Saturday, June 20, 2009

Would you believe? More Birthday Pix!!!

Joyce Crispin Johnston, pictured here with her arm around Wendy Cook Bair's shoulders, and her husband/classmate Rick Johnston, wearing glasses and pictured below with Mark Waibel, understand that it's not too late to send pictures from the Gateway Class of '67's 60th Birthday Weekend. Take note, Gator shutterbugs!

The Johnstons traveled from Lantana on the Atlantic coast of south Florida to celebrate our collective birthday.

Rick and I had a great time, Joyce reports.

The photos above and the one at the right depicting (left to right) Bonnie Gardner Hillier, Ellen Lewis, Ron Quaglia, Cheryl Lang Powell and Judy Duffy Roman were taken at D'Imperios on Fri., June 5, 2009.

This photo of three lifelong friends was taken at the Wooden Nickel on Sat., June 6, 2009.

Joyce explains: The one picture with me in the middle is of Sherry Jacobs Kline (on left) and Christine Grey Davis (on the other side).

Sherry didn't graduate with us but went to school with us all from 2nd grade til her family moved after the end of 9th grade. She attended another reunion many years ago and knew some of those who attended the party.

The three of us lived in Turnpike Gardens and played together all the time.

I met Sherry in 2nd grade and Chris in 3rd grade.

I keep up with Sherry twice a year on our birthdays. It was great having both attend the party.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Battle Hymn of the Baby Boomers

This video, which Jay Lehman found, seems appropriate for Gators who have turned or are about to turn 60.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Gators' 60th Birthday Weekend photos and thoughts from Donna Fisher Wiley

Donna Fisher Wiley, the Gator gal in bright blue on the right, did the smart thing camera-wise. She handed her camera to someone else to preserve moments to remember from Gateway Class of 1967's 60th Birthday Celebration Weekend in Monroeville, Pa., June 5-7, 2009.

Here, whoever served as photographer, captured Eileen Ruffner Baca, immediately to Donna's right in the picture above, in a laugh-out-loud moment during the Friday night gathering at D'Imperios. Also laughing it up are Joyce Crispin Johnston, with her arm around Eileen, and Janet Bova Sieracki.

Donna, pictured above left with Wendy Cook Bair and above right with Marti Wilkinson at the Friday night kickoff to the reunion weekend, says: I haven't been in touch with any of my classmates since graduation.

After the 40th reunion emails, I was able to contact several of my close high school girlfriends through email and was excited to get to see them at the 60th birthday blast.

Pictured right are Kathy Casper Faix, Judy McCluskey Crookston and Donna at D'Imperios.

Donna added: I spent all my time with them and enjoyed every minute of it.

I would have loved to have seen Jerry Mason, Vicki Hollibaugh and Phyllis Furlow.

But my time with Kathy Casper and Eileen Ruffner will always be treasured.

Donna, who posed with Kathy, above, and Eileen, right, at the Gators Breakfast Club's Saturday morning meeting at Denny's Restaurant, also said: I was amazed at how the gals aged so beautifully and were as nice as they were in high school.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Gators Golf Outing, June 6, 2009

Sam Viggiano took these pictures at the golf outing he arranged for Gator golf enthusiasts during the Gateway Class of '67's 60th Birthday Celebration Weekend.

As usually happens with the person taking the photos, Sam didn't have a picture of himself on the golf course. At least, he didn't share any with us.

Above are Bob Conley and Paul Krusey, cruising the beautiful, well-maintained Willow Brook Country Club course in the woods of Apollo, Pa., where Tom O'Brien is a member.

The Gator Golfers teed off at 10:30 a.m. Here, Jay Lehman, Tom O'Brien and Rick Johnston lean on their golf clubs to keep themselves upright at such an early hour after the fun-filled festivities of Friday night.

Sam Viggiano was kind enough to loan his father's set of clubs to Jay, who traveled from Arkansas. Tom, Rick and Sam were on the Gators golf team in high school.

Here's a better shot of Paul Krusey and Bob Conley with Larry Gisi.

Jay Lehman says: Thanks to Jan Krusey for allowing Paul to play for the 5th consecutive day.

Here are Rick Johnston and Tom O'Brien, two 1967 Gateway grads who have the distinction of having married '67 Gator gals. Rick and his wife, the former Joyce Crispin, traveled all the way from Florida for the weekend celebration. Tom and his wife, the former Linda Pitlock, didn't have as far to go. They live in Apollo.

As for the Gators' golf game, Jay Lehman reports: Sam had several great putts, particularly on the back 9. Tom was very good and gave us a golf lesson. Has Jay ever played this game before? No animals were injured in this event, and a rare birdie was scored.

Sam Viggiano says: The golf was fun. The scores were in the mid-80s and 90s, so we don’t have to worry about anyone turning pro. It was great fun, and I can’t wait until we do it again - hopefully with more players.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Kathy Casper Faix's pictures from our 60th

Kathy Casper Faix, pictured here with Lou "Junior" Ventresco in front of a Gateway memorabilia display on Friday, June 5, 2009, provided even more photos from the Gateway Class of '67's 60th Birthday Celebration Weekend. Please let us know if you've got classmate photos to share.

Kathy echos what most classmates had to say about the weekend celebration: I am so glad that I was able to make it this weekend. It was so much fun meeting with everyone and catching up.

And our collective regret: I did not get to see everyone.

Kathy, shown here with Donna Fisher Wiley (center) and Joyce Crispin Johnston (left) (Janet Bova Sieracki is in the background), said: I spent alot of time with Donna Fisher. She and I were best friends in high school and had lost touch over the years. I got her email address after the 40th reunion, and we have emailed regularly. This was the first time we were able to actually visit with one another.

Thanks to the efforts of the reunion committee and other diligent classmates (including Kathy), who have been trying to locate all 500-plus members of the Class of '67, Kathy says: I found Mary Guzzo, who was my maid of honor in my wedding. We lost touch when she got divorced, and I had no idea how to get in touch with her. I found her on our email list as well, and so I was able reconnect with her. And it was like we just saw each other last week. We never shut up. Ha, ha. (Pictured here are Mary Guzzo Myers and her husband, Rich Myers, the most elegantly dressed man at the Friday night get-together.)

Kathy added: I was also glad that I was able to talk Janet Bova into coming and Dana Comito. Pictured here are Mary Guzzo Myers, Judy Gibson Brumfield, Eileen Ruffner Baca and Janet Bova Sieracki at the Friday night gathering.

Below is Dana Comito Narey, left, with Peggy Loughner Fisher, Eileen Ruffner Baca and Donna Fisher Wiley at the Sunday morning Gators Breakfast Club on June 7, 2009. (Denise Thompson Matthews, largely unseen, is seated to Dana's right.)

Kathy also hopes to reconnect with Janet Bole Wermager, who didn't attend.

We all talked of her and wanted her to be there as well.

(Are you reading this, Janet? Want to reach Kathy and company? Write a comment on this blog or use the contact information at the top of the page.)

A party atmosphere prevailed at the Friday night gathering at D'Imperios as Sandy Truxel Croft, Eileen Ruffner Baca, Ron Quaglia, Cheryl Lang Powell and Dianne Ilgenfritz Brudney, pictured here, can testify.

These Gator Gals got silly for this photo as Sandy Truxel Croft covered her face and head with a scarf or veil and Kathie Mason Bolton (standing) and Judy Duffy Roman (far right) joined in the merriment.


Peggy Loughner Fisher, our fearless leader;

John Kudravy with Paula Nuchols Carrera;

Kathy Casper Faix and Janet Aker Mazzotta, center, with Bob McFetridge (left), Bob Conley and Sam Viggiano (in red);

Judy McCluskey Crookston and Donna Fisher Wiley with Judy Gibson Brumfield in the background.


Phil Billings and Alana Miltak Baranick, left, at breakfast on Saturday, June 6, 2009;

Eileen Ruffner Baca and Donna Fisher Wiley, below, share a moment on Sunday, June 7, 2009, that made them (and the classmates who witnessed it) weep.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sunday Breakfast Club

Fourteen classmates from Gateway's Class of '67 managed to make it to breakfast at Denny's Restaurant in Monroeville, Pa., on Sunday, June 7, 2009 - the morning after our collective 60th birthday party. Pictured above are (seated, from left) Dot Borst Miller, Ellie Claitman O'Day, Peggy Loughner Fisher and Alana Miltak Baranick; (standing, from left) Kathy Gossar McCormick, Mike Cima, Kathie Mason Bolton, Judy McCluskey Crookston (making rabbit ears above Peggy's head), Tim Billings (making rabbit ears above Judy's head), Becky Richards-Maley, Jay Lehman (head-and-shoulders above everyone), Linda Shoop (in green and white), Mark Waibel and Ellen Lewis.

Peggy's husband, Mike Fisher, Gateway Class of 1965, could be found lurking in the corners (as he is here, standing behind Ellie Claitman O'Day) and other places, ever ready to preserve pictorial memories of the weekend's activities.

Tim Billings, below, is ever ready to take off from his home in New Jersey to meet with classmates. Here we find him in a rare moment in which he isn't hugging one of us.

Mark Waibel and Linda Shoop, who looked way too fresh and bright-eyed for a morning after, were enjoying breakfast and connecting with fellow Gators, as were Kathy Gossar McCormick and Tim Billings whose faces are not visible in the background, when this snapshot was taken.

Here's a better view of Kathy Gossar McCormick (left) with Peggy Loughner Fisher (center) and Becky Richards-Maley, right.

PITCAIRN BLONDES: Becky Richards-Maley, a Pitcairn native and resident of Nevada, and Kathie Mason Bolton, who still lives in Pitcairn, share what appears to be a serious moment.

Much less serious were Peggy Loughner Fisher and Jay Lehman (above), Jay and Judy McCluskey Crookston (below) and the three of them in the remaining series of Gators Breakfast Club snapshots.

As the Gator gals lavished affection on Jay, our gun-toting Gator from Arkansas said, "This is heaven!"

Most of us can share that sentiment in evaluating the entire 60th Birthday Weekend. Kudos to the reunion committee.

We're looking forward to our next class gathering, which will likely be a picnic in the summer of 2010. Maybe at Kennywood!!! Mike Cima is our picnic coordinator.

Peggy and her Mike (Fisher) took a gazillion other pictures over the weekend, including some at the St. Michael Luncheon on Saturday. Peggy is putting together a DVD to music like the one she made of our 40th reunion, but it won't be ready for a few months.

The cost for the DVD is $15. She also will take orders for 8X10 class pictures from the Friday and Saturday night events, also at $15 apiece. Place orders by contacting Peggy. When ordering the class pictures, specify whether you want the Friday picture, the Saturday picture or both.

If you'd like to post class-related messages or photos on this blog, please contact Alana Miltak Baranick at

Happy 60th Birthday, Class of '67! It's Party Time!

Ron Quaglia, Judy Duffy Roman and Cheryl Lang Powell were among the party-goers at the Gateway Class of '67 60th Birthday Dinner on Saturday, June 6, 2009.

Peggy Loughner Fisher, right, blew a whistle to get our attention and lined us up in the parking lot of the Wooden Nickel Restaurant in Monroeville, Pa., so her husband, Mike Fisher, could snap a group portrait to commemorate the event.

Tom Kunkle, left, served as our deejay, playing blasts from the past that made us want to dance and/or sing.

Christine Derr, Roseann Castellano Barber and Kathy Gossar McCormick certainly don't look like people who turn 60 this year, do they? That's Mark Wojton in the background.

Ellen Lewis took a few moments to read "How to be a Middle-Aged Babe," which was written by our classmate Marilyn Suzanne Miller, one of the original Saturday Night Live comedy writers. That's Ron Quaglia at Ellen's table. (No, Marilyn was not present.)

In this picture, Lois Batchen Birchall, seated, was introducing Christine Grey Davis to her husband, who was paging through a book on Monroeville history.

The Monroeville Historical Society has tons of photos and facts about Monroeville online at Read all about Pitcairn - past and present - at

Between them, Artie Trunzo (in striped shirt) and Junior Ventresco (in black) probably know everything about Pitcairn and Gateway.

Judy Gibson Brumfield, who traveled from Florida, and Rick Boggess, who flew in from Georgia, seemed to be having a good time. Not long after our 40th reunion, Judy organized a mini-reunion lunch date with classmates who live in her part of Florida. Gators in other regions should consider planning periodic get-togethers with classmates in their own neck of the woods.

Vic Peery, foreground, listened to an unseen classmate while his wife, to his right, chatted with Dana Comito Narey, who sat next to her. Also at Vic's table were Linda Pitlock O'Brien (in green), Becky Perich Zahn and Sam Viggiano.

We're not done yet. We've still got the Sunday Breakfast Club to talk about. Stand by!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Breakfast Club, June 6, 2009

Janice West Callanan, Gateway Class of 1965, left, pictured with Becky Richards-Maley, represented her late sister, our classmate Donna West Campbell, at the Gators Class of '67 Breakfast Club meeting on Saturday, June 6, 2009.

The Breakfast Club got started during our 40th Reunion Weekend in 2007 so that out-of-town classmates with no family in the area wouldn't have to eat breakfast alone. We had so much fun at breakfast that Saturday, we did it again the next morning.

Naturally, we kept the tradition going for our 60th Birthday Weekend in 2009. In this picture, all eyes are on Ellie Claitman O'Day as she relates a true story from her fascinating life in the arts scene in British Columbia. Listeners are Lois Batchen Birchall to Ellie's right (only the back of her head is visible), Mike Cima to Ellie's left, Phil Billings across from Ellie and Mike Fisher, husband of Peggy Loughner Fisher, behind Phil.

Here's a better view of Lois Batchen Birchall, left, and Denise Thompson Matthews, below.

Eileen Ruffner Baca, Donna Fisher Wiley and Kathy Casper Faix appear to have finished their breakfasts but not their conversation.

Before coming to the birthday reunion, Ellie Claitman, whose professional name is Ellie O'Day, hadn't looked at a 1967 Portavian (Gateway yearbook) in 42 years. She had torn out and kept a few pages that were meaningful to her (like the Talent Troupe pages).

In this photo, Ellie studies the Portavian to refresh her memory with help from Mike Cima. At the table behind them are Dana Comito Narey, Nancy Casper Faix (face not visible), Becky Richards-Maley, Donna Fisher Wiley and Eileen Ruffner Baca.

The 12 classmates, who had breakfast at Denny's Restaurant on Route 22 near the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, where most of the out-of-towners stayed, posed for this group photo, taken by Peggy Loughner Fisher's husband, Mike Fisher.

Pictured are (front row, left to right) Denise Thompson Matthews, Eileen Ruffner Baca, Peggy Loughner Fisher, Donna Fisher Wiley (in green), Ellie Claitman O'Day, Lois Batchen Birchall and Alana Miltak Baranick. Second row: Mike Cima, Dana Comito Narey, Phil Billings, Becky Richards-Maley and Kathy Casper Faix.

We've still got photos from the Saturday birthday party and Sunday Breakfast Club to post on this blog. But we ("we" = "Alana Miltak Baranick") don't have pictures from the Saturday morning golf outing or the Saturday afternoon event at St. Michael Catholic Church in Pitcairn.

Peggy Loughner Fisher, who is a professional photographer, took pictures at St. Michael's that she will include on a DVD that she's putting together. More to share about that in an upcoming post.

If you have pictures to share, please let us know.