Archive for the ‘alumni_events’ Category

Forget the Whales: Save the Date!!!

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

“I had nothing to do on this hot afternoon
But to settle down and write you a line
Ive been meaning to phone you but from minnesota
Hell its been a very long time
You wear it well
A little old fashioned but thats all right”

You Wear it Well
Rod Stewart (before he sucked)

Point of disclosure:  relatively speaking it’s not hot at all at the moment.  For that matter, I’m not writing you from Minnesota, either, but from the dusty, sometimes boring paradise that is eastern Washington in the summertime.

But nonetheless, that’s a fine song to start out a long overdue email to our class with, don’t you think?   Back in the days before Rod sold his soul to the Grammys, not many bands could evoke nostalgia the way Rod Stewart and the Faces could.


But to quote Elvis Costello:  “Let’s talk about the future now we’ve put the past away.”

(at least, momentarily)

FIRST AND FOREMOST:   As some of you on Facebook already know:   I am currently gaging interest in a Mariner High Class of 1976 alumni event — not a reunion, per se, but just an informal opportunity to come together and share some laughs and memories.   Details are still in development, but I can tell you the date:  Sunday, September 27.   If you have suggestions for a venue, or any other suggestions for how to have a fun little get together — or even want to host it — please drop me a line.  Several of our classmates have had similar little get togethers, facilitated by the Internet, and all seem to have had a good time.

I can’t promise you a good time, but I’m thinking it’s a safe bet.

SO: if  you’re interested in any remote manner in helping to pull together a little fall weekend get together — I’m thinking by late September it might still be nice enough to have a picnic at Forest Park? — please drop me a line.  I’ll be on the road for much of late August, but will start planning in earnest come September 1.

By the way, I’ve been playing around with studio portraiture again for the first time in about 30 years — and if there’s sufficient interest will be taking portraits of everyone who shows up so we can post them to the blog.  Here’s some of the work I did for our local Starbucks (   I promise to make you look 20 lbs lighter and 10 years younger — all that, and free for everyone who shows up — who could turn THAT down? 

Speaking of the Internet in general, and Facebook in particular:  the velvet revolution takeover of Facebook by our generation continues unabated — our kids and even grandkids are fleeing the site in droves, certain that the internet isn’t big enough for the two generations to co-exist on the same site.  Which is fine — us middle aged folks clearly have more time to take silly quizzes and play “Mafia Wars” — I’m sure that’s what Tim Berners Lee had in mind all along, when he “invented” the web.

A benefit of this mass migration of middle aged minions to Facebook is that it has become easier than ever to track down our missing classmates, and in recent weeks we’ve added a few more folks to the rank and file of the officially found:

- Diane [Reed] Vorhees
- Sheila [Kennedy] Barker
- Allen Hatchell
- Tammy [Wilde] Irelan
- Kim [Turnupseed] Thompson

And possibly a few others that I’m overlooking — I am clearly going to have to start recording the date that I first put each person on the mailing list because with 103 names on it at present, I can’t keep it all in my head anymore.

What else is new?  Well:

- two of our more far-flung classmates are considering moves back to the great Northwest.  In each case, they may have finalized those choices in time to show up for whatever event we have on Sept 27.  More details will be provided in the near future….for now, keep your fingers crossed.
- I’ll be chairing an IEEE workshop on Social Intelligence in Vancouver, BC on August 31 — and potentially another one in Chengdu, China in mid-December.  Funny to think that my interest in social networks was largely kindled by efforts to track down old classmates!  Now, it’s a significant part of some of my research activities, so I definitely owe y’all a thanks for giving me good incentive to explore a technically fascinating area of computer science…..
- a few of you have offered to open up your hearts to become my first interviews for the Class of 1976 blog (  Some day soon, I’ll have enough time to take you up on those kind offers.
- it’s been a huge amount of fun to watch old friends find each other on Facebook — and it’s interesting to see how little attention is paid to the old cliques and categories.  I must tell you all, that in comparison to my wife’s class (Everett High, class of 1977), our group of folks seems to be far more egalitarian.
- My youngest son is getting married in two weeks.  I know that has nothing to do with the Class of 1976, but sometimes you gotta pay the piper, even if it’s only to tolerate his diversions.

that’s about it for now, folks.  I’ve got to go to a retirement party for a long-time mentor of mine, so had best leave the computer alone ’til later tonight.

But because it’s been a while since I nagged, please remember to review our class mailing list, and if I’ve misspelled your name, let me know.  Some of you folks — you know who you are — have added several last names in the past couple of decades, so keep me honest on that, too!

And if you know of someone who is NOT on the list, but is in your life…encourage them to drop me a line asking to be added.  I’ll be happy to put them on the mailing list, and will continue to balance their privacy with their desire to stay in touch, to the best of my ability.

Your self-appointed ninja of networking,
Scott Butner
MHS Class of 1976
Richland, WA

If you know anybody from the class of 1974….

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

you may want to pass along this info about their upcoming 35th reunion:

August 29, 2007

Afternoon/evening casual potluck reunion

For more information, contact Cheryl Wunschel (Banta)

MHS All Classes Camp-out

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

In a decision that has been been more eagerly awaited than the outcomes of either major party’s “veep-stakes” — the crowning achievement of extensive focus group sessions,  telephone surveys and  longitudinal demographic studies (not to mention extensive reading of tea leaves), it has been decided:

The Mariner High School All Classes Campout — aka “Old Farts Weekend” — will be held at the Big Pines Campground, located near milepost 9 of State Route 821, also known as “Canyon Road.”  Big Pines is a Bureau of Land Management campground approximately 16 miles southeast of Ellensburg, WA.

This is a marginally improved campground, with very nice new concrete-walled pit toilets, fire pits, paved roads, and ample tent sites — no power, no RV pads, no running water except the Yakima River, which runs alongside the campground but would probably kill you if you drank it.

Still, it supports a nice strain of super-trout which have hardened themselves against the farm run-off, and the whole scene is very — well, scenic.  In mid-October, expect to see many, many bighorn sheep, some of them practicing the unique mating rituals of their species (”hey, baby — what are ewe doing?”).

Ah, but you want to know the DETAILS, right?  Like, what is planned?  Who will be coming to this grand affair?  What will it cost?  Who is — ahem — “organizing” it?

OK — in order, here are the answers:

1) Like, what is planned?  Nothing is planned.  Show up, and invent your own reality.  I can provide you with reasonable assurance that there will be firewood, friendly people, family-friendly environment, and at least a couple of your age cohorts from that big white concrete block that served as your home away from home for four (give or take a couple) years.  Bring some food, bring some drink — and bring a bit of extra to share.  If we each adhere to this, the rest will take care of itself.

2) Who will be coming to this affair?  Whoever you invite.  So take it upon yourself to invite the one person you’d most like to sit around a campfire with for an evening.  And then invite one more, because….well, you know.  Sometimes you gotta have a “plan B”  I will say that I’m focusing my efforts on folks who graduated in the 1970’s, because I don’t want to feel TOO old….

3) What will it cost?  Nothing.  The $5 camping fee for Big Pines is suspended from Sept 15 – May 15, so you’ll be using public land at taxpayer’s expense.   You’l have to buy gas to get there, but I understand the prime rate might be dropping soon, so maybe you can get good financing.

4) Who is – ahem — “organizing” it?  Think about this for a second.  I’m suggesting it, but I don’t “do” organization.  This is ad-hoc city, baby.  Living on the edge!

This is, as has been mentioned in previous posts, a spin-off from our recent annual oldfarts fishing trips.  Fishing may still occur — catch and release only in the Yakima Canyon, by the way — and I’m happy to provide some tips for visiting anglers.  But the primary focus will be on a nice night under the stars, huddled around a camp fire, eating camp food and looking around innocently when you fart.

Timeless stuff, that.

I will post occasional updates at this location, so please send the URL for this page to your MHS friends.  If you’d like to advertise the fact that you are planning to attend, post a comment on the MHS Class of 1976 Blog site entry for this event (i.e., this post!).

Hope to see you there.

Mariner Alumni Association Plans Second Annual Auction and Dinner

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

The Mariner Alumni Association is planning the 2nd Annual Dinner and Auction for Friday, May 2, 2008 at The Manor, which is located at 13032 Admiralty Way, Everett.  The Dinner will be held from 6-10 p.m. and all alumni and their friends/guests are invited.

More information can be found on the Alumni Association web site, or by e-mailing to John Lengenfelder at

If you plan to attend, it would be nice if you’d add a comment to this blog entry, so that others from the Class of 1976 can keep an eye peeled for you.  Last year, a few of us from the Class of ‘76 were in attendance, and it seemed like everyone had a good time.
The proceeds of the auction are used to fund scholarships and related activities of the MHSAA.  Please plan on attending and supporting this worthwhile event!


Reunion Planning for 35th Reunion — December 18, 2007

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

First of all, if you are attention-limited, here’s what you need to know:

WHAT:  MHS Class of 1976 35th Reunion Planning Committee Meeting
WHERE:  Zippy’s Internet Cafe, 1804 Hewitt Ave, Everett, WA
WHEN:  6:30 – 8:00 p.m., Friday December 14, 2007
WHY:  If you have to ask, then keep reading….

For those of you who are foolhearty enough to brave an e-mail I’ve written in one of my manic spells, read on.

I don’t know where this will take us either, so it’s as much a surprise to me as to you.   And adventure, if you will.


As one who has been transplanted to the dry, dusty side of the Cascades for most of the past 24 years, I don’t find myself in Everett very often, especially in the winter.  Blame it on a self-preservation instinct that makes me dislike slipping across I-90 in a car that barely reaches the top of the wheels of most semi-trucks.

I wrote about that instinct in a different context, here:

But a series of personal errands and fatherly responsibilities (to wit:  picking up my son from the UW for Christmas break)
has me coming to the wet side on Friday, December 14.

So, faced with the need to drive up to Everett to deal with some family business, I thought I would take the opportunity to hold what I hope will become a periodic occurrence for the next couple of years: a “planning committee” meeting for anyone interested in helping with the 35th reunion of the Mariner High School class of 1976, tentatively planned for summer 2011.

“Now wait jest a gal-darned minute!,” you might be saying to yourself.  “2011 is still 4 years away!  What’s this crazy-assed feller think he’s doing?”

Or at least you might say that, if you talked like a miner in an old black and white western.

We’re old enough now, that might be a distinct possibility.

But here’s my rationale (sans miner dialect):

- by all accounts, the 30th reunion was a great success.  A smashing succes, even.  For those who attended.
- unfortunately, due to my less-than-wonderful planning skills and marginal social networking skills, “those who attended” represented a measly 16% of the 320 or so folks who graduated with us.
- my current mailing list – which you are apparently a member of, since you’re reading this e-mail — comprises some 100 people; this is better than we had in 2006 but still a mere 1/3 of our class.
- while we need spend little time worrying about the logistics of an event that won’t take place for another 3 1/2 years (after all, by then we may all be sending our robotic avatars in our steads, necessitating a meeting facility with ample battery recharging stations in lieu of a wet bar) it doesn’t hurt to begin working on the mailing list.
- besides, it’s an easy excuse to have an informal gathering for those interested.

Now, I am not very familiar with places to meet/things to do in the greater (can I use that term in describing Everett?) Everett/Mukilteo metroplex.  But because my rare visits to the city have often brought me to one particular location, I’ll toss out the suggestion that we could meet at Zippy’s Internet Cafe, 1804 Hewitt Ave, Everett.  This is immediately next door to my sister’s apartment, but since few of you know my sister, a more fitting landmark might be the Everett Events Center, which is 1 block east.

Zippys is a little gem, in my opinion, offering good coffee, better sandwiches, and a nice artsy-fartsy setting.  Since I have recently re-engaged the artsy-fartsy side of my brain, that’s appealing.  To me anyway.

However, I can be persuaded otherwise — I suspect that given the season and the fact that at least a third of the people on this list live even further from Everett than I do (241 miles, for those numerically fixated among us), just a handful will show up.  So if anyone who plans to show up has a better idea, please let me know.

Now, because Zippy’s is not a large place,  it would be appreciated if any of you who think you MIGHT attend, would drop me a note.  That way, if we appear to be exceeding a head count that would fit in Zippy’s comfy but cozy setting, we can find an alternate venue.

If you do elect to come by, please come prepared to help add some names, phone #’s, e-mails, or other contact info to our master list of Class of 1976 alumni.  I’ll be bringing the list to the meeting.

Whether you attend or not, I hope all of you have a __________________ (insert seasonal greeting of choice here).  And a happy 2008.

I’ll try not to bug you again for another 6 months or so.

BTW, it’s Christmas letter time again for a lot of us. If you have a desire (compulsion?) to share snapshots of your kids, grandkids, latest toys, adventures, or that ugly cyst that the doctors removed last month, drop me a line and I’ll put them on the MHS Class of 1976 Blog site, which, believe it or not, still exists and still gets hits from week to week.

That site, you may recall, is   I’ll try to post something new on it in the next few weeks.

I’ll also post pictures of the committee meeting on the 14th, assuming anyone other than I shows up.

Scott Butner (
Self-annointed Chief Instigator, Mariner High School Class of 1976
1319 Stevens Drive
Richland, WA  99354

MHS Alumni Association Homecoming Tailgate Event — Oct 12, 2007

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

This announcement from the Mariner High Alumni Association:

It’s time again to support your Mariner Marauders during their Homecoming events. Let’s get together and support the Royal court and rally the team!Tailgate Party is on October 12, 2007 and starts at 5:15PM with game at 7:00pm. The Alumni Association is holding a raffle and selling tee/sweat shirts.