January 2013





IT’S PARTY TIME AGAIN! Our dear friend and compatriot, Doug Allen, will be visiting here in town at the end of the month and wants to show off his new friend, George. So we're having a party at my house on Saturday, February 2, 5:30 - 10:00 p.m. Pot luck and bring your own drinks, particularly if you like to drink something special. Write me (Gillie) at gpwiii@aol.com to RSVP, get directions and to coordinate with me what you'll be bringing.


Some folks missed the last party, including Doug who was having his friend, George, installed. I hope you can make it and get our new year started off with lots of fun and love.





Note from Donnie: When I first read Gillie’s party announcement that referred to Doug’s “new friend, George,” I thought maybe Doug had given up his longtime straight lifestyle and found a boyfriend. Despite always knowing Doug to be straight as an arrow, I thought anything was possible nowadays with more and more people busting down the closet doors. Then, like delayed sonic sound, it occurred to me that Gillie is referring to Doug’s new leg. “Yep, that’s it, gotta be it, just gotta be it,” I said to myself.


If anyone is unable to make the party and would like to see Doug while he is in Colorado Springs, Doug will be available to get together from January 23 to February 5 for coffee, lunch or whatever. If you would like to set up a time to visit with him during that two-week period before he returns home to North Carolina, send an email to him at DougAllen48@Gmail.com




OUR CLASSMATE TOM FAY’S MOTHER recently passed away in Colorado Springs. The funeral will be Wednesday, January 16, 1:00 p.m., at Security Baptist Church located at 208 Cunningham Drive (a few blocks up the hill from North Security Grade School) in Security. Our Class Committee member, Ron Petty, has been the Pastor of that church for many years. Our Class Committee member, Bruce McAlexander, wrote: “For most of us who grew up on the north end of Security, we knew Tommy quite well. His dad was County Commissioner for several years when we were younger. Bruce Brian and Tommy were best friends. I haven’t seen Tommy since high school, but I’m pretty sure Tommy will appreciate the support and enjoy seeing some old friends.” If our classmates are unable to attend the funeral and would still like to extend condolences, please send an email to Tom Fay in care of this WHSclass1966 email box and it will be forwarded to him.




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. In an approximate 2-minute video recently shared by my longtime Chicano friend Lorenzo (not affiliated with WHS), The Madison dancers are fabulous with their detailed footwork and outfits during their dance performance. The Madison originated and was popular in the late 1950s and early 1960s on the East Coast, but the dance never made its way to Security in those years. If my childhood and teen dance partner Yolanda Lopez (WHS Class of 1965) and I would have known about it, 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 five-star dance performance by the modern-day young dancers, turn on your computer’s sound and click the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spU8AasuyFM




MY OLD-FASHIONED TELEPHONE became the focus of some good humor a few months ago when two of our classmates were visiting from out of state and wanted to call me while in Colorado. As someone who is very old-fashioned and does not have any modern technology (no cell phone, no TV, no computer, no microwave, no dishwashing machine) at home, via email I provided my home telephone number to the inquiring classmates and included our Class Committee member Gillie on the email note. With her delightful sense of humor, Gillie sent to the inquiring classmates the following reply:


“See? He's not as low-tech or as inaccessible as he lets on. He does have a telephone. Granted, it's big and black, has a rotary dial and cords but it is, in fact, a telephone.”


Although many people describe me as a “minimalist” due to living very simply like a monk and not having modern technology at home, I do have computer access in the course of my volunteer tutoring and other volunteer tasks at the college campus, which is where I am right now. Students here at the campus frequently are aghast when they learn that I am not at all connected with all of the modern technological gadgets. (smile)




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



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, you don’t know me and I have known about you only through your many newsletter updates that always have been forwarded to me by somebody I know in the Class of 1969. Somebody once showed me a video they took of you doing a dance performance at one of your class events a few years ago, and upon watching it my husband said, “Wow, that little old man sure can dance.” I truly admire how active your Class of 1966 has been and how your class makes efforts to be inclusive with your events. Even though I graduated from Widefield 20 years after your class did, our class never has been as active as your class has. Of the graduating classes that have been listed for many years in the “Alumni” section of our high school website, your class is the only one that never loses steam and just keeps going and going.

-- Cindy Benjamin, Class of 1986


Thank you, Donnie, for all your efforts to keep us connected despite your health limitations. You are amazing! And thanks to Gillie, too, for all she does to keep us involved with each other's lives. Looking forward to being together again at our next reunion in 2016!  
-- Barbara Garrison, Class of 1966


Thank you Donnie, I do so appreciate your work at making it easy for our classmates to stay in touch. I can only imagine the amount of work you do every to gather information for our newsletter updates. Thank you!

-- Doug Allen, Class of 1966


Donnie, I am always saddend to hear about your medical condition and what you must deal with every single day. You handle this with such grace and are an inspiration to many as you continue to give so much of yourself doing all the volunteer work that you do. You are a blessing to all who know you.

-- Vickie Hawes Lessa, Class of 1966




BEING GREEN or GOING GREEN are the modern-day terms that refer to a broad range of recycling efforts. As a longtime recycler, I have viewed recycling as one concrete way that people can do something about the unnecessary waste of precious resources in the environment. As someone who has been the volunteer alley janitor for the entire neighborhood in which I have lived the past 13 years, I always keep my neighbors updated on recycling policies. Our classmate, Marie “Mimi” George Torreano, recently shared a story that captures the generation gap that frequently exists between politically-correct young people and us older folks about issues related to environmental issues. The story is listed below.


Upon checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment. 

The older woman apologized and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in my earlier days." 

The young clerk responded, "That's our problem today because your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations." 

Upon thinking more about it, the older woman told the young clerk about numerous ways in which the older generation DID engage in recycling despite not having the “green thing” in our day. After gathering her thoughts, the older woman gave quite an earful to the young clerk by saying:


“Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were truly recycled.”

“Back then, grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.”

“Back then, we always walked up stairs because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.” 

“Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes outdoors on a clothesline, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts. Wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.” 

“Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house – not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.”

“Back then, we drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.”

“Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.”

After the older woman was finally done giving a big earful to the young clerk, who was surprised upon listening, the older woman had one final statement: “It is sad that the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the so-called green thing back then.”




THE 2013 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.”




OUR CLASS COMMITTEE consists of several classmates who volunteer their time, at one point or another, regarding issues pertinent to our class. Our Class Committee members are: Gillie Walker; Bruce McAlexander; Marcia Hagans Allin; Meg Hulsey Mailo; Ron Petty; Donnie Collier Martinez; Paul Snell; Mike Adragna; Bruce Brian; Linda Nolin Weber; Ken Loveless; Roy Manuszak; Mary Ellen Brada Manuszak; Jerry Moyers; Barbara Billingsley Massarano; Warren Knight. Other classmates are welcome to be part of the Class Committee.




WE ARE VOLUNTEERS. Please do not ever take it personally if you do not hear from the Class Committee or the Website Committee 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 eight 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.




This update was prepared by me.


Respectfully submitted,


Donnie Martinez, WHS Class of 1966 Committee

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.


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





by D. Martínez (January 2013)


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 eight 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 this year are: Jessica Chastain; Jennifer Lawrence; Emmanuelle Riva; Naomi Watts; and Quvenzhane Wallis. Ms. Chastain is fabulous as the young CIA agent who succeeded in finding terrorist Osama bin Laden, as conveyed in the well-done film "Zero Dark Thirty." Ms. Lawrence is very good as an emotionally-troubled young widow whose friendship with an older emotionally-troubled married man results in their well-done performance in a dance contest that is detailed in the film "Silver Linings Playbook." Ms. Riva is fabulous as an elderly woman whose bond with her husband is tested when her health deteriorates after she has a stroke, as conveyed in the French film "Amour" (Love). Ms. Watts is excellent as a European mother/doctor who was severely injured in Thailand during the 2004 tsunami that is detailed in the film "The Impossible." Ms. Wallis is good as a six-year-old girl who is on the brink of becoming an orphan as she frantically tries to save her ailing father and sinking home during a fierce ocean-coast storm, as portrayed in the movie "Beasts of the Southern Wild." Naomi Watts is my choice for the award, but I won't be disappointed if Ms. Chastain or Ms. Riva gets the award.


BEST-ACTOR NOMINEES this year are: Bradley Cooper; Daniel Day Lewis; Hugh Jackman; Joaquin Phoenix; and Denzel Washington. Noticeably absent from the list are John Hawkes for his excellent performance as a disabled man in the true story "The Sessions" and Alan Cumming for his excellent portrayal of a gay man who sought to adopt an abandoned mentally-disabled teenager in the true story "Any Day Now." Cooper is very good as an emotionally-troubled married man whose friendship with an emotionally-troubled young widow results in their well-done performance in a dance contest, as conveyed in the film "Silver Linings Playbook." Daniel Day Lewis is excellent in his portrayal of President Lincoln in the film "Lincoln." Jackman is good in his role as a prison-paroled peasant who becomes a town mayor and care provider for the daughter of a factory-worker-turned-prostitute in the 1800s, as conveyed in the musical "Les Miserables." Phoenix is good in his role as a World War II veteran alcoholic drifter who becomes enthralled by the charismatic leader of a religious cult, as conveyed in the film "The Master." Washington is good in his role as an airline pilot whose drug addiction is revealed after a plane crash that is detailed in the film "The Flight." Daniel Day Lewis is my choice for the award.


BEST-SUPPORTING ACTOR NOMINEES are: Alan Arkin; Robert De Niro; Philip Seymour Hoffman; Tommy Lee Jones; and Christoph Waltz. Noticeably absent from the list are Leonardo DiCaprio as a ruthless plantation owner and Samuel Jackson as an elderly "house" slave, both portrayed in the film "Django Unchained." Arkin is very good in his role as a Hollywood film producer who collaborated with the CIA in a secret operation that rescued six hostages in Iran in 1980, as conveyed in the true story "Argo." De Niro is very good good as an emotionally-troubled father of an emotionally-troubled adult son who becomes friends with an emotionally-troubled young widow, as conveyed in the film "Silver Linings Playbook." Hoffman is very good in his role as the charismatic leader of a religious cult in the post World War II era, as conveyed in the film "The Master." Jones is fabulous as the feisty and flamboyant leader of the Republican Party during President Lincoln's era, as conveyed in the true story "Lincoln." Waltz is fabulous in his role as a dentist-turned-bounty-hunter who helps a slave rescue the slave's wife from a ruthless plantation owner, as conveyed in the film "Django Unchained." Tommy Lee Jones and Christoph (yes, that is spelled correctly, not Christopher) Waltz are my choices for the award.


BEST-SUPPORTING ACTRESS NOMINEES are: Amy Adams; Sally Field; Anne Hathaway; Helen Hunt; and Jacki Weaver. Ms. Adams is very good in her role as the wife of the leader of a religious cult detailed in the film "The Master." Ms. Field is very good in her role as a strong woman in her own right while married to President Lincoln, as conveyed in the film "Lincoln." Ms. Hathaway is very good as a factory-worker-turned prostitute whose daughter is cared for by a prison-paroled peasant who becomes a town mayor and factory owner, as conveyed in the musical "Les Miserables." Ms. Hunt is excellent as a therapist hired by a disabled man who decides to lose his virginity, as conveyed in the true story "The Sessions." Ms. Weaver is very good as the mother of an emotionally-troubled adult son becomes friends with an emotionally-troubled young widow, as conveyed in the film "Silver Linings Playbook." Helen Hunt is my choice for the award, but I won't be disappointed if Sally Field wins.  


BEST-PICTURE NOMINEES are: “Amour"; “Argo”; "Beasts of the Southern Wild"; "Django Unchained"; "Les Miserables"; "Life of Pi"; "Lincoln"; "Silver Linings Playbook"; "Zero Dark Thirty." Noticeably absent from the list is the film "The Sessions," a true story about a therapist hired by a disabled adult man who decided to lose his virginity. "Amour" (Love) is a very good film that candidly examines the heartbreak of aging and loss when an elderly married couple's bond is tested after the woman's health deteriorates following a stroke. [In addition to its best-picture nomination, the French film "Amour" also got nominated for best foreign-language movie.] "Argo" is a well-done film detailing the true story of the U.S./Canada secret operation that created a phony movie studio to rescue six hostages held in Iran in 1980. "Beasts of the Southern Wild" is a mediocre film with a vague message about the experience of a six-year-old girl who is on the brink of becoming an orphan as she frantically tries to save her ailing father and sinking home during a fierce ocean-coast storm. "Django Unchained" is a film with excessive violent scenes related to a dentist-turned-bounty-hunter who helps a slave to rescue the slave's wife from a ruthless plantation owner. [Despite the excessive violent scenes, "Django Unchained" was at its best upon depicting the interactions between "house" slaves and "field" slaves, a controversial topic seldom explored in mainstream movies.] "Les Miserables" is a musical about a prison-paroled peasant who becomes a town mayor and care provider for the daughter of a factory-worker-turned-prostitute during a French revolution in the 1800s. "Life of Pi" is a fantasy adventure tale about a young man who survives a disaster at sea and forms a connection with a tiger. "Lincoln" is a well-done film about a small yet historically-significant chapter of President Abraham Lincoln's life. "Silver Linings Playbook" is a good film about an emotionally-troubled young widow whose friendship with an older emotionally-troubled married man results in their well-done performance in a dance contest. [As a longtime lover of dance since childhood when I learned Mexican dances and later learned ballet, I thoroughly enjoyed the dance scenes in the "Silver Linings Playbook" movie.] "Zero Dark Thirty" is a well-done film about the ten-year search by the CIA and U.S. military in locating terrorist Osama bin Laden. 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, “Lincoln” and “Zero Dark Thirty” are my choices for best picture.


My pick for best foreign-language movie is the very well-done French film “Amour” (Love), which is described above in the "Best Picture" category. Noticeably absent from the foreign-language film list is the French film "Intouchables," a true story about a physically-disabled wealthy man who hires an African poor man to be the wealthy man's care provider.


ABC will televise the Oscar awards on Sunday, February 24, 6:00 p.m. Colorado time.