35 Year Reunion (2005)

Weekend Liberty!

Follow Links Below to Photo Galleries from the Reunion Festivities:

(Click Small Images for Larger View — Feel free to create your own captions)
1) by Linda Good Fischer (Set 1)
2) Linda Good Fischer (Set 2)
3) Linda Good Fischer (Set 3)
4) by Patty Moyer Horvath
5) by Nancy Hess Mackley and Dennis Shank (Set 1)
6) Nancy and Dennis (Set 2)
7) Nancy and Dennis (Set 3)
8) by Paul Golab

What a weekend! From the first tee off on Friday afternoon, until the parting hugs Saturday night or Sunday morning — there was not a moment that was not filled with joy and happiness. Sometimes it was re-connecting with an old friend, or just sharing good times with people we see all the time. Whatever the case, no one seemed disappointed for having attended. While it may be the freshest in our minds, there were many who proclaimed this to be the best reunion yet.

On Friday afternoon, 16 class members and guests played a “Powerball” format golf outing at beautiful and challenging Carroll Valley golf course. The air was filled with laughter, and a few mutterings, as we made our way around the links. Arriving at the 18th Green, with an almost stadium-like setting, players were greeted by a “gallery” of classmates, which grew as each foursome finished and cheered on (heckled?) the remaining teams. It was an indication of the fun and fellowship that was to be the theme of the entire weekend.

Friday evening, the weekend officially kicked off with a get-together at McKee’s Tavern. The staff had prepared a wonderful “barbecue” buffet, available for purchase, as well as a delicious assortment of snacks, fruits, and cheeses. Their well stocked bar served to satisfy everyone’s taste in liquid refreshments. The event was casual, and without a formal program — everyone was welcomed by the committee and encouraged to mix, mingle, and make new memories with old friends. A 50-50 drawing was held to raise money for the next reunion — and when the winners donated back the money we were extremely grateful for the bonus. When the evening ended, many retreated to the un-official “hospitality suite” and continued to share memories of the good old days, and just revel in joy of being with each other once again.

Saturday morning, the golfers were back at it. This time, 20 classmates and guests took on the Mountainview golf course. The format was a 4-person best ball scramble, and the fun (and frustration) was equal to the previous day. Once again, as teams finished, they formed a gallery behind the 18th green to cheer on the remaining teams. Just like the final round of a Sunday PGA event, there were numerous shouts of “In the hole!” and “You da man” (even for the women golfers). It was a wonderful time. The two days of golf served not only to bond classmates, but to also envelope the spouses and other guests in the spirit of camaraderie of the weekend.

Saturday night finally arrived! With DJ Phantom Shadow (former teacher Ordean Yaukey) providing background music, and the bar open for happy hour, the guests began arriving early. As they checked in, each classmate was given a collectable Christmas Ornament, from the year 2000, when our high school was featured. Also, if they had not previously purchased the class directory booklet, or wanted to purchase a class photo, they were given the opportunity. There was a memorial table set up near the entrance, with the photographs of all the classmates who have passed away.

The night officially opened with a welcome by master of ceremonies Rick Rock. Rick introduced Bob Wachter, President of the Class of 1970, who also welcomed everyone and thanked the reunion committee for their work in preparing for this night. The committee, with Ray Bonebrake speaking for them, welcomed everyone, as well. He in turned thanked the other members of the committee for all their hard work and friendship.

Next, came the class group photo. The class members gathered on the steps of the lower deck, facing beautiful Liberty Mountain. Photographer David Mackley, of Pictures Plus in Waynesboro, patiently worked with everyone to get them situated, before snapping off 4 or 5 photos, in hopes that one would be printable. Not to worry, the photograph turned out great and David had them developed, printed and delivered to us before our meal was complete.

Prior to our meal, Rick called upon Linda Good Fischer to ask for the blessing. Linda provided inspiring and thoughtful words about the reunion being a wonderful opportunity for “memories” — to remember the goods times, and to remember those we have lost along the way.

The staff of Liberty Resorts was excellent, and patient, as we finally prepared to eat. The meals were delicious, and the service efficient. Everyone had time to chat with their tablemates, and enjoy a fine meal. A delicious garden salad was followed by the choice of entree selected when the reservation was placed. An assortment of desserts was available for everyone to choose from.

Once again, a 50-50 drawing was held to raise money. This one was even bigger than the night before and, once again, was made a very successful fund-raiser by the fact that the winners donated the money back. These two drawings, and the enormous generosity of the guests in general — who bought the tickets, who paid for booklets and photos and said “keep the change” — were extremely helpful in allowing us to start working toward the next reunion with a healthy bank account. We thank them all.

After dinner, the DJ cranked up the dance music, the bartender kept busy, and everyone just contributed to what makes a reunion a reunion — they re-united with each other for more laughs, many hugs, and a few tears. There were yearbooks being scoured, with even a “complete set” of the ’68, ’69, and ’70 books floating around at one point. Camera flashes went off so often the DJ’s light show seemed tame in comparison.

So many people were so happy with the overall success of this reunion that we were asked to make one more announcement before people started drifting away: Each year, rather than every 5 years, we will try to get together during the last weekend of July, to hold an “informal” class reunion, with the two days of golf outings and the two nights of partying. The parties would be hosted by classmates, with everyone pitching in for the meals and bringing covered dishes, refreshments, etc. More details will be announced later through email and on the web site.

The reunion itself wound down at Midnight, but the partying continued at both the hospitality suite, and a “Hospitality RV” — a motor home set-up in the parking lot by one of the class members who stayed there all weekend. There was still much to be talked about and laughed about and it obvious no one really wanted the 35th Reunion to be over, so soon. A small, but hearty group got together on Sunday at a new little diner in Fairfield for one more visit. The laughs continued until the inevitable final hugs and kisses and goodbyes were said. Until next year!