Sept. 2012





A PARTY for the CLASS of 1966 and GUESTS will be held in Colorado Springs on Friday, October 5, 5:30 p.m. until whenever. Hosted by Class Committee member Gillie Walker at her home, the party will be a potluck meal and BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle). Our classmates Vickie Sue Hawes Lessa and Barbara Billingsley Massarano, both of whom live on the East Coast, will be visiting in Colorado Springs and will be in attendance at the party. Please RSVP to Gillie at




OUR CLASSMATE DOUG ALLEN had surgery on September 14 to have his right leg removed at the hip. According to a someone’s post that Gillie read on Facebook, Doug was doing well after the surgery despite being heavily sedated from surgical drugs. In his July 2012 note to me, Doug wrote:


The past twelve years my legs have been a source of constant excruciating pain. Two weeks ago, my doctors told me there was nothing left they could do for my legs. When the pain gets too intense and I say it's more than I can handle, they will remove my right leg. I have enrolled in a group of amputees to try to learn from them. I'm not certain how one makes the decision to remove a leg. Everyone I have spoken with has said the same thing: "You will know when it's time."


Doug obviously decided it was time for the amputation. He had been through several surgeries and other options ever since the car accident that left him with severe injuries, especially to his right leg. Despite all he has been through with his health challenges, Doug has maintained the upbeat and vibrant qualities that he had when he was in school with us in the 1960s.


Please join me in keeping Doug in your prayers and well wishes during his period of recovery and the new phase of his life as an amputee. His contact information can be obtained on the “Email Addresses” page of our class website.




OUR CLASSMATE BARBARA GARRISON shared some incidents about the June 2012 Colorado Springs fire, which has been described by authorities as the most destructive in Colorado history. Listed below is what Barbara wrote.


The tragedy of the fire in Colorado Springs unfolded nightly on our televisions here on the east coast. I reached out to Maryellen Manuszak and she shared some pretty grim details of the devastating consequences of this tragic event. Maryellen and her daughter, Becky, have a horse they stable in Manitou Springs, and, like Bruce McAlexander, Becky received an early morning call to evacuate their horse. Where does one go with a horse at 2:00 in the morning?
My sister, Chris Ayala (Garrison), Class of 1969, has two children and five grandchildren who had to be evacuated from their homes. My nephew, Manuel, his wife, Sherry and their two children live in Loveland, and they were evacuated when the fires started in Fort Collins. Fortunately, Manuel and his family were able to return to their home and there was no damage. Unfortunately, my niece, Nichole and her family were not so lucky. She was one of the 350 families in Mountain Shadows (near Rockrimmon) whose house burned to the ground. We thank God that Nichole and her family had been evacuated and were living with friends when the tragedy happened. Now they are in the process of finding a new place to live, replacing furniture and other household items in time for school to start in the fall. They have been very blessed to have received help from a big fund-raising event and from FEMA; from family and friends who have helped them to begin to get back on their feet.  
The magnitude of the fire was incredible. I shed a tear when I learned that the Flying W Ranch had burned to the ground. As a member of a group of former Sproul Junior High School (SJHS) teens, we used to entertain the tourists with square dancing in the summer of 1962. I wish I could remember the others from SJHS who were there...Linda Phipps, perhaps?  
Our hearts and prayers are with those who have lost loved ones and whose lives have been forever changed by this terrible fire. President Obama visited Colorado to honor the brave men and women firefighters who fought so valiantly against such a colossal fire that was nearly impossible to put out. He was also there to give aid and comfort to those who were victimized. And then the President was in Colorado again for a senseless and unimaginable tragedy [the mass shootings at the movie theater in Aurora].  
2012 will live in the memories of many, and we hope each day gives everyone strength to persevere, to rebuild and to find some peace.




OUR CLASSMATE GILLIE WALKER wishes to extend her deep appreciation to people who contacted her regarding the May 2012 memorial piece she wrote about our classmate Marty Dostal. Listed below is what Gillie now has to say.


I want to thank everyone for your encouraging letters in response to the thing I wrote about Marty Dostal's Memorial Service. It touches my heart to hear you say such kind things. Dave Theiss had this to say:


Gillie: Thank you for so explicitly describing the memorial for Marty Dostal. I have been moved immensely by your well trained and insightful words to Marty’s True Honor. I remember Marty and I remember Dennis O’Rourke.....hard working....hard playing....good people.

Their service to help us remain free to live the lives that we do.....humble me in their memories. I enlisted in July of ‘66 (Highest Escalation in Viet Nam in the entirety of the War).....although insulated by a promise by the Army Athletic Department at West Point to get me to the United States Military Academy Preparatory School at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.....Just outside of Washington, D.C. I spent the school year there and graduated in May ‘67.

While I chose not to go on to West Point....My military service, while safe from Harms Way has years later taken it’s toll on my life.....For Marty and Dennis and so many of our classmates, friends, brothers who spent their lives to further the freedoms that we ALL share. When I was 18-19 I found Washington, D.C. To be “Bigger than Life”.....40 Plus years later I have returned multiple times to find that it is indeed....”Bigger than Life”.

In the past three years I have found a Passion that has surpassed all previous interests in my life. I hooked up with HONOR FLIGHT in a local way in rural Iowa. Honor Flight is a program to take WWII Veterans to Washington, D.C. To visit and be HONORED at their Memorial. To date we have taken seven one day flights including nearly 700 WWII Veterans....all in their mid to late 80’s to experience a day they will never forget.

I have heard dozens of them say.....”The two best days in my life....the day I married my bride.... and my Day of Honor Flight.” Subsequently I have become very close to many of these grand gentlemen.....and stood at their graveside folding their flag.....weeping and mourning their loss. But, as a close college buddy of mine reminded me several months least they had “Their Day in the Sun....Their Day in HONOR.”

I am very proud to say that nationally tens of thousands of WWII Vets have made their Honor Flight....but moreover the mantle of the workload for fundraising, organization, and actual administration (All the Day to Day Work) has been undertaken by Viet Nam Vets and Viet Nam Era Vets.....HEALING has been experienced by ALL.

On August 7th of this year we will make our final Honor Flight. The WWII Vets are dying by nearly 1,000 per day and becoming fewer and farther between. This trip we are taking “Purple Heart Recipients of All Wars” as our guests. August 7th is “Purple Heart Day”.....and It shall be grand. I shall EMBRACE another hundred men who have fought to keep my life FREE.

At the WWII Memorial there is a wall of 4,000 plus stars.....each signifying 100 lost in battle. It is fronted by a pool of quiet waters with a marble retaining wall in front....on which is inscribed “HERE MARKS THE PRICE OF FREEDOM”.

God Bless our Veterans.....Those that have paid the ultimate price as well as those who were fortunate enough to return long....and prosper.

God Bless Marty and Dennis and all of those WHS Grads who have served so that the rest of us might enjoy the true FREEDOMS of the USA.

Thanks again for your wonderful message.....Dave Theiss (WHS Class of ‘66)


And thank you, Dave, for your heartfelt letter and for contributing so beautifully to our vets' lives.


Hugs to Everyone!





TO VISIT OUR CLASS WEBSITE that was assembled and is maintained by our Class Committee member and Webmaster, Paul Snell, please go to:


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.




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


Thanks for the information, Donnie, about the evacuations in Colorado Springs. It brought back memories about our fire in Big Elk Meadows in 2002, two miles up the hill from my house. I was in Colorado Springs at the time helping my brother recover from open heart surgery. My neighbor Nancy called me to find out what I wanted out of my house, and I told her to get important papers, photo albums, and one jewelry box. I felt as long as my dog Moose and I were safe and we had food and clothes, what more would matter? It is amazing what you decide at that very moment what is important to you. Everything else is replaceable. It all ended well as the wind shifted uphill and away from Pinewood Springs.

-- Danielle Andres, Class of 1966


Your July 2012 update was very timely and I was touched to read such thoughtful information about WHS graduates. So sorry to learn of classmates affected by the fire and devastation or untimely death. A special congratulation to Flash Cadillac (Warren Knight) who serenaded us last year so festively at the Class of 1966 reunion that included all classes from the 1960s. As we age, well, most of us – the memories and that shared period of life in high school in so many ways shaped who we are today and is with us forever whether we acknowledge it or attend reunions. No matter who we were (or thought we were) then, and who or what we’ve become now, we are all very fortunate to have had those developmental years at WHS. I am proud to hold WHS experiences fondly in my memory and heart. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughtful updates. Keep them coming!
-- Laureen Ritter Gennin, Class of 1967

Donnie, thank you for your wonderful updates. Unfortunately, the news from Colorado recently has been less than good and happy. Your updates remind me of a much happier time in my life. My older brother who lives on the far-east side of Colorado Springs was here in Charlotte for a great week-long visit in July 2012.

-- Doug Allen, Class of 1966




THE INSTRUMENTAL “WALK DON’T RUN” is the focus of a video that features a reunion of The Ventures, the band that made the instrumental popular in the Fall 1960. The group’s drummer, George Babbitt, was only 17 years old at the time the song was recorded and left the group before it was released. The video features Babbitt, who went on to become a four-star U.S. Air Force General, reuniting with The Ventures for a modern-day performance of the hit song. The instrumental was written and first recorded by jazz guitarist Johnny Smith in 1954. When The Ventures did their version in 1960, my dance partner Yolanda Lopez (WHS Class of 1965) and I thoroughly enjoyed dancing to it. As die-hard fans of the Doo-Wop genre and other R&B performers, we noted at the time that “Walk Don’t Run” was one of the few non-R&B songs that we liked in those years. Many thanks are extended to Greg Bruce (Wisley) from the WHS Class of 1965 for bringing the video to people’s attention. To watch the 7-minute video, click the following link:




AS SOMEONE WHO SLEEPS LONG HOURS related to my almost eight-year-long incurable neurological illness, I was most interested to read about a memory test that was submitted by our classmate Marie George Torreano (known by her longtime family nickname Mimi). The test explores two (2) types of memory – recognition memory and temporal memory. Recognition memory is a measure of a person’s ability to remember, and temporal memory is a measure of how often a person can recognize and match a specific image. Sleep scientists uphold that recognition memory for people’s faces is unaffected by sleep loss. Sleep scientists also uphold that temporal memory can be affected by prolonged sleep loss and/or aging. Therefore, a healthy 65-year-old person who sleeps normally would be able to perform the test similarly to a 20-year-old who has gone without sleep for 36 hours. When I took the test, my recognition memory score was 62 percent and my temporal memory score was 46 percent. My doctors have forewarned me that, with the longevity of my neurological illness, my short-term memory could be eventually impacted to the point that I may not remember people whom I should know. In other words, temporary memory loss could result in me saying, “Who is Mimi? Who is Bruce? Who is Gillie?”


To learn your own scores on the free memory test, click the following link:




NEXT YEAR will be the 50th ANNIVERSARY of people in the WHS Class of 1963. Our class committee also is in periodic contact with three Class of 1963 members (Claudia McAlexander, Jill Woods, Nils Wikner), but they have not mentioned anything about a reunion for their Class of 1963. If anyone has any information about a reunion for their class, send an email to and it will be passed on to Claudia, Jill and Nils. In the July 2012 update, there was a similar article about Yvonne Glessner seeking reunion information about the Class of 1962.




OUR CLASS COMMITTEE consists of several classmates who volunteer their time, at one point or another, regarding issues pertinent to our class. Our Class Committee members are: Gillie Walker; Bruce McAlexander; Marcia Hagans Allin; Meg Hulsey Mailo; Ron Petty; Donnie Collier Martinez; Paul Snell; Mike Adragna; Bruce Brian; Linda Nolin Weber; Ken Loveless; Roy Manuszak; Mary Ellen Brada Manuszak; Jerry Moyers; Barbara Billingsley Massarano; Warren Knight. Other classmates are welcome to be part of the Class Committee.




WE ARE VOLUNTEERS. Please do not ever take it personally if you do not hear from the Class Committee or the Website Committee 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 almost eight 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.




This update was prepared by me.


Respectfully submitted,


Donnie Martinez, WHS Class of 1966 Committee

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.


I don’t care what people call me, just call me.