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Fort Walton Beach '99 Mini
27 February 1999 - Page 6

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Photo #31

Saturday night at the Manila Bay Restaurant.

Bill '73 and Gaye Perkins Parnell '74, and daughters, Amber and Jessica.


The Fort Walton Beach Reunion

Notice I did not say mini or midi.  We are still not sure of the accurate number of attendees but it was over 60!!!  On Friday evening we arrived at the Ramada Inn Resort on Okaloosa
Island at around 6pm.  we got our room and called and talked to John and Susan who had
arrived at 3:30pm.  We made arrangements to meet them in the Lounge in 15 minutes.  I am so nervous that I can't stay still.  Not nervous about seeing John and Susan but nervous about the upcoming so called mini---will anyone show up?---will everyone sit around twiddling their thumbs?---will I recognize Ron Bonners sister Linda? who is staying at the hotel too.

We get to the lounge and before long there is Susan and John!!!(Love those two)  Then a few minutes later Linda Bonner Meahl and husband Leroy find us--whew She found us!!  We sat around and talked then Gaye showed up and off to dinner.  Linda and Leroy stayed at the hotel to wait for Drew and Chris Whiteley to get there. 

We went to McGuires Irish Pub where Gaye needed someone to take pictures of us so she  immediately makes friends with a bunch of young GI's sitting near us. She then tells the waitress that we want to kiss the moose--OK Gaye talk for yourself!!  For some unknown
reason she goes up on stage and kisses a ratty big old moose head--I think it is some kind of tradition.   A N Y W A Y now we are in trouble, we are all-Gaye, Susan and I summoned up on the stage to sing and act out the green alligator- unicorn song.  You would have all been proud of us because we made sure all knew we were from Wurtsmith/ Wagner.

The next morning we met in the restaurant for breakfast.  Drew and Chris did not get in until 11:30 Friday night and a Do Not Disturb sign was on their door. (we were amazed at how much the Do Not Disturb sign was used, they said it was to keep the maid away--SURE)  I was not hungry but Linda Bonner Meahl put a biscuit and piece of ham on a plate in front of me so I ate it.  I  should have never done that because all weekend Linda felt she needed to provide me with food.  For all that know me or have seen my picture I do not need food.  :)  But thanks anyway Linda--you are a doll and have a really sweet hubby.

We went shopping at the hotel gift shop where everything was at least 50% off but most were 75% off.  We, all the women, bought these lovely straw hats with a big flower on them.  We will be sure to wear them in San Antonio.

Lunch we had at Hooters where every one of us had to try our hand at hula hooping.  Gaye did great and Linda Bonner, ok but the rest of us not so good.

It's time for Gaye, Susan and I to go to the Manila Bay Cafe to set stuff up--we are exhausted--Gaye is even ready to go take a nap!  No time for that.  We get to the restaurant and the owner has tables set up and a really nice big cake with Happy Reunion on it.  He goes out of his way to do everything we ask plus more. He informs us that there have been at least 5 phone calls inquiring about the reunion---SO neat.  gaye's interview is working.  The phone continues to ring and Susan talks to more Alumni.  It is 6pm and people start arriving and arriving and arriving.  It was so unreal--all my nervousness and worry was gone. and Gaye and I are getting our second wind.   There were shreaks of joy all over the place as people saw people they had not seen since they were in the PI.  Everyone talked to everyone else and as usual we were family even tho many of us  had not met before.  I kept an eye out for anyone who was standing off alone so I could draw them into a group.  Only twice did I have to do that which is amazing with that many people there. It was nice to meet Clarence Hinch who had been at Clark for 28 years.

Susan, john, Roger and i met Ken Morgan'71 back at the hotel and we sat in the lobby until 1am talking. 

This morning Gaye called me at 7:25am  to tell me how much fun last night was and how much she cherishes our friendship.  AAAAAWWWWWW  how could I be upset with her for getting me up that early when she says something like that to me.  I feel the same about her and we
feel so indebted to WHOA for helping us meet and become such close friends.

OK Ken, Gaye,Linda, John, VJ, anyone, if I forgot anything --go ahead and tell us.

Attending were
Clarence Hinch
Mrs Hinch
Donna L Smith'61
Roger Smith
Sharon Austin Beck'62
Dusty Austin'65
John Prunier'65
Drew Whiteley'65
Chris Whiteley
Brenda Tipton'65 *
Linda Bonner Meahl'68
Leroy Meahl
VJ Slupecki'70
Gary Coplan'70
Phyllis Coplan
Ken Morgan'71
Dorothy Morgan
Candy Lackey'71
Tom Denman'71 *
Conrad Rhoads'71
Cherie Rhoades
Mike Tatum'71
Karen Tatum
Kelly Wright Denmon'72
Bill Parnell'73
Susan DiBarttolo Prunier'73
Gaye Perkins Parnell'74
Jessica Parnell
Amber  Parnell--ooops don't know married name
Jim Johnson'74 *
Eric"Jay" Miranda'75 * He only went in the Manila Bay for a beer
Rey Bailey'75 *
Mike Padilla  *
William Boing'75*
Diana Henderson West '76
Brad West
Arlene Butler'76
Jimmy Given'76
Lisa Given
Roni Ramsey chunn'79
Sally Loback LaPierre'80
Marilynn Burton Turbush'80 *
Terryl Jones'80
Parklyn Rakocy Martin'81
Sheila Oglesby Linscomb'82
husband Gator
Kathi Murphy Heapy'83 *
Gary Heapy
Jason Rakocy'84 *
Katrina Hinch'87

I am missing some but I think they are spouses.  I am really tired right now so can not think.
It was a really fun time, wish you had been here!!!
Donna L Smith 61   57-60
San Antonio 99   SD/PI 2000
Senior Teenclub Newsletter  Editor
Send articles and ideas

 Photo #32

Saturday night at the Manila Bay Restaurant.

Left, William Boning '75, Jason Rakocy '84, and Parklyn Rakocy Martin '81.

That's alright Donna, I'll forgive you for forgetting me!!  HA

Debbie Best Lowe 76 (DBEST76)

The Fort Walton Beach Reunion NO WAY COULD I really forget Debbie

I just woke up from a 3 hour nap to find out I had forgotten to list one of the people I like best in this world---DEBBIE BEST LOWE"76 who came all the way up from Tampa to be with us at the FWB mini.  :( golly gee I am so sorry.  Bet I missed others because my list does not contain the right # of people.  I told Gaye and Ken I should not be left to give a list. 
Donna L Smith 61   57-60
San Antonio 99   SD/PI 2000
Senior Teenclub Newsletter  Editor
Send articles and ideas

 Photo #33

Saturday night at the Manila Bay Restaurant.

Debbie Best Lowe '76 and Veronica (Roni) Ramsey Chunn '79.

 Photo #34

Saturday night at the Manila Bay Restaurant.

Mrs. Hinch, Katrina Hinch '87, and Clarence Hinch (faculty).

 Photo #35

Saturday night at the Manila Bay Restaurant.

Eric "Jay" Miranda'75 * He only went in the Manila Bay for a beer.


Photo #36 

At the Manila Bay Restaurant on Saturday night.

Carlton Gray '68 and Eric "Jay" Miranda '75.


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