Last Sunday one of the readers of this column listened, patiently I suspect, to my not uncommon lament of having a deadline in the near future and not a single word written, whereupon he responded that I say that every week and every week there is a column, so at 10:23 p.m. that night I sat down at the machine. Read away, Paul, and thanks for the boost.
Well, they did it; and they did it well. Many months ago a couple people conceived the idea to hold a class reunion for 10 classes of alumni and alumnae (that is Latin for “you made it!”) and by golly last Saturday night they pulled it off. But it wasn’t easy.
As anyone who has ever been a part of putting together a dinner for an estimated 300 people knows there are details upon details to address, everything from tablecloths to music to food to photography and on and on. Many people will enthusiastically support such an event in spirit, but it came down to what was a handful of folks to do the actual work involved to ensure success. And by all remarks offered they outdid themselves.
With the theme “Crusin’ thru the Seventies” it would follow that the 10 classes were 1970 through 1979 and there were graduates there representing each of those classes.
As expected the Class of 1970 being the earliest to graduate had the least in attendance with seven and following that logic one would think that the class with the most grads there would be the latest to graduate, but that was not the case. It was the Class of 1974 with 38 in attendance, followed by the Class of 1977 with 37, then the Classes of 1973 and 1978 with 31.
The Class of 1971 had 21 grads and guests, eight more than the Class of 1972 with 13, while the Classes of 1975 and 1976 tied with 26 each. Toss in three teachers and one spouse and that makes for quite a crowd.
And those numbers don’t include the King City Young Farmers barbecue crew, the KCHS FFA servers, cheerleaders and Mustang Mascot, photographers, Knights of Columbus bar crew and DJs. All those who were in the building got to enjoy the work put on by the committee committed to bringing this big reunion to life, so I want to take the space for a tip of the hat to those individuals; with the hope that I don’t fail to mention anyone involved.
Debbie Benson’s commitment to the project has been described as “amazing,” and I think that sums it up nicely. It was she who supplied the attendance numbers from above, just one of her many duties (and as you read on I strongly suspect she is the “neck that turns the head”).
Richard Benson, Class of 1977, along with fellow graduate Julie Echnique Digges, were the seed planters for the whole shebang, each handling many little details, not the least of which was the finances associated with this type of event. They had ample support from class representatives, including Jane Blair Dani, Karen Meurer Park, John Jernigan and Mark Banuelos (1971), and Merlinda Media Torres, Debbie Miller King, Alice Eddington Haskins and Laurie Pope (1973).
Lisa Nearn and Alicia Benson Pelletreau were the Class of 1978 committee members and Karen Kreibel Seretelli, and, as mentioned before, Julie Echnique Digges and Richard Benson were the Class of 1977 honchos. And that ends those classes with more than one representative, which leaves six classes where only one graduating member carried the ball. Leigh Hernandez Gallegos was there for Class of 1970; the Class of 1972 had Donna Pajas; with 1974, 1975, 1976 and 1979 represented by Cathy Harless Frazier, Ed Muzylowski, Tonya Johnson Rivera and Paulette Ballengee Scoville, respectively.
I had the opportunity to be involved in a limited capacity with this group so attended the last five committee meetings. To say these meetings, held at Pozzi’s Stampede, got lively at times is an understatement. There were times, many times in fact, when three or four, or more, conversations were taking place at once with so many numbers and names and suggestions flying around the room it was dizzying; in fact, how all these people came away knowing exactly what to do in their areas of involvement is a marvel to me, but they did. And they did it well.
I didn’t take close notice of how many committee members were there for Saturday morning set-up, but suspect it was all of them plus a few spouses and volunteers; I saw Steven Chaney there.
Two members I want to mention, the first Karen Kreibel Seretelli. I had never met Karen but found her to be energetic (to say the least) in taking on the duty of providing desserts. And boy when it came to the sweets she got solid wood on the ball and knocked it out of the park. Individually wrapped cookies specially decorated for all 10 classes along with cupcakes like I have never seen before; and by all accounts very tasty to boot (I’m saving my 1970 cookie for now, but don’t know how long my sweet tooth will hold off).
And for those who read what have been described as “witty email invitation blasts” on the reunion’s Facebook page, we have Linda Leedham Raasch to thank. In one she not only tossed in a Benjamin Franklin quote and a Chinese proverb, but waxed poetic herself with “consider throwing caution to that famous King City wind”; when offered such words alumni responded. With Pinky Alvarado handling the takedown crew, the event ended on a very clean note.
And this is how, as stated above, a good time was had by all.
Take care. Peace.