Cedaredge reunion keeps the memories alive
By Kevin Fischer
Published Thursday, August 27, 2015 9:36 am
On Aug. 7 and 8, a group of Cedaredge "Cub" graduates worked hard to put on the first Cedaredge Cub alumni reunion. We had an impromptu get-together for a group three years ago, former grads who just happened to be visiting in the Cedaredge area, and decided that an alumni reunion was long overdue. A year ago Jerry McHugh brought this idea up again via Facebook and the reunion planning was off and running. Since I live in Cedaredge, I was happy to help. I met with Ann Ballard Reed, now a Grand Junction resident, to start the planning. Over the last three to four months I worked with a number of great people in putting this reunion together. Anyone who has participated in planning a reunion, even for a small school, knows how much work this really takes. I want to thank a few people for all of their hard work: Wanda Parker McManus (and daughter) and Steve and Bonnie Briscoe were wonderful! Without these four I am not sure this event would have been as successful -- in fact I am positive that we couldn't have put this on without them. We were relying a great deal on Facebook in order to get the word out to many folks. But since we were inviting anyone who attended the "old" Cedaredge High School, and Wanda had the foresight to understand that not everyone lives on their computers (and to think many of us who graduated still use land lines to communicate), Wanda worked with her daughter to create a poster, and they had it posted over three to four counties. Wanda also bought and set up decorations for our Pondy night, she made salad for the picnic, she helped serve AND she helped clean up at the Pondy and the park. Steve Briscoe was the real force behind keeping me focused, and he did a ton of work to make this event happen. Steve and Bonnie worked hard to help coordinate venues, buy sacks for the meet and greet, as well as helping me secure the food for the picnic along with serving and cleaning. Since Ann lives in G.J., she did a great job buying all of our paper goods as well as drinks. Some of the other folks who were a great help were Gene and Deb Lillard, Dwight and Karen Benson, David and Paris Boyd, Bob and Lois Helgeland, Dave and Pam Myers, Craig and Pam Metres, Calvin and Ann Reed, and many more. And I am horrible at leaving names out so apologies to anyone I missed....
I want to thank DJ and Barb Hladik, owners of the Cedaredge Pondy, for their wonderful hospitality! They reserved their dance hall for our "meet and greet" and it was amazing! The two young ladies who were tending bar (sorry for not remembering your names) were two of the hardest workers I've ever seen! They never slowed down all night, and they NEVER stopped smiling! DJ and Barb were gracious hosts and made sure we all had a night to remember. Gary and Lisa Espinoza, owners of the Big E in Eckert, provided the main meal of smoked brisket. Poor Gary had to revise the estimate of how many folks to feed about five times, and he never once complained. If you've never had the smoked meat from the Big E, you are missing a treat!
I need to thank the Town of Cedaredge for the use of the park and the excellent work preparing the pavilion (thanks Louie Luna!). They also set up a drinking fountain station that made getting water very convenient. Thanks to Rocky Mountain Ice for the great service. Thanks to Double J for the dumpster and best customer service around. Thanks to the Cedaredge FoodTown for ordering in buns and hot dogs and all the bottled water. Thanks to Gene and Deb Lillard -- and the town of Olathe -- for the BEST sweet corn in the world! We ended up seeing around 100 classmates Friday evening and over 300 for the picnic on Saturday. It was wonderful to see Cedaredge graduates from the 1930s through the 1980s. I saw many people I had not seen since the 1970s.
I do want to end this with a personal thank you to Wanda, Steve and Bonnie. Without the three of you there is NO way this event would have been as successful as it was. Cedaredge was and is a wonderful place to live. I am glad that we can keep the memories alive, and I promise that I will help put on the second Cedaredge Cubs alumni reunion!