Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Class of 1979 Reunion

We were happy to be included in the Woodstock class of 1979 reunion held at Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee last weekend. It was almost a 9-hour drive from home and we arrived on Friday afternoon. After checking into our cabin, we chatted with the others and soon a pontoon boat came to pick us up. Five houseboats had been rented and driven to a secluded cove, about a 15-minute boat ride from the cabin and marina area. I would guess that about half the 80-or-so people were staying on the boats. They were tied up to shore so you could get from one to the next by land. Here you can see Dan and Deirdré on top of one with several others in the background.

James had done all the food gathering and preparation and passed it out to each boat. The evening meal was ribs, burgers, hot dogs, and wings. Each boat grilled its own and those of us from shore wandered from boat to boat choosing where to eat. Very informal but it worked well. In the early evening a rainstorm came through, just as some late arrivals were arriving by pontoon boat. They came in soaking wet but happy to be there. Someone got a bonfire going on the shore.

The next morning we had breakfast food in cabin number 8, which had the largest group of those staying on land. Around 9:00 the pontoons began shuttling us out to the houseboat area again. When we arrived there were lots of swimmers in the water enjoying the clear lake. Wayne brought his speedboat from California and took many trips with waterskiers and rafters. There were lots of kids and they had a great time all around.

Again as evening approached it rained, this time with thunder and lightning. A wonderful curry dinner was warmed up and rice was cooked and we again wandered from boat to boat eating.

There were several other staff members there as well as members of other classes from 1974 to 1981. It was so enjoyable to see former students that I hadn't seen in the past 30 years as well as others that I've seen more often. A number of us left on Sunday morning due to other commitments, but I'm sure the party continued well without us. Congratulations to James and Kevin for their incredible planning and organization.

I'll begin regular posts again once we are settled back in Mussoorie in mid-September.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sunday at the WOSA/NA Reunion

I was too exhausted by Sunday evening to write up the day, and we've been on the way home ever since. Nice to be back at home for a few days!

The Sunday morning service of celebration was a wonderful combination of readings and music. Vance George directed the largest-ever choir in "Morning Has Broken" and the "Kyrie" from the Schubert Mass in G, accompanied by Addie Amstutz Yoder. Reid Blickenstaff played a movement from a Bach Cello Suite (on his violin), David Wagner played a recorder, and Robert Bonham played the piano. (I hope I didn't forget anyone!)

Paul Chaffee, class of 1963, did an excellent job of pulling together many people reading a wide variety of readings, mostly spiritual reflections on outdoor and environmental topics. Dan and I read the names of Woodstock friends who have died in the past year. This is always a moving moment for me, especially looking around the room and seeing many friends whose parents' names were read.

After lunch three of the workshops from Saturday were repeated. I enjoyed Bob Fleming's talk, but the quiz was far too hard for me! The pictures were amazing.

Just before the silent auction closed, there was a lot of activity in the bazaar. I assisted with the collating of purchases and it was amazing how many items were brought in and purchased by someone else. I thought I'd go take a rest, but I kept running into more people to talk with and just couldn't resist.

Supper was a barbecue held on the grassy lawn outside our dorms and seemed to be enjoyed by all. This pictures shows some of the tables positioned in the shade.

After the barbecue, Tim Manickam emceed a story-telling session in the center quadrangle of our dorms. There were many interesting stories. Once again, I realized how amazing Woodstock people are. This picture shows David Wagner, who chaired the reunion with his remarkable wife Connie, getting the stories going.

Next weekend Dan and I are attending the Class of 1979 plus friends reunion being held on a lake in Tennessee. I'll try to take some pictures and write about it when I get home.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Saturday at WOSA/NA

Last evening the opening session consisted mainly of welcome, announcements, and introductions. We ended by singing all the Woodstock School songs rousingly led by Charlene.
Today was the first full day of the reunion. The morning began with the WOSA/NA Annual Meeting, as required by our bylaws. We began with the business of last year's minutes, election of Council members, and thank you's. Nathan gave a brief presentation on SAGE with a student-produced video of the winter tour that was enjoyed by all. Chris introduced the theme of the next year's annual fund - "Raise Your Hand For Woodstock." He also announced the first annual Worldwide Woodstock Day on October 24 where Woodstockites everywhere are encouraged to get together and send a picture or recording of themselves to the school.

David Laurenson spoke about his first year as principal at the school. He was well received and there were good questions from the audience.

There are four workshops being presented twice. We attended Greg's talk on Biodiversity and Genetics. He explained complicated research topics in a way that we all could understand. Again, the questions from the audience were excellent.

In the afternoon there was free time for visiting, walking, choir practice, and whatever folks wanted to do. The bazaar area was busy most of the time. The khana was held in a gym in the evening. Unfortunately, the kitchen didn't quite realize the size of Woodstock appetites for Indian food and it ran a bit short at the end. The program focused on Outdoor Education at Woodstock and concluded with a slide show hike up Flag Hill.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

WOSA/NA Reunion Gets Rolling

Today (Friday July 17) is the beginning of the annual WOSA/NA reunion. The WOSA/NA Council usually meets on this day before the reunion gets going in the late afternoon. This year we are at the University of Oregon in Eugene. We had a good session today with a special emphasis on fund-raising plans. The following two pictures show the Council hard at work. Please believe me when I say that we have much more fun than it looks like here!

After our meeting was completed, some of us went to the bazaar area where people were busily preparing their donated items for the silent auction and Li Chu was
organizing the sales table with some helpers.

This evening we will have supper together followed by the welcome session where we all get to see who else is here.

More tomorrow!