Along with all kinds of groups, co-workers are also a growing kind of reunions. Stands to reason, after all, if you worked together for years (usually a lot longer than four years you shared in high school), you miss ‘em when you don’t see them every day any longer. These even include workers at companies that no longer exist. Universally, people say it’s great to catch up and find out what everyone’s doing. Did you plan your co-worker reunion? If so, we’d love to learn more abut it. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Calling all fruits
All “fruits” were called to return to Brundidge, Alabama. Fruits? What “fruits?” The 900-plus former employees of the Brundidge Fruit of the Loom Shirt Factory and Reigel Gloves were invited to gather for a “talk down memory lane.”
In the late 1960s, the shirt factory employed nearly 700 workers, the largest employer in the county. Of the 700 employees, only about 100 were men. The number of employees fluctuated from time to time, but the plant gave a continuous boost to the local economy and put many meals on tables. The relationship between the town and the textile plant was a win-win situation.
Erma and Joe Green organized the reunion (Erma organized retirement and holiday parties for 21 years). No invitations were sent because the reunion committee used radio, newspapers and banners strung across Main Street in Brundidge. They were depending on word of mouth. They planned refreshments, photos to look at and a short program with lots of surprises.
Laughter and chatter characterized the first-ever, but not last, Fruit of the Loom employees reunion with 350-plus in attendance. “Fruits” shared memories, caught up on news and even told secrets on each other.
Patsy Goodson said employees and management were a close-knit group. “Older employees really looked after us and were like part of our family,” she said. “We spent every day together and soon learned to talk and work at the same time and make production doing it. So, we knew all about and cared about each other.” From articles in the Troy Messenger, Troy, Alabama, by Jaine Treadwell.
Number crunchers reunited
People who worked for the accounting firm Rawlinsons in the 1950s and ’60s gathered in Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, England. Many had not seen each other for decades – but the group chatted as if they had never been apart, and shared many fond memories. People were delighted to be able to look through documents and remember the old days.
The company was started in 1941 by Denis Rawlinson, who retired in 1986, died in August 1999 at age 84 and is still fondly remembered by those who worked for him. From the Peterborough Evening Telegraph, Peterborough, England.
This reunion is not about Lincoln National Bank, it’s about people who worked there. More than a decade after the bank ceased to exist, its former employees decided to get together to talk about the good old days. Nearly 200 attended.
Carl Gunkler started as a messenger boy in 1939 and rose to president and CEO. Except for a break for military service during World War II, Gunkler spent his entire 42-year work life at Lincoln.
Gunkler said, “People move around so much because there’s no loyalty from company to employee. That goes the other way too.” Little things, like picnics and Christmas parties Lincoln gave for its employees, made them feel valued.
In the world before television, local sports leagues were a major source of entertainment. A basketball team was formed at Lincoln, and they needed a few more players. Gunkler was hired because he could play basketball. One person remembered employees were hired right out of high school because they were good pitchers or hockey players. From a story by Linda Lipp in the Fort Wayne News Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Children’s Hospital reunion
Artifacts, photographs and memories were shared during a reunion for about 600 patients and staff members of the former Newington Hospital for Crippled Children, in Hartford, Connecticut. Once the region’s premier medical institution for treating children with chronic and crippling ailments, the hospital became Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in 1996. Children were treated for a wide range of illnesses and ailments, including some, such as tuberculosis and polio, that have been all but eradicated.
Publication of The Home for Incurables by Barbara Donahue, a 98-year history of the Newington hospital, triggered an outpouring of memories from thousands who worked or were treated there.
One person said living at the hospital was difficult for young children separated from their families. Siblings weren’t allowed to visit and parents could come only on weekends, which sometimes left kids lonely and afraid. The only pleasure was looking forward to weekend visits. Over the years, the hospital reflected advances in medical technology and care and changing attitudes toward treatment of the disabled and children. From a story by John M. Moran in the Hartford Courant, Hartford, Connecticut.
Reunion brings plant coworkers together
To former employees of Ozark’s Fasco plant, it had the telltale signs of a large, long-awaited family reunion. Roy Morisset, the driving force behind the reunion, said it made him smile. When he came up with the idea, news spread mostly by word of mouth.
Morisset, who today owns his own business, misses the camaraderie built during 26 years at Fasco. “You work in a factory with hundreds and hundreds of people for that long, and they know you,” he said.
Conversation and reminiscing continued until late afternoon. Resting under a shady pavilion, Roy Morisset was all grins. He and a good friend swapped stories and jokes, happy to be in the company of one another and old friends.
And even as it was winding down, Morisset was already thinking about the next reunion. From a story by Matt Lemmon in the Harrison Daily Times, Harrison, Arkansas.
Calef’s Country Store reunion
Calef’s Country Store in Barrington, New Hampshire, welcomed former employees and their families to a reunion as part of the store’s year-long 135th anniversary.
The gathering afforded Calef’s management the chance to thank everyone who brought life to the old store. “We may be able to keep the building open,” said owner Cleve Horton, “but it is the employees who lend their spirit to the store.”
Calef’s Country Store opened in 1869 and four subsequent generations of Calefs operated it until the Hortons took over in 1996. From a story in the Dover Community News, Dover, New Hampshire.
Three-wheeled reunion in Burnsville
Twenty-five years ago, Dave Edmonson, Apple Valley, Minnesota, launched the Freeway, a car that got upwards of 100 miles per gallon, making it much more gas-efficient than the other cars of that era. He designed the car as a project for his mechanical engineering degree from the University of Minnesota. “The Freeway took off when we had lines for gas in 1979,” Edmonson said. “Everyone else was doing the same thing, so I did a design project on a one-person car.”
Edmonson’s son Chris and Freeway-enthusiast Jim Rostis planned a reunion for car owners and former employees to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the car’s production.
“I’ve done research for more than 15 years trying to track down all 700 [cars].”
The plan was to meet in mid-afternoon after lunch, followed by a road rally through Burnsville followed by a group that will head back to dinner in the park.
In 1982, Dave Edmonson said the shop closed when the economy went sour and gas prices dropped, causing orders for the car to dwindle. The car’s body is fiberglass with a frame of tubular steel. The gas efficiency came from the car’s aerodynamics and light weight – 600-650 pounds without a passenger. The 16-horsepower engine helped produce speeds of up 65 miles per hour.
The car’s two wheels in front were responsible for steering, while the one in back drove the car. There are no gears, just stop and go. From a story by Lonny Goldsmith in the Brooklyn Center Sun Post, Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.
Bethlehem Steel escorts reminisce
From the 1940s to the 1980s, Bethlehem Steel in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, employed more than 200 escorts, known as elevator girls, who greeted guests visiting Bethlehem Steel.
Fifty former Bethlehem Steel escorts, ages about 40 to 80, gathered at a reunion to reminisce about working for the industrial giant. According to the escorts’ handbook they were 18 years or older, attractive, smart and personable. They were required to look and act uniformly and received detailed instructions about how to wear their clothes, hair, makeup, shoes and accessories. A “well-proportioned figure” was a job requirement and weight was monitored. Waist measurements had to be 10 inches smaller than bust and hip measurements.
Escorts welcomed people into company offices and escorted guests from the lobby to the office they were to visit. They started a conversation to get information about guests to make appropriate introductions.
Once the escort arrived at an office, she was responsible for introducing the guest to the Bethlehem Steel employee. Then she excused herself, went back to the lobby and waited for the next guest. From a story by Michael P. Buffer in The Express Times, Easton, Pennsylvania.
Diamond Tool reunion
The Diamond Horseshoe and Tool Company of Duluth, Minnesota, opened its doors in 1924 and was shut down by competition almost 70 years later. Former employees say company environment was one-of-a-kind. The work was hard, 200 degrees. But no matter how strenuous, everybody helped everybody. From a story by Natasha Hassan on KDLH, Duluth, Minnesota.
Former worker pulls out big guns for plant reunion
The former Delphi Saginaw Steering Systems Plant 2, called “The Gun Plant,” met with the wrecking ball in 2002, after closing in July 2001.
This year, along with sharing memories, organizer, retiree Ferd Hausbeck wanted participants to have the chance to view what helped build the plant’s reputation — its guns. Robert L. Main, a factory retiree, brought his collection of several machine guns and carbines that workers produced at the plant.
The plant manufactured machine guns and carbines for the Allied effort in World War II. Workers supplied thousands of guns to American soldiers. The plant stopped producing munitions in 1945 and workers began making manual steering gears and later power steering gears.
It’s the plant’s guns that bring out the nostalgia. People remembered making those parts. Many who attend reunions are into their late 80s and from the plant’s gun-making days. Contact Ferd Hausbeck at 989-642-5039. From a story by Jean Spenner in The Saginaw News, Saginaw, Michigan.
Armstrong Tire employees have first reunion
Their memories were locked behind closed, abandoned factory doors in Natchez, Mississippi, in 1987, but a few former Armstrong Tire employees brought them all back to life.
Until ’87, the only “reunions” had been unplanned and unwanted meetings at co-workers’ funerals. “We just simply want to bring everyone together,” organizer Mike Harrell said. “I've heard this many, many times, but it isn't going to happen unless someone puts out an effort.”
The Natchez plant produced its first tire on May 1, 1939 and its 50 millionth tire on Aug. 1, 1968. Both tires were on display at the reunion.
In 1939 there were 400 people on the payroll, which grew to 1,350 by 1968 and went above 1,400. The payroll reached $12,800,000 and in 1968 an average of 18,000 tires a day were produced. Armstrong made a vital contribution to the economy of Natchez.
Employee photos from the building were on display at the reunion and family members of deceased employees were encouraged to attend and bring photos of their relative who worked at Armstrong.
A potluck dinner was served and a $5 per person donation covered expenses. From a story by Julie Finley in the Natchez Democrat, Natchez, Mississippi.
Crane retirees come back to base
It was a day full of handshakes, pats on the back and a fun time to renew old acquaintances. It was a day for friendly recollection about the “good old days” at what is now known as Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane, Indiana.
The Burns City Naval Ammunition Depot, as it was first known, has contributed to every major American defensive military initiative since World War II. Peak employment during the Korean War and Vietnam conflicts was about 10,000 workers. Production lines worked three shifts a day, seven days a week.
To most of the more than 300 retirees attending the 39th Homecoming Day, the military base has changed much since its founding in 1941. Returning retirees are forever members of a long-standing family of proud Hoosier workers who helped put this military establishment on the map and made it an important link in the nation’s defense.
Workers said it was “the people” that made the job enjoyable, and seeing their old buddies, friends and former co-workers again made the homecoming event a worthwhile experience. Those who came back were given the opportunity to visit their old work stations and visit with the current workers. From a story by Nick Schneider in the Linton Daily Citizen, Linton, Indiana.
Trailways Retirees Club Reunion
45 million safe driving miles in one room! by Beth Gay
Each year on the first Saturday in April, some very special drivers make their way to Lake City, Florida. If you are a passenger in any of their vehicles, you can nap and rest easy along the way, for these are among the safest drivers on Earth. They are active and retired bus drivers going to The Trailways Retirees Club Reunion.
In 2005, about forty drivers, bus company employees and wives and friends attended. Martin Lavin of Davy, Florida, the president of the group said, “Giving an estimate, I’d say there were about 45 million miles of safe driving represented in that room last weekend!”
L.H. “Pat” Patterson of Jacksonville, Florida, drove from April 1953 until June 1987. While driving Trailways buses, he logged two million five hundred thousand safe driving miles – by himself!
Drivers logging a million miles or more during their careers include Milton Alcorn, Keith Skiles and Allen Shiflett, all now of Tallahassee, Florida; Bill Spear of Dawson, Georgia; John Hightower of Bonifay, Florida; and Jim Corn of Jacksonville, Florida.
Acknowledged as the person with the most knowledge of the history of the Trailways Bus Company is Jon Hobijin of Orlando, Florida. Hobijin says, “The story of Tamiami Trailways starts not with buses, nor with potential passengers, but in land development in Florida and centers around Barron G. Collier. Later, as the bus line [took] form, it became the story of three companies until the mid-1970s when it was eventually sold.” For a detailed history of the company, visit Jon’s Trailways History Corner at http://cw42.tripod.com/Jon-4.html.
Trailways has been in existence for almost 70 years. Today it’s a regionally based ground transportation system comprised of privately owned and operated companies (franchises). Primarily serving passengers up and down the Eastern Seaboard of the United States and in the Southeast and Midwest, Trailways offers locally based scheduled services west of the Mississippi in Texas, Montana, California, Washington, Oregon and in British Columbia, Canada.
The Trailways Retirees Club began in 1976 with meetings held in homes at first, then, as the membership grew, in hotels and motels in Tallahassee, Tampa and other cities – changing locations each year.
There are about 100 members of the group. Marty Lavin, who drove for 20 years and has 1,300,000 safe miles in his own logbooks, is president.
Otis Sanders, Tallahassee, Florida, is vice president, and Keith Cruce, Cullman, Alabama, secretary. Cruce was a ticket agent for about ten years, then served as a dispatcher for the remainder of his career. Barbara Lavin, Davy, Florida, is treasurer.
All bus drivers and bus company employees, active or retired, are welcome to join. Contact Marty or Barbara Lavin for information, 954-452-1131 or email@example.com
Barbara Lavin said, “As far as we know, there is no other active retirees club for bus employees.” In addition to the annual reunion, regional members meet monthly at breakfast. Members keep loosely in touch via email.
About the author
Beth Gay is the editor of The Family Tree, now the online publication of The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library in Moultrie, Georgia (www.electricscotland.com and then click on Beth's Family Tree). She contributes columns to several Georgia and Florida newspapers. She is Cow Milking Champion of Ocala, Florida, and Elephant Racing Champion of Marion County, Florida.
Life was the stage by Lee Elliott When I was ready to retire from teaching drama after
30 years, I decided to celebrate the end of my career by holding
a reunion for the 500+ students who performed with me. High school
drama teachers are accustomed to doing everything themselves.
I dont recommend that for a large reunion. My plan was to
renew old friendships the first night and hold a performance the
second. We met in the Cafetorium (where our productions were held)
which cost nothing because I was still employed there.
I contacted several students with whom I had stayed in
touch, then went to Classmates.com to find others. Invitations
were by word-of-mouth and e-mail. A paper invitation would have
been helpful, but its difficult finding addresses of students
who graduated 30 years ago.
The first night 350 people attended. Students brought their
children and parents who worked on productions also came. I put
out the old production photo albums with a sign that said Help
Yourself. Everyone had a great time looking through the
albums and choosing favorites to take. We watched production videos
and read e-mails from students around the world who were unable
to attend. Food donated by local grocery stores included snacks,
sodas and cake. Apparently, every time someone had asked how they
could help, I said, Could you please take care of the cake? We ended up with eight sheet cakes - enough to feed all of Sacramento.
The second night, 30 former students, now professionals
actively earning their living in the theatre, performed. I hired
an accompanist and we used an open-mike format. What a wonderful
experience it was for my current students to watch mature performers.
It was absolutely magical. Everyone agreed this was the kind of
reunion they wanted to attend where they knew and loved
the people they had worked with, rather than a class reunion where
they knew only a few people. The neatest thing was that I was
the only person in the room who knew everyone. We had so much
fun, were going to do it again in five years. Only next
time, I am going to have a reunion committee. About the author
Lee Elliott is a free-lance writer who recently retired
from teaching drama and creative writing at El Camino High School
in Sacramento, California.
of Baseball reunion by Jeff Wallman
A special reunion occurs each year in Cooperstown,
New York: The Legends of Baseball Reunion. Baseball greats from
the past gather in the shadow of the Baseball Hall of Fame. All
living Hall-of-Famers are invited; many attend.
Its our own little fraternity, says
Hall-of-Famer Brooks Robinson. The highlight of the three-day
reunion is the induction ceremony, where current members welcome
new inductees into the fraternity.
For Robinson, the reunion is a chance to see his baseball contemporaries
and idols. It allows us to see players in a different light,
he says. They joke around and have a great time. Robinsons
only regret is that he never got autographs from fellow Hall-of-Famers.
Unfortunately, about 30 players have died in recent years.
Fittingly, the ceremony is conducted in the sun. First,
a handful of visiting dignitaries are introduced, among them the
Commissioner of Baseball and the governor of New York. Each crosses
the stage to polite applause from thousands of fans.
Each Hall-of-Famer present is introduced. The announcer
notes career highlights of each former player. Fans applaud enthusiastically.
Slowly, the stage fills as, one by one, former players are introduced.
The great ones mingle quietly with one another while introductions
continue. Just like any reunion--any reunion with 10,000 spectators,
Harmon Killebrew is introduced. He still has a gleam
in his eye, and looks much like he did when he played. Now, however,
his hair is grey, his pate bald. Yet, he looks like he could hit
573 more home runs. Like many of the Hall-of-Famers, Killebrew
has the look of corporate success. During his introduction, Killebrews
smile grows. He is enjoying himself. Its the ultimate
experience that can happen to a former ballplayer.
When notified of his election to the Hall of Fame,
Killebrew was told that his life would change. It was hard
to believe, the former slugger notes. The events magnitude
didnt become apparent until the weekend of his induction,
when it finally hit him, I knew it was significant when
I saw the letters H.O.F. after my name.
Warren Spahn is introduced. Hes as thin as when
he played. He walks a little slower. The screwballer returns to
Cooperstown for as many Hall of Fame reunions as possible. For
Spahn, reunions are important. It would be a shame if no
one showed up for the new inductees, he notes. Like many
Hall of Famers, Spahn enjoys renewing old acquaintances with his
contemporaries. The setting and golf course are two things he
enjoys about the event. Plus, Spahn comments wryly, Its
a good getaway from the August heat in Oklahoma.
Spahn waves to the crowd, crosses the stage and sits
next to Willie Mays. Mays flashes that famous child-like grin.
After a few minutes, Spahn begins to look tired. A few minutes
of Mays could always do that to a pitcher.
Bob Feller stands out. He looks like everyones
grandfather. He is happy, a little stout, and always smiling.
Feller receives a warmer greeting from his peers than other players.
Perhaps it is because Feller is unique. Feller is both baseball
hero and war hero. When Pearl Harbor was bombed, Feller was the
top pitcher in the game. Incredibly, in 1941 he led the league
in wins, games, games started, innings pitched, strikeouts and
shutouts. More incredibly, Feller enlisted immediately and missed
all or parts of the next four seasons. Feller earned numerous
citations serving aboard the battleship Alabama. To this day he
speaks proudly about his ship and shipmates. Feller and his wife
also regularly attend his military reunions. Ever the Iowa farm
boy, Feller mentions the farmers market. The Hall of Fame ceremony
occurs just in time for the blackberry, blueberry and peach harvest.
Apparently Cooperstown has to offer than just the Hall of Fame.
The word that best describes Sandy Koufax is dignified,
yet even that description is inadequate. Koufax walks perfectly
erect and is perfectly dressed, with a strong gaze, both brow
and jaw set. He quietly takes his seat. He reminds everyone--all
10,000 of us--not to diminish the events integrity.
Koufax is the man who refused to pitch on Yom Kippur.
Nor did he apologize. He also retired early rather than take the
pain killers needed to prolong his career. After leaving the game,
Koufax didnt cash in on his celebrity as many others did.
The lesson is that you cant buy class. You either have it
or you dont. Sandy Koufax has it.
Robert Pinsky, the nations poet laureate, idolized
Koufax in prose. He still speaks fondly of the occasion when Koufax
gave him an autographed baseball. Pinskys poem is a timeless
tribute to the idea that a hero such as Koufax could even exist,
particularly for a young Jewish kid in the1960s. Yet, true to
form, Koufax assumes nothing. Rather than just send Pinsky a ball,
Koufax asked first. Yes, Pinsky emphasizes, Sandy
Koufax actually asked me whether Id like an autographed
Koufax is no less a hero than Feller. But he is a
hero of a different conflict. He fought prejudice, self-medication
and over-commercialization--modern conflicts challenging human
beings to maintain their dignity in a sea of troubles. Like Feller,
Koufax is accorded a special place among baseballs elite.
If Sandy Koufax didnt exist, we would have made him up,
just for inspiration.
After the visiting Hall of Famers are introduced,
new inductees are presented for the first time: Puckett, Winfield,
Smith and Mazeroski, all dressed to the nines, families sitting
in the first row. This is the moment theyve all waited for,
their first Legends Reunion.
William Stanley Mazeroski takes the podium. Simply
Maz. Second Base. His face and figure are a little rounder than
in his playing days, his hair completely white. But then he smiles
and everyone sees the Mazeroski of old: the dimpled cheeks, the
smiling eyes. Maz is the owner of modest offensive statistics,
but his defensive toughness got him to Cooperstown. Some criticized
Mazs election. None, however, are openly critical today.
He is welcome.
The master of the lightning-quick pivot, Maz opens
his acceptance speech with Defense belongs in the Hall of
Fame. The crowd claps wildly. The new inductee pauses, then
lifts a hand to his face to brush away a tear. Then the unthinkable
happens: Maz breaks down. He is not merely emotional; he is overwhelmed.
He cannot continue. Mays says, I could never knock him off
of second base. The shortest Hall of Fame speech ever. Didnt
even get to the part where he thanks his wife and family.
The moment is the stuff of baseball legend. Thousands of fans
erupt simultaneously, wildly, in one loud ovation. Mazeroski cries
like a baby. The applause continues. Somebody near me shouts,
Maz, we love you.
Maz is another hero. The crowd loves him. His acceptance
into baseballs elite fraternity is a symbol of hope for
all the average Joes in the crowd--Joes like you and me who couldnt
fit into a baseball uniform, much less gain admission into the
Hall of Fame.
Maz was not born into the Hall of Fame. He worked
his way in. Thats the only way the average Joe could get
a ticket to the Legends Reunion. I swallow hard and look around.
Everywhere, tears abound, even in the press section. An unbelievable
sight. Reporters forget about their jobs for one moment and slip
into the role of fans--clapping, shouting, crying fans.
The Legends Reunion. One of my favorite reunion stories.
The Legends Reunion is unique. It shows how we look to the behavior
of those who play a game and openly seek out heroes not only in
sport, but in life. The Legends Reunion revolves around heroes
on the field. Yet, its the heroes off the field that make
it a memorable occasion. About the author
Jeff Wallman is publisher of Reunions Magazine and an avid baseball
Adam Rose, editorial assistant, assisted with this story.
Each year we hear more about reunions of whole towns
and villages, everyone making the effort to go home knowing that
everyone they want to see will be there. Lorraine Evert, Executive
Vice President of the Parsons (Kansas) Chamber of Commerce, recently
reported that the Black Homecoming held every three
years is right on schedule for July 2-7, 2002. It is a popular
opportunity for former Parsons residents of African-American descent
to return home and know that their friends and family will make
an effort to be there too. Activities from past homecomings include
dances, banquets, a talent show, a fashion show and a gospel jamboree.
It is evident that distance and time are not obstacles, as people
come from all coasts and everywhere in between. Contact Lorraine
Evert, 620-421-6500, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Then, August 17th-18th the population of Barton, Ohio,
will welcome a village reunion of people whose parents, grandparents
or great-grandparents emigrated to the US from Osturna in present-day
Slovakia. About 80% of the folks in Barton (about an hour from
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) have Osturna roots; these are a combination
of Slovak and Carpatho-Rusyn, a fairly small ethnic group from
Eastern Europe. This reunion will feature discussions about a
DNA genealogy project underway, a master village database being
developed and records already transcribed. There also will be
horse and wagon tours of Barton. The total community of Osturna
in America is roughly 1,000. Theyve had a newsletter
for over eight years and maintain an extensive website.
Theyre expecting quite a few children of immigrants
in fact, the reunion is close to where most of them still
live to encourage attendance. These people are now the elder
circle. They also hope to have a few Slovaks direct from
Osturna, including the priest and mayor. Most of the people who
attend will be from all over the US and Canada. For information
contact Megan Smolenyak at email@example.com.
bash A special reunion was held to express the meaningful life-long
experiences of employees of National Gypsum Company. National
Gypsum was formed in Buffalo, New York, over 75 years ago. Some
years ago many employees transferred to a new plant in Charlotte,
Weather in Buffalo in August is traditionally at its best. August
dates were chosen to coincide with the Erie County Fair in Fort
Erie, Canada, horse racing and the 100th anniversary celebration
of the Pan American Exposition. Those in North Carolina who had
once resided in Buffalo visited frequently and were more likely
to rearrange summer visits to coincide with the BASH. Another
consideration was that many Charlotte members are somewhat younger
and probably have greater expendable income. Buffalo members stayed
home while Charlotte members stayed with relatives and friends.
The get-acquainted event was a picnic with traditional Buffalo
offerings. To attendees surprise and joy the current President
of National Gypsum, a Vice President and a retired Comptroller,
flew in from Charlotte; "tangible evidence of the spirit
we were celebrating."
The second days highlight was a four-hour Lake Erie dinner
cruise on Miss Buffalo. A smaller boat was chosen so they could
have it all to themselves. The boat was filled to capacity. The
third days activities were golf and lunch at South Shore
Country Club, the scene of many memorable employee golf tournaments.
The last day was a most memorable capstone of the Buffalo Bash,
a joint luncheon meeting of the Buffalo and Charlotte clubs, attended
by 170 members and guests well beyond the most optimistic
expectations. The mood was joyous, exciting and vibrant for a
group of retirees. They read letters from folks who were unable
to attend but wanted to send greetings.
These are tips for a company reunion from Buffalo Bash planners.
1. Planners should be computer literate. Without the ability to
communicate via email and maintain records, write letters and
flyers, we would have been at a loss to manage a gathering this
2. Have all charges paid in advance and keep accurate records
of who reserved what, with accurate names and addresses for each,
3. All funds should be directed to one person who accounts for
all income and disbursements.
4. At the last possible minute, mail a roster of attendees to
everyone registered; include names, address and events registered
for. Our attendees overwhelmingly expressed their thanks for letting
them know who would be at what events.
5. Name tags are a must. Have them sorted and available at the
first event. Place one person in charge of keeping tags in order
and distributing them.
6. Give the event lots of publicity. We did constant hype at our
meetings and in our newsletters. Talk it up among friends.
7. Select a locale, keeping in mind any memorable significance
it may have to the group. Allow time for guests to visit local
Reported by Don Kent, Matthews NC, president of National Gypsum
Nashvilles Opryland Hotel hosted a special reunion this
summer. A Mayberry Cast Reunion Show was a highlight as
was Aunt Bees Blue Ribbon Dinner hosted by Goober (George
Lindsey) for a Q&A and reception where fans could meet the
Thanks to syndication the show, which debuted in 1960, continues
to be popular. Asked why Mayberry enjoys such popularity, Howard
Morris (who played Ernest T. Bass) responded, "It kinda tells
the truth. Where are you going to find two guys in a rocking chair
on the porch just talking? Theres a lot of honesty there,
and you get down to basic things which we need to do."
Men of the Railway Mail Service
Like the Pony Express and Overland Mail before it, the Railway
Mail Service is a remnant of a rapidly changing postal system.
Described by Roy L. Weedman as a "calling" rather than a job,
many members of the US Postal Inspection Service (the G-men of
the mail service) were recruited from Railway Mail Service ranks.
Established in 1864 at the close of the Civil War with service
from Chicago to Clinton, Iowa and later the same year added service
from New York to Washington. These "Marines of the mail service"
sorted mail in thousands of careening, swaying, speeding rail
cars criss-crossing the US. They packed 38 caliber revolvers and
were expected to protect the mail in case of train robberies.
a regular reunion in Paducah, Kentucky, where an intrepid group
gathers to catch up and rehash their interesting experiences in
those exciting days of the Railway Mail Service. Contact Lois
Orr Winston, 4587 Clarksville Pike, Nashville TN 37218.
by Lois Orr Winston and Roy L. Weedman, Nashville TN
Some things are worth waiting for. Just ask the musicians who
make up the Independence Jazz Reunion. Once school buddies, they
waited 40 years to realize their dream of reuniting and playing
jazz together. Now all in their 60's, they've played with everyone
from Glenn Miller and Woody Herman to Duke Ellington and James
Taylor. They've toured Europe and performed at Carnegie Hall.
And now they've released Rekindling the Dream, their first album
together in almost four decades.
we get together, it's a renewal," said trumpeter and band leader
Rick Lundquist. "There's a certain magic in recapturing youthful
dreams. It becomes a hand holding with the past and the future
, all at once."
"In a way
this all seems impossible," said trombonist Bill Harman, who kept
his day job as an aeronautical engineer at the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology. Other band members are Danny D'Imperio, drums,
Jeff Haskell, piano, Jay Leonart, bass, and Bob Kindred, saxophone
Jazz Reunion is available for booking and would like to join your
reunion. Contact Marilyn Gilbert Artists Management, PO Box 622,
Dunkirk NY 14048; 800-788-3441; http://www.ijr.net.
reunion by the sea
Sisters by the Sea: The Second Annual Sisters International Celebration
of Friendship and Family honors the bond between sisters, September
24-26, 1999 in Newport on the Oregon coast.
call sisters the glue that holds extended families together, sharers
of a special language and the most competitive and strongest family
relationship. Informally, sisters declare regular phone calls
strengthen your sister bond at this weekend event. Activities
and speakers will focus on lessons in building better relationships,
whether "natural" sisters related by family or "chosen" sisters
are best friends, capturing and preserving family history and
fostering closer ties between generations. Here's also a chance
to whale watch in Yaquina Bay. Attendees can participate in a
community service project as a way to model the spirit of sisterhood
uniting toward a common cause and making a difference.
They called themselves the Micro-8s in 1969 when they were the
eighth group of Peace Corps volunteers to go to Micnonesia, in
the western Pacific, of which the Marshall Islands are a part.
Now they meet regularly to recall the significant time in their
lives from the bond they formed in training to their two years
helping change a small one-square mile of the world. They taught
English and helped with the islands' main cash crop, coconuts.
Organizers of the recent reunion, Steve and Diane Kavalauskas
were one of five married couples in the group. Their daughter
is on an internship in the Marshall Islands where the whole group
hopes to meet for their 40th reunion.