Monday, July 11, 2011

These Are A Few of My Favorite AHS Things

Here's a poem written for our 2006 class reunion, written to the song: "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things."


The Spinners, Paul Simon, The Who, and The Eagles
Fr. Goetsch was a softie, but not Fr. Speigel
Skating at Vander Veer -- the cold, it would sting
These are a few of my favorite things
When a fellow named Ron taught the "Ballard of Mitosis"
"Unnecessary Nerdness" was his students' diagnosis
But Ray Ambrose, in teaching, was as tall as Yao Ming
These are a few of my favorite things
In football we shut out each Scott County foe
Jim Morrison, while pool hopping, broke his big toe
In tennis, Steve Maller, had a sweet backhand swing
These are a few of my favorite things
Steve Van Camp was a threat, on the mound and the bases
A brutal '73 song: Midnight at the Oasis
Bonfires at Junge in the fall and the spring

These are a few of my favorite things
Junior year "Skip Days" produced colorful stories
And the water was freeeeeeezing at the Tipton Quarries
Old TV newsmen -- Don Rhyne and Jim King
These are a few of my favorite things
Open campus as seniors -- now that was an upper
Intramurals, choral concerts, Prom, Spaghetti Supper
Nicknames like "Twinkletoes," "Don Juan," and "String"
These are a few of my favorite things
Driver-Ed classes at Central -- kind of a downer
Library talkers made Sister Elizabeth a frowner
Yoda, from Star Wars, eating Hostess Dong Dings
These are a few of my favorite things
Peacock's, the Circle, and then Uncle Sams
We spent a lot of time, but not a lot of "clams"
Happy Joe's Pizza -- Mr. Quick onion rings
These are a few of my favorite things
Junior Year '50s dance -- right out of Grease
Joe Maher would lecture, and then offer "Peace"
McCartney with the Beatles, and later with Wings
These are a few of my favorite things
The hallway radiators were a gathering spot
But the bathrooms reeked of tobacco and pot
A yearbook, old clippings, a Josten's class ring
These are a few of my favorite things
Lockers of burnouts feared search and seizure
Guys' fashion was awful -- suits made for Leisure
Shopping at Northpark (except at Chess King!)
These are a few of my favorite things
David L. Watson directed school plays
The AHS art room had its own smoky haze
(Just like the movie "Confused and Dazed")
(And the jukebox freshman year was all Surfin' USAs)
Running cross country, being first to the string
These are a few of my favorite things
Marcia was a babe on TV's Brady Bunch
A cook kicked the jukebox, so we boycotted lunch
July at the Bix feels as hot as Palm Springs
(This is not one of my favorite things)
Annie Wittenmayer fireworks packed a big "Wow" 
Renee Neubauer, Jim Boyle -- Where are they now?
(Did a classmate, driving back from UNI, really hit a cow?)
Our class has matured -- we no longer mudsling
These are a few of my favorite things
Jeff Hart drove a Signet, Kevin Perry drove a Pacer
Mech. Drawing's Mr. Becker got hit by the eraser
(Tim Burke did it)
Reunion golf tournaments, the fun that they bring
These are a few of my favorite things
The Class of 76 women -- 100% hotties!
(Two of them were tipped over in a port-a-potty)
In Loehrer's Death & Dying class, we saw dead bodies
The hot sauce at Rudy's packed quite a zing
These are a few of my favorite things
As freshmen we "Frolicked" to a band that was "Natty"
A Gusta named John, an Ehlert named Patty
(The junior-year crackdown nearly drove us all batty) 
Central and West High had a lot of ding-a-lings
These are a few of my favorite things
Pepe's, Chef's Hat, Italian Village -- good grub
The Palmer chiropractors let us drink at their Pub
The Chicago Science trip -- a memorable spring
These are a few of my favorite things
A Hein named Anita, a Navarro named Ruby
We listened to music of Brothers called Doobie
(And Saturday cartoons with Shaggy and Scooby)
Steely Dan, Elton John, BTO, Carole King
These are a few of my favorite things
A Frandsen named Tim, a Simpson named Sue
Jim Jr. beat Jim Sr in football -- the Devils were blue!
(And on Gary Laake's test -- questions 2,5,9,12 are "True")
In baseball, the White Sox own championship rings
These are a few of my favorite things
The Coronet and Capital -- old movie houses
And AHS girls wore plaid skirts, white blouses
(In Christian Marriage we had make-believe spouses)
Jeff Beck is a wizard when he strums guitar strings
These are a few of my favorite things
So many memories -- we could fill up this blog
Let's not forget our deceased -- from Barta to Zaug 
I think of Kim Wamsley when Cat Stevens sings
These are a few Class of 76 things

Like a fine wine (no, not Boone's Farm!), reunions get better with age

Greetings. Another AHS Class of 1976 reunion has come and gone. Amazing.
What’s especially remarkable is the fact that we graduated from high school 35 years ago, yet nobody looks a day over 39. Go figure. (There must have been some fountain-of-youth ingredient mixed in those beverages served at Junge and Cedar Street parties back in the good old days).
Despite unusually hot and humid conditions, the July 1-2 gathering will be remembered not for the weather but for the cold drinks, warm food, good conversation, trivia, an encore of the class video, laughter, cold drinks, and a lot of reminiscing. (Did I say cold drinks twice?).
If you were among the 56 classmates and another 15-20 spouses who came to at least one day, I think you’ll agree it was well planned and executed by the reunion committee. A special thanks to Ed Cervantes, Mike Coughlin, Tom Engelmann, Tim Frandsen, Eileen Grady, Anita Hein, Tim Kilfoy, Mary Beth Leese, Ann Peine, Andorthy Speer, Sharon Spreit, Chris Springer, Joe Van Camp, Cathy Weiman and Dan Zack for their time and attention to detail.
We attracted four foursomes for golf, and assembled bright and early at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday at the Rock Island Arsenal. A golf course housed on a U.S. government facility meant cheating wasn’t only unethical, but a federal offense! (That still did stop me from executing several foot wedges and mulligans, though). I didn’t break 100, but I managed to break off the heads of my 4- and 5-irons. I guess it’s time to retire my 1960s Chi Chi Rodriguez-signature clubs. I’ll save the surviving clubs for 2016 reunion door prizes.
Golf awards:
--Tom McDermott had longest drive on hole #7
--Ed Cervantes had closest to the pin on hole #9
--Dan Gerety had longest put on hole #12
--Cheryl Lambrecht (Gannon) had closest to the pin
on hole #17
--Low score by the team of Steve VanCamp, Luke Harkins, Cheryl Lambrecht (Gannon) and Tom Engelmann
--“Foursome that most resembled a Three Stooges episode” was Tim Kilfoy, Mike Early, Jeff Epping and Gene McGivern
I've heard that most of the reunion absentees had conflicts and would have loved to have joined us. Let’s hope it works out for more people to attend in 2016.
I hope I’m not missing anyone, but thanks to these classmates (and some spouses) who attended:
Sue Bales, Jennifer Bernat, Terry Breheny, Chris Browne, John Bugos, Barb Bushur

Lynn Callahan, Ed Carroll, Ed Cervantes, Mike Coughlin, Liz Czolgosz

Ray Donahue

Mike Early, Tom Engelmann, Jeff Epping

Linda Foley, Tim Frandsen

Cheryl Gannon, Dave Geisler, Dan Gerety, Tom Gosser, Eileen Grady, John Gusta

Luke Harkins, Kathy Hasley, Kathy Haut, Anita Hein, Steve Hinton, Diana Hupperts 

Steve Johnston

Tim Kilfoy, Mike Koprucki

Mary Beth Leese

Dino Madrigal, Ann McCabe, Tom McDermott, Gene McGivern, Kathy Mulligan, Beth Murphy

Ruby Navarro

Karen Omahen

Ann Peine, Mac Pritchard

Mara Quinn

Debbie Ruiz

Sue Salter, Andorothy Speer, Sharon Spriet, Chris Springer,

Kathy Tomsha

Tony Valainis, Joe Van Camp, Steve Van Camp

Mary Walsh, Cathy Weiman

Dan Zack

A special salute to the folks who came so far to take part, including Linda Foley, Dan Gerety, Steve Hinton, Ruby Navarro, Karen Omahen, Mac Pritchard, Mary Walsh and Tom Gosser. It was especially good to see the likes of Mary, Tom, Cheryl Gannon, John Gusta and Tony Valainis, who have been unable to attend many recent reunions. I’d bet they’re glad they showed up and would encourage any others to make the next bash in 2016.

If anyone has any photos, please send to me ( and I’ll post here. I also will continue to add post-reunion items and links. This blog, as well as Facebook, can be a way where we still communicate class news and updates.

Watch your emails next December for news about a Christmas-time Happy Hour in Davenport for any classmates who are back in town.

At age 53, we’re all at slightly different points in our family and career life. Yes, we’re running out of time to match Bill Gates’ bankroll, Michael Jordan’s hang time, Mother Teresa’s holiness, or Oprah’s influence.

But in our real worlds -- after our good health and family focus – there’s nothing quite like good friendships, laughter, and a variety of memories, and last week let us experience all three.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Take a 1970s Quiz

With the reunion just one week away, it’s time to get ready for a trip down memory lane. Remember – Brian Pollmiller was the tall twin, with more brown hair; Brent was more muscular and blonder.
Here are some quiz questions to get you back in that 70s mindset:

The "Summer of '69" signifies

A) A transitional time in society marked by the first moonwalk, Woodstock, and the Manson murders
B) A hit song by Bryan Adams that reached No. 5 on the Billboard list in the summer of 1985
C) The season the Cubs choked away the NL pennant against the Miracle Mets
D) The last time the Assumption High art room was ever cleaned

If the AHS Class of 1976 had a theme song it would be:

A) Don't You Worry About a Thing (Stevie Wonder)
B) Margaritaville (Jimmy Buffet)
C) Midnight at the Oasis (Maria Muldaur)
D) We Can Work it Out (Beatles)
E) Everybody Plays the Fool (Main Ingredient)

My most valuable piece of 1970s memorabilia is:

A) 1972 Presidential Physical Fitness certificate (signed by Richard Nixon)
B) A yellow waffle ball bat from AHS gym class
C) A 45 rpm record of Surfin’ USA that played 29 consecutive times in the AHS lounge jukebox
D) A “Keep on Truckin” T-shirt
E) An all-inclusive wristband from outdoor parties held on Cedar Street  

“Live or Die” refers to

A) A James Bond movie
B) A Paul McCartney and Wings song from a James Bond movie
C) A religion class at AHS taught by Fr. Hoenig
D) The New Hampshire state motto

The most popular bumper sticker in the AHS parking lot in the 1970s was:

A) Make love, not war
B) Nixon’s the one
C) KSTT preferred listener
D) My other car’s a Jaguar
E) AHS is No. 1 (and don’t you forget it)

Which of these events DID NOT happen in summer 1975?

A) Thriller “Jaws” is box office smash-film
B) First Bix 7 run is held in Davenport with 10 a.m. start and 84 finishers
C) Cable TV comes to Davenport, includes “Channel 100” movie channel
D) Alice Cooper falls off stage during concert in Vancouver, breaks six ribs
E) Peter Gabriel leaves Genesis
F) Davenport band Nattyscratch breaks up and then reunites

Which of these events DID NOT happen in September 1975?

A) Manson follower Squeeky Fromme points a gun Gerald Ford
B) 17 days later, Sara Jane Moore tries to shoot Ford
C) Rocky Horror Picture Show is first released in a U.S. movie theatre
D) Foghat released “Fool for the City” album
E) Gerald Ford increases his life insurance policy

Which of these events DID NOT happen in October 1975?

A) Rock band Kiss gains pub for playing the Homecoming dance at Cadillac High in Cadillac, Mich.
B) On the second ever Saturday Night Live episode, Simon and Garfunkel reunite and play three songs
C) Bruce Springsteen appears on cover of Time and Newsweek in same week
D) Boston’s Carleton Fisk hit a famous 12th-inning HR and used body language to coax it to stay fair in game 6 of the World Series
E) Ali defeats Frazier in the Philippines in the ‘Thrilla in Manilla’
F) John DeLorean starts his car company
G) West High hosts a stock car race in its parking lot

It's an open book test -- you have until June 30 to gather answers

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Were you more "Chess King" or chess club?

Today’s flashback exercise involves many staples of Davenport pop culture in the late 1960s into the 1970s.
We all remember that Marie Osmond was “a little bit country,” while Donny Osmond was “a little bit Rock N Roll” (a very little bit, as I recall.)
In honor of the Class of 1976, here's a list of 76 top people, places and products from our "Wonder Years."
I’ve probably left out some good choices, so send in a comment in the box below with any pairs that should be included on the list.
So, do you remember identifying more with….
Geifman’s… or Eagles Foods?
AHS art room… or AHS library?
McQuick… or Hardees?
Schutman’s… or Syndicate Hub?
Royal Blue… or 7-11?
8-track… or vinyl?
Teem… or 7-Up?
Emeis… or Credit Island Golf Course?
Shakey’s Pizza “Bunch of Lunch” … or Pizza Hut buffet?
VanderVeer… or Lindsey Park?
Levi’s jeans… or Levi’s cords?
Marcia Brady… or Laurie Partridge (yeah, baby!)?
Lujack Chevy…  or Dahl Ford?
Whitey’s Slushie… or Dairy Queen Mr. Misty?
Transferring into AHS from Bettendorf…  or transferring out to Dav. West?
Converse Chuck Taylor Hi Tops…  or Converse AHS red Low Tops?
American Bandstand…  or Soul Train?
Circle Tap… or Peacocks?
Beating Central High at sports… or beating West High at sports?
Harris Pizza… or Italian Village?
Mr. Neat tuxedos… or Skeffingtons? (Hint, everyone was loyal to the Burke family biz)
Tipton Quarries… or sneaking into the swimming pool behind AHS?
Denny Glancy's "History of Comic Books" class … or Mike Loehrer's "Thanantology" class?
Palmer Pub… or Trilighter?
Freshman Frolic… or Junior Skip Days?
Rudy’s… or Ganzo’s?
Drawbridge... or Velie’s?
Frequenting Happy Joe’s… or working at Happy Joe’s?
Kunkel’s… or Craton’s?
Buses to Cubs game… or trains to Hawkeye football games?
Riefe’s…  or Bishops?
Jim Morrison, legendary Doors frontman... or Jim Morrison, legendary classmate?

North Park Cinemas…  or Milan Cinemas?
Junge Park gatherings… or Duck Creek Park parties?
St. Paul’s… or Holy Family?
Free peanuts at Ground Round… or free popcorn at Filling Station?
CORE weekend retreats... or Coronet Theatre on weekends?

Midnight Special… or Chuck Acri Creature Feature?
AHS Stage Crew… or Assumptionaire Chorus?
Painter pants…  or bell bottoms?
Mountain Dew… or Mellow Yellow?
Col Ballroom concert… or Iowa Jam summer concerts?
Spudnut Shop…  or Mr. Donut?
Going crazy at Brady Street Stadium… or going to hear the “crazy people” on Brady Street?
Ford Mustang… or VW Beetle?
Pepe Taco…  or Sanchos?
Chess King… or chess club?
Izod gator… or Munsingwear penguin?
Spirit Pizzas…  or girl-scout cookies?
Oasis…  or Bel-Air Drive Inn?
AHS lunch burrito…  or tavern sandwich?
Beatles…  or Jacksons?
Captain Ernie’s Showboat…  or Romper Room?
Miss. Valley Fairgrounds… or Masonic Temple?
AHS’ modular scheduling of the 1970s… or real high school?
Hungry Hobo… or going hungry on AHS "Boycott Lunch" day
Harrison Street one-way…  or Harrison Street two-way?
Dr. Dimento…  or Casey Casem's Top 40?
Slim Jims or Virginia Slims?
Peterson’s downtown…  or Von Maur Northpark?
Foosball… or billiards?
AHS Coach Dave Triplett…  or AHS Coach Jimmy Fox?
Starsky & Hutch... or Miller and Sunderbruch?
30 Lanes…  or Bowlmor?
Fake ID…  or Uncle Sam’s Horny Pass?
Dr. Pepper…  or Mr. Pibb?
Cruising the ones…  or driving through cemeteries?
Pinball…  or ping pong?

Ringo Starr's song "You're Sixteen"... or Janis Ian's song "At Seventeen."
Jack’s Tuna Tap…  or Al’s Lounge?
Doobie Brothers… or Beach Boys?
Freshman year Science trip to Chicago… or road trips for college visits?
Central Little League… or Northwest Little League?
McDonald's twoallbeefpattiesspecialsaucelettucecheesepicklesoniononansesameeedbun t-shirt... or Property of Assumption sweatshirt?

Fr. Spiegel… or Sr. Elizabeth?
So as Harry Caray used to say before singing Take me out to the Ballgame: "Let me hear you" -- use the comment box below

Thursday, June 16, 2011

1975-76: Senior Songbook

Here are some memories of senior year and the tunes that helped passed the time -- send in your comments below

Born to Run (Bruce Springsteen):
One of These Nights (Eagles):
Show Me the Way (Peter Frampton):

Silly Love Songs (Paul McCartney and Wings):
Play That Funky Music (Wild Cherry):
Afternoon Delight (Starland Vocal Band):

Let Her In (John Travolta):

1974-75: Junior-Year Jukebox

It's Junior year again -- Nioxon resigns, the whole class has drivers' licenses, the big crackdown of AHS open campus... In music, here's some songs that we listened to (or avoided listening to):
Sweet Home Alabama (Lynyrd Skynyrd):
The Joker (Steve Miller Band):
Cats in the Cradle (Harry Chapin):
Black Water (Doobie Brothers):

Life is a Rock , But the Radio Rolled Me (Reunion): (
Rock the Boat (Hues Corporation):
Kung Fu Fighting (Carl Douglas):
Jackie Blue (Ozark Mountain Daredevils):

The Night Chicago Died (Paper Lace):
(Yikes, this has 2,000,000 hits on YouTube!)
You and Me Against the World (Helen Reddy):
Having My Baby (Paul Anka):
Love Will Keep Us Together (Captain and Tennille):
Morning Side of the Mountain (Donny and Marie):
Beach Baby (First Class):

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Musical Memory Lane -- Tenth-Grade Tunes

Greetings AHS classmates -- here's part 2 of 4 of Best, Worst and Most Memorable Songs of our high school days. (Scroll down to see freshman year nominations).

Feel free to send in your own nominations using the comments section below or write to me via email (

1973-74, Tenth-Grade Tunes
China Grove (Doobie Brothers):
Loves Me Like a Rock (Paul Simon):
Hello it’s Me (Todd Rundgren):
Bennie and the Jets (Elton John):

Smoking in the Boys Room (Brownsville Station) (special clip from Don Kirschner’s Rock Concert):
Hooked on a Feeling (Blue Swede):
Loco-Motion (Grand Funk Railroad):
Come And Get Your Love (Redbone): (note the old stereo equipment):
Rocky Mountain High (John Denver):
Touch Me in the Morning (Diana Ross):

Seasons in the Sun (Terry Jacks):
Midnight at the Oasis (Maria Muldaur):
Billy Don’t Be a Hero (Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods):
Sunshine on My Shoulders (John Denver):
Coming soon, Junior-Year Jukebox