Mary Dawn Gilmore (Kurzka)
email@example.com Eugene OR Editor n/a Married 1 3 Life has been a lot like weather--good, bad, indifferent and amazing, with major storms, stretches of brilliant sun, and soft gentle rain and snow. There have been times I’ve wished I had been able to stay in a straight line--same town, same husband, same religion, and same job--to experience such stability and consistency. But it was not in the cards. Exploration has been the name of the game and has led (sometimes abruptly) to three degrees (two masters), three husbands (two divorces), two and a half careers, three political positions (Rep/Dem/Indep) and one daughter (with my current husband of over three decades). Then there are the names--three last names, two middle names, with the first initial as the only piece of consistency. This has all taken place in residence in the St. Louis area, west Texas, Denver, San Antonio, Phoenix, Seattle, western Montana, and finally Eugene, Oregon (for twenty years in the same house, even).Sorry for the strange presentation of my name above. At Southwest, I was Mary Gilmore. For a long time, I've been Dawn Kurzka. I'll try hard to answer to either if I see you at the reunion--I may actually get there. I hope to see all of you. Meanwhile, to my good friends who are out of touch and show no sign yet of coming to the reunion or posting a profile, e-mail me! And come! (You know who you are.)
Professional life has taken the form of librarianship (a true love), then counseling (which came about because of the procession of people who came to me with their problems). Finally, “work” came back to writing and editing--the original passion for words, language and books sustained from an early age.
A great joy has always been dancing, from ballet, modern, improv and expressive movement to what we all shared at Teepee Town. This combined with extensive bicycling helped to produce arthritis in the knees and related challenges, but I still dance any chance I get! Lifelong passions also include work with fiber and fabric, gardening (we raise much of our produce), traveling, friendship, and our family. Our family has included many cats over the years (and a dog once for 24 hours--it didn’t quite work out!) We are left now with two “grandcats,” a wonderful inheritance from our daughter when she left town the first time years ago.
War has obviously been a player (for us all), especially coming of age into the immensity of Vietnam and all the sweeping societal change. I was an Air Force wife during that time and still feel the impact. I used to try to explain it to our daughter. Today, she contracts with colleges to provide educational support to deployed military personnel and is currently (July) transitioning from Iraq to Afghanistan. Now, she’s explaining it all to me, and providing a vicarious international travel experience, having spent her leave and training time over the last year and a half in Germany, Kuwait, Egypt, Greece, and France. This is all an interesting mix of cheering and cringing for us. The whole process is very rich, because I became very anti-war and anti-military during and after Vietnam and now feel a tremendous bond with military families and strong appreciation for the troops. (Still not a big supporter of war, though.)
The all-encompassing exploration throughout life has been in the religious/spiritual arena. Life has brought me close-up involvement with quite a few different beliefs, including agnosticism and atheism, before coming home finally to Advaita Vedanta. Our “church” is a sangha and my husband teaches satsang. It is the last, best opportunity and gift of our life and brings restorative perspective to it all.
What I hated at Southwest were the girls' awful gym suits. I didn't like Miss Torbert's algebra class. And Spanish, which I love to this day, was somehow the setting for the good, the bad, and the very ugly. I adored Mrs. Norris and more or less put up with Miss Fling. But, Mrs. Norris had to manage the situation in the first year when I threw up in class (talk about humiliating!) and again in the fourth year when I passed out on the floor in the classroom entry on the way to the nurse's office. Those monthly cramps were a real bitch for some of us! :(
The other things I especially liked at Southwest were Teepee Town and sorority life. In light of today's world of bullying, it seems they provided a place for nearly everyone to be included. (Please forgive me if I'm naively unaware here.) The other good memory that sticks is being taught to diagram sentences; it came easily to me and provided a solid foundation for all future work with writing and editing, as well as explaining the mechanics to others.
Sheryl Glasberg (Little)
firstname.lastname@example.org York ME retired Married 2 4 1 After graduating from Indiana University, I spent two years with the Peace Corps in Bolivia. After coming back to the states in 1967, I got my Master's in Education, started teaching - first in NYC and then in Washington, DC. I also got married and had our two children.
We moved to southern Maine 30 years ago, where both my husband and I taught high school.
We are now retired and doing part-time work and enjoying life. Our children and grandchildren are in California and Virginia so we travel a lot to see them.
All in all, life is good.
Samyra Glass (Marks)
email@example.com Overland Park KS Preschool Teacher (retired) Married 2 3 grandchildren one Attended the University of Oklahoma for a year. Traveled to Europe with Barbara (Finkel) Marcus and Judy (Katz) Parelman. Got married in September of 1967, had kids (Jennifer, 1969, Aaron, 1971). Worked for the JCC as a Preschool Teacher for 32 years. Now I am retired (2009) and like to spend time with friends, travel and visit my grandchildren in St. Louis. My BEST memories of Southwest are meeting the many good friends that I still have today.
firstname.lastname@example.org Brevard NC Retired Married 2 1 Everything went downhill after graduating from Southwest!
I attended the University of Arizona along with Bretz, Upjohn, Diane Varnum and Janet Oliver. (Valentine, Vaughn, Milly Hilgert and Koutsobos came later.) I took my sophomore year off and traveled in Japan, India and Europe. Returning to Arizona, I spent time on the wrestling team ---and met my wife of 43 years—Bunny (not on the wrestling team). Somehow I graduated and went directly to UMKC Law School.
That didn’t work so after a year I packed my bags and headed to San Francisco. I worked for numerous computer related companies (IBM, Honeywell, DEC, etc). When no one seemed to understand how valuable I was, I started a group of companies that acted as distributors for computer peripherals (American Peripheral Exchange----Go APE-Buy American! Corny but it worked).
Bunny graduated from UA in 1967 and took a job in San Jose teaching 4th grade. We were married in December of 1969. Both our boys, Jim and Tim were born in San Francisco.
We moved to Tucson, AZ in 1988. Our younger son Tim was killed by a drunk driver in Oct 2000. We had been spending summers on a lake buried in the North Carolina mountains and loved the surroundings so we decided to make a permanent move to this area after the tragedy.
We’ve been fortunate to have some of the SW crew visit us here - Bob Bretz, accompanied by his very lovely companion for 35 years Gretchen Jaeger, and Spence Valentine.
Our older son Jim lives in Seoul, South Korea. He teaches Creative Writing and English (obviously Bunny’s genes) at one of the universities. He returns to England in August to finish his PhD in this field.
I presently spend my days promoting a couple of inventions, running 5-10k races, kayaking the lake and feeding the 30+ catfish and trout that gather at our dock every evening.
SW best moments—Beating Rockhurst in football our first senior year game (Hinkle/Czarlinsky-you beasts). Rockhurst had been rated #1 in the regional preseason polls.
Winning the Interscholastic League Basketball Tournament our senior year. (Thank god for Jim Davis.)
Qualifying for the State Indoor Track Meet three years in a row (along with Frankie Travelant).
SW worst moments—As Jim Cox so aptly put it---“a little car accident in 59”
Retha Goldman (Herman)
email@example.com Rio Verde AZ Retired Married 2 3 1 only Well, since June 1961...you want it all? OK, here we go..in July 1961 I...oh, you don't want it all? OK, whatever...who can remember anyway?Retirement is the best job I have had. I now make jewelery.
I married, moved to Omaha, had 2 children, a boy who is now a research professor at K-State working in genetics and something called ecological genomics and a girl who lives and works in Mesa, AZ. Both have kids (Be sure and ask me about them), I stayed home, raised them and did volunteer work including makeup and backstage work for the Omaha Ballet, Omaha Opera, and the JCC theater. When the kids were old enough, I went back to college, getting my degree in Social Work...my son graduated college, my daughter graduated high school, and I graduated all the same day....what a party!!
I worked in my field for a short time, dabbled in sales, used my social work skills in customer service, until I reached my ultimate goal...retirement! We now live in Rio Verde, AZ (a golf community in Phoenix area...no, we don't play). we spend our time cultivating our love of jazz, going to concerts, clubs, and other venues availing ourselves of the great talent that lives in and comes to the Valley. We've even started booking groups in the Club in our community. I can't remember that far back. HA HA
No, The plays and musicals I worked on and, of course the social life.
I think the worst part was realizing that I was expected to go to classes and study.
Elizabeth Goodson (Roth-Verkler)
firstname.lastname@example.org Kansas city MO Real Estate Sales Married 3 After High School, I attended William Jewell College and ended up at the University of Missouri where I married Tim Roth. After school, military, and etc, we moved back to KC, where I raised my three kids and have lived ever since.
Sadly, my Tim was killed in an automobile accident in 1981. I continued to be involved in many community and church activities (I managed the church kitchen for 25 years). I also put a lot of my energy into my kids as a single Mom. In 1985 I became a Real Estate Sales agent with J C Nichols Real Estate. “Just for a few years” (I am still selling…..my, has that business changed!!)
After my kids were raised, I married Ron Verkler; we have now enjoyed 18 years together. (He is looking forward to coming to the reunion with me).
While Tim and I were still in college, we bought a family farm from my Grandfather’s estate. It turned out to be a great legacy for my children from their father. I have managed it and loved it for over 40 years. It is our second home. If you are ever up at New Cambria, Missouri, stop by if you see a car in the driveway of the old Victorian farmhouse across from the high school and watch the sunset from our front porch.
My greatest accomplishments are my three kids. I am very proud of each of them and what they have become. I am equally as proud of my 13 grandchildren (seven of mine and six of Ron’s) Grandchildren represent happiness!
Even though I still live in the Southwest High School district, I feel that I have been very busy and have had a well-rounded life with many adventures and rewards.
Things I remember about Southwest. I remember sneaking out the north door and driving to Allen’s for lunch and getting back before the bell rang (I think we had 25 minutes). I remember Spalding saddle oxfords, Boy Coats, white scarves, drawstring purses from Rothschild’s, and metal buckle belts with your name on it. I remember gum boxes (I learned to love tootsie pops then and that has followed my whole life). I still have my foil ball!
I also remember some of the teachers and the role they played in my life. Mr. Sanders, the English teacher, very strict and strange but I learned from him (I still remember most of "The Raven”). Mr. Stark - Biology, he always had a smile on his face. Miss Joyce - Human Science, she taught us all about our bodies in a way we could not forget. Helen Davidson - Choir, such a patient and caring person. She gave me a good grade even though I couldn’t carry a tune. Violet Fairchild - History, remember, she was a professional whistler? The Welch sisters, how could we use the computers today without learning typing from Miss Welch? Mr. Western - Speech, I think that was the format for my ability to speak in public over the years. I loved being in the Senior Play “Ask any Girl.” And finally there was Mr. Cannon, Principal, who held the place together. We were truly fortunate to go to a high school with such talent and standards. It was a great platform for all of us as we went forward in so many different directions.
Mary Ann Gordon (Micco)
Micco1@aol.com Olathe KS retired Married 4 7 2 Yes, life has been good. I had a wonderful career with University Physicians Associates, and a wonderful 20 years in my second marriage. Both my husband and I brought two wonderful children each into our marriage and they, in turn, have brought us seven grand children. My friends were my best memories. I did not have any negative memories.
Penny Grant (Messer)
email@example.com Columbia MO Homemaker Married 2 7 (combined with 2 marriages) 2 Graduated from University of Mo. Got married upon graduation. Taught kindergarten for 3 years. Then had two children, Stephanie and Mike. Stayed home with them but also got a Masters in Counseling Psychology. Was married to Dan Simon for 32 years. We divorced and after two years, I married Nat Messer, an Equine Veterinarian at the University of Missouri. He has one son, and he had a lovely daughter who passed away two years ago. We have 5 grandchildren here in Columbia, and we have two who live in Leawood, Kansas.
We live on a golf course, and we both enjoy golf. My husband likes it more than I do, and I expect when he retires in the next couple of years that he will play everyday. I also enjoy tennis, but my first love is duplicate bridge. I go to tournaments and I play online everyday.
We have a nice life in Columbia, and we feel very fortunate to live here. I remember Tepee Town when I was in 8th grade. And I remember the sororities and fraternities. I read the two books by Evan Connell, "Mrs. Bridge" and "Mr. Bridge" and it brought many memories back of Southwest High School.
Also, I remember Winstead's.
The worst memories, I want to forget._
John (Wes) Grist
firstname.lastname@example.org Gresham OR Retired Insurance Adjuster www.post686-mountedexplorers.org Married 4 2 one After graduation I tried the engineering school at MU, but gave up after a year although I did attend MJC off and on for several years. I went to work for Pritchard Engineering, enlisted in the Army Reserves, and then tried police work for two years. I finally went to work for the Lynn Insurance group (the people who painted their grass green at 51st and Oak). I retired from Lynn after 42 years. Although officially retired, I still work part-time when they need me on large claims.
I met and married my wife while working at Lynn (she was an executive secretary) and we had our 42nd anniversary in July of 2010. The company moved us to Portland, Oregon in 1970 while I was in training and eventually to Boca Raton, Florida in 1976 (the company HQ). They moved us back to Portland (Gresham) in 1984, and we have been here ever since (my wife, Pat, did not like Florida in the least but had really liked Portland). We have three boys and a girl. The picture below is at the birth of my granddaughter in Prineville, Oregon. The man behind me and my granddaughter is her father and my youngest son (Dan is currently on his third deployment to Iraq with the Oregon NG). I have been a Boy Scout leader since 1979 and most recently have been an adult leader in an Explorer Post (Mounted Explorers Post 686 – I put their website above if you are curious about what a Mounted Explorer Post does – we are one of only two such Posts in the US). The Post keeps me busy taking care of 66 acres, 18 horses and about the same number of teenage members, both boys and girls.
The things I liked best about Southwest were ROTC and art class. The ROTC program was cancelled after my sophomore year, so after that I was usually working before and after school so I wasn’t around much during my junior and senior years. I was on the ROTC drill team and lettered on the rifle team (which was the 5th army JR ROTC champion team my sophomore year). In the art class I worked on the musical stage sets. I remember “Pirates of Penzance,” “The Mikado,” “Carousel,” “Brigadoon” and did enjoy the shows.
I can’t really think of anything I disliked about Southwest other than the necessity to spend eight hours a day in classes, but the teachers and Principal were great. I am sorry I will not be able to attend the reunion as it coincides with my son’s return from Iraq and I have to pick him up in Ontario, OR (too far for my daughter-in-law to drive 6 hours each way with young kids).
email@example.com Spokane WA Retired Gastroenterologist Married 2 6 One I attended the University of Kansas where I majored in Philosophy to graduate in 1965 and enter Medical School at KU. I married Tessa Reese in 1967 when she graduated from KU as an Education Major. I completed my medical education, internship, residency and fellowship in 1973 and then spent two years in the USAF as Chief of Gastroenterology at Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage, AK. In 1975 I entered private practice in Spokane,WA where I practiced until 1997 when I retired.
At retirement I did a lot of sailing through the Great Lakes, down the St. Lawrence Seaway, through the Maritime Provinces and down the East Coast to Florida where I kept my boat for six years.
Now we enjoy time with our two daughters and grandchildren, travel, spend summers at our lake cabin on Coeur d' Alene Lake in Idaho, and just enjoy life. All my memories are good except those of Latin class with Sarah Helen Anderson.