July 2018





OUR CLASSMATE HELENA SPAGNOLINI has ended up in a nursing home as a result of being disabled. Her situation was recently conveyed to our classmate Lydia Romero Fine by Helena’s sister Arleen, who thinks that cards or letters would really help to lift Helenas spirits and brighten her days.


Anyone who has known somebody whose disability reached the point of nursing-home care knows that the transition oftentimes can be vast and awful for someone who has been mostly independent all of his or her life. The transition can lead directly to the type of loneliness that Arleen has described as facing Helena in her current situation.


As an independent person all of my life, my greatest fear always has been the likelihood of my health deteriorating to the point of having to rely on other people to take care of me. Although I can still live on my own despite my health challengeslurking in my mind is the unpleasant thought of totally losing my independence in the event of health deterioration.


Helena, her parents and siblings moved to Security circa 1959Helena was with many of us all through junior high and high school clear up until graduation at WHS. I remember her always being a very nice person with a warm smile despite being shy and not very talkative.


Please join me in sending a card or letter to HelenaEven if you did not know her personally, it would greatly lift her spirits to hear from you. It takes only a few minutes to send well wishes, which can mean a lot to our classmate who has reached a point in her life of being in a confined environment.


Helena Spagnolini 

c/o Arleen Spagnolini 

15620 North 25th Ave. Apt. H103

Phoenix AZ 85023


A photo of Helena can be found in the S section of the alphabetical list of senior photos that were emailed to everyone one year ago in July 2017.


Many thanks to Lydia for bringing Helenas situation to the attention of our classmates. Thanks are also extended to our classmates Bruce McAlexander and Linda Nolin Weber for using the email method to convey Lydias messages to me.With me having only an old-fashioned landline phone that does not have the long-distance feature and Lydia not having an email address or online access, people probably can imagine the communication difficulty that arose between Lydia and me. With two people living outside modern technology, the terminology communication gap certainly takes on a different connotation that could be the subject of a skit on Saturday Night LiveI thought about using the old-fashioned method of smoke signals to get through to Lydia, but fortunately Bruce and Linda were kind enough to act as liaisons through their use of the modern-day method of online communication.




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: www.1966whs.com




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 thirteen (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.




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.