Jeff Ebert asked me to prepare a few remarks for tonight's
festivities on behalf of the Capital High Class of 1978, thanking our classmates who made
this wonderful event possible, and I have those remarks right here:
Your honor, I humbly deny the accusations against me. Let's face it, that
little lamb is lying I was just trying to help her over the fence. Oops,
Here we go. Ebert asked me to be funny and
brief. I'm a lawyer for God's sakes, I can be neither funny nor brief. It
would be like asking Ebert to grow hair. So
if you need another drink, now would be the time to get it. I'll still be here when
you get back.
Jimmer Sullivan called me last summer from
Rhode Island, on his way to Japan and said, "what's going on with the reunion". I
told him the reunion was in good hands. He said, "you mean neither of us has anything
to do with it" and I said "exactly".
Jimmer by the way is a captain in the Navy and in
charge of protecting the country. I feel safer already.
Jimmer even worked in the Pentagon.
Apparently, Jimmer, the Joint Chief
of Staff did not get Vice Principal Kinney's letter about your insubordinate behavior at a certain
Helena High basketball game, although I understand your first order in Japan will be to
paint "China sucks" on all the battleships.
Anyway's, our classmates Nancy Daniel Anderson as chair,
Jeff Thomas as vice chair,
Kelle Horne McMahon as secretary, and
Larry Cawlfield as treasurer took the bull by
the horns, so to speak, and set about organizing this magnificent event.
Larry did a wonderful job of holding down expenses,
although I understand there was some concern when Larry
started asking for the e-mail addresses of Swiss Bank Accounts.
Speaking of Bull, our classmates were hindered, I mean assisted, by the likes of
Joe Robinson, and
Rick Foster. For the last year, these
four made sure the bartenders in town did not go hungry. And when you think of Bull, who
could forget Karla Nagy Johnson. Also
assisting in the planning process were Rod Applegate,
Steve Arlint, and
Wanda Whitley Arlint,
Ann Miller Glueckert,
Tracy Dahl Halubka,
Lee Donaldson McDonald,
Gayle Oelkers McDowell,
Karen Ludtke Putnam,
Rhonda Marsall Sullivan, and
Cathy Poole Yetter.
By late fall, planning was underway and for the next year, our classmates
sacrificed on our behalf. Some took sacrifice more literally than
others. Nancy Daniel Anderson's
daughter, Jessica, decided to risk life and limb and took a fall in the parking garage for
the Class of '78 and is now in several casts with broken bones.
Nancy, tell Jessica if we had a purple heart,
she would get it, but we hope she will appreciate some drunken applause. Actually,
Jessica was so impressed with the class of '78 she has asked to go to private high school,
out of state.
As a first order of business, the committee enlisted
Melody Hayes to handle registration.
Melody's years of experience as an elementary
teacher made her perfect for the job. Speaking of elementary school children,
Joe McMahon is a principal. When one
of our classmates like Joe rises to this kind of
a position it causes the rest of us, his '78 classmates to be filled with, well, what is the
word I'm looking for.....FEAR! Did you people who still live in Helena forget what he was
like? Well, it's your tax money.
Now I understand there were several suggestions for Friday night. One idea was a nice
night out at Reader's Alley, or as we always knew it in High School, those buildings at
the bottom of thrill hill. However, I understand there was some talk of just
having the whole thing at Nordahl's house, just an extended New Year's Eve Party. You
all remember those New Year's Eve Parties, right? Yeah, neither do
we. Good Party!
There was also talk of having it at Rimini, where we had the Senior Class
Picnic. It appears that if we had done that, we could have been on
national TV. No, Weston is not a member of the Capital High Class of '78,
although I understand he may have gone to Helena High. Hey, I don't know
how these rumors get started.
The committee also thought about having the event at the Civic Center,
just like the All Night Party. You all remember the All Night Party,
right? Yeah, me neither. Good Party!
In any event, Karen Ludtke Putnam took
charge of Friday night. Now Reader's Alley is a classy place, and I
understand this is the first time they have ever witnessed this many impromptu
"chug a lug" contests. Karen,
the Reader's Alley management gave us a brief note of appreciation,
and I have it right here:
"Dear Class of '78,
Don't call us, we'll call you."
Gayle took charge of the Saturday picnic, or as it's often
called, the "Oh my God, we've reproduced" event.
Gayle's first job was to make sure that
Tim didn't help. Since the event was
slated for East Helena, I understand some though was given to wagon rides down the slag pile, but
that idea was wisely nixed. In any event,
was so proud of her work on the picnic that she didn't even show up.
Lee Donaldson McDonald, and
Rod Applegate took charge of
tonight's event. Of course, tonight we literally took a trip down memory lane, by school
bus. Again, just before the event began, we received a note that Mothers Against Drunk
Driving and the Montana Highway Patrol have honored
Rod for keeping the class of '78 off of the
streets. The citizens of Marysville, on the other hand, are considering a class action
By the way, Dave encourages everyone
to visit him down at the Lewis and Clark Fairgrounds.
Dave is perfect for the Fairgrounds
job. He always had a certain fondness for animals and we knew he would end up with a job
knee deep in horse.....manure. Hey, it took 20 years and seven years of
higher education to learn a better word for shit. By the way, I
understand the late night submarine races are still being held at the Fairgrounds.
Of course, these were not the only activities. Let's thank
Jeff Ebert and
Joe Robinson for the golf scramble. Actually,
it wasn't meant to be a scramble, it just turned out that way. The t-shirts and hats were
organized be the Arlint's, and Gayle,
Kelle, Larry, and
Jeff organized the door prizes donated by
Kim O'Connell Davis,
and the Ghost Art Gallery. Skains donated his new
book "Why Plant Grass When You Can Carpet Your Lawn". This was a follow up
to his first book "Carpet: It's Not Just For Floors Anymore". And
Dean donated a lovely bread basket from Wheat
Montana. Dean, we assured the people who won
the bread that it is even better when it is fresh.
Let's also thank Cathy Campbell Kaiser for tonight's
Cathy, we know where you live. Actually,
for a small fee, Cathy will make sure your picture
does not appear in the next reunion video.
Cathy, the check is in the mail.
A special thanks to Kathy Lockyear, the current principal at Capital High
who has been a big help to the reunion committee in coordinating the
registration and giving the Committee all the help they needed.
Last but not least, the people with real power,
Karla Nagy Johnson and
Rick Foster, who are organizing the memory
book. This is the book that will help all of our classmates remember the weekend's
event. For a small fee, Rick and
Karla will even make sure the memories are accurate.
On a serious note, maybe the memory book is really what this event is all
about. For the better part of eighteen years the 350 people in the
Capital High Class of 1978 grew up together. We had the honor and great
good fortune to live, love, and learn in the state that is now called "The
Last Best Place". In 1978, we were thrust out into, and upon, the
world. I think we knew at the time we graduated in 1978 that we as a
class had something special. We certainly weren't the most athletic class
or the prettiest class that ever graduated from Capital High, but we had a
love of life, a curiosity about life and a sense of humor that was unique.
I remember talking with Mr. DeKam, who many of us had as a teacher our
senior year, about our class. For some reason, by Monday morning, Mr
DeKam would know every single thing we had done to get into mischief or
embarrass ourselves over the weekend, and he took great joy spending the
first 30 minutes of class every Monday rehashing our exploits, usually to
our chagrin. Mr. DeKam said that what he always enjoyed about this class
is that we applied the same sense of fun and bonsai attitude with which we
attacked a weekend to everything we did, be it school, work, or play.
And maybe that is what this weekend is all about, to rekindle friendship, to renew old
acquaintances and to remember again who we are and where we come from. I
for one am incredibly proud to be a member of the Capital High Class of 1978.
So let us all raise our glasses in toast to the Class of 1978,
those who are here,
those who are not,
and those who have gone before us.