Bremen High School
Class of 1962 - 50 Year Reunion "Continued"
 
2014 EVENT OVERVIEW
The "Total Experience" ...
For those who couldn't attend this year's event, following is a chronology of activities for your information and enjoyment.  As you will see, our annual informal events are more than just "a dinner".  However, each attendee has the option to participate in as many or as little activities that suit their interests and/or schedules.  From what I am hearing, none of our activities have left anyone wanting for more!  If you didn't make it this year, try for next!  You won't regret it!
Friday morning (10:00 AM to Noon): The Hall of Fame inductees met with various student groups sharing experiences and answering questions.  This is part of a program developed by the Bremen Administration and Faculty to give the students more than just the "ABCs: and "123s", but rather a "sense of school history" and what prior students have accomplished with their Bremen education.
Friday @ Noon: A small group of us met with Denny and his wife Renee at the Gum Wah Chinese restaurant on 147th Street to have lunch prior to the next Hall of Fame activity.  More food than you could eat -- the food was very good and the company was exceptional!
Friday @ 2:00 PM: The Homecoming Pep Rally and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony were truly inspiring experiences.  One of the inductees was inducted posthumously -- an casualty of the war in Afghanistan.  His parents were there to accept the honor, which was truly touching.  The school sprit was  "off the charts" -- and at time "deafening"!  The camaraderie amongst students of all ethnic backgrounds was impressive and a tribute to the Bremen administration, faculty, and student body as a whole.  In case you're wondering -- Bremen is doing great!
Friday after the Pep Rally: Sometime prior to Homecoming, Denny and Tom Dresser contacted the school about a missing Cross Country Conference Championship trophy from 1962.  The school gladly found a replacement for it.  Above is Tom Diehl, Tom Dresser, and Denny who presented the replacement trophy to Dr. Dave Kibelkis, Bremen's Principal.
 
Along those same lines, the Varsity Swim Team had a undefeated season in 1962, perhaps the first undefeated season in Bremen's history.  However, there is no recognition of that accomplishment on the school walls or in the trophy cases.  That is a matter I plan to take-up in the coming year.
Friday after the Pep Rally: Keeping with a tradition we set in 2012, the official Class of '62 Banner was prominently displayed in the Alumni tent in the South end-zone for the homecoming game at 7:00 PM.

Friday from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM: In spite of the gloomy, cold, and wet weather, the Homecoming Parade was fun.  As in past years, the inductees rode in convertibles, waving and tossing candy to the local children.  The floats were "Spartan" at best, but more important, the energy and sprit was high.  Susie (Vaughan) and Ken Nelson "crashed" the parade in their Chevy Suburban (by the way, without getting arrested).  However, the rest of us navigated the back streets to intercept the parade at multiple points at multiple times. 

 

By the way, the photo of the two clandestine looking people behind the red car (above) are Tom and Janet Diehl who are still running a Private Investigation firm in Michigan.  They were only there for Friday, but participated in all the Friday activities. 

 

Since it was approaching 5:00 PM, some of us headed to Bartolini's for a quick "refreshment of choice" before our next activity at 6:15 PM. 

 

More photos of all activities will be posted as I receive them.

Friday ~6:15 PM: The Hall of Fame inductees were introduced at the football field between the Sophomore and Varsity games.  By the way, the Sophomore Team beat Tinley Park 33 to 2.  Unfortunately, the Varsity Team lost their game to Tinley Park 7 to 35. 

 

We stayed at the game for awhile after Denny's introduction, but being cold, wet, and hungry we headed to Bartolini's for pizza and some refreshments.

 

As you may have noticed, we were constantly adjusting our plans & schedules as circumstances changed.  We might have slowed-down a little over the years, but we haven't lost our adaptability! :-)

Friday ~7:00 PM: We hung-out at Bartolini's until about 10:00 PM with no great burning desire to return to the cold/wet game.  It was good times reminiscing about our days at Bremen and discussing current events.  Good friends, good food, good wine & beer -- what more can one ask for?

 

AROUND THE TABLE: 

Rich Kieffer

Sue (Vaughan) Nelson

Tom Diehl

Janet Diehl (Tom's wife)

 

Renee Day

Denny Day

Ken Nelson (Sue's husband)

Tom Dresser

Mary Lou (Daly) Pisone

Friday @ ~10:00 PM: After Bartolini's we decided to have a nightcap before retiring.  Not wanting to drive too far, and without any prior information, I suggested the Brazen Head Pub near the hotel.  Well, let me tell you -- this was not the Brazen Head Pub I knew from Dublin, IRELAND -- far from it!  :-(
 
Since it was late, we decided to stay anyway.  At about 10:45, these "motorcycle aficionados" (AKA Hell's Angels") walked-in.  Denny noticed that one of them had a rather long blade strapped to his leg.  Well, it was late anyway so none of us objected to making a strategic withdrawal.  Besides, I make it a practice never to get into a knife fight after 10:00 PM.   
 
Needless to say, I took a lot of flack for the recommendation.  However, I pointed-out to all involved that I promised "excitement & adventure" -- and you can't deny that I delivered!  Plus, everyone survived the evening!
 
For future reference, this will not be on our "recommended list" of "places to go".

Saturday Morning: After a good night's sleep, we all met for a free breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express in Crestwood.  The accommodations were very nice since the hotel was recently updated. 

 

After breakfast, Sue and I visited Rich Youngberg in a care facility in Country Club Hills.  Rich is now bed ridden due to the progression of his MS, but he thoroughly enjoys visits, phone calls, illustrated books, DVDs, and sweets (cookies & candy).  Our "Reaching Out" group (Sandie, Pat, Sue, and others) has maintained contact with Rich and, from time-to-time, provides him with the things he enjoys.  If you have any old DVDs, let us know and we will send you Rich's mailing address.  He like old movies, mysteries, comedies, etc.

Saturday Afternoon: Sue, Mary Lou, and I headed-over to Bremen to pick-up our banner.  The school was buzzing with activity -- students preparing for and decorating the gym for the Homecoming Dance (an activity that many of us can remember).  The theme this year, was "Disney", which is why you saw Mickey Mouse in the Homecoming Parade.

 

Given that it was lunch time, we drove into town and decided to try the "Hog Wild BBQ" on Pulaski, just North of Bremen.  WOW!!!  Best BBQ I've had North of the Mason Dixon line.  Not only was the food excellent, the decorations and ambiance were a sight to behold!  Hog Wild was  real find and something that will definitely appear on our  recommended "places to go" list.

Saturday Dinner from 5:00 to 10:30+ PM (Granite City): Once again, good service, good food, and good friends.  This year we had several "six-person" round table arranged in a row to facilitate group interactions.  There was also a lot of "table hopping", which was great. 
 
Sue (Vaughan) Nelson's memorabilia table was a big hit this year, especially when Diana Williams found the infamous "Sue document" listing all of Sue's Bremen dates with  a "rating" for each date.  Our laughs brought tears to our eyes. 
 
This is what it's all about!  Each year seems to bring new experiences.  There is no shortage of stories and surprises.  This is not about a bunch of old people sitting around exchanging family pictures - although we do that too!  This is all about a lot of interesting people getting together and just having a good time.
 
If you missed "this year" -- there will be a "next year".