May 2021



THE 55-YEAR REUNION WILL BE HELD this year on Friday and Saturday, August 20

and 21. It is noteworthy that the dates were not selected recently. The dates were listed

last year in the February through April 2020 updates and this year in the April 2021

update. The historic event will begin on Friday, August 20, 5:30 p.m., at the Elks Lodge

located at 3400 North Nevada in Colorado Springs. From the I-25 freeway, get off at the

Fillmore exit and head East a few blocks to Nevada and turn left to go a few blocks to

the lodge.

The reunion will continue with a picnic on Saturday, August 21, 11:00 a.m., in the

gazebo that has a three-tiered turquoise colored roof at Metcalfe Park located at

704 East Ohio Avenue in Fountain. To get to the park, stay on old Highway 85-87 from

Security until old Highway 85-87 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.

Deadline to register is July 15. The registration fee for the event has not yet been

decided. Once the amount and payment method are decided at the next planning

meeting (see article below), everyone will be informed.

Both parts of the reunion (Friday evening and mid-day Saturday) will be accessible to

attendees with disabilities. 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 this year with emerging health challenges as we

become older by the time of the August 2021 reunion.

Just as all of our past social events (luncheons, reunions, etc.) always have been open

to all WHS classes of the 1960s, both parts of the August 2021 reunion also will be

open to all WHS classes of the 1960s.


THE NEXT MEETING to PLAN the 55-YEAR REUNION will take place on Monday,

May 17, 11:30 a.m., at the IHOP Restaurant located at 6450 South Highway 85-87 in

Security. IHOP is a little bit South of Walmart on Highway 85-87. At the gathering,

attendees will continue to discuss plans for the reunion. If you cannot commit to help

with plans for the reunion, please feel free to attend the meeting anyway to enjoy lunch

and friendly chat with classmates.

INTEREST in the REUNION was expressed by 36 classmates as of April 30. Almost all

of the respondents indicated that their respective spouses (or a friend) also are

interested in the event, so that brings to 72 people who so far have expressed an

interest in attending the event. The reunion-interest blurb in the April 2021 newsletter

update was not issued to obtain a firm commitment from people who replied. The blurb

sought only an expression of interest so that the class committee can begin to get

a preliminary idea of how many people are interested at this point. Although an

attendance commitment is not being sought at this time, a commitment will be needed

by the July 15 deadline to receive checks for the registration fee (not yet determined).


OUR CLASSMATE TWILA WILSON was recently featured in a March 2021 videotaped interview by a magazine on the island of St. Croix, where she has lived since the 1970s.

Referring to Twila as “Ms. Java Wraps” (a reference to her former designer-clothing

business) and “Textile Queen,” the story traces the origins and evolution of Twila’s

professional career. As shown in the videotape, Twila remains the dignified, articulate

and classy person we all knew throughout our high-school years with her.

Her career started long ago one year after college graduation and she was on her way

home to Colorado from a trip to Europe when she responded to a New York Times

help-wanted ad that sought somebody with design experience. With great confidence,

Twila over-promoted herself to the employer during the job interview and got hired

despite having “no idea” about the work. To impress the employer, Twila used a regular

magazine to look up the names of five New York City designers to contact about their

interest in marketing her new employer’s Indonesia textiles. “It was actually that easy,”

noted Twila upon displaying her warm and broad smile in the interview.

She eventually re-located to St. Croix (the largest of the Virgin Islands that have been

an official U.S. territory ever since 1927), where she started Java Wraps — a designer

clothing shop that grew to be a large booming retail store/warehouse business that

distributed its products throughout the Caribbean and U.S. for 20 years. For almost 25

more years through the present, Twila has had a thriving interior-design business with

her business partner Kobie Nichols. “No Fear” are the two words that are Twila’s secret

to her success, and she passes on that two-word advice to beginners in design. Her

personal home once made the cover of the prestigious Architectural Digest Magazine.

During her presentation at our 50-year class reunion held in 2016, Twila noted that her

favorite high-school teacher was Margaret Stiehm who taught Home Economics. Twila

cited the many skills she learned from Mrs. Stiehm as the most influential in Twila’s later

career as a professional designer of textiles/clothing and professional interior designer.

Twila noted in the interview that her former business, Java Wraps, will re-emerge soon.

To watch the 12-minute interview with Twila in March 2021, click the following link:

The GUESS-WHO PHOTO in last month’s newsletter prompted 33 readers to speculate which classmate is the little boy smiling at his train-shaped birthday cake. The correct answer was provided by only three people — Starr Coakley Miller, Terry Anteola Brown, Cheryl Minehart Belt. They identified Bruce McAlexander as the boy in the 1954 photo, which was provided by Bruce’s older sister Claudia. The other 30 people incorrectly identified the boy as our classmates Dave Theiss, Mike Higbee, Perry Pierce, Norman Durkee, John Griffith, Alan Pinder, Dave Smedsrud, Rich Hoffman, and Dave Rapelje. The train-shaped cake even led two people to guess the boy might be Paul Snell because of his longtime train-car hobby. While people were struggling to guess, McAlexander offered the words “cute little tow-head boy” as a hint for people to recall.


FAST FORWARD to AUGUST 2021 was the title of the article sent in April 2021 to everyone on our confidential email list. Among the many readers who commented, almost all expressed that one or more aspects were real. The most frequently-asked question sought to know the identity of the classmate who will be flying from Iran to the reunion. Frankly, it was baffling to read the feedback. Readers should have been instantly tipped off by the article’s very first sentence about the author being Lois Lane of the Daily Planet newspaper. The article was a creative-writing style known as spoof, and only three classmates recognized it as such. Listed below are their comments.

Who knew our outrageous Donnie has such a fanciful sense of humor?

— Gillie Walker

Pencil me in on the foursome. My reunion is the previous Fri/Sat, so no conflict that I

know of. Of course, I'll be the handicap on the team, so if you need to find a good golfer,

don't worry, I understand.

— Dean Otey

Donnie, the piece that you wrote was wonderful ! I can tell you that it was definitely the

funniest thing that happened to me all week!

— Paul Snell

It is noteworthy that the same article (with a few minor changes) originally appeared in

our newsletter ten (10) years ago prior to the 2011 reunion, and the overwhelming

response was along the lines of “what a hoot” or “that was hilarious.” Perhaps the

current response (thinking the article’s situations were real) ten years later has to do

with becoming old folks who are losing a sense of humor or being slow to identify spoof.


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.

A special shout out to you, Donnie, for persevering with our occasional WHS 1966 newsletters. I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather hear from. Take care and stay safe, my friend.
— Patti Kueck Daniel, WHS Class of 1966

Donnie, thank you for always keeping us updated! You do a great job.

— Terry Anteola Brown, WHS Class of 1967

Donnie, keep up the good work for all classmates. I’m sure no one remembers me, but I

sure do appreciate all of the emails and information from you.

— Deanna (Dee) Scott VanGoethen, WHS Class of 1966

[Note from Donnie: Although we have not seen each other since high school, please

know that I do remember your kind demeanor and warm smile when we were at WHS.]

Thank you for the hard work you do keeping us up to date on all things WHS 66.

— Susan Gates Mitchell, WHS Class of 1966

I appreciate all of your updates and the commitment of the committee for this reunion as well as those of the past, and hopefully continuing in the future. May everyone stay healthy and safe.
— Diane Otey Sims (twin sister of Dean Otey), WHS Class of 1966


AS a LONGTIME LOVER of DANCE since childhood when I first learned Mexican

dances and later learned ballet, I always have appreciated good dancers upon seeing

them. In an approximate 3-minute video, world champion "Boogie Woogie" dancers

Maéva and William are fabulous in their dance performance. Silvan Zingg is the talented

pianist among the trio providing music for the dancers. A young white man from

Switzerland, Silvan Zingg was influenced by the records of 1950s Black performing

artists such as Chuck Berry, Ray Charles and Jimmy Walker. Considering how fabulous

Silvan Zingg is on the piano, all I have to say to 1950s rock-and-roll pianist Jerry Lee

Lewis is: “Eat your heart out.” Although the dance name "Boogie Woogie" is used mostly

in Europe, the closest version in the U.S. was the 1950s dance called the “Swing.”

About one minute into the video, the young woman dancer successfully flips her dance

partner in an almost acrobatic routine. I know from my experience as a dancer that such

a dance flip is difficult and requires skill as it can be dangerous. To watch the five-star

dance performance by two modern-day young dancers, turn on your computer’s sound

and click the following link:


archives folder of this email box. Listed below are a few snippets from the archives.

Sharon Breyer Grenz: “In Spanish IV with Mrs. Girod, we had to memorize and recite

dialogs in Spanish. Daryl Kuiper and another male classmate recited the girl parts in

very high, squeaky voices. The whole class was in stitches. In geometry class, our book

would often present theorems with proofs and some with “Proof left to student.” On one

exam, we had to do a proof and Perry Pierce’s answer was, “Proof left to teacher.”

Steve Cox: “Art teacher Michael Nevin sent Jerry Moyers and I to the office one day for

locking Mr. Nevin out of the supply room. Instead of going to the office, we went to

Giuseppe’s for beer. Miss French hunted us down and expelled us from school.”

Mimi George Torreano [Known as Marie at WHS]: “I used a scooter of my older

brother [Ray George, Class of 1965] to impress a boy and crashed. I broke my wrist and

almost didn’t have enough credits to graduate.”

Suzie Gates Mitchell: “One of my favorite classes was Home Economics. I had just

finished making a dress I really loved with ruffled cuffs and red ric-rac trim. The first time

I wore it to school was also the day in Chemistry, my least favorite class. We were

mixing an acid with other liquids, and during the experiment I spilled the acid. It sprayed

all over the dress, making thousands of tiny holes. My lab partner, Craig Snow, was very

helpful with pouring water on me. The dress was ruined.”

Bruce McAlexander: “I remember as we all threw our caps into the air on graduation

night, Carla Aber planted a lip-lock on me that wouldn’t quit.”

Barbara Billingsley Massarano: “While sitting on a giant folding chair in front of the

rental store on Cimarron Street like Edith Ann [character in the TV show “Laugh-In”] and

waving to the traffic, I almost broke my neck getting down. Police were not amused.”

Joy Payne Humphrey: “I remember the floods of 1965 when Pete Spiers cut his leg

and the ambulance couldn’t get to him because of the flood waters. The waters did

subside and all was well, right Pete? In that flood, we lost our Class of 1965 classmate

[Ronnie White] whose remains were never found until 32 years later in 1997.”


This update was prepared by me. 

 Respectfully submitted,

Donnie Martínez (May 1, 2021)
Known at WHS by stepfather’s surname Collier
Martínez is my birth certificate and legal surname
a/k/a Butch (pronounced Booch), family nickname since childhood