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10/15/10 11:42 AM #7    


Dennis Orsak

What wonderful pictures!  God I wanted to come so bad.  Even if my daughter wasn't getting married soon I still wouldn't have been able to attend since I had to work even on Saturday.  Everyone looks great too!  Churchillites preserve well!  If anyone wants to stay in touch here is my email: and phone 713-503-7237

10/15/10 08:28 PM #8    


Sylvia Maldonado (Colburn)


This is an elaborated Thank You for all those who made our Weekend Walk Down Memory Lane possible.

Had I ever imagined the sheer fun and joy I would take from the event, I never would have avoided previous reunions like the plague. I thank Melissa Toudouze Cannon for helping me to see the light in time for this, our 40th reunion.

In addition to all the re-counted stories, all the laughs, all the catching-up (some from grade school; Right, Cathy Caver?); there were several unexpected treasures I also brought home.

Although I always liked Earl Rabke (well, I liked to torment him, I know), I, with Melissa TC, had a chance to see what a genuinely gallant man Earl truly is.

Inadvertently, we parked way too many blocks east on Commerce St., and had no appreciation of our folly until we began slowly trekking west to Rio Rio, past men thrown to their bellies onto the sidewalk, hands cuffed behind their back, other men yanked off the bus and threatened with arrest if they spoke up (I was hoping I wouldn't have a Tourette's incident myself), and of course the garden variety homeless, winos, drug-addicts, and others who brazenly beg along the way. All these people we gingerly traipsed past in broad daylight, wondering how we were going to skate past them all ----once Saturday's nighttime fell.

Literally coming to our rescue, Earl volunteered to walk us –those many, many blocks east-- to our car. Sensing our unease (stark terror, actually), he at once turned the uncomfortable journey into an animated walking tour of downtown San Antonio, pointing at this, talking about that, giving dates here, recounting incidents there, ..., putting us instantly more at ease, almost relaxed. And when the inevitable would occur, he smoothly slipped himself between us and harms way every time. I think he thought we didn't notice, but of course we couldn't help but notice each time the immense “Shield of Rabke” barricaded us from all potential face-to-face encounters. Consequently, we were additionally put at ease, additionally grateful, and Yes, additionally impressed.

When we finally arrived at the car, Earl didn't even want us to take him the many, many blocks back to his vehicle. He didn't want to bother us. Melissa then told him that it would be a Bad Idea to fight me on that; so Earl relented (reminded of how “take-no-prisoners” bitchy I continue to be). We drove him to his car, he gave us great directions for a fast –no detours-- get-away, and we were off; having had a live demonstration of what a great schoolmate and a true gentleman, Melissa and I had that day and all those decades ago. Earl saved our lives. Well, at a minimum, he saved our purses, our belongings, which we would have nervously thrown at anybody who approached us or made any kind of threat to us. Then we would have quickly run-away, hopefully in the same direction, but you never know. All this; if Earl had not come to our rescue.

On a far different note, earlier that evening, B. Neil Mullen M.D. told me of a young patient, a 20-something that was virtually paralyzed by the question of what happens to us when we die. She was literally unable to move forward with her life without an answer she considered solid, satisfactory. The girl was adamant and insistent in her questioning, but she was inconsolable with the wide variety of answers provided her. To all this, another version of the answer was offered, one presented in the Japanese movie “After Life”. As described by Neil and on Wikipedia, the movie presents as the hereafter a forever-pleasant experience existence with the dead taking with them into the hereafter a memory of the best experience of their lives. I was stricken with that image in that it seems to contradict the message of an old Twilight Zone episode where hell, not heaven, provides the condemned –in this case a degenerate gambler-- with a guaranteed, Winning Streak, which I would naturally have imagined to be among that guy's best experience of his life.

Those conflicting concepts of what constitutes Heaven and what constitutes Hell haunt me still.

And Last, for this elaborated “Thank You” to the Reunion's organizers, but certainly not Least, was the warm and unexpectedly illuminating conversation I had with a good and dear old friend, even throughout our college years. Over the last decade, both of us suffered the loss of spouses to cruel, debilitating illnesses. Both traveled lonely, anguish-filled paths that nobody wants to go down, not at our age, not at any age, but especially not with school-age children, as he had. Mine were past college. The brief reflection on that loss brought me to a depth of heartache and sorrow to which I seldom allow myself to go, anymore. But still, we continued that talk.

To my (and of course his) additional anguish; he explained that his loss went beyond that of his wife, to other family members. To me, it all seemed insurmountable, inconceivable, unimaginable; yet he maintained his composure and pleasant demeanor as he delineated his loss and as my eyes began to swell with tears in empathetic heartbreak.

Then, as if a dark sky began to crack open, slowly allowing a broadening ray of sun to stream down on us, I was struck by the beauty, the simplicity, the crystal clarity of his positive attitude, consistent with the person he has always been, the person we have always loved. He reminded me of the very thing I had stowed-away, far beneath my “Why-Me?” self-pity.  Plucked out of the deep recesses of my psyche, he had me remember that all our loved ones are merely “lent” to us; that they are not now, nor have they ever been “ours”. Accordingly, it's incumbent upon us not to lament over our personal (our selfish) loss in no longer having them in our lives, but instead to be grateful for the wonderful time we had when they were with us.

In that same vein, I am so Grateful for the lovely weekend we all had together. I am also Grateful for the time we shared decades ago with those who could and especially with those who could not attend last weekend's event, for whatever reason kept them away from us.


10/17/10 03:39 PM #9    


Jayne Huxley (Gillespy)

To all my classmates...for me, the reunion was bittersweet! Thanks to all the reunion committee, for your thought and dedication to the class of '70.

Driving from Florida was long, but the anticipation of seeing and talking to so many from our class was exciting. I just wish we knew how to reach every classmate, to let them know why the opportunity for fellowship with others from our class is a privilege. If this year was not the right time, the opportunity will come again in 2015.

The limited time I had to share life experiences with others was too short. The fact is that I am contemplating a move back to Texas. Actually, my heart has always remained there.

The website is an awesome tool for us all to use. Life has ups and downs, but sharing thoughts and even disappointments is therapeutic.

So everyone, please keep me posted on your comings and goings. I may be 1200 miles away for now, but I care.

Special thanks to Ben for finding me on Facebook.

10/18/10 03:43 PM #10    


Laird (Larry) Ferguson

Many, many thanks to Ben and the team!  This site is marvelous and since family medical issues kept me away, was the next best thing to being there.

Thanks again, great job and very best wishes to all.


10/19/10 01:55 PM #11    


Michael Sanderson

Pretty cool time-but who invited all those old folks?  Attendance is the name of the game and I think that's why this one was so much better than the 20th and 30th. Kudos to the Committee and the website (which I think was key with respect to the attendance).  All that was missing was some jello shots and scantly clad waitresses, but life is not perfect.

10/19/10 02:30 PM #12    

Patti Rinner (Howell)

It was really a great time and fun to see my old buddies (no pun intended)...!  I have some ideas for the about we pitch in for a disc jockey who can play some '60's music?  And give out awards to the classmate who travelled the furthest and classmate who's been married the longest?  I think Steve & Mary Evans and Nicki (and Doug) Jaffee would tie on being married the longest..!  Very heart-warming to see those two couples. 

10/19/10 02:48 PM #13    


Jayne Huxley (Gillespy)

The idea of 60's and 70's music sounds great to me.

10/19/10 03:27 PM #14    


Ben Singleton

Actually, we had 4 1/2 hours of music from 1966 through about 1971 on an Ipod and it was playing over the sound system early in the evening.  As the crowd grew, we turned the volume up on the music, but then people just started talking louder, even yelling at each other.  Since it appeared people mainly wanted to talk to each other, we ditched the music.  But, to your point, maybe next time we look for a venue with the acoustics to accommodate music and conversation---so noted.

10/19/10 05:07 PM #15    


Richard (Rick) Norris

Everything is looking reall good, Ben.


Sorry that after all of the planning, I couldn't make it to the reunion. Glad you are getting pictures posted.  I doubt that I would have recognized some people after all this time, so it was nice to be able to go through the photos.


Keep up the good work, and I will make the 50th no matter what.

10/19/10 08:28 PM #16    


Ellen Pfeiffer

Guys and Gals, I had a blast!!!  Thank-you for attending (and thank-you for commenting who could not attend)!  We will plan an even "louder" 45th bash, and plan a date, early-on again.  We, the reunion committee, had an even better time planning it, if you can believe that.  We will definitely look forward to 2015 ( not getting older, of course) and share these great memories in the meantime.

Best to you all,



10/28/10 06:01 PM #17    


Becky Gilliland (Chamberlain)

Dear Churchill Classmates and the Reunion Committee!  I had so much fun at the reunion Sat. evening.  This was the first time my Husband of 31 years could actually attend one of our reunions!  I missed the 30th as our daughter was graduating from High School and preparing to go off to college.  But I made the 10 and the 20 and NOW the 40th!  Thanks to Pat Cain!  I know you had all lost touch with me and where in the wide world we were living.  What with Tad being in the Navy for 30 years and now flying for FedEx, we moved around a lot!  We have finally moved back to Texas, my Love, and are thrilled to be here!

      It was great to see so many of you and to visit with some of you as well.  I know for sure I didn't get to talk to even half of the folks there and I don't think many recognized me.  How pitiful is that???  I'm looking forward to the 45th & will happily help on the committee if extra hands are needed.  You all did such a fine job you may not need help!  This web site has been fabulous and I'm so glad it will remain "up" for the next 5 years!  It's good to know some things will be there every day! 

     I look forward to reading your posted notes and just so you know I haven't changed all that much......The Swim Team Rocked then and it still Rocks Now!  The class of 1970 was THE class!

11/07/10 09:00 PM #18    


Gary Bumpass

 I would like to thank the reunion committee for a great weekend. It was great to see old friends again and to talk for the first time to a few classmates. Time has made us more interesting, it was good to hear about families and life experiences from many friends.  Take Care. Hope to see everyone again in five years if not sooner.  Gary Bumpass

11/09/10 02:09 PM #19    


Sylvia Maldonado (Colburn)




not just 'older'.  It's nice to keep that in mind.



11/14/10 01:44 PM #20    


Jayne Huxley (Gillespy)

We have years of experience. Wish I knew then what I do now.

I have a question for you. Where is the most beautiful place you have been?

12/09/10 12:15 AM #21    


Becky Gilliland (Chamberlain)

 That's a tough question because we have been to a lot of places.  However I could probably narrow it down to two at least for now, I'm not through traveling yet, ya know.  The two places I'm thinking of are Big Sur on the CA coast, breath taking!  But then there was this little lake in Southern Germany, up in the Alps. The hills literally came right down to the lakes edge, I was sure Julie Andrews was going to come swooping over a hill top singing at any moment.  Across the lake was a little town that could only be accessed by boat.  I took the boat over (hey, there was a beer festival going on over there!) and the little boat stopped in the middle of the lake, the boat driver pulled out a trumpet and played so beautifully and the music echoed through the hills!  That was in 1974 and I still remember it like it was yesterday!

12/11/10 09:40 AM #22    


Jayne Huxley (Gillespy)

Oh my, you painted a beautiful picture of the place in Germany. It sounds like somewhere I need to go.

Becky, do you remember the name of the town?

I agree California has a breathtaking coastline. My daughter lives in Ventura. I love to visit her there!

For me, living in Florida, I am in awe of snowy country. The glaciers and terrain of Alaska brought me goose bumps. Glacier National Park and the snowcapped mountains were an amazing creation.

My blood must be thin because I am not comfortable when I am cold. I prefer warmer climates. I can and do adjust to wherever I am.

I feel very blessed to have been everywhere from a subway in Seoul to a cable car in Santiago.

There are still so many places that I want to experience in this world. What is next for you?

12/20/10 06:47 AM #23    

Bill Brock

Hi guys!

Great time.  Wish the formal Saturdqay night gathering could have been longer.  Wonderful time and amazing to see so many wonderful old friends.

Speaking of "wonderful old frinds," since the reunion we have had two great adventures in our life.  The first was an 11 day tour of Arizona on our way to Tucson for a cycling event I participated in.  Our trip was amazing (Grand Canyon and Sedona top the list). Thanks to Bonnie Wepner, who brought a file full of Arizona Magazines to the reunion, to help us plan our trip.  Thanks Bonnie!

The other adventure has been Mama Brock, the last of the moms.  She had a massive stroke in November and has bounced between hospitals, hospices and retirement communities for the last six weeks.  On December 8th, Mama Brock had her 90th birthday.  My wife drove to SA to spend the day with her, and when she arrived at the center, she found Tommy Leopold visiting with the "Old Bird."  That afternoon when she went back over, she found Scotty Price there to visit.  What a great gift she received from guys who have been a gift in my life for the past 45 years. 

To all who know my mother, who have been to her home an Silver Sands, who call her Mama Brock, thank you for your friendship and support.  Earl, Jac, Tommy, Jody, Scotty, Milton, Duke, Doug, and so many others, Thanks guys.

Happy Holidays to all.  I'll be in and out of SA from today until the 28th.  713-855-5990.  My glass is empty so do something about it!


12/22/10 09:14 AM #24    

Vicki Vaughn (Polzin)

Sounds to me like your cup runneth over with blessings, Bill!

Merry Christmas and thanks for the update since the reunion!


12/25/10 01:58 PM #25    


John Echterhoff

What a great time Sandra and I had at the reunion.  I want to thank the committee members and everyone else involved with making the event a success.  To all the friends I made at Churchill, I’m glad my memory is still good to be able to remember so many friends I haven’t seen since as far back as childhood.  If I had those four years to do over, I would have studied harder and worked to get into Annapolis and served in the Navy as an officer.  I’m proud of what I did do in the Navy when so many were running to Canada.  I’m glad (and lucky) to have had helping hands in getting through college.  I’m truly grateful to the Lord for giving me the multitude of opportunities.  Thank goodness for the skills I received while at Churchill and the friends we made then and still have today.  May God Bless those who are no longer with us.  Sandra and I will see you in five (5).  Hopefully a little skinnier!  LOL!  JEE

04/11/11 09:47 AM #26    


Margie Clary (Skaggs)

Maybe next time for me. My mom and dad both died this year and there was a lot to do before and after. I am sure most of us have been there. Their lives were rich, and were always San Antonians along with me.

06/11/11 09:27 AM #27    


Noel Smith

Ben and all my classmates,

I have never been able to join you at the reunions. They always sound wonderful! Such wonderful work done by all involved. My best to all,those I knew and those I never had the chance to know. Take care and lots of happiness to each of you. Noel

06/11/11 10:28 AM #28    


Pam Petrich (Ford)

WOO-HOOT!!! To the class of Churchill, 1970!! The reunion videos are awesome!Thank you so much, Reunion Committee. You are a such a creative and inspiring group and have made a great contibution to our class.  Love, Pam

09/06/11 08:47 AM #29    

Bill Brock

To respond (rather late) to Jayne Huxley's question on "where is the most beautiful place we have traveled to."  That is a tough question due to a blessed life.  We just got back from the north east...a 12 state rapid tour from D/C to Vermont, with great memories and beautiful views in between.  Loved the coast of Maine.  Everything was so lush due to the rains they have had this year, and I think becaise Mother-Nature knows they only have a 4-5 month growth period.  Huge blooms, brilliant colors.  From draught ridden Texas, it was amazing to see so much green!  All that said...take me back to Fussen, Germany.  Brock

09/22/11 06:33 AM #30    


Jayne Huxley (Gillespy)

Good Morning from Florida!

I have been thinking of Texas and many of you from my class. Thank you Bill for that description of the country you saw on your travels.

We take our lives for granted. The peaceful and passion times we find from day to day.

Me. I have been routing for my favorite football teams in between mailing out Beanie Babies and working at my new job. Visited my daughter in San Francisco this past summer and numerous trips to Tampa where my son lives. I am blessed to still take my 91 year old mom to the grocery store each week.

It's the little things.

05/09/13 09:26 PM #31    


Jayne Huxley (Gillespy)

A highlight of my life. Watch this amazing photographer in motion. He is from St. Augustine, Florida.

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