Sunday, August 16, 2009

20 years and a bike ride.

It's been 20 years since I graduated from William Horlick High School in Racine Wisconsin. 20 years. 20 years...that is a long time. A few of us were talking about this, it feels like maybe four or five years have passed by, not 20 years. How'd this happen??

This was our 1st official class reunion; there had been an '11 year' planning reunion, which I missed by the way because I was in New Orleans. But nothing ever came of the 11 year, so another 9 years passed us by, seemingly very fast, and we're at 20 years. So we had the Friday night 'Icebreaker' gathering at a local bar/restaurant. Beck and I caught some dinner at a great small little Irish pub with our good friends Bob and Kim, before this. The place we went to is called Schillings, very small, a limited menu, but simply awesome food. I had a Rueben that was, no kidding, one of the best I've ever had-beef so tender and juicy it melted. And they have a great, great beer selection. We will be heading back again soon, I'm sure.

So Friday night was just a 'warm-up' for the real deal on Sat. There was a decent turn out, I'd guess like 50-70 classmates, so we took over the outdoor 'Friki Tiki' bar. Good times, got to see some friends I haven't talked to in like 15+ years. A buddy of mine flew in last minute from Texas, called me out of the blue to see if he could still get a ticket to the show. Here are a few pics...

My lovely wife and I on Sat night

Friday night, with my long time friend Stacey Kondrat, who I met in 8th grade, she says I'm the brother she never had (nor wanted!)

My friend Tina Parise and long time neighborhood bud TC (since 4th grade!) on Friday

A group shot from Friday, lots of friends in this one!

Our 20 Year Reunion Committee, an awesome bunch!

More classmates, Dan Teska, Christina Castro (all the way from CA!) and my buddy Liz Loew, who argued about the choice of meatballs for the reunion dinner-it became a running 'inside' joke for us while planning things!

My buddy from HS, Robb Mueller, who flew in last minute from Texas! Keep in touch Robb!

The reunion went well, better than expected in my opinion. Turn out was OK, with over 140 attendees (this includes spouses, dats, etc). Now I say OK, only because we had a graduating class of 420+ people, and we got in touch with over 100 of them. Maybe there were 70-80 who actually attended the reunion. Using FaceBook and Classcreator helped immensely, without the online resources we take for granted everyday, we would have had a much harder job to reach out to people.

We were a bit worried about how the food was going to be, would we have enough, would people like what we many things to worry about. But I think the choices were solid, and there was plenty of food left at the end. We had a 2 hr window to eat during, and we opted for a 'pasta station' with a chef who would cook your pasta to order, with several sauce choices. Excellent choice in this one! And the other side was a buffet style loaded with mini sandwiches, meatballs (2 kinds, like me and Liz 'talked' about!), Cristini's, hand made sausages grilled with veggies, fruit-cheese-snacks, quesaddillas. Drinks were included, beer/soda/wine, so that was a good call too. We ordered 2 sheet cakes, which turned out to be way too much, one would have done it easily. And we forgot to tell them to bring out coffee, that was the biggest slip, but nobody really complained. The DJ, Chuck Petrach, did an awesome job, as he always does-he did my wedding over 10 years ago, and I've been to many events where he DJs, always a top notch job. We did a little karaoke, the reunion group sang Super Freak which was, well, rather freaky. I got picked by the committee to give a little speech-couldn't pawn this off on any of the others, so I sucked it up and tried not to sound too foolish. Turns out, my 38th birthday fell on the day of the reunion, so Chuck set me up (of course) and told everyone it was my 40th Bday! We had a good laugh at this one. All in all, a good weekend, and there was already a lot of talk about our 25th reunion, how everyone would come back, and looked forward to us organizing that one too....oh boy, here we go.

A bike riding first.

My little bud, Abbey, rode her bike with no training wheels for the 1st time around the neighborhood tonight, and she doesn't turn four until the 26th! Until tonight, she had been just coasting down our driveway, and would stop, but tonight we went all the way around the pond a few streets over. Here she is

She did crash it once, and scuffed up her elbow, but she toughed it out and rode all the way back home!

Mom and the kids, post ride

And the kids with their bikes, and helmets, which they put on without having to be told to do so! Good girls!

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