Wilson High School Alumni
Portland, Oregon

WOODROW WILSON HIGH 45TH Reunion, class of '64. August 8, 2009

On August 8th, 2009, we attended the 45th Wilson High Reunion at O’Connors in Multnomah. We are the class of 1964. But you would have thought it was a Saturday night gathering of friends at the local night spot. We danced to music of the 60’s performed by the Moonlighters, a local band, headed by our classmate, Tom Talbot. No one expected such a hip band. No one expected a 63 old guitarist to be belting out “Louis, Louis”. No one expected a 2nd set after 10pm…but it happened.

What set out to be nothing more than a casual get together between our 40th and 50th, turned out to be a major production with well over a 100 guests paying $10 to enjoy the food, the music and re-connecting with friends.

It started with a poem, and then a cartoon incorporated into an invitation, which was then sent out to 550 classmates all over the world. Who knew the cartoon would raise such curiosity about who these characters were. Soon, everyone wanted to place bets on the characters and from that we had volunteers asking what they could do to help get this “gig” under way. Locating lost Classmates was our biggest challenge and for that much thanks goes to our own postal worker, Ray Biggs. Yea Ray.

Many thanks first must go to Susie Whitely-Dussin for her amazing artwork she contributed. Those three characters became the theme of our event…of our gathering….of our re-connection…of our feelings for each other. Because of Susie’s illustration and painting, we were able to sell raffle tickets and help pay for our event.

A deep appreciation goes to Anita Mercer for her ability to take on the research of all those classmates who are no longer with us and get them on a banner. Even though it may not be a glorious job, the gathering seemed to be more complete with ALL our classmates there…all those gone before us.

A special medal should be given to Pat Collier for his relentless efforts in coordinating the venue (thanks to Steve comes later), and making those calls to classmates he had not talked to in 30 or 40 years. For that, he was responsible for getting “our boys” to attend.

To have Sue Horn-Pade, Marilynn-Cook-Steele, and Kim Lapsley-Muir to support the committee, to make calls, to type lists, and to recommend, suggest, paste, tape, write, greet, and smile when they were tired, was what made this whole gathering the best. We are connected forever…thank you to all.

To our trooper, John Ohman, who greeted everyone at the door and never gave up his post, collecting money and marking off names. Thanks John…

Everyone who attended this affair (and to my knowledge there were none happening) commented on how appropriate the venue was. How can we ever thank Steve Arel enough for his offer to basically take over his restaurant. We were there from dusk to dawn…well, almost. No one could have imagined that the success of any event, or of this event, would have been because of where it was held. O’Connors turned out to be…The place to be on 8/8/09. Thank you … Steve Arel.

For all those classmates who came from out of State, like Jan Franklin, from Florida, or Carol Anderson from NYC, or like Mike Story and his wife from Bellvue, Washington, along with Russ Brown, and Ron Rule from Vancouver, BC, or George Stevens from San Francisco, or John Richard from Wheatland, Wyoming, and Keith Axelsen from Wauna, Washington (where is that?), and Anita Mercer from Arizona, along with more local classmates, like Judy Johnson-Thompson, from Corvallis, and Marilynn Cook-Steele, from Medford and Fred Mihm from Silverton, and Barry O’Donnell from Portland…they all came together for this fabulous and memorable night.

A big pat on the back to Jack Bertell for setting up the Wilson High Tour on Friday, 8/7. It was certainly a walk down memory lane…lots has changed. The Trailblazer’s gym, the Home Economics room has no sewing machine…or kitchen with a stove…in fact, there is no Home Economics, just an empty room. The Auditorium looks the same, except for the artwork??? On the back stage walls we see graffiti…now…why couldn’t we have done that back in ’64?. We looked into what used to be Dr. Craig’s office and there was a chair with John Vickers’ name carved on the arm. Shame on you.

For Jeannie Thompson and Carol Anderson, this was a labor of love with a focus on having a party for everyone who wanted to come and enjoy themselves …reconnect with their classmates….and feel young again.

There is talk about having an anniversary (8/7/10) casual get-together. Stay tuned on that. We are definitely looking to 2014 for our FABULOUS 50 REUNION…Will O’Connors be ready for us?

The music is available for purchase as a souvenir of the Reunion. The Playlist consists of 24 songs, See You In September, Sherry, Laugh, Laugh, Don’t Worry Baby, Crystal Blue Persuasion, Can’t Get Used to Losing You, Surfer Girl, Anyone Who Had a Heart, House of the Rising Sun, Under the Boardwalk, I Go To Pieces…and more. Send $10 to Jeannie Thompson at 5726 La Jolla Blvd. #211, La Jolla, CA 92037. All money will go toward our 50th Reunion. All revenue is accountable and available upon request.

Also attached, and vital to the success of future gatherings, especially the 50th, is the Contact Information Sheet. Please complete it and send it to Jeannie Thompson’s address. Since we received our first Information Sheet from Fred Mihm…he will be spending a week in Maui….NO, just kidding. But we do want to receive the information from everyone. See attached.  A Roster is being compiled for distribution in the next Wilson Newsletter.


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Group Code: wwh64