of which were shot down with him inside).

 

Listed below is the obituary about Rodwhose funeral will be at 1:00 p.m. on February 13, 2018 at Mount Moriah Funeral Home in Kansas City followed by burial at the cemetery there.

 

In loving memory of Roderick Lee Gilliland who mercifully passed on February 8,2018. Rod we send you off to heaven with our love and caring and fond memories as full as the ocean. You were a precious soul so full of life and joy. Your life touched so many people and we will remember your wit, charm, and deep faith in your redeemer. Your life was cut short by illness, and your last years were tempered with failing health. But you are in your loving saviors arms now free of pain. 

 

Rod was born on August 27, 1948 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He is survived by his loving mother Margaret, older brother Robert and younger brothers, Douglas and John.

 

Rod was a magical soul. He had a mischievous nature and often shared a lighthearted smile coupled with an ornery twinkle in his eye. His imagination was unlimited and expressed itself through his passion for creating art. He loved music, lots of rock, and soul. His gentle personality was committed to making amazing works with stained glass. He created poetry with his writing. He had so many friends and touched uncounted lives with his magnetic personality. 

 

Professionally, Rod was a successful real estate marketing professional. He had a talent for selling new homes and worked for years with his father and older brother to sell homes in many of the best communities in KC and Johnson County. 

 

One of his many passions was prison ministriesFor years he gave love and hope to those that were the least of our society. He spread God's love and message to those that needed it most. 

 

Rod, we will always remember your smiling beautiful face. Your spirit will carry on,and your soul is finally at rest with Jesus, your special grandmother Amy, your father Hudson, and your only son Jonathan. As a family, we will be reunited, I know, in your new home in heaven that will be as unique as your spirit. We love you Roderick.”

 

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ALMOST ALL of our CLASSMATES WILL BE 70 years old this year. A few of our classmates (Gary Storm, Roy Manuszak, Andy Stumpf, Lydia Romero Fine, Daryl Kuiper) already turned 70 in late 2017, and the rest of us will reach that old age this yearA few classmates (Starr Coakley Miller, Peggy Flynn Meredith, Glenda Windle Armstrong, Denese Clark Bigelow, Debbie Armknecht Allen, Andi Armstrong Crowner, and Bobbi Stephens Eberhardt) turned 70 last month. Bruce McAlexander will turn 70 this month. Shirley Guinta Tafoya, Ken Loveless and Barbara Billingsley Massarano will go next in March. Ron Petty and Paul Snell will be next in April. Linda Nolin Weber will turn 70 in July. The seven youngest classmates (Bruce Brian, Rhonda, Maryellen, Gillie, Doug, Warren Knight and yours truly) will have to wait until the last three months of the year.

 

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THE DEATHS of SIBLINGS are the reality that our classmates will be facing more and more as we grow olderMany of us went through the deaths of our respective parents over the past yearsbut now that they have been laid to rest there has been a new chapter with the deaths of siblings. Our longtime classmate Barbara Garrison recently lost her beloved younger sister Christina (WHS Class of 1968)and my oldest brother passed away last monthWith the death of a sibling, surviving siblings periodically look at one another and wonder aloud, Are we next?” It is hard enough to go through the grief process with the loss of parents, but the loss of a sibling brings the death issue closer home.

 

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TO VISIT OUR CLASS WEBSITE that was assembled and is maintained by our Class Committee member and Webmaster, Paul Snell, please go to: www.1966whs.com

 

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THE 2018 OSCAR NOMINATIONS are the focus of my essay, which is enclosed herein at the tail-end of this update immediately after my farewell remark “I don’t care what people call me, just call me.”

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THE ONE DOLLAR STORY is a very touching tale written by our classmate Bruce McAlexander’s father, who passed away in 2016Listed below is what Mr.Alexander wrote.

 

In the end of our crew training and being transferred to Lincoln, Nebraska Air Base to pick up a new B-17 Flying Fortress to fly to the 15th Air Force in Italy, each of us crew members signed a dollar bill to give to our closest of kin. I gave the $1.00 bill to my sweetheart wife, Bonnie Jean, who placed it in her knick-knack box where she kept her keepsakes. After the war we lived in WaldoKansas, and then OberlinKansas. Then in 1957 we moved to Security, Colorado and in 1966 we moved to 801 Hallam AvenueSecurity, Colorado, where I reside now. Bonnie Jean said to me the signed $1.00 bill was gone. In the meantime, we forgot the $1.00 signed bill.

 

Onto May 2, 2014

 

The doorbell rang at my home and my daughter Charia and friend Trish answered the door. A man was at the door and asked if they lived there when they were teenagers and they said yes. He said when he was a dumb and young 16-year-old,he broke into our house and stole this $1.00 billHe said: “I was saved and became a Christian and the Lord told me to return this signed $1.00 bill. This house is as pretty now as it was when I was a kid.” Charla and Trish stated the guy said he was a graduate from Widefield High School in 1974 and he lived in Georgia and was back here for his dad’s funeralCharla and Trish did not get his name, so I was unable to thank him for the wonderful gift he brought back to me and my wonderful family. When Trish and Charla brought the $1.00 bill into the room where I was sitting, the tears came. I remembered well the signers of the $1.00 bill.

 

I wanted to thank the good man for what he did. Trish got the school yearbook and looked to see if we could get a name. No luck. I pulled out the expired newspapers,dated April 20 to May 12 and went and recorded all the men that passed away or were born from 1936 back and all their surviving sons. When I came to Bobby-Gene Spradlin with 5 sons and the memorial service was at the local Catholic Church, I thought possibly I could find the person I am looking for. I again started looking in the school annual for names in the 1974 class. I found the name Robee Spradtn (spelled incorrectly). In the 1973 yearbook I found a Tom Spradlin, so I looked in the phone directory and looked up Bobby's number and a couple other names. The first name I called was wrong. The next number I called, a lady answered and I told her who I was and asked if she was a daughter to Bobby. She said she was his wife.She knew all about the $1.00 bill. I enjoyed the visit with your mother.

 

Thank you, Robee, so much! Robert, you are a special person to do what you did after 42 years. I would love to meet you and your wife, Amy.

 

(Excuse the errors, I'm 88 years old.)

 

Charles J. McAlexander (May 15, 2014)

 

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PLEASE do not TAKE IT PERSONALLY if you do not hear from me right away. As a volunteer in several nonprofit entities, I have only so much time within which to do my volunteer work as well as tend to my health challenges and other aspects of my personal life. Delays in my replies, in particular, are due to my long sleeping hours during which there is total relief from my neurological illness for which there is no cure. It is now eleven (13) years that I have had massive nerve damage. With this neurological illness continuing to take center stage in my life each day, there cannot be very much so-called normal or routine activities on my part as long as a state of normalcy has not been returned to my life. As noted in my update in July 2013, another reason for delays in my replies is that I have been “slowing down” more and more since late 2012 – it takes me forever to get something done. My doctors attribute the slowness to me getting older, not the neurological illness.

 

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This update was prepared by me.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Donnie Martinez

Known at WHS by stepfather’s surname Collier

Martinez is my birth certificate and legal surname

a/k/a Butch, family nickname since childhood

a/k/a Don, presumably the adult version of Donnie

a/k/a Primo (Cousin) to dozens of my Martinez cousins

a/k/a Frank to older women saying I look like their idol Frank Sinatra

a/k/a Dee Dee, a fun name used by people to mean Dear Donnie

 

I don’t care what people call me, just call me.

 

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THIS YEAR’S OSCAR NOMINEES

by Donnie Martínez (February 2018)

 

Just as I have done for many years, my picks for the Oscar Awards are now once again shared with friendsrelatives, activists, neighbors and people with whom I went to school. It is now thirteen years of my ongoing neurological illness for which there is no cure, yet my spirits continue to be lifted whenever my health challenges allow me to get out to a movie theater.

 

BEST ACTRESS NOMINEES are: Sally Hawkins; Frances McDormand; Margo Robbie; Saoirse Ronan; and, Meryl Streep. Ms. Hawkins is very good as a mute janitor who falls in love with and rescues a human-like sea monster while working at a U.S. government secret research facility in 1962, as detailed in the well-done film “Shape of Water.” Ms. McDormand is very good as a grieving mother whose unrelenting anger is directed at the police chief for not solving the brutal murder of the mother’s daughter, as detailed in the well-done film “Three Billboards.” Ms. Robbie is very good in her portrayal of the famous ice skater Tonya Harding whose career was tarnished in a sports-related scandal, as detailed in the true story “I, Tonya.” Ms. Ronan is very good as an outspoken Catholic high-school senior whose relationship with her strong-willed mother is marked by ongoing tension and heartbreak, as conveyed in the film “Lady Bird.” Ms. Streep is very good as the first woman publisher of a major U.S. newspaper and the tough decisions she made in standing up to President Nixon upon publishing secret government papers that exposed myths and realities of the U.S. war in Vietnam, as detailed in the true story “The Post.” Frances McDormand is my choice for the award, but I won’t be disappointed if the award goes to Ms. Hawkins or Ms. Streep.

 

BEST ACTOR NOMINEES areTimothee Chalamet; Daniel Day-LewisDaniel KaluuyaGary Oldman; and, Denzel WashingtonChalamet is very good as a 17-year-old Jew who has a romantic relationship with a 27-year-old man who is also a Jew, as conveyed in the film “Call Me by Your Name. Day-Lewis is very good as a 1950s upper-class man who designs dresses for high-society women and who becomes abusive in his romantic relationship with a working-class womanas conveyed in the well-done film “Phantom Thread.” Kaluuya is very good as an African-American young man who encounters racial stereotypes and a horrifying hypnotic procedure upon meeting the wealthy liberal parents of his young white woman partner, as conveyed in the film “Get Out. Oldman is very good as British Prime Minister Winston Churchill who faced tough decisions about British soldiers trapped by the Nazi military at Dunkirk, France in World War II, as detailed in the well-done film “Darkest Hour.” Washington is good as an idealistic lawyer whose civil-rights principles are contradicted by his acceptance of reward money for locating the killer in a store robbery, as conveyed in the mediocre film “Roman Israel Esq.” Gary Oldman and Daniel Day-Lewis are my choices for the award, but I won’t be disappointed if the award goes to Daniel Kaluuya.

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR NOMINEES are: William DafoeWoody HarrelsonRichard Jenkins; Christopher Plummer; and, Sam Rockwell. Dafoe is very good as a protective father figure who manages a motel in which poverty-stricken single mothers and their children are tenants, as conveyed in the well-done film “Florida Project.” Harrelson is very good as the police chief who is targeted by the rage of a grieving mother for not solving the murder of the mother’s daughteras conveyed in the well-done film “Three Billboards.” Jenkins is very good as a gay visual artist who is the next-door neighbor and accomplice of a mute woman janitor who rescues a human-like sea monster while working at a U.S. government secret research facility in 1962, as detailed in the film “Shape of Water.” Plummer is very good in his portrayal of billionaire J. Paul Getty who refused to bargain with the kidnappers of Getty’s grandson in 1973, as detailed in the true story “All the Money in the World.” Rockwell is very good as an overtly-racist police officer who is targeted by the rage of a grieving mother for not solving the murder of the mother’s daughter, as conveyed in the well-done film “Three Billboards.” Sam Rockwell is my choice for the award, but I won’t be disappointed if the award goes to Woody Harrelson or Christopher Plummer.

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS NOMINEES are: Mary BligeAllison JanneyLesley ManvilleLaurie MetcalfandOctavia SpencerMs. Blige is very good as an African American woman who assists her husband as caretakers of a white family’s farm in World War II, as conveyed in the well-done film “Mudbound.” MsJanney is very good as the abusive mother of the famous ice skater Tonya Harding whose career was tarnished by a sports-related scandal, as conveyed in the true story “I, Tonya.” Ms. Manville is very good as the sister of a 1950s upper-class man who designs dresses for high-society women and who becomes abusive in his romantic relationship with a working-class woman, as detailed in the well-done film “Phantom Thread.” Ms. Metcalf is very good as the strong-willed mother who has an intense and heartbreaking relationship with her outspoken Catholic high-school daughter, as conveyed in the film “Lady Bird.” Ms. Spencer is very good as an African American woman janitor who is the co-worker of a mute woman janitor who falls in love with and rescues a human-like sea monster while working at a U.S. government secret research facility in 1962, as detailed in the film “Shape of Water.” Mary Blige and Octavia Spencer are my choices for the award, but I won’t be disappointed if the award goes to Laurie Metcalf.

 

BEST PICTURE NOMINEES are: “Call Me by Your Name”“Darkest Hour”“Dunkirk”“Get Out”“Lady Bird”“Phantom Thread”; “The Post”“Shape of Water”and“Three Billboards.” Noticeably absent from the list are the films “Zookeeper’s Wife” (true story of a non-Jew who rescued non-Jews in World War II) and “Detroit” (true story of events leading up to the 1967 riots).

 

“Call Me by Your Name” is a mediocre film about a 17-year-old male Jew who falls in love with a 27-year-old male Jew, but the film fails to clarify to the viewer how the Jewish identity is part of the bond in the gay relationship between the two guys.

 

“Darkest Hour” is a well-done film based on the true story of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill who faced tough decisions about thousands of British soldiers who were trapped by the Nazi military at Dunkirk, France, in World War II. With its focus limited to Churchill’s decision-making process in government venues far away from Dunkirk, this film is a nice companion piece to the “Dunkirk” film that spotlights the experiences of British soldiers on the battlefield.

 

“Dunkirk” is a well-done film based on the true story of thousands of British soldiers who were trapped by the Nazi military at Dunkirk, France, in World War II. With its focus limited to the experiences of the British soldiersthis film is a nice companion piece to the “Darkest Hour” film that spotlights Churchill’s decision-making process in government venues far away from Dunkirk.

 

“Get Out” is a well-done film about an African American young man who encounters racial stereotypes and a horrifying hypnotic procedure upon meeting the wealthy liberal parents of his young white woman partner.

 

“Lady Bird” is a well-done film about the tension and heartbreak in the stormy relationship between an outspoken Catholic high-school senior and her strong-willed mother.

 

“Phantom Thread” is a well-done film about a 1950s upper-class man who designs dresses for high-society women and who becomes abusive in his romantic relationship with a working-class womanThe film’s 60-year-old star, Daniel Day-Lewis, has stated this is his last movie.

 

“The Post” is a well-done film based on the true story of the first woman publisher of a major U.S. newspaper and the tough decisions she made in standing up to President Nixon upon publishing secret government papers that exposed myths and realities of the U.S. war in Vietnam.

 

“Shape of Water” is a well-done film that is visually stunning with an outrageously-themed plot set in 1962 at a U.S. government research facility at which a mute woman janitor falls in love with and rescues a human-like sea monster that a Russian spy also seeks to rescue for a scientific study.

 

“Three Billboards” is a well-done film about a grieving mother whose anger is directed at the police chief for not solving the brutal murder of the mother’s daughter.

 

For me to enjoy a movie, it must almost always have two main qualities: (1) it reveals events of a historical era unfamiliar to me; or (2) it is set in a geographic location or situation unfamiliar to me. Because they were set in locations unfamiliar to me and they had many historical details that I did not know until seeing the films, “Darkest Hour,” “Dunkirk” and “The Post” are my choices for best picture.

 

ABC will televise the awards on Sunday, March 46:00 p.m. Colorado time.

 

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October 2017

YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED to a social gathering of the WHS Class of 1966 on Friday, October 27, 11:30 a.m., at Savelli’s Pizza Restaurant located at 301 Manitou Avenue in Manitou SpringsFrom downtown Colorado Springs, head west on Colorado Avenue until it turns into Manitou Avenue OR head west on Highway 24 to get there.

 So that the restaurant can make advance plans to put all attendees together, please RSVP no later than Wednesday, October 25, to Bruce at (719) 685-1420 or via email at LeviMcAlexander1@Gmail.com

 If you wish to view Savelli’s menu, which features several pasta entrees and several types of sandwiches as well as a wide selection of pizzas, click here!

 To our classmate Bruce Brian who said he would not be able to make it until 12:15,please RSVP and plan to attend anywayBy the time all attendees dillydally around getting from their respective cars into the restaurant and take more time to get seated as well as hem haw around about what to order, it probably will be around 12:00 noon. If Bruce Brian arrives at 12:15, that will be only 15 minutes after the show gets started when orders start arriving at the table and he will have plenty of time to order and socialize with attendeesBy the time everyone finishes eating and continues to socialize, it may not be until 1:30 p.m. or 2:00 p.m. before attendees start to hem haw around with farewells and once again dillydally around getting back to their respective cars to head home.

 At this time 50 years ago, some of our classmates were starting their second year of collegeSome of our classmates were in their second year of marriage or making wedding plans. Some of our classmates were on the battle fields due to the U.S. war that raged on and on in Vietnam. Some of our classmates were still trying to figure out what they wanted to do with their respective lives.

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Feb. 2017

THIS YEAR’S OSCAR NOMINEES

by Donnie Martinez (February 2017)

Just as I have done for many years, my picks for the Oscar Awards are now once again shared with friends, relatives, activists, neighbors and people with whom I went to school. It is now twelve years of my ongoing neurological illness for which there is no cure, yet my spirits continue to be lifted whenever my health challenges allow me to get out to a movie theater.

BEST ACTRESS NOMINEES are: Isabelle Huppert; Ruth Negga; Natalie Portman; Emma Stone; and, Meryl Streep. Ms. Huppert is very good as an assault victim trying to figure out which man in her life is the disguised rapist, as detailed in the well-done suspenseful film “Elle.” Ms. Negga is very good as an African American whose outlawed marriage to a white man became a 1967 landmark court case that legalized inter-racial marriage, as detailed in the true story “Loving.” Ms. Portman is very good in her portrayal of Jackie Kennedy’s emotional hard times in the aftermath of her husband’s assassination in November 1963, as detailed in the true story “Jackie.” Ms. Stone is very good as an aspiring actress having a love affair with an aspiring jazz musician, as conveyed in the film “La La Land.” Ms. Streep is very good as a 1940s wealthy socialite obsessed with her dream of becoming a great singer, as detailed in the true story “Florence Foster Jenkins.” Isabelle Huppert is my choice for the award, but I won’t be disappointed if the award goes to Natalie Portman or Emma Stone.

BEST ACTOR NOMINEES areCasey Affleck; Andrew GarfieldRyan GoslingViggo Mortensen; and, Denzel WashingtonAffleck is very good as an emotionally-depressed man who worsens as he faces a past family tragedy upon returning to his home town after his brother’s death, as detailed in the film “Manchester by the Sea.” Garfield is very good as a U.S. conscientious objector who without a gun saved lives on the battlefield in World War II, as detailed in the true story “Hacksaw Ridge.” Gosling is very good as an aspiring jazz musician having a love affair with an aspiring actress, as conveyed in the film “La La Land.” Mortensen is very good as a counter-culture principled socialist living with his Buddhist wife and their six children in a secluded forest far away from society when his wife’s death results in the children having their first-time exposure to society upon helping their dad to uphold their mother’s Will, as detailed in the well-done film “Captain Fantastic.” Washington is very good as a 1950s working-class African American man whose past haunts him and whose infidelity threatens to tear apart the life he has with his two sons and devoted wife, as conveyed in the well-done film “Fences.” Andrew Garfield and Viggo Mortensen are my choices for the award, but I won’t be disappointed if the award goes to Denzel Washington.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR NOMINEES are: Mahershala AliJeff BridgesLucas Hedges; Dev Patel; and, Michael Shannon. Ali is very good as a drug dealer who becomes a father figure to an African American gay male being raised by a drug-addicted single mother, as conveyed in the well-done film “Moonlight.” Bridges is very good as a sheriff in pursuit of two brothers who repeatedly rob the bank that seeks to foreclose their property, as conveyed in the well-done film “Hell or High Water.” Hedges is very good as the teen nephew of an emotionally-depressed man who worsens as he faces a past family tragedy upon returning to his home town after his brother’s death, as detailed in the film “Manchester by the Sea.” Patel is very good as an adopted young man who uses modern computer technology to track down his long-lost biological mother in India, as detailed in the true story “Lion.” Shannon is very good as a police detective in pursuit of the criminals who terrorized a family late at night, as conveyed in the well-done suspenseful film “Nocturnal Animals.” Dev Patel is my choice for the award, but I won’t be disappointed if the award goes to Mahershala Ali.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS NOMINEES are: Viola DavisNaomie HarrisNicole KidmanOctavia SpencerandMichelle WilliamsMs. Davis is very good as the devoted wife of an African American man whose past haunts him and whose infidelity threatens to tear apart the life he has with his two sons and wife, as conveyed in the well-done film “Fences.” Ms. Harris is very good as an African American drug-addicted single mother raising her young gay son, as conveyed in the well-done film “Moonlight.” Ms. Kidman is very good as the adoptive mother of a young man who uses modern computer technology to track down his biological mother in India, as detailed in the true story “Lion.” Ms. Spencer is very good as one of the African American professional women who broke down the racial barriers at the U.S. Government’s space program (NASA) in the early 1960s, as detailed in the well-done film “Hidden Figures.” Ms. Williams is mediocre as the ex-wife of an emotionally-depressed man who worsens as he faces a past family tragedy upon returning to his home town after his brother’s death, as detailed in the film “Manchester by the Sea.” Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer are my choices for the award, but I won’t be disappointed if the award goes to Nicole Kidman.

BEST PICTURE NOMINEES are: “Arrival”“Fences”“Hacksaw Ridge”“Hell or High Water”“Hidden Figures”“La La Land”; “Lion”“Manchester by the Sea”and“Moonlight.” Noticeably absent from the list are the films “Free State of Jones” (true story of a white man who led a rebellion of slaves in the 1800s) and “Denial” (true story of a scholar who denied the existence of the Holocaust).

“Arrival” is a science-fiction film about a linguistics professor who learns to communicate with aliens on extra-terrestrial spaceships that appear on Earth as the world is on the brink of global war.

“Fences” is a well-done film about a 1950s working-class African American man whose past haunts him and whose infidelity threatens to tear apart the life he has with his two sons and devoted wife.

“Hacksaw Ridge” is a well-done film based on the true story of a U.S. conscientious objector who, without a gun, saved lives on the battlefield in World War II.

“Hell or High Water” is a well-done film about two brothers who repeatedly rob the bank that seeks to foreclose their property.

“Hidden Figures” is a well-done film based on the true story of African-American professional women, who faced discrimination in their jobs at the U.S. Government’s space program (NASA) in the early 1960s and who eventually prevailed in breaking barriers.

“La La Land” is a well-done film about the love affair of an aspiring actress and aspiring jazz musician. Despite lacking plot substance, the film is visually appealing upon conveying the story with the mix of singing and dancing reminiscent of musicals that were popular in the 1950s and 1960s.

“Lion” is a well-done film based on the true story of an adopted young man who used modern computer technology to track down his long-lost biological mother in India.

“Mancester by the Sea” is a good film about an emotionally-depressed man who worsens as he faces a past family tragedy upon returning to his home town after his brother’s death.

“Moonlight” is a well-done film about an African American drug-addicted single mother raising her young gay son who is mentored by an adult drug dealer and his wife.

For me to enjoy a movie, it must almost always have two main qualities: (1) it reveals events of a historical era unfamiliar to me; or (2) it is set in a geographic location or situation unfamiliar to me. Because they were set in locations unfamiliar to me and they had many historical details that I did not know until seeing the films, “Hidden Figures,” “Hacksaw Ridge” and “Lion” are my choices for best picture.

ABC will televise the awards on Sunday, February 26, 6:00 p.m. Colorado time.

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May 2016

UPDATE  MAY  2016

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 HEAR YE!!  HEAR YE!!  HEAR YE!! Time is quickly running out to meet the deadline to register for the 50-year reunion. People have only about two (2) weeks left to register. All checks and registration forms must be received NO LATER than June 1. With major mail delays to be caused by the U.S. Post Office being closed over the long Memorial Day weekend, please avoid waiting until that weekend to mail your forms and checks.

 Almost 50 of our classmates have expressed “interest” in attending the reunion. If each of them brings one guest, it means there will probably be about 100 people at the event. Expressing “interest” in a situation always is great, but people need to do the next step and transform the interest into action by actually registering for the event.

 A few people have written to say they saw the reunion announcement that our classmate Gillie Walker arranged for courtesy publication in the Fountain Valley Times.

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 THE 50-YEAR REUNION WILL BE HELD on Friday and Saturday, July 15-16. The historic event will begin on Friday, July 15, 6:00 p.m., at Fargo’s Pizza Company located at 2910 East Platte Avenue in Colorado Springs. Our classmate Ron Petty reserved the entire top floor of Fargo’s, which has a low-cost and affordable menu from which classmates can buy their own food and drinks. To get to Fargo’s from I-25, get off at the Bijou exit and head East a few blocks to Cascade and turn left a few blocks to Platte at which you will turn right and stay on Platte for about two miles to Fargo’s.

 The reunion will continue with a picnic on Saturday, July 16, 11:00 a.m., in the gazebo that has a three-tiered turquoise colored roof at Metcalf Park located at 704 East Ohio Avenue in Fountain. Our classmate Ron Petty reserved the gazebo for the event at which food and drinks will be provided by a catering service. To get to the park, stay on Old Highway 85 from Security until Old Highway 85 becomes Santa Fe Avenue. Stay on Santa Fe Avenue until you get to Ohio Avenue. Turn east on Ohio Avenue and go 10 blocks until you reach the park.

The registration fee for the catered picnic event is $20.00 per person. Each attendee will be served two meat choices, sides, tea and lemonade. People who want beer must bring their own and it must be ONLY 3.2 beer in cans (no glass bottles).

The deadline to register is Wednesday, June 1. Print out the registration form from our class website or use the form (see below) in this newsletter.

Our class co-treasurer Maryellen Brada Manuszak will be the person to whom people should send checks for registration. Maryellen was with many of us all the way from grade school through high school graduation, and she married our classmate Roy Manuszak.

If you live out of state and are remotely thinking about attending the reunion, please make advance reservations for travel and a motel room. Don’t wait until the last minute to make plans because travel and motel options may get booked up quickly by July 2016.

 Last-minute changes or updates about the reunion will be posted on our class website, so please be sure to check there.

 +++++++++++++++++++++

 THE FINAL MEETING to PLAN the 50-YEAR REUNION will take place on Saturday, June 4. The time and location will be posted on our class website at some point in the next two weeks. At the gathering, attendees will finalize plans for the reunion. Even if you cannot commit to helping to plan the reunion, please attend the meeting anyway to enjoy lunch and friendly talk with classmates.

 For any last-minute changes on the upcoming meeting, please check our class website.

 +++++++++++++++++++++

 OUR CLASSMATE DOUG ALLEN recently had some health challenges that required surgery from which he has been recovering at home. He and the doctor are pleased with the surgery results. If you want to extend wishes for his continued recovery, his contact information can be obtained in the “Email Addresses” section of our class website.

 +++++++++++++++++++++

 TO VISIT OUR CLASS WEBSITE that was assembled and is maintained by our Class Committee member and Webmaster, Paul Snell, please go to: www.1966whs.com

The software that Paul used to build the website allows people to access the website through a regular computer as well as a smartphone or digital tablet. At the bottom of each page of the website is a link to a Facebook page that can be used by classmates who have Facebook and want to communicate and receive information through Facebook. Please be sure to bookmark the website address on your computer so that you will have it handy whenever you want to visit the website.

 +++++++++++++++++++++

GOOD GOLLY, MISS MOLLY, WHAT SHOULD WE WEAR? That question captures an ongoing concern by several people who are planning to attend the reunion. My understanding is that there is not a dress code, and formal attire will not be required. The only certainty is that we all must wear clothing. If you want to dress to the nines in something formal, that should be fine. If you want to wear something casual and informal, that should be fine. If you want to wear something nostalgic, that should be fine as well. To those of you who are nudists, please plan ahead so that you can wear something at the event. Colorado usually has very hot temperatures in July, so people might consider cotton clothing in order to keep somewhat cool. With Steve Rhodes and Barbara Billingsley Massarano among the classmates who have expressed interest in attending the reunion, we will have the two classmates whom our class voted as “Best Dressed” in high school. Rumors are flying around that Steve and Barbara have been frantic upon going through their respective wardrobe closets in order to decide which outfits to wear at the reunion at which it will be most interesting to see if we still consider them the best dressed among us. 

 +++++++++++++++++++++

AS A LONGTIME LOVER of DANCE since childhood, I always have been easily persuaded to get up and dance. My mother always told me that I was dancing while still in diapers. While a baby and young boy growing up in Colorado Springs, my Mexican American grandfather and two uncles used to play the guitars and sing Mexican songs to me and my young cousins. Mexican dances were the first type of dances that I learned to do. Upon becoming fascinated with the Russian ballet dancers performing on one of the Ed Sullivan shows in the early 1950s, I told my mother that I wanted to learn ballet. With tips made from the Mexican bar where my mother always worked, I took ballet lessons at Mary Ruth Dance Studio and performed with my fellow dancers in several recitals at the Fine Arts Center in Colorado Springs. Ballet made me so limber to enable me to do complete leg splits, back flips and front flips along with walking on my hands. Our classmate Bruce McAlexander vividly recalls to this day how amazed he was to see me perched on the school playground with my legs wrapped around my neck when we first met in our childhood years in Security.

 In a more light-hearted moment at the college at which I have done volunteer work for many years, one of the young college students recently videotaped me in a classroom while performing excerpts of dances from the late 1950s and early 1960s. The students have been getting a real kick out of watching the performance. One of the students commented, “Wow, he sure can dance.”

It is noteworthy that the dances in the video PRECEDED the Motown era and other musical genres from that era.

 The video was posted by a young Chicana college student, who goes by her nickname Wise Chicana. In case you don’t know the reference of her nickname, it is a take-off on the controversial “Wise Latina” comment that was widely publicized by the media in 2009 when Judge Sonia Sotomayor was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The semi-dark lighting in the video was intentional so that people could concentrate on the dance steps. Besides, you don’t want to see the mug shot of this old man. (smile)

I hope you enjoy watching the video as much as I enjoyed doing the performance.

To watch the 6-minute video, click the following link:

https://youtu.be/stU9NSKZJYs

 +++++++++++++++++++++

SPEAKING of the LATE 1950s MUSIC featured in the video of my dance performance, one of my favorite songs from that era was the 1959 hit song titled “Please Please Please” by James Brown. Toward the end of the song, Brown always dropped to his knees to pretend like he was exhausted and a backup singer would drape a big blanket on Brown’s back to help him almost all the way offstage where Brown would rip off the blanket and return to the microphone to the thunderous applause of the audience. After seeing “King of Soul” James Brown perform that song numerous times on TV and once in person, I never thought anybody could ever come close to his rendition of the song. I was proven wrong upon recently listening to a re-run of a 2014 radio interview with blues singers, Dave Alvin and his brother Phil Alvin, who talked about how they were influenced by 1950s blues performer Big Joe Turner and blues man Big Bill Broonzy whose musical career spanned from the 1930s until his death in the late 1950s. Both white, the Alvin brothers did quite well with their rendition of James Brown’s hit song “Please Please Please” despite not attempting Brown’s above-described routine of dropping to the floor. To watch the 3-minute video of the Alvin brothers performing the song, click the following link: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nA0SACW0gI

+++++++++++++++++++++

PLEASE do not TAKE IT PERSONALLY if you do not hear from me right away. As a volunteer in several nonprofit entities (including the college campus), I have only so much time within which to do my volunteer work as well as tend to my health challenges and other aspects of my personal life. Delays in my replies, in particular, are due to my long sleeping hours during which there is total relief from my neurological illness for which there is no cure. It is now eleven (11) years that I have had massive nerve damage. With this neurological illness continuing to take center stage in my life each day, there cannot be very much so-called normal or routine activities on my part as long as a state of normalcy has not been returned to my life. As noted in my update in July 2013, another reason for delays in my replies is that I have been “slowing down” more and more since late 2012 – it takes me forever to get something done. My doctors attribute the slowness to me getting older, not the neurological illness.

 +++++++++++++++++++++

 This update was prepared by me. 

 Respectfully submitted, 

 Donnie Martinez

Known at WHS by stepfather’s surname Collier 

Martinez is my birth certificate and legal surname 

a/k/a Butch, family nickname since childhood 

a/k/a Don, presumably the adult version of Donnie 

a/k/a Primo (Cousin) to dozens of my Martinez cousins 

a/k/a El Aguila (The Eagle), a version of Gillie’s name for me

a/k/a Nitpicker Supreme, a title lovingly given to me by Gillie

a/k/a Frank to older women saying I look like their idol Frank Sinatra

a/k/a Dee Dee, a fun name used by people to mean Dear Donnie

 

I don’t care what people call me, just call me.

 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

Widefield High School Class of 1966

Registration for the 50-year Reunion

 

Name: ___________________________________

Number of People Attending: _______.

Year of your Class: ____________.

Email address: ____________________________

Phone number: ____________________________

Amount enclosed: $_____________.

         [$20 for each person attending]

Please print this form and send it with your checkpayable to “Maryellen Manuszak” via mail to:

Maryellen Manuszak

P.O. Box 7147

Colorado Springs CO 80933

 Form + check are due NO LATER than June 1, 2016.

 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

April 2016

UPDATE  APRIL 2016

 +++++++++++++++++++++

 OUR CLASSMATE PAT BRULEY recently passed away in Meriden, Kansas, where she and her husband James Anthony Kelly (also our classmate) lived for many years. Patricia Bruley Kelly was the daughter of Henry and Marcelle Bruley, both of whom preceded Pat in death. Pat had only one sister, Betty (who preceded Pat in death), and no brothers. When Pat’s mother Marcelle passed away in July 2007 at age 90, Mrs. Bruley’s Will designated Pat’s daughter Julie Kelly as the representative of the estate that included the Bruley home on Widefield Boulevard. As the legally-appointed representative of the estate, Julie Kelly sold the Bruley home in July 2009. Pat was preceded in death by her son Brian Kelly. She is survived by her husband James Kelly and daughter Julie.

 News of Pat’s death was conveyed to Bruce McAlexander by our longtime classmate Denese Clark Bigelow.

 +++++++++++++++++++++

 THE MOTHER of our classmate ROY MANUSZAK passed away on March 12, 2016, in Colorado Springs. Born May 11, 1926 in Germany, Hildagard was the daughter of Paul and Brunislava Koester. Hildagard became Manuszak through marriage and was a longtime resident of Colorado Springs. Mrs. Manuszak was 89 at the time of her death. She was the mother of ten children, of which Roy was the oldest. Mrs. Manuszak is survived by her four sons (Roy, Paul, Leonard, Martin) and six daughters (Rosemarie, Annemarie, Angelica, Theresa, Margaret, Bernice).

 “She had a full and active life,” says Roy about his beloved mother. “RIP mom.”

 Please join me in extending condolences to Roy Manuszak. Messages can be sent to Roy at his email address listed in the “Contact Us” section of our class website. People can also extend condolences through the online guest book that will be posted between now and April 16. If you want to send condolences via the online guest book, click here!

 +++++++++++++++++++++

 THE 50-YEAR REUNION WILL BE HELD on Friday and Saturday, July 15-16. The historic event will begin on Friday, July 15, 6:00 p.m., at Fargo’s Pizza Company located at 2910 East Platte Avenue in Colorado Springs. Our classmate Ron Petty reserved the entire top floor of Fargo’s, which has a low-cost and affordable menu from which classmates can buy their own food and drinks. To get to Fargo’s from I-25, get off at the Bijou exit and head East a few blocks to Cascade and turn left a few blocks to Platte at which you will turn right and stay on Platte for about two miles to Fargo’s.

 The reunion will continue with a picnic on Saturday, July 16, 11:00 a.m., in the gazebo that has a three-tiered turquoise colored roof at Metcalf Park located at 704 East Ohio Avenue in Fountain. Our classmate Ron Petty reserved the gazebo for the event at which food and drinks will be provided by a catering service. To get to the park, stay on Old Highway 85 from Security until Old Highway 85 becomes Santa Fe Avenue. Stay on Santa Fe Avenue until you get to Ohio Avenue. Turn east on Ohio Avenue and go 10 blocks until you reach the park.

 The registration fee for the catered picnic event is $20.00 per person. Each attendee will be served two meat choices, sides, tea and lemonade. People who want beer must bring their own and it must be ONLY 3.2 beer in cans (no glass bottles).

 The deadline to register is Wednesday, June 1. Print out the registration form from our class website or use the form (see below) in this newsletter.

 Our class co-treasurer Maryellen Brada Manuszak will be the person to whom people should send checks for registration. Maryellen was with many of us all the way from grade school through high school graduation, and she married our classmate Roy Manuszak.

 If you live out of state and are remotely thinking about attending the reunion, please make advance reservations for travel and a motel room. Don’t wait until the last minute to make plans because travel and motel options may get booked up quickly by July 2016.

 Last-minute changes or updates about the reunion will be posted on our class website, so please be sure to check there.

 +++++++++++++++++++++

 INTEREST in ATTENDING a 50-YEAR REUNION includes 45 classmates whose names appear on the updated list below.

 Shirley Guinta Tafoya; Patti Kueck Daniel; Twila Wilson; Bruce Brian; Rhonda Richards Shamburger; Warren Knight; Pam Rains Shuman; Joy Woods Haskell; Doug Allen; Mickey Martin; Linda Nolin Weber; Mary Ashley Fuchsman; Daryl Kuiper; Bruce McAlexander; Ron Petty; Paul Snell; Gillie Walker; Donnie Martinez; Mimi George Torreano; Denese Clark Bigelow; Gary Storm; Judy Ames Bradford; Dean Otey; Glen Kruse; Bob Cook; Steve Cox; Rich Stroud; Glenda Windle Armstrong; Donna Wiltgen Mills; Lydia Romero Fine; Mike Adragna; Steve Rhodes; Donna Williams Humphrey; Marcia Hagans Allin; Craig Snow; Eldon Lee; Dave Theiss; Tom Nigbur; Carla Whitley Smith; Debbie McGowan Kacey; Marciano “Marc” Anteola; Hak Dickenson; Rich Otto; Ken Loveless; Anne Lively Baldwin.

 If you are remotely interested in attending the reunion, please send a brief message to this email box so that you can be added to the list.

 “Everyone who has a Facebook page should copy/paste the reunion information on their Facebook pages to spread the news to friends, relatives, anyone who might know someone who graduated in 1966,” wrote our classmate Patti Kueck Daniel in her recent email message. In her reference to the reunion planners, Patti wrote: “Thanks for your valuable volunteer hours.”

 +++++++++++++++++++++

 TO VISIT OUR CLASS WEBSITE that was assembled and is maintained by our Class Committee member and Webmaster, Paul Snell, please go to: www.1966whs.com

 The software that Paul used to build the website allows people to access the website through a regular computer as well as a smartphone or digital tablet. At the bottom of each page of the website is a link to a Facebook page that can be used by classmates who have Facebook and want to communicate and receive information through Facebook. Please be sure to bookmark the website address on your computer so that you will have it handy whenever you want to visit the website.

 +++++++++++++++++++++

 “I’m so mad at Cinderella, I could just kill her.” Those are the words expressed by our classmate Patti Kueck during a rather lengthy talk in which classmates were talking about idealistic and other relationships. “We were brought up to believe the Cinderella thing,” said Patti prior to making her comment about being mad at Cinderella.

 Her aforementioned statement was among numerous comments shared during a roundtable discussion at the time of the 20-year reunion held in 1986 in Colorado Springs.

 In the March 2016 update, there was detailed information about the video of the 20-year reunion. Over time – especially 30 years – an old film can fade, shrink, decompose and even crumble to dust. Fortunately, my copy of the video was not bad enough to convert to a modern digital format that people can view.

 Please keep in mind that the 2016 updated version of the 1986 video has NOTbeen remastered, enhanced or restored. The quality is not clear, not crisp. It is best to view it on the standard small screen that displays upon clicking the link. Enlarging the screen decreases the viewing quality.”

 To watch the video of 1 hour and 20 minutes, click here!

 For details of the video, see my March 2016 update on our class website.

 “We must always have old memories and young hopes.”

-- Arsene Houssaye, French novelist and poet

 ++++++++++++++++++++

 PLEASE do not TAKE IT PERSONALLY if you do not hear from me right away. As a volunteer in several nonprofit entities (including the college campus), I have only so much time within which to do my volunteer work as well as tend to my health challenges and other aspects of my personal life. Delays in my replies, in particular, are due to my long sleeping hours during which there is total relief from my neurological illness for which there is no cure. It is now eleven (11) years that I have had massive nerve damage. With this neurological illness continuing to take center stage in my life each day, there cannot be very much so-called normal or routine activities on my part as long as a state of normalcy has not been returned to my life. As noted in my update in July 2013, another reason for delays in my replies is that I have been “slowing down” more and more since late 2012 – it takes me forever to get something done. My doctors attribute the slowness to me getting older, not the neurological illness.

 +++++++++++++++++++++

 This update was prepared by me. 

 Respectfully submitted, 

 Donnie Martinez

Known at WHS by stepfather’s surname Collier 

Martinez is my birth certificate and legal surname 

a/k/a Butch, family nickname since childhood 

a/k/a Don, presumably the adult version of Donnie 

a/k/a Primo (Cousin) to dozens of my Martinez cousins 

a/k/a El Aguila (The Eagle), a version of Gillie’s name for me

a/k/a Nitpicker Supreme, a title lovingly given to me by Gillie

a/k/a Frank to older women saying I look like their idol Frank Sinatra

a/k/a Dee Dee, a fun name used by people to mean Dear Donnie

 I don’t care what people call me, just call me.

 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

Widefield High School Class of 1966

Registration for the 50-year Reunion

 

Name: ___________________________________

Number of People Attending: _______.

 

Year of your Class: ____________.

 

Email address: ____________________________

 

Phone number: ____________________________

 

Amount enclosed: $_____________.

         [$20 for each person attending]

 

Please print this form and send it with your check

payable to “Maryellen Manuszak” via mail to:

Manuszak

P.O. Box 7147

Colorado Springs CO 80933

 

Form + check are due NO LATER than June 1, 2016.

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Special Update - March 2016

THE FATHER of our classmate BRUCE McALEXANDER passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, March 9, 2016. The funeral will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, March 14, at Pikes Peak Christian Church located at 4955 Bradley Road (about four blocks East of Main Street and Bradley Road) in Security. Founded in 1956, the church met in a small house on Morningside Drive and later built its first facility on land purchased on Aspen drive. In 2001 the church moved to the Bradley Road location, where it has been located to this day.

 The longtime patriarch of the McAlexander family, Mr. McAlexander had been the Certified Public Accountant for many of our classmates’ parents and their descendants for several decades. Our classmate Marcia Hagans Allin’s husband, Jerry Allin, worked at the McAlexander accounting office for many years. Bruce’s mother passed away almost three years ago (July 2013).

 In his brief note to me on Wednesday night, March 9, Bruce wrote the following about the death of his father:

“He had chosen to go off dialysis after being in the hospital for a few days. It made it easier that he made the decision. We’re okay with many tears and that is good. I’ve always been more concerned when the tears don’t flow.”

 The longtime family friend, Trish Reishus, deserves praise for having been Mr. McAlexander’s caregiver the past few years. In the 1950s up until the mid-1960s, the Reishus family were neighbors of the McAlexander family when they lived on Rose Drive in Security.

In his September 2011 “Security Reflections” article that is still posted in the “Bruce’s Updates” section of our class website, Bruce wrote the following in reference to his father being only 19 years old while flying bomber planes toward the end of World War II:

“As a child, I was oblivious to what my dad had gone through in those bombers. I enjoyed his stories for the most part, but had no idea what he must have felt each time taking off on another mission as such a young man. He was nineteen when flying in those bombers during World War II. His crew had been shot down more than once, but they made it back across to the Ally lines. All of our parents had their stories, including our moms even if they were still home doing whatever was necessary to keep the families together with so many of the men overseas during that war or the Korean war, which had just ended a few years earlier before moving to Security. Ronnie Petty’s mom and dad were caring for the wounded on a ship, where apparently their romance continued despite the war going on. Ken Loveless’s dad was in the Pacific flying fighter planes. There we were as kids, at least Bruce was, running the neighborhood and not being very aware of what so many had done or had been through just a few years earlier.”

 Please join me in extending condolences to the McAlexander family. Although it has been my longtime policy not to publicize street addresses and email addresses in the updates that are broadcast by me, Bruce’s street address was repeatedly listed (with his permission) in all monthly updates leading up to the historic 45-year reunion in 2011. Therefore, his street address once again will be posted in this update. People who would like to send a hard-copy card may do so at the following address:

McAlexander Family

141 Spencer

Manitou Springs CO 80829

People can also extend condolences through the online guest book that will be posted between now and April 10. If you want to send condolences via the online guest book, click here!

 Listed below is the obituary about Mr. McAlexander.

 Respectfully submitted,

 Donnie Martinez

Known at WHS by stepfather’s surname Collier

Martinez is my birth certificate and legal surname

 +++++++++++++++++++++++++

 Obituary in Gazette newspaper 3/11/16

 Charles J. McAlexander was born on August 3, 1925 on a farm South of Holly, Colorado, the son of John and Minnie McAlexander. He died on March 9, 2016 in Security, Colorado. In between, he lived a life of grace, joy, and purpose. Charles brought delight and found success in every task and endeavor.

 While still in high school, he fell in love with Bonnie Jean Miller, and they were married on October 23, 1943 in Hayes, Kansas. Shortly after marrying Bonnie, he joined the US Army Air Corp where he flew in B17 Bombers from 1944 until the end of the war. This was the beginning of a remarkable lifetime partnership, as he traveled with her from base to base, as he prepared for war, and after his return from Europe, he worked beside her building businesses, growing their family, strengthening churches, sustaining deep friendships, caring for others and finding joy in every circumstance.

 Bonnie and Charles moved to Security, Colorado in 1956 where he started his accounting practice. He continued working as an accountant until his retirement. Charles was active in the community in many ways, whether it was serving as an elder at his church or cheering on the local high school teams. He was a person of abiding faith and trusted Jesus to carry him through every adversity.

 Charles was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Bonnie McAlexander, and his brother Harold Lee McAlexander. Charles is survived by his children Claudia (Bill) Newth of Holyoke, Colorado, Bruce McAlexander of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Charla (Eric) Bogren of Colorado Springs, Colorado. He is also survived by grandchildren: Tammy Gillis, Renee Cinkosky, Lance Phair, Crystal Lopez, Melissa Thomson, and Charles McAlexander; and by great-grandchildren: Nicles Long, Taylor Phair, Ashlyn Phair, Katelin Lopez, Christopher Lopez, Haylea Lopez, Scarlett Enriquez, Ty Thomson and Jake Thomson. He is also survived by Trish Reishus, who cared for him in these last years. He leaves behind a host of friends and will be deeply missed.

 A memorial service is planned for Monday, March 14, at 1:00 at Pikes Peak Christian Church, 4955 Bradley Road, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

 +++++++++++++++++++++++++

March 2016

UPDATE  MARCH 2016

 +++++++++++++++++++++

 THE 50-YEAR REUNION WILL BE HELD on Friday and Saturday, July 15-16. The historic event will begin on Friday, July 15, 6:00 p.m., at Fargo’s Pizza Company located at 2910 East Platte Avenue in Colorado Springs. Our classmate Ron Petty reserved the entire top floor of Fargo’s, which has a low-cost and affordable menu from which classmates can buy their own food and drinks. To get to Fargo’s from I-25, get off at the Bijou exit and head East a few blocks to Cascade and turn left a few blocks to Platte at which you will turn right and stay on Platte for about two miles to Fargo’s.

 The reunion will continue with a picnic on Saturday, July 16, 11:00 a.m., in the gazebo that has a three-tiered turquoise colored roof at Metcalf Park located at 704 East Ohio Avenue in Fountain. Our classmate Ron Petty reserved the gazebo for the event at which food and drinks will be provided by a catering service. To get to the park, stay on Old Highway 85 from Security until Old Highway 85 becomes Santa Fe Avenue. Stay on Santa Fe Avenue until you get to Ohio Avenue. Turn east on Ohio Avenue and go 10 blocks until you reach the park.

 The registration fee for the catered picnic event has not yet been decided. Once the amount and payment method have been decided at the next planning meeting (see article below), everyone will be informed. 

 If you live out of state and are remotely thinking about attending the reunion, please make advance reservations for travel and a motel room. Don’t wait until the last minute to make plans because travel and motel options may get booked up quickly by July 2016.

 Last-minute changes or updates about the reunion will be posted on our class website, so please be sure to check there.

 +++++++++++++++++++++

 THE NEXT MEETING to PLAN the 50-YEAR REUNION will take place on Saturday, April 2, 11:00 a.m., at Fargo’s Pizza Company located at 2910 East Platte Avenue in Colorado Springs. Our classmate Ron Petty reserved a room for the gathering, so mention his name to the staff person at the reception area so that you can be directed to the right place. At the gathering, attendees will continue to discuss plans for the reunion. Even if you cannot commit to helping to plan the reunion, please attend the meeting anyway to enjoy lunch and friendly talk with classmates.

 For any last-minute changes on the upcoming meeting and postings about future planning meetings, please check our class website.

 +++++++++++++++++++++

 INTEREST in ATTENDING a 50-YEAR REUNION includes 43 classmates whose names appear on the updated list below.

 Shirley Guinta Tafoya; Patti Kueck Daniel; Twila Wilson; Bruce Brian; Rhonda Richards Shamburger; Warren Knight; Pam Rains Shuman; Joy Woods Haskell; Doug Allen; Mickey Martin; Linda Nolin Weber; Mary Ashley Fuchsman; Daryl Kuiper; Bruce McAlexander; Ron Petty; Paul Snell; Gillie Walker; Donnie Martinez; Mimi George Torreano; Denese Clark Bigelow; Gary Storm; Judy Ames Bradford; Dean Otey; Glen Kruse; Bob Cook; Steve Cox; Rich Stroud; Glenda Windle Armstrong; Donna Wiltgen Mills; Lydia Romero Fine; Mike Adragna; Steve Rhodes; Donna Williams Humphrey; Marcia Hagans Allin; Craig Snow; Eldon Lee; Dave Theiss; Tom Nigbur; Carla Whitley Smith; Debbie McGowan Kacey; Marciano “Marc” Anteola; Hak Dickenson; Rich Otto.

 In addition to expressing interest in attending the 50-year reunion, our classmate Gary Storm has kindly offered to help from afar (he resides in Illinois).

 If you are remotely interested in attending the reunion, please send a brief message to this email box so that you can be added to the list.

 +++++++++++++++++++++

 TO VISIT OUR CLASS WEBSITE that was assembled and is maintained by our Class Committee member and Webmaster, Paul Snell, please go to: www.1966whs.com

 The software that Paul used to build the website allows people to access the website through a regular computer as well as a smartphone or digital tablet. At the bottom of each page of the website is a link to a Facebook page that can be used by classmates who have Facebook and want to communicate and receive information through Facebook. Please be sure to bookmark the website address on your computer so that you will have it handy whenever you want to visit the website.

 +++++++++++++++++++++

 FEEDBACK from READERS includes the below-listed entries that were submitted in response to information contained in previous updates.

 Donnie, thanks for always taking the time to keep all of us informed. You do a great job. I appreciate it. Keep well.

-- Mick Martin, Class of 1966

 

Donnie, I really enjoy reading your Widefield Class of ’66 Updates. I am really bad about replying and getting involved. I hope to change that this year and get more involved. I would be interested I attending the reunion for the Class of ’66. I look forward to hearing more about one if it materializes. Thank you for the time you put in to keep us all updated. I really appreciate it and enjoy reading it.

-- Donna Wiltgen Mills, Class of 1966

 

Donnie, thank you so much for keeping this up. I was so excited to get the news update today. I am so hoping that we will be able to have a 50th reunion. If we do, I WILL be there. I was not able to come last summer as I had just lost my husband after a 2-year battle with ALS (a/k/a Lou Gehrig’s). Anyway, I am really hoping to get to see everyone this summer.

-- Judy Ames Bradford, Class of 1966

 

Thanks, Donnie. I really appreciate the work you do to keep the information flowing. If there is ever anything I can do to ease the load, please just let me know.

-- Doug Allen, Class of 1966

 

I am very interested in the reunion, but I am not financially able to afford the trip. I spoke to Ron Petty regarding this issue. Please give everyone my best regards and tell them that I hope that life has been good to them. God bless.

-- Pete Spiers, Class of 1966

[He resides in Massachusetts]

 

Our schedules may not allow us to attend the 50-year Widefield High School reunion, however we are interested. Please include the following in the “interest list”: Marciano “Marc” Anteola, Houston TX; Hakkil “Hak” Dickenson, Houston TX; Richard “Rick” Otto, Plano TX. Thank you.

-- Marciano “Marc” Anteola, Class of 1966

 

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CAN YOU SEE YOUR LOCKER in the VIDEO? Two very talented young male students performed the modern-day “Money Clown Walk” dance in between two long rows of lockers in the halls of WHS. Closely watch their footsteps and how both young men are able to maintain their balance despite dancing on a freshly-waxed floor. Although I am not a big fan of the modern-day genre of music known as rap and hip-hop, the song in the video is appropriate for the dance performance. As a longtime lover of dance since childhood when I first learned Mexican dances and later learned ballet, I have always appreciated good dancers upon seeing them. If my childhood and teen dance partner Yolanda Lopez (WHS Class of 1965) and I would have known about the “Money Clown Walk” dance, I am sure we would have learned it and practiced it before publicly performing it like we did with so many other dance routines from the 1950s and 1960s. To watch the 90-second video of the five-star performance by the modern-day young dancers at WHS, turn on your computer’s sound and click the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjqo8_2d-pM

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 A FILM of OUR 20-YEAR REUNION will be made available in the next update, which will provide information about the upcoming conversion of the old film to a computerized modern format that can be viewed for free in the privacy of your home. Using old style mid-1980s computerized lettering to display the film’s title “20 Years Later” at the beginning and the words “The End” when it is over, the film was produced by Joy Payne Humphrey, Debbie Armknecht Allen and Donnie Martinez. An excerpt of the slow and mellow song, “20 Years Ago” by Kenny Rogers, is played at the beginning and end of the film. With the use of a 1980s Video Home System (VHS) camcorder that belonged to Joy, the film’s first 30 minutes feature brief shots of numerous classmates who are frequently told by Joy that she was going to show the film at the 30-year reunion. Although the film never was shown at the 30-year reunion, people now will have an opportunity to finally view it 30 years after it was filmed at the July 1986 reunion at which 70 of our classmates were in attendance.

 The total length of the film is 1 hour and 20 minutes, with the outdoor section lasting 30 minutes and the indoor section lasting 50 minutes.

 Hazel Garlick (Class of 1967) was the first person shown in the film. Hazel (now deceased) was married to our classmate Ken Loveless at the time of the 20-year reunion. Immediately after Hazel introduces her daughter, there are brief shots of our classmates in the following order: Jean Puylara (now deceased); Linda Nolin; Rod Nyborg; Rhonda Richards; Bruce McAlexander; Judy Sackhoff; Anne Lively; Donna Wiltgen; Donna Ward; and, Perry Pierce. Our classmate Terry Chambers then steps up to the camera to offer food for thought by stating:

“We’re getting to where we can start enjoying life, thank God.”

 After Terry, the camera shifts to brief shots of our classmates Doug Allen, Denny Stenson (singing with his son Toby), Mark Haggar, Warren Knight (singing the “Meow” song) and Mike Adragna. Right after Mike, almost all 70 classmates in attendance are shown in a group shot set against the backdrop of the hills at the foot of the Rocky Mountains on a sunny and cool afternoon.

 Immediately after the group shot, there are brief shots of our classmates in the following order: Gary Storm; JoAnn Vallone (now deceased); Diane Otey; Eldon Lee; Steve Rhodes; Barry Thompson (now deceased); Linda Thomas; Rich Stroud; Gary Galyardt; Peggy Flynn (with her husband Ron Meredith, Class of 1965); Beth Plana (who brought her 10 kids to the reunion); Mick Martin; Joy Woods; Doug Allen; Patti Kueck; Shirley Guinta; Mike Oliver; Wanda Floyd; Les Hermann; Janine Moore; Perry Pierce; Lerry Young; Dean Otey; Bruce Brian; Pam Rains; and, Glenda Windle. The next frame then shows our classmate Roy Manuszak offering food for thought by stating:

“Tomorrow’s a dream, yesterday is a memory, and today is a b**ch.”

 The next frame shows Roy and his wife (our classmate Maryellen Brada Manuszak) in a group shot with all of their children. Then there are brief shots of our classmates in the following order: Phil Martin; Myra Boberg; Danny Cancil (now deceased); Terry Chambers; and, Barbara Garrison.

 After Barbara Garrison is shown dashing off into the distance upon declining Joy’s invitation to sing for the camera, there is a short one-minute humorous intermission featuring recreation activities such as bowlfing (utilizing bowling balls on a golf course) and bike boxing (guys boxing each other while riding bicycles). Immediately after the intermission, there is a brief two-second shot of Twila Wilson – the last classmate to be shown in the outdoor section of the film.

 The film’s last 50 minutes feature a more intimate round-table discussion among some of our classmates. Filmed indoors, the session begins with classmates trying to figure out whose childhood photo was featured in the “Guess Who” column of our WHS newspaper in the mid-1960s. Initially stumped about the identity as they read out loud several hints provided in the article, they eventually figured it out and simultaneously stated the classmate’s name.

 Throughout the 50-minute indoors segment, you will see and hear classmates reflecting on their past school experiences as well as expressing some of their innermost thoughts, feelings, concerns and aspirations. One classmate recalls the hoop skirts that were popular in the 1950s and how embarrassed she was on one occasion when her hoop skirt flew upward and exposed her underpants during class at grade school in Security. Another classmate describes how she felt abandoned when her friend dumped her upon the friend’s decision to become one of our popular girls in high school. Another classmate talks about almost getting expelled from school after getting caught with a photo of a classmate in the nude. Using her hands and facial expressions, Debbie Armknecht Allen does a hilarious portrayal of how she played the tuba in our high school band. One classmate talks about her discomfort with classmates hugging her at the reunion when those same classmates ignored her when we were in high school. Classmates also discussed the following topics: (a) going to high-school formal dances with an “arranged” date; (b) addressing unresolved problems with individual classmates 20 years after graduation; (c) having superficial and meaningful relationships; (d) pitting students against each other with divisive popularity contests; (e) trying to break cigarette habits in adult years; and, (f) feelings about growing old upon approaching the age of 40. Toward the end, the prom-queen discussion got a bit convoluted with our classmate Myra’s perception that our prom queen was voted upon at the beginning of our senior year. Because the dialogue was based on that mistaken premise, it is important to clarify that the voting for prom queen took place at the end of the school year. The indoors segment ends with a close-up of Patti Kueck sighing after saying “That’s really sad” in reference to some of the issues that were discussed. The words “The End” then flash on the screen accompanied by Kenny Rogers’ slow song, “20 Years Ago.”

 STAY TUNED for the next update, which will provide information about the upcoming conversion of the old VHS film to a computerized modern format that can be viewed for free in the privacy of your home.

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 PLEASE do not TAKE IT PERSONALLYif you do not hear from me right away. As a volunteer in several nonprofit entities (including the college campus), I have only so much time within which to do my volunteer work as well as tend to my health challenges and other aspects of my personal life. Delays in my replies, in particular, are due to my long sleeping hours during which there is total relief from my neurological illness for which there is no cure. It is now eleven (11) years that I have had massive nerve damage. With this neurological illness continuing to take center stage in my life each day, there cannot be very much so-called normal or routine activities on my part as long as a state of normalcy has not been returned to my life. As noted in my update in July 2013, another reason for delays in my replies is that I have been “slowing down” more and more since late 2012 – it takes me forever to get something done. My doctors attribute the slowness to me getting older, not the neurological illness.

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 This update was prepared by me. 

 Respectfully submitted, 

 Donnie Martinez

Known at WHS by stepfather’s surname Collier 

Martinez is my birth certificate and legal surname 

a/k/a Butch, family nickname since childhood 

a/k/a Don, presumably the adult version of Donnie 

a/k/a Primo (Cousin) to dozens of my Martinez cousins 

a/k/a El Aguila (The Eagle), a version of Gillie’s name for me

a/k/a Nitpicker Supreme, a title lovingly given to me by Gillie

a/k/a Frank to older women saying I look like their idol Frank Sinatra

a/k/a Dee Dee, a fun name used by people to mean Dear Donnie

 

I don’t care what people call me, just call me.

 

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February 2016

UPDATE  FEBRUARY 2016

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 YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED to a social gathering of the WHS Class of 1966 on Saturday, February 13, 11:00 a.m., at Fargo’s Pizza Company located at 2910 East Platte Avenue in Colorado Springs. Our classmate Ron Petty reserved a room for the gathering, so mention his name to the staff person at the reception area so that you can be directed to the right place. At the gathering, there will be discussion about a possible 50-year reunion.

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 INTEREST in ATTENDING a 50-YEAR REUNION includes 31 classmates whose names appear on the updated list below.

 Shirley Guinta Tafoya; Patti Kueck Daniel; Twila Wilson; Bruce Brian; Rhonda Richards Shamburger; Warren Knight; Pam Rains Shuman; Joy Woods Haskell; Doug Allen; Mickey Martin; Linda Nolin Weber; Mary Ashley Fuchsman; Daryl Kuiper; Bruce McAlexander; Ron Petty; Paul Snell; Gillie Walker; Donnie Martinez; Mimi George Torreano; Denese Clark Bigelow; Gary Storm; Judy Ames Bradford; Dean Otey; Glen Kruse; Bob Cook; Steve Cox; Rich Stroud; Glenda Windle Armstrong; Donna Wiltgen Mills; Lydia Romero Fine; Mike Adragna.

 In addition to expressing interest in attending a 50-year reunion, our classmates Lydia Romero Fine and Mike Adragna have kindly offered their help in planning the event.

 If you are remotely interested in attending some type of reunion, please send an email to this email box so that you can be added to the list.

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 TO VISIT OUR CLASS WEBSITE that was assembled and is maintained by our Class Committee member and Webmaster, Paul Snell, please go to: www.1966whs.com

 The software that Paul used to build the website allows people to access the website through a regular computer as well as a smartphone or digital tablet. At the bottom of each page of the website is a link to a Facebook page that can be used by classmates who have Facebook and want to communicate and receive information through Facebook. Please be sure to bookmark the website address on your computer so that you will have it handy whenever you want to visit the website.

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 THE 2016 OSCAR NOMINATIONS are the focus of my essay, which is enclosed herein at the tail-end of this update immediately after my farewell remark “I don’t care what people call me, just call me.”

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 PLEASE do not TAKE IT PERSONALLY if you do not hear from me right away. As a volunteer in several nonprofit entities (including the college campus), I have only so much time within which to do my volunteer work as well as tend to my health challenges and other aspects of my personal life. Delays in my replies, in particular, are due to my long sleeping hours during which there is total relief from my neurological illness for which there is no cure. It is now eleven (11) years that I have had massive nerve damage. With this neurological illness continuing to take center stage in my life each day, there cannot be very much so-called normal or routine activities on my part as long as a state of normalcy has not been returned to my life. As noted in my update in July 2013, another reason for delays in my replies is that I have been “slowing down” more and more since late 2012 – it takes me forever to get something done. My doctors attribute the slowness to me getting older, not the neurological illness.

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This update was prepared by me. 

 Respectfully submitted, 

 Donnie Martinez

Known at WHS by stepfather’s surname Collier 

Martinez is my birth certificate and legal surname 

a/k/a Butch, family nickname since childhood 

a/k/a Don, presumably the adult version of Donnie 

a/k/a Primo (Cousin) to dozens of my Martinez cousins 

a/k/a El Aguila (The Eagle), a version of Gillie’s name for me

a/k/a Nitpicker Supreme, a title lovingly given to me by Gillie

a/k/a Frank to older women saying I look like their idol Frank Sinatra

a/k/a Dee Dee, a fun name used by people to mean Dear Donnie

 I don’t care what people call me, just call me.

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 THIS YEAR’S OSCAR NOMINEES

by D. Martinez (February 2016)

 Just as I have done for many years, my picks for the Oscar Awards are now once again shared with friends, relatives, activists, neighbors and people with whom I went to school. It is now eleven years of my ongoing neurological illness for which there is no cure, yet my spirits continue to be lifted whenever my health challenges allow me to get out to a movie theater.

 BEST ACTRESS NOMINEES are: Cate Blanchett; Brie Larson; Jennifer Lawrence; Charlotte Rampling; and, Saorise Ronan. Noticeably absent from the list are Julianne Moore for her great performance as a lesbian police officer in the true story “Freeheld” and Helen Mirren for her great performance as a Jew searching for her family’s items seized by the Nazis, as conveyed in the true story “Woman in Gold.” Ms. Blanchett is very good as a mid-30s upper-class married woman who develops a lesbian relationship with a young working-class woman in the repressive 1950s, as conveyed in the well-done film “Carol.” Ms. Larson is very good as a kidnapped woman living year after year in a one-room shed with her child-age son whose father is the kidnapper, as conveyed in the well-done film “Room.” Ms. Lawrence is very good as a struggling single mother whose mop invention faced several obstacles before eventually becoming a financial success, as conveyed in the true story “Joy.” Ms. Rampling is very good as an older woman who becomes distraught upon learning one week before her 45-year wedding anniversary party that her husband’s first wife died mysteriously, as conveyed in the well-done film “45 Years.” Ms. Ronan is very good as a 1950s Irish immigrant who is torn between her love for an Italian young man in the U.S. and her love for a young man in Ireland, as conveyed in the well-done film “Brooklyn.” Brie Larson is my choice for the award, but I won’t be disappointed if the award goes to Cate Blanchett or Charlotte Rampling.

 BEST ACTOR NOMINEES are: Bryan Cranston; Matt Damon; Leonardo DiCaprio; Michael Fassbender; and, Eddie Redmayne. Noticeably absent from the list are Tom Hanks for his great performance in the true story “Bridge of Spies” and Jacob Tremblay for his great performance as the little boy in the well-done film “Room.” Cranston is very good as a screenwriter who was blacklisted and imprisoned during the anti-communist hysteria of the McCarthy era in the 1950s, as detailed in the true story “Trumbo.” Damon is good as an astronaut who has very creative survival skills (including using his own caca as fertilizer to grow potatoes) when he is stranded on Mars, as conveyed in the film “Martian.” DiCaprio is good as the 1800s severely-injured fur trapper Hugh Glass who sought revenge when he was abandoned by fellow trappers, as conveyed in the visually stunning and violent film “Revenant.” Fassbender is very good as the co-founder and successful owner of the Apple business that has produced computers and other digital devices, as detailed in the true story “Steve Jobs.” Redmayne is very good as a 1930s successful visual artist who transitions from male socialization to embrace her true identity as a woman, as detailed in the true story “Danish Girl.” Bryan Cranston and Michael Fassbender are my choices for the award, but I won’t be disappointed if the award goes to Leonardo DiCaprio.

 BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR NOMINEES are: Christian Bale; Tom Hardy; Mark Ruffalo; Mark Rylance; and, Sylvester Stallone. Bale is very good as a financial whiz who made money upon betting there would be the 2008 financial collapse of the bank/housing industry in the U.S., as detailed in the true story “Big Short.” Hardy is very good as the 1800s fur trapper who abandoned a severely-injured fellow trapper who recovered and sought revenge, as conveyed in the visually-stunning and very violent film “Revenant.” Ruffalo is very good as one of the investigative reporters who exposed the Catholic Church’s longtime cover-up of the molestation of children by priests, as detailed in the true story “Spotlight.” Rylance is very good as the 1950s Soviet Union spy who was represented in court by a U.S. lawyer who later helped with the early 1960s exchange of the spy for the U.S. spy-plane pilot captured by the Soviet Union, as detailed in the true story “Bridge of Spies.” Stallone is good as a retired champion boxer who is battling terminal cancer while being a mentor and trainer of an aspiring young boxer, as conveyed in the film “Creed.” Mark Rylance is my choice for the award, but I won’t be disappointed if the award goes to Mark Ruffalo.

 BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS NOMINEES are: Jennifer Jason Leigh; Rooney Mara; Rachel McAdams; Alicia Vikander; and Kate Winslet. Ms. Leigh is very good as a mid-1800s fugitive prisoner chained to a bounty hunter as they and six other mean-spirited characters are uncertain about reaching their destination, as conveyed in the appropriately-titled film “Hateful Eight.” Ms. Mara is very good as a young working-class woman who develops a lesbian relationship with a mid-30s upper-class married woman in the anti-gay climate of the 1950s, as conveyed in the well-done film “Carol.” Ms. McAdams is very good as one of the investigative reporters who exposed the Catholic Church’s longtime cover-up of the molestation of children by priests, as detailed in the true story “Spotlight.” Ms. Vikander is very good as a 1930s successful visual artist who is fully supportive of her spouse’s transition from male socialization to embrace her true identity as a woman, as detailed in the true story “Danish Girl.” Ms. Winslet is very good as the marketing executive and right-hand colleague of the co-founder and successful owner of the Apple business that has produced computers and other digital devices, as conveyed in the true story “Steve Jobs.” Alicia Vikander is my choice for the award, but I won’t be disappointed if the award goes to Rooney Mara or Kate Winslet.

 BEST PICTURE NOMINEES are: “Big Short”; “Bridge of Spies”; “Brooklyn”; “Mad Max: Fury Road”; “Martian”; “Revenant”; “Room”; and “Spotlight.”

 “Big Short” is a well-done film about the true story of four financial whizzes who made millions of dollars upon betting there would be a major financial crisis due to years of bank mortgages to people who couldn’t afford them and due to banks bundling mortgages into unsafe bonds, thus creating the 2008 bank/housing collapse that impacted the economies in the U.S. and worldwide. The film supplements information provided by “Inside Job,” the 2010 film that addressed numerous factors over three decades that culminated in the 2008 financial crisis.

 “Bridge of Spies” is a well-done film based on the true story of the 1950s Soviet Union spy who was represented in court by a U.S. lawyer, who later helped with the early 1960s exchange of the spy for the U.S. spy-plane pilot captured by the Soviet Union.

 “Brooklyn” is a well-done film about a 1950s Irish immigrant who is torn between her love for an Italian young man in the U.S. and her love for a young man in Ireland.

 “Mad Max: Fury Road” is a fantasy science-fiction action thriller story in which rebel leader Furiosa (played by Charlize Theron, one of my favorite actresses) is the driver of a huge war rig that she and other women use to escape from a male-dominated cult led by a military tyrant and his skinhead followers. After a visually spectacular vehicle chase that takes up 90 minutes of the movie, Furiosa and the other women finally reach their destination – a women-only village in which Furiosa was raised in her childhood.

 “Martian” is a good film about an astronaut’s very creative survival skills (including using his own caca as fertilizer to grow potatoes) when he was stranded on Mars. On a related note is the recent news story that scientists have discovered a new planet that is about ten times bigger than Earth. 

 “Revenant” is a visually stunning and very violent film about the 1800s fur trapper Hugh Glass who sought revenge when he was abandoned by fellow trappers. The real life of Glass is misrepresented by the film’s premise that Glass sought revenge due to the murder of his American Indian son, but historians agree that such a son never existed and that the revenge stemmed only from Glass being abandoned after he incurred massive injuries from an attack by a grizzly bear.

 “Room” is a well-done film about a kidnapped woman living year after year in a one-room shed with her child-age son, whose father is the kidnapper.

“Spotlight” is a well-done film based on the true story of the investigative reporters who exposed the Catholic Church’s longtime cover-up of the molestation of children by priests.

 For me to enjoy a movie, it must almost always have two main qualities: (1) it reveals events of a historical era unfamiliar to me, or (2) it is set in a geographic location or situation unfamiliar to me. Because they were set in locations unfamiliar to me and they had many historical details that I did not know until seeing the films, “Big Short,” “Bridge of Spies” and “Spotlight” are my choices for best picture.

 My pick for best documentary is “Amy” (about the life of Amy Winehouse, a jazz and R&B singer who died in her mid-20s), and my pick for best foreign-language film is “Son of Saul” (about a Jewish concentration-camp prisoner who claims a dead young boy is his son).

 ABC will televise the awards on Sunday, February 28, 6:00 p.m. Colorado time.

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January 2016

UPDATE  JANUARY 2016

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 “WILL THERE BE a 50-year REUNION?” That question was posed by Melinda Knight (wife of our classmate Warren Knight) to Gillie and me as the three of us were sitting together and talking while at the social gathering of almost 30 people at Fargo’s Pizza Company in October 2015. Almost at the exact same time, Gillie and I replied to Melinda’s question by stating, “I have no idea.” Besides the three of us, other attendees were: Bruce McAlexander; Ron Petty; Bruce Brian; Maryellen Brada Manuszak; Roy Manuszak; Paul Snell; Linda Nolin Weber; Lydia Romero Fine; Mike Adragna; Doug Allen; Warren Knight; Judy Sackhoff Lollar; Shirley Guinta Tafoya; Bob Cook; Steve Cox; Gary Galyardt; Richard Stroud; Lyle Wikner (Class of 1965); Dave Kindsfater (Class of 1965); Gary Lollar (Class of 1968); and, the spouses of five of our classmates. After eating our respective meals, Bruce McAlexander paid for dessert for the attendees and Warren gave all attendees a free copy of his Flash Cadillac band’s 1996 CD titled “Ghost of Christmas.”

 SOME TYPE of 50-YEAR REUNION has captured the interest of a growing number of classmates, according to Bruce McAlexander who recently put out some feelers. He and our classmate Ron Petty propose having a meeting at the end of February to see if plans can be put in place for a reunion that is what Bruce and Ron describe as “simple and cheap.” Gillie recently wrote that a meeting should be held sooner than February because “at this late date, it may be difficult to book a venue.”

 In response to Bruce’s outreach, the following classmates already have expressed an interest in attending a 50-year reunion: Shirley Guinta Tafoya; Patti Kueck Daniel; Twila Wilson; Bruce Brian; Rhonda Richards Shamburger; Warren Knight; Pam Rains Shuman; Joy Woods Haskell; Doug Allen; Mickey Martin; Linda Nolin Weber; Mary Ashley Fuchsman; Daryl Kuiper.

 If you are remotely interested in attending some type of reunion, please send an email to this email box so that you can be added to the list.

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 IT WAS at THIS TIME 50 YEARS AGO in January 1966 that almost all of our classmates were roaming the halls of Widefield High School with the realization that it was only four months away before we would graduate and end up on divergent journeys in our respective lives. It was one month before, in December 1965, when we selected our classmate Candy Burdell as our Winter Ball Queen. We were only one month away from February 1966, at which time we selected our classmates Twila Wilson and Eldon Lee as Queen and King of our Sweetheart Ball.

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 THIS YEAR marks TEN YEARS that I have been the volunteer coordinator handling email communications to our classmates. I remember well how it all got started. While taking an afternoon stroll down Security Boulevard during a full-weekend visit at the Security home of my longtime friend Renee (Class of 1965) and her mother in September 2005, our classmate Ron Petty was driving by and stopped to say hello as we had not seen one another for a few years. He asked if I would be interested in having lunch with him and Bruce at some point that weekend when I was staying with Renee and her mother. While having lunch with Bruce and Ron at an Asian restaurant near K-mart in Security, they talked about having a 40-year reunion in 2006 and urged me to join them in organizing the reunion. Neither one of them had experience with email, and I was the only one who knew how to use a computer (despite never having one) and I was the only one who had the email addresses of several classmates with whom I was in periodic contact. I hesitated to make a commitment to help Bruce and Ron with the reunion project because, at that point in time, it was the first year of dealing with massive nerve damage and my recovery chances were unknown at that time. Nonetheless, I agreed to give it a try. My first email announcement was sent to numerous classmates in September 2005 to let them know that Bruce and Ron were beginning to do the groundwork for a reunion in mid-2006. Between the time of my first email announcement in September 2005 and my second one in January 2006, my confidential email list kept growing by leaps and bounds as word begin to spread among our classmates. By the time of the first meeting of the planning committee in February 2006, it was clear that somebody was needed to do a computerized spreadsheet to handle the growing list of contacts I had accumulated. Because I did not have a computer and was not familiar with spreadsheets, our classmate Bruce Brian volunteered to do the spreadsheet task as a member of the planning committee. After he handled the spreadsheet project for three months, Gillie took on the task and carried it all the way through the July 2006 reunion clear up through the July 2011 reunion.

 From September 2005 through the present time January 2016, it has been a little more than ten years of being the volunteer coordinator handling email communications to our classmates.

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 ONLINE ARCHIVES have been AMASSED by me in the course of being the volunteer coordinator handling email communications to our classmates for more than ten years. You probably already know that being a “hoarder” is one of the many (and there are many) stereotypes about older people. Living very simply with meager possessions and without modern technology at home, I definitely do not fit the “hoarder” stereotype at home. However, that stereotype definitely applies to me when storing online communications neatly organized in folders contained in my online archives. Being a “hoarder” with online communications came in handy when Gillie panicked in August 2010 upon announcing that the entire spreadsheet was lost when her computer crashed. A search of my online archives found the spreadsheet, which was forwarded to Gillie. 

 Speaking of my online archives, listed below are a few snippets about some of our classmates’ memories during our high-school years together.

 Pam Rains Shuman: “On our Senior Prom night, a group of six of us drove Paul Snell’s father’s brand new Oldsmobile up Gold Camp Road. We hit a rock, split the oil pan and had to coast off the mountain with no power steering or power brakes. We then pushed the car to the Broadmoor Hotel in our prom clothes.”

Steve Cox:  “I remember graduation night in the halls. While turning caps and gowns, everyone was exchanging their thoughts, hopes, desires, plans and saying good-bye.” About the craziest thing he did in high school, Steve once wrote: “Art teacher Michael Nevin sent Jerry Moyers and I to the office one day for locking Mr. Nevin out of the supply room. Instead of going to the office, we went to Giuseppe’s for beer. Miss French hunted us down and expelled us from school. How did she always know where to look?”

 Cheryl Minehart Belt:  “I remember getting shot at by the caretaker at the Broadmoor Hotel when Bobbi, Rhonda and I, with a few others, trespassed in the wee hours of an early morning to the lake’s island.” About the craziest thing she did in high school, Cheryl once wrote: “Danced with the devil.”

 Pam Means Reilly:  “In our senior year, I attended my first kegger and got drunk on 3.2 beer. My mother chewed me out for a whole week after that. My father laughed and said just don’t make a habit of it. I guess that is why I don’t like beer too much today.”

 Edith Freeman Smith:  “The only thing that stands out were the dress codes stating girls were not allowed to wear pants to school. Because I had to wait for a bus to transport me to the high school, I remember wearing jeans under my dress or skirt and removed them once we got to school. Nowadays, jeans under a dress is a fashion statement.”

 Mimi George Torreano [Known as Marie at WHS]: “I used a scooter of my brother [Ray George, Class of 1965] to impress a boy and crashed. I broke my wrist and almost didn’t have enough credits to graduate.”

 Suzie Gates Mitchell:  “One of my favorite classes was Home Economics. I had just finished making a dress I really loved with ruffled cuffs and red ric-rac trim. The first time I wore it to school was also the day in Chemistry, my least favorite class. We were mixing an acid with other liquids, and during the experiment I spilled the acid. It sprayed all over the dress, making thousands of tiny holes. My lab partner, Craig Snow, was very helpful with pouring water on me. The dress was ruined.” About the craziest thing she did in high school, Suzie once wrote: “Tried to play the French horn.”

 Gary Galyardt:  "As a senior, we were not allowed an excused absence to visit a college of our choice. On a day off we couldn’t pass up, four of us decided to visit Colorado State University (Fort Collins) in my car, a 1953 Studebaker Champion. The car crawled up Monument Hill, but flew down the back side. I heard a noise and saw a wheel cover in my rear-view mirror, then another, then another. We only found two of the three wheel covers."

 Wilma Espinoza Perez:  “I seldom saw my dad in a suit,” she once wrote about our graduation ceremony. “He wore one that night. That gesture spoke volumes about the importance of the occasion.”

 Dave Theiss:  “While my summer job was at the snack bar for the swimming pool at Fort Carson, the soldier/lifeguards allowed me to bring groups of friends to swim and “Skinny Dip” at night. One night in the summer of 1965, about seventeen (17) of our Class of 1966 finest male specimens were a bit too loud, a bit too naked, a bit too late at night and caught the attention of the night guards on the adjacent parade ground. What followed is pure folklore.”

 Sharon Breyer Grenz:  “In Spanish IV, Mrs. Girod was leaning against the tray on the chalkboard on the heels of her high heels when her feet slid out from under her and she fell (sat) on the floor. She was unhurt but embarrassed. We had to memorize and recite dialogs in Spanish. Daryl Kuiper and another male classmate recited the girl parts in very high, squeaky voices. The whole class was in stitches. In geometry class, our book would often present theorems with proofs and some with “Proof left to student.” On one of our exams, we had to do a proof and Perry Pierce’s answer was, “Proof left to teacher.”

 Bruce McAlexander:  “Along with several other guys, I dressed up like a cheerleader for our senior girls’ power puff football game and I popped my boobs (made of balloons) at the school assembly. Another memory is graduation night as we all threw our caps into the air and Carla Aber planted a lip-lock on me that wouldn’t quit.”

Barbara Billingsley Massarano:  “I guess the statutes of limitations have run out by now,” she once wrote in reference to the craziest thing she did in high school. “Sitting on the giant folding chair in front of the rental store on Cimarron Street like Edith Anne and waving to the traffic was definitely a stroke of genius. I almost broke my neck getting down. The police were not as amused as my friends who were driving around in my car (1959 Creamcicle Plymouth Fury). One time I allowed Twila to cut my goldie locks to ear level right before a Friday night football game. The haircut was not a pretty sight. What was Ron Skaggs thinking when he let Twila work on his hair? If Twila doesn’t mention her slumber parties under this heading [Craziest thing you did in high school], then shame on her.”

 Joy Payne Humphrey:  “I worked at the Kwik Shake and had great experiences with many people from all different school years and classes. I know my parents thought it was an awful place, but I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. Even though there were all kinds of rumors about the Kwik Shake being a “hangout,” I can’t think of any truly bad crimes or anything really awful happening. I remember the floods of 1965 when Pete Spiers cut his leg and the ambulance couldn’t get to him because of the flood waters. The waters did subside and all was well, right Pete? We all remember the floods that year and losing our Class of 1965 classmate [Ronnie White] whose remains were never found until 32 years later in 1997.”

 Kathy Simones Ferrier once wrote about the time it was her turn to feed the mice after school in Mr. Cantrell's biology class. Afraid to feed the mice, she didn't get the key from Mr. Cantrell. Because the mice weren't fed, the next day Kathy discovered that one mouse ate the other mouse and the only thing left was the tail. Kathy said she was "mortified" upon finding that in biology class.

 Shirley Guinta Tafoya once wrote that she forged the signature of Mr. Stenson (school principal) on a tardy slip and almost missed graduation because of that incident. Shirley noted that Mr. Stenson got a kick out of the incident, but Miss French didn't think it was funny.

 Lydia Romero Fine once wrote that she always shared her I.D. with Rhonda so that Rhonda could get in Gieuseppe's Bar. Lydia said she and Rhonda sat at the same table and the waitress never knew they used the same I.D. [Rhonda Richards Shamburger and Bruce Brian are the youngest ones in our class.]

 Glenda Windle Armstrong once wrote: "I don't think I did anything crazy. If anyone else remembers, remind me." A few sentences later, one incident she cited was "getting stopped by Deputy Ames [Sheriff] and having Judy [Sheriff Ames' daughter] in the car when we got stopped."

Stella Romero once wrote that she had "the biggest crush on Mr. Luna." She said she "absolutely melted when he called me 'Mademoiselle Romero' in French class!!" 

 Twila Wilson once wrote that her oldest brother and his "hood" friends never had any interest in "sosh" activities, yet they blew horns and pounded drums when Twila gave her speech upon running for Senior Class President. 

  Jo Ann Vallone Thayer (now deceased) admitted in our 2006 reunion booklet that she was one of the people who put the "for sale" signs in front of WHS when we were in high school. In that same reunion booklet, another classmate, Gerry Patterson Richards, wrote that she also put a for-sale sign on the front lawn of WHS. “Boy was Mr. Poole ticked off,” said Gerry. For those of you who often wondered back then who did that prank that infuriated school officials, now you know.

 Jean Puylara Cox (now deceased) once wrote, "That would be giving away secrets and names," when asked to describe crazy situations in high school.

 Ken Loveless also declined to talk about crazy situations from high school and once wrote that he will reveal them at the 50th reunion.

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 SPEAKING of EMAIL COMMUNICATIONS, the very first email I ever sent was in April 1999 during a full-weekend visit at the Security home of my longtime friend Renee (Class of 1965) and her mother. For quite some time, Renee had been trying to persuade me to get over my longtime anti-technology view. “As much as you always enjoy writing, I think you’ll like email and you should at least give a try,” she declared on several occasions. During that April 1999 weekend visit, she let me use her email address to type my very first email communication. My very first email was sent to our longtime classmate Stella Romero, who was residing and working in Germany at the time. Within the same day, Stella responded to me via Renee’s email address. In addition to updating me about how she and her husband were doing as well as their plans to leave Germany and move to Arizona, Stella wrote that she was “honored” that I picked her to be the recipient of my first email communication. I was very impressed upon getting Stella’s written reply within one day. Renee merely smiled broadly and flashed her beautiful eyes at me when I naively asked, “How did that get all the way to and from Germany in one day?” After that first experience with email, I was convinced and eventually set up my own personal email box in early 2000.

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 TO VISIT OUR CLASS WEBSITE that was assembled and is maintained by our Class Committee member and Webmaster, Paul Snell, please go to: www.1966whs.com

 The software that Paul used to build the website allows people to access the website through a regular computer as well as a smartphone or digital tablet. At the bottom of each page of the website is a link to a Facebook page that can be used by classmates who have Facebook and want to communicate and receive information through Facebook. Please be sure to bookmark the website address on your computer so that you will have it handy whenever you want to visit the website.

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 PLEASE do not TAKE IT PERSONALLY if you do not hear from me right away. As a volunteer in several nonprofit entities (including the college campus), I have only so much time within which to do my volunteer work as well as tend to my health challenges and other aspects of my personal life. Delays in my replies, in particular, are due to my long sleeping hours during which there is total relief from my neurological illness for which there is no cure. It is now eleven (11) years that I have had massive nerve damage. With this neurological illness continuing to take center stage in my life each day, there cannot be very much so-called normal or routine activities on my part as long as a state of normalcy has not been returned to my life. As noted in my update in July 2013, another reason for delays in my replies is that I have been “slowing down” more and more since late 2012 – it takes me forever to get something done. My doctors attribute the slowness to me getting older, not the neurological illness.

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 This update was prepared by me. 

 Respectfully submitted, 

Donnie Martinez

Known at WHS by stepfather’s surname Collier 

Martinez is my birth certificate and legal surname 

a/k/a Butch, family nickname since childhood 

a/k/a Don, presumably the adult version of Donnie 

a/k/a Primo (Cousin) to dozens of my Martinez cousins 

a/k/a El Aguila (The Eagle), a version of Gillie’s name for me

a/k/a Nitpicker Supreme, a title lovingly given to me by Gillie

a/k/a Frank to older women saying I look like their idol Frank Sinatra

a/k/a Dee Dee, a fun name used by people to mean Dear Donnie

 

I don’t care what people call me, just call me.

 

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October 2015

UPDATE October 2015

YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED to a social gathering of the WHS Class of 1966 on Saturday, October 24, 11:30 a.m., at Fargo’s Pizza Company located at 2910 East Platte Avenue in Colorado Springs. The informal event was proposed by our classmates Ron Petty and Bruce McAlexander.

 “Are we at the stage that we need to have name badges to try to recognize everyone?” asked Bruce McAlexander in his somewhat serious and joking manner. “That tells me that it has been too long again.”

People who need a ride to the event can contact our classmate Doug Allen, a longtime East Coast resident who is now living back in Colorado Springs.

 Direct any inquiries to Bruce by calling him at (719) 685-1420 or via email at LeviMcAlexander1@Gmail.com

 Speaking of Bruce’s half-serious and half-joking reference to name badges to try to recognize one another now that we are growing old, our classmate Bob Cook wrote a very interesting message in August 2015 on the topic of recognition. He wrote:

 “I’m never surprised when folks don’t recognize or remember me. I moved to Widefield from Germany in January 1963 and attended Widefield High School from the second semester of my freshman year to graduation. I was shy and had few friends, mainly Steve Cox, Rick Helwig, Norman Durkee and Judy Ames. I also was friends with Mike Baile, Mike Parrish and Ken Powelson. They seem to have disappeared. In fact, I heard Mike Parrish is deceased. I didn’t play sports or attend social events. I was into motorcycles and studies, that’s about it. Another difference is that I was small and skinny at WHS. My draft card says 5’8” and 160 lbs. Today I’m 6’2” and 205 lbs. Even folks who knew me don’t recognize me.”

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 AT THIS TIME 50 YEARS AGO in 1965, many of us were roaming the halls of WHS and attending our final year of classes as we became seniors at WHS – only eight months away until graduation in May 1966. “Where is Stella, where is Della?” was the most-often question that our classmates asked as we returned to WHS in September 1965. Noticeably absent from our ranks were our longtime classmates Stella and Della, the Romero twins who were with many of us in Security all the way from grade school through high school. At the end of our junior year in May 1965, we elected Stella Romero and Suzie Gates to be the official new Class Representatives for our senior year that started in September 1965. Stella and Suzie were scheduled to join our classmates Dave Rapelje, Rhonda Richards and Daryl Kuiper who were already serving terms as our official Class Representatives in a decision-making body led by our classmate Twila Wilson as President, Meg Hulsey as Vice-President and Pat Kueck as Secretary. With Stella not being present over the beginning weeks of our senior year, school officials considered appointing somebody else to become the new Class Representative and ended up leaving the position unfilled throughout our senior year. It was later learned that the Romero family suddenly moved away from Security over the summer 1965. Despite Stella and Della not officially being with us during our senior year, many of us always considered them an integral part of our class because they were longtime regulars in our school life in Security from grade school into our high school years. [See the “In Memoriam” section of our class website for the article I wrote many years ago about Della, who passed away in November 2001. Stella remains in contact with our classmates.]

 In that same May 1965 election in which we elected Stella and Suzie to join the aforementioned three other classmates as our official Class Representatives for our senior year, there was a very close election between our classmate Eldon Lee and me for a seat on the Student Council for which our classmate Ron Petty was President and our classmate Bruce McAlexander was Vice President. Although many people thought Eldon’s popularity as a sports player almost guaranteed that he would prevail over me in the election, the final count and recount were so close between him and me that the council’s faculty liaisons decided that both of us would be on Student Council in our senior year.

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 OUR CLASSMATE Mimi George Torreano stated in a July 2015 message that she and her husband will be in Colorado Springs for a family reunion over the July 4 holiday weekend next year. She looks forward to seeing some of our classmates while she is in Colorado Springs during that time. Known at WHS as Marie George, she has gone by the Mimi nickname that her mother always called her when the George family lived in Security. Having been Torreano through marriage the past five decades, Mimi and her husband reside in Hawaii.

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 TO VISIT OUR CLASS WEBSITE for which our classmate Paul Snell is the Webmaster, please go to:www.1966whs.com

 The software that Paul used to build the website allows people to access the website through a regular computer as well as a smartphone or digital tablet. At the bottom of each page of the website is a link to a Facebook page that can be used by classmates who have Facebook and want to communicate and receive information through Facebook. Please be sure to bookmark the website address on your computer so that you will have it handy whenever you want to visit the website.

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 This update was prepared by me.

 Respectfully submitted,

 Donnie Martinez

Known at WHS by stepfather’s surname Collier

Martinez is my birth certificate and legal surname

a/k/a Butch, family nickname since childhood

a/k/a Don, presumably the adult version of Donnie

a/k/a Primo (Cousin) to dozens of my Martinez cousins

 

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