Dec.22, 2022

OUR classmate MEG HULSEY MAILO is still recovering from her five-hour surgery on November 8 and a followup surgery on November 21 as a result of extensive burns on her back and thigh stemming from a fire on November 3 at her home in western Colorado. On November 15, her adult daughter Toni posted the following on Facebook: “She is feeling better but is still in the ICU Burn unit at UC Health. She has a few places where the grafts will need another surgery, so we are unsure when she will leave the hospital or where she will go after for continued wound care. Her go fund me is still up and running and we are thankful for all that gave or will give as we move forward. The love and support from you all has touched my heart in ways I never dreamed possible. Thank you all for loving my beautiful momma!”

Since the time of that post over a month ago in mid-November, there was no further update from Toni until a few days ago on December 16 at which point she posted the following on Facebook:

“I've been getting messages for an update, so here is the latest. Mom is improving and healing every day. The process is slow and exhausting and lonely, but she truly is on the mend. She had a second grafting surgery and is in a skilled nursing center to get wound care and physical therapy to build her strength. We have been able to provide for much of her and Lamar’s needs with the donations so far, but we do still need a few more things before we can bring her home. She still has some need. We have provided her with what she needs in the nursing home, but we still need a bed. For Lamar, he needs more food and I'd really like to get him some Christmas gifts.”
[Lamar is Meg’s grandson, whose father is Meg’s son Michael.]

The above-listed post by Toni included the following note from Meg herself:
“I hope I can come home for Christmas. It will be an all family on deck situation because I still require [treatments for the] burn on my back and leg. The itching is about to drive me crazy. One can only guess when it starts to look better. I'm homesick and lonely. Everyone lives too far away to visit.”

Many thanks to our classmate and class-website manager Paul Snell for alerting me to the aforementioned posts on Facebook. I never have been a Facebook member, so I rely on Paul and other Facebook members to inform me of situations conveyed through that source.

Meg and I have had several phone conversations over the past four weeks while she’s been at the hospital and the rehab center, so I am quite aware of what has been going on with her current medical situation as well as her most-interesting life after WHS. Despite the overwhelming battle Meg is waging, her sweet personality and humor have managed to shine through during our chats. Understandably, she currently has an array of mixed emotions (fear, depression, confusion) about being released from the rehab center as she is not fully certain that her improvement is enough. Whenever she is released to return home, she will no longer need daily treatments. If there are any treatments needed periodically, they will be done by a professional nurse. Meg and her team of medical professionals had an assessment meeting on December 19, and there will be another assessment meeting on December 28 to determine whether or not she will be released to return home where she lives in western Colorado. Regardless of the outcome of the decision to remain in rehab or to be released, Meg has resigned herself to the reality that the recovery process will be what she describes as “slow and a long time.”

The fundraiser list shows that there are donations consisting of $2,800 total, an amount that is 56% of the $5,000 goal. Donations were made by:
(a) WHS Class of 1966 members — Terry Chambers, Barbara Billingsley Massarano, Ken Loveless, Gillie Walker, Paul Snell, Bruce Brian, Starr Coakley Miller, Mary Ashley Fuchsman, Wilma Espinosa, Cheryl Minehart Belt;

(b) WHS Class of 1967 members Harry Diamond and Drinda Dawson Nigbur (widow of our classmate Tom Nigbur);

(c) WHS Class of 1965 members Mick Parnell and John Henke (husband of
Eldon Lee’s sister Judy); and,

(d) a few others who are not from WHS.

Because the fundraiser is handled through a public website, the names of donors are public information. Donors can select the website’s “anonymous” option if they choose not to be listed. As someone who never has had a credit card or debit card in my long life, I cannot make a donation to the online fundraiser.

According to the aforementioned post by Meg’s daughter Toni on December 16, donations are still needed. To make an online donation, click the following link:

Please join me in continuing to keep Meg in thoughts and prayers during this health challenge for her. Please be sure to check our class website for updates about Meg.


“UNWELCOME PRESENT” are the two words used by the Colorado office of the Utility Consumer Advocate (UCA) to forewarn Denver metro-area companies and residents who rely on electricity and natural gas from the big corporation called Xcel Energy (XE). UCA was quoted in the media in September 2022 that XE customers would get an “unwelcome present” in December (this month) from XE. Sure enough, the “unwelcome present” arrived via postal mail ten days ago on December 10, at which time I opened the envelope and was aghast upon seeing an astronomical bill that was One Hundred Percent (yes, 100%) higher from one year ago in December 2021.

According to UCA in the media three months ago, the dramatic hikes in XE bills this month (December) were driven by “a series of rate increases spurred by higher natural gas prices.” Indeed, gas costs were the main source of the extraordinary increase in the December bill to the nonprofit condo property for which I have been the board president and volunteer property manager the past 22 years. It is not that our property used more gas. Now at 95 cents per therm (the unit that XE always uses to determine the amount of the gas bill), the therm rate currently is One Hundred Percent (yes, 100%) more than it was for the first six months of this year. The XE bill for this month (December) completely torpedoed our gas budget for this fiscal year that will end ten days from now on December 31.

Piling rate hike upon rate hike is called “pancaking” and this year’s stack by XE is unprecedented, according to UCA.

My August 2022 memo to the 200 people in our high-density residential neighborhood cited an XE official who stated: (a) the cost of natural gas is passed directly to customers through a Gas Cost Adjustment (GCA); and, (b) there is “no profit” to XE for that cost. Commenting on the XE official’s claims to me about the GCA, a Black activist neighbor who is a consumer advocate wrote to me via email the following remark:

“What the Rep failed to mention is that fees, base rate manipulations, assumptions and projections in Xcel’s rate requests are not pass-throughs and don’t fluctuate with the GCA. The rate increases are the gifts that keep on giving to Xcel.”

At the August 2022 hearing before the State government’s regulatory agency called
the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), our Black activist neighbor and other consumer advocates testified against the XE rate increases. No matter how much public resistance there is, PUC almost always sides with XE requests that ultimately amount
to feeding at the trough of the pocketbooks of consumers. Projections by UCA and other consumer advocates are that the XE bills will continue to remain high over the next two cold winter months in January and February. [As a side note, XE sought to expand its services to the Colorado Springs area a few years ago and was firmly rejected by the city’s power holders.]

With the “unwelcome present” from XE during this holiday season that is supposed to be jolly and filled with cheer, XE is the only one going “Ho, Ho, Ho” all the way to the bank.


THE SONG “Hallelujah” IS PERFORMED as an instrumental by two brothers,
Luíz and Fabian Salazar, from the South American country of Ecuador. Using
pan-flute instruments to perform the Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen’s 1984 song titled Hallelujah, the Salazar brothers chose the word “Wuauquikuna" from their indigenous culture as the name of their two-member band. Their relaxing instrumental was submitted to this newsletter by our classmate Bruce McAlexander. To watch the 4-minute video of the performance by Wuauquikuna, click the following link


CORRECTION to the PREVIOUS NEWSLETTER: The November 2022 newsletter included our classmate Barbara Garrison’s letter with a photo, which I mistakenly named Barbara as the woman shown with her husband Brian. The photo was selected by me from the August 2022 installment in their extensive photo collection throughout their four-year road trip all over the U.S. Because the photo I selected did not have a caption to name the two people in the photo, my assumption was that they were Barbara and Brian. Upon subsequently contacting me about the error, Barbara was the typical light-hearted person she always is and stated that she “laughed out loud” upon reading my caption that it was her in the photo. Clarifying that the woman in the photo is Brian’s sister Karen, Barbara wrote: “Nice to see my husband smiling in a photo for a change!” Shame on me for assuming that Barbara is the woman in the photo. I obviously need an eye-doctor appointment to get new glasses. Egads!


TO VISIT OUR CLASS WEBSITE that was assembled and has been maintained since April 2009 by our Class Committee member and Webmaster, Paul Snell, please go to:


That’s all, folks. [Those are the same three words that the famous 1950s cartoon character Porky Pig always used upon ending each episode.]

This update was prepared by me. 

Respectfully submitted,

Donnie Martínez (December 20, 2022)

Security — grade school thru graduation 1966 

Known in Security by stepdad’s surname Collier 

Martínez is my birth certificate and legal surname