50th Reunion Kudos

Why the 50th High School Reunion is the Best

Written anonymously by a classmate who attended

 

No one should miss his or her fiftieth high school reunion.  I believe it is the best of all reunions and here is why:

10th

                The first big reunion is the tenth.  This is when we tell our classmates what we have become … as in doctors, lawyers, accountants, teachers, artists and athletes.  This is all well and good … except that some of our classmates are waiting on tables and sweeping floors.  They are not coming.

20th

                Which brings us to our twentieth high school reunion.  Now we are no longer a doctor but a doctor working on cancer research, an accountant who is now a vice-president, and a teacher who has become “teacher of the year.”  We are proud of our accomplishments which is all well and good … except our classmates who did not make the tenth high school reunion are certainly not coming to this one as well as a few who came to the tenth and have little to report in the way of accomplishments.

 

30th

                Which brings us to our thirtieth high school reunion.  This one is not about us so many who have missed the previous big reunions might come to this.  This one is about our children (and grandchildren?) – all of the clever things they have said and done or are about to do.  Which is all well and good … except that some of our children hit a few speed bumps along the way and some of us do not have children.  Those classmates will probably sit this one out.

 

40th

                You remember the fortieth high school reunion.  This is the one that you went to the gym for three months to get in shape for it.  This is the reunion where you let your classmates know that you still “got what it takes”.  We are more active than ever with our jobs, families, religion, community and volunteer work … and yet we still are able to bicycle, play tennis or golf.  Which is all well and good … except that our classmates who are not in the best of health will probably pass on this reunion.   

 

50th

                For our fiftieth reunion most of us are retired.  If you are in charge of anything, it is taking out the garbage or walking the dog.  And as for our children – well half of them are divorced, a few out of work, and God help you if you have any children living with you.  When it comes to being in shape, well any day now you are going to take that task seriously.

 

On the other hand, if you get up in the morning and do not have a lot of aches and pains you know it is going to be a good day.  You have probably learned to slow down and enjoy little things like sunny days, flowers, and puppy dogs.  You are happy when you smile at someone and they smile back.  You might even engage in small talk when in the grocery line.  Should you meet someone who is feeling under the weather you might offer a little encouragement or a bit of wisdom you have obtained over the years.

So at the end of the day you realize that it is not all that important to be smart, or to be rich, or to be good looking.  But it is important to be kind, and understanding, and helpful.  So you see there is no reason not to attend your fiftieth high school reunion because the best of your classmates could be just about anyone.

 


Marsh, 

 Your 1961 50th Reunion was such fun.  Well planned, great food, congenial crowd, wonderful

entertainment, excellent presentations by you, Class President, Andrea, Cheerleaders, & Marshall Schwartz.

( Not a dry eye in the house -- pretty poignant)

What a wonderful evening.  Everyone including me had a blast.  It was pretty special. 

Thank you and all the committee members.  You all did the job!!!!

                                                  Love,

                                                  Annalee (Class of '57)

                                                                Arnie Odessky

Marsh, many many thanks for all of your work on putting on this fabulous
reunion! I loved every minute of it and am so appreciative of the time and
talents that went into it!
It was a delight to see you again and I look forward to the next time --
maybe a third Friday in August?  :)

Best to you,

Karen

 THANK YOU FOR THE SUPER HUMAN EFFORT ON YOUR PART....YOU ARE FANTASTIC

    RICK E REISS 

 

Dear Phyllis,
You did the most wonderful job putting together the reunion.  It was a wonderful experience, and it would not have happened, or would have been much inferior, without your tremendous work and imagination.   Thank you so much.
Fond regards,
Doug   (Cram)

 

The reunion was terrific and both of you did a wonderful and remarkable job!  Congratulations on a successful weekend.   

 Carolyn Appleman Gerr

Phyllis, words cannot  express my appreciation for your work on the reunion!  I only send a thousand thanks!  It was so nice spending time with you, too, along with all the other wonderful alums.  I can't imagine a better reunion anywhere!

Andrea, I just want to say thank you for all you contributed to this fabulous reunion!  I so appreciate what you added to "the pool" of talent and ideas and follow-through!
It was wonderful as always to re-connect with you and Ken, although there was not much time to really engage with either one of you -- or anyone else, for that matter.  But that's ok for now.  The main thing was the  overwhelming sense of "family" that was achieved through a combination of people, North High culture, Midwest, and fantastic committee work!
Thanks again!
 
Best regards,
Karen Szymanski
**************************************************************************************

The reunion was fantastic!  You all did a great job in planning it and the hotel was super.  Everyone treated me well.  Even people who did not remember me said they did. 

 As Bob Hope would have said, "Thanks for the Memories".

John Wieriman

 

Greetings Mike,


Another thanks for your major, major contribution in time and effort to make the reunion very successful.

How did we do on contributions and collected fees versus expenses?   If we have a significant deficit, I'm sure we can make people aware of the shortfall and collect additional funds.   Hearing only positive comments from classmates I talked to, I'm sure classmates (starting with me) would be willing to contribute additional funds.

Please let me know.   Committee members should not have to absorb more costs in addition to the many hours they contributed to make the reunion the success it truly was.


Mike Spillane

 

 ***********

 Hi Phyllis,


It was so great to see you and everyone over last weekend.

Help...I somehow mislaid my directory.  Is it available electronically?  Please send me another one if possible.

Thanks for all the really hard work and devotion you put into our reunion.

Please call us when you plan to be in Scottsdale so we can get together.

HARVEY KAYE

 

 Phyllis and Committee,
Thank you for all of your work on the reunion.  It was totally wonderful and obvious that you all did a bang-up job.  We enjoyed everything that you planned for us.  Nothing was overlooked.  Every detail was perfect.  And...it looks like you are just keeping on.  Good for you and good for us.  Thanks again.
Sharon Hunczak Kessler

Hi Phyllis and Michael,

I am still on cloud 9 from being a part of the big 50th class reunion.  It was just fabulous!
You two did a spectacular job in organizing and bringing the reunion to fruition.
I want to thank you both from the bottom of my heart for all of your hard work to make this reunion an event I shall never forget.  I don't have words to express how great it was to see faces and talk to classmates I haven't seen in years.  It was very surreal.  Everyone just looked great and from talking to classmates, it seems as if we are all doing quite well.  I also want to thank you so very much for recognizing our 50 year marriage.  I was so shocked when you called my name to come up and accept the wonderful gift of the Twins baseball tickets.  My husband and I can't thank you enough.
I have also sent a note to Andrea Hjelm for her generosity. Again, I thank you both, as well as your everyone on the committee who worked tirelessly to make this the BEST class reunion EVER!!!!
A million thanks again,

Pat (Lynch) Fraction



 


Hi Phyllis,
 
I would like to thank you personally for all you and your team did in bringing the reunion to fruition. I really enjoyed myself and it was great seeing everyone.
 
Regards,
 
Gary


 

Thank you for the nice update. Sorry I was unable to attend, we had out of town guests from 4 different states for 3 weeks. I'm exhausted.

Enjoy the rest of your summer.

 Mary Swenson Fickling

 
Hi Phyllis:

The reunion couldn't have gone better, and you were a huge factor in making it such a success. Thanks much for all of the great work you did, and the legacy of a website that you have left for all of us. It was great working with you, and I hope to see you again next year.

 All the best,

 Mike Conley
********************************************************************************

 When my eye sight gets better (have to think that way) I will contact Mike Frisch for copies of the roster and the cups.  I will try to get photos and videos so I can pretend.  I was very disappointed not to be there but someone once made the statement "Timing is everything" and that certainly was correct in this case.  I also think everyone that had a job (or two or three or more) really came through but You, Andrea and Mike were the driving force or backbone for the whole thing.  Thank you all very much.  Gary Masler
***************************************************

 Beautiful letter....thanks a million for your hard work

    RICK E REISS

 
What a wonderful experience!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  This will be one of the highlights of my life. You worked so hard to get this all coordinated, and did an exceptional job. Kudos to you Phillis, and rest of your volunteers and coordinators.

With heartfelt thanks,

Mary Alyce Kronzer Ofjord.

Dear Phyllis
I can see why you were so successful in what you did.  You have great follow up

As Always,

Joni Belzer

 
Thanks, Phyllis, for the idea and for getting back to me so soon.  I appreciate it.   Sounds like "a nice time was had by all".  I also appreciate that there will be annual get togethers as well as a 55th reunion.  Keep me posted.   

Peggy Morgantini 

 
Thank You

No way to tell you how much all this meant

Or thank you for all the time you spent!

It was fun, heartwarming,

A great time had by all

Magical even – a time machine fall

You provided a place where we could be

Denna Rosenau Cline

 I thought that all committee members did a great job and the success of the reunion was attributable to everyone that was involved.

 Jim Ginsburg

Sounds like everything worked out really great. I am anxious to see pictures/videos. You and the committee did a great job and I'm even more sorry I couldn't be there. Perhaps I'll be able to get in on the mini reunion some time. We are planning to be in Cornell again after the holidays, in Nov. Dec.- I'll let you know when our plans are clearer and I hope we can get together again. all the best. keep in touch.    
Ruth Ziff Adler

Hello Phyllis,

 First of all thank you for all your fabulous coordination of the Reunion…the event was absolutely the best!  It was so much fun to see many old friends and meet new ones too.

Romaine Swierczek Bechir

 And the reunion was SUPER. Thanks again for all of your effort.
                    Michelle Stark

Had a fabulous time at the reunion - Thanks again for all your hard work.

Joe Pollack

I just wanted to add my "ATTA BOY" to everyone who worked the reunion.  I think it was our best ever and we have had some good ones.  Everyone I talked to thought it was great. The room, the decorations,the program, the entertainment, the food, the memorabilia items, the memorial  to classmates no longer with us, the golf tourney, even the 50 year diplomas were enjoyable.

I've already had a number of people double checking on the date of next years  MEET & GREET in August so they can mark it on their calendar. I've also been asked if we were going to have
another golf tourney in the morning before meeting at the Park Tavern

I enjoyed working {not really the right word}  with all of you. What a wealth of talent. We did have a very special class.
And a special thank you to Gary for the mug. Sorry you had to miss the reunion.
I sincerely hope your surgery went well.
Jim Druk

 

 I was proud to be a member of this class. The efforts of Phyllis, Mike,  Marsh, Elaine,  Rachel,  Andrea,  Jim, Gary, all the members of our reunion committee, and the wonderful turnout of the class of 61 alumni, confirms my pride. We are the New York Yankees of high school reunions. Tradition & Pride.

Allan Soposnick

 

Phyllis,

A note of appreciation for your organizational skills, effort and time spent for our 50th class reunion.

Thanks You,

Carolyn Benson Pittman

 
Phyllis,

Thanks for your diligent work.  Norma and I had a great time.  

 Jim Hingeley

 

Hi Phyllis,
Thanks to you and the reunion committee for putting together what sounds like a great weekend.  I'm disappointed that I was unable to attend but have been following the website. 

While I registered, unfortunately things don't always happen as planned.  My wife had a hemorrhagic stroke awhile back, is still recovering, and travel, commotion, crowds, etc are very difficult for her.   Our children do not live close by, so I felt I needed to remain at home in NY with her.

Would it be possible to have a class directory and mug mailed to me?  I will be ordering the class pictures per instructions in your email.

Hope to see you at another NHS class of '61 function down the road.

Best regards and thanks again,

Doug Stay

  

Thanks Phyllis, you and your teammates did a great job. Thanks again and see you next time.

Roger Pearson

 

Thanks Phyllis,
 
Had a great time.  Glad I decided to come.  Plus, my granddaughter also had a great time and loved Minneapolis.
 
Catch you up in Westchester some day - Rye amusement? (ha ha).
 
Jay Saltzman

 Enjoyed the couple of evenings and you did such a good job (with that enormous committee)?

RuthGoetz Guntz

 

Marsh, 

 Your 1961 50th Reunion was such fun.  Well planned, great food, congenial crowd, wonderful entertainment, excellent presentations by you, Class President, Andrea, Cheerleaders, & Marshall Schwartz.

( Not a dry eye in the house -- pretty poignant)

What a wonderful evening.  Everyone including me had a blast.  It was pretty special. 

Thank you and all the committee members.  You all did the job!!!!

                                                  Love,

                                                  Annalee (Class of '57)

                                                                Arnie Odessky

Marsh, many many thanks for all of your work on putting on this fabulous
reunion! I loved every minute of it and am so appreciative of the time and
talents that went into it!
It was a delight to see you again and I look forward to the next time --
maybe a third Friday in August?  :)

Best to you,

Karen

 THANK YOU FOR THE SUPER HUMAN EFFORT ON YOUR PART....YOU ARE FANTASTIC

    RICK E REISS 

 

Dear Phyllis,
You did the most wonderful job putting together the reunion.  It was a wonderful experience, and it would not have happened, or would have been much inferior, without your tremendous work and imagination.   Thank you so much.
Fond regards,
Doug   (Cram)

 

The reunion was terrific and both of you did a wonderful and remarkable job!  Congratulations on a successful weekend.   

 Carolyn Appleman Gerr

Phyllis, words cannot  express my appreciation for your work on the reunion!  I only send a thousand thanks!  It was so nice spending time with you, too, along with all the other wonderful alums.  I can't imagine a better reunion anywhere!

Andrea, I just want to say thank you for all you contributed to this fabulous reunion!  I so appreciate what you added to "the pool" of talent and ideas and follow-through!
It was wonderful as always to re-connect with you and Ken, although there was not much time to really engage with either one of you -- or anyone else, for that matter.  But that's ok for now.  The main thing was the  overwhelming sense of "family" that was achieved through a combination of people, North High culture, Midwest, and fantastic committee work!
Thanks again!
 
Best regards,
Karen Szymanski
**************************************************************************************

The reunion was fantastic!  You all did a great job in planning it and the hotel was super.  Everyone treated me well.  Even people who did not remember me said they did. 

 As Bob Hope would have said, "Thanks for the Memories".

John Wieriman

Greetings Mike,

Another thanks for your major, major contribution in time and effort to make the reunion very successful.

How did we do on contributions and collected fees versus expenses?   If we have a significant deficit, I'm sure we can make people aware of the shortfall and collect additional funds.   Hearing only positive comments from classmates I talked to, I'm sure classmates (starting with me) would be willing to contribute additional funds.

Please let me know.   Committee members should not have to absorb more costs in addition to the many hours they contributed to make the reunion the success it truly was.

Mike Spillane

 ***********

 Hi Phyllis,

It was so great to see you and everyone over last weekend.

Help...I somehow mislaid my directory.  Is it available electronically?  Please send me another one if possible.

Thanks for all the really hard work and devotion you put into our reunion.

Please call us when you plan to be in Scottsdale so we can get together.

HARVEY KAYE

  Phyllis and Committee,
Thank you for all of your work on the reunion.  It was totally wonderful and obvious that you all did a bang-up job.  We enjoyed everything that you planned for us.  Nothing was overlooked.  Every detail was perfect.  And...it looks like you are just keeping on.  Good for you and good for us.  Thanks again.
Sharon Hunczak Kessler


Hi Phyllis and Michael,

I am still on cloud 9 from being a part of the big 50th class reunion.  It was just fabulous!
You two did a spectacular job in organizing and bringing the reunion to fruition.
I want to thank you both from the bottom of my heart for all of your hard work to make this reunion an event I shall never forget.  I don't have words to express how great it was to see faces and talk to classmates I haven't seen in years.  It was very surreal.  Everyone just looked great and from talking to classmates, it seems as if we are all doing quite well.  I also want to thank you so very much for recognizing our 50 year marriage.  I was so shocked when you called my name to come up and accept the wonderful gift of the Twins baseball tickets.  My husband and I can't thank you enough.
I have also sent a note to Andrea Hjelm for her generosity. Again, I thank you both, as well as your everyone on the committee who worked tirelessly to make this the BEST class reunion EVER!!!!
A million thanks again,

Pat (Lynch) Fraction

Hi Phyllis!
Thank you again for all of your help and support with the "50th" class reunion!  All of the attention to detail was amazing and the end results gave us a wonderful "Reunion Experience!"  Thank you to all of the committee classmates!!
My best to you!
Jean Kokesh Mellas
****

Special thanks though for your work in making the BIG 50 possible-

The event was special for meeting some of the people who were role models /standard setters for my development.
Julius Crawford



Reflecting on our 50th reunion, how absolutely wonderful to reconnect with classmates once again, in particular with those who have previously found it impossible to attend. The only regret we might have, is not having enough time to talk at length to EVERYONE we wanted to, who came.

Congratulations to the Committee for all that took place those 2 August evenings, making them look effortless.  It indeed, took an ARMY to do all the things that needed to be done.  We call Marsh the instigator, because he always calls the first meeting.

We started with communications, where Phyllis Smiley Brown and Michael Frisch maintained the database, looked for missing classmates and made numerous phone calls to keep track of all of us. Murray Cooper and Elaine Kellman Wedel each designed one of the fliers that you received.

 Then there was the program committee where Miriam Black gathered biographies of our speakers like Marshall Schwartz, Mark Johnson and Mike Conley and helped with the script.  Rolla Brietman took care of getting our directory printed.   Rachel Brudnoy, Lois Ozwoeld Dobrin, Mike Conley, Karen Bachman Holtmeier and Helene Bush Konn also played a big part organizing and planning the reunion .

 Rachel out did herself by numerous visits to the Apple Store to educate herself on the fine points of projection and sound presentation to allow us to have visuals of days gone by both nights and to do the retrospective on Saturday evening, as she provided the reentry through the front doors of North High once again.

The cups were the idea of Harvey Kaye and in particular Gary Masler who due to surgery was absent and couldn’t enjoy the fruits of his labor.

Judy Rockler and   Elaine Kellman Widel  made sure we had great food and speedy delivery of it.

Jim Druk, Tom Lonsky, Arnie Odessky and Bud Schaitberger organized golf, with Jim providing fabulous golf towels.

We all worked on decorations!  And along the way Jeff Silver, Gary Heck, Carolyn Appleman Gerr, Ed Weiner, Bonnie Weisberg Evidon, Kathleen Sheridan Mitchell, Lori Katz Schulman, Alice Goodwin Goldsobel, Arlene Milstein, and Charlie Darth were there for us too. 

Friday’s music was provided by Allan Soposnick, Jim Druk, Tom Lonsky and Rick Reiss.

 Buddy Holly and the Crickets, The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valance were courtesy of Andrea Hricko Hjelm.

We hope that all had a wonderful time and hold wonderful memories of the process and the event.

We look forward to coming together once again at a smaller venue each year.

Keep in touch and make sure that Phyllis or Mike Frisch has current email information or an up-to-date address.

Andrea Hricko Hjelm

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