Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A tribute to someone who deserves one


I hope this isn't more than momentarily confusing, because the picture has nothing to do with what I'm writing about.

This is something I've been thinking about for the last three weeks, because in some respects, I really wondered why I had gone to the reunion. My younger brother Steve, who was 7 when I graduated from Woodson, put it best:

"Why are you going to your reunion? You hated high school."

Maybe, but time really does heal almost all wounds -- if you wait long enough.

As it turns out, there was one really special person in our graduating class, even if we didn't know it at the time.

I never met Dale Morgan until October 20th, 2007, more than 40 years after we left Woodson, but she deserves so much credit as the person who has put a tremendous amount of effort into keeping our class together. Or at least as together as 804 people scattered all over the world can be.

I saw it in her reunion efforts, and in her open friendliness with people she never knew and others who weren't even part of our class, and I have seen it so much in her friendly comments to people on this Web site in the last three weeks.

She really is something, isn't she?

It is my loss that I never knew Dale in high school. She was just one of those beautiful girls who seemed so much like young goddesses to me at the time. I have come to see since then that all of us were just kids with our own flaws, weaknesses and insecurities, and I did what I could to make sure my own kids had as little trouble in that area as possible.

If any of you were fortunate enough to have read Dan Jenkins' wonderful book, "Baja Oklahoma," you may remember that in the final scene, Willie Nelson introduces the heroine, Juanita Hutchins, as "the mother of our country."

In an earlier comment, Dale told me how lovely my daughter was and then said she hadn't been fortunate enough to have children of her own.

Wrong, Dale.

In the very best way, you are the mother of our class.

I'm proud to know you at last.

8 comments:

Jone Pascoe said...

Mike, you are right! Dale deserves our praise for bringing us together and keeping us together over the years. I was lucky to have known her in HS, but as we all know our paths take us in different directions and I had lost touch. I only made it to the 10th and 40th reunions, and we've all changed a little bit in between those years.

I look back now at our senior pictures and realize how very young we really were! I didn't turn 18 until the January after we graduated. Now, I know many of us were insecure even those we thought could do everything. I' sorry I was so shy in HS I missed out on a lot.

Mike, thanks for the time and energy you put into this site everyday. I enjoy it.

Gene, thanks for sharing your pictures, loved seeing you, Sean, Bob and Steve after all these years.

Jonee

Anonymous said...

thumbs up to both dale & mike !

guess i came here just to see if i could remember anyONE....

gads.
our class was sooooooo big.

a way of getting us all ready for the 'big' world.

kewl.
nan.

Sean Kennedy said...

Jone, I could not agree more with your comments and those of Mike and Nan. Thanks to their initiatives, we have had a chance to attend reunions and see old friends, and that has led to the creation of a place where we can gather to express ourselves and learn more about our classmates. Something like the school lobby before school, but talking with many more folks than we did back then. It really has been fun.

I have very fond memories of WTW and many of these posts bring me back to them. This in spite of the hard truth that it was my class ranking that made the top 90% possible.

BTW: The picture that's been posted. From left to right: Gene Bacon, Bob Fern, myself, Bruce Russell, and Steve Farmer.

Jone, it was great seeing you again at the reunion. Your sense of humor hasn't changed one bit, and the days since graduation have worn so well on you.

Dale Morgan said...

Mike - 40-44 years ago I would have cringed to be spoken of as the mother of our class. But now I take it as the compliment it was meant to be. I think I mentioned earlier in some comment that I had become known to some as the "mama of the class." Several reunions ago, Steve DiAntonio, who was on the reunion committee, started calling me the "den mother." I think that is where it started. Now Stacy Delano, also on the past reunion committees, pretty much refers to me as "Mama" and the other times she refers to me as something I can't mention, but it is also very endearing, right Stacy?

I also want to add to another earlier comment I made about Helen Roberts being the financial "wind beneath our wings" for the 10th reunion--our first reunion and how I became the reunion coordinator for later years.

The first two of our classmates who took the initiative and the large task on of rounding up 10 years of lost classmates (without the aid of the Internet, I might add) were Stacy Delano and Helen Roberts. I will tell you what I know and they can jump in with the details if I am incorrect.

I had spent the previous year living in St. Simons Island, GA where my job with the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center had been relocated. Upon return to this area in 1976, my parents passed on to me word that a reunion was being planned. Stacy had it completely under control and this was just a few months before the reunion. I called Stacy (who I did not know at all) and asked if I could help. She gave me 10 classmates to help hunt down, which I did. That reunion was HUGE and wonderful and our very own Marlow Mays' band played.

The 15th year went by and I never heard a word about the reunion nor gave it a thought as I was not in a particularly good place at the time -- the usual divorse mess. By the time the 20th was rolling around, I was feeling like reconnecting again so I called Stacy to see what was up for the 20th reunion. Stacy was up to her eyeballs in her very successful catoring business and gladly handed over a "box" of reunion records, $600 dollars which was what was left in the reunion fund, and the promise to "serve" on the reunion committee. So, it was by default how I became known as "mama".
The end

Carol (Witaschek) Beaupre said...

Dale was awesome in High School and has only gotten better. She was one of the beautiful people who always treated everyone equally - with caring and respect. She also still has her best endearing quality - a great sense of humor!

I'm so glad she has continued to ensure that our reunions thrive. I've been to 3 so far and always have a great time.

This past reunion Bob Coulter finally decided to grace us with his presence! The Kings Park group kept me sane throughout High School - well - as sane as I can get.

Thanks much Dale! And as the grandmother of 12, I'll NEVER call you Mom! Just friend!!!

Anonymous said...

Helen said..

Dale, not only are you our den mother and guardian angel, but you seem to be experiencing NONE of the age-related memory loss that affects the rest of us. How do you recognize the people in all those photos, then and now? I am amazed.
You are so kind to mention my role in the 10th reunion, but it was really my wonderful mother, Ruth Roberts, who, at the reunion committee's request, sponsored that party at the Fairfax Country Club. She believed in us, and I guess she didn't think we would trash the place. I wasn't so sure. She was a great Mom and I miss her, and your recollections help bring back those nice memories. Helen

p.s.: Stacy did fantastic reunions and she still has the biggest rolodex on the planet. Kudos all around.

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