February 2020



A MEETING to PLAN the 55-YEAR REUNION will take place on Wednesday, February 12, 11:30 a.m., at Fargo’s Pizza Company located at 2910 East Platte Avenue in Colorado Springs. Our classmate Ron Petty reserved the room for the gathering, so mention his name to the staff at the reception area so that you can be directed to the right place. At the gathering, attendees will discuss plans for the 55-year reunion to take place in the summer 2021. Even if you cannot commit to helping to plan the reunion, please attend the meeting anyway to enjoy lunch and friendly talk with classmates. So that the restaurant can make advance plans for the gathering, please RSVP no later than Sunday, February 9, via email to:



THE 55-YEAR REUNION WILL BE HELD in 2021 on Saturday, August 21, OR Saturday, August 28. Although the reunion committee recently decided that the event will be on one of those two dates, the specific Saturday has not been determined until a contract is signed to reserve a specific venue. The historic event will begin on Friday evening with an informal social event at a place to be announced. The reunion will continue Saturday with the main event consisting of an informal outdoor picnic in a roof-covered gazebo at which food and soft drinks will be provided as part of the registration fee, which has not been established yet. Committee members Maryellen and Patti are currently exploring various venues for the gatherings on Friday evening and mid-day on Saturday.

Both parts of the reunion (the Friday evening social and the main event at mid-day on Saturday) will be accessible to attendees with disabilities, in accordance with the responses provided by classmates who took part in the online survey sent to everyone in November-December 2019 and early January 2020. The committee recognizes the importance of accessibility and accommodations for people who need a walker, cane or wheelchair to get around. Although there are currently six (6) classmates for whom accessibility is an issue, that number certainly could increase over the next year and a half with emerging health challenges as we become older by the time of the August 2021 reunion.

Just as our past social events (luncheons, reunions, etc.) always have been open to all WHS classes of the 1960s, our August 2021 reunion also will be open to all WHS classes of the 1960s.


THE REUNION SURVEY RESULTS indicated that an overwhelming majority (70%) deferred to the planning committee to make the decisions about the reunion. As expressed in the online survey that was sent to everyone in November-December 2019 and early January 2020, the majority of respondents had almost identical replies such as “the event is too far ahead to think about, let the committee decide the details.” Despite 70% of respondents with that view, the committee took into account the input from the other 30% of classmates who took the time to think about the issues and to provide their respective preferences.

Among the 30% of the respondents who offered specific input, the most detailed replies and suggestions came from our classmate Barbara Garrison. She was very thoughtful and creative with her ideas, which included fun and interactive activities such as:

“Jog That Memory” in which attendees watch a slideshow that displays 20-30 photos that defined our class along with news events in 1966;

“Memory March” in which a prize is given to the reunion attendee who correctly names the highest number of songs and singers after 10-20 seconds of each song is played;

“Name-tag Hunt” in which each attendee is assigned to correctly identify one specific attendee based only on the name tag that has only his/her senior photo;

“Who’s That Baby?” in which a prize is given to the reunion attendee who correctly names the highest number of classmates based on their respective baby pictures.

Barbara suggested a few other fun and interactive activities that can be considered for the reunion, and she also suggested the use of two online options – Skype or FaceTime – that could be used by NON-attendees who want to provide input at the planning meetings and eventually could be used by NON-attendees at the reunion itself.


OUR CLASSMATE PAM RAINS SHUMAN recently shared some food for thought regarding the importance of reunions for people in our age bracket. Listed below is what Pam wrote.

At our age, each day is a gift and the people in our lives are treasures we’ve collected along the way. We store them in a chest and some we take out often and work to keep shiny and new, while others are set aside and tarnish with time. But the great news is that at any time, we can choose to pick a tarnished one up and put the work in to make it shiny and new again. It won’t be exactly the same, how could it be. Time has made us older and hopefully wiser. Occasionally we miss the opportunity to reconnect. We waited too long and nature took its course. I try to live each day for what God has given me to do. I try to not take people for granted. I am not always successful. But I am thankful for times like our reunions to take some treasures out of the chest and shine them up once again, if even for a little while.


THE REUNION COMMITTEE is made up of the following classmates: Patti Kueck Daniel; Lydia Romero Fine; Linda Nolin Weber; Maryellen Brada Manuszak; Marie “Mimi” George Torreano; Ron Petty; Bruce McAlexander; Warren Knight; Roy Manuszak; Donnie Martinez; Paul Snell; Mike Adragna; Daryl Kuiper; Steve Cox; and, Bruce Brian. Other classmates are always welcome at any time to become part of the process to plan the event.

Paul and Donnie offered to be on the committee with the caveat that they will do so from afar (via the class website and email broadcasts) due to uncontrolled population growth causing ongoing traffic congestion nightmares whenever they travel to Colorado Springs from their respective homes located in different parts of Denver. 


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

Donnie, thank you for this sad update [death of Lynn Phipps]. Lynn was a great person and friend. I appreciate that you take the time to let all of us know. You are always kind with your words of remembrance. Thank you and stay well!

-- Mick Martin, Class of 1966

So sorry to hear about Lynn. She was always in some of my classes and what a fun and funny girl. Always wondered why she didn’t attend our reunions. Sorry she had such a long battle with MS, but she is now at peace and free from her illness.

-- Rhonda Richards Shamburger, Class of 1966

Please give everyone my very best and tell them that I’m planning to attend the reunion in 2021. Thanks.

-- Pete Spiers, Class of 1966

If I don’t tell you often enough, Donnie: thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done and for all you continue to do on behalf of the Class of 1966. Your incredible attention to detail and your patience with keeping all of the class “stuff” organized and accessible is deeply appreciated. You are the best!

-- Barbara Garrison, Class of 1966

Note: In reply to the January 2020 update about our classmate Stella Romero, there was an outpouring of warm thoughts and prayers in messages that were passed on to Stella. If you have not yet sent a message, send it to this email box and it will be shared with Stella.


OUR CLASSMATES in ARIZONA recently had a miniature reunion for two hours in a quiet corner of a Red Lobster restaurant. In attendance were Tom Nigbur, Judy Whitmore Precise, Barbara Garrison, Tom’s spouse Drinda Dawson Nigbur (WHS Class of 1967), Judy’s husband Sandy, and Barbara’s spouse Brian. Our classmate Stella Romero planned to attend the event, but she cancelled at the last minute due to not feeling well. According to Barbara’s summary of the gathering, Drinda brought along the WHS yearbook that “made it so much fun to remember favorite (and not so favorite!) teachers, clubs and organizations we belonged to, and challenged our long-term memories as we tried to recall acquaintances and old friends.” 

About Tom and Drinda, attendees learned: (a) after WHS graduation, Tom went to CU Boulder on a football scholarship; (b) Tom and Drinda married in 1968 and resided in campus housing for married students; (c) Drinda loved her bank job, which CU found for her; (d) Drinda is working with their son nowadays in their estate-sale business; and (e) whenever Drinda and their son finish an estate sale, Tom does the heavy lifting by generally helping with the cleanup and transporting unsold items to Goodwill or Salvation Army. Drinda and Tom have been married for 52 years.

About Judy, attendees learned: (a) Judy and Sandy met on a blind date arranged for Judy by our classmate Pam Rains; (b) Pam was interested in Sandy and was hoping Judy would be more interested in Sandy’s friend; and, (c) Judy and Sandy got married in 1970 and this year marks their 50-year anniversary. In case you’re reading this and wondering that Pam probably no longer speaks to Judy, think again. Pam and Judy have maintained their friendship for many decades. Pam Rains Shuman will visit Judy and Sandy when Pam is in Arizona this month (February).

“We talked about our children and the general consensus was that we’re too young to have children who are turning 50 this year,” said Barbara about the recent miniature reunion in Arizona. “Where did all those years go so quickly?”

Among the six attendees at the aforementioned gathering in a quiet corner at the Red Lobster restaurant, only four of them (Judy, Sandy, Tom, Drinda) reside in Arizona. Barbara and Brian are there temporarily through March as part of their extended Recreational Vehicle (RV) journey throughout the U.S. since mid-2018, at which time they sold their Pennsylvania home. Before they leave Arizona, Barbara looks forward to a visit with Stella.


FOND MEMORIES of Linda Phipps and Other Classmates were shared in the late January 2020 communication from our classmate Bruce McAlexander. In many ways, he is the “goodwill ambassador” for our class because of his compassion, charm, witty sense of humor, analytical skills, and vast memory of details about our classmates from grade school through the present. Listed below is what Bruce wrote.

Sometimes I find myself a “little taken back” in more than one way after learning of a death of a friend from my youth. It makes me stop and do a lot of “thinking” about a variety of things and the people in my life and how quickly we have gotten to this age. I found myself thinking of all the people who lived in the 100 block of Norman where Linda Phipps lived in our senior year – Perry Pierce, Glenda Windle, Susan Chapman (who is Marciano Anteola’s wife), Kay Music (who was one of my older sister’s friends), and around the corner were Dick Powers and John Ball. I am probably missing many others who lived on that long winding block of Norman Drive. Glenda Windle’s house was always a house of many activities for the girls our age. Mrs. Windle had the Brownies there in her house and later on the Girl Scouts when they got older. In high school, the Windles were always offering their garage for float-building as well. Linda was one of those girls wearing the Brownie outfits with pride to grade school. That part of Security seemed to be the dividing line that determined if some kids went to North Elementary or Widefield Elementary. I went to Widefield Elementary for third grade and then 4th, 5th and 6th grades at North Elementary. However, some of our classmates went between the two schools with the boundary changing in those years.

My point is that until getting back with some of them for me did not take place until our Sproul Junior High days, and we usually hung out with those in our grade school unless outside activities brought us into contact such as the Brownies or a baseball team. My mom used to send me to Linda Phipps’ house to pick up ironing that her mom did to make extra money. It was always nice to have an excuse to go to a cute girl’s house with my mom sending me there. Linda was this tall, slender girl with such a pretty smile and sparkling eyes. I found it rather interesting that she had such dark hair and her younger sister was as blonde as I was. I am not sure why I found that so intriguing since my two sisters had darker hair than I had, but I sometimes had my thoughts go to “unique” places. (I digress.)

When I was a senior, I was approached by a friend who suggested to me that I should ask Linda to go to the prom since I liked dancing and Linda did as well. I took them up on the suggestion and asked Linda. It was always difficult to ask a girl, even if they were a friend, to go to a “big” event such as senior prom. Over the years, I had gone to dances with girls who were my friends instead of being actually a “girlfriend.” I guess it was safer for both of us at that stage. I always ended up having great times since it was always the girls who loved dancing and I was one of the guys who danced all the time even if I looked like a “chicken with its head cut off” as my son-in-law has described my dancing ability. So, prom night came and I went to pick up Linda with my corsage. She looked very pretty and I got through the part where our mothers had to take our pictures and told us to “have a good time.” Donnie Collier and Barbara Billingsley were with us that night as our double dates. We were all friends, but it sounds better to say “double dates.” We went to the high school and danced to the “Moonrakers” the whole night. As you know, it was traditional to stay out all night on “Prom Night.” Linda, Donnie, Barbara and I had no alcoholic beverages and we sat in the car listening to the radio station KYSN (which were the best call letters ever) and hanging out with other classmates to pass the night away. Linda and Barbara still had on their prom dresses. Our goal was to make it to daylight and then go eat breakfast before going home. I had so much fun. Linda and Barbara were gracious enough to go with Bruce and Donnie on such an important night in our youth. I am not sure I would necessarily want to know their memories of that night, but Donnie and I were two lucky guys to have Linda and Barbara all night with us. Maybe we were so tired, but we did all laugh that night and did make it to morning where we got out of the pasture and headed to a diner on West Colorado Avenue called the “Dawn” to eat our breakfast. It was a good night and great memories for me!

I am sorry to hear about Linda’s battle with MS over the years. It had to be such a struggle in so many ways for her. The last time I remember seeing Linda was at a King Soopers here in Colorado Springs years ago.

I want to say this before closing. I’ve been a little surprised by those sharing with me some of their childhood struggles over the years about growing up in Security. I had no idea in my youth what some classmates had been going through. I did not have the reality how short of time it had been since two major wars had ended and how our parents dealt with them, good or bad. I do know that I look back and many of you, my classmates, were such a blessing and joy to me. We’re hoping to have a 55th reunion and I would so much like to have the “touch” of seeing and talking with so many of you. Debbie Armknecht was my friend. I played with Larry Cordova and Alan Pinder. Mary Ashley and Marciano Anteola lived on my street on Rose Drive. John Paden, Dave Larsen and John Griffith helped me get through some tough classes. Beth Plana was always my competition in grade school.

With Linda Phipps passing, I am almost afraid to find out why we haven’t been able to get in touch with so many classmates over the years – Eddie Nickum, Dane McCaffrey, Dave Lowe, Dave Smedsrud, Larry Shelton, Becky Estes, Junior Brown, Roger Aulabaugh, and so many more. Pete Spiers has caught up with some of us after all these years and I am glad. I have several memories of our hockey team, Tommy Fay, Mark Haggar, Myra Boberg, Sharon Breyer, Wanda Floyd, Chuck Johnson, Terry Chambers, Mike Herman, Carolyn Simpson, Linda Murphy, etc., and I could go on and on. Candy Burdell and Joy Woods were always like sisters to me. When I ran away from home, I got taken care of by them. They did end my singing career, though, when I sang an Elvis song to them and they started laughing and broke my heart.

Linda Phipps was one of those who touched my life, and I am glad for that prom night and the memories of those who were my friends. I am sorry that we lost so much contact over the years.


THE Childhood and Teen PRANK of ringing a doorbell and running away was the topic of a New York Times recent news story about three teenagers who were recently killed by an adult man whose home was the target of the doorbell prank. Termed “Ding Dong, Nobody’s There” in the 1950s and 1960s and nowadays called “Doorbell Ditch” to describe the prank, the recent news story instantly reminded me of the hundreds of times that my longtime childhood/teen friends Yolanda Lopez (WHS Class of 1965) and Larry Cordova (WHS Class of 1966) accompanied me to do the prank after dark in neighborhoods at the North half (between Main Street and Bradley Road, between Hallam and Security Blvd.) of Security where our families lived in the era of the 1950s and 1960s. If you are reading this and recall that your home was the target of the prank in the North half of Security in those years, most likely it was Larry, Yolanda and me. After ringing the doorbell of somebody’s home, we quickly hid behind nearby bushes and did our best not to laugh out loud upon watching the facial reaction of the person answering the door and finding nobody there. During my lunch with Yolanda fifteen years ago when she and her husband were visiting Denver from out of state, she and I roared with laughter upon reflecting on the fun times we had with the doorbell prank numerous occasions in our childhood and teen years in Security. “At least we weren’t doing drive-by shootings back then like they do nowadays,” proclaimed Yolanda upon describing our doorbell pranks as harmless compared to the violent behaviors of kids and teens in modern times. It was downright horrifying for me to read the news story that three teenagers recently died due to the doorbell prank. 


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:



PLEASE do not TAKE IT PERSONALLY if you do not hear from Class Committee members right away. As volunteers, we have only so much time within which to do our volunteer work as well as tend to other aspects of our personal lives. Delays in my replies, in particular, are due to me not being awake very much anymore as sleeping long hours is the only time period during which there is total relief from my neurological illness for which there is no cure. It is now fifteen (15) years that I have had massive nerve damage. 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 stepfathers surname Collier

Martinez is my birth certificate and legal surname

a/k/a Butch (pronounced Booch), family nickname since childhood