Shawnee High School Reunion

Class of 1955
Quite Possibly The Greatest Class That Ever Was!

Shawnee, Oklahoma

July 21, 22, 23, 2000

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Reunion 2000 Messages!
Names Alphabetical According High School Name

Click For More Reunion 2000 Messages From

Willa Dean ABBOTT Dickie
Mary Ellen BALLOU Davis
Donald Earl BUSSEY
Janice Earlene DAME Nelson
Donna DOSS Wilson
Joe Wiley FOWLER
Carl Richard FREEMAN
Martha GALLAHER Storm
Rhoda GRADY Poole
Carol HAYWARD Carney
Charles Bob NEALE - '56
Donald Edward NELSON
Shirley NORTHCUTT Bland
Carolyn PINKSTON McGuire
Sharon SHIRLEY Baxter

Reunion 2000 E-Mail We Received!

Back To Current Messages!


For Best Viewing Scroll Through All Letters

Wynona Goodin - 04/29/00 02:51:42
My Email:
Name in High School - If Different: Taylor
Name of Spouse: Jim (Class of 1954)
Occupation: Retired
Street Address: 1738 E. Frontier Terr.
City: Mustang
State & Zip Code: 73064

Sew - Sew Award


I have been trying for a couple of weeks to leave a message. Maybe it will work this time.

I have been married to Jim Goodin (Class of 1954) for 26 years. Between us we have four Children, eleven Grandchildren, and four Great Grandchildren.

I retired from Western Electric-AT&T-Lucent in Okla. City with 32 yrs. service as a Supervisor. I really don't know how I had time to work.

In 1999 we traveled to New York City, Atlantic City N.J., Washington D.C., Hawaii, and toured Europe for thirty one days.

We leave July 6 for Alaska. Originally we were leaving July 9 and returning July 23. For some reason the Company called and wanted to change our reservations. Maybe it was so I could attend the Reunion?

My many Hobbies include sewing, spending time with my Grandchildren, working in the garden, helping Jim with his genealogy search, collecting novelty telephones and toy sewing machines, and spending time at our cabin at Lake Eufaula.

See you in July.


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Rhoda Poole - 04/25/00 00:12:33
My Email:
Name in High School - If Different:: Rhoda Grady
Name of Spouse: Tom
Occupation: writer
Street Address: 1050 Camino Manana
City: Santa Fe
State & Zip Code: New Mexico, 87501



The instructions say to write a "quick note" Are you kidding? 45 years of breathtaking history and you want a quick note?

Beside, George and Bill M. and McKimmey are already into double digits.

So, okay I sent a letter two weeks ago, and it's lost somewhere. If the committee has it, and has refused to print it, it won't be the first time I've experienced literary rejection. So here's my second try.

I've had a couple of careers I'm proud of. One in real estate in Dallas. My parents raised me to be a homebody, so this one was pleasantly shocking to mom and dad. But nothing to compare with my second career as a writer of historical romance novels

My darling dad, Pete, didn't live to see my first book in print. But maybe he was mercifully spared. Everyone asks when did I start writing.

Well, my first romantic effort was a love note to Steve Keller in the first grade - met with a solid rejection. But in 1992, my first book from Pocket Books hit the shelves. Actually I was trying to overcome my highschool image - well you know. So, take that, Sid Clarke. I now have seven books in print, and after a brief hiatus to celebrate our son's wedding, I'm back at my computer, working on the next level. I do want to say I'm truly blown away by the wonderful letters from my classmates. So much great literature (maybe a bit of fiction, but that's okay) But I did want to ask George M. if kersplash is definitely spelled with a k.?

So I hope to see you all at the reunion. I'll be scouting for heroes for my next book. After all, Alan Stansfield is the only guy I ever met who killed a lion, and Bill Routh just climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Oh, and more exciting news. At last, Mary Huffman Hill and I will be grandmothers (hers is here, mine is due in June.) See you all in Shawnee, absolutely the greatest class!!!


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Fern Barnett - Perry - 04/21/00 23:21:18
My Email:
Name in High School - If Different: Same
Name of Spouse: -0-
Occupation: Home Builder
Street Address: P.O. Box 888
City: Cedar Hill
State & Zip Code: Texas 75l06



Hi Joe and Class Reunion Committee:

I am building houses in Cedar Hill, Texas.

Who ever thought that I would be building houses. The name of my company is Velta Homes, Inc. (Imagine that name) My company has built over 500 homes in the past 5 years. Our homes start at approximately $300,000. We mainly build around Joe Pool Lake, it looks a lot like Austin, Tx.(You know how it is...the cobbler's kid has no shoes...I live in a rent house). Who would have ever thought that I would build homes,well that's what I do.

I am president of the Best Southwest Division of the Home Builders Association of Dallas, Texas. The HBA is the largest organization in Texas and the 3rd largest in the nation. I also serve on the HBA Board, 2nd Term.

I just completed the Graduate Master Builder Builders Course held here in Dallas. This is the highest education program available for homebuilders. There were only 55 GMB in the state of Texas and the class I attended graduated 28, I was the only female and the first lady in the state of Texas.

I also serve on the Board of Director's for the Chamber of Commerce of DeSoto-(2nd Term). I served on the Education Committee and was chairman of the New Teachers Appreciation Tea for 300 attendees. I am a past Board of Director for the Economic Development Committee for the city of Cedar Hill, Texas. Just recently I was appointed to serve on the Marketing Program for the city of DeSoto.

I am looking forward to attending the Class Reunion. It has been a long tome since the last one I attended.

I just found out that you did not know how to reach me.

I have 3 grown children(I guess everyone's children are grown by now) and 6 grandchildren, 5 girls and 1 boy.

I live in Dallas and have been here for almost l2 years.

I am looking forward to attending the class reunion, I'm sure it will be great fun.

Fern Barnett

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Vernie "Zig" Ziegler - 04/20/00 20:33:56
My Email:
Name of Spouse: Diana
Occupation: Bailbondsman
Street Address:: 811 Robert S. Kerr
City: Okla. City
State & Zip Code: Okla. 73106

I want Zig! - I want Zig!


Well, here we go again for the fifth try.

Hello Dear Friends (a few not so dear):

I am not computer literate, so for the last two weeks, I've been trying to send this letter. McKimmey said I was the only one rude and crude enough to complain, but its now fixed.

First, to a dear lady, Rosie Garrish, thanks for helping David to attend the last reunion, it made my year to spend some time with the two of you. You have my deepest sympathies for the loss of David but to me it was like losing a dear brother. I hope you can come this year.

After reading some of letters from some of our distinguished classmates, I'm overwhelmed to be able to say I know these people. Some of them are truly world travellers.

I've done some travelling myself over recent years. Only last year, I made two trips to Tecumseh and even took an extended trip all the way to Seminole. (Eat your hearts out you world travellers)

Jim Morton, as I stated in the beginning, I'm what you might say computer illiterate. I hate anyone that knows anything about these things.

Brandt May, I hope you can play golf better that you played football at Jefferson. (Don Bussey will back me up on this)

I've lived in Okla City for over 30 years with my wife Diana. I've been in the bail bond business for several years and getting ready to slow down.

I've had the misfortune of having coffee with Steve Keller ( he's the guy from Wilson that Bussey beat to win the gold track shoe ), several times in the last couple of years. Yes, I got stuck with the check most of the time. I wish to hell he'd get a job and do something constructive.

My wife Diana collects dolls, and I collect old cars. One of my favorites is a 1985 DOD pickup. I've never seen one before and thought I had a rare find, then my wife informed me that it was a DODGE but the GE had broken off the hood. Oh well what c n you expect when Steve Kellers your friend.

There's no place like home and I've been lucky to be able to have breakfast on some weekends at a little restaurant on east main. Its called CJ's but it should be named LuLu's. The first time I was there, a group of unsavory looking characters were g thered around a table. They appeared to be a Geritol Hot-Rod and motorcycle gang. Suddenly, it dawned on me I knew some of these guys. Three men much older than my self were Tommy Nelson, Johnny(Junior) Lawrence, and David Griner. There were a couple of young guys about my age there, Jerry Matthews and Bill Locke.

What a thrill to see old friends, it made me want to move back home. I asked Diana how much money she had saved, she had $640.00, I had $320.00, so we bought a small horse ranch west of Shawnee.


Looking forward to seeing old friends and maybe borrowing a little money.



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Carl R. freeman - 04/20/00 18:32:17
My Email:
freeman_carl@hotmail .com
Name of Spouse:: Maria
Occupation:: Software Consultant
Street Address:: 1715 Sullins Way
City:: Houston
State & Zip Code:: TX 77058



I kept knocking but I couldn't come in. I was beginning to think I was a dingus being demoted to a pariah. Drop-in bio text follows:

Note to editor: Please prune any comments that are inappropriate, braggaocio or just too boring. Note to readers: please forgive any the editor missed.

Vitals: married Maria (farmer Brown's daughter from England/Scotland)

Two children: Christopher and Elizabeth (now both are Texans)

Not RICH or FAMOUS but am currently from the place where things are bigger and better (that is what they teach in Texas-101, but do not believe it – maybe hotter) as a consultant in a Houston skyscraper. From 1960 onward I have had hands on computer access to both super and small computers as some so-called kind of engineer or analyst. Hobbies include go(replaced chess) and orientalia collecting.

Locales worked at include:

far East tours (in Navy with "special" weapons); Hawaii where I turned down an opportunity to just play chess; Greenland (BMEWS sites) with glaciers and horseshoes at 2AM Israel at their DoD headquarters (great biblical history, Red Sea, and kibbutzim); England where I imported a wife and taught computer systems to GI's; multiple times in Colorado (deep inside and under much of Cheyenne Mountain at NORAD), SPADOC, and STAR WARS (SDI) research; Northern California, (BART and military internets); Pennslyvania (Bettis atomic lab and Philco); Texas (computer security in the Mission Control Center at Johnson Space Center, and various oil companies); and other states (OK, MD, MI, IL, NV, NY, NJ, NM, AZ). If any readers have made it through these acronym attacks, please pay homage to the AAAAAA society (AKA HEX A - - Association for Alleviation of Absurd Abbreviations and Acrimonious Acronyms).

Many of those places I collected chess trophies, titles and attended schools. The toughest was for a MSc in Systems Management from U of So. Calif. Uncompleted doctorates resulted when requirements changed, I simply blew it or my job moved.

George McKinnis still has a flairish way of doing thing. I can remember the odd bird book he and Bill Tiffany brought me while I was in the hospital our senior year.

Remember Haile Selassie and his huge bodyguards with their scimitars visiting the new and modern SHS? I do recall see the old red brick walls come tumbling down in flames for the old SHS early one Sunday morning when we were still in Jr. High. -but ha nothing to do with the fire, but is was some sight to see.

During the years I have seen Ross Porter on TV – I knew that guy and saw an article about Dr. Tiffany and his research with ruby lasers. Are there other members with national credentials?

This will be my first reunion attendance. I learned of it while messing around on the net. Maria and I am looking forward to this event.

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McKimmey - 04/20/00 15:32:30


This Page has been broke

If You've tried to check in - it hasn't been working!!

Ziegler was the only one crude and rude enough to tell us about the glitch.

Please try again!

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Brandt May - 03/21/00 02:42:59
My Email:
Name of Spouse: Nita
Occupation: Railway Consultant
Street Address: 30 McKenzie Drive
City: Bella Vista, Arkansas
State & Zip Code: 72715



Well, after being castigated by the editor, I will respond.

Like most lawyers in our class, he has a sharp tongue, but I forgive them, for from time to time, they and their sharp tongue are necessary. Without the sharp tongue, they would be useles .

Like my roommate at Oklahoma State University, Bill G. Brown, I am an engineer, but I am Civil, not Electrical. If it has more than two wires I'm in trouble. Bill can testify to this. I doubt if I would have passed the required Electrical Engineering courses, if it were not for him.

I began my career after graduation from OSU with the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway Co. in Tulsa, Oklahoma. At that time the "Frisco" was constructing a major hump yard (sort facility) in Tulsa and I was employeed as a Junior Engineer. To me at that this was very mundane work, surveying and minor design work, not work for a graduate engineer. Within three years I had 200 people working for me as an Assistant Roadmaster. This was a major rebuild project on the mainline from Kansas City to Birmingham.

I must have done a good job, for within three years, for I was moved into the Operating Department as a Trainmaster in the largest and most screwed up yard (flat yard) on the system. After two years I had a disagreement with the Terminal Superintendent and Division Superintenent and left the Frisco, for Vulcan Materials Co., the largest aggregate producer in the country. I remained with Vulcan for two years and after the retirement of the Terminal Superintendent, I returned to the Frisco. I designed the rearrangement of the Birmingham Yard as a special assignment, while working as Terminal Trainmaster.

This became my role as a Terminal and Division Superintendent in subsequent years, operate, design improvements, and construct under operation. Clean up the mess, get rid of the dopers, drunks, and get the Division running like a railrod should run.

This continued until 1984 after the merger with the Burlington Northern Railroad (BN). At that time I was made Director of Maintenance Planning for the System, then the largest privately owned railroad in the world. Later I was made Chief Engineer on the Denver Region, the heaviest tonnage railroad in the world. In 1992, I retired as Chief Engineer System of the BN.

After my retirement I then became a railway consultant specializing in operations and maintenance, I have worked in Argentina, Chile, Mexico, and Indonesia with work in the USA as well.

Nita and I have lived in Tulsa,OK, Springfield, MO, Amory, MS, Memphis, TN, Birmigham, AL, Seattle, WA, Denver, CO, Kansas City, MO, and several places in between.

We have two children, Pam, and Greg, and two grandchildren.

As for retirement, well, I don't know how I found time to work. I am President of the Sugar Creek Model Railroad Cub, Chairman of the Bella Vista Property Owners Association, Streets and Utilities Committee, Junior Warden in the Pea Ridge Lodge #119 AAM, and some how find time to work in genealogy and my own model railroad. In between and in the summer, I play golf and do some fishing on Loch Lomand, as well as work in my yard.

Needless to say, I only work in my consulting business when and where the the money's good and the natives are friendly.


PS: I am an Engineer, I only learned to spell engineer last month. No spell checker on my computer program. Josia Washechek and the Hill sisters made no impession on me. Evelyn Martin and Johnny Guy Hill, yes.

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Will Merrill - 03/18/00 16:46:44



This is an open response to Geo. Mckinnis's #2 posting----------

George, I had forgotten about your totally false and outrageous report to the News Star about out adventures in Idaho. Although I had not forgotten about that summer----what a great experience!

BUT, if it has taken you over 40 years to come clean about the rats, why, tell me, should we believe your even more bizarre, and outrageous, story about an elephant??

Actually my memory of fighting the forest fire, and trying to sleep that night, is that we were much, much, closer to the fire ----several hundred yards! We could not only see and hear it, but could feel its heat! Or, am I the one fantasizing?

And, where did this new found awareness of "tender and spiritually uplifting" stories come from? This isn't the George Courtney Mckinnis that I once knew! Is this Marlene's influence, or just old age?


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George C. McKinnis - 03/17/00 20:16:00

Bully Award


I cannot let Bill Merrill's comment depreciating my spritually uplifting story about my utterly factual and dry story concerning my visit to India pass by without offering it the Bronx salute that it so richly deserves.

Bill's flatulat elephant story reminds me of a famous tort case in law school in which a family with children attended a circus and were on the front row. During the performance, a dancing elephant backed up to the front seats, lifted its tail and dropped 50 pounds of yesterday's dinner into the lap of the mother of the family. She sued in tort and the Court had to decided whether she was injured by an act of negligence or whether she assumed the risk by being at a circus in the presence of elephants and sitting on the front row.

Like the plaintiff in that tort case, I do not know whether I have been injured in a manner protected by the law, or whether I assumed the risk by publishing a tender and spiritually uplifting story in this forum.

The truth is that Bill has yet to foregive my Shawnee New Star story about the forest fire that Bill and I fought when we were in the US Forestry Service one summer.

I published that rats ran over our sleeping bags as we slept, fleeing the raging inferno snapping and crackling in front of us.

I will, many years later, now freely admit and beg your foregiveness in so doing, that no rats crawled over my or anyone else's sleeping bags, and, in the spirit of full confession, I freely now admit that the fire was over a mile away - but, it could be heard.


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Brandt May - 03/15/00 14:57:49
My Email:
Name of Spouse: Nita
Occupation: Railway Consultant
Street Address: 30 McKenzie Drive
City: Bella Vista, AR
State & Zip Code: 72715


EDITOR'S NOTE: Brandt was always the quiet, shy, bashful type and never had much to say - unless he was awake.

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Will Merrill - 03/14/00 23:49:55
My Email:
Name in High School - If Different: Bill
Occupation: Director of Design -- Hickory Chair Co. ( soon to be an independent Design Consultant)
Street Address: 220 Twin Springs Road -- Box 314
City: Blowing Rock
State & Zip Code: North Carolina, 28605



Wow -- this has been a blast!

I just received the reunion notice and was about to send it back with a note that I would not be able to attend. Being totally inept at computers,I didnt even think about checking the web site. But then I had some time to kill and decided to check it out. I'm so glad that I did. Just seeing the names of the committee, and then reading the postings, has brought back all sorts of forgotten, and suppressed memories.

I agree with what Bill Brown said in quoting Joe M., we are so very lucky to have been brought up when we were, where we were, and who we were brought up with. With hind sight, it was the best of times. My year books are packed away in storage, but now I am dying to get to them to see what other memories will surface.

Having said all of the above, I knew early on that I would not stay to live in Shawnee, or Oklahoma. I wanted to live in a big city!

From SHS, I went to OU, rooming freshman year with Ross Porter, and being a frat brother of Geo. McKinnis. Enough said?

AT OU I was known as Mouse Merrill -- a result of being small, being quiet and shy, and my big ears! The Mousketeers were big back in the 50s! As a result of flunking French my senior year, it took me five years to graduate. I droped out of OU, went home to OBU, and barely passing French there, went back to OU to graduate!

After OU, as a result of ROTC, I went into the Air Force. After a short stay in north Maine, I became a Missle Control Officer on a missle site near Cambridge England. My job was to wear a chain around my neck with three keys on it, each controling a missle with a nuclear warhead on it. It is hard to believe now that Bill Merrill, who hadn't even taken chemistry, or physics, in High School (I majored in Art!), had control over a nuclear bomb -- very scarey!

Fortunately, I managed to get out of the AF without any mishaps, and took my release in Europe. I spent a year traveling (does any one remember the book EUROPE ON $5 A DAY?), and ended up in Egypt and the Sudan, where I spent the better part of a year working on a prehistoric archaeological expedition. It was a very exciting time with a lot of digs going on, because of the Aswan Dam being built. Returning to the States, I stopped in New York long enough to find a job, before going home to see my family

For twelve years I worked at the Dept Store, Lord and Taylor, as the Buyer of Furniture and Decorative Fabrics. I loved NYC (where I crossed paths once again with McKinnis), and thought that I would never leave, but in '77 an offer that I couldn't refuse came my way. And for 23 years I have lived in Hickory, NC (so much for wanting to live in a big city), and worked as Director of Design for Hickory Chair Co.

We are a conservitive old company that makes quality furniture. We are best known for our reproductions of antiques, and our James River, Mt. Vernon, Winterthur, and Mark Hampton Collections. But we are a full-line company and also have collections of French, Italian, American Country, and Southwest Furniture.

I am involved with all product design, fabric selection, showroom design, graphics, advertising, P.R., etc,etc. Does anyone come to the High Point Furniture Market in April?

If so, please look me up. I have loved my job, but have just recently decided that it is time to move on. I will be taking early retirement (I'm not as old as you guys!) after Market in April. I plan to keep busy and pay the bills by doing some independent design consulting. I've got several companies that I am talking to, and should know more soon.

Part of the deal is that I will be moving full time to Blowing Rock, a small (very small) mountain town on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It advertises itself as "The Jewel in the Crown of the Blue Ridge", and really is a very pretty, and quaint resort town.

I have, for ten years, had a weekend and summer house there, and will turn it into a full time home. The house has given me my 15 minutes of fame, in that it has been featured in several national magazines (May 93 House Beautiful and April 99 Country iving -- in case anyone has any old magazines laying around!).

I've gone on too long (is anyone still there?), but as I prepare for this transition in my life, it is fun to reminisce. I really want to know more about you guys. I hope we will see more postings.

Joe Mckimmey, this has started me thinking about my first ever summer job, as a car hop, at your fathers drive-in on west Main St! From there I think I graduated to bagging and delivering groceries at Thurmans Grocery (can you believe we used to deliver groceries?). And Bill Crowell, it's great about your father. I hope he is as alert and active as my father is at 94, and also living at home. Didn't your dad have an old Model A (or somthing like that) that a group of us decided to "fix", and after tearing it apart couldnt get it back together again? Again, this has been fun--- I'm sure I'll have more later.

Just one last thing: Those of us who know George Courtney Mckinnis, and I have known him all of my life, know that he has always had a tendancy to exaggerate, and overly dramatize things. I think he has always seen himself as an Indiana Jones type character! So I suggest that of his reported story of an encounter with an elephant, the facts are actually somthing closer to a Sunday visit to the Bronx Zoo, where an elephant made a rude noise when Geoge Courtney gave him a rotten peanut!

Bye for now--Will

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Jim Morton - 03/07/00 22:40:34
My Email:
Name of Spouse: Loretta
Occupation: retired
Street Address: RR#2 Box 635D
City: Gravois Mills
State & Zip Code: MO 65037



Highlights: BA Busness Admin and Economics minor Computer Science. MA Computer Resorce and Management. Retired Marine 22 years. Retired Sprint. Retired Computer Systems Design consultant. Taught computer subjects and management Webster University six years. Three children 5 grandchildren, 2 stepchildren.

Since I retired three years ago, we have traveled some and fished alot. Spend most of my time fishing, building docks (welding etc.) spare time I am a volunteer fireman. All of which keep me very busy.

Shawnee seems like a long time ago, but in reality it was only yesterday. I feel like the same person, but time says otherwise. Looking forward to seeing everyone.

I do believe life is better now, less worries, no problems, that is unless the fish don't bite.

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Shirley Northcutt Bland - 03/06/00 20:30:40
Name in High School - If Different:: Shirley Northcutt
Name of Spouse: John
Occupation: Staff Assistant, CITI
Street Address: 9802 Fox Road
City: Houston
State & Zip Code: Texas 77064



Since the last reunion, we have sold our business (Bland's Lawn & Garden) and John has retired. Of course, to him retirement means he works three days a week at Woodcraft Industries selling (and buying) woodworking tools, and two to three days a week at a friend's lawnmower shop. Retirement means less headaches running a business, however.

I went to work at Rice University in '97, and have a wonderful job. I arrange all the special events, luncheons, meetings, etc. for the Computer and Information Technology Department, which means I get to carry home all the left-overs.

I haven't lost any weight, but I really have a great job.

John and I have bought a lot on the Colorado River in Marble Falls, an hour west of Austin, and look forward to retirement sometime in 2001.

We've got two kids, Johnny in Dallas (who got himself engaged this Christmas) and Kathy in Austin. Kathy and her hubby have four children, two of them adopted (one from China), so their house is a busy one.

I guess the one thing I have enjoyed the most in the past 10 years is learning to paint. I've been doing landscape painting in acrylics for quite a while now, and while I'm far from being "professional", I am thoroughly enjoying the process. For a few laughs, my website, has a few of my paintings on display.

The loss of both my parents in the 70's, together with the death of my brother Bob during that same time was a real blow. Somehow even worse was the death of my best buddy, Nancy Cox Windel (class of 55) due to cancer about three years ago. I was definitely not one of the "go-getters" growing up, but Nancy was always there for me, and I look for her every time we come back to Shawnee.

Looking forward to seeing everyone in July!

Love, Shirley Northcutt Bland

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Glenda Knoles Hansen - 03/04/00 14:42:11
My Email:
Name of Spouse: Chuck
Occupation: Retired
Street Address: 934 LaBonne Pkwy
City:: Manchester
State & Zip Code: Mo. 63021


We couldn't find Dorothy - Toto - Or Even a Boy Playing Marbles
So Glenda Gets a Rainbow! - It's a Stretch!


I've just been reading about everyone. This is great.

I've been retired for about ten years and love every minute if it. My husband, Chuck has a cultured marble shop and has no intention of retiring for a while so usually our trips away from home consist of visiting our children and grandchildren in Kansas or going to marble conferences.

We plan to attend the reunion.

Missed the last one so have a lot of catching up to do.

Looking forward to seeing everyone in July!!

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Donna Doss Wilson - 02/29/00 17:01:02
My Email:
Name in High School - If Different:: Donna Doss
Name of Spouse: Joe
Occupation: retired
Street Address: 730 Ranchoak Drive
City: Yukon
State & Zip Code: OK 73099-4220



I've been retired since fall of 1995. My husband, Joe, was retiring at 62, and I was determined not to go to work each day as he stayed at home. I love being lazy, doing what I want in my own way and in my own time. My house was cleaner when I worke than now, but I'm much happier.

My father died in 1971 and my mother in 1995. So now it's just Joe and me.

After high school I worked for a year, saving money for college. In 1956 I went to junior college in Bartlesville at Central Christian College, later to become Oklahoma Christian University in Okla. City. After Bartlesville I went for one semester to Abiline (TX) Christian University. Too expensive so I came back to Shawnee and finished my BS in Education at OBU.

I taught school for 16 years, quitting in 1976. That year I went to work for the Oklahoma Nursing Home Association (a voluntary trade association)and was there for 19 years, retiring in 1995.

I met my husband, Joe, in 1973 and was married in 1974. Last year we celebrated our 25th anniversary. Since we didn't marry until I was quite old for having children, we didn't. However Joe has two grown children from a previous marriage, five grand hildren and two great grandchildren.

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone at reunion. I don't keep in contact with anyone except Pat Taylor Bradshaw, and I know you have her address. Ocassionally I hear about someone in an offhanded way, or have seen an obit in the paper. I learned of Dan Eddy's death in the paper.

I' as well as many 63 year-olds, and more so than many. Keep the faith and do what the doctor says.

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Bill G. Brown - 02/26/00 05:18:21
Name in High School - If Different:: Same
Name of Spouse: Sandra H.
Occupation: Electical Engineer
Street Address: Box 632
City: Nowata
State & Zip Code: OK 74048



I have just been reading the other notes and don't think that it is possible to compete! It sounds like our class has a lot to be proud of and thankful for! (Josie would love to see those sentences ending in prepositions).

As I see the conflicts and problems facing our children and grandchildren I think often of a comment made to me by Joe McKimmey at lunch about 15 years ago. He said that we were the luckiest group of kids to grow up when we did. We were too young for the depression and WWII and most missed Korea. We were too old for Viet Nam. The only time I remember 'DRUGS' was in the movie 'Man with the Golden Arm'. Most of us did not have to worry about being spoiled with money as our parents lavished their wisdom and insight on us rather than the wealth they did not have. I only wish my dad could have endowed me with the wisdom he possessed in this area. We thought we had to behave and be polite or endure the wrath of J.G. Hill! (A GREAT MAN to whom I am eternally greatful!) I wonder what we would do if we were faced with the problems of today's kids. Enough for the philosophy!

I was lucky enough to get a full tution scholarship to A&M (all $46.00 per semester) and set out to become an Electrical Engineer (my lifelong ambition). I was fortunate enough to finalize my years there with a BSEE and a new wife, Sandy who was going to Lindenwood in Missouri. We graduated and got married on the same day and headed to Texas in 1959.

As an Engineer for Texas Instruments, I was most fortunate in gaining a tremendous education on the job. We spent about 18 months at Ft Huachuha in Arizona on field service on the equipment I had helped design. We left T.I. and Arizona in 1961 with our first daughter, Diane.

We moved to Nowata (that is about 50 miles north of Tulsa) and went into the Theatre business. Since that time, we have meandered into many different business ventures (some we should have NOT been in!) We started our engineering company, Disan, in 1973 and Susan, our youngest daughter was born in '68.

It sort of seems like a BLUR since then as all those years run together. We found ourselves in the multifamily housing industry, oil and gas, aircraft operations, music promotions, general contracting, etc. in addition to Disan. Some of these ventures would have been best LEFT ALONE!

In July of 1993, I was admitted DOA to the Arizona Heart Institute while visiting in Phoenix. For some unrecognized reason, I survived without brain damage and with minimal heart damage. I came away with 5 new bypasses a dual pacemaker and a NEW OUTLOOK on life. It reminds me somewhat of the many movies where the villian dies, and is allowed to return to earth to try to make amends for has past misdeeds. (At least, this is the way my daughter tells it!)

Since that day, I can truthfully say that I have enjoyed each and every day. I can only wish that my dear friend Dan Eddy could have had the same opportunity. Life has been GOOD to me and my family. We have three beautiful and talented grand daughters 5, 14, 16. (They take after their Grandmother, Sandy!

Our daughter Susan works with us as Director of Purchasing and as a Contract Administrator. Diane and her husband are in the oil and gas business and own and are renovating the local Hotel. (A 'litte smaller' than the Aldridge, only four floors) Her husband is also an art director for commercials and the movie industry.

Over the years, we have been fortunate to be able to travel and enjoy the other cultures and just ordinary people of other lands. We were in Guatemala a couple of weeks ago and it was the first time there in about 20 years. What a difference (the Civil War has been over 3 years). Seeing their strife makes one really appreciate our conditions. We are headed to Istanbul, Crete, Rhodes and Athens next week. This will be our third trip to Greece and we grow to appreciate it more each time.

Along this path of life, I have been most fortunate to have as my companion, best friend, business partner, and lover, my wife, Sandy. Like each of your, we have had our share of fun, a lot of tears and a lot of luck! Three of the bypasses have failed, but I feel great. We look forward to seeing each of you in Shawnee this summer.

Bill G. Brown

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Leo Mays - 02/26/00 05:03:59
My Email:
Name of Spouse: Barbara CANTRELL Mays
Occupation: Retired
Street Address: 1049 2nd Street
City: Norco
State & Zip Code: Califorina 92860



Congratulation to all of the 1955 survivors. We moved to Southern Califorina after Barbara graduated SHS in 1956. We have visited Shawnee a few times in the past 44 years and it still looks about the same to us.

Sorry we can not make the reunion.We have plans to tour the Pacific Northwest in our motorhome this spring and summer and do some serious fishing. Have a wonderful party.

Leo and Barbara Mays

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Joseph E. McKimmey - 02/25/00 19:48:13

Name of Spouse: Jettie
Occupation: Lawyer
Street Address: 3 Terra Lane
City: Shawnee
State & Zip Code: Oklahoma 74801



Has it really been 45 years? My, don't tempus fugit! when you're having fun! - That's Latin

The week of the renunion, Jettie [Chesser], my high school steady and I will celebrate our 44th anniversary.

One weekend during my first year at OU I came home and found the house empty. My folks had moved, not even leaving a note on the door. I found them anyway in Las Vegas and moved there. They couldn't get away from me, no matter how hard they tried

But, I got lonely, called Jettie and she came out and married me. A lot more pleasant roommate to live with than McKinnis. Our daughter Cathy was born there. My mother is still living there, as well as my brother Jack - He's still at Caesars where he's been since the day they opened.

Did go to college at ‘Nevada Southern' while there. The classes were held in a Baptist Church basement, and the High School Auditorium - My PE class was setting pins at a bowling alley.

Today that college is The University of Nevada Las Vegas, UNLV, and is huge! I guess that I must have been a charter student - undoubtedly they have a picture of me someplace in their hall of memories. We do get letters, as we do from OBU, OU, OCU - the other great centers of higher education who would like to hear from us occasionally

Jettie and I have three children and five grandchildren from 20 to 2 years of age. The youngest are in the Philipines as I write, visiting their other grandmother.

After a couple of years in Vegas - where I shook hands with Elvis - ( he still writes me ), I came back to Oklahoma to be Governor - Didn't happen! I was a Republican before it was cool to be one.

I became a restaurant operator instead.

For the last 25 years I've been playing lawyer in Shawnee, America - that's longer than I played restauranteur at the Top Hat and Log House - but a lot of folks still think I make a living frying burgers - Jettie wonders when I'm going to start making a living. Unlike George McKinnis and Sid Clarke, I'm just a small town lawyer trying to get by - a sort of Petrocelli on Highland Street.


The Good News - I Got hold of a twin to the yellow ‘49 Jeepster I had in high school and can't wait for the real summer sunshine for serious driving.

Makes me think of the first time I ever was in a car at 100MPH - Jim Morton ( Judy's brother ) had a ‘47 Ponitac and we did it on the old ‘Dale Bottom' between here and McLoud - later he got a convertible. Don't remember the brand name.

In those days McKinnis had the most beautiful silver ‘50 Ford convertible - Arrington had a baby blue one - I believe it was Lanny Hisel that had a Hudson Hornet, or was that Jerry Evatt? - Ron Cole had a Pink Buick Convertible that I truly believe he painted with a whisk broom!

Remembering Ron makes me think of Mr. Blatner's POD Class that met zero hour at Vans. Believe Nancy Cox, Alan Stanfield and Donna Doss were part of that class. And of course Ron, Alan and I would play ‘poker' at Mr. Blatner's house on Wednesday nights after he came home from church.

Would like to know where Mr. Blatner is - a gentlemen who always wore a coat and tie - with the Silver Star he earned on his lapel. Along with Josie Washichek, he had an influence.

Pastimes include a little woodworking, writing webpages, plain writing

- but for now editing and correcting the spelling, punctuation and grammar in McKinnis' letter occupies most of my time.


P.S. - since I'm the self appointed, annointed and proclaimed editor of this page, I do get special privileges.

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Bill Crowell - 02/24/00 04:51:31

Name of Spouse: Christine
Occupation: Physician and Pathologist
Street Address: 3306 West Idaho
City: Chickasha
State & Zip Code: Oklahoma 73018



Currently I am a board certified Pathologist in anatomic and clinical pathology at Grady Memorial Hospital in Chickasha,Ok., and have been so for the past 25 years. I am also the county Medical Examiner and investigate all violent deaths in the county. I am also a Certified Alcohol/Drug Counselor(CADC) as well as an appointee of Governor Keating to the state board of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.

I recently received 500 hours of training in massage therapy and passed my national boards in therapeutic massage and bodywork. Currently I have been doing chair massages at Grape Vine Mills Mall north of DFW airport in Dallas,Tex. I plan to do massa e when I finish my career in medicine( I've been out of Medical School almost 36 years)

I seldom play the piano like I did in High School(maybe 1-2times every year or two.) I like to run 5k races and weight-lift for hobbies. My wife Chris and I also raise, show and breed Airedale terriers and Skye terriers.

My Dad is still alive at the age of 98 years and still lives at 2120 North Beard where I grew up. Mother passed on at the age of 81 in 1986.

I have mixed memories of Shawnee...some of them probably related to all of the teasing I took in School(old baggage)...someof them very somber because of friendships I made with people who have gone on to glory..and to whom I never had a chance to say oodbye. was a part of the nifty 50's and so innocent about life....It was great.

I can tell you from my long experience with death(I've done over 1000 autopsies) and all of the homicides, suicides, SIDS deaths,etc. that I have investigated since 1970, that I appreciate how gentle I really "had"it back then...and how much I miss some of those really fun the sock hops at Rhoda Grady's, and Ann Baker's.etc.

I will try to be present this year and hope some of the class will be there

Respectfully......Bill Crowell

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George C. McKinnis - 02/09/00 23:53:26

This has been nominated for the coveted Patty Award

checkThis communication has been edited for grammar, punctuation, penmanship and spelling on numerous occasions at the repeated request of the sender. Neither content, readability, story line, format, nor means of expression have been altered from the original.

The Committee takes no responsibility for any of the statements and opinions expressed herein.

Name of Spouse: Marlene
Occupation: Lawyer/Judge
Street Address: 40 Oriole Avenue
City: Bronxville
State & Zip Code: New York, NY 10708


Hello SHS Classmates:

I just got back from New Delhi, India, where I was working with a law client who is starting an Internet business. My Indian hosts were very gracious and the trip was an eye opener.

People everywhere, great masses of people, mixed with cows, camel carts, so much car traffic you can hardly move two blocks and a constant roar of honking horns, as drivers are required to honk when they want to pass or feel threatened.

My hosts had me vetted by a Hindu Priest who is an astrologist. The Hindu Astrologer read my chart and explained personal things about me that were accurate and totally unknown to anyone in India; it was chilling.

Then, having proven his accuracy, the Astologist said that I was in extreme physical danger for two weeks, due to an unfortunate allignment. At that point, with a flight back to NYC two days hence, my host was very concerned. Hell, I was concerned.

The Priest and my host said not to worry, they had an ancient Vedic remedy, which required a sacrifice. I was taken to a river that flows through Old Delhi. The Priest handed me a heavy paper bag containing about ten pounds of sugar, exactly 1,100 little metal plates that had Sanscrit prayers written on them that had been prayed over by Priests in a Hindu Temple, and cash in coins. I was told to throw the bag into the river. It went in kersplash. The Priest said that I would then be safe in my return flight. At the moment that the bag hit water, I felt in the pedistrian walkway of the four lane bridge a deep pulsing shuddering, similar to when the Tyrannosaurus Rex was coming toward the visitors in Jurassic Park: SHUDDER SHUDDER SHUDDER. I saw in my mind's eye some horrible pagan Hindu God whomping toward me with all four arms holding swords. My host and the Priest saw that I was nervous and pointed out what was causing the slow WHOMP WHOMP: a bloody big elephant was crossing the bridge in my lane. We cleared out of the path of the elephant and went back to our business.

Quick Bio: I left SHS to attend OU (Joe McKimmey and I were roommates in a freshman dorm), went into the Army with an ROTC commission, then traveled in Europe for six months (lived in an Army tent and in Youth Hostels), went to Michigan Law School, in my Junior year (1962) was recalled back to the Army for a year during the "Berlin Crisis" (which kept me out of Vietnam, as I had served twice), returned to Ann Arbor to finish Law School, joined a law firm in Kansas City, then was recruited by a New York law firm where I practiced for five years at Wall Street and Broadway, then became General Counsel of an English merchant bank headquartered in Nassau, Bahamas, travelled everywhere for them, got married in Nassau to a lady from Germany (who met my parents first in Shawnee because she is the niece of Berta Bennet who ran Zales for years on Main Street), returned to New York as an international lawyer in ITT's Legal Department, was there for 15 years, then, when ITT divested all of telecom and electronics to a French company to create ALCATEL, I went into private practice concentrating in high-tech and telecom.

We have two sons, Alexander Harris (a Dickenson graduate) and Marc Eden, a Denison graduate); Alexander is working for an investment bank and Marc is working for an Internet advertising company. Hobbies: hifi/books/gardening/Portugese Water Dogs/travel / history.

Most important influence on me in SHS: Josie Washichek. What has happened to her?

I must get going, as its almost time to go to the Hornbeck for the yo-yo contest (don't even think about competing with Win Dawson), a Roy Rodgers movie, a free apple and at least thirteen consecutive Walt Disney cartoons.

I recall my Shawnee years with affection and believe that many of the people that I was raised with were more honest and genuine than many that I have met and dealt with subsequently. And we did have a rather good time, didn't we?

We SHS boys certainly had the best looking and most appealing girls in all Christendom; if only we had known how to handle them.


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Sylvia Rutherford Cobb - 02/09/00 22:34:57
My Email:
Occupation:: Librarian
Street Address:: 3910 Marie Drive
City:: Shawnee
State & Zip Code:: Ok 74804



Retirement hasn't claimed me yet. However I am now a librarian at St. Gregory's University instead of Oklahoma Baptist University--just 2 miles father down MacArthur.

I hope that many of you will come to the reunion and enjoy yourself.

Joe has certainly done a great job with this web site!

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Lola D'Orazio - 02/07/00 19:26:16

Early Bird Award Winner!

My Email:
Name in High School - If Different: Lola Gregory
Name of Spouse: Joseph D"Orazio
Street Address: 3318 N. Franklin
City: Loveland, Colorado
State & Zip Code: 80538


Am on my way to Vietnam and Hong Kong. Will write next month (March). Till then---- Love, Lola

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From time to time your Reunion Committee may determine that a message received from a classmate deserves Special Recognition by a Special Award.

Awards may be given in categories not yet determined, based on reasons as yet undetermined, and for any logical or illogical reason.

In Judging the messages deserving of special honor your Committee may consider spelling, grammar, content, lack of content, clarity, originality, believability, readability, puffability, wind direction and high tides.

Aniticipated Awards may or may not include one for BLAH, based solely on content - or lack thereof; A Get a Life award, and the coveted Patty award for creativity.

More than one award may be awarded to any entrant.

You may nominate your own message, or any other message for a specific award, but the decision of the Reunion Committee as to the awards given is final and unappealable, except upon threat of death or dismemberment.

Members of the Committee, their family or pets, are not eligible for any Award, and you should not waste time nominating them.

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