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© Denny Dunkelberger

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After the recent loss of two of our classmates, we were reminded again how important it is to stay connected with old friends. Losing any of our classmates saddens us, but losing Karen Moore Maas and Wayne Smith so close together and within months of celebrating our 50th has a special poignancy about it. Because both Karen and Wayne played significant roles in our successful 50th reunion efforts.

Karen had been an active member of the reunion committees for years, most recently for the "Class of '65 Turns 65" celebration in 2012, as well as for our 50th last October. She was full of enthusiasm for both events and never tired of talking about growing up at E. J. Brown and the golden days at Colonel White. Nobody enjoyed getting together to work on reunion details more than Karen. She loved the dinner meetings at Shen's, and the emails, stories, and phone calls we shared. Karen was always the first to volunteer for whatever needed to be done. She was the happy spark at those meetings. Always the party girl. Always ready to help.

As for Wayne, at the Friday night ice breaker of reunion weekend, his band - Finton/Collins and the Nite Lites - provided the nostalgia trigger for everyone at the Shiloh Athletic Club. The ice breaker was a great success. Later that same month at a Van Cleve luncheon with his classmates, Wayne couldn't stop talking about how much it had meant for him to play at the reunion. He was a self-taught musician on keyboard and guitar, despite being almost totally blind from a bout of shingles he suffered through years before. At his funeral in June, they played one of his tapes. It was Wayne playing "Amazing Grace."

Thank you, Karen and Wayne. We will miss you both.

The Reunion Committee


By Howard Krisher

Thank you, Kathy. That was kind of pitiful applause. Please join me in once again thanking the Reunion Committee who has planned and organized the events of this outstanding weekend and for all the work they have done! I want to join Kathy in welcoming each and every one of you to our class's 50 Year class reunion! Many of you have come a very long way and spent a significant sum of money to be with us here tonight — thank you to those who have traveled such distances, and thank you to everyone else in attendance — it is great to see you all!

When Kathy asked me to say a few words tonight, I told her that I thought I had been impeached years ago for dereliction of duty when I failed to attend our 25th reunion, or at least was put out of office long ago due to term limits. Kathy advised that, in fact, term limits didn't apply to people elected in the 1960s. However, she did confirm I had been impeached in 1990 after I missed the 25th reunion, but there just weren't enough votes to convict me in the Senate to remove me; and by the time of our 37th reunion, everyone had forgotten I had missed the 25th... so here I am ... still hanging around.

After I agreed to do this, I asked my girlfriend Carol, "Did you ever, in your wildest dreams, think I'd be speaking at my high school class's 50th reunion"? She thought for a moment and then said, "Howard, I'm 68 years old, and I have been running around with you now for almost ten years, and frankly, nowadays, when I have wild dreams . . . you're not in them."

On the one hand, it seems absolutely impossible that it's been 50 years since we graduated; on the other hand, it does indeed, now seem like a very, very long time ago. As we all know, gasoline is no longer 31 cents a gallon, a dozen eggs no longer costs 53 cents, a loaf of bread costs a lot more than 21 cents and stamps are a lot more than a nickel! Drive through downtown Dayton, and many of our old neighborhoods, and you'll barely recognize the landscape. What was once Colonel White High School has now, literally, been obliterated!

As we gather this evening, like many of you I suspect, paradoxically, I am both sad and happy ... at the same time. I guess you could say this is a bittersweet experience. Certainly, we all share sadness, and a real sense of loss, at the many classmates, far too many, who are no longer with us to joyfully celebrate this evening - their absence is a strong emotional reminder of our own mortality, and the importance of each of us trying to make the most of each and every day we have.

But, I also feel a deep sense of happiness, gratitude, and appreciation. I hope you do, too. I am happy and grateful because we've all had the good fortune to make it here, despite our illnesses, failures, divorces, broken hearts, financial wipe outs, and near misses — by golly, here we are!! So, I'm sure that while many of you, as I do, share a sense of sadness and loss for the many classmates we have lost, we also share a sense of gratitude, happiness, and joy for those who are with us here this evening.

Speaking of gratitude, I would predict that almost everyone here shares a deep debt of gratitude toward Colonel White for the outstanding high school education that was made available to us. To think, that 50 years later, we would still have faculty members and family representatives of faculty members, who still care about the Class of 1965 enough to expend the time and energy to honor us by coming to this reunion to share their time with us once again - it's simply phenomenal: Ci and Jodi DeVelbiss, Mr. Eby, Mr. Whitaker, Mr. Payne and Mr. Blum. Please join me in once again saluting these faculty members and family representatives. Thank you for providing us with a world class high school education! We are all grateful for the many lessons you and the other members of the faculty taught us.

You know, Coach Eby and Coach Whitaker always told us that we would learn a lot from football — teamwork, sacrifice, and the value of discipline and hard work. During our sophomore and junior years, we often experienced the thrill of victory, and, unfortunately for us during our senior year, we learned what the agony of defeat was all about.

Before I close, I want to share a very personal story about a lesson I learned during high school football from one of my teammates that, over the years, has come to mean a great deal to me, and to my family. One of our missing classmates tonight is Harry Lee Foster. I loved Harry Foster. Harry and I went all through Brown School together, and then Colonel White. We shared a love for, of all things, professional wrestling, and a love of football.

Back when Harry and I played football, there was not quite the concern for concussions and head blows that there is today. Indeed, not only were we taught to deliver blows to the heads of opposing players when we played defense; we were also encouraged to lead with our head when we tackled them.

There was a particular drill that Harry and I often participated in that many of us came to very much dislike. We would be split into two lines, facing each other, roughly 10 to 15 yards apart. The ball would then be thrown to the person at the head of one line and it would be the responsibility of the first person in the other line to tackle the ball carrier. Fifteen yards was just enough distance for the ball carrier to get up a full head of steam. Because we were always taught to "stay low", the ball carrier would run as low as he could to the ground, usually with his head down. Those tackling were also taught to stay as low as they could get to the ground. Not surprisingly, there were often some unbelievable, God awful, traumatic, head-to-head collisions, the ferocity of which you can hardly begin to imagine! Often, these collisions were very painful, particularly when you had to tackle someone as big or bigger than you — often, they hurt like hell!

I can still remember guys getting up and staggering around with their fists clenched, their heads spinning around after these collisions, sometimes even with tears in their eyes — often they were cussing and expressing their anger and frustration as a result of the pain and discomfort of the collision they had just experienced.

But Harry's reaction was different. After the collisions, when you'd look at Harry, he might be staggering, but he would always be laughing and smiling. Over and over, I saw Harry dismiss his pain and discomfort with laughter and good humor. It was one of the most remarkable things I have ever seen and, even as I speak to you this evening, I can still see and hear Harry, as vividly as if it were yesterday, laughing after we bumped heads at full speed. It was as if Harry was saying, "You can hurt me, but you can't crush my spirit. You cannot crush my spirit."

Now, let's fast forward from my Colonel White days to 1989, and join me as I sit next to the bed of my then 10-year-old daughter, Kathy, at Children's Hospital here in Dayton where Kathy was undergoing chemotherapy for a nasty life-threatening cancer known as Ewing's Sarcoma.

Chemotherapy for kids in 1989 was basically a cocktail of various intense poisons designed to hopefully kill the cancer cells and, hopefully, not kill your kid. Of course, Kathy's beautiful blonde hair immediately fell out, and she was soon as bald as a billiard ball. The chemo made her so violently ill and her nausea so profound, that instead of being able to take her chemotherapy as an outpatient, like many of the kids were able to do, it was necessary for Kathy to be admitted to the hospital each and every time she received chemo. During the early weeks of her treatment, which lasted for 16 months, Kathy struggled with the chemotherapy and the violent, non-stop, disabling nausea and vomiting that it caused.

As I watched my innocent 10-year-old suffer, I thought of Harry Foster and I shared his story and the lessons he taught me with Kathy. I told her how Harry would react when we banged our heads into one another at full speed. I told her how Harry would laugh in the face of his pain and mock his misery. I told her how Harry's attitude was always happy and upbeat, even when he was hurting. Kathy thought it was a great story; she really wrapped her arms around it, took it to heart, and began practicing it. From that point forward, during her chemo, after she would finish violently throwing up, she would often wipe her face, look up at me with a big smile or laugh and say, "Daddy, do you remember Harry Foster?"

We would both smile and laugh and wait for the next wave of nausea to set in, and repeat the process again. But, thanks to Harry, it was Kathy's way of saying to her cancer, "You may make me sick, but you can't crush my spirit. You will not crush my spirit."

After I was asked to speak tonight, I called Kathy, now 36, and the mother of my two grandchildren, and I asked her — do you remember Harry Foster? She immediately replied, "Of course I do! I use what he taught us all the time." Sadly, while he was still alive, I never got around to thanking Harry for his remarkable example and what I learned from him on the football field at Colonel White. But tonight I say, "Thank you, Harry, for the example and for the life lesson you taught me when we were classmates at Colonel White."

Tonight, I hope we're all grateful and appreciative for Colonel White, for the highly talented teachers who educated us there, and especially for the wonderful faculty members and family representatives who have joined us tonight and honored us with their presence!

I hope we are all thankful for each other and the lessons we learned from each other at Colonel White. Once again, "welcome" to each and every one of you — please enjoy the rest of this special evening!

Please join me now as I offer a toast:

Here's to the outstanding teachers who taught us, and especially the DeVelbiss Family, Mr. Eby, Mr. Whitaker, Mr. Payne and Mr. Blum,
Here's to the classmates we've lost.
May we hold them, and the memories of our days at Colonel White, in our hearts forever!

Hear! Hear!

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The CWHS “Class of ’65 Turns 65” Birthday Bash - October 12, 2012

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1. Rob Jewett
2. Joe McCoppin
3. Mike Dungan
4. Howard Krisher
5. Doug Korns
6. Dave Finnell
7. Kip Napier
8. Marilyn Minneman
9. Fred Englehardt
10. Eileen Lauderman
11. Peggy Miller
12. Carolyn Welhener
13. Bruce Humphrey
14. Kay Prinz
15. Kathy Keefer
16. Denny Egger
17. Milan Mamula
18. Randy Geel
19. Wayne Smith
20. Bob Albaugh
21. Tom Struckman
22. Bob Scheller
23. Bob Huff
24. John Stephens
25. Marlene Lansman
26. Kathy Iman
27. Dave Straus
28. Bill Grimpe
29. Suzy Stephens
30. Carol Flinspach
31. Kay Branson
32. Sheila Swartzel
33. Steve Rubin
34. Ed Pfeiffer
35. Joanne Jett
36. Barry Udis
37. Karen Moore
38. Sheryl Petry
39. Sherman Hillelson
40. Debbie Teeters
41. Chery Redinger
42. Steve Guy
43. Jean Monbeck
44. Pat Hoskinson
(Not pictured: Larry House, Sarita Smith, Sylvia Williams)


Thanks For A Wonderful Evening

The reunion committee would like to thank all those who attended the party on October 12, 2012. We found it rather ironic that we had 65 reservations for the "Class of '65 Turns 65" Birthday Bash.

In addition to a loyal following from around the area and adjoining states, classmates came from as far away as California, Texas, New York, Florida, Maryland, and the Carolinas. Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time. A lot of laughter, good food, good conversation, and the casual environment of Celebrations II made for a wonderful evening. We even had a CW trivia quiz to test our aging brain cells!

Anyone wishing to join the planning committee for the 50th reunion, please let us know. And thanks to everyone listed below who ate a lot of Chinese food at Shen's over the last year while planning this get together.

See you in 2015!

CWHS Class of '65
Reunion Committee

Kathy Keefer Fink
Kay Branson Hamilton
Steve Guy
Jean Monbeck LeBlanc
Karen Moore Maas
Joe McCoppin
Kathy Iman Potter
Suzy Stephens
Carol Flinspach Yinger

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©2015 Colonel White H.S. Class of 1965


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