Wooly Bully

The party room attached to the bar at the VFW in Fairport last night was flooded with florescent lighting and the acoustics from the hard surfaces made conversation tough but the class of 1968 rose to the challenge. Just like old people, everyone pretty much showed up at once. There was about a third of the class there along with a poster with the faces of the fallen. Three of my best friends from high school were on the board and it felt strange. Everyone knew Charlie Coco and Tim Schapp (in the glasses below) had died of AIDS but a number of people asked me how Dave Mahoney died, Patti Cowie, Dave’s old flame, among them.

Row I - Nancy Barry, Bill DeMar, Dave LaPlante, Richard Poe
Row I – Nancy Barry, Bill DeMar, Dave LaPlante, Richard Poe Row 2 – Bernard Finch, Mary Renz, Tom Kalupski, May Piotrowski, Bill Hargarther, Debby Wiechman, Joe Barrett, Rena Wojack Row 3 – Darlene Hilfiker, Richard LaFrois, Ruth White, Bobby Gray, Barb Mayer,Tom Schneider, Martha Schneider, Albert Williams Row 4 – Andy Finn, Jean Meier, Paul Dodd, Sandy Argus, Bob Brooks, MaryAnn Wojaick, John Abrams, Irene Palermo Row 5 – Marty Schreiber, Tim Schapp, Eileen Amen, Roger Miner, Michael Coffee, Linda Fry, Steve Zelimier, Michael Kubrich Row 6 – Gary Nagel, Dave Wilson, Fred Lorman, Richard Switzer, John Welch, Bob Leiberrnan, Milan Beh, Alfred Williams

Someone brought old class photos and I was knocked out by this one of our fifth grade class at Holy Trinity. My family moved out of the city that year and I joined the class midyear so I didn’t expect to see my photo in here (with tie above). Bill DeMar was in the photo. I heard he is dead too. He figured out how to set the clocks back so the bell never rang at the end of recess. Andy Finn, who has his own talk show, was in the photo and Tim Schapp and Joe Barrett were there even though they were not in attendance at the reunion. Bill Grey, whose father started Bill Grey’s restaurants, was in the photo and John Abraham, a good friend from grade school. He died in a car crash right after high school. Albert Williams was in the photo and in attendance. His twin brother, Alfred, was in the photo but still in Las Vegas. Dave LaPlant  was in the photo and he was standing right next to me. He helped me identify the rest of the class. Jean Maier was in the photo and she was there too. And Irene Palermo was on the end of row four. I called her over to show her the photo. We were boyfriend/girlfriend in high school. She told me I looked thin. I took it to mean  “too thin”. She looked great.

I was too overwhelmed to take photos and that is not like me. I did get a good one of Nina Gaby and Leeann Birdsall and another of Karen Mahoney and Laurice Densmore. I couldn’t tell if I was overloaded from seeing so many familiar people or emotionally drained from replaying so many scenes from the past. I wasn’t even able to make good conversation. I felt like I was back in high school. Mike Allen took me out to his car to show me something. He was in working bands in high school and he gave me an announcement for an upcoming gig. I checked to see how Peggi was holding up. I was in her place earlier in the year when we went to her reunion outside Detroit. She was talking to Mary Kaye and Shirley Zimmer and was all smiles so I felt better.

We did the twist on the dance floor and we all snaked into the bar. Marianne Gocker was hanging on to my hips. Holly Clark became the Queen of Soul for “Respect”. The class was dancing in a big circle and Jeff Munson and Doug Klick did a WWF interpretation of Wolly Bully in the center of it all. The dj had a pretty good segue with Louie Louie but it wasn’t the Kingsmen version.

The committee took home mums and leftovers from Proiettis. I was still out of it today so we snuck over to Rick and Monica’s hot tub for a soak and then watched Mystery Science Theatre reruns on VHS.


6 Replies to “Wooly Bully”

  1. I have to stop reading your blog. The picture of my Tim did me in. Do you have Jeff Munson’s email? I wish the class of 1959 had a contact list. No one does.

  2. Hi Paul,
    Great blog about the reunion. I was one of the missing graduates. I could just kicked myself for not making more of an effort to be there. Everyone looks like they had a great time. Mike Reifenstein was kind enough to send me pics, and then there were a couple posted on the reunion website. I was just wondering if you had taken any, and if you would be willing to share them. Thanks, Linda

  3. hi paul! i agree with linda anderson, i should have made the effort and gone…i did connect with irene palermo, debi burns, terry catalano and nancy gula (can’t think of maiden name – there’s a phrase!). nancy crashed the reunion along with patti cowie and a few others that were in steve’s (my brother) class. debi had sent me an email asking me to reconsider because she and a bunch of other ‘girls’ were attending without their husbands – unfortunately she sent the email to an old email address that i didn’t check prior to the reunion. anyway, we got together at ‘champs’ for lunch to catch up and share photos. well – three hrs later we were parting company with a resolution to get together again sometime in the not too distant future. this class photo from holy trinity is a RIOT!!! brings back lots of memories…weren’t we all just adorable?!! thanks for posting the pic and the reunion blog! may

  4. Paul,
    It was a nice surprise to run across your blog! I enjoyed seeing you at the September reunion. It was fun to read your reminiscences.
    Just after Christmas, I had the pleasure of getting together with Cheryl Mitchell, Melissa Doyle, Joan Weissegger, and Marlene Jenner. It’s a great feeling to reconnect, and actually connect stronger than we ever did in school.
    Hope your New Year stays happy!

  5. paul,
    thanks to you, i’m remembered!! don’t know WHAT made me google my birdsall self, but there i was! the pics are great. linda fry was my neighbor and friend. she died of brain cancer at an early age, along with my other neighbor, bernadette nau! thank god, i’m still pluggin’ away. omg – turning 60 this year!!!! aren’t we all???

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