East High Class of “56"                                                                  NewsLink        

                  June, 1997 


Here we are heading into summer. Many of our classmates will be taking their summer vacations, and a few will be taking in retirement. Hopefully, it will be a great summer for everyone.



I received the following from Carol Adams.

   Just a note to let everyone know that the Class of 56 dinners get togethers are going great. I try to sit next to someone different each time. It’s surprising what you learn about each other.

   Larry caught me at the April dinner get together at Chips and said “I heard you retired!” Send me some news on it and I’ll put it in the next newsletter.

   I retired all right! I had one week off after taking Early Retirement from Preferred Risk Financial, Inc. after 21 years of service. I started a new career at Diamond Animal Health in Pleasant Hill, as an Administrative Specialist.  At first, I was only going to do this as a temporary, but since my husband John still has a few years to go to retirement, I decided to go full time. Besides, I also have some time left to serve as Iowa Division President of The Association for Office Professionals.

   Again I would like to encourage the East High Class of 56 to join us for these dinner get togethers, especially Don & Irva Sullivan.  It’s not to far from where you live to join the group for dinner. One alumnus (Kay Johnson-Inman) came from Illinois for the April dinner. Give me a call.                                                         Sincerely, Carol Adams


Hazel Harmon -Crocker and her husband, Dean, informs me that they are going to retire June 30 of this year. Enjoy it.

Hazel has been supplying us with the address labels. She assures me that she has them in her computer at home, so getting future mailing lists will be no problem.


Deceased Classmate:

We had Virginia Blaine Carlson listed as whereabouts unknown. Lois Bingston- Thompson, wrote and informed us that Virginia died of cancer in 1984 in Tempe, AZ. Virginia had one daughter.


Impromptu Get Together:

Shirley Grant-Robinette tells me that Barbara Evans-Priestly called Deanna Wheatly-Peterson in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and informed her that she would be passing through the area, and wanted to get together. I’m told that everyone had such a good time that Barbara stayed for a couple of days.


Indianapolis 500:

Gene Davis who owns and operates the Kwik Shop on Lower Beaver Road said he saw Denny Ross selling popcorn at the Indianapolis 500 this past May. Apparently, Denny owns about 40 popcorn machines, and sets them up at different locations and events. After testing the location, he arranges for local profit raising groups to run them for him. Maybe Denny could get his neighbor Bobby Bonilla, who plays baseball  with the Florida Marlins, to get an in for him at the stadium.

Gene told me he has been going over to these  races for Thirty some years.


 Tom Abbott is also a big “500" fan. Tom lived in Carmel, Indiana for a few years, and had attended 20 consecutive runnings of the “500.” He was very disappointed this year when it was rained out for two days in a row. He had to return home on Monday evening, and the race was finally finished on Tuesday.


Heart Attack:

Classmate Jerry Schartner suffered a heart attack while drag racing at the Eddyville Raceway. Jerry had one artery that was 95% blocked, and required angioplasty. Jerry spent six days in the hospital. Schartner has coached girls’ basketball for 36 years, the last 20 as  the Varsity Coach for  Lincoln. Coach Schartner has a career record of 323-95. Jerry states he is anxious to get back for his six-week girls basketball camp for grades  three thru 12. Jerry also states he is anxious to get back to drag racing too.


A Little Humor:   

I'm a Senior Citizen

I'm the life of the party...even when it lasts until 8:p.m.

I'm very good at opening child-proof caps with a hammer.

I'm usually interested in going home before I get to where I'm going.

I'm good on a trip for at least an hour without my aspirin, beano, antacid...


I'm the first one to find the bathroom wherever I go.

I'm awake many hours before my body allows me to get up.

I'm smiling all the time because I can't hear a word you are saying.

I'm very good at telling stories... over and over and over.

I'm aware that other people's grandchildren are not as bright as mine.

I'm so cared for: Long-term care, eye care, private care, dental care.

I'm not grouchy, I just don't like traffic, waiting, crowds, politicians...

I'm sure everything I can't find is in a secure place.

I'm wrinkled, saggy and lumpy, and that's just my left leg.

I'm having trouble remembering simple words like.............

I'm anti-everything now; anti-fat, anti-smoke, anti-noise, anti-inflammatory.

I'm going to reveal what goes on behind closed doors... Absolutely nothing!

I'm in the initial stage of my golden years: SS, CD'S, IRA'S.

I'm supporting all movements now...By eating bran, prunes and raisins.

I'm wondering...If you're only as old as you feel, how could I be alive at 150?

I'm a walking storeroom of facts...I've just lost the storeroom.

I'm a senior citizen and I think I'm having the time of my life!!!


Band Boosters:

According to Band Booster President Beth Potter, they are trying to raise $100,000 to help purchase new instruments, and uniforms for the school band. Some of the instruments are 30 years old. New instruments cost between $800 and $2,000 a piece. New uniforms will cost $40,000. They have raised $1,500 since starting this last December.

East High School;  Replace or Renovate?


   Two east side Des Moines leaders say it would be a waste of money to renovate the 85 year old structure. Suzette Jensen, a former school board member, and Marty Mauk, executive director of Greater East Side Development, and an East graduate, says you’re not making the building ready for the 21st century. A proposal included in the Vision 2005 bond issue called for $20,000,000 to renovate the city’s oldest high school.

   Jensen and Mauk say that all you’re getting is some wiring, plumbing, and a roof fixed. Both support spending between $28 million and $40 million to build a new high school which in their opinion would help spur business and residential development.

   The $20 million renovation was part of a $315 million Vision 2005 plan to rebuild and replace Des Moines schools. The only new facilities proposed in the plan were four elementary schools.

    In December, voters turned down the proposal to increase the sales tax by one penny. Some of the money raised was to be used to pay for the first phase of Vision 2005.





   Daniel P Finney is a 1993 alumnus of East High School, and is currently the executive editor of the Times-Delphic student newspaper at Drake University.

    Building a new East High School is not a good idea. Granted, the current building is old. It does need repair and renovation. It does need new computers and updated technology.

   It does not need to be abandoned in favor of a spiffy new school a la suburbia. Abandoning the current building is abandoning 85 years of history for twice the cost of renovation. A new cookie cutter school with the architectural personality of a used Oldsmobile would last what? 25 or 30 years.

    They say a new school could be a community center. What has the current building been? Every year the school hosts dozens of extracurricular activities, including American Athletic Union basketball tournaments. During the flood of 93, city leaders thought East’s gymnasium was a good enough location to run the city’s entire government for several weeks.

   Iowa just celebrated its Sesquicentennial, lets keep a valued part of our history.


Florida Citrus Bowl:

   Senior Stepper captain Jenny Grund and junior’s Tascha Torgeson and Tessa Hill, along with Senior Color guard captain Angie Moyle and senior Barb West, all went to Florida to participate in half time activities at the Citrus Bowl.

   This year’s half-time show was a salute to The Cat in the Hat and Dr. Suess. They danced all over the field along with Green Eggs and Ham, and The Grinch that Stole Christmas. The Color guard girls got into the holiday spirit and played the Grinch himself.

   “It is a great experience to go dance in front of all those sports-crazed fans,” said Hill.



   Senior Sabas Ramirez has earned three varsity letters in three consecutive seasons. Ramirez runs the 3200 and the 1600, and says he likes running cross-country more than running track. Ramirez will be trying for his fourth consecutive varsity letter this year.

   Ramirez says he will join the military after high-school for four years.


Girls Volleyball:

   Two sisters stand head to head in this years varsity volleyball competition. On one side, at 5'6" stands senior Jenny Fallis. The other side is occupied by 5'11" sophomore Stephanie Fallis. Play is set up with Stephanie in the front row and Jenny occupying the back row.

   I like Jenny on the team with me because it is easier to have her help me than the other teammates, said Stephanie. We both have different abilities that work out best for the team and ourselves.



Senior Steve Webb finished first in his weight class (125 lbs.) at the district tournament, thus making him eligible to go to state competition. His record was 17-11 as he was off to state.

   Senior Ryan Hale finished his season with a 16-18 record, and placed third in his weight class (130 lbs.) at Districts.


76 Grads; 21 Year Bet Still on:

   Jerry Wanek, left and Mark Clark  made a bet 21 years ago that whomever first missed the annual East High alumni dinner would have to pay the other $100.

    Sitting through their first Alumni Association dinner 21 years ago is etched in their memory. “The enthusiasm of seeing 1,000 alumni sing the East High School song was really, really neat,” says Clark.

    It was at that dinner that the two recent graduates noticed a man sitting in a wheelchair. “He was close to 100, if not 100,” said Clark. “He was spry mentally; not so good physically. But he was sitting there waving the East pennant, and he was happy as a clam.

    We knew we were going to be that old gent some day, and that was when the bet was suggested.  

    The two, friends since the fifth grade haven’t missed an alumni dinner since, although Wanek was 25 minutes late one year.

   Many alumni claim the annual dinner is the largest HS alumni gathering in the country.

Dinner at the Tavern-WDM:

    Only 12 people could make the dinner get together on March 3rd.

    Those in attendance were: Shirley and Ray Robinette, Donna and Duane Jackson, Helen Cooper, Bob and Connie Trotter, Janeene Carlisle, Larry and Jackie Soloman, and Pat and Larry Hockersmith.


Dinner at Chips-Ankeny: 

    We had a good turnout (29 people) for the April 28 dinner at Chips in Ankeny. They had a separate room for us, and it was a very nice evening.

   Janeene Carlise took the following photographs of the people in attendance.


Jean Allsteadt, Bob Trotter, Connie Trotter, Shirley Robinette, Ray Robinette, Carol Adams, John Jones

Tom Abbott, Roberta Abbott, Donald Patton, Joan Gleason, Linda Towers, Yvonne Nauman, Ron Nauman


I would like to give a special thanks to Tom Abbott for scanning all the pictures and  other graphics for these past two newsletters for me.  Thanks again Tom.

Nancy Belluchi, Janeene Carlisle, Larry Carlisle, Larry Soloman, Jackie Soloman, LaVae Benshoof,

Kay Inman.

Larry Fogelson, Margaret Fogelson, Donna Jackson, Duane Jackson, Hazel Crocker, Dean Crocker, Pat Hockersmith, Larry Hockersmith.



Just so I don’t get accused of plagiarism, I want everyone to know that much of the information in several of these articals came from the DM Register, and the East Scrolls.



I need information from the classmates to have information to pass on in the newsletter. Retirements, moving, visiting with other grads, vacations, etc. Please send to Larry Fogelson  - 3121 Twana Dr.  - Des Moines, Iowa 50310.



There was some discussion about having a picnic sometime this summer before we start with our dinner get togethers again this fall. If you are interested in having a picnic this summer please call Janeene Carlise by July 15th. Janeene’s number is 515-984-6030.