by Lori Maes King and Elmer Villalon
On the July 6th, 2012 weekend, the Walsenburg High School class of 1972 celebrated its 40th year reunion.
The venue started on Friday eve, July 6th, with a “Night to Reunite – Kicker” which was held at the Sangre de Cristo Festival Friday concert event. A welcoming table with greeters was present at the concert gate. After being greeted and provided purple and white necklace beads, the classmate attendees journeyed up the outdoor staircase to the Paseo court yard where they renewed each other’s friendships and caught up on years that gone by.
At the Paseo court yard classmate attendees enjoyed a private bar for spirits and tasty Italian appetizers provided by Franco’s Bistro. At 8:30 there was a cake cutting and a toast to each other’s good health and well-being.
The cake was prepared by Country Oven Bakery of Pueblo and was ornamented with a Purple Panther and scripted with “1972 WHS 40th year Reunion – Panthers”. From 9:30 to 10 pm, the group was shuttled by limousine service to Angelo’s Pizzeria, on the River Walk of south downtown Pueblo. At Angelo’s a private room was reserved for the group and the ’72 classmates and their spouses had a second evening gathering enjoying pizza, more reminiscing and just plain catching up.
On Saturday the reunion dinner dance was held at the La Plaza Inn in downtown historic Walsenburg. The dinner presentation was buffet style and after everyone was seated Larry Sandoval made a movie power point presentation in remembrance of those classmates who have passed on.
There was a silent auction at the dinner and a total of $515 was raised for the “1972 Reunion JMHS Student Need Fund”. The organizer of the silent auction was Patricia Martinez, a ‘72 WHS graduate and longtime educator and administrator of the Walsenburg public school system.
After dinner, more pictures were taken, including group pictures taken in the La Plaza Inn lobby staircase. The dinner dance venue continued into the La Plaza Inn court yard where the group danced to popular 1970’s tunes. The music was provided by the well – known southern Colorado DJ, Pistol Pete.
On July 8th, after Sunday morning brunch at La Plaza Inn, Patricia Martinez announced that it was Linda’s Andeatta’s birthday, so everyone present sang Happy Birthday to Linda, who traveled from California to be present with her classmates.
Also, the famous Jacob Pino sang Happy Birthday to Linda in Louis Armstrong style. The group then gathered one last time for yet another group picture. After the picture taking, hugs and kisses were exchanged as everyone moved on to travel destinations and their daily routines.
Those who enjoyed catching up after all these years were: Linda Andreatta, Connie Bailey Kowal, Rosemary Fall, Debbie Bonicelli Vialpando, Mary Byouk Gerontis, Donald Cordova, Ken Cruz, Marla Feiccabrino Clark, Debbie Felice Vezzani, Anna Lee Garcia Stults, Geri Garcia Velasquez, Ceil Geiger Ruder, John Hacsi, Donnie Pass Lee, Lori Maes King, Debbie Martinez, Joe Martinez, Larry Martinez, Patricia Martinez, Donna Noga, Cathy Pacheco Martinez, Jacob Pino, Fred Rodriquez, Larry Sandoval, Richard Sandoval, Mary Jo Stimack Miller, Laura Vezzani Hacsi, Marie Vigil Romero, Elmer Villalon, and Donna Williams. photo by Larry Sandoval