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Mishawaka High Class of 1968
45-year Reunion
September 13, 14, 15, 2013
The thrills began on Friday the 13th at a home football game.
The main event was at Castle Manor, all day on Saturday.

Over 400 photos from the reunion weekend can be found HERE.
Arrangement is by photographer, and they are in high resolution.

Front row, from left:
Connie Shaffer (from Florida), Marty Zemialkowski, Kathy Klotz (from Arizona), Carole Signorino, Peggy Sinkovics, Christina Nicholas, Jimita Baldoni.
Back row:
Jim Locke (from Texas), Victoria Long, Randy Smith in red baseball cap, Eve Thompson (from California), Andy Palatinus, Darlene Lennox, Steve Cunningham (from southern Indiana).
-- photo by Keith Cooper

It was a "Come on home" kind of weekend!

Forty-five years out of high school, the thrills began on Friday the 13th, with MHS vs. Riley football, at MHS. Many from MHS '68 gathered at the 20-yard line and saw MHS beat Riley.
On Saturday, we had Castle Manor for the entire day. Terry DeMaegd opened the doors at 7 a.m., and we filled the place & the grounds with old friends and enormous quantities of excellent food. At least 80 from MHS '68 were at Castle Manor, and most had guests. In addition, Dr. Reed and Mr. August Baetsle stopped in.
Saturday evening, many of us were at American Legion 357 to hear Dave Hoskins' band and to dance.
On Sunday, 23 folks joined for a goodbye dinner, with Don Plummer offering grace.

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PHOTOS
The reunion weekend had seven parts that were open to all.
The photos are separated into those seven parts.
The main event at Castle Manor was so big that it has several pages:


More Photos Off Site:
Over 400 photos are at photobucket.com. There are no identifications. Photos are arranged by the persons who took the photos: Keith Cooper, Pam Craig, Sharon Gill, Jim Locke, Alice Beard, and a few miscellaneous photos.
photobucket: MHS Class of 1968 45-year reunion

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Details of the weekend:

  • High school tour:
    Before the Friday night football game, Principal Jerome Calderone gave a tour of the high school to about a dozen.
  • Football!
  • Main Jr. High tour:
    Eve Thompson arranged a tour of the old Main Jr. High building for Saturday morning.
  • Door prizes on Saturday at Castle Manor!
    Andy Palatinus donated $100; Dan Nicolini donated $50. They told Terry DeMaegd to "do something special." Terry used the money for door prizes, all day long. There were drawings every hour thruout the day, but folks had to BE THERE to win.
  • Food at Castle Manor!
    The spread of food rivaled the feast in the wedding scene of the movie "Steel Magnolias."
  • Old cars at Castle Manor!
    Six classic cars were on display at Castle Manor, arranged by Bob Van Arsdale.
  • Canoeing on the St. Joseph River!
    Pat McGee brought a canoe, paddles, and life jackets, and she took a few folks out on the St. Joseph River.
  • Birthday cake!
    It was Becky Smith's birthday. In the evening we had birthday cake from West End Bakery and ice cream from Bonnie Doon's, and we sang "Happy Birthday" to Becky.
  • Party favors!
    Bottles of bubbles and MHS '68 decks of cards, from Eve Thompson.
  • Sparklers & fireworks at Castle Manor!
    When it turned dark, we had sparklers, & fireworks, & little hot air balloons to float over the river.
  • Dancing in the evening!
    Dave Hoskins' band played at American Legion 357. About 25 or 30 from MHS '68 (plus guests) were there.
  • Goodbye dinner on Sunday:
    Nineteen from MHS '68 and four guests joined for dinner at a nice little restaurant in downtown Mishawaka. We had the place to ourselves.

THANKS to Terry DeMaegd
for signing the rental contract!

THANKS to these folks for covering the rental cost:

Steve Cunningham Mike Natali
Bill Groth Debby Parnell
Debbie Koepke Lois Rice
Darlene Lennox Jerry Thacker
Becky McCoy Rose Wilkins
Pat McGee

THANKS to these folks for donating & volunteering:

  • Cash donations used for door prizes:
    Andy Palatinus donated $100.
    Dan Nicolini donated $50.
    Terry DeMaegd shopped for prizes, wrapped them pretty,
    and there were hourly door prizes all day at Castle Manor!
  • Coffee & supplies:
    Terry DeMaegd: large coffee maker for the day
    Terry DeMaegd: coffee, creamer, styrofoam cups
    Randy Smith: regular coffee
  • Cases of bottled water:
    Randy Smith, Linda DeMeulenaere, Dave Hamman
  • Welcome banner & balloons:
    Debby Parnell
  • Party paper products:
    Brenda Burkett, Margie Hesch, Becky McCoy
  • Table coverings:
    Toby Roose
  • Table center pieces:
    Pam Craig cut up her own yearbook to make beautiful center pieces.
  • Paper necessities:
    Terry DeMaegd: toilet paper
    Alice Beard: paper towels and trash bags
  • Evening cake & ice cream (for Becky's birthday)
    Tammy Reed: cake from West End Bakery
    Mary Rhoade, Mary Ann Pechi, Jerry Cavanah: ice cream
  • Party favors: bubbles to blow & MHS 1968 cards!
    Eve Thompson
  • Sparklers & fountains & floating Chinese lanterns for evening play:
    Spider Draves
  • Fireworks in the sky:
    Terry DeMaegd
  • Event photographer:
    Keith Cooper
    (Photos also from Sharon Gill, Pam Craig, Jim Locke, Alice Beard.)
  • Fire maker & fire tender:
    Michael Morrison started a fire in the fireplace in the morn and kept it going all day long.
  • The "cookie lady":
    Paula Lampert baked cookies so that Castle Manor smelled like home.
  • Postal mailings to 88 with no known email address:
    Debbie Morse, Becky McCoy, Paula Miller, Debby Stretch
  • Table setup in morn:
    Terry DeMaegd
  • Food setup and arrangements:
    Pam Craig and Debby Parnell
  • Castle Manor cleanup at day's end:
    Linda DeMeulenaere

THANKS to these folks for traveling to Mishawaka:
Eve Thompson (California); Pat McGee, Dan Nicolini, Kathy Klotz, Bill Hickey (Arizona); Lois Rice (New Mexico); Jim Locke (Texas); Ken Brugh (Colorado); Connie Shaffer, Brenda Snyder, Mike Squibb (Florida); Donna Games (New York); Margaret Hutchison (Iowa); Mary Jane Dexter (Virginia); Alice Beard (Maryland); Mary Rhoade (eastern Ohio); Steve Cunningham (southern Indiana); Kerry Deardorff (north of Chicago); Debbie Morse, Cosimo Natali, Mike Natali, Tom Grau, Bill Groth (Indianapolis).

THANKS to all the folks who brought wonderful food!

Wrap-up of the reunion weekend:
At least 80 from MHS '68 were at Castle Manor on Saturday, September 14, 2013. Most had a guest or two. Best guess on total attendance at Castle Manor would be about 150 (counting guests of class members). There are 422 who were part of the MHS Class of '68. (Whether someone walked across the stage in June 1968 is not what determines who was part of the MHS Class of '68.) Additionally, there are two included who never made it to MHS because their families had to move away in 7th or 8th grades; thus, that takes us to 424. Forty-seven are known to be dead. That meant we were working at getting 377 to come to at least one event over the reunion weekend. Two were at the game on Friday but could not be at Castle Manor, so we're up to 82 participants.  That's a participation rate of 21.7%. In addition, there were three who helped put the reunion on but who did not come: Rose Wilkins, Debby Stretch, and Paula Miller. The folks who were there for any part of the reunion weekend seemed to have had a terrific time.

The reunion could NOT have happened without the involvement of many, many people. First were the people who volunteered to contribute to cover the cost of renting Castle Manor: Steve Cunningham, Bill Groth, Debbie Koepke, Darlene Lennox, Becky McCoy, Pat McGee, Mike Natali, Deborah Parnell, Lois Rice, Jerry Thacker, and Rose Wilkins. And there was Terry DeMaegd, without whom the day could not have been put together; there had to be someone whom others would trust to send their $$, who could be trusted to use the $$ to rent the space, who would bother with actually getting to where he needed to be to sign the forms, and who then would actually show up on reunion day to unlock the door for us!

Every time something was added to the list of "donations wanted," someone immediately volunteered to donate. And every person who volunteered to donate came through. Every single person! Unexpectedly, Spider Draves donated bunches of sparklers, just pulled them off the shelves at his fireworks store, bagged them, and said, "My contribution. No cost." Tammy Reed stopped in at West End Bakery to pick up Becky's birthday cake and said, "I'll pick it up. Let me pay for it." And the food for the day?  Mamma Mia!  If you were not there, you would not believe it and no description would be adequate: Folks came through with generous, wonderful food contributions for the potluck table. The spread looked like something out of the movie "Steel Magnolias." You name it, and we had it!  Even pink lemonade in a fancy dispenser! Someone brought the best sausage ever -- large links in a big aluminum pan. Meat balls to die for! Peggy Sinkovics' Hungarian noodles. More desserts than you would find at a restaurant. The food was just fantastic! And behind every dish, there were loving hands that put it together. Drinks? We had bottled water, hot coffee, beer, wine (red & white), chocolate milk.  

Pam Craig deserves a special thanks for some beautiful center pieces.  She cut up her own senior yearbook to make them. She made beautiful and appropriate center pieces, surrounded by photos from past reunions that folks could look at and see what we looked like 10, 20, and 30 years ago, at other reunions. effort.

And time for clean up? Oh, my! Everyone helped some, but Linda DeMeulenaere really did the lion's share of the clean up.  No advance notice.  There was just work to be done, and she started doing it.  She wanted to wash some windows at the end of the day, to make sure that MHS '68 was known as a "clean group"! Who washes windows? Terry stopped her! The place was left spotless.

Please understand: THIS REUNION WEEKEND WAS DONE ON ZERO BUDGET!  

On a more sober note, 47 of us have passed on. They are named here: Gone but not forgotten. Thus far in 2013, we have lost three.  In 2012, we lost two.  In 2011, two.  In 2010, three.  In 2009, three.  In 2008, four.  "Each man's death diminishes me." The death of any childhood friend is especially hard; childhood friends serve the purpose of remembering when we forget.  

The reunion weekend was out of this world! May God bless you.  

P.S.: If you'd like the most up-to-date MHS '68 contacts list, ask Alice. If you'd like any info about you at the cavemen68.com site updated, send word.


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