Row 1: Dennis Yerkey, Bob Hunter, Priscilla Davis Webb, Norma Mountain Haywood, Judy Martin Leach,Thelma Wilson Lutes, Beatrice Christina Bradford, Coleen Gavaghan Christy, Sondra Kennell Katnik, Dorine Panseri
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Row 2: Richard “Bucky” Hyslop, John Allen, Connie Mamie Vlah, Mary Dawson Nasim, Mary Kay Leeper Qualls, JoAnn Drechsler Badzik, Mary Etta Petras Mayak, Priscilla Bartko Parker, Barbara Williams Jackson, Phyllis Rankin Hann, Suzi Wall McCann, Gaynell Sheperd, Joy Ganley Bellecin
Row 3: Phil Seighman, Ron Guydan, Rosemarie Bindi Sanderson, John Bellecini
October 6, 2013
55th High School Reunion
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Mt Lebanon, PA.
If you were among those who attended, you know what a success it was. If you were unable to attend, and you are interested in the activities, here we go!
Arriving any time after 1 PM on Saturday, all you had to do was take the elevator to the 8th floor and follow the laughter. We were in hospitality room 821. I arrived shortly after 2 PM and those who were there were totally engrossed in greeting old friends and reminiscing. I, personally, was intent on talking to those I did not know very well in high school. Why…..when in past years I had stayed with my own “clique”? Because I shared memories with everyone in that room. It seemed important to me to make a connection with everyone since our numbers are dwindling. I wanted all of them to know that they were important to me, not because of who they were, but of who WE were. The worst class to graduate from MHS! Ha! What a group we turned out to be! I would venture to guess the BEST class to graduate from MHS.
Priscilla Davis Webb had a program book for everyone in attendance. What a labor of love! It contains photos of all living classmates ranging over our past 55 years, according to the responses she received from her request for photos. There are also yearbook photos of those who have passed. And last, but not least, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of all living classmates.
We hosted a pizza party Saturday at 5 PM. You did not have to be registered for the banquet to attend, so several classmates attended the pizza party only.
John and Joy Gandley Bellicini displayed an originally designed throw from the Monongahela Historical Society. They announced that it is available for sale as a fundraiser, as are Christmas ornaments. There will be an announcement forthcoming as to how you may purchase one or both of these items.
The Banquet was Sunday afternoon starting with a cocktail hour at 4:00 pm.
The evening commenced with hors d’oeuvres, one free drink per person and a cash bar, with the banquet dinner buffet at 5 p.m. We congregated at 4:30, amidst much laughter and teasing, for a group photo.
Judy guided us in a moment of silence to honor our deceased classmates. Marge (Mrs. Bob)Hunter had made a lovely candle centerpiece for a side table with the names of those who have passed and the words to a hymn which Charlene Pezzoni shared with us, even though she was unable to attend.
Marie (Mrs. Ron) Guydan led us in grace before our meal.
After a wonderful buffet, we moved on to the program.
Judy Leach then opened the program with announcements and acknowledgements. There was also a short discussion on whether or not to include MHS alumni from other years at our gatherings at Hey Andy’s.
Open Mike was next on the agenda with Dennis Yerkey kicking it off with some comments on the Website and the Florida gathering. Gaynell Sheperd read notes from classmates who could not attend. Among those sending regrets were Pat Hillman Peters, Dave Burya, Christine Skinkis McNees, Dik Plymire, Charlene Pezzoni, John and Elaine Panseri Gerboc, Agnes Perunko Magnone, Jean Immel Hahn and James and Rose Marie Ambrose Donovan.
Editor’s comment: [ Judy and I asked Gaynell to do this, but both of us forgot who we had asked. We were frantically going through all our papers looking for these notes. When I announced, red-faced, that we lost them, Gaynell ran up to the podium with them in her hand.]
Gaynell also read a message to the classmates from Mick Ferrari which I’ve posted (with his permission) on the website right sidebar. It was then my turn to read a message from Jane McNamee Lengyel, which she wished me to share with everyone. Jane’s message is also the right sidebar.
Joy Gandley Bellicini read a heart-rending story which had many of us in tears. Also, on a lighter note were stories, poems and jokes by Connie Mamie Vlah, Richard (Bucky) Hyslop, Rosemary Bindi Sanderson, Priscilla Davis Webb, Sondra Kennel Katnik, Suzi Wall McCann and Barbara Williams Jackson.
Priscilla Bartko Parker showed us the Jefferson Award for 2012, which the Pittsburgh chapter of the We Remember Elvis fan club received for their charitable contributions to the West Penn Burn Center and to the Elvis Presley Memorial Trauma Center in Memphis, Tennessee. Priscilla is president of this generous fan club and does a super job in this respect.
Captain John Allen, USN Retired, was gracious enough to tell us of his career as a Blue Angel, among other distinguished, high ranking positions. His biography was spell-binding and humorous. He especially related that his wife of 50 years, Patty Milesky Allen should be canonized for her years of moving households and raising children by herself while John was in service.
Priscilla Davis Webb and I had a short humorous skit planned, but after John’s talk, I threw up my hands and told the room that there was no way to follow John. Priscilla agreed.
The program was closed by Judy presenting Phyllis Rankin Hann with $50.00 for sending in the first registration form and the same amount to Rosemary Bindi Sanderson for having come the farthest (California). There was also a drawing of 4 raffle ticket numbers for $25.00 prizes. The winners were Mary Kay Leeper Qualls, Phil Seighman, John Allen and Dennis Yerkey, after which we retired to Room 821 for an evening of chatting and socializing. Dennis took classmate portraits if they so desired.
Bonnie Matthews Kerry and her husband dropped in on Monday morning to visit with us.
If you were not able to attend, we certainly missed you.
I would like to point out that the $80.00 per person registration fee paid for the hospitality room, snacks (cheese, crackers, chips and pretzels), beer, soft drinks and alcohol, donuts, bagels and pastry Sunday and Monday mornings, as well as the banquet meal, hors d’oeuvres and one free drink per person at the banquet. Tax and the 20% service fee were also covered by the registration fee. The pizza was in large part funded by generous classmates, but not entirely. It was money well spent.