East High Class of 56"

                        East High “Class of 56”


                                December, 2002 





  We held our fall semi-annual dinner get-together at Pagliai’s Pizza on Merle Hay Rd. not of I-80 on Monday, September 30th.

We had 45 individuals in attendance. There was a lot of mingling around and good conversation by everyone.

  Lyle Simpson was asked to say a few words about the upcoming East High School renovation project. Lyle emphasized that there is no plans to “change the columns and west steps” of the School that we all fondly remember. They will remain as they have been since the school was built in 1912. The exterior appearance of the East and North sides will change for the better.

(more on this later)

  Those present were:  Tom & Roberta (Elin) Abbott – Kay (Edwards) & Chico Alcantar – Bill & Norma (Treanor) Burke – Larry & Janeene (Miller) Carlisle – Kathleen (Graney) Finkenauer – Larry & Margaret Fogelson – Ruth(Cook) & Jerry Haag – Jerry & Carole Hall – Bill & Mary Lou (Carnal) Howard – Gary & Romona (Hitchcock) Moore – Mary (Crum) & Don Moses – Yvone (Miller) & Sonny Nauman – Phil & Barbara (Lowe) Penn – Shirley (Grant) & Ray Robinette – Lyle & Jan Simpson – Jerry & Becky Smith – Don & Arlene Spaw – Larry & Jackie Soloman – Eddie & Harvey J Thompson – Bob & Connie Trotter – Marlene (Roberts) & Dale Wheeler – LaVae (Konz) & Larry WillsonJoAnn (Brady) & Walter Wilson

  The really great thing about these semi-annual dinner get-togethers is that you see a lot of familiar faces each time, plus it never fails that you get a chance to see several new faces. Which all in all, makes for a very enjoyable evening all in a manner of 1-1/2 to 2 hours? If you have not attended one of these dinners you are really missing out.

  You order as much or as little as you want off the regular menu, they add the 18% gratuity to your check, and you pay your own bill.

  The next dinner get-together will be :

Monday April 28, 2003 at 6:30 pm. -  


Okoboji Grill in Pleasant Hill

1225 Copper Creek Dr. ( 1st lights going east on East University after you cross the bridge leaving Des Moines)

Mark your calendar now!!!!



  Tom Lettington has done it again. He has taken the time and effort to put additional Quill pictures on the Website. They are as follows:

  “55” - http://www.tfl.net/EHS55/

  “56” – http://www.ehs56.org

  “57” – http://www.tfl.net/EHS57/

  “58” – http://www.tfl.net/EHS58/

  Way to go Tom. I am sure that this will help many of us who can’t put a name to a face or vise versa to now do so. Especially those who did not save or cannot find their Quills.

  Tom says that these sites all include January, June, and August grads. But remember, if you don’t find the name you are looking for in the list of names for each page for photos, the person you are looking for may be on the Officers or Board page since the photos that appear there were not on the later pages in the Quill with the “masses”.

  Thanks again Tom!



  The following is an exchange in the form of a question from Tom Lettington, and a response from Lyle Simpson on the EHS renovation project.

  “When I read the East High Renovation Project in the recent NewsLink, it raised a few questions in my mind about how the building would look after the project is completed. I asked Lyle Simpson if he had any additional information about the plans since I know he is very active with the Alumni Association. It sounds like the project is very well planned and will achieve an excellent outcome. We will all be invited to contribute to the success of the renovation project through the Alumni Association”.

  Tom Lettington         



  To answer your question first, the appearance of the west side of the building (front steps, columns, etc.) will remain as they have been since 1912. Only the appearance of the east and north sides will change.

  The Des Moines School Board is contributing $18 million dollars from a 1% sales tax that was instituted a few years ago for all Des Moines area school projects. East is the first High School in Des Moines to be renovated.

  Essentially, the School Boards’ $18 million will be used to restore the original building. For instance, the marble treads on the stairs are badly indented with wear, significantly more than they were when we attended. The treads will be replaced with new identical marble. The hall ways will be restored to their original condition, only with better lighting. The rest of the money will be used to air-condition the building and restore it to its original luster of 90 years ago.

  In addition, the must solve ADA problems of accessibility for handicapped. One requirement is the installation of three elevators. There are 18 different floor levels in the current building. The addition built while we were there requires significant transition in elevation to go from the 1912 building to the shops and gyms. The center connecting area will be removed and replaced with a new structure (primarily to the north) that will house the cafeteria, new science labs, and administration offices.

  The total project, at least the way East High officials want to build, will cost $23 million dollars. The Alumni Foundation must raise $5 million over the next three years to fund the remainder of the project. The Alumni money will be used for developing an arts center, renovating the auditorium, and several other significant improvements designed to improve the quality of the school program in addition to unique facilities for the students that will not be funded by the School Board funds. The building to be built with alumni funds will be to the east of the new structure that will

 replace the current connecting area.

  Undoubtedly, we will all hear about the fund drive, and be encouraged to participate. A pretty good form of “immortality” for an East High graduate.”

  Lyle Simpson


  We should all have received the mailing on this Invest in The Future from the Alumni Association by now. It appears we have a unique opportunity to receive a $1 million dollar matching Federal Grant to assist in this project. But, they only have 8 more months to raise a minimum of $1 million thru the Alumni Association or lose the Grant.

  Our “Class of 56” graduate Shirley (Grant) Robinette is a representative to the Class Committee Members of the Alumni Association for this project, and her husband Ray (Bud) Robinette is the “Class of 55” representative. They both have emphasized how important this is for the future of East High School.

  Please classmates, consider this and be as generous as you can afford. As Lyle Simpson has said, it would be a nice form of immortality as an EHS graduate, or at least an enduring legacy.



  Everyone read about the big fires that were going on this late summer and fall. Arizona, Colorado, California, Oregon, etc. Well, George and Martha Clark live just a few miles from Show Low, AZ. They were evacuated for 12 days last June, because it was certain that the fire would take their home. Well, apparently higher authority had something to say about that. The fire did take three homes only a few hundred yards away, but spared their home. They did receive a lot of the red slurry fire retardant on things, but when you consider the alternative. Firefighters also had to remove three trees from their yard before the fire hit their area. They were so lucky.

  The wife and I stopped to see George and Martha for a few days this fall as we usually do when we go to Arizona. They drove us around the area. The devastation was unreal. I am at a loss for words to describe what we saw. It ran from Show Low on the east to Heber- Overgaard on the west, about a 50 mile stretch which was about 30 miles wide. The amazing part was, there was Blackened trees right up to within 30 feet or so of some homes that were spared. Apparently, the firefighters were able to save many of the homes even though the forests came up to within a few short yards of some of these, and then there were others. totally destroyed down to the foundations.

  George and Martha said the most agonizing part was the isolation away from the area. Not knowing, getting conflicting reports that the whole area was gone, and then reports that some were spared, and some were not. 

  To our good friends George and Martha, you were lucky, very lucky. It is rewarding to see a break come to such good people.  



Dear Shirley, 

  Had planned to send this sooner as you can see by the check date, but the Grand-kids came as I was just writing it, so, I stuck it back in the “Newslink” envelope and just found it yesterday. Sorry about that!

  Please put it towards the “NewsLink”. I really enjoy getting it and hearing about our classmates. Tell everyone to keep up the good work, it is really appreciated.

  I am feeling better now. Just taking it one day at a time. I want to “thank ”everyone for all their caring, cards & prayers while I was ill. I know all your prayers helped.

  Thanks again

  Kay (Johnson) Inman

(I certainly hope we had an impact Kay. I know of no one who deserves support more than you. You were always a pillar of strength and support to others in school).



  Larry & Margaret.

Received the NewsLink yesterday. Enjoyed reading it. Congratulations on such a good job of writing it. I just wanted to let you know our new address. It is 702 5th Street SE, Altoona, IA  50009-1919. Same telephone number. I do plan on attending the next dinner but just went through surgery a couple weeks ago, and am now waiting to heal for additional surgery. Not sure when that will be, but hopefully will be fully recovered by then. Again, thanks for keeping us informed.

Kay (Edwards) Alcantar

(Kay apparently recouped alright because she was at the last dinner get-together. Kay has had a lot of problems over the years, including bouts with cancer. But, as she has displayed she has enormous rebound powers, and a very strong will. Plus she still finds and takes the time to help us out whenever she can. Thank you so much Kay).



  Dear Shirl, hope you are having a pleasant summer. Have been contemplating a trip back for the next dinner. Still undecided at this point. Tell anyone you see I said hello.

  Mary Lou (Katzman) Goodman

(We missed you Lou. I am sure there were good reasons for not making the last dinner. Hope to see you soon for the next one)



  Hi Shirley, I enjoy the NewsLink so much that I want to help defray expenses and make sure it can continue.

  It was really a shock to hear about Hazel (Harmon) Crocker. She was a really great gal.

  Keep up the good work on the NewsLink.

Nancy Bishop



  I emailed Janeene (Miller) Carlisle) after Margaret and I returned from vacation to see how husband Larry was doing after having both knees replaced. She said he was doing fine now. She had a period for a while where she had to help him exercise his knees, and manipulate his kneecaps for him. She said the louder he hollered, the more she would push. I detected a twinge of sadistic pleasure in her explanation. Just kidding, Janeene says Larry now exercises in the water at the Y, and so does she along with the other “Perky Penguins”.

  Janeene and Larry are planning to head to Ft. Lauderdale, FL. in February. Some good friends have a condo there. Sounds to me like that’s the kind of friends to have.



    Nancy (Meline) Beekman      

    Kenneth Cowie

    Dale G. Taylor

They are gone but we will not forget them.



  Tom Abbott


  Janice (Webber) Cassidy


  Suzanne (Samo) Newton


  Lyle L. Simpson


  Loretta (Woods) Ware




 Kay (Edwards) & Chico Alcantar – Norma (Treanor) Burke – Nancy Bishop – Mary (Crum) Moses – Peggy (Danials) Grund – Mary Lou (Katzman) Goodman – Kay (Johnson) Inman – Don Spaw – Harvey Thompson



  Please people, I need information from you to have something to print in the NewsLink. Classmates you’ve seen, vacation, job changes, retirement, etc. Anything!  That’s what this is supposed to be all about. You want to read about other classmates, well, they want to hear something about you also. 

  Please mail or email all articles for the NewsLink to me at:

  Larry Fogelson

  3121 – Twana Dr.

  Des Moines, IA.   50310

(515) 279-0013



Please mail any contributions to:

  Shirley (Grant) Robinette      

  812 – E. 22nd Count

  Des Moines, IA   50317



Jerry Smith – A-B and Kaiser thru Kruzich

LaVae Willson – C – F

Ruth Haag – Girton –James L. Johnson and                     P thru Smith

Norma Burke – L - O

Don Spaw – Stroh thru Yeager.


  Remember the next class dinner get-together will be:

Monday April 28, 2003 at 6:30PM at

Okoboji Grill

1225 Copper Creek Dr. in Pleasant Hill.


  Please Call Janeene Carlisle at 984 – 6030 with your totals by April 24th.



  Bill Foster and Shirley Selover informed me that Mark Hurley, a PE teacher at East is trying to put together some facts and statistics in regards to individual, and team sports records.

  According to Mr. Hurley, record keeping was not very good until the last few years or so. If you can help out, it would be deeply appreciated. He needs copies of newspaper articles, and or pictures, plus the identification of those in the pictures. I gathered he needs items from just after our time and further back. Maybe your dad, brother, uncle, etc. went to East and has an article, photo, etc. that they could have copied and sent to Mr. Hurley.

  Mr Hurley is sort of a sports historian who is trying to set some records straight for the “The State Hall of Fame” in Boone.

Send your information to: 

  Mark Hurley

  PE Teacher

  East High School

  815 – E. 13th Street

  Des Moines, Iowa    50317







Heres hoping everyone has the Very Merriest of the Holiday Season.

and a New Year filled with peace, health, prosperity and Happiness.


The Editor