Monday, July 17, 2006

Alumni fun

Bob Dunn has signed up for the alumni site. He and 336 other Sandpoint High School graduates have found their way to ( And, as I write this morning, I notice that Toby Carlson (Class of 1976) is on the site; he's a lawyer for the Washington State attorney general's office in Spokane.

Bob, on the other hand, has spent most of his time, since graduating in 1975, working in the wine business in California's Napa Valley. In fact, he manages a winery in Napa. So, when Bob came for a visit to North Idaho last week, he brought his wife Patte (SHS 1975 also) and three cases of fine wine to share with friends. I was fortunate to be on Bob's delivery list. First, he promised one bottle, then two and finally threw in a third.

After a nice afternoon visit with Bob and Patte, complete with reminiscing about the their days at Sandpoint High School where Bob played basketball and asked Patte (the new girl) out on Valentine's Day of their senior year, I waved good bye to them. Then, I planned which bottle would accompany our spaghetti and meatballs dinner. I chose the Trinity Oaks 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon. The Menage a Trois 2004 and Trinchero Family Merlot 2003 will wait for another occasion.

Earlier in the week, I'd used the services of Sandpoint Satellite, owned by 1976 graduate Lenny Hess, to hook up our TV's. While on the phone, Lenny took time to invite me to his class reunion in a couple of weeks. Later, I saw on the alumni site a query from Darrell Gustaveon regarding the extracurriculars associated with the 30th year reunion.

I chuckled to myself about "extracurriculars" going along with a class reunion, thinking the reunion itself usually turns out to be one large extracurricular which by the 30 year time begs for nothing extra than some time to sleep and rest those weary bones. After my chuckle, I wrote a note to Darrell and told him Lenny Hess knew all about the reunion and that I'd urge Lenny to sign up for the alumni site and provide the details.

So far, Lenny hasn't completed his old English teacher's assignment, but I have read a nice note from Darrell, whom I haven't seen in at least 15 years. That's why I'm mentioning the alumni site once more and hoping those who've been reluctant to register will reconsider. Of course, being a teacher at SHS for 33 years offers me a plethora of good times as I hear from students like James Martin (Class of 1990) and E.D. Nelson (Class of 1988).

I felt a surge of real excitement when I discovered Karen Holm (Class of 1977) on the list. She married Harry Jaentsch from Germany and has lived there for quite some time. I saw her name, found her address, sent a note, let my horses out, came back to my computer, and there was a nice note from Karen. Karen's the oldest of five Holm sisters, whom I taught over the years. I'm hoping she'll convince Nancy, Susan, Janet and Carol to sign up for the site too.

Anyway, the site's been a lot of fun for me, and I've been told by several former students and classmates of my own that they've enjoyed the opportunities it offers---reconnecting with names from the past, discussing common interests on forums and learning about gatherings of friends in various areas. There's even a "15 minutes of Fame" section on the forum list.

Once again, I tip my hat to Pete Neisen, Brian Fischer and Colt Mehler for their vision and their hard work in creating this tool that will rekindle so many friendships among Sandpoint High grads. And, I'll encourage once more readers to sign up or to spread the word to those who ought to sign up.

It's free and fun.

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