Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Other Countries Heard From

Hi folks. Yes, it's been a while and while I've been honey-doing for Linda and doing my best to corrupt the youth of Mt. Vernon, there have been some doings on FB, including new and recent activity from Billy Beale, Mike Derrington, Barbara Cappy, Judy Kay Moore, and Myrtle Englert. So it's time for me to crack my arthritic knuckles and get to blogging.

By now you probably already know about the passing of Pam Fogle Irwin, Darlene Hines Barnes, Dana Sharp, Carolyn Becker, Clarence (Gene) Helfert, and Steve Schnarr. Also of note was the passing of Eddie Merritt, and Jack McKendree (who our Daniel Wertz classmates will remember)

This month also marks the somewhat anticlimactic Reitz 100th birthday celebration marked by a historical presentation by Reitz history star teacher Jon Carl (he also wrote a book published by MT Publications which is really quite good) and a beer crawl. Big Blue Boosters also took the money that was raised for the celebration and will be overseeing the building of entry gates to adorn the school entrances once they get the blessing of EVSC.

On a more immediate birthday celebration, we are cooking up plans for a 70th birthday celebration in October of this coming year (2019). Nothing fancy, probably at Howell Shelter (after such a great event on the Friday before the 50th reunion). Hey, the Class of 1967 never misses an opportunity to plan for good food, good company, and building great memories. Again, we'll try to coordinate the timing with the Westside Nut Club Fall Festival so out of town classmates can come to the birthday bash and do a twofer while they're here. As long as dessert is included, I'm all in. More details to come as the plans take on more reality and we actually have a skull session with the Reunion Committee.

Monday, October 23, 2017

A Reflection on a Very Successful Reunion

It's been a few weeks since the F.J. Reitz Class of 1967 held its 50th reunion. After nearly every event that we have had a part in organizing, I know I usually Monday morning quarterback the event, dissecting the positives and negatives and begin a list of things not to do again or definitely repeat for next time. This time I deliberately held back my natural tendencies (well, alright, the foot surgery had something to do with it but that's just a minor distraction) and delayed my critique till this week.

In general, I've concluded that Reunion Committees as a rule, overthinks everything. Give people a place to meet, a place to sit, a decent meal and plenty of time to talk, they will consider the event a success. It's only the Reunion Committee that noodles over details that in the big picture will not make or break the event.

And the single most important thing? That everyone feel invited and welcome. Let us not forget that our involvement with the reunion began with one powerful impetus. You've got a really stubborn classmate who was determined to find and contact everyone. EVERYONE. That is the heart of the matter, plain and simple. Once you've been contacted, it's no one's fault if you've become reclusive over the years. Just like rogue nations, there are reasons that such things happen and a reunion committee invitation is not going to make a difference one way or another if you've been becoming isolated over a 25 year period. Based on my experiences with my own high school some of which I have related to you over the years, I know that a 35% participation rate is really high for as many years as we've been out of school. So I'm delighted if we get over a 125 or so classmates to come to every event. It's not always the same people just because of life. It's called life, and life happens!

Well, life continues to happen and the Reunion Committee is already plotting and scheming our next get together. With the success of the Friday night pork party, we're hearing talk of a 70th birthday party for the class. We may even serve birthday cake, but without candles. Burning down the Bishea building just wouldn't do, now would it? Planning it for around the Fall Festival again would be great, wouldn't it? Needless to say, we'll be meeting and sending out invites when the time comes.

Here's a picture of the room all decorated just before we left for a rest on the morning before the reunion. I was sitting here speculating about older classes who have far smaller attendance than we do simply because of the nature of age and mortality. I know we're a long way from that but it does remind one why it's important that we do this as often as we can.

So here I am sitting in front of my computer and Linda tells me that she had just heard that Max Harth passed away in Switz City. Max went to Cynthia Heights and was apparently one of those people who had been in poor health for many years and who I was destined never to meet. I immediately thought of the picture of the empty reunion room, but I also thought about all the new classmates I was able to meet this time, like Tim McMahon, and Terry Williams, and Angela Hempen and so many others. I haven't given up hope that I will continue to meet new classmates yet, next time, in two years and two years from now I know that I will still have the same lingering regret about not having had the time to speak with each of you. It's definitely not because I think so much of myself; rather it is because there is too little of me to go 'round. That certainly goes for everyone on the Reunion Committee with their responsibilities, but it applies to all the rest of us too. See ya in two years if not sooner.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

It's Reunion Time

The time is drawing down for the 50th Reunion of the FJ Reitz Class of 1967!

So here it is in a nutshell:

FRIDAY September 29, 2017: The Warm-up at Howell Shelter 5:pm-10pm

An informal get together, a prequel to the following night featuring BBQ Pork Butts prepared by Bob Willis. All ya gotta do is show up with either a covered dish, or 2 liters and snacks or a dessert. It's pot luck and a lot of chat. And it's free. That's right. It costs nada, nil, zilch, zero, courtesy of the Reunion Committee that has been wise with your class funds (if we don't say so ourselves) to provide for this cooker extravaganza. Nothing fancy. Just good food and fun.

SATURDAY September 30, 2018: The School Tour 9AM-11AM at Reitz HS

Show up at the link and enter the main entrance to FJ Reitz at 9AM (There is handicap access in the form of an elevator in the right hand entrance). The tour lasts about 2 hours and will be conducted by Beth Carnahan, Reitz class of  1980 and current principal of Reitz. Beth bleeds blue and grey and is one of the most active and popular principals in recent memory. This is the tour that is sure to be remembered and a great way to spend the morning of the Reunion.

Additionally, if you're a golfer, contact Larry Broerman  (lebcrdlr@aol.comwho is setting up an outing.

SATURDAY September 30, 2018 The REUNION 4:30/5:00 PM  St. Phillips Conservation Club

This is it. It has been 50 years since you last passed through the doors of Reitz HS. You'll find all of your old friends and acquaintances from back then waiting for you. Catered by Gasthof of Montgomery IN, cooking in their mobile kitchen, cash bar and soft drinks and desserts. Good food, good friends, great memories. It doesn't get any better than this. Additionally, we've got some class business that the reunion committee wants to run by you for future reunions.

Dress comfortably and have a good time.

So it's not too late. As of now, we're running our usual 30% participation, but we can always do better! If you're local, there's definitely time to attend - just call or email Linda (812-425-3255 or to get your money in . If you're not, there's still time to make plans, but time grows short. Don't forget that Fall Festival begins the following week.

We will post exacting instructions to get to the Conservation Club in the near future. If you can use the odometer in your vehicle, you will find your way.

Friday, February 10, 2017

It's Reunion Planning Time: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

By now you've all probably seen Linda's post about the planning for the 50th Reunion.

So, here's a recap. We made arrangements to rent the St. Phillips Conservation Club Meeting room this past July for October 7, 2017. Yesterday, we discovered that due to an internal conflict at the club, that we were bumped to September 30. Needless to say, we were upset and scrambling like Andrew Luck in his own end zone. There were some domino-like fall-out. Schnitzelbank, our first choice for catering, let us know that they were unavailable for the new earlier date. Just when we thought it was going to start raining toads, Gasthof in Montgomery came to mind and not only could they deliver for that date, they could do so for the same price with additional sides. There just had to be a silver lining somewhere. So, I know we've said this before, but now the place is paid for and the catering is set:

The date is September 30 starting at 4:30pm; serving dinner at 6pm; program and festivities after that till 11pm. The meal will consist of two meats, 4 sides, and included beverages such as sweet and unsweet iced tea and lemonade and some 2 liters of carbonated beverages. Dessert will also be served. Additionally, there will be a cash bar with beer by the can and an assortment of mixed drinks.

As we have done in the past, there will be a program, group photos ( I swear we will gather all our veterans together for a group shot, something I regretted having missed last time, especially since we have so many veterans) and of course, more conversation and reminiscing than you can throw a stick at. Based on what I've seen so far in the past 6 years since we've been involved in planning these events, I think the class could meet in the middle of a cornfield and still have a good time. Fortunately, this will be quite a bit better than that.

We will be producing a new class directory (an anniversary edition!) that will include some memorabilia from graduation and the 60's, updated class information and in a larger format too. I hope to have all this completed well before the Reunion so that it can be ordered and then used to contact your friends and make arrangements. Speaking of contacting people, remember to get in touch with us with new addresses and email addresses and phone numbers if you've moved, gotten a new cell phone carrier, changed internet suppliers either out of frustration or corporate mergers. I want to make the directory a useful tool for everyone and that relies upon you folks to get me the latest information. Thanks in advance for spreading the word.

Finally, the 50th reunion only comes around once in each person's lifetime. It is the big one; the one you shouldn't miss. We're working hard to make it special. We hope you think so too.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Home for the Holidays Part Deux

Linda reminded me of a really important thing that I neglected to mention in my last post:

Our class database needs updating. While we have modified and tweaked it with every bit of information that you have forwarded to us, we know that informing the reunion committee of every move or email change is not the highest priority in the grand scheme of things.

Especially locally, with the digestion of Insight by Time -Warner cable and the subsequent ingestion of Time-Warner cable by Spectrum, those of us who have cable/internet based email addresses have had their emails changed to something that we can't begin to guess.

So if you're one of these affected folks, do drop us an email so we can keep you informed about the latest reunion news. Of course, if you've moved to enhance your status as a built-in grandbaby-sitter or a parent caretaker, or simply because it is too cold for those old bones, let us know this as well. There's no reason to drop out just because of a little thing like moving out of town! You've got people who care about you and want to keep in touch.

Additionally, the 50th reunion will also make available a new class address book, and we want to get it right, if not quite as elaborately as we did for the 45th.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Home for the Holidays

Hoping to find a lull in the annual funnel of activities surrounding the Christmas/New Year celebrations, Linda is trying to hold a little class get together at Parkway Pizza on December 20 at 6pm. Any classmate who needs a break from holiday preparations and would like to join some classmates over pizza should head on over to Parkway. What better way to start off the holiday festivities, eh?
On a sadder note, we found out late (due to some tech problems as yet to be figured out) that Larry Procter passed away at the end of last week without ceremony. We try to pay our respect whenever possible. Short of that, this blog has to serve the purpose. Larry was the guy who missed the 44th at Cottonwood because he didn't see the sign that Bob Willis posted on the door of the Howell Shelter House when we outgrew the capacity of the place. Larry did make the 45th though and I for one was glad to make his acquaintance in person at least for that once. His obituary can be found for posterity's sake on the class website.

So while we're at it, and before the opportunity is lost, a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Linda and me to you and yours. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

First Reunion Planning Committee Meeting Held

Just before the 95th Annual Fall Festival on Franklin Street, your reunion planning committee met as the class of '66 held their 50th reunion. 

Here's what we know for sure. The Reitz Class of 1967's 50th reunion will be held on October 7 at St. Phillips Conservation Club located off Upper Mount Vernon Road on Conservation Dr. For those of you who are not familiar with the location, we will publish a map, GPS coordinates, etc. It's a great venue, plenty of space, with room for a serving line and a cash bar. Additionally, they've got an outside deck, a lake, and plenty of parking. We'll be having the reunion catered by Schnitzelbank out of Jasper. For those of you unfamiliar with their catering, they prepare the food on site, in one of their mobile kitchens. 

At this point, we're working out the details of theme, decorating, and program, and the myriad other details involved in planning this very special event. We even discussed how to approach the loss of so many classmates this past year.

Here's how you all can participate in making this event a success: 

In addition to attending (which goes without saying) you can contact Linda at or 812-425-3255 with your current contact information. If you've moved, or changed your address, email address, or phone number, let us know so that we can include current information in the directory which I am working to update. We know that a lot can happen in 4 or 5 years. For example, here in Evansville, the purchase of Insight ISP by Time Warner instantly changed the email of many classmates, but others chose to jump ship to other vendor so we couldn't assume that all the emails automatically became emails.   Retirement, grand parental responsibilities, relocation to warmer climes all mean changes that must be made in the directory, and that's only a representative sampling of all that life throws at us that causes changes to contact information.

So that's what we know so far. We'll post as things develop. I know we've got a long time to go but the months go by quicker than we'd like. Till next time.......