Notes from Classmates after the 22-24 Oct. 04 Reunion weekend:

It truly was a wonderful weekend.  (The weather could have been a little better; but, then, it could have been a lot worse!)

I have already thanked Ted, personally, for his tremendous effort, and now I thank him publicly.  Others who deserve special mention for their efforts are Steve Hopta, Alice Gay Abernethy, Bill Dobbs, Holly Flint, and Terry Hunter.  (There are probably others whom I have overlooked, and I apologize for that.)  It is interesting to observe that Ted, Holly, and Terry didn't even graduate with us, and yet they were still willing to use their time and energy to make the reunion happen.  Ted was given official honorary class alumnus status by the Gov, but they are all honorary alumni in our hearts.

I've told several that I tossed and turned all Friday night, unable to sleep after the Friday soiree.  It was some kind of emotional overload, I think --- bouncing back and forth between the present and the distant (I've known some of our classmates for over 50 years!) past.

I went into the weekend anticipating that I would attend only the gathering at the Governor's place, and maybe go to one other event.  Instead, I went to the Gov's ... and then to Bill Dobbs ... and then to the tour of GWHS conducted by Alice ... and then to the picnic at Kanawha State Forest ... and then gathered with a small group Saturday evening.  Whew!  Each venue provided an opportunity to chat and "reconnect" (as Mollie says) with different individuals.
Perhaps this reunion topped previous gatherings because of, if I may be frank, our "maturity".  We have reached the age at which we are no longer out to impress others; there's no point in worrying about --- because there's certainly no hiding --- the wrinkles and bulges, now.  And for those of us who have children, we love them now as much as we ever did, but they are not as central to our lives as they once were.  Consequently, instead of spending much of our time talking to one another about how and what our kids are doing (as we did at previous reunions), this time we were able to focus on our friends and our friendships and how and what we are doing.

So, GWHS Class of '66, it was GREAT!!  We'll do it again in a few years.  And in the meantime, stay in touch with each other!!
Mike Chaney Charleston, WV Tel. (304) 345-8900 Fax (304) 345-8909
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Hi Stan:  You are so right.....I feel as though I am reconnected to the very people who helped form and shape my personality. I feel energized, loved, and deeply transformed by the reconnections which came instantaneously....and so effortlessly.

What is this? I did not expect to feel this way....and certainly cannot recall feeling so strongly and confidently before this experience, but now I do feel changed in ways that I have never been changed before...except when I married.... and when I gave birth....
This is mysterious and powerful and I love it and want it to remain.

Those who weren't with us may not be able to understand the intensity or the purity of this feeling.

Are you OTHERS able to talk about your experience of the weekend?

Is it something you would share with the rest of us?

Love to all.....Mollie
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Ted--Thank you for all you did to make the Reunion such a success. I had a great time Friday night, and I know everyone else did, also. You put a lot of work into this..
Is the e-mail list on your website the most comprehensive? Now that you got us back together, I am looking forward to keeping in touch with many people.
Thank you again for your extensive efforts.---Bob Wise

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Holly Flint    hfcats@earthlink.net

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Dear Ted,
Thanks so much for all your dedicated and hard work to bring off our reunion over the past weekend. I think that all had a grand time and really enjoyed the fruits of your and others' efforts.
I'm sorry that I was unable to get to your house on Sunday, but needed to get on my bike and the road about noon to get back here to Fairfax at a reasonable time. I arrived home about 8 p.m. after no rain and a little fog in the mountains of Maryland.
I hope you had a good turnout and were able to continue the reminiscing for a bit at your house.
It certainly was nice to see you and so many other nice faces after being away from Charleston for so long.
Best wishes to you, George
Umberger
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I will add my heartfelt agreement with all that has been said!! It is hard to put feelings into words.  It was a time of great joy and maybe a time of healing too.  Some of us have no family left in Charleston and consequently, no reason to return.  I now know that no matter where we roam or end up there will always be a place in my heart for Charleston, GWHS, life long friends, and the memories that helped to make us who we are today.  My friends here can't believe that I have a picture of over half of my first grade class and that we went to school together for 12 years!!  Seeing everyone was very overwhelming for me.  I  wish that we could have done this in slow motion so I could have spoken with everyone and caught up with you.   Wishing each of you health and happiness and the time to enjoy them!!  When you come to the Washington, D.C. area, please call.  Jennie Holz Isner
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This is from the gal that not only did not attend high school in WV (except by proxy through my friends), but also was from -- the shame of it all --  the West Side -- Edgewood to be exact!  I had always heard tales of many of you through the small cadre of friends I had on the Hill, so it was so much fun putting faces to those stories (albeit, the faces and hairlines probably have changed somewhat over 38 years).  I was always jealous of all of you who had so much fun on the Hill and was so grateful to be included in alot of the shenanigans.  This alumni weekend, thanks to ex-flame Ted and best friend Holly, was extraordinary.  I felt more at home with you all than the one and last reunion I attended at my prep school.  I made reconnections to old buddies and met some new ones.  You should all be proud of your accomplishments...WOW -- there are some real heavy-hitters in the Class of '66!  Some of you haven't changed a bit (damn it), some are lovelier than 38 years ago.  I appreciate everyone making me feel like a member of the crowd.  I didn't get to talk to all of those I would have liked to, but it wasn't for lack of trying!  It was a true highlight and reflective of what I always tell people of WV -- the friendliest, most genuine folks in the world. Ellen Lively Swann

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Now for the next reunion, climb Mt. Everest, or a cruise, Iím just warming this crowd up !!!  Elden

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TedI know I speak for the rest of us when I say "Thank You" for all the effort you put into making this whole thing come together. It truly was a weekend that I will never forget. It had to be the best reunion ever. I felt like we were long lost brothers and sisters who just needed to connect once again.
Some of us met five different times over the weekend and each time we met, we could never say enough to each other. I know these are friendships that will last forever and I thank all of you for sharing. I missed you guys over the years. I just wished more could have come. Thanks again to the whole group who helped organize. It was GREAT!

Stan Jordan
Elden to Stan:
Great were all who helped this happen,
I think the biggest things was you who came such a distance.
Yes, something precious, unique, undaunted about high school friendship.
Your wine was a grand gesture too. Each had such a special offering, His friendship, his tributes, his welcome smile.
Yes, I thought this was best time I ever had. Ted
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Ted!--What an outstanding party you put together--I think everybody had an over -the -top goodtime -in particular--me.I know you must have spent a zillion hours-but, what a blast !!I appreciated all your efforts! Thanks for the memory.--

francie

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to Wade:
If any, you or others have photos, please get them to me NOW. Digital is best, via e-mail or mail.

The time is now, while emotions are still stirring. I'll try to get them in my computer & up on web site. Thanks.

God bless you and all who spent such time, effort, calls, and boosted the hype. The distance that people came floors me. This was a thing that just wanted to happen. I'm enchanted that I was a part of it. This is the single most incredible event of my life, I guess, 'cause I missed prom at GW & at prep school.

Thanks Wade & to your sisters, who were also a treat. I hope you spent a little time with your mother, who I enjoy at church functions.
ted

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Ted, Thanks for all your hard work
(hard work, must be a George Bush follower) The picnic was enjoyable Hassan made it probably 50 in all. Steve Hopta

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It was very tempting to simply type "ditto" to all that's been expressed.  Clearly we're all feeling the same emotions.  Mike, I think you've figured it out......

I hope CHS will invite us to their next reunion, if not, I'm not above "crashing".  Anyone with me?

I went to elementary and junior high in Kanawha City, so you'll forgive my not recognizing everyone.

Those of us that live outside of WV are used to WV jokes, I'm sure.  When I returned I was asked if the Governor's Mansion was a "triple-wide" - please know that I set that person straight.

We must keep in touch - life is short.

Wishing all of you good health and much happiness.

Judi Hunt Pence
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to Hopta Incredible event I think. What lovely energized, youthful, fun seeking people, Where did you find them all ?
I'm winding down, still working on setting the list & data in order, some inquiries out and some help on that.

Web site will be active for at least a month. If others get photos to me, I'll try to get them to the web site.

Thanks a million. You connected us to the Governor, then the rest just sort of happened. Your magic hands, the touch of King Midas

Ted Elden we had a Corvair too. First car I drove.
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I failed to mention in my last letter that Eddie Pennington, Reponsel George attended church together. Shortly after graduation, I played the piano for their wedding. 

 I think that Reponsel lived on Connell Rd. in Charleston, which was not too far from where Robin Greybill lived. 

After they married, they moved to Florida, they moved to Florida.  The last time that we heard form them was Dec. 2002.

 The Address in FL is 1019 Audubon Way, Lakeland FL  33809-4611 from  Raymond Holbrook

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Thank you each & all. God Bless you. 

Iíve never been to a prom, neither at GWHS, nor at my prep school, so the gathering of my school friends was an incredible experience for me.  Some thought I did something, energy, persistence, whatever, but I noted there is so much magnetism, momentum, for this group to regather, I was spell bound.

When the Governor gave us an October date in May, I asked how many would comfortably fit in the Mansion, 100.   So from that point I knew weíd have 100, I just did not know who or how.  Several different people reached out to talk with and or find lost classmates.  We sent about 800 postcards &invitations trying to find our lost tribe.  Many people, Wade Sharp, Terry Hunter, Joe Arthur and others got on the phones and called people, as did I.  Some though once weíd contacted others weíd wait.  I said no, no time. So we continued to interlace each others efforts. 

If you called, should I, Yes, yes, yes.  We grow by building links.  Some may not know, like or believe me, but as others began to connect with their friends, a ground swell arose that brought the momentum, like an incoming tide, like a storm a brewing, I was nervous & anxious the several weeks of our efforts.

The amazing part to me was the response.  So many came, from such great distances, with such effort, flying, hotels, suspending their lives & families for this brief time together.

What is it about this clan?  Ah, High School & school day, formative years, wild, adventurous, others who have shaped our lives & character.

Governor Wise was graceful, relaxed, friendly & inquisitive among us all.  Some of us may have met for the first time. The aura of us dressed to the max in black tie & elegant dresses.  Exquisite food by the Governorís chef, Otis Laury, CA & WA wines provided by Stan Jordan & Bob Fritz, story after story I waded thru as people explained their interest and dilemma to make this trip.

God Bless you all.  The more that gathered the grander was the joy & delight for us all.

This, without doubt, was the most momentous event of my life, Ďcause you know I didnít get to go to this grand school, but Iím enchanted by you all, and strive to befriend you each.

Send us word on you, your life, and maybe a photo or 2 that we can share with others on our web site. Thanks All, of a cast to numerous to innumerate.  Each, in their way, poured energy, thought, care & attention to the soul of this gathering.  Ted Elden

to classmates that we missed: 

We were sorry to miss you.  Sorry for the late notice.  The Governor & I tried to do this some years ago, but had too much resistance.  As soon as I got this fall date, 22 Oct from the Governor, I moved heaven & earth to get mobilized,

Even yet we do not know how to reach all of our classmates, but I push on to get us organized & linked.

I hope others continue to help in this search for the lost.

The Single most incredible event in my life, I guess Ďcause I missed a prom at GW or at prep school.
Wonderful people, what incredible energy & magnetism drew us all back together.
I just oiled the wheels.

The whole crowd showed up in stately fashion attire.  I was stunned. What handsome friends we have, revealing their sophisticated nature.

My, oh my, were not those High School Years special and the friends made there & now.
I am filled beyond words for this whole weekend.   There is more to come, but for now, I collapse !

Ted Elden
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Ted, you are amazing (didn't I say that 40 years ago???). I have not had such a great time in years.  I so appreciate ALL of your efforts and for including this West Side gal in all the festivities.

And, Ted, I did not do what Zan said I did with your letters.  Please know that I could not have done that.

Your Dad looks great.   It was a perfect weekend!  And I have made new friends, too!   Fondly, Ellen Lively Swann
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Ted,  Thanks for a wonderful reunion. You did a great job getting all this together and pulling it off. I heard noting but positive comments.  I'm looking forward to looking at the CD of pictures I got from Mollie.  Do we do this again in two years?  Terry
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Ted & Mike,


Here are some thoughts I've had on how to keep the momentum from last weekend going. I think regular contact will go a long way toward making the next reunion "easier". After the 1996 gathering I proposed (to Curt, I think) a newsletter that would be mailed to all known addresses at least once a year. Since then email has become so commonplace that contact can be maintained more often at a lower cost.

 

I would suggest a mass email to all known email addresses at least twice a year with a USPS mailing to those without known email. The messages would share classmate news, if any; information that might be of interest; ask for email addresses; and a list of those who are "lost". If Ted is willing, his web site could serve as a place to find contact information and an updated list of the missing. As people move, change phone numbers, email, etc, the website could direct them how to update their information.


For my part, I will always include the GWHS address database when we submit other mailing lists to the USPS for move information. I'll let Ted know about any changes that come back.


Ted's web site might include tentative dates for upcoming gatherings and ask for  activity suggestions.

 

I talked to John Adams last night. He's sorry to have missed the reunion, but had undergone minor surgery and was not able to travel. He vows to make the next one.  Terry (Ross) Hunter

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Mike, Mollie and Stan:  Thanks to each of you for so eloquently expressing my sentiments about last weekend.  It was truly a special time and I'm so thankful that I was able to participate.  Now that I'm back in Charlotte, I keep replaying the weekend over and over in my head.  I can't get over how comfortable and right it felt to be there and that I was somehow "sheltered" (I can't think of a better word) and loved.  I hope that when we get together again in a few years we'll be joined by many of those who couldn't make it this time and that they will have an opportunity to share the experience.

 

Thanks to all of you who worked so hard to make it happen!

 

Peggy Douglas

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Ted to Holly: Two worlds,
worlds, yes, I am an alien; I thought youíd never notice. 

I took 1 photos / minute for 2 hours.  I'd love to go slower and do better, but I just donít have much patience from my friends.
If any sends me photos, particularly digital, I can post them.

If you didnít notice, I can turn many things around pretty quick.  Instant Ted, is there any other way ?
I have a short attention span, incredible energy, but no memory.

Iíve yet to focus and describe my feelings, but this was the most significant event I have ever attended.

Having failed the group shot and the candids, I had to pull the big guns from the trunk of my car to be sure that the evening did not disappear from the traces of history.  A rabbit out of the hat.  Those studio lights at the fireplace was not only my last resort, but not pre-planned.

Holly,  what I did was so small against what others did, you and others traveling great distances, spending much money, time & trouble.

I just oiled the wheels.  Wow, you all stunned me with your response.  I was just bluffing.  I had no idea that we could gather 100+  I was amazed at the energy and magnetism that these people wanted to get together.  Incredible. !

Alice Gay commented how this crowd cleaned up pretty well.

Iím the last person for neatness, and formal dress, but I tried to push everything up a notch as I think women sort of value this formal, fancy rags on us plain folks.  Iíve got to admit, it did go up a notch.  I hardly could believe I knew this fancy, handsome, dashing crowd.   Just Ted
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Fritz to Elden: Ted, We just followed your lead and pitched in as we could. It was an event that was worth the time and money to come from San Diego. And I am a grumpy flier when it comes to coach travel on crowded planes. But I'm home now so things are better.

I did get a CD disk from Molly. I will try and get a photo of me giving the model to Bob into the company newsletter. I already showed it to my wife and pointed out a number of people.

I enjoyed meeting your father (again). He is very witty and quick.

Bob's presentation was great. You are more loyal than the rest of us put together.

Bob Fritz
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T
ed: 
Well, I'm back in DC, still reeling from the weekend.  I think Mike Chaney summed it up best ... I felt like I was in "two worlds, with one leg in each".  WOW!  You are (were) the man of the hour!    The photos are THE BEST.  Wouldn't it be fun if others posted their photos, too?  Be sure to correct my e-mail address, OK?  Holly Flint
I found a photo of me, it will be posted when I update the site.
I'll show you where later.
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Bob Fritz from Elden, incredible, all I thought. Perfect in 1001 ways.
I am greatly indebted to you and many, many others who helped in so many ways.
Shoot, just those who came, made it so much fun for us all.

I'm glad to at last be ranked with your class.
I told Bob Wise, when he's President of US, we'll do this all again.

God Bless you and thanks !  Friday night images posted to our site.
Did you get a photo CD disc ? Of them, if not let me know.  Ted
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Tom Walker from Elden

You are my man, I was thinking of having another reunion this coming weekend, but believe that most need a little rest. (not me of course)

Weíll do it again, you & I together next time.

Shoot if no one comes but you & me, that would still be a great time !

Sorry Iíve never met your daughter, and that you wife was otherwise distracted.

It may take time to get the data base accurate, but Iíll adjust it about your brother.  Great guy.  We all miss him.

You guys are like the Beluchi (Blues) brothers   Iíve enjoyed your jokes.  Thanks !     Ted  
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TO
Hassan A. El-Amin from Elden

Great to see you again.  Thinks for coming. Incredible tales you bring, and wonderful motor cycles.

What a meteoric rise you have made in your career, and an abundance of children, and grandkids, what a blessing.

Please please contact Kathleen.  I think that you were a dear friend of hers before.

Pat Bond her brother has come to a couple of our reunion.  Dave Bock was also her friend, as was Bonnie Howard Riley.

I so wanted Mrs. Kathleen Bond Farmer to come, Iíve not seen her for decades.

 Here is info on her: home tel 202 686-0911

5355 Nevada Ave. NW, Wash DC 20015

Iíll try to get all your info into our data base that others may see & share.
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Yes, we ran into each other in '02 (I think) in N. Chas. off  Interstate 79.  I was on my motorcycle on my way to French Lick, Indiana, and you were on your way to a photo shoot --  a wedding, I think.

Full Name:  Hassan A. El-Amin (Formerly Vernon S. Jones; name changed legally in 1978)

Address:  4612 Brinkley Road,        Temple Hills, MD 20748

        Tel:   301-899-0742

Marital Status:  Married since Sept 14, 1974 to Martha A. Perry  (30 years!)

Kids:  7, ranging in age from 42 to 22, 6 grandkids

Career:  After GW, Yale U, Fed Gov Worker, Univ Md Law School, Atty in Pvt Practice 1986 -2000,

   Maryland District Court Judge 2000 - Present

Hobbies:  Chess, Motorcycling, Golf, Astronomy, Music

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to Abernathy:
On return last night, I went to the Marriot for a few minutes, but of course stayed for hours.

How incredible to be with that lost tribe of Israel, our high school friends ?

What an extension of our psyche, a tie capture of our soul, a sharing of our memories,
precious times, golden days of our youth.
Thanks for all that you have done, too.  My, how this group wanted to get together,

Oh how we all have enjoyed it.  Without comparison, this is the single most momentous event I can recall.
I never went to a prom or homecoming; I was separated from these people in my HS years, yet never really made friends nor was close to my prep school buddies.

My heart lay in Charleston friends, although IĎve been separated from them for years.

I still have ambitions of reaching some that we missed, if we can just find addresses and or ways to reach them.
I think that some who could not come would like the vicarious visit of seeing some of our photos/ stories, notes, video.

If Curt or any have photos to share, particularly digital, Iíll try to get them up on the web site.

God Bless you & your husband for all that you have done. 
Each part added to the whole.  I was sorry that I could not help more on Saturday.

When the dust has settled, Iíd be happy to make you print or prints of your elementary school friends.  Ted
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from Alice Gay Abernathy to Elden 

Ted--Thanks again for all your hard work. "And a good time was had by all" certainly applies to this event. Everyone seemed very happy to be at the reception and eager to talk to their classmates. And didn't we all clean up nicely! I'm sorry you had to miss today's events. We had about twenty people tour the school this morning and we had even more at the picnic. I think that some are meeting tonight at the bar at the Marriott, but I'm calling it a day. In addition, I want to thank you for making the pictures available to everyone. I'll be sure to hang on to my disk. Alice

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To Jennie Isner from Elden
   Wonderful ideas. about editing our addres list.
Many have worked on the address list.
There are bad addresses, and Joe Arthur has called many.  We donít know how to find many
All my problems are on the web site, what we know, what we donít know.

Editing would presuppose we had information.

Iíve edited the address list and the web site 100+ times as I learn things and or problem call write and or e-mail.
240 e-mails so far.

Most of our class does not have e-mail, nor use neither it nor how to use or have access to the internet.
But thru mail, fax and calls we have reached many.  Iím mailing another 300 post cards today, after event.

If I could fin a way you can help, Iíll le t you know
 If some one worked on calling those we have phone # for and or looked for the lost that would be good

I think Joe Arthur called many, but I donít have his notes as to who was there and who was not.
He has not kept or given me his notes.

Iíve been going at this day and night since the reunion, no counting what was done before.
I hope to have my video ready soon.
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Elden to Chaney's Letter:
Thanks for putting your thoughts in writing and stirring us all. How clear, focused, touching. Poetic, honorable and generous of you.  Iím still tying to get the video ready and perhaps 1 last mailing to see if I can learn any more.

The Governor offering his Mansion was the single birth of all this. Many, many have contributed so enthusiastically.
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Yes, Governor Wise, all I know I promptly post to our web site. www.abodia.com/gwhs Including tonight's article in the Charleston Daily Mail

As I get more photos & info I also post them there too.
There are many e-mail addresses there too.

I could not believe how open and connected you were to us all.
I don't know much about dealing with the high & the mighty, but we'd certainly not feel that of you, save your title, accomplishments & experience. You kindness, generosity, memory are unaffected thru your rise to such prominence.

God Bless you and thanks for all you have done for us.
Lifetime memories from your Mansion on the River.

Gratefully, your Berry Hills swimming buddy  ted
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Ted--Thank you for all you did to make the Reunion such a success. I had a great time Friday night, and I know everyone else did, also. You put a lot of work into this..
Is the e-mail list on your website the most comprehensive? Now that you got us back together, I am looking forward to keeping in touch with many people.
Thank you again for your extensive efforts.---Bob Wise
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Ted  -  Have just reviewed every picture of the reunion party at the mansion  -  what fun and what a terrific job you did  -  Francie is now back in Texas and I'm in Indy and we have spent the entire afternoon  on the phone checking out, comparing, fast forwarding and thoroughly enjoying your entire effort on the web  -  most impressive, that ton of work you did  -  fun to see your dad there too  -  my how some folks have changed  since '66  -  all seemed to have had a wonderful time  -  hope you did too  -  best wishes and thanks too for being so thoughtful of my Aunt Nelle  -   Ann Prince Shepherd Engel
dengel@msn.com
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To Elden form Mollie:
If I can help , let me know. My voice is quite loud you know.

When Joe Manchin gets elected next week, will it become the Manchin Mansion?
Will people think they are stuttering when they speak of the Manchin Mansion?

Why don't you sleep?  Mollie

The folks who went to the school tour and/ or picnic are the only suspects.
I read the list and these are the folks I think may have the disc:

Terry Hunter
Curt Marble
Sandy Rose
George Umberger
Eddie Bolden
Stan Jordan
Dave Bock
Steve Hopta
Julie Allison Sheets
Alice Abernathy
Mike Chaney
Bob Fritz
Jennie Isner
Pete Shuffle (?)
Nancy Wise Smith
Lenore Schneider
Peggy Douglas (?)

Thanks again for making this happen....it brought enormous joy to me....and I feel connected to all you folks again. What a blessing!

Thanks also for the pix of grandson Eli and his dad...my daughter and I looked at them today and made some prints........very beautiful.

You rock.... I also want you to know that your Tea for Two poem made me laugh out loud
....so hilarious to think of you getting the idea that a tea bag on your glasses will make things a little better.
No wonder I like you!
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Pence / Elden looking for the lost:

Candy Wright's mother's name is Joanne. (Dad was Lawrence) Finally came to me - still working on her dad's name. Brother was Lew, sister Cathy.  Haven't called Gary because his 93 year-old uncle is very ill, don't want to bother him now.

Mollie and her boyfriend are now packing for their journey to CA, very hectic here.  judi hunt pence

Elden to Cathy Hart Price - Governor's assistant:

I am having helium balloons from Becker Balloons delivered to the mansion about 6 pm.  5 sets of a dozen,
in school colors Burgundy & White.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Mr. Elden:

 

Unfortunately, Governor Wise will not be able to participate in the parade, but is looking forward to hosting you at the Mansion.

 

Thank you for all of the information that you have provided.  Sarah Simpson, Executive Scheduler for   Governor Bob Wise
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To Governor's Assistant:  Steve Hopta told me that he's have Governor Wise's Corvair Convertible at the Mansion area about 4 pm Friday.
I am working to get some music, band members or more from GWHS.
Any chance that we could have the Governor Come to his parking lot entrance in his Corvair at 6 or 6:15 and lead us in a parade to the Mansion, or even meet us outside anywhere in association with his Corvair - of which he is so proud - dating back to our High School Years, Prom & more.
I am thinking of getting some inflated helium balloons which I could hand out in the parking area for individual people to carry into the Mansion and or place them into the Mansion.  Is that OK, in either case.
I have 3 people coming to help me do video.  We'll be there early to check in,
They may want to video some people as they arrive, and or the PARADE to the Mansion.
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I'll add my stream of conscious thoughts and thanks to the organizers and participants.

A lot of thanks goes to Bob Wise for offering up the Mansion for the dinner.
I know that was a big factor in my decision to come. I am most happy that a lot of folks that were truly good and talented have achieved rich and rewarding lives. It was interesting to see all the lawyers, doctors, teachers, entrepreneurs, and even a couple of us engineering types had made inroads in their chosen professions.

There are a few people I would have liked to have seen: Paul Santini, Frank Thomas, Lisa Cometti, Sue Davis, Bill Cunningham, David Sinclair come immediately to mind. I'm sure they would have enjoyed it. I was especially glad to see Jenny Holz with whom I have corresponded via email for a couple of years now, Wade and Lindsey Sharp, Dave Johson, Mike Chaney, Lenore Schneider, Sherry Previll, George "GTO" Umberger, the indefatigable Molly, Stan Jordan and everyone else.

I was also interested to hear of those that were killed in Vietnam, and those that have passed on for other reasons. That is a reminder we do not have forever to do what we want and need to do in life. To those that served in Vietnam and the military in general, you have my respect and thanks. It would be an interesting history project for someone at the high school to identify the Vietnam era veterans. It has been a long time since I've talked about lottery numbers- something unique to our generation- at least the males.

The class symbol has to be the burgundy Corvair. We should have that mounted on a pedestal in front of the school as the class of 66 monument. They do it with airplanes, why not cars? Speaking of which, is it traditional for each class to give something to the school- has this been done?

Thanks to the organizers, movers, and shakers that made it happen, especially for arranging the fall colors to peak that weekend. We don't get that in San Diego. Noticeable too is the WV geology- WV has lots of sedimentary formations; California is mainly plutonic granites and basalts, with some volcanic extrusive lavas and rhyolites, and is dominated by interaction of plate tectonics- lots of earthquakes and thrust fault mountain ranges. I remember finding fossil ferns and trees in outcrops on Lucado Road and trilobites and crinoids in shales too in WV. We have only recent fossils in tertiary formations in the San Diego area.

Growing up in WV in the 50s and 60s had to be ideal. All we had to do is be ourselves without worries about drugs (3.2 beer!), gangs, AIDS (how many would confess to being virgins when they graduated?). We had great music from the Beach Boys, Beatles, Rolling Stones and the whole rock revolution.
We had sports without steroids and hormones. No Internet, cell phones, computers, cable TV- we had to interact with each other in person and probably learned a lot of skills that way. What a time to be a teen exploring what the world was about. We shared it, and its been with us ever since.

I hope the second halves of everyone's lives are as good as the first half has been. I hope we all make it for the 50th, if just to see if Peggy Douglas still looks great in a mini-skirt!

Bob Fritz
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Not to turn this into too much of a group therapy session, god forbid, but I just wanted to add my two cents worth to the group thoughts going around. I did not, of course, attend GW, I was one of those who got sent off to prep school, so as I arrived at the mansion I was feeling a little like an outsider. The minute I started talking to people I was amazed at how glad I was to see each and every person I had the chance to interact with and how I did feel like I was part of this group. Many people I had known at back at Fernbank and John Adams, but it was amazing how well I remembered almost everybody and how many people remembered me. I felt the need to keep introducing myself, and this turned out to be unnecessary. I didn't share all the experiences you guys did at GW, but I certainly felt close to many of you as we spent so much time together during those long wonderful summers while all we had to do was find different ways to have fun, usually by driving around in our cars (how original) and drinking beer (often at my house cause it was so easy for people to sneak in and out of).
I did come away with the amazing feeling that something important had just happened, I was very surprised by the strength of this feeling. And as Mike Chaney said, I had a rush of flashbacks and memories of those days for the rest of the weekend. I was unable to attend any events other than Friday night because of other things I had to take care of, and I regret that I did not get to spend as much time as I would have liked re-visiting people, and sorry I missed some altogether (saw them across the room but somehow never got over there). And ladies, wow, you all looked terrific! The old 8th and 9th grade crushes came rushing back, I guess in some ways we just don't really grow up.
I am traveling in California right now on business but have been following this thread of e-mails from on the road, just felt like chiming in. I wish I had kept up with what people were doing over these years better than I did...... best regards to everybody and hope to see folks again. Reid Pugh
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Short answer- I am from laid-back So Cal. If the wine is drunk by my friends I am happy no matter where or when it is. If you want to raffle the bottles off for charity that is fine (but I get one of each without bidding). But the cause has to benefit Kanawha County schools in general and GWHS in particular if you do that if you use this wine.

It is likely I will never again attend a reunion for GWHS. For those that come, I want to be remembered as fun-loving and generous, and appreciative of those who liked me as I was and have become.

The exercise of sending the wine has been cathartic, and honors the fond memories I have of you, Bob (and his dad's Corvair convertible), Nate Casto, Mike Chaney, Bill Cunningham (it took me until 1994 to get an amateur radio license), and the girlfriends I should have had- Jenny Holz, Lisa Cometti, Sue Davis, Melody Chapman) and names I no longer remember. I also think we should honor those who served and/or were lost in Viet Nam, which surely was the trial of our generation no matter what an individual's politics may have been.

The rate of attrition of our classmates will only increase from this time.
Let's honor with joy and gratitude that we were the friends we were and enjoyed the times we had leading to the real world experience we all have had to master. Congratulations to the rich and powerful in our class, to the productive and accomplished intellects, to the energetic and tireless workers, and to those that could not find their way but gave all they knew.

I haven't been to church since I buried my mother, but with fervent zeal I beseech God's blessing on the GWHS class of 1966.

Bob Fritz. . . .

Itís about time for me to put my two cent in. After returning home to Minnesota I began to reflect back at the past weekend and all my years in school from Fernbank, John Adams and George Washington. I always felt a connection with the many friends I made thru my years in school. Mollie could not have said it better, all of you who I went to school with helped form and shape my personality. Being a minority and with the social issues that were present in this country, I never felt uncomfortable or out of place while in school. I always felt the warmth and friendship that everyone showed me. Coming back home to the reunion was very special to me, the emotions that I felt was over whelming. Some of you I had not seen in 38 years and reconnecting with everyone was wonderful. It was truly a great celebration of love and friendship. I only wish I could have spoken to more people and caught up with you. The GWHS Class of 66 is special. I am proud to be a member of this class. I feel that our class has made a positive impact to the state, our country and even the world. I wish all of you peace, good health and happiness. On your travels if you come to the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area please gave me a call. Itís not that cold here! In closing I want the thank Ted and everyone who worked so hard putting our class reunion together. Edward Bolden
 
Edward Bolden
3440 Juliet Drive
Woodbury, Mn 55125
651 739 0596
Fax 1 775 542 9277
26mileman@msn.com
www.eddieb26mileman.com
. . . .

Ted:  I came up to go to bed at least one hour ago.  Just thought I'd check e-mails, got side tracked on Abodia.  I've just finished looking at ALL the pictures and reading all the comments.  WOW!  People actually came away feeling the same way I did.  Mike's e-mail was so eloquent and right on the mark.  No wonder he was class president!  I will be sorry when you will not be keeping up the GWHS site anymore.  No one could possibly keep it going but you.  No one has the energy or the need for lack of sleep.  I can't seem to pull up the picture from the Daily Mail; am assuming that it was one of your group shots.  I'm surprised they published Chambers' reminiscing!  -hf

Holly Flint

. . ..

Dear Classmates of 1966,
I really can't add much more to the beautiful letters and messages from everyone, but I did want to talk briefly about my GWHS experience. I didn't go to Fernbank, Fort Hill, or the infamous John Adams... I moved back to WV after being in Washington State for six years. I felt terribly alone until I started at GWHS. You are a special class. I felt accepted, and I know your acceptance helped me adjust and move on with my life. During my thirty-four years of teaching, I tried to teach my students to accept and care about one another. When troubles came to my students, I would firmly remind them, "These are your classmates. I hope and pray all of you will graduate together. Uphold and care for everyone. Be kind to one another because life is tough."
The reunion was wonderful, and I look forward to the next one! Thanks to Ted and all those who worked so hard for the special weekend.

Fondly,
Julia Allison Sheets

. . . . .
Ted, after reading all the eloquent comments from my classmates, I feel terribly inadequate to express my thanks to you for all that you did to make our reunion weekend a reality. Needless to say, it was an extremely meaningful and memorable experience for all of us. So, thanks so much again!!

Julie M. Stocks
 . ..

I just finished reading Bob Fritz's comments - from his writing it is very obvious that he is an engineer!  His comment about me (or rather my legs) in the last paragraph was a surprise - I don't think I even had an opportunity to say more than hello to him on Friday night.  Take care and thanks again for all your efforts.

Peggy Douglas

. . . .

Ted & Mike,
 

Here are some thoughts I've had on how to keep the momentum from last weekend going. I think regular contact will go a long way toward making the next reunion "easier". After the 1996 gathering I proposed (to Curt, I think) a newsletter that would be mailed to all known addresses at least once a year. Since then email has become so commonplace that contact can be maintained more often at a lower cost.
 

I would suggest a mass email to all known email addresses at least twice a year with a USPS mailing to those without known email. The messages would share classmate news, if any; information that might be of interest; ask for email addresses; and a list of those who are "lost". If Ted is willing, his web site could serve as a place to find contact information and an updated list of the missing. As people move, change phone numbers, email, etc, the website could direct them how to update their information.

 

For my part, I will always include the GWHS address database when we submit other mailing lists to the USPS for move information. I'll let Ted know about any changes that come back.

 

Ted's web site might include tentative dates for upcoming gatherings and ask for  activity suggestions.
 

I talked to John Adams last night. He's sorry to have missed the reunion, but had undergone minor surgery and was not able to travel. He vows to make the next one.
 

Ted, thanks for the updated database. I'll replace the one I have. I got the picture sheet today. Thank you.

 

Terry (Ross) Hunter