After the Party:
Here are some e-mail messages received since the reunion:
The party is over but the music plays on........
What a terrific party. Sunday at the picnic one of the fellows came over
to talk about the reunion weekend. His words seemed to sum up the event
for many of us. He said "Friday night I walked into the room and felt the
love. It made my whole body shiver."
He was right, the room was filled with cries of joy – people hugging,
talking, short conversations – in-depth conversations and sharing....and
it didn’t stop all weekend!!!!!
Barriers of cliques, neighborhoods – whatever – seemed to breakdown and
everyone appeared genuinely pleased to see each other. The 150-175 people
at Jingles blended into an ocean of noise and ever changing patterns.
Contributing factors probably included Bob Buran’s terrific web site,
where we could re-introduce ourselves after 40 years and show current
photos and learn "guess who’s coming to dinner." The information allowed
the anticipation to build and encouraged people to net-work with old
friends. Possibly an equal and even more subtle change was within
ourselves. Forty years after individually walking across the stage to the
strains of Pomp and Circumstances, we are finally becoming somewhat more
comfortable in our own skins and have acknowledged that we are OK and thus
can come together as a group.
Originally Karen Hult Scheele gave me a list of 170 "lost" people out of
our class of 500. It seemed like way too many, so I really stretched and
searched to locate as many of those "lost" as possible. Most were
delighted to have been discovered again. Many had never heard about any of
the reunions as they had moved and lost contact. I’m delighted to report
that many attended the reunion and many others sent in bios. In talking
with the lost and found, a common thread appeared. Many people felt that
their high school years were uncomfortable. They felt that they weren’t
OK, didn’t fit in and felt high school was a difficult experience, best
left forgotten. Later, people in the "in crowd" started to admit similar
feelings. West offered a great setting for teenagers, probably less
threatening and demeaning than many schools, but we were teens and unable
to acknowledge that internal secret, that normal teenage twinge of
discomfort, the feeling of not quite fitting in, the feeling of being a
dork, misfit, geek, black sheep or the other nouns that each normal
self-absorbed teen felt in not being adequate. These were feelings never
shared with friends but hidden under layers of seeming confidence and Rah
Rah. I heard from a "former immature dork" that the weekend was special.
Now a confident adult (and outwardly a successful teen) she really enjoyed
the reunion for the first time. She was able to visit with terrific and
interesting people with whom she shared common roots. We are so fortunate
to be old enough to enjoy everyone.
This weekend Sue Huiscamp Wyman provided the 117th new address. That for
Dorle Gesenius our exchange student from Germany. Klaus Helms, another
German student had also just found her!!!
Well over 125 classmates gathered this weekend. What a great crowd!
Perfect reunion sites and terrific weather. We may have permanently "lost"
30 classmates, but we truly have found each other. Call, e-mail, write,
visit. Hold those ties and reach out to the others who did not share the
magic and encourage them to attend the next reunion.
Remember: Friendship is a golden knot tied by angel’s hands.
In Scouts we always sang: Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver
and the other gold. Maize and blue – we have always had the gold .
If you have thoughts -great ones – memorable ones -- or just plain
thoughts --send them to firstname.lastname@example.org Perhaps he will post them. Also
send him a few of your best/favorite reunion photos. Bob Buran, 8175 S.
Virginia Ste 850-359, Reno, NV 89511. Check out the site. Many photos are
We all truly belong to a unique group. And each one of us in our own way
contributes to what we were – and what we have become.
Go in peace. Feel the great mantle of love emanating from the weekend
Just wanted to again thank you for all you did to make the reunion truly
successful. Peggy Ahlgren's post reunion note really put everything in
perspective. What a great weekend for all who were fortunate to attend
and "feel the love."
Bob - At Peggy's request, I interviewed the teachers who attended the
reunion party on Saturday night. Here are a few tidbits on each of them.
As you can tell, I didn't get into too much depth in my interviews - just
touched the surface:
Has been retired for 23 years but still lives in Madison in the same home,
across from Midvale School. His passions remains gardening ``and napping
in the afternoon.'' He also loves to travel to Canada and other remote
areas for fishing trips.
Retired in 1987 and remains in Madison. He always was interested in
politics, but has become a self-proclaimed ``political activist'' since
retirement, working with a retirement organization that gets into lobbying
and addressing major issues. He also has remained active in his church as
a volunteer and is enjoying life after West High.
Mr. and Mrs. Stevens:
Both have been retired since 1989. Mr. Stevens and the then-Miss Schuete
married in 1974 and split their time between a home on the west side of
Madison and a time share on Captiva Island in Florida, where they go,
strangely enough, every June ``because it's not as crowded.'' Both
are avid bridge players and love doing ``everything we couldn't do when we
were teaching.'' Mr. Stevens, who you all remember as West's
basketball coach, has since been inducted into both the State Basketball
Hall of Fame and the Madison Sports Hall of Fame.
Our former football coach has been traveling as much as possible and
recently took all his children and grandchildren - about 25 people in all
- to the Bahamas. He's still a Madison resident and an avid Cubs fan
Again, Bob, congratulations on a wonderful website that made the whole
reunion experience even better than it would have been otherwise. It was
nice seeing you again and meeting your family.
Best wishes - Mike Harris
I just wanted to thank you for such a fantastic job with this web site. I think the huge success of the reunion can be attributed greatly to this
I had supper Thurs. eve with Linda Billington Grant, Sandy Colvin
Wittmayer, Bev Frankenstein Maddrell & Elaine Jacobson Beckman(who did not come to reunion)---all of us who attended agreed that your website was wonderful &
helped so much in getting classmates moving to attend the reunion. We can also credit the site for enabling us to "find" some very dear friends that
we had "lost"---namely Mona Stein Hafner, who was unable to attend, & Sue Jackson/Alex Engman, who did come. It was after Sandy found Sue's email
address on site & emailed her that Sue made her decision to come to the reunion. When I found Mona's email address on site, I emailed her &
discovered that tho' she wasn't able to come to the reunion itself, she &
her husband were visiting the Madison area early in Aug. & we were able to organize a luncheon get together with Mona, including Linda, who came down
from Oshkosh using a vacation day, Sandy, Lois Joyce Montague, who just by chance was in Wi. rather than Colorado, & myself. It was awesome!!! We all
left with such good feelings after such a truly fantastic reunion---the time had flown but will remain unforgettable!! As a result of all this, we have
a vacation trip to Phoenix to visit Mona, with the bunch of us planned in February. We're also planning to visit Sue/Alex in San Francisco in 2003.
You wouldn't believe the excitement!!
I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to visit with you & your very pretty wife
& adorable little boy. I could see you have much joy in your life!
Again, thank you so much for all your efforts! The benefits from it will
go on for a long time to come!
Take care & best wishes,
Nancy Raymond Cappel
Frank Millet just sent me a photo I had lost long ago of the two of
us skate sailing along the Lake Monona shore. This was in the winter of 1960-61, and we are approaching the current position of the Monona
Great reunion, and so great to meet you and others! Lots of great memories were brought back.
Letters from Frank Eaves to Peggy Ahlgren regarding Jim Loder
(written in May 2003):
I certainly never meant to make you cry. The news of Loder hit me very
he was a dear friend of ours and that he died so long ago is a real
tragedy. I've never been to a reunion, even though my wife and I live in suburban Madison. It just always seemed that there would be plenty of time to see everyone. Loder's death proves that there isn't always time. I haven't called Bruce, it seems such an intrusion. Tentatively my wife and I are coming, we had plans to attend a wedding in France. We have canceled those plans. The reality is you can always travel somewhere else, but you cannot
always see old friends.
Thank you for your kind words.
Keep hope alive,
It seem seems so strange to reach back forty years to the point of our
contact. I am writing to you with copies going to Meryl Aronin, Mike
and Jim Frank. We were all part of a large group of friends in high
Jim Loder was an important part of this group, though contact with Loder
not been made in many years. It was great sadness that we learned of his
death. Do you possibly know any of the details of his life, perhaps even
location of his two sons? I know that this is only a remote possibility,
we would like very much to tell the sons that we knew their father well
that we loved him.
The four remaining of us remain very close and perhaps some of us will
Thank you very much for any information that you may have.
Keep hope alive,
Libby Barnard Farmer:
Bob and Peggy
This was on our computer when we got home from the reunion ... seemed
appropriate after such a wonderful weekend. I've been drenched in so
many emotions the past 4 days .... hard to put into words ... joy,
happiness, sadness, nostalgia, wistfulness, contentment ... and on and on.
Thank you for all your hard work. I wish we/d known each other
better in high school, but on the other hand, I feel as though I've known
you my whole life..........guess I have!
Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred.....
2. Free your mind from worries..... (easier said than done!)
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.
No one can go back and make a brand new start.
Anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.
God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.
Disappointments are like road bumps, they slow you down a bit but you enjoy the smooth road afterwards.
Don't stay on the bumps too long. Move on!
When you feel down because you didn't get what you want, just sit tight
and be happy, because God has thought of something better to give you.
When something happens to you, good or bad, consider what it means.
There's a purpose to life's events, to teach you how to laugh more or not to cry
You can't make someone love you, all you can do is be someone who can be loved, the rest is up to the person to realize your worth.
It's better to lose your pride to the one you love, than to lose the one
you love because of pride.
We spend too much time looking for the right person to love or finding
fault with those we already love, when instead we should be perfecting the love
Never abandon an old friend. You will never find one who can take his
Friendship is like wine, it gets better as it grows older.
The best part was meeting "old friends" who are now "new friends", somehow
the same, yet totally different, all in one. A wonderful collection of
Senior Managing Director
CB Richard Ellis