Eisenhower Class of 1976 25 Year Reunion
Hosting Classes 1973 to 1979
October 12 and 13, 2001
When Eisenhower High School first opened her doors to classes in September 1972, we had the unique opportunity of sharing the building with grades six through twelve. Back then, nestled in a community northwest of the Big City, Eisenhower was in many ways like a small town. Almost everyone knew or recognized everyone else. Our siblings went to school with us, and we formed close ties to their friends, and friend's of friends. It was "our" own little world. When we first gathered to plan the 25 Year reunion, we began to think of all the other wonderful people from that community who weren't part of the Class of 76, and we decided to open the reunion to all that were present on that first day in September. News spread by word of mouth and we heard from past friends from all of the first seven Eisenhower classes. Many could not join us at the festivities but sent their love and regards. Those that did make the journey shared in a special night of memories and laughter. Gathering once again with those who knew you when life was much simpler, we the Class of 1976, were honored and pleased to have members of ALL seven classes join us to celebrate our 25 year class reunion.
We kicked off the reunion festivities on Friday evening with an ice-breaker gathering at the Remington Bar located in the Crowne Plaza hotel. Despite the torrential rains and the threats of floods, about 70 brave souls gathered to begin the fun. The unofficial 'Best Pants' contest had some tough competition, but CoraLynn McCabe edged them all out with her spectacular 'disco ball' pants. Ray Martinez couldn't hold back when he saw eight lovely ladies dancing together out on the floor and he jumped into the middle to shake his bootie. The beautiful Smith twins Laverne and Yvonne were joined by complete strangers sitting at the bar. Eugene Oliver, Dee Myall, Dana Boyce, and Kim (Cornwell) Owen were passing the flask and telling old stories. Bob Parsons brought a beautiful young date who turned out to be Jo Nippert, Class of 1979. MaryAnn (Beckham) Houser brought half her family to the celebration. Her daughter, Lauren, and future son-in-law were an absolute delight, as were her step-daughter, Donna Houser '77 and cousin Charles Beckham '79. After a little dancing, and a lot of story telling, we relocated the party to the hospitality suite around 12:30 for the die-hards who kept the laughter going to til around 3:00am.
Saturday's activities started early with several breakfast gatherings. The decoration crew consisted of every warm body we could drag into the room at the Crowne Plaza, and we had to stop several times to share stories and to look at the wonderful photo album Sharon (Jacocks) Parrot had put together. Boy, we were cute in high school!
The main event began around 6:30pm as everyone got herded through the registration table, hit up for drawing tickets, re-introduced to other classmates as they stood in line for their Memory Album picture, and then on to the big room for the party. We wandered around the room looking at the crazy pictures from high school while trying to recall who all those good-looking people were in the room. The food was delicious (as long as you stayed away from those nasty little sandwich things) and the DJ "Partyman" Rusty Synder kept over a hundred of us rockin' all night.
The night was riddled with awards, group photos, and drawings. Many thanks go to the 'popular with the ladies' Greg Jepsen, who donated the gold necklace, bracelet and the binoculars for our drawing prizes. The room broke out in laughter during the vote for the Most Changed Male when Tom O'Keefe shook Gorman Morris' '77 hand and announced he had no idea that was him. He didn't recognize him! The award winner was a tie going to Scott Boucher '77and Clifford Jackson who grabbed each other in a big ole bear hug while apologizing to each other for a fight they had 25 years ago. Paul Fernandez and Linda (Mocksfield) Hayward were still looking gorgeous as they accepted their award for The Classmates Who had the Most Secret Admirers in High School. During their acceptance Paul whispered into Linda's ear that he used to have a secret crush on her also.
The dancing continued until 1:00am when the hotel staff was ready to go home. But not us! The remaining group reconvened at the hospitality room. Mike Honeycutt '77 somehow wound up with the room next to the hospitality suite, so he opened the suite door and the party spilled over into his room. I hear several lasted until 6:00am. So many stories to hear! The last of the stragglers gathered Sunday for a Bloody Mary brunch to recap the weekend's events.
It appeared that everyone who came out to the festivities had a wonderful time. Lots of laughter and memories, and everyone knew that they belonged to something beautiful. The presence of classmates from other classes made it even more special to us and we were truly honored to have them celebrate with us. We even dragged a beautiful young lady, who had just graduated from Eisenhower that spring, from out of the hall to say 'Hello' to the gang. She was amazed by how friendly and nice everyone was. It amazes me every time we gather to discover what beautiful, kind, and terrific people came out of the doors of Eisenhower High School. The night just flew by and it felt like you hardly had time to talk to anyone before it was over. I know there are a lot of classmates out there that still owe me a dance (Randy Murrell). I intend to collect at the next reunion! Those that couldn't join us were missed and I hope they are able to join us next time for what is truly a special time. I can not do justice to recapturing the magic of the reunion. I think Les Jones said it best when he said, 'he came to the reunion thinking he wouldn't have much to talk about with anyone, and left there having made many new friends'.
Keep in contact and let us know where you are. I believe our incredible Webmaster Jay Mitchell is going to keep the website up for a while so we can find each other. Until we meet again…
Take care of you,
Colleen and the Eisenhower Reunion Committee