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Riggs High Class of '63

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2003 Reunion

Phoenix Fiesta
March 14 - 16, 2003
Doubletree Suites - Phoenix

Back Row (right to left): Nancy Kindt Lorenzen, Sam Ruzick, Bob Dean O'Rielly, Joe Hanson, Dave Tommervik, Bill Gilsinger, Mark Simmons & Milt Morris. 

Middle Row - (right to left): Dennis Naasz, Nina Colbert Maxfield, Joyce Quenzer Gerlach, Ruth Ann Spicer Stenberg & Marianna McLauchlan Gibbons.

Front Row (right to left): Bonnie Forney Mattick, Eva Olson Hageman & Julie Williams Claymore.

Reunion Synopsis

The "2003 Phoenix Fiesta," hosted by Bonnie Forney Mattick, was a wonderful experience and a great success thanks to Bonnie and all the planning and work she did. We had a wonderful time and all of the classmates who attended the reunion appreciated everything that Bonnie did, especially inviting us to her home and making us feel so welcome and comfortable.

The Doubletree Guest Suites was the reunion headquarters and we were very pleased with the accommodations, food, and all the extras that the hotel provided. The weather was beautiful and, for those of us who came from the colder regions, the green grass, blooming flowers and trees, and warm climate was welcomed and appreciated.

Several of us who arrived early for the reunion, caravanned to Bonnie's home on Thursday evening and helped her decorate for the welcoming reception she hosted on Friday night. The drive to and from Bonnie's home was interesting and quite entertaining at times. We only lost our way a couple of times so we did pretty good for being hick town tourists driving at night in Phoenix.

Classmates started arriving early on Friday, so that left Friday afternoon to play shopper or tourist, take in one of many professional baseball games at the training camps, or just hang around the hotel and visit with the classmates as they arrived. We saw many familiar faces from previous reunions but also got reacquainted with classmates who had never been able to attend prior reunions. Joining us for the first time were Bill Gilsinger and his wife, Bonnie, who live in Glendale, AZ ; Joyce Quenzer Gerlach and her husband, Burt, who live in Clarkdale, AZ; and Julie Williams Claymore, who lives in Albuquerque, NM. It was so nice to reconnect with these classmates after so many years and we look forward to seeing them at future reunions.
Saturday morning was a time for relaxation and Saturday afternoon was another "play time" for many, but for Bonnie and her decorating crew, it was a time to transform the outdoor pavilion at the hotel into a Mexican fiesta. Bonnie hand made the table decorations, which were later given away as door prizes, and after banners and many festive ornaments were hung, the pavilion took on the atmosphere of a fiesta and we were ready to party.

That evening we gathered at the pavilion and once again reminisced about our high school days. The Southwestern banquet was delicious and being in an outdoor setting was wonderful. Bonnie's father, Fritz, was our special guest for the evening and we enjoyed listening to his stories and the memories he had of our class; our classmates; and some of our parents.

Sunday morning we gathered in the hotel restaurant for a farewell brunch. Again, we shared many good memories and laughs of our younger days. When comparing this reunion with prior reunions, however, one thing that many of the classmates commented on was the difference in our priorities and the topics of conversation. At past reunions, it wasn't unusual to hear classmates tell stories of the daring (and oftentimes dumb) things they did when they were younger and how much they enjoyed sitting around and drinking and having a good time at the reunions. However, at this reunion, we noticed the majority of the classmates drinking soda or bottled water in stead of alcohol and the main topics of conversation were grand kids and aging parents. Some said that was a sign of aging - - but we'd like to think it's a sign of maturing.

Thanks to all of you who were able to join us in Phoenix and for making it such a memorable time for us. A special thank you to Bonnie for her gracious hospitality. For those of you who weren't able to be with us, please know that you were with us in spirit. We hope your plans will allow you to join us in 2008 in Pierre for our next reunion.

Classmates Who Attended Reunion

Nina Colbert Maxfield
Bonnie Forney Mattick
Bill Gilsinger
Joe Hanson
Nancy Kindt Lorenzen
Marianna McLaughlan Gibbons
Milt Morris
Dennis Naasz
Eva Olson Hageman
Robert Dean O'Reilly
Joyce Quenzer Gerlach
Sam Ruzick
Mark Simmons
Ruth Ann Spicer Stenberg
Dave Tommervik
Julie Williams Claymore