October 2021

THE WHS Class of 1965 REUNION was cancelled at the last minute two months ago in August 2021. Although planned to commemorate their 55-year reunion that was postponed last year in 2020 due to the nationwide shutdowns related to the pandemic, the event was cancelled two months ago due to the venue’s inability to have sufficient employees to work at the event. Co-owned by Class of 1965 member Linda Scott Ballas (daughter of the famous Blinky the Clown entertainer over the 40-year period 1958–1998), the venue faced worker shortages like thousands of other businesses nationwide due to people whose pandemic-related unemployment checks were much higher than their paychecks from work. The WHS Class of 1966 treasurer Maryellen Brada Manuszak became concerned about rumors that the WHS Class of 1965 reunion’s last-minute cancellation might lead to people from that event trying to “crash” the event sponsored by the Class of 1966 for all classes from the 1960s, but there were no “crash” incidents at the August 2021 reunion.


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

Donnie, thanks for all the work you have done and continue to do to bring smiles to our faces.

— Steve Rhodes, Class of 1966


Donnie, thanks for the updates and for putting the booklet together.

— Harry Diamond, Class of 1967

Donnie, I appreciate all you do with regard to keeping the class together through your communications, especially notifications for those who have passed. This last reunion was very nice as usual and Vicky and I enjoyed the get-togethers.

— Dean Otey, Class of 1966

[Note from Donnie: Vicky is Dean’s wife, who was in the WHS Class of 1968. Her maiden name was Hathaway.]

Donnie, you do GREAT work!! Thank you. I thought about three times of having pictures taken with the people I knew at the August 2021 reunion, but I sadly didn't.

— Steve Smith, Class of 1969

Donnie and Paul, thanks for keeping us all informed.

— Perry Pierce, Class of 1966

What a blast from the last — the August 2021 reunion was most enjoyable. The WHS Class of ‘67 ladies who attended met for dinner prior. Thanks to everyone who planned the gathering and those attended.

— Laureen Ritter Gennin, Class of 1967

[Note from Donnie: Visit www.1966whs.com and on the home page scroll down to the words “Reunion pictures” to click on the word “here” in order to view a great photo of Laureen and four other women from the Class of 1967.]

What great photos of the August 2021 reunion! Everyone looks so happy and enjoying the day together. Does Bruce McAlexander ever age?! Brian and I were sorry to have missed such a fun event. Looking forward to our 60th reunion, G*d willing!

— Barbara Garrison, Class of 1966

[Note from Donnie: Thanks to the modern computer software called Photoshop, Levi Bruce’s photos on the website make him look like a young whippersnapper. Just kidding! What you see, Barbara, is what you get with NO Photoshop edits. Levi Bruce IS holding up well as we all sail through life in the 70s age bracket. Our website manager Paul Snell did tell me that he had to adjust a few photos that were submitted because the people depicted in the photos looked larger than they really are.]

Thanks, Donnie, for the booklet. Well done! I truly appreciate the hard work compiling these varied bios. I would enjoy sitting in a circle with all of these people, face to face, without distractions and reminisce those formative days. That format would mean the most to me. Then party!

— Larry Hazlett, Class of 1966

The reunion booklet was very enjoyable reading!!

— Linda Nolin Weber, Class of 1966

I was glad to learn from the reunion booklet and photos that Ron Petty, a widower, and Lena Cordova, a widow, are in the early stage of getting to know one another. As a widow myself, I always admire widows and widowers who eventually find a partner so they can continue on after the huge void left with the death of a spouse. Although I keep hoping I will eventually find a man after being a widow for quite a few years, I doubt it will happen and will end up spending the remainder of my life by myself.

— Name withheld by request

Donnie, thanks for all you do. It’s very much appreciated by everyone!

— Terry Anteola Brown, Class of 1967

OMG, Donnie, you are too, too funny now inviting our "old" homo-hating classmates to call you Lois Lane! You are too much! Enjoyed reading the clips in the reunion booklet. I must say that I resonate with what Mary Ashley wrote in her bio. Based on the reunion photos, when did Bruce get so tall?

— Cheryl Minehart Belt, Class of 1966

[Note from Donnie: Clark Kent and Lois Lane are two pseudonyms I periodically use in jest, especially nowadays with so much animosity towards reporters. Given that there are two (2) classmates named Bruce, I was not sure whether you were referring to Bruce Brian or Bruce McAlexander. Although both of them may seem taller in the website photos AND they both seemed a little bit taller than usual when I saw them in person at the August 2021 reunion, I am not the best person to ask because my primary doctor confirmed several months ago that I am getting SHORTER (by almost two inches) in my old age. “It’s nothing to worry about,” said the doctor. In addition to all of my other names, people can call me Shorty!]

Donnie and Paul, thank you so much for all the work you do! Y’all do a great job!

— Judy Ames Bradford, Class of 1966

Okay, Donnie, I went through the reunion booklet two times and I never saw what you filled out about yourself. It had to take you quite a while to put this together and I want to thank you for doing it, but where is your bio? I noticed you mentioned Perry Pierce being voted for best smile and Steve Rhodes was voted for best looks, but I did not see anything in the booklet about best dancers. Dennis Stenson told me a few years ago that he wanted to be voted best dancer and someone [ahem, you, Donnie] stole his high school dream. Shame on you!

— Levi Bruce McAlexander, Class of 1966

[Note from Donnie: It is a big no-no in journalism for a booklet editor to include extensive bio information about himself or herself. My booklet was BIO articles from the perspective of the people who submitted them. Because the booklet was NOT an autobiographical project, it would have been against journalism standards for me to include my own bio sheet. The WHS creative-writing teacher Mrs. Adams and the WHS journalism teacher Mrs. Theiss would agree with me on this. Regarding the dancer issue, check out the video in the article “As a Longtime Lover of Dance” elsewhere in this newsletter.]


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:


To read numerous articles and view photos, you can select one or more topics listed on the white-colored tabs that are located at the top of the home page of the website.


 SONGS of the 1950s and EARLY 1960s are featured on an approximate eight-minute free online video. With opening remarks by the early 1960s singer Bobby Rydell who is now 79 years old, the video features about 30 seconds of each song that is performed. Check out the hairdos and dance steps of that era. It is noteworthy that the specific era covered by the video PREDATES the British invasion that took over the musical scene in 1964. Unlike the predominantly white performers who emerged with the advent of the British invasion, the musical performers of the 1950s and early 1960s were predominantly Black. My “Doo Wop Music” article in the October 2010 update had a more detailed history of Black predominance in music of the 1950s and early 1960s, To view the aforementioned video of songs from the 1950s and early 1960s, click the following link:



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 TV 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 Levi 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. Fast forward to the ten-year period 2008–2018 during which I did volunteer work at the college campus in Denver, a young Chicana female student posted online a video of me in a classroom while performing excerpts of dances from the late 1950s and early 1960s. It is noteworthy that the dances in the video PRECEDED the Motown era and other musical genres from that era. The semi-dark lighting in the video was intentional so that people could concentrate on the dance steps. In case you wonder why I am referred to as Viejito Martínez in the blurb that accompanies the video, Viejito is a Spanish endearing term for old man. To watch the 6-minute video, click the following link:



This update was prepared by me.

Respectfully submitted,

Donnie Martínez  10/10/21

Security — grade school thru graduation 1966

Known in Security by stepdad’s surname Collier

Martínez is my birth certificate & legal surname