Saturday night Photos - River Spirit Ballroom, with the band "Hook".
Well, the reunion is over, and I'm not sure what I could say about our 50th Reunion that would adequately describe the energy, enthusiasm and all-around good vibrations of those in attendance. Seeing so many classmates from 50 years ago and reconnecting with old friends is a feeling that is special and cannot be matched by anything else.
It was wonderful to see so many there, and sad that there are so many who left us too soon. When we first started planning this reunion, we sensed a certain energy from classmates that carried this thing to the conclusion, and I hope the expectations were exceeded by those who attended.
I’m sure you are all aware of the enormous amount of work that goes into planning a reunion, but what you may not realize is, we have a lot of fun too. Our meetings have been filled with good food, some adult beverages, a little drama (the stolen brief case at the casino was a highlight), and LOTS of laughter. Working on the committees over the years has given me the opportunity to get to know fellow classmates that I never knew in high school, and they are amazing folks!
So here are just a few kudos to some the key players:
I want to thank Jim Gotwals, our CFO, legal counsel and contract negotiator, and the wind beneath my wings. Seriously, I could not do this without his guidance, support and tireless efforts on behalf of the class. And as he reminds me constantly, he’s STILL WORKING, not a retired beach bum like me.
Thanks fo Mark Wiltshire for all the amazing perks he was able to get here at River Spirit. He hosted many of our committee meetings at the Fireside Grill, complete with complimentary food. He negotiated comp rooms and even our lovely Hospitality suite. But I know these perks came to Mark at a price. Many times we would show up for meetings at the Casino and see Mark slaving away at the slot machine, just so we could enjoy the perks of high rolling. So thanks Mark - as I’ve said many times, “You da Man.”
A huge thanks to Ronnie Foster, who spent countless hours on white pages looking for lost classmates, calling classmates to verify information and keeping a master list that has proved to be invaluable. His passion for seeking the lost is unparalleled. I also want to thank the others on the search committee: Patsy Lowrey Turley, Paula Maddux Knox, Nancy Stotlemyere Wattenbarger, Doris Lawery Marshall, as well as Ronnie’s lovely wife Roberta Black Foster, from the Central class of 67.
And I have to send a very special shout out to my friend since Kindergarten, Patsy Lowrey Turley for being my chauffeur to all the meetings, which was not only a service to me (and also allowed me to imbibe freely), but spared the other drivers on the road from my horrific night time driving. She also created the centerpieces (at her expense) and was instrumental in procuring and putting together the goodie bags for the classmates, and helped on the search committee too. The champagne flutes in your goodie bags were Patsy’s idea. She wanted a split of champagne to go with them, but it wasn’t in the budget. So, sweet friend, thanks from the bottom of my heart - I couldn’t have done this without you.
Thanks to Barbie Tiepel Raney, Doris Lawrey Marshall and Paula Maddux Knox for putting together the name tags. I know Barbie spent hours formatting the name tags, and Paula Maddux Knox, Barbie and I had a fun time at her house cutting and pasting pictures on the name tags. Barbie was also on the committee for the goodie bags, and if you love the mop top pen in the bags, that was Barbie’s pick.
Thanks to Mike Belcher for printing, folding, stuffing and sealing 700 letters for our mail out of reunion letters and registrations, as well as printing the programs for the reunion. These were all printed at his expense, and so we appreciate the time and money that he donated for this reunion.
Thanks to Mike Birkes, for being our liaison with River Spirit for this event tonight. I know he may have been frustrated with the contract negotiations, since we didn’t finalize it until Thursday night, but we wanted to make sure all the details were correct and within our budget. His menu selection was excellent and I'm grateful for his coordination for our Saturday night dinner.
Thanks to George Thomas, for arranging the tour of the Gathering Place for Kostas and his wife. Kostas was here in early August and was not going to be able to come back for the reunion, so George pulled lots of strings and arranged for the tour, which also resulted in a fantastic news piece on Channel 6, with Charles Ely interviewing Kostas about his return to Tulsa after 50 years (some pictures of the tour and a link to the news cast is on the tab with the 50 Year Reunion Photos). Many classmates were also able to meet with Kostas at one of our planning meetings at the Fireside.
Thanks to Rev. Doug Oakes (our very own King Daze), for providing a service at the picnic in Chandler Park. The service was very inspiring and Doug exemplifies a spirit of service and dedication to his ministry that inspires others to be better. Ken Hancock provided the music and his talent is still as wonderful as it was 50 years ago. Thanks to both for the lovely service.
An extra special thanks goes out to David Potts, who paid for our amazing band “Hook”. Dr. Potts, YOU ROCK!!!
I also want to thank Bill Blackburn, Willie Holt, Scott Thomas, and Phyllis Copeland Worley who were faithful in attending the committee meetings and providing input into the process. It really takes the effort and input from everyone to pull together an event like this one, and I appreciate each and every one of those who contributed to the process.
And finally, I want to thank all of our classmates who responded so generously to our request for donations. We received over $11,000 in donations (which includes the cost of the band) from classmates! That is just overwhelming generosity. Here is the list of those who donated:
Ann Bloomfield McMahon, Allison Porter, Anne Wappler Whyte, Arthur L. Campbell, Barbie Teipel Raney, Betty Mieir Woods, Bill Blackburn, Bill Jordan, Bob Garnsey, C. Raymond Patton, Jr., Cathey Evans Crowe, Cindy Maples Dietrich, Clifford Womack, Clyde Bardgett, Diana Hiskett Frost, Doris Lawrey Marshall, Duke Allen, Gary Hicks, Gary Poffenbarger, George M. Thomas, Hannah Johnson Meredith, J. Larry Washburn, Jacque Lane Wilson, Jerry C. Babb, Jessica Bridges Thomason, Jill Schrontz Tenzythoff, Jim Beller, Jim Gotwals, Jody Bernard Smith, John Davis Daniels, John Hunsberger, Karen Crace Moore, Larry Edwards, Leah Duggan Phillips, Leoma Kennedy Adams, Leslee Elzo, Lillian Reed Springs, Linda Peabody Dillard, Linda Young Sissons, Marilyn Hix Williams, Mark Wiltshire, Michael Belcher, Michael Birkes, Mike Dobson, Montie Smith Acuff, Nancy Wightman King, Norman W. Crowe, Jr., Pam Hix Walton, Pat Lanham Banzhof, Patsy Lowrey Turley, Paul Cook, Paula Maddux Knox, Phyllis Copelad Worley, Ralph C. Ritz, Robbie Johnson Morton, Robert Merritt, Romalue Doughman Keith, Ronald Wagner, Ruth Ann Cole Thurman, Scott Thomas, Steve Kelley, Thomas Berger, Tony Kelsay, Vernon Howard, Vicki Meeker, Costabile, William Peters
Our Tulsa Central Class of 68 has the best people on the planet, and I'm proud to be a part of this mighty group of Braves!
Marilyn Hix Williams
Tulsa Central Class of 68 Committee Chair
and the Tulsa Central Class of 68 Committee(in alphabetical order)
Mike Belcher. Michael Birkes, Bill Blackburn, Lynne Stanley Caroon, Ronnie Foster, Jim Gotwals, Gary Hicks, Willie Holt, Paula Maddux Knox, Doris Lawrey Marshall, Sandi Clark Miller, Doug Oakes, David Potts, Barbara Tiepel Raney, George Thomas, Scott Thomas, Patsy Lowery Turley, Nancy Stottlemeyer Wattenbarger, Marilyn Hix Williams, Mark Wiltshire, Phyllis Copeland Worley
Kostas Pantazis, our exchange student from Greece was in Tulsa with his wife Nina. Here are some pics of his visit.
Here is the link to a news segment on Channel 8 when Kostas was visiting our fair city. https://ktul.com/news/local/greek-exchange-student-returns-to-find-tulsa-has-changed-since-1968
YOUR PLANNING COMMITTEE AT WORK
Sunday Picnic and Service at Chandler Park
Madison Group - Saturday night