May 2016

UPDATE  MAY  2016

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 HEAR YE!!  HEAR YE!!  HEAR YE!! Time is quickly running out to meet the deadline to register for the 50-year reunion. People have only about two (2) weeks left to register. All checks and registration forms must be received NO LATER than June 1. With major mail delays to be caused by the U.S. Post Office being closed over the long Memorial Day weekend, please avoid waiting until that weekend to mail your forms and checks.

 Almost 50 of our classmates have expressed “interest” in attending the reunion. If each of them brings one guest, it means there will probably be about 100 people at the event. Expressing “interest” in a situation always is great, but people need to do the next step and transform the interest into action by actually registering for the event.

 A few people have written to say they saw the reunion announcement that our classmate Gillie Walker arranged for courtesy publication in the Fountain Valley Times.

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 THE 50-YEAR REUNION WILL BE HELD on Friday and Saturday, July 15-16. The historic event will begin on Friday, July 15, 6:00 p.m., at Fargo’s Pizza Company located at 2910 East Platte Avenue in Colorado Springs. Our classmate Ron Petty reserved the entire top floor of Fargo’s, which has a low-cost and affordable menu from which classmates can buy their own food and drinks. To get to Fargo’s from I-25, get off at the Bijou exit and head East a few blocks to Cascade and turn left a few blocks to Platte at which you will turn right and stay on Platte for about two miles to Fargo’s.

 The reunion will continue with a picnic on Saturday, July 16, 11:00 a.m., in the gazebo that has a three-tiered turquoise colored roof at Metcalf Park located at 704 East Ohio Avenue in Fountain. Our classmate Ron Petty reserved the gazebo for the event at which food and drinks will be provided by a catering service. To get to the park, stay on Old Highway 85 from Security until Old Highway 85 becomes Santa Fe Avenue. Stay on Santa Fe Avenue until you get to Ohio Avenue. Turn east on Ohio Avenue and go 10 blocks until you reach the park.

The registration fee for the catered picnic event is $20.00 per person. Each attendee will be served two meat choices, sides, tea and lemonade. People who want beer must bring their own and it must be ONLY 3.2 beer in cans (no glass bottles).

The deadline to register is Wednesday, June 1. Print out the registration form from our class website or use the form (see below) in this newsletter.

Our class co-treasurer Maryellen Brada Manuszak will be the person to whom people should send checks for registration. Maryellen was with many of us all the way from grade school through high school graduation, and she married our classmate Roy Manuszak.

If you live out of state and are remotely thinking about attending the reunion, please make advance reservations for travel and a motel room. Don’t wait until the last minute to make plans because travel and motel options may get booked up quickly by July 2016.

 Last-minute changes or updates about the reunion will be posted on our class website, so please be sure to check there.

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 THE FINAL MEETING to PLAN the 50-YEAR REUNION will take place on Saturday, June 4. The time and location will be posted on our class website at some point in the next two weeks. At the gathering, attendees will finalize plans for the reunion. Even if you cannot commit to helping to plan the reunion, please attend the meeting anyway to enjoy lunch and friendly talk with classmates.

 For any last-minute changes on the upcoming meeting, please check our class website.

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 OUR CLASSMATE DOUG ALLEN recently had some health challenges that required surgery from which he has been recovering at home. He and the doctor are pleased with the surgery results. If you want to extend wishes for his continued recovery, his contact information can be obtained in the “Email Addresses” section of our class website.

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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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GOOD GOLLY, MISS MOLLY, WHAT SHOULD WE WEAR? That question captures an ongoing concern by several people who are planning to attend the reunion. My understanding is that there is not a dress code, and formal attire will not be required. The only certainty is that we all must wear clothing. If you want to dress to the nines in something formal, that should be fine. If you want to wear something casual and informal, that should be fine. If you want to wear something nostalgic, that should be fine as well. To those of you who are nudists, please plan ahead so that you can wear something at the event. Colorado usually has very hot temperatures in July, so people might consider cotton clothing in order to keep somewhat cool. With Steve Rhodes and Barbara Billingsley Massarano among the classmates who have expressed interest in attending the reunion, we will have the two classmates whom our class voted as “Best Dressed” in high school. Rumors are flying around that Steve and Barbara have been frantic upon going through their respective wardrobe closets in order to decide which outfits to wear at the reunion at which it will be most interesting to see if we still consider them the best dressed among us. 

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AS A LONGTIME LOVER of DANCE since childhood, I always have been easily persuaded to get up and dance. My mother always told me that I was dancing while still in diapers. While a baby and young boy growing up in Colorado Springs, my Mexican American grandfather and two uncles used to play the guitars and sing Mexican songs to me and my young cousins. Mexican dances were the first type of dances that I learned to do. Upon becoming fascinated with the Russian ballet dancers performing on one of the Ed Sullivan shows in the early 1950s, I told my mother that I wanted to learn ballet. With tips made from the Mexican bar where my mother always worked, I took ballet lessons at Mary Ruth Dance Studio and performed with my fellow dancers in several recitals at the Fine Arts Center in Colorado Springs. Ballet made me so limber to enable me to do complete leg splits, back flips and front flips along with walking on my hands. Our classmate Bruce McAlexander vividly recalls to this day how amazed he was to see me perched on the school playground with my legs wrapped around my neck when we first met in our childhood years in Security.

 In a more light-hearted moment at the college at which I have done volunteer work for many years, one of the young college students recently videotaped me in a classroom while performing excerpts of dances from the late 1950s and early 1960s. The students have been getting a real kick out of watching the performance. One of the students commented, “Wow, he sure can dance.”

It is noteworthy that the dances in the video PRECEDED the Motown era and other musical genres from that era.

 The video was posted by a young Chicana college student, who goes by her nickname Wise Chicana. In case you don’t know the reference of her nickname, it is a take-off on the controversial “Wise Latina” comment that was widely publicized by the media in 2009 when Judge Sonia Sotomayor was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The semi-dark lighting in the video was intentional so that people could concentrate on the dance steps. Besides, you don’t want to see the mug shot of this old man. (smile)

I hope you enjoy watching the video as much as I enjoyed doing the performance.

To watch the 6-minute video, click the following link:

https://youtu.be/stU9NSKZJYs

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SPEAKING of the LATE 1950s MUSIC featured in the video of my dance performance, one of my favorite songs from that era was the 1959 hit song titled “Please Please Please” by James Brown. Toward the end of the song, Brown always dropped to his knees to pretend like he was exhausted and a backup singer would drape a big blanket on Brown’s back to help him almost all the way offstage where Brown would rip off the blanket and return to the microphone to the thunderous applause of the audience. After seeing “King of Soul” James Brown perform that song numerous times on TV and once in person, I never thought anybody could ever come close to his rendition of the song. I was proven wrong upon recently listening to a re-run of a 2014 radio interview with blues singers, Dave Alvin and his brother Phil Alvin, who talked about how they were influenced by 1950s blues performer Big Joe Turner and blues man Big Bill Broonzy whose musical career spanned from the 1930s until his death in the late 1950s. Both white, the Alvin brothers did quite well with their rendition of James Brown’s hit song “Please Please Please” despite not attempting Brown’s above-described routine of dropping to the floor. To watch the 3-minute video of the Alvin brothers performing the song, click the following link: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nA0SACW0gI

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PLEASE do not TAKE IT PERSONALLY if you do not hear from me right away. As a volunteer in several nonprofit entities (including the college campus), 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 eleven (11) 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.

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 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 El Aguila (The Eagle), a version of Gillie’s name for me

a/k/a Nitpicker Supreme, a title lovingly given to me by Gillie

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.

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Widefield High School Class of 1966

Registration for the 50-year Reunion

 

Name: ___________________________________

Number of People Attending: _______.

Year of your Class: ____________.

Email address: ____________________________

Phone number: ____________________________

Amount enclosed: $_____________.

         [$20 for each person attending]

Please print this form and send it with your checkpayable to “Maryellen Manuszak” via mail to:

Maryellen Manuszak

P.O. Box 7147

Colorado Springs CO 80933

 Form + check are due NO LATER than June 1, 2016.

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