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Tampa, FL Mini Reunion
Sunday, 4 October 1998

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The following pictures contributed by Donna Smith '61
Photo #1
At the reunion, MacDill AFB, Tampa, FL.
Left, LaRhonda (Campbell) Beasley '79, Rick Gonzales '80, Steve Gladin '58, Debbie (Best) Lowe '76, Yvette (Canals) Willette '75, Phillip Slupecki '73

Tampa Mini-Reunion
The Tampa Mini-Reunion yesterday was terrific:  Gorgeous weather (although a bit like the PI or Charleston and the a/c was broken!), perfect facility (even with the broken a/c!), lots of delicious Filipino food (more on that later!), and wonderful WHOA hugs! 

V J Slupecki (70) brought his world-famous lumpia (truly delicious) and made barbecued pork sticks (also truly delicious).   He arrived with his grill and two handsome sons and spent most of the day cooking for us.  When it came time to clean up, V J did a lot of that too and had to take all the chafing dishes with him to return to the caterer.  For that, he also got to take home all the leftovers (there were many leftovers from the caterer, but none of V J's cooking was left). 

The caterer cooked for 50 people (we had 41, I think).  He brought pancit, lechon and sauce, chicken adobo, beef caldereta, pork menudo, rice, what the caterer called fried eggroll, and biko (desert with rice, coconut milk & brown sugar).  It was all very delicious, but there was truly enough food to feed at least 75 people!  So V J has all the leftovers in his freezer and invites all of you (right, V J?) to come by and help he and his boys eat them up. 

Attendees were (please forgive me and let me know if I leave someone out):

LaRhonda Campbell Beasley '79
Mary Elizabeth Bolint '68
Donna Pilgrim Buckner '77 and husband, Eugene
Susan DiBartolo '73 (MrsP2B)
Steve Gladin '58
Julie Gonzales '77 
Rick Gonzales '80 
Lou Harris '76 and wife, Coni, and baby son
Dee Best Helbig '82
Tara Klassen '77
Debbie Best Lowe '76 and son
Barbara Washington McDaniel '79 and baby son
Cindi Lawton Parrish '77
Patty Garber Roesler '76 and 2 children
Donna Smith '61 and husband, Roger
George Swan '61 and wife, Marie
Allen Wykle '77
Jennifer Taylor '91
Yvette Canals-Willette '75 
Max Preston '67
Jim Thomas '73 and wife, Patricia
Phillip Slupecki '73
Debbie Dubuc Phillips '78 (found thru ad at MacDill AFB for reunion)
Phil Kucklick '73
Jan Bonica Varda '69 and twin daughters
Jean Whitman Brown '59 and husband, Gene
V J Slupecki and 2 sons

The facilities were perfect:  large-screen TV for the football fans, right at the marina, beautiful beach, as well as a sundeck.  After I finished cleaning up (the a/c had finally started working!) and started leave, there was the most beautiful near-full moon and the lights of the Tampa skyline shining across the water!  I thought, what a perfect ending to a perfectly joyful day!

George Swan (61) and his wife were on vacation from their jobs in Saudia Arabia  (we had planned the reunion for this date so that they could join us) and we loved meeting and getting to know them.  Steve Gladin had his digital camera to send photos to John Prunier for the web site and the rest of us were taking photos of everyone---hope to get those posted soon. 

It was really neat having people from all years together with spouses and children included.  It didn't even bother me when 3 people told me my graduation year was their birth year! 

Salli DiBartolo '77, and Shirley Foster Taylor '76, Cheryl Nelson Perron '59, and all the others who were unable to join us:  You were missed and we hope to see you at another reunion soon.  We have decided that we are going to make the Tampa Mini-reunion an annual affair, probably at a different time of year (read: cooler!), and most probably at the same location.

Thanks to my fellow reunion organizers, V J Slupecki and Debbie Best Lowe, for all their help in making this such a successful mini-reunion.  And a special thank you to Cheryl Nelson Perron who sent letters to the Florida alumni not on the internet and telephoned others.  Cheryl lives in Jacksonville and was unable to attend because her husband is recovering from shoulder surgery. 

Jean Whitman Brown '59 (57-60)

Photo #2
The catered food for the reunion.
Left, Phillip Slupecki '73, Gene Brown, Rick Gonzales '80, and Jim Thomas '79

Many thanks goes out to Jean and Debbie for their hard work.  I did not make as many calls as I had done last year otherwise we would have had a larger turn out then we did.

Jean really went all out spending more than her share for this re-union.  The activity building and most of the food.  I wish I could  have given her some, but my contributions of lumpia and BBQ pork sticks spoke for themselves.

Thanks again Jean for you generousity and zeal.

V J '70

Photo #3
Left, Debbie (Dubuc) Phillips '78, Melissa Phillips, LaRhonda (Campbell) Beasley '79, Rick Gonzales '80. Jean (Whitman) Brown '59, and Julie Gonzales '77

Remember the Tampa mini?

I know this is very late, but with all the travel that has been done, I just didn't get a chance. . .

What a great time of fellowship!!!  Because of regular Sunday committments, I was not able to leave Melbourne until 12:15pm.  Went to Orlando and picked up Doug Kuklick '62.  we had a fantastic talk and rrived at McDill AFB in Tampa at about 3:15.  There to meet us was a large group of Falcons!  And lots and lots of food!!!  Lots of hugs and warm wishes were swapped.  Plans for future reunions, and "I didn't know you lived so close" and "Why, that's only about 2 or 3 hours from where I live".

We talked and laughed and cried and then left --- at about 7:30pm, and even though Jean gave us directions, we still got lost ----- Doug. . . didn't we end up at a cross street with a great big neon sign flashing "XXXAdult Videos" and not another car or human being in sight???   Not sure where we made the wrong turn --- Must have been when we were reminiscing.

Anyway, we did get home safe.   Tired, but safe!!!

A bunch of warm fuzzies. . .
Lots of hugs all around.  .  .
A capiz sun catcher. . .
and a search on the ground
for a lost set of car keys
Eventually found.  :)

A warm smile in memory
of those unable to attend. . .
And promises to make this
an annual event.
Warm wishes to be taken 
to family and friends. . .
And then, as quickly as it started,
the reunion came to an end.

A heart full of love
and contentment and bliss. . .
And new friends made. . .
Wagner reunions are made of this!!!!

Susan DiBartolo'73

Photo #4
Left, Coni Harris '74, Rick Gonzales '80, Jean (Whitman) Brown '59, Donna (Smith) Smith '61, Julie Gonzales '77, and George Swan '61

Photo #5
Left, LaRhonda (Campbell) Beasley '79, Dee (Best) Helbig '82, Rick Gonzales '80, Jean (Whitman) Brown '59, Donna (Smith) Smith '61, George Swan '61, and Steve Gladin '58

Photo #6
Left, Debbie (Best) Lowe '76, Donna (Smith) Smith '61, Yvette (Canals) Willette '75, Allen Wykle '77, and Steve Gladin '58

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