Archive for May, 2010

Jobs Available!

We need a secretary! Edith has announced her intention to “really” retire this year.

I know everybody is now trying to look invisible or at least smaller. That’s what happens when officer positions become available, but this is a very important job and we’re really hoping somebody will “step up” and agree to be nominated. I’m sure Edith will help with the transition… some computer skills would certainly be helpful, but what’s more important is a desire to keep the Association alive and healthy! If you are even the tiniest bit interested, feel free to give me a call or email to discuss!

If you know someone who’d be good, bribe or threaten them! And as an added incentive to attend the reunion, consider that you could get elected if you’re not there to decline! Conversely, if you’d like to be elected but can’t make the reunion, please let a board member or officer know and we’ll get you nominated.

We also will have an opening on the Board so you have two chances to help out your Association. Whaddya say?


Comin’ Home in 2010

Chester – Chester High School Alumni will be coming home to Chester this year for their annual reunion and meeting on Saturday June 26, 2010. The meeting draws a large group of people associated with the former Chester High School, including Chester Residents who graduated from Gateway after Chester High School closed in the late 1960’s. This year’s festivities begin with a social hour at 3 PM at the Chester Railroad Depot and continue informally throughout the entire weekend as “Blue Devils” and “Quarriers” wander around town visiting old friends and relatives.

Chester High has traditions dating back well over one hundred years, but the Association has no members from that long ago! Among the many mysteries every year are questions like, “Who will be the oldest member?” and “Who will come from the farthest away?” In the midst of all the reminiscing, prizes are awarded for the first local and first out of state reservation. There is never a lack of laughter, perhaps because the threat of detention is long gone even though former teachers frequently attend.

Association President Walter Boomsma noted that the reunion will be Chester by for the third straight year. “People love being in Chester for a lot of reasons, including the relaxed atmosphere. Small town America is alive and well, at least in Chester.”

“We continue to make this event truly focused on reuniting old friends. Five year classes will be honored, especially the class of 1960. Of course we’re required to have a business meeting, but we’ll keep it short and moving along.”

He also pointed out that using this more informal approach allows ticket prices have to remain low. Association Leadership is also excited that the event will be a bit of an economic stimulus package for Chester. “We’re thrilled to be bringing dollars into Chester instead of Westfield” and they hope local businesses and organizations will make the town “open and welcome” to those who attend.

The Chester Historical Society plans to be open for browsing and reminiscing from 1 pm until 2:30 pm the day of the reunion. In addition, former Chester High Graduate Phyllis Salvini Donovan will be on hand to sign copies of her recently released book, “A History of Chester Massachusetts.” 

Details and invitations will be mailed to Association Members mid to late May. Since maintaining an accurate mailing list is always a real challenge, alumni who have not received an invitation may simply send a check (tickets are $10 per person, payable to Chester High School Alumni Association) to Edith Whitaker, Association Secretary at 324 Russell Road #215 Westfield MA 01085. Edith can also be reached at 564-8124.

Additional officers of the Association include Robert Goewey, Vice President and George A. Morey Treasurer. Board Members include Nancy Allman, Mary Thayer of Russell, Jack Young of Becket, Brenda Budreau and Jackie Conklin of Huntington and Tino Cardarelli, Annette LaMountain, Diane DeMoss,, and Janice Brown, all of Chester. Any one of these people may be contacted for information or to volunteer some help. The Association maintains a “Blog”: at where alumni can gather information and post comments.

The Alumni Association also manages a significant scholarship fund and Gateway Seniors are encouraged to contact their guidance counselors for additional information. Scholarship Custodians include Maurice Pease, Duane C. Pease, and Bruce Cooper.

Over Thirty/Under Thirty…

Written by an anonymous member of the “over 30 crowd” for the “under 30 crowd” and making its way around the Internet…

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning… Uphill… Barefoot… BOTH ways… yadda, yadda, yadda

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on my kids about how hard I had it and how easy they’ve got it!  

But now that I’m over the ripe old age of thirty, I can’t help but look around and notice the youth of today.  You’ve got it so easy!  I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia!  
And I hate to say it, but you kids today, you don’t know how good you’ve got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn’t have the Internet.  If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!  

There was no email!!  We had to actually write somebody a letter – with a pen!   Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox, and it would take like a week to get there!  Stamps were 10 cents!

Child Protective Services didn’t care if our parents beat us.  As a matt er of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick our ass! Nowhere was safe!

There were no MP3’s or Napsters or iTunes!  If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the record store and shoplift it yourself!

Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio, and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up!  There were no CD players!  We had tape decks in our car.  We’d play our favorite tape and “eject” it when finished, and then the tape would come undone rendering it useless.  Cause, hey, that’s how we rolled, Baby!  Dig?

We didn’t have fancy crap like Call Waiting!  If you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy signal, that’s it!

There weren’t any cell phones either. If you left the house, you just didn’t make a call or receive one. You actually had to be out of touch with your “friends”. OH MY GOD !!!  Think of the horror… not being in touch with someone 24/7!!!

And we didn’t have fancy Caller ID either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was!  It could be your school, your parents, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, the collection agent… you just didn’t know!!!  You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn’t have any fancy PlayStation or Xbox video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics!  We had the Atari 2600!  With games like ‘Space Invaders’ and ‘Asteroids’.  Your screen guy was a little square!  You actually had to use your imagination!!!  And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen… Forever!  And you could never win.  The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died!  Just like LIFE! (No Atari for me!)

You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing!  You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel!!!  NO REMOTES!!!  Oh, no, what’s the world coming to?!?!

There was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning.  Do you hear what I’m saying? We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons!

And we didn’t have microwaves.  If we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove!  Imagine that!    

And our parents told us to stay outside and play… all day long.  Oh, no, no electronics to soothe and comfort.  And if you came back inside… you were doing chores!  

And car seats – oh, please!  Mom threw you in the back seat and you hung on.  If you were lucky, you got the “safety arm” across the chest at the last moment if she had to stop suddenly, and if your head hit the dashboard, well that was your fault for calling “shot-gun” in the first place!  

See!  That’s exactly what I’m talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You’re spoiled rotten!  You guys wouldn’t have lasted five minutes back in 1980 or any time before…

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