It Happened - Our 70th Birthday Party

September 9 -10, 2017


What a special event! For the second time, our ever-aging class has pulled off a spectacular birthday gathering. The weekend event had four components. On Friday, an informal luncheon took place at (where else) the Wagon Wheel, in Gill -- fabled weekly eatery favorite of TJ Strahan and Rich Shortell. A couple dozen classmates arrived to kick off the fun weekend. The group included 4 classmates from Florida and one from California - a long range group indeed.

Also on Friday, a small group invaded Gail Rogers Callahan's Franklin Street home for hands-on lessons in silk tie-dyeing. Gail is well known as the Kangaroo Dyer (

In the evening, Fran Sirum working closely with the Greenfield Elks Lodge hosted a gala happy hour where more than 70 classmates came together for conversation, appetizersand drinks. It's a great opportunity to have those who cannot make the 'main event' still get a chance to join in on the informal fun. Classmates Peggy Kingsbury Carey, Jim MacKenzie, and Mo Taylor who were only able to attend the Friday night event, were among the scores of classmates spending hours together at the Elks.

Saturday, classmates gathered enmass at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. The infield had a large white tent awaiting us for the main luncheon event. Over 100 classmates and friends were there to enjoy and reminisce. Many noted that this was the first time since high school that they had been back to the Fairgrounds itself!

In reality, we're more than halfway through the class as a total group moving into our 70s. There's a small group of us "old timers" who have been 71 for a while already on one end of the curve -- and then there's Ellen Morrissey Kelton. As always, Ellen brings up the rear and will be the final classmate to turn 70 on January 31, 2018.

Both Friday and Saturday nights had numerous smaller get togethers here and there throughout the county as old friends reunited once again. A fantastic weekend was had by all - big thanks to Event Chairman Rob Pratt and his right hands: Deb Bruce Johnson and Susan Carey Duckworth. Numerous other classmates lent a hand inplanning, lining up the secondary venues and decorating the tent. These friends include: Karen Hardaker, Phyllis Stone, Beth Anderson Roy, Jane LaPointe Kosterman, TJ Strahan, and Fran Sirum. But most of all, a huge round of applause to Fred "Pete" Steiner for the Fair event. See the Pete tribute below!


Frederick George ("Pete) Steiner II


The choice of the Franklin County Fairgrounds as the venue for our luncheon has two significant facets. Classmate Fred “Pete” Steiner is completing the fourth year of his six-year term as Fair President and Director. Pete went above and beyond to provide our class with a very special birthday venue.  Secondly, 2017 is the 100th anniversary of the distinctive Fairgrounds Entrance Towers. They served as the theme for the floats in the annual parade.

Pete also made a generous contribution to the class, which covered a significant part of the cost for the infield tent we used for the luncheon.

While Pete is quick to credit his staff, all of the Franklin Country Agricultural Society members and Directors, and the members of the Greenfield Fire Department under the leadership of Chief Bobby Strahan (son of TJ Strahan), it is clear that Pete's leadership has brought a revitalization to the Fairgrounds that deserves recognition.

A conversation with Pete reveals a wealth of detail for Fair history and current accomplishments.

Hats off and a huge thank you to Pete Steiner for playing an integral role in not only our 70th birthday party, but in adding to the history of Greenfield itself!

A Special Guest at the Fair


From 'back in the day' there's a bit of lecturing going on by one of our faculty. In a baseball cap on the right is none other than Jim Fotopulos, GHS '54, and chairman of their upcoming 65th Reunion in 2019. That's Jim's son in the burgundy jacket beside him. Mr. Fotopulos was a social studies teacher at GHS back during our tenure, and is one of the very few remaining faculty from then. If you do the math, you realize that Jim graduated from GHS the same year most of us STARTED school. Great to see him amongst us and doing well.


Lunch at the Wagon Wheel

A healthy gand of classmates arrived at this wonderful local spot in scenic Gill for Friday's luncheon. As always, their homemade ice cream was a big it, so much so that Susan Carey Duckworth started her meal with a hot fudge sundae!


Some of the lunchers. Marsha Drew Bittner, Ellen Morrissey Kelton, Shirley Brightman Nelson, TJ Strahan, Karen Hardaker Nuckols, and Dave Atessi in the right front.

A Friday Night Gathering


Can't quite explain why Steve Garanin was the recipient of elk antlers at a Friday evening dinner in Brattleboro, but here he is.

Tie-Dyeing with Gail


That's instructor Gail Rogers Callahan kneeling in the front.

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Here's Gail and Phyllis and Beth and Phyllis with products

Happy Hours at The Elks Lodge

Oops! I don't have any photos from the Elks. Can you help us out? In the meantime, a few Fair placeholders.


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The 70th Birthday Luncheon

fairground gate

The historic Fairground Gate and Roundhouse Welcome Us Home!

Saturday morning blessed us all with absolutely grand weather - broken clouds, light breeze and not too chilly or too warm. It was a great time to convene outside the big white tent on the infield of the Franklin Couty Fair and reconnect with scores of old friends before heading inside for a sumptous buffet lunch. Here we are gearing up.


Beth Anderson Roy, Betty True Bennett and Cindy Palmer Bitter

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Helen Boguslawski Chappell and Carolyn Machaiek Morahan


David Johnson

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Andrea and Jeff Burgess with Deb Bruce Johnson and Susan Carey Duckworth. Sadly, Jeff's ice cream tatoo didn't win an art or food prize at the fair!


Chris Helbig '64, and Karen Steiner Helbig

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Karen Hardaker Nuckols, Pat and Phil Grise, Pete Steiner, and Ken Lang


Pam and Dave

Pam Schmidt Ellis and Dave Attesi


Jane LaPointe Kosterman, Carla Gravline Bernier and Charlie Kosterman '64


Linda Wolanske, Jerry Markowski, Joyce and Michael Babits

walt matthews

Walter Matthews and his wife Cathy


Rosalind Rucci, T.J. Strahan and Charlie Rucci


Nancy Wissman Franklin, Keith Franklin, Suzanne and Paul Schmidt, and Shirley Brightman Nelson


Shirley Brightman Nelson, Jim Winn and his wife Judy


TJ and Shirley

If Kodak was still in the film business, they'd have made a fortune off us!!


So about now you're wondering if we ever got inside the tent and got down to eating, right? We did, and here it is!


General Chairman of the Birthday Weekend Rob Pratt espousing on the significance of a plate


George Roy, Shirley Brightman Nelson, Susan Carey Duckworth Beth Anderson Roy and Pete Steiner

Jenest- Karen

Dr. Al Jenest and Karen Hardaker Nuckols


Cindy Palmer Bitter, Beth Anderson Roy, and Pat Grise

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Chief Ron Hawkes and his Ann

george milton- Beth

George Milton and Beth Anderson Roy


Dave Attesi and Jim "Mo" McCathy


A vast array of classmates and flowers including Paul Schmidt, Jim Winn, Greg Isles, Joan Denault Meissner, and Laura Jenkins Leonard

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Suzanne and Paul Schmidt

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Sarah Hannan with Bob Clift and Betty True Bennett


Josefina and Bruce MacLeod


Susan Mack McDonald, Mary Vetterlin Braggin, and Deb Bruce Johnson


Pat and Ken Burdick


Phyllis Stone, Laura Jenkins Leonard, Don Holmes and Patti Capron Rau


Carol McMahon Hartley, Ronnie Sassaville Burns, Linda Wolanske, Carla Graveline Bernier facing.

Jane LaPointe Kosterman, Jerry Markowski and Marcia Ruggeri backs.


Betty True (Booster Queen) and her escort back in the day, Bob Clift


Karen Hardaker Nuckols and Rich Shortell


Jerry McCabe and Deb Bruce Johnson



Judy and Jim Winn with a friend


Lynn Strahan '64 and TJ Strahan


Rich Shortell, Pete Steiner, and John Taylor


Joan Deneault Meissner, Phyllis Stone and Laura Jenkins Leonard

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Patti Capron Rau, Marsha Drew Bittner and Marie McDonald McConnell


A bit of Shirley's artwork

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Carol McMahon Hartley, Ronnie Sassaville Burns, Linda Wolanske, Carla Graveline Bernier, and Sue Murdock Lutz

Marcia Ruggeri and Jane LaPointe Kosterman


Rob Pratt, Vickie Brennan with Patti Capron Rau


Ellen Morrissey Kelton, Carol McMahon Hartley, Ronnie Sassaville Burns and Trish Newton


One fine dessert table finds Nancy and Jim near the front of the line


Entrance to the historic Roundhouse. It is the oldest building at the Fairgrounds. And the Franklin County Fair is the longest continuous running Fair in the United States (1848). The Roundhouse is undergoing restoration and accepting donations at

FCAS Roundhouse Restoration
PO Box 564-RH
Greenfield, MA 01302

You can read more about the Fair and its history, as well as see lots of fairground photos at:


Patti and George Rau '64 inside the Roundhouse


Carol, Ronnie, Sue and Jane


Paula Bennett Parsons

pat davis

Pat Davis Fleck

phyllis janice

Phyllis Stone, Bill Hamilton and birthday girl Sue Hamilton with Janice Benjamin


Phil Grise


Original band members Don Holmes and Wartel


Some of our class marriages - Sue and Bill McDonald


Nancy and Keith Franklin

dave and deb

Dave and Deb Johnson


Jennifer and Jerry McCabe


Jerry McCabe, George Maniatty and Al Jenest

linda al sue

Linda Beaudoin, Al Jenest and Sue Murdock Lutz


Cindy Bitter, Marcia Ruggeri and Betty True Bennett


Ken Lang and Pete Steiner


Pat and Phil Grise, Sarah Hannan and Bob Clift


Rob Pratt and Joan Deneault Meissner


eaten cake

Until Next Time