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08/02/19 09:51 AM #8789    


Doug Nickel

Sorry to hear of Mac`s passing.He was admired by myself and many others in the Kearney Business community.Doug Nickel

08/02/19 10:30 AM #8790    

Lee Hartwell

Mary:  Sorry to hear of the passing of your dad.  I think (it was a long time ago) he made me an unsecured loan of $50 for my trip to Spain and financed Charlene's first and favorite car...Honda Civic ($2,400).

08/03/19 10:32 AM #8791    


Mary McKinney (Kommers)

Thanks so much for your kind words about Dad...he was quite a guy and a bit of a fixture in Kearney for sure.

08/08/19 03:31 PM #8792    


Dick Barney

Mary, I was so sorry to hear of your dad's passing.  Our families have had a close relationship for so many years.  Your dad oversaw many of my beginning attempts at savings accounts and loans.  It was so nice to see you at mom's service.  I won't be able to come back again for the reunion but my best to everyone.


08/09/19 01:47 PM #8793    


Mary McKinney (Kommers)

Thanks, I was glad to see you, too.  Verna was such a special person, one of my absolute favorites at church.  We'll miss you this weekend but totally understand...

08/11/19 11:57 PM #8794    


Terry Christlieb

To all those who planned, organized and executed the reunion weekend: thank you for all you did!  It was a pleasure being there getting to see so many former friends and classmates!  Don't know who all the organizers were, but saw that they included at least Mary, Nancy, Randy, John, Barb, Janet, Wayne, and Monte.  Great job!  

08/12/19 08:33 AM #8795    


Doug Nickel

Terry could not agree more.It was great seeing everyone and was particularly proud of our Texas Group as 100% of us attended.Doug

08/12/19 08:33 PM #8796    


Candi Imming

I created a Flickr album to collect all reunion photos, like I did with the 40th.  I will also throw in any selfies or photos of you from this year, if you did not attend the reunion.  Or if you attended the reunion but eluded the papparazzi.  That way we have a file in one place photo documenting our state at this point in time.  No nudes please.  Here is the link.  I put pictures from Barb and Martha, Nancy, Janet, Mary  in there already.

08/12/19 09:28 PM #8797    


Martha Rivero (Helton)


Terry and Doug...totally agree our classmates Hard work paid off. It was so much fun...just a wonderful two days. So good seeing everyone. 

Candi thank you for putting all the pictures together...I’m trying to capture as many as I can to show my cousins in hopes they will come next time to join the fun❀️


08/12/19 10:32 PM #8798    


Terry Christlieb

Candi, do we send the photos to you to put on the page, or do we do it ourselves?  How is it done, for the Flickr uninitiated (me!)

08/13/19 03:13 AM #8799    


Candi Imming

Post on your Facebook page and I can save them, then add them to the Flickr album. Or you can send via email or Messenger.  I am using my Flickr account to load them there, so only I can do it.  

I am serious about sending a picture of yourself taken this year, where you can clearly see your face.  People want to see you, even if you did not go to the reunion.  Or if you did go, but no one got a clear picture of you.  Make it a virtual reunion. The Flickr album just provides a central place for people to view and download.  Besides I would look pretty dumb being the only one to do it.  


08/13/19 03:58 PM #8800    


Nancy Rogers (Williams)


KHS Class of 1969

50th Reunion Photos (coming soon!)

Janet Browne Rose's Address

Class reunion 1969-2019

I thought about looking for ideas for speeches for 50th class reunions on YouTube but I couldn’t get into them because the people all looked so old.  And using someone else’s words feels like copying algebra homework and Debbie Grassmeyer was not here to help me out.

I am not a public speaker, but half of you can’t see, half of you can’t hear, and half of you don’t care (which pretty much sums up my grasp of higher mathematics), so this is the point where I tell you to settle back and take that nap you have been thinking about for the last hour or so.

The last time I spoke in front of most of you I was in Gary Stickney’s speech class, heavily plagiarizing an article out of Reader’s Digest which linked inmates in penal institutions with tattoos. 

Most of you are comfortable speaking in front of classrooms, boardrooms, or courtrooms, and knowing my audience I’d say some are familiar with barrooms and pool rooms.  MY public speaking is generally confined to grandchildren in dining rooms and is more Public Shouting rather than actual Public Speaking.  So if I tell you to sit up, shut up and put your napkin in your lap I mean you, Buster. 

My intended audience usually does a lot of eye rolling so I am used to that reception and I will not be offended.  Please be kind and remember there is a big difference between a Rowdie and a Heckler.  Those of you who have come to mock and scoff please remember that Karma is swift and just, and this may be you up here in five years. 

Kearney was founded in 1873 and at that time within one block of the railroad platform and Central Avenue, with $2 in his pocket, a traveler could obtain a glass of whiskey, a boardinghouse, a haircut & shave, hay for his horse and a social disease with some change to boot.  Then the Women’s Christian Temperance Union civilized Kearney with pot luck dinners and baseball.  Some things changed, but the whiskey never really moved away from Central Avenue.

Kearney was a good place to grow up in the 50’s and 60’s (population 14,210.)   We were surrounded by fields of alfalfa, cattle, corn, milo, potatoes, and soybeans.  Those of us living within the city limits were usually only one generation away from a sod buster ancestry, hence our first language involved speaking in terms of weather and rainfall.

My friends and I who comprised the town kids cruised around with playing cards slapping the spokes of our bikes. Our ever-vigilant mothers forbade us from following in the wake of the truck fogging DDT for mosquitos.  We were not glued to the screen of our smart phones, but you could listen into the party-line for all the news and gossip the Hub did not deem fit to print. 

We drank Tang, Kool-aid and fizzies and scarfed bologna sandwiches and Kitty Clover potato chips so we could get back outside to play.  We hung out at the ball field and the swimming pool and played hide and seek until dark when our mothers flashed the porch-light.  We baby sat, detassled, picked up returnable pop bottles, car hopped and watched Gary Brown deliver the Hub to the entire town.

Our friends living on farms rose early, set tubes, helped with the chores both morning and evening, hoed weeds in the garden and occasionally came into town riding in the back of the pickup and scored a mug of A&W rootbeer. 

We would collectively look up into the night sky and try to find the Big Dipper, Sputnik or Telstar. And whether town kids or farm kids, KGFW, KRNY and KOMA pulsed with steady beats of the Beach Boys, the Beatles, Leslie Gore, Elvis, Gene Pitney, Bobby Darrin, Roy Orbison, and the Temptations as background music. 

 Debby Fredericks and Debbie Grassmeyer would occasionally ask me reproachfully how I could remember the words to every song and not remember what we had discussed in Algebra that day.  I can still remember all the words to the top ten of 1966, and I still refuse to care about anything y, x, or how to multiply fractions. 

Most of us were raised by parents deeply affected by the black sky, dust blowing, Depression.  They saved rubber bands, tin foil, that last tablespoon of gravy, and money, never fully trusting banks ever again.

My dad worked hard and his only expectation for me was that I would as well, and that I would exit a room and turn out the lights. I was never certain how that action would singlehandedly keep us from going to the Poor House, but he seemed to believe it.  He must have been down at the Eagles club on the night I was born, because he asked me on many occasions if I was born in a barn.

My MOM did have eyes in the back of her head and it turns out she was right about darned near everything.  She would be thrilled hearing me say that.  And now I try to be more like her and less like myself.

Our parents did not weave their lives around our lives. They did not read books about parenting or child development.  They sent you off to school and expected that you behave and if there was a problem at school it was most certainly your fault and not the school’s.  They had their own lives, mysterious lives.  Bowling leagues, fraternal lodges, and church circles. 

For some of us our first friends are in this room or should be in this room.  I’m pretty sure I was wailing behind the soundproof nursery glass at FMC with Nancy Lane, Gary Paine, Randy Brown and Billy Botsford.

Janelle Pacha was my first best friend at Emerson. 

Jerry Weister was my first kiss.

It involved me delaying my exit after delivering a May basket and his mother pushing him out the door to catch me, but in my book it counts. 

Mike Blocher was the first boy to take me on a Ferris wheel ride.  (do you still get sick?)

We did not have to go to Sunday school to learn the particulars of the seven deadly sins, as well as their opposites, kindness, graciousness, empathy.  We could pick up that information right off the playground. 

Our first schools were

Emerson, Bryant, Whittier, AO Thomas, Park, Northeast Kenwood and St. James. 

Most of my Emerson elementary teachers were older women who grew up in farm families and were products of the Depression where education and teaching were a shining star showing a way out of farm life.  Unfortunately they traded their aprons and sunbonnets for girdles, hose and uncomfortable shoes which removed some of the glamour from the dream and made them a bit impatient and cranky especially as the years piled on and the goal of bringing knowledge and enlightenment to the young changed to just getting us to memorize our 8’s in the multiplication tables for crying out loud. 

We sang “My Nebraska, dear Nebraska” hatched chicks in incubators, learned cursive, fought playground wars with Red Rover and dodge ball, and gave our teachers fruit rolls, because every teacher was lusting after some bruised fruit thrown like bowling balls.

And a special thank you to Wray Cummings (kiss upward) for  teaching me to correct my batting stance,  choke up on a baseball bat and steal second base.  Elementary school second base, not high school second base. 

During those years we had people coming door to door selling Tupperware, Fuller brush, Watkins, vacuum cleaners, encyclopedias, Culligan water softeners and Avon.  Now we just have Amazon

Junior high saw combination locks for the lockers, Maggie St. John, sock hops in the Longfellow basement, John Wolf, Jerry Foote and Bob Elliott for President, gym suits with names embroidered over the pockets, Jean and Neal Gallant, carnations at Valentines day, (thank you to my secret admirer…I’m pretty sure you are here tonight), Emily Beck, first crushes, Helen Lindstrom and Brer Rabbit, mohair sweaters, Don Brewer, the Beatles, Reddy’s grocery for a well balanced lunch, November 22, 1963, pocket protectors, Rebecca Ashby, the Snowflake, Miss James and her teacher’s pet, our own Mary Louise Steffens, cinnamon colored nylons from Kaufman Wernerts, pep club, boy/girl parties, Chet Marshall, the noxious  and toxic cloud which was Brut, British Sterling, English Leather, Hi-Karate, Jade East, old Spice, Ambush, Chantilly, Love’s Baby Soft, Tabu, Windsong, and Yardley.  We had raging hormones, friendship rings, ID bracelets, spotty faces and prodigious amounts of Aquanet. 

Senior High memories include

Being in attendance during the unveiling of the Rowdie banner.  Our career counselors telling us we would be wise to study computers. Riding with boys in cars, Helen Ogle’s string of pearls breaking and skittering across the room, alcoholic adventures, girls crying in the bathroom, sneaking cigarettes, larceny and graft, justice averted, cruising main, laws broken, authority figures avoided, skirts measured to fingertip length, Bobby Beckerbauer, Celia forging her absent excuses from skipping school on paper printed “from the desk of Zella Mae Hoffman”, Richard Hansen teaching radiation biology and figuring radioactive half life.  Bobbie McKenzie telling about interviewing Charles Starkweather, John Bryant reciting Robert W. Service poems. First loves and occasional homework

At our graduation in 1969, we were just thinking of summer and the great beyond.  For some, our favorite street was the road out of town.

Some of us rebelled thinking we were dramatically bold and daring, while those of you with your acts together jumped into continued education, raising a family or gainful employment. Meanwhile a war in Southeast Asia hung over all our heads.

Sometimes we lose touch or wander away from friends with whom we felt a bond and we don’t hear from them for long periods of time and we feel their loss, as we feel the loss of those permanently gone.   

I miss them.  Kay, Vince and Debbie Kouba.  Wray and Tim.  Bob Westerlin is over there leaning against the door drinking a beer. They as well as a chorus of souls taken before we were ready for them to be gone and some not given the chance to grow up. 

But life is good when you do finally grow up.  You find work you enjoy or can tolerate, as well as a hobby that you love.   Find and lose or look for love.  Buy a car that starts on the first try with a heater that works.  You get the children raised past the parts with disease and fevers, ingratitude, insolence, sass, vomit, and again, that eye rolling. You sing along with the golden oldies from 1966 because you know all the words, figure out that roomy clothes and comfortable shoes are more important than fashion trends, find a hairstyle that works for the amount of time and money you are willing to spend on it, and occasionally have a small child from the next generation sitting on your lap snuggling into your arms and patting your cheek. 

The hardest part of growing up is not losing your sense of humor.  Misery and strife abound, as those original sodbusters knew with their plagues of locusts, blizzards and drought, but jokes help relieve some of the angst…as does an occasional beer.  One can gradually learn to tolerate their fellow man with a tiny bit of self-medication. Whether it is food, zumba or Kendall Jackson, it makes the world a kinder and gentler place.  Although we are just off Central Avenue tonight, your $2 is not going to go quite as far as it did 146 years ago.

As we age we learn there are no answers to Life’s Burning Questions, there are just stories. Wandering around this room tonight you will hear many stories.  Some are the absolute fact and some may be slightly misremembered. 

OK some are truth, and some are flat out lies, but they all are good stories.  The point of having good friends is sharing good material.

May our minds be renewed by the stories we hear tonight.

So to the class of 1969 and the stories yet to be lived and yet to be told. Cheers, and Cheers to the statute of limitations running out. 



08/13/19 05:27 PM #8801    


Roy Nagakubo

Words fail, Janet-Suzanne.  You said it, eloquently.

08/13/19 05:34 PM #8802    


Chris Budden

I have to echo comments of others. This was a wonderful well organized weekend.

I enjoyed seeing so many at the gatherings. I was happy to see the band and enjoyed the response of our class as they played. 

Janet's presentation was a nice reminder of times past.

Thx to all those that made this a special weekend for all.

Chris Budden

08/14/19 03:11 AM #8803    


Candi Imming

Love your address, Janet. 

Update..104 images in album from Martha, Barb, Janet, Celia, Mary, Susie.  Keep sending if you have any you would like to share.  Or a selfie of you this year.   Either post on Facebook, or send in Messenger, or email.  I need the actual JPEG files. Links to other sites like Google Drive requires signing on and access permissions for each file or image. Thanks!




08/14/19 10:02 AM #8804    


Chris Budden

The salute to Veterans was especially touching.

A photo of one of the certiciates has already been posted, this is the pin we were given during the recognition ceremony.

Thx for doing this for us.


08/14/19 11:22 AM #8805    


Lana Horn (Christensen)

I want to add my thanks to the organizing committee for the wonderful reunion!! I had a blast and it was so great to see everyone and catch up!! I didn’t get to talk to all of you, but please just know you are all in my heart!! GO KEARNEY CLASS OH 69!!!!

08/14/19 11:35 AM #8806    


Martha Rivero (Helton)

OH MY GOODNESS the pictures are wonderful...thank you for posting.   Wally and I are still talking about the great time we time  will go from table to table to make sure I catch up with everyone.  SO WHAT was decided on our next reunion...I know it’s a lot of work...but darn’s worth itπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ 




08/14/19 12:31 PM #8807    


Dave Shonkwiler

Would someone please post the name of each person in the group photo? We can identify many of you, but would like to know who EVERYONE is.

Candi, thank you for posting all pictures, and I hope you receive more photos/selfies, etc. Shelley and I will look for a picture of us and email it to you.

Thank you!

08/14/19 12:59 PM #8808    


Dick Barney

I want to say thank you to all who sent pictures and to Candi for compiling all of them so I was able to wander through yesterday and see old comrades.  Janet, I missed not being able to be there and HEAR your talk.  I loved reading it.  I could feel the laughter and just see all of us riding our bikes (Mrs Barney didn't get the message about DDT fog.)  All the kids in my neighborhood rode right behind it laughing.....  I couldn't quite find the amount of time to stay around for the reunion after being in Kearney for my mom's passing and service.  It was my loss.  The best to all of you who were there and I second Dave's request for names of all in the picture.  I kept trying to enlarge the photos to see the name tags but to no avail.  Thanks to Brownie for putting me on the phone with Patty McClara and Dave and Painer.  That was fun....

08/14/19 03:59 PM #8809    


Laurie Bragg (Sorkin)

Bravo, Janet!!! If only I could have been there to hear you speak!  Any videos?? Thank you for the photos, Candi. Any hints about how to enlarge the group photo enough to see name tags?

08/14/19 07:00 PM #8810    


Candi Imming

 Most of the images sent do not have the resolution required to get readable name tags.  

I enlarged and gave numbers to six group shot portions.  I have identified everyone visible in the enlarged group shots 1-4.  5 and 6  only Identify the ppl hidden in 1-4...kind of. You can also download or enlarge them with your fingers on a pad or phone.  Lana, who was behind you?  I cannot tell.

Not everyone came both nights.  So not all attendees are in the group photos.  Hope this satisfies the needs.

This reminds me of Wray Cummings and his repeat request in 2009 for labeled images. 

08/19/19 02:31 AM #8811    


Lana Horn (Christensen)

Does anyone remember Mitch Whaley? I know he went to junior high with us. 

08/19/19 02:31 AM #8812    


Lana Horn (Christensen)

Does anyone remember Mitch Whaley? I know he went to junior high with us. 

08/19/19 02:41 AM #8813    


Lana Horn (Christensen)

 Candy, I think Celia Hoffman was behind me as well as Rhonda Anderson.  Where are the names listed Candi?

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