800 lbs of memories….

December 26th, 2006

It was the nicest fish of the weekend.

it was far from my finest hour.

We’re 2 miles into the second day of a 16 mile float down the Yakima river, four middle-aged men in an 18 foot drift boat filled with 800 lbs of memories.

The passengers on this trip are Keith, myself, Dave, and Ozie — four friends who have known each other since we were 7 years old:

The fact that we’re floating down the river in a rented drift boat on this cloudy October day is the result of a nostalgia-fueled conversation at our 30th class reunion this past summer — and the realization that 25 years of living largely separate lives does not unravel the threads that have tied our lives together.

In this boat are two of my groomsmen from my wedding; I’ve fallen off of mountains and been chased by bears with Keith; braved swarms of yellowjackets and hunted coyotes with Ozie, flashlights taped to our BB guns so we could hunt at night.  Dave and I set up filmstrips and risked being labeled nerds as A/V boys at Olivia Park Elementary.  At one time or another, I’ve sworn allegiance to each of these guys as “my best friend” with the sincerity that only an 8 year old can imbue those words with.

Back in the boat, I’ve been trying to do my best guide imitation — though we’ve fished together as kids, none of these guys has fly fished much, if at all.

On day one, we floated 10 miles from Ringer Road down to Red’s, and despite the bright autumn sun managed to find a few pods of rising trout, and everyone in the boat caught at least one.

After a night under starry skies — or, at least, what would have been starry skies had the clouds not moved in, thankfully keeping the thermometer above freezing overnight — we hit the river for a second day, taking our time in breaking camp and timing our departure for the leading edge of the mayfly hatch.  We’d stayed up ’til nearly 1 a.m. the night before, talking around the campfire of friends who had passed, or triumphed, or both.  We talked of crushes we’d had on girls in junior high (finally able to admit them after 35 years of keeping them hid), of our families, of stories and scandals long since forgotten.

In rehashing these shared memories, we realized how much each of the others had to add to the telling — details lost or never known,  another point of view on tales that had started to grow stale from retelling to our kids and our wives, and other people who weren’t there to witness.

Which is why I’ve come to think, as I row downstream against a brisk autumn wind that seems to have come from out of nowhere, about how cherished this cargo of 800 lbs of memories really is.

Which brings us back to the start; to the nicest fish of the day, and my hesitance to admit to catching it….

We spent the first hour of the morning fishing with indicators and nymphs — way out of character for me, but I thought it might help my friends get into more fish.

It didn’t.   But hey, we tried.

But about a mile downstream from the camp, we ran into a pod of rising trout in a swirling whirlpool and backeddy — tucked up against  a cliff face, with foam lines that intersected at crazy angles and current that was moving upstream one moment, downstream the next, it was not easy fishing, but the fish looked to be worth catching.

Keith hooked up first, a big fish from the look of the pull on his 5 wt, but it stayed deep and kept its secrets.  Dave hooked up next, a little fish that stayed on the line a bit longer than Keith’s but still didn’t make it to hand.  I tried my hand at a couple of persistent risers, tucked up in the brush where the current doubled back on itself, and came away with 14 and 16 inch rainbows to hand.

Ozie had gone downstream, around a bend where I’d mentioned a good feeding lie could be found that was a bit less technical.  Unfortunately it was occupied by a couple of folks in another drift boat, who had pulled at least one fish out of there.

Still, we decided it was worth working it once they left.  Ozie tried his hand at a high degree of difficulty fish, rising steadily six inches in front of a log snag, and had it up once or twice before loosing his fly and heading back to the boat for a tippet transplant.

Dave fished a nice foam line that ran parallel with, and about 3 feet out from the bank, and eventually hooked up a nice trout.

Meanwhile, downriver where Dave’s foam line ran into the bank, Keith and I spotted a gorgeous specimen of a fish, rising steadily in front of a rock which was about 6 inches out from the bank.  We waded as near as we dared, and I stood by and coached Keith as he took his casts at it.

Getting the proper drag-free drift was not easy, but no one said that big trout should be easy.

Still, after Keith had casted for about 5 minutes and had a couple of snags on nearby brush, I (politely, I hoped, but in my lust for big fish, I fear not) asked Keith if he minded if I took a crack at the fish before it got spooked.

Keith, gentleman that he is, said “sure, go ahead” — and on the second drift, I tightened up on a legitimate 18 incher which may, or may not be captured on Dave’s digital camera — it squirmed loose just as I removed the size 18 CDC baetis from its lip, and I won’t know until Dave sends his pictures to me whether he has immortalized the moment or not.

And hence the source of my shame.  In all candor, I’m not sure that Keith would have caught the trout even if I’d given him another 20 minutes to work on it; but in all fairness, he deserved the chance.

But at the end of the day, we all had a great time, and everyone went away agreeing that this ought to be an annual outing.  Keith and I hope to hit the St. Joe’s river next fall — as an avid backpacker, he has fished its source on multiple occassions, and left me drooling at the tales of overeager cutthroats.

And maybe — just maybe — when we do, I’ll “let” him steal a big fish from me.  To balance out the scorecard, just a bit.

Where are they now — Judy (Vaders) Lundgren

July 26th, 2006

OK, this is a short post, but that’s OK — here at the MHS Reunion Blog, we’re just glad to get mail that isn’t spam.

Judy Vaders Lundgren is alive and well in Everett — well, Mill Creek, but “back in the day,” that was just another name for south Everett ;) .   Or the suburbs of Bothell.  Somewhere in that basic convergence zone.

Anyway, here’s what Judy has to say:

I’m an Registered Nurse (RN) at Providence hospital in Everett.  I have a 25 year old son and a 21 year old daughter, both are married with babies on the way, my first grandbabies!

My husband, who works for Bartell’s, and I enjoy golfing, tennis, hiking, biking, and working out. We also love to travel. 

I’ve been encouraging Judy to send us a picture — after all, if I can fess up to what I look like after 30 years, anyone can.

Where are they now — Daneen Dustin

July 26th, 2006

When I first set up the Frappr Map of the Mariner High Class of 1976 (which shows the current location of quite a few of our classmates, as well as pictures and text from quite a few as well), Daneen was one of the first people to put her pin on the map.

She was practically a neighbor, just a ways down SR 12, in Lewiston, Idaho.

But while I remembered her name, I could not for the life of me conjure up a face in my fading middle-aged memory. So I did what anyone would do, and went to the yearbook.

No senior picture.

No junior picture.

Heck, I couldn’t find a picture at all.

But as shy of the camera as she appeared to be in high school, she doesn’t seem to be nowadays! Daneen has been very generous in posting pictures of her and her family on the Frappr site. Here’s a couple of Daneen:

Daneen on the Snake River near Lewiston, ID

Daneen goes looking for the guy who frosted her hair...

Daneen in Reno.

Hmmmm…at the risk of getting slugged by my wife, you think I’d have remembered. :)

She was also kind enough to provide an update on her life:

In 1983 I moved to Alaska with my three children. I raised them there for 14 years and then moved to Wallace, Idaho. In 1997, I moved back to Alaska with my youngest son and by 1999 we came back to Idaho. I now reside in Lewiston Idaho.

The kids and I have so many wonderful memories of Alaska that will stay with us forever. We had the chance at one time to actually live as the pioneers would have and those are some of our fondest memories.

I am a song writer and singer and spent a lot of time singing in Alaska. [editor's note: here's a recording of Daneen singing a song by The Judds] IDaneen and her daughter Taralynn entertain the crowd...well,as crowded as it gets in Alaska sang for the Martin Buser victory parties for the Ididarod, both public and private. Which started me singing for the next few years of victory parties in the Big Lake area. I not only love to write songs but also poetry and am working on getting my first book out, ‘Secret Of The Covenant’. In September of 2005 I went to Reno to receive the Shakespeare Trophy of excellence and Famous Poet for 2005 award. I have always loved to write and sing.

Right now most of my time is spent writing and studying for exams. I am going for my Bachelor’s in Psychology. This is the best time in life to go to school (at least for the learning part *grin*) The greatest part of my life though, since school, I would have to say is the almost 31 years that I have spent with my three children (Taralynn, James, and Daniel) exploring, together, this wonderful life.

Daneen's boys, James and Daniel, in Palmer Alaska, 1984

I have some of my writings on http://daneend.tripod.com. I do hope to see everyone on the next reunion, wish I didn’t miss this one.

where did the guestbook go?

July 23rd, 2006

A few of you might be wondering where the guestbook went (for those who didn’t notice it, you can ignore this).

Unfortunately, the page which allowed people to sign up was being spammed unmercifully by online casinos, which had a software program designed to create entries with links to their casino (they do this in hopes of improving their Google ranking).  I was having to delete 4-5 such entries per day, and in recent days it was getting worse.

Since it was not a real popular feature on the site, I decided to eliminate it.  I may restore it later, but we’ll see.

In the mean time, members of the Class who wish to make their whereabouts known to future reorganizing committee members can simply e-mail their contact info to me.


User Friendly Reunion Photos

July 22nd, 2006

No doubt about it, the blog format of this site is not always the best for showing some kinds of information.

Specifically, large collections of photos are a bit problematic, unless you’ve got lots of bandwidth.

So Kevin Hayes has graciously set up a photo album of reunion pictures at the following URL:


You’ll find all of the reunion pictures from this site — plus some that aren’t here. And Kevin also plans to put larger resolution versions of the pictures online as well.


the pictures keep rolling in

July 22nd, 2006

John Ames was kind enough to send me some pictures from the Saturday gathering at Diamond Knot, which I’ve posted below.

Kelly Marx, Dave Losvar, and Dave Furnas

from left: Kelly Marx, Dave Losvar and Dave Furnas discuss weighty matters.

Jon Haugen and Shawn Hicks

Jon Haugen (l) and Shawn Hicks illustrate a strategically placed baseball cap can cover up the signs of age; oh, if it were only that simple for the rest of us!

Paul Novak and Principal Ames

Paul Novak greets Principal Ames (John’s dad) who dropped by to visit with the many Rose Hill Elementary alumni who attended the school when he was in charge.

Linda (Armstrong) Varner and Michele Waggoner

Linda (Armstrong) Varner and Michele Waggoner play another round of “hey! isn’t that ____ who just walked in the door?!?”

Paul Novak and Dave Van Beek

Paul Novak and Dave Van Beek exchange secret hand signs

one more group of pictures

July 17th, 2006

at least, til more show up in the mail.

By the way, am working on getting some decent album software up and running on the site, so that you can browse these more easily. Should have something (with a little help from Kevin Hayes) up in the next few days…

As before, you can add your own comment/caption!

Scott Butner and Natalie (Rarig) Turner

Picture 1

Keith Lawler, Dave Furnas and Bob Gell

Picture 2

Mike Conley

Picture 3

Julie Korzan

Picture 4

Sharon (Verg) Johnson and husband Max

Picture 4

reunion pictures — round two

July 17th, 2006

More pictures from Steve Conlon. Again, the captions have been left as an excercise for the reader.

To add a caption to these photos, click here.

Ozie Greene

Picture 1

Mike Conley and Steve Conlon

Picture 2

Kevin Turner (Natalie's Husband) and John Ames
Picture 3

Larry Hawk

Picture 4

Kathy Stormo and Paul Novak

Picture 5

Jerry Stetcher

Picture 6

reunion pictures — round one.

July 17th, 2006

Steve Conlon sent some great pictures from Saturday’s get-together at the Diamond Knot and from Sunday’s picnic.

I think I’ll let you guys write your own captions! (now, be nice…)

Hold your mouse over the photo to get some hints about who it is you’re looking at.

Add your own captions by referencing the picture number, and submitting it as a comment.

Dave Cernich and Julie Korzan

Picture 1

Paul NovakPicture 2

Dave FurnasPicture 3

Dave LosvarPicture 4

Kathy Stormo and Randy (Zimmerman) FurnasPicture 5

Rick Heppell and Kelly MarxPicture 6

Natalie (Rarig) TurnerPicture 7

where are they now — Steve Conlon

July 17th, 2006

Steve Conlon made the trip up from San Diego, for some of the reunion events. Clearly, Steve is enjoying the California lifestyle…

Steve Conlon and Wade Nelson

That’s Wade Nelson standing next to him, by the way…

I haven’t gotten a bio quite yet; but I do know that Steve’s been flying commercial jets for American Airlines after flying the other kind for the US Air Force for many years.

Will add more about Steve in the near future.


thank you!

July 16th, 2006

I expect I’ll have more to say about the reunion soon. For now, suffice it to say that everyone who showed up seemed to have a great deal of fun — I know that I did!

To those who didn’t find out until too late, or weren’t able to attend — my apologies. We tried to notify everyone we could find, as soon as we found them.

To those who did show up — my sincere thanks. Your presence was the most gratifying thing I’ve seen in a long time.
To those who helped with various aspects of the reunion — Kevin Hayes, Dave Cernich, Zoe Leonard Acheson, Janet Carlson, Kristi (Holtgeerts) Rosenberger (in absentia, but absolutely invaluable for her help in contacting people), Keith Lawler (great smoked salmon, Keith!) and all of you who sent pictures, personal updates, and the like — thank you so much!

For anyone I’ve forgotten — oh my gosh, I hope I haven’t forgotten anyone! But I’ve slept about 4 hours in the past 3 days, so anything is possible!
Finally, though they were equal partners in setting this thing up, I’d like to especially thank the other two members of the “disorganizing committee” — Sharon (Verg) Johnson and Ozie Greene. You guys turned this from the late night ramblings of a marginally sane computer geek, into an actual event that dozens of people clearly enjoyed. We all owe you a big debt of gratitude.

Among other debts.

I’m probably going to take a day or two away from this site, but I’ll leave the lights on. I’ve also left information on how to send your classmates a short update on what you’ve been doing. Please send us stuff to post on this site!

There was considerable enthusiasm for another reunion in the not-too-distant future. I don’t know when that will happen, or who will organize it – but I am confident in asserting that you won’t have to wait another 10 years this time!

We’ll start posting some information about how to make sure you get adequate notice for the next reunion sometime in the near future. We’ll also start “trickling” the reunion photos onto the site over the next few days.

Take care, friends…


Shoulda been there…

July 16th, 2006

A few preliminary pics from the Friday night get together at the Oxford Saloon in Snohomish (thanks to Dave Cernich for putting that together!).

More will certainly be coming. And if I’ve goofed up any captions — mislabeled people or forgotten people — please let me know; it’s late and I’m operating on very little sleep.

Oh! And don’t forget — there’s still time to attend the Sunday family picnic at Martha Lake County Park, Sunday July 16 starting at 11:00 a.m.!

From left: Dave Cernich, Brad Meacham, Syd (LaRue) Hudson, and Darlise Lund look over a yearbook 

From left: Janet Carlson looks — dubious? incredulous? — while Kevin Hayes weaves a tale…

From left: Paul Novak reviews the yearbook with Dave Van Beek.  I believe Paul’s exact words were:  “dated her.  dated her.  dated her.  can’t remember…oh yeah, her too!” 

From left: Mark Schwehm, Brad Meacham, Sue (Anderson) Schwehm — and I believe Syd (LaRue) Hudson’s husband, whose first name I regretfully failed to write down…

Representing for the Chemical Engineers — Ron Reis

July 13th, 2006

If memory serves properly, Ron Reis got his Chemical Engineering degree from WSU — great degree…

Great degree. yup. those chemical engineers know their stuff.

well, heck — I’ll let him tell his own dang story (via Keith Lawler)!

Here’s my brief history of the last 25+ years:

While coaching youth soccer I was introduced to a beautiful friend of a soccer mom, who I married in 1989. Julia and I have three great kids (doesn’t everyone say this, even about their teenagers). Danny is 15, Lindsay is 14 and McKenna is 10. (Picture of us on the Space Needle this past month attached, something my oldest daughter always wanted to visit).

Some of you may remember that Chevron took me to California. After 12 years I left to join an environmental services company running projects and the operation’s crew. We re-aligned it for sale and I took a position in engineering with a Moses Lake chemical company that refined silicon for computer chips. By 2001 they divested that site and I moved to their other site in Montana. The circle of work is unbroken as the Montana site was bought out by a Norwegian firm (Renewable Energy Corporation) this last summer, the same company that had bought the Moses Lake site. They refine silicon for photovoltaic energy cells. They kept me on in my role as Director of Technology and Quality, and now we’re headed back to Moses Lake.

Looking forward to hearing from everyone else, and seeing you all soon.


Where are they now — Keith Lawler

July 13th, 2006

My most lasting impression of Keith Lawler is this:


And landing. hard. on my butt.

OK, let’s back up a few steps. Because that’s where it started…a few steps back.
I haven’t always been the rotund computer jockey I am today. I’ve never been thin, but there was a time, during high school, when I hiked, and biked, and could even sort of keep up with the likes of legendary hikers like Keith Knol and Keith Lawler.

Which brings us to a descent from a ridge in the Cascades somewhere, dropping into a small mountain lake that I, and the two Keiths, were making our base for an overnight trip.

Rounding a cluster of scrub pines, the first of our party (I think it was…Keith) suddenly let out a “whoop!” and vanished from sight. Then the next (that may have been Keith, also). Finally, it was my turn.

One by one, we hit a muddy patch on the “trail” and slid onto our behinds, and continued sliding over a small drop onto a ledge several feet below. No one was hurt, but for some reason that trip made as colorful an impression on my mind as the rocks did on my ass.

Well, I have since drifted away from the trail heads, gravitating (with considerably more gravitas, I might add) towards the boat launches.

But “the Keiths” both continue to log the miles on the trails, and stay in good shape.

Here’s Mr. Lawler then (actually this was taken at a WSU function in 1978):

that's keith on the left...

And here he is now:

and that's him on the RIGHT!

Here’s what he has to say:

We’ve lived in Port Angeles going on 14 years now. After graduating from WSU with an engineering degree, I spent some time working for Chevron in the oil fields near Bakersfield, CA.

These days, I work for a small industrial dewatering Company called “FKC Screw Press,” where I am the Engineering Manager/ V. President. I get to travel all over N. America and sometimes overseas, Spain, New Zealand, Japan, and S. America.

From the Frappr “Map of the Class of ‘76″ web site:

I keep busy traveling for work, making home brew, bee keeping, fishing, and backpacking.

Based on the pictures that Keith has sent me, he also does a lot of hunting and fishing. Keith has sent me a few notes bringing me up to speed on his activities these days; we haven’t been in touch for years, but anyone who offers to take me fishing on the Elwah River (as he has) will find a place on my Christmas Card list for years to come.

Where are they now — Keith Knol

July 13th, 2006

Keith Knol and I were best friends through elementary school — we shared a fascination with tearing stuff apart, and sometimes even building stuff from what remained. I think (though memory is mischevious in such matters) that it was Keith who showed me how to cook a hot dog by sticking a nail through each end, and hooking the nails up to a lamp cord.

Keith responds: I recall thinking that the hot dog cooker was a technological break thru at the time. When we weren’t using it for hot dogs we would turn it upside down, stick it in the ground, and use it to bring earth worms to the surface for bait. It’s amazing we survived childhood…

I just love the smell of ozone in the morning!

Keith was also the first person I ever knew — way back in 7th grade — who was interested in environmental issues, and who seemed concerned about this crazy notion known as “global warming” we had been hearing about.

arrrr!, matey!

Keith and I continued to be good friends in high school, occassionally making expeditions to Seattle for concerts and oddball movies (I think it was Keith who I saw Luis Bunel’s film, “That Obscure Object of Desire” with, and definitely know it was Keith that I went to see the Eagles — pre-Joe Walsh — with; indeed, I still have a photo or two of that concert!).

Keith was even in my wedding party as an usher, as a matter of fact — but school and families took over our lives, as they are wont to do, and these days we’re down to the annual exchange of Christmas letters (usually sent by our wives) and the occasional phone call (including one just moments ago).
So, in any event, Knol is one of those guys who will, apparently, never age. He hikes too fast for time to catch up with him, is my theory. He lives north of Spokane with his wife and two kids, who as you can see have inherited his love of outdoors.

According to Keith:

Well for those few Mariner High folks who remember me and might have questioned whether I could have survived into adulthood I’ll give you a brief recap.

I’m still alive!

I graduated from Washington State University with an electrical engineering degree in 1982 and went to work for Bonneville Power and have been there ever since.  We control the federal dams on the the Columbia River from Grand Coulee down to Bonneville, along with those on the Snake River. In fact I am frequently referred to (affectionately, I believe) as “that dam engineer”.

Frequently as I’m walking down the hall or people stroll past my office I’ll hear them say things like “there’s that dam engineer” or “what’s that dam engineer up to now?”.

So it’s been a great place to work and I hope to finish my career here working with this great group of folks. In fact I was encouraged when I overheard several of my coworkers saying again just this week that they also were looking forward to my career coming to an end here.

Outside of work I’m married and have two kids. My wife, Pam, has been putting up with me [editor's note: just barely!] for over 20 years now. She’s a speech therapist for the Mead school district. We both are WSU grads so, living in Spokane, we go to a lot of WSU football games and even went to the Rose Bowl a few years ago.

My son will be in 8th grade next year. His life revolves around music, running and bicycling. He loves music. He plays piano, guitar and drums (oops I mean “Percussion”). Lately he’s been pestering us for a Saxaphone. When he’s not making some sort of noise he’s running or riding his bike (he’s a big Tour de France fan). He does cross-country and track at school. His fascination with bicycling reminds me a lot of myself when I was that age. I remember you, Ozie, Brad Meacham and myself went through a period of several years when we were really into bikes. We rode around Whidbey Island, out to Snohomish and into Edmonds and Lynnwood. I remember that long grind of a ride up the winding hill from the Snohomish Flats. Oh man that was a killer. I think I’m still sore from that one.

I also have a daughter who will be a junior in high school next year. She’s also into track and cross-country. She’s also very involved with the Debate team. The skills from which she has been applying at every possible opportunity at home. Actually I’ve pretty much been living advanced debate with her for the past 15 years so I’m getting accustomed to it.

I still spend a lot of time honing my skills at putting one foot in front of the other. I learned early on that it was one physical activity that I could be relatively consistent at and have actually been able to improve at over the years. In fact I’m proud to say I’ve attained a level of proficiency at walking where I can now go for extended periods with few major mishaps.

I drag my family along and we’ve been hiking in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Central America. Of course my favorite place to backpack is the Olympic National Park and we try and do at least one extended trip there each year (in college, as you might remember, I worked a couple summers as a backcountry ranger in ONP so it has a nostalgic appeal to me). We’ve had a lot of exciting experiences backpacking (my kids prefer to say we’ve “dodged a lot of bullets”). I recall doing quite a few hikes with you, Ozie and Brad. Especially in the Verlot area. I remember skipping school to go hiking to lakes in the Verlot area like Pinnacle, Boardman, Bear and Evan’s Lakes [editor's note: kids, do as we say, not as we do...er, did]. Lake Valhalla was another good hike I remember us taking.

I read your description of the hike we took with Keith Lawler. It’s been a long time since I thought about that one. I believe it was called Lake Helena and it was near Darrington. My recollection was that it was probably not a well conceived trip. There was no trail and we hiked cross-country with an old Forest Service map I had dug up and wound up essentially walking off the edge of a cliff. I remember the big fall you described. We landed in a pile at the base of the cliff. I landed on top of my pack which cushioned my fall and probably kept me from breaking my neck. Like you said, it was amazing we didn’t wind up on the injured reserves list, or worse. I don’t think our folks would have had a clue where to start looking for us. I suppose my family would say that my route selection abilities haven’t improved all that dramatically over the years.

I took up snow skiing about 25 years ago and I do a fair amount of that during the winter months. We live at the base of Mt. Spokane which has a nice little ski resort so it’s easy for us to access. My son pretty much lives at the Mt. Spokane terrain park during winter weekends. We take a few ski trips to Canada each winter also, with Big White Ski Resort being our favorite. The kids usually bring along a group of friends and we spend 4-5 days skiing and hot-tubbing.

So, sorry I won’t be able to make the big party. Tell Ozie and Brad I said “hi”. Also if Tim Thorp shows up and has any particularly good one-liners or unusually over-the-top offensive jokes (I guess I’m assuming he hasn’t changed much) please take notes and forward them to me (and tell him I said “hi” also). Actually, feel free to say “hi’ to anyone who says they knew me. Thanks Keith

I have since learned to read his Christmas letters carefully – when he recommends a place to visit, such as the Badlands National Monument (pictured below from my trip there last year), it’s worth visiting.

Speaking of the class of 1976

July 12th, 2006

Zoe (Leonard) Acheson sent me the following picture — how many faces can you name?

(click on the picture for a larger version)

click on this picture to see a larger version


30 years ago, I’d be admiring the Cheerleaders…

July 12th, 2006

now I sort of miss the lighthouse!  :)

ok, the cheerleaders were cute, too

(thanks, Zoe, for the picture!)

Where are they now –Venecom Griffin

July 10th, 2006

Precious little information about Venecom online, and the anti-spam features of his e-mail account seem to keep me from reaching him that way.

But there’s no question that this is the Venecom we grew up with, all grown up himself.  The photo is courtesy of the Trout Unlimited web site – Venecom being the president of the Bremerton chapter.

Well, being a trout fisherman myself — a pretty fanatical one! — I know that TU does some great work on habitat protection and restoration.

I also noticed, while looking for more info about Venecom, that there was a “Venecom Griffin” on the honor roll of Central Kitsap Junior High last year.  So unless Venecom decided to go back to 8th grade , sounds like there’s a little Venecom about, as well.

Hopefully Mr. Griffin shows up for the reunion.  I need to have at least ONE person who doesn’t mind listening to fishing stories….


Where are they now twofer — Judi and Juli Hallenbeck

July 10th, 2006

One of the things I always look for in the mail, around Christmas time, is a card from Judi Hallenbeck. For many, if not most, of the past 30 years I haven’t been disappointed.

Today, Judi sent me an e-mail, providing a bit of an update for this site. That was a real treat, because it helped fill in the gaps that just don’t make it onto the Christmas cards. Besides, she included a recent picture of her with her twin sister, Juli (they’re both still cute as buttons, but don’t tell Judi I said so).

Juli on the left, Judi on the right.  In high school, I couldn't always tell them apart!

Here’s what she has to say:

So, yes I am really into Scottish Dancing, Scottish Country Dancing in particular. Juli and I founded the Skagit Scottish Country Dancers club based in Anacortes about 13 years ago. I became a certified RSCDS, (Royal Scottish Country Dance Society), instructor about 7 years ago. I started teaching classes in Skagit, and now do so in Houston.

Through our group Juli and I organized serveral Midsummer Masquerade (Scottish Country Dance) Balls. We had lots of fun with the group over the years. One event we co-chaired about 5 years ago was a Christmas dance where I met Jim Fraser, (yes, he’s originally from Scotland), my S.O.S.,
(Significant-Other-Sweetie). He was working in Port Townsend over the next year for his company in Houston, Texas. A couple years later we decided I should move to Houston, which I did in 2003. I’m working here as a graphic designer.

Houston is not a city I would choose to move to although it is very green compared to other Texas cities. Jim is the only reason I am here. I don’t care for Houston: the traffic drives me crazy, its HOT and HUMID, mosquitoes are fierce, its FLAT and I could go on!!! But our little bit of Houston is quite pleasant.

Judi’s twin sister, Juli, was always a bit more shy, as I recall. But they were both sweeties, and they lived with their sister Mary and brother-in-law Everett, just down the street from my good friend Keith Knol. Keith and I spent a fair amount of time there, but mostly rummaging through old electronics parts that Everett would let us salvage. Later, when we were at Mariner, Judi and I spent a lot of time working on the yearbook together, and of course, hanging out with Ozie Greene.

Anyway, I digress. I was going to let Judi tell you about Juli:

Juli still has a little house in Oak Harbor which she is in the process of fixing up to sell. She recently remarried, (last fall), a man named Don Johnson who lives in Kent. Other than a horrible commute to Anacortes for work (as an illustrator) she seems quite happy. I miss her terribly as well as the rest of my family and friends.

Here’s another picture of Juli, from the Scotish Dance group’s web site:

Juli is the one without the beard

Where is Sharon (Verg) Johnson?

July 10th, 2006

One of the best parts of helping to organize this reunion has been the opportunity to reconnect with old friends.  And one of the first people I reconnected with — dating back a couple of years, now, via Classmates — is Sharon (Verg) Johnson.

Sharon and I have emailed each other once or twice since high school — and once, a long time ago, even had a couple of iced teas together in Miami, when I was in the city on business and had looked her up.

But this time around, we’ve had a chance to talk quite a bit more, and I’ve enjoyed it greatly. I’ve also greatly appreciated Sharon’s generosity — here’s a woman who survived not one, but two hurricanes last year, and yet has still taken an active role in organizing the reunion, and fronted the money for the catered food at the picnic on Sunday, July 16.

I nagged Sharon to send us an update, and here’s what she had to say for herself:

 Moved to Miami and went to Technical School.

Became a  Medical Technologist – first worked on animals them moved to people for more money.  (The quality of patient definitely diminished in that move.)

Worked for Coulter Corporation in various Hematology functions for 15 years until the privately owned company was bought out by Beckman, and became Beckman Coulter in 1998.  Max still at Beckman Coulter.

I met Max at Coulter Corporation and had the good sense to say “YES!” when he asked me to marry him.  I married Max Johnson 7/23/1988 in beautiful Sibley, Iowa.

I'm guessing that's not Sibley, Iowa in the background...

Finally finished my BS in 1993 at Nova Southeastern University.

We moved to Salt Lake City in 1993.  It turned out to be a bad move- but we did learn to brew beer there.

We moved to Battle Ground, WA in 1997. That turned out to be a good move, but at the wrong time — the economy was bad at the time.

Finally, we moved back to Miami in 2002.  The jury is still out on that one – however we finally hit the housing boom at the right time.

My job is as the Director of Laboratory Operations for Quest Diagnostics.  I run two excellent, high volume, clinical laboratories in South Florida.  I also chair the team that decides Hematology Best practices for the company.   Love the company – hate my commute!  I drive 140 miles roundtrip from my home in SOUTH Miami-Dade County to the Northern edge of Broward county at least 2 times a week.  My alternate office is still a 76 miles round trip from home.

Must be mid-life crisis – but I just traded the Black Volvo Station Wagon (soccer mom-style) for a Bright Orange Mini Cooper convertible.  Now I enjoy the commute much more…

Earned my Six Sigma Green Belt (Quality Improvement) certification (yes, I truly am a nerd.)

I am in the process of earning my MBA at University of Miami.  I really like being back in school, and I am enjoying the environment.

We share our home with three dogs ranging from 18 to 96 pounds. Our adopted dogs include a Black lab, a malamute, and a terrier mix. They definitely have the clout in this relationship.

We just bought property in Ocean Shores, WA and someday hope to move back to the Northwest FOR GOOD! We love the climate (both political and weather wise), the people, and the wines!

Where he at — Kevin “Purple” Hayes

July 9th, 2006

See, I told you guys that this is a lot easier when you simply write this stuff yourselves!

for me, anyway. ;)
My old yearbook pal Kevin Hayes has anted up the following:

Might as well add my life story. I can’t stay in the witness protection program forever! J

So…after High School and a very brief run at Everett Community College I continued with photography and firefighting – sometimes at the same time, but never at the cost of someone’s life or property.

I worked for a few years at the Everett Herald, and then the Seattle Times as a photojournalist. I also did what was called ‘stringer’ work (paid part-time) for Associated Press and United Press International as well during that time – mostly to get into local sporting events (Scott – remember the Seahwaks game with the AP Press Passes?). I won several awards and have been published in numerous trade journals, newspapers and magazines. Anyone remember the flood of 1977 around the Snohomish Valley? I won the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi award for spot news from the Society of Professional Journalist for my flood coverage – that was a career high for me.

I had been a volunteer/part-paid firefighter with Snohomish County Fire District 1, serving along side with Brian Zelmer as night duty aid personnel; since 1976 and still had not yet decided if I wanted to be a firefighter or a police officer when I grew up. In 1979 I decided to test with both fire and police agencies and whoever called me first, got me! Well in June of 1979 Boeing Fire Department called me one day before the Seattle Police Department and I’ve been with Boeing Fire ever since. I currently hold the rank of Captain.

My duties are unique for our department. I do IT and web systems — (internal and external http://www.boeing.com/fire) development and masterminded the on-line training system that we currently use to verify our firefighters, like Ozie Green; are still learning, retaining knowledge and legally capable at provide emergency services to our customers. I am also responsible for our rescue boat program in Renton, supporting international fire prevention issues as well as providing assistance with hands on training in Puget Sound. I stay insanely busy!

As weirdness would have it, I still wanted to be a police officer and decided that being a volunteer firefighter and a paid firefighter was a bit of a professional overkill so I quit my volunteer firefighter duties and in 1981 strapped on the badge and uniform of the Everett Police Department as a reserve officer. I had the distinct honor to assist with Sergeant Butner’s memorial services, and ferried many distraught department members from the Son’s of Norway Hall in Everett to their homes. I stayed with Everett for 10 years and when an option for retirement came about, I retired at the rank of Sergeant.

I was briefly married in the mid 80’s and from that un-holy union (long story) my son was born – Scotty. Scotty, who turned 23 this year; works for Ram Technologies in Mukilteo and I see him as often as two busy schedules allow. He’s a wonderful young man and to date has simply avoided all the trouble I seemed to get myself into while growing up.

I am single and live out by Granite Falls in a gated community called Rainbow Springs with my 1 year old French Mastiff name Huey. We live right on a private lake where the bass are so huge ducklings don’t last but a few days after hatching and Mergansers can’t choke the bass down! J

Two years ago I finally finished college and attained my Bachelors of Science in Business Management from the University of Phoenix. I am toying with the idea of going back and getting a masters….toying is the key word here folks! I’m not sure I want to devote another 2 years to go to work, come home, pet the dog, read the mail, do homework or go to class, eat dinner, do homework or go to class, go to bed and then get up and do it all over again.

My current hobbies are my motorcycle, Huey, relearning parliamentarianism as the newly appointed President of our community association, movies, cooking, home improvement, computers and web development, and graphic design.

My High School nickname, bestowed upon me by Mike Smoody and Joe Little; has continued on and ‘Purple Hayes’ (‘Purple’ for short) will get my attention just as easily as using my real name.

Well, in the “ya (re)learn something new every day!” department, I had forgotten completely that Kevin was involved with my mom’s (the aforementioned Sergeant Butner — she had nearly 20 years service on the Everett PD) memorial services.

Kevin, I’ll buy your first beer at the Diamond Knot on Saturday.


Another Reminder — Three Reunion Events to Choose From!

July 9th, 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.
  • Saturday, July 15.  2 p.m. – ??  There will be an adult (alumni, spouses, significant others, etc) get-together at the Diamond Knot Brewery, 621 Front Street, Mukilteo.
  • 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 — Dave Van Beek

July 9th, 2006

Dave and I both went to Olivia Park Elementary together — if memory serves correctly, he was one of the other “A/V boys” (I think it was mostly boys, back then) — you know, the kids who skipped out of class to set up projectors, audio equipment, and the like.

These days, those same kids would be rebooting computers and showing teachers how to make the DVD player stop blinking “12:00.”

You know — like this:

Well, I don’t have a picture of Dave handy — not a recent one, anyway.  But I do know that he was named “Firefighter of the Year” by the Marysville City Council earlier this year, which is a neat accomplishment.

Like a blinking 12:00, I’ve heard from Dave off and on since graduation — more off than on,  but still, it’s always nice to reconnect.  Hopefully he’ll be at the reunion.

Where are they now — Donna Penz

July 9th, 2006

OK, this one was just too darn easy — even at 3:30 in the morning (I really do need for this reunion to get over with, so I can stop spending my waking hours tracking you people down! :) ).

It should come as no surprise that the less common a last name, the easier it is to track someone down. It also helps if you look at least something like you did when you were in high school.

Well, Donna fits the bill. Add to the fact that she is shown at a Science Fiction Trivia Contest (shown here as the reigning champion — a victory for us fellow nerds everywhere!) and it’s practically a no brainer:

Donna is the reference librarian (hey! I could use her help tracking some of you down!) at the West Atlantic Avenue Branch Palm Beach County Library System. Actually from what I can tell through her many posts on library list servers, Donna has perhaps one of the cooler jobs of anyone I’ve run across so far — tracking down obscure pieces of information about all nature of things.

If I wasn’t doing what I’m doing — which isn’t that much different — that would be a cool way to make a living.

Although — quite honesty? — having to be an expert on Harry Potter, as Donna apparently is, might be enough to scare me away…. ;)

In any event, that makes two of our classmates in South Florida (Sharon Verg Johnson is the other). .

Where are they now — Dave Dickson

July 9th, 2006

Dave was easy to find…coaches usually are. Successful coaches even more so.

See if you can pick Dave out of this shot (this is his team, Squalicum HS, near Bellingham, at the State Tourney in 2005). I’ve given you a tiny clue:

Dave has racked up a pretty impressive record as coach — here’s what the Bellingham paper has to say about that:

Dave Dickson, who guided the Storm in its inaugural 1998-99 season, has replaced Mike McKee as coach.

Dickson, head of Squalicum’s history department, has been McKee’s assistant for the past three seasons.
“As difficult as it is to find good coaches, we had Dave in the building,” said McKee, Squalicum athletic director. “We had the personnel we wanted right here.”
Dickson has 12 seasons of head coaching experience, compiling a record of 157-126 at Oak Harbor, Bellingham and Squalicum high schools.
He has been to the state tournament four times as a head coach. He is the last coach to take Oak Harbor to state (1989).
While at Bellingham, Dickson took the team to state in 1993, 1996 and 1997. The Red Raiders placed fourth in 1997.
As an assistant at Squalicum, Dickson has been to the state tournament in each of his three seasons.

When he’s off the court, Dave is head of Squalicum’s History department (he was selected by this year’s graduating class as the school’s “Most Influential Teacher”!), and is on the advisory board of the Northwest Center for Holocaust, Genocide and Ethnocide Education.

Dave adds:

[There are...] a couple of things about me you might not have learned on Google……. Like Jamie and I celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary this summer.  We are also facing the empty nest (in a year) as our youngest of 3, Adam, readies for his senior year at Squalicum.  Our daughter, Allison, got married last October and Aaron just finished his freshman year at The Master’s College, a small Christian school in Santa Clarita, CA (right by Magic Mountain).  You probably won’t be surprised to know Aaron earned a basketball scholarship to TMC.  The picture you put in the web page includes Aaron (holding a ball, next to #15). 

Dave’s team has a basketball tourney this weekend, but he hopes to make it to the Picnic on Sunday, July 16.  As Dave says:

I’m sure you’ve read one of my favorites, A River Runs Through It.  In the MacLean family you couldn’t distinguish between fly fishing and religion; in the Dickson family the lines blur between basketball and religion.  Scott, I hope the reunion goes well and I would love to see you and others.  We’ll see what happens. 

Where are they now — Rosanne (Rubatino) Goulet

July 9th, 2006

OK. I didn’t know Rosanne very well — but with a little help on married names of a few classmates that Kristi Holtgeerts Rosenberger was able to provide, I tracked her down — right here in Everett!

Turns out, Rose is quite active in the Everett Rotary — we know this from “The Log” — the newsletter of the Everett Rotary (and one that might have been designed by graduates of Bruce Burns’ “Tabloid Newspaper” mini-term class, from the looks of it!) that she was selected as President of the Chapter in 2006 — she took the reins on July 1 :

here's Rose, cheering on her Rotary buds

Particularly near and dear to my heart is the fact that Rose is a contributor to/supporter of the Everett Children’s Museum — while my Children’s Museum Days are over, my wife and I spent some very fond years organizing a similar non-profit museum over here in the Tri Cities, and I recall many a long night building exhibits, writing grants, and preparing for press conferences so our kids would have a fun place to play. Rose is also an active supporter of the Arts Council of Snohomish County as well as Catholic Community Services and Camp Fire (no wonder her fellow Rotary members selected her to be their leader!)
Rose graduated from Gonzaga in 1980, after spending her junior year in Florence, Italy and is working for the family business (Rubatino Refuse Removal).

Rose adds:

“I’m married to Larry Goulet and we have two sons; Denny 21, who will be a senior at Boston College (who just spent his junior year in Florence, Italy) and David 18, who will start his collegiate rowing career at UW in the fall.

I grew up in a Rotary household (my dad spent many years active in the Lynnwood Rotary) and know the sort of committment to public service that the organization embodies. Rose should be proud of being selected as a leader among leaders.

Where are they now — Zoe (Leonard) Acheson

July 8th, 2006

Remember Zoe?

(Hint: Zoe’s the one on the right*).

Zoe was one of the first people to contact me via the Classmates site, when I started getting interested in the reunion. Her encouragement helped push me over the edge, actually — though in all fairness, I was teetering as it was.

Anyway, Zoe has this to say about her life these days:

I work for University of Phoenix as an academic counselor. I am back at school getting the rest of my master’s credit so I can apply for the Arizona Licensed Professional Counselor certification. I have been working in the counseling field for 15 years as the director of a non-profit agency.
I had five children. I know, wow…The oldest, Justin is a captain in the air force (and single) he is a navigator and loves to fly. My eldest daughter lives on Camano Island and has just graduated from ASU in criminal justice. She also gave me a grand-daughter a year ago. She did me the greatest honor and named her Zoey Violet.  Levi is my 6′ 4 inch 14 year old;  Abigail is my strikingly gorgeous 12 year-old, and finally Samuel is my sweet six year-old who weighed 11 lbs 5 oz at birth.
Here are some pictures:

Zoe is planning on flying up from Arizona for the reunion, so we should expect to see her at one or more of the events.

I’m sure she’ll have more pictures of her granddaughter to share. ;)


* historical footnote: that’s Dave Austin on the left, though he’ll have to send me his bio data from China (where he is currently away on business) before he gets his own “Where are they now”

Where are they now — Me!

July 7th, 2006

And why the hell not?!? It’s my web site, after all!

So, to answer the question that nearly everyone who knew me in high school eventually asks: yes, I still do some photography. Though not as much as I used to, and frankly, not with the same passion I once did.

Instead, I have other hobbies these days — none as all-consuming as photography once was, but then again, having a family will change those priorities.

Mostly, what I do is fish:

me, nattily attired, as usual
I spend as many days as possible “borrowing” my brother Bill’s 17 foot Hyde drift boat, and floating down the Yakima Canyon between Ellensburg and Selah. Most years, I manage to get in 40 or so trips, or about once a week between February and November (I fish less often in the winter, but still head up there). And I enjoy writing about fly fishing.

So much so, I’ve earned a nick name: “The King of Milepost 19.” Go ahead — Google it. You’ll see!

When I am not fishing, or writing about fishing, or tying flies, or talking about fishing with my co-workers, I am usually either at work, or at home, working in the garden. I work at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a large research lab back near the Hanford site in eastern Washington. I’ve worked on lots of stuff there — I originally started here in the mid-80’s working on renewable biofuels and coal conversion technology, but have spent much of the time since then developing software that helps people make better environmental decisions (I am especially interested in applying these ideas to the design of new products and processes).

These days, most of my work revolves around the so-called “Semantic Web” but since much of that work is done for the Department of Homeland Security, I don’t get to publish very much of it. Still, it’s interesting work, and more than enough to keep me busy for the next 10-15 years until I retire.

I’m also coming to terms with being a near-empty nester: my oldest son, Ryan, has just recently moved to the University of Washington as a junior transfer student, majoring in International Studies/China Studies; my youngest son, Sean, is heading east in September to attend Thomas More College, a very small Catholic school (100 students), where he will be one of about 10 students who aren’t Catholic (he says he’s leaning towards Hindu).  He plans to get a degree in English Lit or Political Science, and then maybe law school.

Not an engineer among the bunch!

My wife, Laura (a 1977 graduate of Everett High School), and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary this year — we’ve been together nearly 30 years! — but it looks like we’ll be doing it by ourselves, which is both exciting and sad.  Whatever it is, it will be an adventure.


Where are they now — Catherine (Brandenburg) High

July 7th, 2006

I love Google. No two ways about it.

So, this afternoon, Catherine Brandenburg posted herself on the Frappr Map of our class. Included a nice picture of her acting as chaperone on a trip to Mt. Vernon (”…George Washington’s home, not that tulip festival place” adds Catherine)
Catherine (Brandenburg) High

So I decided to see what sort of fingerprints she’d left on Google — especially since she said she’s a writer, I figured there must be SOMETHING on Google about her or by her.

And I found a nice little gem, from the Detroit Free Press back in 2003, concerning Catherine’s little project to do a “Trading Spaces” type make-over for her neighbor’s house (btw, I wish I had neighbors like that!).

Problem was, the DFP no longer has the article online.

But you know what? Google does. Here’s the link.

For those who’d rather just read the excerpt, here it is…

“The shows give people inspiration,” says Catherine High of Bothell, Wash., who surprised her friend Cathy Webb with the gift of a living room and kitchen makeover last Christmas. “You think, ‘If they can do it, why can’t I? These things are possible, and they don’t have to cost a lot of money.’ ”

Of course, “when something goes wrong on the shows, there’s something that’s morbidly fascinating about it,” High admitted. “I sure wouldn’t want to live in some of those spaces.”

Beyond that, Catherine tells me that she’s recently “retired” (”yes, that’s a euphemism” she adds) from the software industry, where she had been a technical writer.  She spends her retirement — and her stock options — in Bothell, where she gardens, raises her two children, and is hoping to become a published author of children’s books.

Where are they now — Rich Sherlock

July 7th, 2006

From Rich’s business web site:

Rich Sherlock, his wife Christy, and their son Nathan, have lived in Montana for 23 years, and in the Gallatin Valley for 14 years.

He began as a music teacher in 1981 and, after five years became an insurance agent. The Sherlock family moved to Bozeman in 1990, where Rich soon became an independent agent and opened A Plus Insurance in 2002.
Rich enjoys street rods, song writing, live music recording and computers.

As evidence of this interest in street rods — here’s a shot of the 1967 Camaro he’s been working on.  Is that Rich weilding the spray gun?  Could be…

Rich Sherlock's 1967 Camaro