Wow, I had soooo much fun! We had our Class of ’66 Reunion recently at Pine Valley on Saturday, September 24th. I had a lot of friends at Central Catholic. But I actually only hung out most of time with 2 guys back at CC in the mid 1960s. Joe (Tony) Contadeluci and John Teders. Well, both live way out in western states, so neither came back for the reunion. Liz and I sat at a table with Bob Schaab, who I do a lot of golfing with through the summer over the past 3 years. I’ve known Bob since grade school at St. Joseph on Brooklyn. But it was so much fun reconnecting with many friends that I haven’t seen in decades…and some even since high school! Heck, I’ve even coached some of my classmates’ daughters in either basketball or golf at Bishop Luers. That’s because I’ve been coaching girls there for over 25 years, either as a head coach or assistant.
After an amazing sit down dinner, the dance floor was filled! Liz and I started dancing from the first song that the DJ played. I think it was “Twist and Shout” by the greatest band of all time. So we twisted some. Liz is better at it than I am. But DJ Dan Surfus just knows how to get the people up and dancing…and keep them there. I don’t think there was even one time that at least some people weren’t dancing. And we’re talking a lot of “old” people there, of course. Dan played SHOUT, OLDE TIME ROCK AND ROLL, PRETTY WOMAN, DEVIL WITH A BLUE DRESS, CELEBRATION, BILLIE JEAN and my own all time favorite song, PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC (WHITE BOY)! That “Wild Cherry” song from the mid-seventies also a big hit filling the dance floor!
He even played “LOUIE, LOUIE” which reminded me of places my friends and I used to go for dances in ‘66 and ‘67, and to meet new girls of course. Like “THE FLAME” (inside Jack and Jill Amusement Park near Lake Avenue), The SWINGING GATE, the HULLABALOO with go-go dancers there, and in the winter “THE ARMORY” downtown. No band would ever play LOUIE, LOUIE early on. They’d wait to do it as the last song of the night, because they knew that nobody would leave until they played it!
Liz and I also did the STROLL to the Diamonds dance record at the reunion. In fact, we did THE BUMP to a couple songs that night too, a high-energy dance from the 70’s. Hell, I even did the FUNKY CHICKEN as well. Obviously, I danced to some slow songs with my bride of 48 years. Mostly I got to talk to so many friends from CC back in the day! I was saddened to see that about 70 people have passed away, especially Jerry Connett, Rick Lobrillo and Chris Brough from my grade school, and Greg Roth, Tom Delagrange and Margie Papp! Of course, I’ll never forget fellow golf team member Mike Schimmele, who was killed by a train on 5/29/65 on his 17th birthday.
Bob Baker organized a golf outing on Friday at Orchard Ridge. Tom Helmsing was there, as was Larry Till, Andy Johns, Mike Rager, Tom Marciniak, Bill Winling, Bill Smeltzley, Mike Scudder, Pat and Tom Roach among others. I played in a foursome with lifelong close friend Augie Segyde ‘65, Bob Schaab and Denny Westrick ‘65. It was a blast, and a great course!
Suzy (Beard) Piepenbrink and Patty (Hartman) Hoeppner, and all the other Reunion leaders, did a fabulous job! I really would like you to NOT wait 10 years to have the next one! That may be too late for many classmates that are already 68 years old! 5 years sound really good!