‘70’s Reunion Weekend Re Cap - July 21, 2007
During the last week before the Dinner / Dance, my cell phone was ringing off the hook with people trying to secure a ticket after our self imposed July 16th ticket deadline. While this was going on, door security dude, Gigolo Tony, was opening up my mail back home and informing us regarding who paid while I was gone. In short, over the last week we almost doubled the head count which represented the early payers and the open door payers.
Wednesday through Friday Night:
After 3 days of decorating the IDES Hall, the Reunion Team (minus myself, as sleep was much needed), headed off to the HMB Brewery (The Shorebird) for a night of rock and roll with over 100 alumni in the house. The Grant Walters Band hosted the affair with the Cotruvo Brothers, Tom Pyle and other illustrious HMBHS musicians on stage and playing for the adoring alumni throng.
A number of people showed up at the hall on Friday and Saturday morning to help us out; Dirk Niebaum, Mary Feldman, Tom Tucker and his son, the Reunion Team with wives and husbands, and a few more I’ve forgotten. The hall would have looked great with just the team’s attention, but the hall really rocked with this extra attention! A big Thank You to all those who showed up and gave many hours over to the decorating process.
I started to get a little worried that we might not be able to handle all the door payers, as we we’re hearing that we might get a couple of hundred more people at the door. Chris Kurtz took charge and rearranged the tables to accommodate about 310 people and I called the caterer to warn them of the updated alumni onslaught. Good call, because we needed way more seating and food... Mel Mello, our very helpful IDES Hall representative, informed us that we could use the small hall because of some kind of mix up in scheduling. God Bless Mel Mello! We now had more than enough room!
Saturday, 4:00 PM.
Many thought we were crazy to open up at 4:00 PM, but we knew better. By 5:00 we we’re well over 100 people, with at least 8 teachers in the hall. The weather on the coast was pretty warm and very humid, so I was happy I got a large fan from Ocean Shore Hardware; I wish I could have found 2 more!
6:00 PM; we’re at over 200, 15 teachers had arrived and the open bar (yes, the OPEN bar) was awash with people drinking from the two kegs of brown beer from the HMB Brewery, Luau Punch slushies and mixed drinks galore.
As the Hawaiian band played on, alumni talked with each other and the teachers and many read from their copy of the custom made Los Olas 1971 to 1980 Teachers Yearbook which we printed up. Those that needed to walk around the hall were nothing short of amazed by what they found….
*** Over 500 photos were on display, the majority of which had never been seen before, a Remembrance Area, which paid tribute to the over 100 alumni who had passed away from the decade of the ‘70’s, Hawaiian Luau decorations, island flower center pieces, a Tiki Hut and much more. From 5:00 PM onward alumni waited for their name to be called for their chance to pick out items from over one thousand door prizes. Many came away with over a dozen items stuffed into their Ocean Shore Hardware supplied brown paper gift bag.
7:00 PM; we’re now well over 300 alumni! Crazy! The bar is rocking; the Hawaiian band has just finished their set which ended with 5 hula dancers and a number of alumni getting in on the fun. The hall is continuing to fill and we just let it happen, what choice do we have? Alumni are hugging, kissing, laughing and drinking. We give it a full hour to spin itself around the room while I play classic ‘70’s tunes over the sound system.
8:00 PM; At this point I made a little speech about the Remembrance Area, the people who helped put this shindig on, etc. Then we gave away 6 gift baskets:
First Person to Pay for This (and the last) Reunion Weekend: Frank Besnyi – 1976
Earliest Alumni in Attendance: 1968
Latest Alumni in Attendance: 1985
Furthest Traveled: Maui - Jimmy Dale – 1976
Most Kids from a Single Marriage: Trula Van Noland - 1972; 8 kids!
Longest Single Marriage: Dot McClary, 51 years
8:30; It’s time to recognize the teachers. The teachers in attendance…Joseph Cattarin, Jack Coolidge, Jim Mordecai, Larry Giacomino, Bob Fernandez, Luis Mintegui, Chuck Short, Don Berry, Gary Dilley, Laura Ziegler, Dwayne Dinucci, Jeff Centoni, Lloyd Conners, Jim Tjogas and Sylvia Lee. I think we had a few more but I’ll have to ask others for confirmation. In any event, it was an amazing turnout.
All the teachers gathered at the stage where they received a custom made award; an abalone shell (harvested from coastside waters) with a brass plaque mounted inside.
Mr. Cattarin received a plaque from the City of Half Moon Bay, presented by one-time mayor of HMB and 1976 alumni, Marina Fraser, for his 33 years of service at the high school. As Marina finished up her speech, a 4 foot wide by 8 foot tall banner of Mr. Catterin (taken from the 1975 Yearbook) was unspooled from the ceiling and as it came down to stand alongside our hero the crowd erupted in applause! Mr. Catterin’s wife then received a bouquet of island flowers.
After the crowd settled down, we announced that the door prize tables we’re open and it was now first come, first serve. As would be expected, within a few minutes all the door prizes had found a new home. We then gave the crowd another hour to talk amongst themselves before the 2nd band started up.
Before the Rip-Tides (lead singer Jeff Rupert – 1978) started up, we turned off the hall lighting and we turned on all the lighting we brought in; rope lighting, string lights, almost 100 candles, and we started up the “triggered by the music” disco lights” and the band played on until about 12:00 AM. It was much appreciated that the Rip-Tides can control their volume, as you could talk without much hassle from anywhere in the hall. That’s a good thing when you have alumni who went to too many rock concerts in the ‘70’s and teachers in their ‘70’s and ‘80’s. The Rip-Tides did a great job!
From 12:00 until 1:00 I played classics from the ‘70’s while people filed out of the hall, taking with them not only award baskets and door prizes but memories of the past and a reconnection to the present which only this type of event can foster.
Mark Center and most of the Reunion Weekend Team Members:
Chris Kurtz - Mark Center - Cathy Voisard - Tee Mello - Shana Center - Kathy Valladao - Mike Warner
1974 - Vicky Alexander Haller ) : email@example.com
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