March 2020

A MEETING to PLAN the 55-YEAR REUNION will take place on Thursday, April 16, 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 continue to discuss plans for the 55-year reunion to take place next year in August 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 Monday, April 13, via email to:


THE 55-YEAR REUNION WILL BE HELD next year on Friday and Saturday, August 20 and 21, 2021. Although the reunion committee recently decided to narrow down the event to those two dates, the locations have not been determined until a contract is signed to reserve a specific venue. The historic event will begin on Friday evening with a social event at a place to be announced. The reunion will continue mid-day on Saturday with 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 continuing the process of exploring various venues for the gatherings on Friday evening and mid-day on Saturday.

Both parts of the reunion (the Friday evening and 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 COMMITTEE is made up of the following classmates: Patti Kueck Daniel; Lydia Romero Fine; Linda Nolin Weber; Maryellen Brada 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. 


“What about the part on Twila and Joe?” That was the question posed by our classmate Bruce McAlexander upon reading his essay that appeared in the February 2020 update. Titled “Fond Memories of Linda Phipps and Other Classmates,” his essay had two sentences that were mistakenly omitted when it was being prepared by me in a special format for transmission to the class website. In the original of his essay, Bruce was fondly recalling Linda Phipps being his date at the Senior Prom and double-dating with Barbara Billingsley and me (Donnie). Listed below are the two sentences that were mistakenly omitted.

“We ended up after the dance in a pasture east of Widefield with some other classmates. I remember Twila Wilson and Joe Good being in one of the other cars.”

Although Bruce’s essay did not elaborate about Twila and Joe in the other car, my July 2009 article about Joe Good (posted for the past eleven years on the class website) did elaborate about that night when we were in cars in the pasture. Listed below is the excerpt from my July 2009 article.

“Our classmate Twila Wilson was very fond of Joe. By the time we were seniors, Twila was Joe’s date at our Prom. To this day, Bruce and I roar with laughter upon fondly recalling one part of Prom night when we glanced in the back seat of the car and watched Twila and Joe engaged in a luscious lip lock that seemed like it was never going to end. We thought they were never going to come up for air.”


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

I was so sad to read about Debbie McGowan’s death. Debbie and her family lived down the street from us on Dartmouth in Widefield, and I think her mother may have been British like my mom. I have a vague memory of Debbie’s mom coming to our house for tea with my mother. Debbie was always a shy girl, and I think we were in the Pep Club together. We were not close friends, but I remember she had a great smile and a quick wit. Donnie, thank you for the update about Larry Frazier and Norman Durkee. I can imagine you are happy to have the information even if it means that the news of Larry’s and Norman’s deaths took some time to get to you. It’s a further reminder that each day is a gift as we are all on this final journey.

-- Barbara Garrison, Class of 1966

Donnie, thank you as always. “Gone But Not Forgotten” continues to grow. Both Larry and Norman were good people.

-- Mick Martin, Class of 1966

Stay well, Donnie.

-- Pete Spiers, Class of 1966


THREE of our CLASSMATES REUNITED in Arizona recently in late February. Spontaneous and hastily arranged, the gathering consisted of Bruce McAlexander, Stella Romero and Barbara Garrison. Bruce was on a brief trip there to visit his cousin, and Barbara was temporarily there with her spouse Brian as part of their recreational-vehicle journey throughout the U.S. since mid-2018. Stella graciously hosted the four-hour event at her home in Arizona, where she has lived the past 21 years.

“She is an amazing woman and her spirit is so bright and joyful,” declared Barbara about Stella. “She made our visit so wonderful and we loved having the time to reminisce and to laugh and to share some of the tragedies in our lives as well. What a remarkable woman she is.”

“Thanks so much for opening up your house and your heart after all these years,” wrote Bruce in a recent online letter to Stella. “I laughed and even smiled so often that day,” said Bruce about the gathering. “All the memories with you and Barbara touched my heart. I was always thankful Donnie let me crash into his world with so many of his friends especially those who liked dancing, such as you Stella.”

Referring to Stella’s pre-meal prayer at the event, Bruce wrote: “I was glad when you took the time to pray before our meal. It is unfortunate in some situations because I do not want to offend, but you sound so much sweeter doing a prayer than Bruce. I thoroughly enjoyed your openness and genuineness.” In reference to Stella’s ex-husband Roy Adams (WHS Class of 1965) and their son Jeff Adams, Bruce wrote: “Thank Roy for looking up so much [information from his high-school yearbooks]. Your son is indeed a gentleman and one can tell he loves his mom.” Although Roy was not present at the gathering, he periodically communicated from afar via digital means in order to help our three classmates remember certain people “from the old days” in Security.

“What a character,” quipped Barbara upon laughing about Bruce’s remark, “You mean I’ve always looked like a 70-year-old man?” when Barbara told him that he hadn’t changed one bit since high school.

“I Love Feeling Nostalgic” are the words on the caption of a photo that Stella’s son Jeff took of his mother with Barbara and Bruce at the gathering. Those three words sum up Stella’s feelings about the event, which was a very uplifting experience for her. The photo will appear in a future update.

Barbara and the Romero twins (Stella and Della) were childhood friends from kindergarten through second grade at Washington Grade School in Colorado Springs before their respective families moved to Security in the mid-1950s.

One month prior to Stella, Barbara and Bruce getting together, there was another Arizona miniature reunion that was reported in the February 2020 update about the late January 2020 gathering of our classmates for two hours at a 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. Stella planned to attend that event, but she cancelled at the last minute due to not feeling well.

What’s up with Arizona being the focal point of miniature reunions of our classmates? Both events were held within one month of one another.


THE NEW CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC is having a major impact in Denver, where I have lived the past 45 years. Numerous public eateries – especially Chinese and other Asian restaurants – have been hurting financially due to people being afraid to be close to one another in public places. Coffee shops and fast-food eateries allow only to-go orders, leaving dine-in seating areas off limits. The Colorado Governor has declared a state of emergency throughout the state. Entertainment and political events (concerts, rallies, etc.) have been cancelled. Attendance is rapidly declining at other public venues (such as movie theaters, etc.), and ski resorts are shutting down. All public schools have been closed and in-person college classes have been cancelled, leaving college students to finish the semester only via online courses. All public libraries and free computer labs (such as the lab where I am right now) will be shut down after today. As the panic widens, all grocery-store shelves (especially toilet paper, Vitamin C, sanitizers) have been completely empty due to customers crowding into the stores to buy more than they need. [Yes, there are no toilet-paper rolls left at the stores. People can always return to Sears catalogs, which were used in outhouses in my childhood years.] Officials with the federal Center for Disease Control (CDC) and governors in all states (including Colorado Governor Polis) all have repeatedly noted that older people (including those in the age bracket of our classmates) are THE most vulnerable population regarding the coronavirus. It is noteworthy that CDC officials and governors in all states have consistently stated that we (older folks) are not “one of the most” vulnerable populations we are the most vulnerable population. Health experts warn that older people with a weak immune system (such as mine due to my incurable neurological illness) are especially susceptible.


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 (March 15, 2020)

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