July 2012

UPDATE JULY 2012

 

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IF YOU WERE ORDERED TO EVACUATE due to a nearby wildfire, which of your belongings would you take with you? Our Class Committee member Bruce McAlexander was among thousands of people who recently had to make that quick decision when authorities mandated evacuation due to the wildfire that spread rapidly in the far West sections of Colorado Springs in late June 2012. It was very late at night around 1:00 when Bruce got the evacuation order and rushed to get out of his longtime home that always has had stunning views of the canyon areas in Manitou. Addressing the issue of personal belongings, Bruce recently wrote:

 

"It is interesting when you get that order what one decides to take with them. Besides legal papers and checkbooks, I found myself mainly taking pictures, videos, jeans and shirts, along with one thing from my Grandma and one thing from my Granddad. A side note: I took all the high school annuals."

 

Among the pictures that Bruce took with him was an old photo of his parents on their wedding day in the mid 1940s. In reference to taking with him all of his high school yearbooks, Bruce asked, "Do you all think you are still very important to my life?"

 

Upon reflecting about other aspects of the fire, Bruce wrote:

 

"The fire was right above my house the first night when we got evacuated, but the wind pattern moved it continually up the Rampart ridge toward the Air Force Academy and Woodland Park areas. In the late afternoon when most of the houses burned, there was panic and chaos in the Rockrimmon area when people were leaving in their cars. I was told that some people even pulled guns on other people. I know of some people who stayed here in Manitou despite the mandatory order to leave. When we came back here to Manitou, it felt a little weird with how the atmosphere looked and felt. The town looked abandoned and you felt almost alone."

 

Although Bruce used the word “alone” to describe the feeling of being in the abandoned town, Bruce was not alone in his descriptive words about the disaster. My longtime friend Nancy (not from WHS), who was among the evacuees, described the fire as a "fire-breathing dragon burning everything in its path."

 

With about 32,000 people evacuated from the far West sections of Colorado Springs and two people dead among about 350 homes that were destroyed, authorities described the fire as the most destructive in Colorado history.

 

In addition to Bruce, there is another WHS connection to the fire. Jeff Loveless, the son of our Class Committee member Ken Loveless, was featured in a Denver Post news story about the major role he played as a Colorado Springs Fire Lieutenant who put his leadership skills to use upon supervising dozens of fellow firefighters as they battled the blaze for about two weeks before it was fully contained. The news story noted that Lieutenant Loveless was "in the middle of it all, barking out orders" to the firefighters, most of whom were newcomers to their jobs.

 

"It is the closest thing to war without getting shot," said Lieutenant Jeff Loveless to the Denver Post. "You make a line in the sand, and you don't let it go beyond that," added Loveless in reference to the many efforts that he and other firefighters made to save homes from being burned.

 

When President Obama was joined by the Colorado Springs mayor and Colorado governor in touring the disaster areas, Lieutenant Jeff Loveless (WHS Class of 1987) was among the fire officials who met the president and other public officials.

 

Denver TV Channel 9 had a news story that Manuel Navarro, the Colorado Springs Fire Chief from 1994 to 2008, had warned authorities for many years about the potential for the kind of catastrophic wildfire that recently occurred. "I always said you're going to have one of those fires," Navarro told the Channel 9 reporter.

 

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FLASH CADILLAC WILL BE HONORED with a prestigious award on Saturday, September 8, 7:30 p.m., at the Boulder Theater located at the corner of Spruce and 14th Streets in Boulder. Flash Cadillac, nationally-known performing artists of which our Class Committee member Warren Knight has been a part ever since the band performed publicly for the first time in March 1969, will be inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame (CMHF). In addition to Flash Cadillac, three other 1960s musical entities (KIMN Radio, Sugarloaf, Astronauts) will be inducted into CMHF. The evening will feature video tributes, interviews with the inductees, celebrity speeches, and performances featuring inductees and other popular Colorado bands. The event also will include an array of historic exhibits and archival photographs. General admission tickets are available for $30 (plus a $5 service charge). A limited number of reserved gold-circle tickets are available at $50 (plus a $7 service charge). Seating for the event is limited. Tickets are available online at www.BoulderTheater.com

 

"The mission of the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, a non-profit organization that benefits the CU College of Music, is to honor those individuals who have made outstanding contributions, to preserve and protect historical artifacts, and to educate the public regarding everything that's great about our state's music," says Chuck Morris, CMHF Board Chair.  

 

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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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THIS YEAR is the 50th ANNIVERSARY of people who graduated in the WHS Class of 1962. Yvonne Glessner (whose married surname is Scott), of the Class of 1962, recently sent an email letter to the WHS 1960s website created by Greg Bruce (Wisley) to see if he was aware of any reunion for the WHS Class of 1962. Without disclosing the contact information of people on his confidential list, Greg shared Yvonne’s letter to see if anyone might have information. Yvonne (also known as Vonnie – a version of her first name) wants to know if anyone has 1962 reunion information or contact information for Jimmy Lee Payne and Rocky Salt from the Class of 1962.

 

The only Class of 1962 person our Class of 1966 Committee is in touch with is Tanya Petty, sister of our Class Committee member Ron Petty. Tanya attended our July 2011 reunion, which was open to all classes from the 1960s. She has not mentioned anything about a reunion for her Class of 1962. Our class committee also is in periodic contact with three Class of 1963 members (Claudia McAlexander, Jill Woods, Nils Wikner), but they have not mentioned anything about a reunion for the Class of 1962 or 1963. If anyone has any information that might be of interest to Yvonne about people or events related to her Class of 1962, send an email to WHSclass1966@Yahoo.com and it will be passed on to Yvonne.

  

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NEW MEMORIAL ARTICLES about 1960s WHS GRADUATES were recently posted on the website that was started last year for all WHS classes from the 1960s by Webmaster Greg Bruce (Wisley) from the Class of 1965. Written by me, the memorial articles are about four NON-1966 people (Larry Botello Chavez, Frank Orlando Lopez, Ronnie Reishus, Ronnie White) who graduated from WHS in the 1960s. I was in the midst of writing the memorial articles in mid-February 2012 when Gillie let me know the sad news that our classmate Marty Dostal had passed way. At that point, I set aside the four memorial articles that I was composing and it was not until recently that I finalized them now that it is five (5) months later. To read them, click the “Memorials” tab on the home page of the website at: www.whs2011reunion.com

 

Since Greg’s website went live on August 13, 2011, his compilation of the statistics from that date through July 18, 2012, show:

 

1.  1,065 hits from North America.

2.  18 hits from South America.

3.  3 hits from Central America.

4.  2 hits from the Caribbean.

5.  1,056 from 42 different states in the USA.

6.  473 hits from Colorado.

7.  Overall there have been 1,215 hits.

8.  Overall there were 7,836 pages viewed.

9.  The "Photo Gallery" page was viewed 1,052 times.

10. The "Movie" was viewed 199 times.

 

The movie referred to in Number 10 was produced by Greg regarding the July 2011 reunion. The approximate 30-minute movie is a combination of still images and video clips that Greg shot at the event. Very professionally done, the movie demonstrates Greg’s talents and skills with photography and film making. It can be viewed for free via the “Photo Gallery” section of the above-listed website.

 

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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.

 

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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 seven 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.

 

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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.

 

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