July 2020

AFTER NO UPDATES since April 2020, I’m baaaaaack! Since the time of my April update, there have been several nonstop time-consuming situations that swept me away and made me feel like I was in the rapids of a river pulling me back and forth the past three months (all of May, all of June, almost all of July). Only now has the rapid-rivers effect subsided, and only now have I had extra time to get around to this update. 


OUR CLASSMATE LINDA NOLIN WEBER went through a major back-related surgery last month (June 2020) and  continues in the recovery stage at home. Spanning eleven (11) long hours and more time for recovery in the ICU at the hospital, the surgery subsequently resulted in Linda’s eventual release and a return back to the hospital for a surgical “wash out” of an infection and IV antibiotics.

“Apparently during my time in the ICU, I managed to hallucinate really bizarre things thoroughly entertaining my sister and nurses assigned to me,” said Linda about the ordeal she went through with the back surgery. “I am in generally good health and felt this surgery would not be difficult to bounce from. I was wrong in so many ways.”

Still in recovery at home, Linda recently stated that the progress is slower than she wants. “My doctor is fond of reminding me that healing would be faster only if my bones were younger,” she noted. “Well, since that isn’t happening I’m trying to be a good patient and follow his directions.”

A longtime health professional who has been retired, Linda acknowledges that she went into the recent surgery knowing that the recovery would be six months to a year. After recovering, she has one more surgery to go.

Please join me in keeping Linda in prayers and well wishes during the long period of recovery from what is probably the biggest health challenge of her life. Notes to her in care of this WHS email address will be conveyed to her. 


OUR CLASSMATE STELLA ROMERO recently announced plans to visit Colorado at the end of August. Stella and her daughter Jolene will visit Stella’s grandson, who recently moved to Colorado to start a new job. While in Colorado, Stella and Jolene will briefly visit Jolene’s paternal aunt (who is a sister of Stella’s ex-husband Roy Adams, WHS Class of 1965) in the Denver area before driving to Security where Stella hopes to take a “stroll down memory lane” upon viewing the home where the Romero family lived for many years from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s. Our classmate Bruce McAlexander kindly offered a guest room in his home where Stella and Jolene can stay during their visit in Security.

In my January 2020 update with Stella’s express consent, there was an announcement of her decision to halt the treatment options she went through for Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Please join me in keeping Stella in prayers as she continues with her health challenges. Notes to her in care of this WHS email address will be conveyed to her. If you were among the people who sent messages to her in care of this WHS email address in January and February 2020, the messages were passed on to Stella.


OUR CLASSMATE JUDY WHITMORE PRECISE has shared her fond memories of our classmate Glenda Windle Armstrong, whose sudden death in March 2020 was announced in an update to the 200 people on our confidential email list. Judy’s May 2020 tribute and the April 2020 tribute by our classmate Pam Rains Shuman both shed light on the type of person Glenda was, and both tributes provide insight into the longtime friendship that Judy and Pam had with Glenda. Enclosed below is what Judy wrote.

What a shock it was to learn of Glenda’s sudden death. Pam (Rains) called me two hours afterwards to let me know. The three of us grew up together from grade school through high school. Consequently we were very close friends. Naturally many fond memories came to mind. Like Pam, I spent a lot of time at Glenda’s. You were always welcome no matter what time of the day or night you showed up. I, too, was part of Mrs. Windle’s infamous Girl Scouts troop. Glenda’s Mom was the best leader ever. I looked forward to our meetings each week. Mrs. Windle made it fun and interesting. Many of the characteristics found in Mrs. Windle were exemplified in Glenda’s life — warmth, kindness, gentleness, concern for others. I never, ever heard her utter a bad word against anyone. In high school we were both part of the Pep Club. Fun times. Many nights after a football game we would walk home together. Pam mentioned [in the April 2020 update] the summer trip we took back to Indiana to see Glenda. A wonderful trip it was. She was so gracious, as always. More recently, I was reunited with Glenda at our class reunion in 2006. She had not changed at all. It was good to reminisce about old times and catch up on each other’s lives to that point. Glenda, you will always have a place in my heart. I look forward to the day when we will be reunited in eternity forever. Love and miss you.

A photo of Glenda can be found in the “W” section of the alphabetical list of senior photos that were emailed to everyone in July 2017.


REUNION PLANS are temporarily ON HOLD due to uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the reunion committee decided a few months ago to have the 55-year reunion on August 20 and 21, next year in 2021, pandemic-related concerns have postponed efforts by committee members Patti and Maryellen to explore options for the location of the event. While many previously-closed businesses and other public places have re-opened with restrictions in Colorado and other states, statistics show a current surge in the infection rates that health experts project will worsen from the end of September through the winter.


THE REUNION COMMITTEE is made up of the following classmates: Patti Kueck Daniel; Lydia Romero Fine; Linda Nolin Weber; Maryellen Brady Manuszak; Marcia Hagans Allin; Marie “Mimi” George Torreano; Laureen Ritter Gennin; 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.


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:



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

Thank you, Don, for keeping us posted. What a lovely tribute [April 2020 update] to Glenda. Although I didn’t know her well, she was always friendly and nice when I was around her.

— Sheryl Salmon Pyle, WHS Class of 1965

You do a good job with the updates, Donnie.

— Lyle Wikner, WHS Class of 1965

Hello, Donnie. I hope that you enjoyed the July 4th holiday.

— Pete Spiers, WHS Class of 1966

[Note from Donnie: Thanks, Pete, for touching base. Holidays are no different from other days for me — just another day. During my pandemic-related isolation the past four months, I especially avoided people on holidays. I hope all is well with you.]


OUR CLASSMATE MEL DAVIS is among several hundred veterans who were going to be honored at a ceremony in Washington D.C. on September 26. According to an early July 2020 press release from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF), the event has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With infection rates currently increasing in the U.S. along with facility closures, the 50-person limits at public gatherings, travel limitations, and future projections by health experts, VVMF noted that it had no choice but to cancel the ceremony. VVMF also decided against having the type of virtual event that has been widely used during the pandemic. Noting that their ceremony is a participatory occasion that can be experienced only in person, VVMF has chosen not to do the virtual method that is impersonal.

To access online information about Mel, click the following link:


In the black search bar, enter the name Melvin Davis.

Click the yellow Search tab.

Click the yellow View Profile tab to read Mel’s bio page, which has an option to leave a remembrance.

Although there were 58,000 military members whose names are on the Vietnam Veterans Wall, there is another plaque next to the wall that honors the thousands more people who served in Vietnam and came home to fight health battles caused by Agent Orange or PTSD.

“Mel died as a result of two brain tumors that were caused by Agent Orange,” said his widow Debby (WHS Class of 1970) in a March 2020 letter via email. “He truly deserves this recognition that he died for his country.”

A photo of Mel Davis can be found in the “D” section of the alphabetical list of senior photos that were emailed to everyone in July 2017. Mel passed away in January 2009.


PLANET of the HUMANS is the name of the new film that coincided with the 50-year anniversary of Earth Day, which was observed as a virtual event in late April 2020. Since 1970, Earth Day events have been held to increase public awareness of environmental issues such as pollution, climate change and endangered species. The film’s title presumably is a take-off on the 1968 famous film “Planet of the Apes” and its four sequels from 1970 to 1973 as well as four more sequels in 2001, 2012, 2014 and 2017.

The film was recommended to me by our classmate Cheryl Minehart Belt, an extremely talented visual artist who has been unrelenting in her loyalty as a friend periodically checking on me to make sure all is okay.

Just as I was about to get warm fuzzies about the 50-year anniversary of Earth Day three months ago, the film dampened my enthusiasm about various aspects of the environmental-justice movement as well as some of its shakers and movers. If you think the film is just another cheerleading propaganda piece for the environmental-justice movement, you would be incorrect. The film is a critique of various issues along with some of the heroes and sheroes of the movement. The film dares to address what few people will acknowledge: (a) the world is losing the battle to stop climate change because the environmental-justice movement is selling out to wealthy corporate interests; and, (b) the environmental movement’s push for technology fixes are band-aids that are too little, too late, in the overall picture about the planet facing extinction. One of the band-aids addressed in the film is the electric car, which is widely touted as an environmental savior despite its glaring contradiction because: (a) it is recharged by energy from a power company that uses coal or natural gas; and, (b) the battery is manufactured by a company using fossil fuels.

Directed by longtime environmental activist Jeff Gibbs and presented by controversial filmmaker Michael Moore, the film opens with several people answering the haunting question: “How long do you think we humans have?” In the last scene of the film, there is a gut-wrenching view of two emaciated orangutans that are clinging to the only barren tree left after mass destruction of their natural habitat due to deforestation and fires related to global warming. Once the film is complete, be sure to stick around to read a few follow-up captions during the ending credits.

To watch the well-done film that is 100 minutes in duration, click the following link:



MISTAKEN IDENTITY is the theme of my recent short essay about my first major return to society after three months of pandemic-related isolation. Enclosed below is what I wrote.

“Let me lower the ramp for you, Ma’am,” proclaimed the driver as I began to step one foot forward to board the RTD public bus to do a few errands in different parts of Denver.

Did he call me Ma’am or man? I asked myself upon waiting for the ramp to be lowered. After all, the two words do sound similar if not clearly enunciated by the speaker.

“Thank you for lowering the ramp, you’re very kind,” I told the driver upon thinking he surely could tell by my voice — albeit soft spoken — that I’m a viejito (old man) and not a viejita (old woman).

“Any time, Ma’am, I’ll wait til you get seated before this bus starts moving, he replied politely with concern for my safety as I strolled to a vacant seat in the elderly section.

Oh, my goodness, he did refer to me as Ma’am and not man. I listened carefully the second time, so I’m positive he called me Ma’am. Have I really changed that much during the last three months of isolation during the pandemic or is the bus driver being sarcastic?

I may be getting old, but I can definitely tell when someone is being sarcastic. He definitely perceived me as a viejita, not a viejito.

“Have a nice day, Ma’am,” he said as he once again lowered the ramp for me to depart upon arriving at my first destination.

“Thank you for a safe and timely ride,” I muffled through my mask upon exiting the bus.

Thinking that the bus-ride episode was just an anomaly that would not be repeated, I was wrong. At my first destination (the State tax department) and once again at my second destination (the credit union), I was referred to as “Ma’am” by different male workers.

The case of a mistaken identity did not end with the aforementioned three situations. On a totally different day, I was repeatedly referred to as “Ma’am” by various individuals while walking with my miniature four-wheeled cart (frequently called a “Granny cart” among other labels) to and from the nearby grocery store. “Let me know if you need help pushing your cart, Ma’am,” and similar comments exemplify how other people — independently of one another — perceived me along the walking route to and from the store that afternoon.

There is nothing about my attire that would prompt the perception of me as a viejita. I’m still wearing the same basic male clothing that I’ve worn for decades, and I still have the same short male hairdo that I’ve had for decades.

Based on other people’s perceptions of me, apparently something changed during the last three months of isolation related to the pandemic.

Since the time of the aforementioned four situations, there has been no repeat of the mistaken identity. People are back to calling me “Sir” or other less-pleasant terms. Albeit incorrect in reference to me, the short-lived “Ma’am” designation certainly sounds much more gentle and less harsh than the disrespectful epithets “old man” or “Pops” along with their negative connotations.


Are there any BAKERS out there? In this era of nonstop depressing news related to the COVID-19 pandemic in which we live, one of Denver’s TV stations did a brief story in May 2020 about s longtime popular restaurant that went out of business after 37 years in Denver. Called “The Market” and located near (but not on) the college campus at which I did my volunteer work for ten years from January 2008 through January 2018, they always sold the most delicious cake I have ever eaten in my long life. Each and every May when college graduation was held at the campus, I bought slices of the cake for my favorite students who were graduating. Costing about $15 per slice (generous size), the cake always was a surprise to the students to whom I gave it and they thoroughly enjoyed the taste as much as I did.

The restaurant always was very tight-lipped about the cake’s recipe whenever customers (including me) dared to inquire, but the recipe was finally disclosed now that the restaurant has gone out of business.

I never have been a baker due to me having no patience with the time-consuming and complicated process that accompanies almost all recipes.It was always tiring yet fascinating for me to watch my biological mother and my longtime surrogate mother (whose daughter Renée is my longtime friend, WHS Class of 1965) go through various time-consuming procedures with recipes for items that required baking in the oven. I am sure my surrogate mother (whom I knew for a little more than 40 years, twice as long as the short 20 years I knew my biological mother) would be able to do a fabulous job with the “Spring Fling” cake recipe described below. My surrogate mother always turned all recipes to “gold” (my word to describe her cooking), and she always used me as the person on whom she would “test” new recipes that she acquired.

If you are a baker reading this and want to try a new cake recipe, enclosed below is the recipe that was the world’s best-kept secret until recently. If you do end up trying the recipe for you and your loved ones, let me know if you liked the cake as much as dozens of college students to whom I presented slices over the aforementioned ten-year period of my volunteer work at the campus.

Memories of the yum-yum cake remain with me. If you are a diabetic or border-line diabetic like me, feel free to cut back or omit the sugar portions listed in the ingredients.

Recipe for “Spring Fling Cake”

Ingredients for the cake:

2 and 1/2 cups shredded zucchini

1 and 1/4 cups sugar

5 eggs

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cup sour cream

1/2 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (for frosting)

3 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Pinch of salt

Ingredients for the frosting:

3/4 cup cream cheese, at room temperature

1/4 cup butter, at room temperature

2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream

Fruit for the cake:

1 pint strawberries, cleaned, stemmed and sliced

4 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced

2 mangoes, peeled and sliced

1 pint blueberries


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch round cake pan.

2. In a stand mixer or large bowl, beat together the shredded zucchini, eggs, sugar, oil, sour cream, and 1/2 tablespoon vanilla.

3. Combine all dry ingredients and add some to the wet mix. Continue to beat until well-combined. The batter should be wet and fairly easy to pour.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 50 to 70 minutes (55 minutes might be enough). It is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

5. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and allow it to cool completely for at least one to two hours before cutting it into layers (see Step #10 below) and spreading the frosting and fruit (see Step #11 below).

6. While the cake is cooling, prepare the frosting. Beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth.

7. While continuing to beat, gradually add the powdered sugar. Keep mixing until it’s all incorporated and smooth.

8. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form.

9.  Fold the cream and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla into frosting. Be careful not to overly mix it.

10. Cut the cooled cake, making either two or three layers.

11. Spread a layer of frosting over each thin layer. Then add a layer of fruit on top of the frosting. Stack the layers of cake together.

12. Evenly frost the top of the cake (traditionally, the sides are not frosted). Arrange the fruit in circles all over the top of the cake.


This update was prepared by me.

Respectfully submitted,

Donnie Martinez (July 23, 2020)

Known at WHS by stepfather’s surname Collier

Martinez is my birth certificate and legal surname

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