Archive for June, 2006

where are they now, redux: Rich Aaring, azalea guru

Thursday, June 29th, 2006

A little Google homework tells us that the alphabetically endowed Richard Aaring is an attorney down in Eugene, Oregon. No doubt, there’s a growth market in defending anarchists brought up on vandalism charges, not to mention skateboarders.

But we are defined by our passions as well as by our professions, and so I found this item much more interesting, really (as a half-assed gardener myself):
From the American Rhododendron Society Rhododendron and Azalea News Vol. 7 No. 3 (one of my favorite issues, by the way.):

Chapter president Richard Aaring has faithfully served the chapter and genus Rhododendron as an enthusiastic member and in many leadership roles. As study group chairman, he developed the concept of recommended rhododendrons, a list of choice of Northwest plants organized by size, color, and other characteristics. As tours chairman for the 2001 ARS Convention, he arranged outstanding tour gardens, managed many other details, and also wrote an outstanding guide describing and giving directions to more than 20 other Oregon Gardens. More recently, Rich has served as chapter president beyond the normal term.

The chapter was most pleased to present to Rich the highest medal: the Bronze Medal.

I should have Rich drop by the Tri-Cities sometime; maybe we can talk about dead heading. From the looks of this picture, he knows what he’s doing!

nice.  real nice.

I note also that Rich is a race officer with the US Sailing organization, and the sailing club advisor at South Eugene High School. As recently as 2003, he was still racing Laser Class sail boats like the one pictured below (no, that is NOT Rich or his boat, by the way):

just a picture of a laser craft

Amazing what you can learn from Google.


Know where anyone else from our class went?

Thursday, June 29th, 2006

Just a reminder — if you’re aware of any public web sites, photos, or other online traces of our former classmates, which you think might be nice to share with the group, be sure to send me a link, and I’ll do my best to get them on this blog.

Or just post a comment to this item, and you can do it yourself.

Reminder – Reunion Events July 14-15-16, 2006

Thursday, June 29th, 2006

As already detailed in this previous post (and this one!), the Mariner High School Class of 1976 is having a reunion in July, with three different kinds of nostalgic goodness to participate in:

  • Friday Night, July 14.   6p.m. — 10 p.m. or later…. An informal gathering for alumni at the Oxford Saloon, which is at 913 First Street, Snohomish, WA. Dave Cernich has arranged for a private meeting room from 6 p.m. til 10 p.m, but people are free to remain afterwards.   There’s a $7.50 per person charge, which covers hors d’oeuvres.  The Oxford will feature music from the Oxford regulars, blues band Miles from Chicago.
  • Sunday, July 16. 11 a.m. until whenever people go home. Family picnic at Martha Lake Park just off of 164th near the I-5 exit. A Google Map link is provided here. Look for signs for the MHS Reunion. Families are welcome. We are having Big Bam’s BBQ cater the event, and are asking each family that plans on attending to chip in $20.

We are attempting to make all of these events low-key, low-cost, informal and fun. Rumors that those attending the picnic will be required to wear formal wear are just that, rumors — started by John Webber, who clearly hopes to get more use out of that Tuxedo that is sitting in his closet.

Your organizing “committee” is going out on a limb by not requiring registration or pre-payment for any of this, but we would like to get word from as many as possible of you who plan to attend, so we know how many mouths we’re expecting to feed on Sunday (the other events are no-host). If you plan to attend, drop me an e-mail.

Be sure to share this web site address with as many of our former MHS classmates (or their brothers, sisters, parents, or parole officers if you don’t know how to reach them directly). The easiest way to refer to this site is just this:

See you there!


Where are they now bonus post — Kristi (Holtgeerts) Rosenberger

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006

One of the best parts of helping to organize this reunion is the chance to get re-aquainted — or in some cases, acquainted for the first time — with some of you via e-mail. I am finding out all sorts of things I wish I’d known in high school — like that Kristi Holtgeerts is a fisherperson!

Kristi and husband Jim

Kristi and her husband Jim coach youth sports, volunteer in the Mukilteo School District, their church, the local YMCA and Kristi is also a campfire leader. Oh, and they’ve raised two sons, including one who is apparently a trout-bum in the making. Which, in my opinion, is quite a noble aspiration.

Kristi is blessed to have remained in the Mukilteo community, I fell in love with my wife on the Mukilteo ferry...and still sees or hears from many of our classmates regularly. I’ve probably spent more time “talking” to Kristi (via e-mail) in the past week than I did in four years of high school….which goes to show that 30 years does a lot to break down old barriers, and open up new friendships.

Keep that in mind when you are deciding about whether to come to the reunion or not. You might be surprised by old friends that you’ve really just met for the first time!


Where are they now? picture of the day — John Webber, 30 years later

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006

I don’t know if John plans on attending the 30th reunion or not — probably not — but if he does, he’ll almost certainly get the award for the furthest travelled.

See, John lives in Munich, Germany these days, where he’s a software developer, who happens to “dabble” in music. Which explains why he must keep up this dapper appearance:

nice tux, John.

I corresponded w/ John a year or so ago. Still a nice guy, despite the fact that he left me with major insecurities about my own intellect throughout high school.

Installment #1: Best excuses…er, REASONS..for not showing

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

Heard from Dave Losvar today. He’d love to attend, but he has a prior obligation to drive boats real fast in circles that day….

that's Dave!

He said that if there were still some stragglers at the Diamond Knot when he got back from Olympia on Saturday night, he might drop in…which provides good incentive for the stragglers among us.

We’ll miss you, Dave — but good luck!


Friday Night (July 14) at the Oxford Saloon??

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

Heard from Dave Cernich today — he’s trying to get a fix on how many people might show up for a Friday night dancing/beer/good times get together at the Oxford Saloon, which sound slike a funky little place in beautiful downtown Snohomish. The where would be 913 First Street, Snohomish, WA. That would be Friday night, July 14 — when the band is supposed to be these guys (Miles from Chicago):

don't know what their music sounds like, but they have nice T-shirts...

Now, as if what the band (who describe themselves as “… a high-energy dance band that knows how to have fun!”) sounds like makes a whit of difference for a gathering with old (really, really old!) friends, you can hear them on their mySpace site.

Now, this is mySpace — so remember, stay away from the 21 year old surf punk from Encinitas who wants to chat. She’s more than likely to be your 16 year old daughter in real life….

Oh, and while you are hanging around with the teens at mySpace, be sure to check out “Mighty Aphrodite” — these demos were recorded right here in the Butner basement, by my son Sean and his friends (Sean provided the sound engineering — the lyrical hilarity and sweet guitar playing are courtesy of the band).

So, anyway — I digress again — if you are interested in getting together w/ friends at the Oxford on Friday, please e-mail Dave Cernich, or post a comment on this post.

I’m not normally a tavern kind of a guy, but from the reviews I’ve read and everythigng else I can find, the Oxford looks like a real fun place. If you go, be sure to wear a whalebone in your hair, so that people will recognize you as a former Maurader…

Flashback picture of the day….

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

oh hell, why not?!? I will try to post a picture every day or two until the reunion. Anyone who has a picture they’d like me to post here, just send me jpeg file of the image and I’ll be happy to put it up. Be sure to include a caption unless you want me to make something up…(which could be dangerous).

my hair.  my beautiful hair.  oh how I miss it!

oh man…

Monday, June 26th, 2006

Haven’t seen this picture in 20 years….

(Left-Right) Scott, Ozie and Brad at Lake Valhalla

If you could invite just one person…

Saturday, June 24th, 2006

If you could invite just one person from our class, to make sure they showed up, who would it be? And why?

For me, I think it would have to be Dave Austin, so that I could thank him properly for the very generous hospitality he and his family showed us when my family and I visited London in 2003. I never really did a proper job of that, and at the very least I could buy him a beer.

And you?

Looking for an echo…

Saturday, June 24th, 2006

And no, I don’t mean the great doo-wop classic by the Persuasions

Persuasions Chirpin' album cover

One of the reasons I started this site was because I got frustrated by the limitations of Classmates,, etc — great sites for tracking down people, but unless you’re a member, you can’t communicate with one another.

As a barely reformed socialist, that offended my revolutionary senses!

So I started this site to provide a free (to everyone else) site where people interested in the reunion could comment freely, post “hellos” to one another, etc. Without having to sign up or pay a subscription.

Power to the people, man! Viva la revolution!

man, I miss those days….
Anyway, I digress. People ought to be able to participate in the things that matter to them. That’s why every post has a link to a comment section.

I guess what I’m saying is, don’t be afraid to use it!

Let me know I’m not just writing this stuff for my own entertainment (not that it would stop me).


Be Grateful That THESE guys aren’t planning this gig!

Saturday, June 24th, 2006

If you haven’t guessed by now, I spend a lot of time on the Internet.

Between work (where I do research on how the semantic web can be used to catch suspect terrorists, among other things..) and play (where I hang out on various fly fishing discussion boards, and write soft-core pornographic fishing reports), I am on the web pretty much most of my waking, indoor time.

So, it’s not surprising that a lot of my friends are online.

I recently asked some of them to offer suggestions on activities for the reunion.

I think I might have to keep thinking…

Unless you guys want to have naked oil wrestling contests?!?


Roll-your-own Reunion Events

Saturday, June 24th, 2006

I realize that some people may want to organize “special events” around the reunion that may appeal to some subset of our class — we’ve tried to provide a few generic events that will appeal to, and be accessible to most — but that shouldn’t stop anyone from organizing side-events.

For example, you might want to organize:

Who knows? In any event, since this site appears to be the focal point for Reunion planning activities, please feel free to use the comment feature on this post to announce any special events associated with the reunion. Just be sure to provide a time, date, place, and contact info.

Want to Volunteer? Here’s a List of Ways You can Help!

Saturday, June 24th, 2006

Want to help out for the big reunion? Here’s a list of things we know we need help with. If you see something on the list you’d like to help with, send me an e-mail, or better yet, add a comment to this post.

See something we’ve overlooked? Let us know that, too!

Trust me — you don’t want me to organize the picnic activities…see what I mean?

Scott Butner -- Pacifist
List Of Things That Need to Be Done

  • “Costco Run” — we need someone to pick up picnic essentials prior to Sunday’s get-together:
    • napkins (linen would be nice, but we’ll settle for paper)
    • paper or plastic cups
    • soda pop (I don’t dare use the southern “Cokes” for a class that gradudated in the 70’s)
    • bottled water
    • ice
    • a collection of simple, traditional side dishes (e.g., cole slaw, pasta salad, potato salad, or Yataklete Kilkil — Ethiopian Vegetables With Garlic and Ginger)
  • Have an ice chest? We could use a few to hold the sodas, water, and don’t forget that Yataklete Kilkil!
  • Publicity! We are in The Herald’s announcement section, but perhaps someone local to the area could see to getting us placed in some of the other local newspapers, cable TV, etc? If you’re willing to lead a publicity effort, let us know.
  • On-site activities. We are not planning much — hopefully simply seeing each other again and laughing at Scott’s ever-expanding waistline will provide entertainment enough. But if someone wants to help organize a Trivia contest, or perhaps a slide show, etc — let us know.
  • Signage. We need someone to make a banner (something to the effect of “MHS Class of 1976 Reunion” — or something equally creative) and some signs to let people know they’re in the right place.
  • Sports equipment. You know — volleyball or badmitton net/equipment, yard darts, frisbees, unicycles….). Oh, and by the way — several of our classmates (Ozie Greene, Kevin Hayes, Brian Zelmer, and Dave Van Beek, to name a few) are firefighters, so there will be plenty of paramedic training onsite for those who overexert!
  • Music. Some period music would be nice, if we can get away with it (we still don’t know). If you might be willing to provide an amp and some speakers, we can go the iPod route.
  • Baby Sitter(s). At our ages, perhaps not many of us have kids who need to be watched over — well, at least not by a babysitter. But a few people get late starts on having kids, and many of us have grandkids. So if someone wants to organize a small child-safe area (you know — a few toys, a responsible teenager to supervise, some concertina wire…) that would be a very, um…progressive! thing to do.

That’s about it for now. If you have interest in helping — in any of these categories, or any other way — let us know.


UPDATED!!! MHS Class of 1976 Reunion — July 15/16, 2006

Thursday, June 22nd, 2006

Some changes from my earlier post — I believe that what follows is pretty much final, though.

Two events are planned for the Mariner High School Class of 1976 reunion. These events are planned for July 15-16, 2006 and are described below. My “spies” tell me that Dave Cernich is also planning some sort of Friday evening event for alumni only, but I haven’t heard officially yet. If I can get ahold of Dave, and get some details, I’ll post them here as well.
A word about scheduling: I know this won’t work for everyone, but I’m not sure it’s possible to find a date that does. And lacking some central authority, decisions have to be made….

  • Saturday, July 15. 2 p.m. – ?? There will be an adult (alumni, spouses, significant others, etc) get-together at the Diamond Knot Brewery in scenic downtown Mukilteo. 621 Front Street, Mukilteo, to be precise. I’ve linked to a map here. If you are map-challenged, or just like to talk to people on the phone, you can also call them at (425) 355-4488.
  • Sunday, July 16. 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. or later. Family picnic at Martha Laone of the shelters at Martha Lake Parkke Park just off of 164th near the I-5 exit. A Google Map link is provided here. There is an outdoor shelter that we have reserved, which is suitable for 50 people. Families are welcome. We are having Big Bam’s BBQ cater the event, and are asking for each family that plans on attending to chip in $20. Otherwise, Sharon, Ozie and I will have a LOT of BBQ to eat, and I don’t know about them, but my girlish figure can’t handle it…
  • Sharon was also working on a list of hotels, for those of you travelling from out of town (Sharon herself is flying up from Miami, so probably has the “furthest travelled to get here” prize sewed up, unless Dave Austin (London, England) or John Webber (Germany, last I heard from him) manage to make it. Though Zoe Leonard has indicated she’s planning on coming up from Arizona, so we’ve got some people who are willing to travel a long way to see you!

To date, I have heard from close to 40 people, between the Frappr map and the Classmates site, who are interested in the reunion. Only a few of you have actually let us know whether you plan on attending — so we are hoping that by setting a date we can get some confirmations.

Please, if you have any intention of coming, let us know so we can (1) plan for you, food-wise; (2) plan for you, reservation-wise; and (3) get your thoughts on what, besides food and your fellow classmates, would be nice to have at the reunion.

You can e-mail me, Sharon or Ozie. Alternatively, you can sign the guest register, or just comment on this blog post!

* “we” is mostly Ozie Greene, Sharon Verg, and myself at this point, though we have had offers of help from Alyce Pendell, Kevin Hayes, and several others (my apologies — I am memory challenged when it comes to names…). At this point, we welcome any help anyone wants to provide, but we’ve been best able to accept help from those who simply pick a task and say “I can do this!” — that’s what happens when no one’s really in charge!

To those who have offered to help…

Thursday, June 22nd, 2006

First of all, thank you! thank you! thank you!

Secondly, there’s little worse than offering to help, but not being taken up on the offer.

Well, we’re working on it. The truth of the matter is, we’re making this up as we go along, and soon hope to have a list of chores and preparations that we’ll need help on.

But while I can’t speak for the others, I am socially inept, and have ZERO experience organizing social events. So I don’t have a clue what needs to be done.

Which is a roundabout way of saying this: if you would like to help, the best way to do so (besides tracking down other class mates of ours and inviting them!) is to identify a task that you think needs to be done, and offer to take charge of it.

For those who like a little more direction, we’ll try to have a list of chores up on this site by June 26.


Make another list — 10 “must hear” songs for the reunion

Saturday, June 3rd, 2006

If you’re like me, music was an important part of being in high school. Songs we listened to back then, for most of us, hold a special place in our memories.

What songs absolutely must be played at the 30 year reunion? Not necessarily songs that were popular in our senior year, but songs which bring back memories of your high school years.

And why are the songs special?

Here’s my list.

  1. The Boys are Back in Town” — Thin Lizzy. This was practically an unofficial theme song for Ozie Greene, Brad Meacham, and I. We’d play it loud in Brad’s old Impala, no matter where we were driving.
  2. Walk This Way” — Aerosmith. Ditto above.
  3. Living in the Past” — Jethro Tull. Hey — I had a thing for flute music.
  4. Hejira” — Joni Mitchell. The album came out our senior year. I don’t recall listening to it in high school, but in the years since, I’ve probably worn out more copies of this album than any other album I own.
  5. Watching the Detectives” — Elvis Costello. Dave Austin introduced me to a lot of good music (he had — and as recently as 2003, when we last met — continues to have — mostly — good taste in music). Most importantly he turned me on to Elvis Costello. I’ve seen EC live nine times since then. It will be ten times once I see him in Woodinville on June 25 of this year.
  6. Reeling in the Years” — Steely Dan. There were lots of great Steely Dan songs, and they seemed so deep at the time. I don’t remember what seemed so deep, anymore, but I do remember spending hours in the graphic arts lab, discussing the merits of the band with Gary Campbell.
  7. Stranglehold” — Ted Nugent. What can I say? He’s the ‘Nuge! I may think he’s a kook these days, but the boy could play guitar, and on long trips across the desert, I still turn him up ’til my ears begin to bleed.
  8. Tired of Being Alone” — Al Green. I spent some of the best days of my childhood hanging out with Ozie and Brad, often up at Ozie’s house. Motown music was often on the stereo there, and much of it imprinted itself on me for life. Al Green practically sang the soundtrack to my wife and I’s early years together, so how could I not put him on the list?
  9. I’d Love to Change the World” –Ten Years After. First of all, I would. Maybe now more than ever. Plus, I always sort of idolized Doug King, a friend from the class of 1974(?) who was really into Ten Years After and Alvin Lee.
  10. For What It’s Worth” — Buffalo Springfield. “What a field day for the heat — must be a thousand people in the street…” If you were a self-fashioned student radical wanna-be, you had to like this song. I was, and I did. Still do.

OK, so I’m expecting some push-back on this list, folks. Use the “comment” feature to add your own.

Otherwise, be forewarned — I’ve got an iPod, and have all these songs (and a couple thousand more) on it, ready to be played at the reunion. If you want to hear your favorite, you’re going to have to list it!


Make a list!

Saturday, June 3rd, 2006

“Homework” might not have been very important at Mariner High School (or was it just me?) but I need y’all to do some homework tonight.

I want you all to make a list. A list of the five people you’d most like to see at the 30th reunion.

I don’t care what your reasons are.

  • maybe you want to see if anyone’s hairline has receded more than yours (here’s a hint: mine has)
  • maybe you want to see if anyone got fat (here’s a hint: I did)
  • maybe you want to see one of the class overachievers end up a trout bum (here’s a hint: oh, wait — I was never an overachiever!)
  • maybe you just want to see a long lost friend (here’s a hint: they probably want to see you, too).

OK — you’ve all probably thought up your list. Right?

Now, instead of mailing it to me, I want you to do the following: find out where those five people are. Maybe you even already know.

Contact them. Invite them. Tell them to visit this page.

That’s how it works.

We have a date!!!

Saturday, June 3rd, 2006

I told you I’d make some progress on this reunion thingy!

So, today I called up Sharon (Verg) Johnson, who has been down in Miami, trying to reason with the hurricane season, and she decided to make some executive decisions.

Now, I haven’t seen Sharon since I visited Miami in the late 1980’s, but I get the impression she is used to making a lot of decisions — it sure came naturally to her!

So: July 14-16, 2006. A reunion for the Mariner High School Class of 1976. Exact place, and exact times, TBD. But SOMEWHERE in the Everett/Mukilteo Metro area.

Details will be announced on this site, and anywhere else we can think of.

Be there. Or be…

well, just be there, OK?

If you’re interested in helping with some aspect of organization or planning, please let Sharon or I know. This is a grassroots effort: Power to (and from) the People!

You can contact us via Comments left on this blog, or via e-mail:

Scott Butner

Sharon (Verg) Johnson

Don’t make me do this…

Saturday, June 3rd, 2006

…(all by myself, that is).

What I mean by that is this: anyone who wishes to should be able to make comments on this blog. At least, that’s how I’ve configured it — if I figured it out right.

Which is debatable.

In any event, the point of this blog is to encourage discussion amongst our class members, even if they don’t belong to,, or any of the other “pay to play” sites which promote class togetherness at a price.

Now, don’t get me wrong — I may still have socialist leanings, but I am not against people making an honest dollar. And those sites have helped me contact a number of you.

Heck, I’m even a paid up member of Classmates!

But this site is intended as a free, non-profit (actually, something of a loss) alternative to those sites, for everyone and anyone who attended MHS and graduated in or about 1976 and would like to contact old friends.

We may even get around to having a reunion.

So chime in from time to time — just use the comment links/buttons, and have fun.

he’s b…a…c…k

Saturday, June 3rd, 2006

Sorry for dropping off the face of the planet for the past several weeks, folks. I’ve been travelling a lot for work, and getting ready for TWO graduations: my oldest son Ryan graduates from community college next week (and ships off to UW three days later!), and my youngest son, Sean, graduated from high school last night and will be heading back to a small liberal arts school in New Hampshire in September.

Anyway, I have added a guestbook, and updated the blog just a bit. I also expect to be making a few posts — hopefully with some updated reunion info — over the next week or two.

It’s been encouraging hearing from so many of you, and I’ve been pleased to see how many of you (it’s up to 25 now!!) have added your names and photos to the Frappr Map!

More soon. I promise.