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Their Opportunity.

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Access digital copies of our district flyers.

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Welcome to Rise

Welcome to the July 2019 edition of “Rise Grand Island” the alumni newsletter for Grand Island Senior High published every other month by the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation...

Grand Legacy Update

GI Memorial Stadium Project Continues

Although milestones have been celebrated with the Ground Breaking celebration this past January and the Top Out Ceremony days ago for West Stadium, renovations and improvements...

At the Top

Topping Out Celebration at Memorial Stadium

An update on the progress of Our Grand Legacy, the Memorial Stadium project, is a fitting subject for our At the Top story this month. Crews installed the last steel beam in place on...

I've Been Thinking

Reunion Tour Filled With Food, Family, Friends, and One Bomb

Thirty years ago this month my wife and I drove away from our duplex in West Hollywood, where we had lived for a decade, and headed for Grand Island...

Alumni Reunions

Current Reunion Information

Shaking the World

Tradition, Honor, Glory, and Memories

When the GIPS Foundation decided to take on a fundraising effort to renovate Grand Island's Memorial Stadium, the first thing we knew we had to do was...

 

A Distant Mirror

Mike Parmley, Class of 1967

On May 10, 2019, my 1967 GISH classmate, Mike Parmley, passed away. On the day this newsletter comes out, July 15, 2019, he would have been 70 years old...

In Memoriam

May and June memorial list of GISH Alumni...


Welcome to Rise

Welcome to the July 2019 edition of “Rise Grand Island” the alumni newsletter for Grand Island Senior High published every other month by the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation. “Rise” is where we connect with thousands of Islanders across the globe, keeping you and them informed on what’s happening in Purple and Gold land, and reminiscing a little bit as well.

This is Volume 4, Number 4, the fourth edition of Rise this calendar year, our fourth year as the official publication for alums of Islander Nation. Thanks for reading us and for your comments and support.

We really enjoy hearing from those of you who find “Rise” in your in-box every other month. Give us a shout, especially if you or a GISH alum you know has done something new, newsy, or newsworthy. You can reach us at the email addresses on the front page.

Our “At the Top” lead story covers the last steel beam that was put in place in the Memorial Stadium project, Our Grand Legacy. With the placement of the beam comes a tradition in the construction industry called a “Topping Out” ceremony. Check out the details on our front page.

Speaking of Memorial Stadium, Leigh Lillibridge’s Grand Legacy Update details how you (and anyone you may know) can still become part of the Memorial Stadium project. 

Our Class Reunion Update lets you know who is going to party and when, in case your class is on deck or maybe you just want to crash another class’s soiree and see a few old friends.

In our "Shaking the World" story this month we revisit an article Traci wrote last year discussing the Memorial Stadium project. 

Our “Distant Mirror” correspondent, Mike Monk, Class of 1967, remembers his lifelong friend and classmate Mike Parmley. “Parm” passed away last May.

My “I’ve Been Thinking” column details the 30th Reunion Tour my wife and I took in June to points Southwest and West, home to thousands in Islander Nation. The Tour’s terminus was almost three decades ago to the day that we left Los Angeles and came “home” to Grand Island.

As usual we’ll see what songs were popular on the radio, what movies were wooing us on the big screen, what novels we were reading, and what television shows entertained us from each decade during July .

We hope you find this “Rise” to your liking

Remember Islanders: Keep pushing on.  

George Ayoub, Class of 1968
Editor, “Rise Grand Island”

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Grand Legacy Update

GI Memorial Stadium Project Continues


Although milestones have been celebrated with the Ground Breaking celebration this past  January and the Top Out Ceremony days ago for West Stadium, renovations and improvements to East Stadium still await as part of the project plans. Those plans include a possible additional structure if fundraising allows, so we need your help to get this project over the goal line. You can make your gift or learn more about the project at https://www.gimemorialstadium.org/how-to-help/ways-to-give.html

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At the Top

Topping Out Celebration at Memorial Stadium


An update on the progress of Our Grand Legacy, the Memorial Stadium project, is a fitting subject for our At the Top story this month.

Crews installed the last steel beam in place on Wednesday, July 10, setting off a celebration dubbed a “topping out” party at the stadium. That fun was followed by appetizers and refreshments hosted by Whitey's on Webb Road.

Tradition in the construction industry holds that placement of the last steel beam is a major milestone in the evolution of any building project. This benchmark is commemorated by having the builders — from architects to steel workers to laborers — as well as donors and dignitaries sign the beam. Sometimes a small evergreen is attached to one end of the beam and an American Flag to the other. The custom celebrates the building process and, in a sense, introduces the building to the public. “Topping out” honors the accomplishments of the construction crew, not unlike an old-fashioned barn-raising celebration. 

The tree is a key symbol of the topping out. For steel and construction workers, it signifies construction has reached the sky without loss of life or injury, a positive omen for the future inhabitants of the building. The tree is also a sign to those looking on that the time to start the celebration of a job well done is at hand.

Dozens of signatures from Islander Nation and beyond graced the beam that crews put in place … the last steel beam that will be part of the school and the city’s Grand Legacy.

Islanders and others from everywhere can still be part of the project. To see how, read Leigh Lillibridge’s “Grand Legacy Update” in the issue of Rise. (photos by Kelli Mayhew)

To read more, check out these stories:

GI Memorial Stadium Website: Grand Island Senior High Memorial Stadium WEST Historic Top Out Ceremony

The Independent: Final steel beam placed at Grand Island Senior High's Memorial Stadium

KSNB Local 4: Last beam placed at Memorial Stadium

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I've Been Thinking

Reunion Tour Filled With Food, Family, Friends, and One Bomb

Thirty years ago this month my wife and I drove away from our duplex in West Hollywood, where we had lived for a decade, and headed for Grand Island. It was not an easy move. A tearful tribe of friends stood in our front yard to bid us adieu and, for a few of them, to question what we could only describe as the inexplicable yet undeniable pull of home.

More than once between California and our first stopover in Albuquerque, I considered turning the U-Haul truck around. Jacalyn, weepy in the seat next to me, was surely a yes vote.

But we kept driving, arriving in Grand Island on July 4, tired but happy to be “home.” We set about living adult lives (we had essentially left as teenagers) in Central Nebraska. We looked up old friends, made scores of new ones, and raised our son as an Islander.

Last month, a trip to Wichita for a wedding turned into what we dubbed as the 30-year Reunion Tour, a 10-state, 25-day, 4,000 plus mile reconnection to points west, southwest and our treasured past. The Tour headed south into Texas after the wedding, then west for several days to the beauty and history of Santa Fe. There we visited art galleries and museums, spent hours exploring the city’s famous plaza, and used the services of an oxygen bar when my traveling companion was hit with a bout of altitude sickness. Thirty minutes of oxygen, a massage, and a “cocktail” of minerals and vitamins righted her listing ship.

From Santa Fe we headed for Flagstaff to spend the night and have dinner at Josephine’s on Humphreys Street in the city’s Downtown and Railroad District. Before we arrived in Flagstaff, however, I couldn’t resist the Winslow exit, 55 miles to the east, just to say, with apologies to the Eagles, “I stood on a corner in Winslow, Arizona.” To our surprise, Winslow has embraced its eponymous rock and roll fame with a little park, statues, gift shops, and even a flatbed Ford, permanently parked next to the musical shrine.

Inside one gift store, I found the names of a Grand Island couple who, at the Wichita wedding, had told us they were following Route 66 to the Pacific. They were two days ahead of us, but we shared Winslow photos via our phones.

We meandered from Flagstaff to the splendor of Sedona where we had breakfast before we headed to Phoenix to see my aunt. After a couple hours in the 107 degree heat we headed south to Tucson to my sister-in-law’s and a couple more days of Arizona sizzle. 

When I travel, I have this overwhelming sense (six degrees, perhaps) that at some point I’ll see someone I know or at least a Nebraskan … maybe ever a member of Islander nation. A week and five states into the Reunion Tour, we neither had met nor seen anyone remotely connected to home base. In fact I never even came across a vehicle sporting Nebraska license plates.

Off we went from Tucson on a quiet Monday morning, across the desert southwest to Newport Beach, a gorgeous strip of coast south of Los Angeles. During our stay there with friends, we backtracked to have lunch with cousins in San Diego, the Pacific blue and beautiful, the traffic congested and cantankerous. Speaking of traffic, we braved the infamous 405 from Newport to eat Asian food in Sawtelle Japantown, a wonderful little neighborhood in west LA.

Our friends in Southern California had told us the traffic had steadily become worse in the three decades since we left. I now believe them. Case in point: We left Newport on a Friday morning, taking the 101 from Los Angeles to the Bay Area, a trip bookended by two, two hour stop-and-go sessions, construction everywhere, and one missed exit, turning a Google Maps-Endorsed six-hour trip into an 11-hour gut out. 

In northern California I was able to see a Major League Baseball game, stay with wonderful friends, and continue our streak of eating fabulous foods. We’ve tried, unsuccessfully, to rank the top 10 meals on the Reunion Tour, but suffice to say we came home stuffed. Still, I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend (among others) the aforementioned Josephine’s in Flagstaff (the crab cakes were wonderful); breakfast at Cafe Pasqal’s in Santa Fe (bravo for the buckwheat pancakes); the Royal Hen at Balboa Island (Jacalyn’s assessment of the chicken pot pie was “best ever”); and Dead Fish in Crockett, Calif. overlooking the Carquinez Strait. (The shrimp alfredo with a touch of red sauce was breathtaking, too.)

From the Bay Area, we took a right on I-80 and headed home, taking an easy four days to cover 1,500 miles, including a stop in Sacramento to see another aunt and some cousins.

The Reunion Tour was not without some bumps in the road, several of which were more funny than they were annoying. We had a reservation in Winnemucca, Nev. at a Best Western, but when we tried to call from the road to reconfirm, no one picked up. After at least a half dozen tries over a couple hours, we began to wonder if the hotel was out of business, and we were destined to sleep in our car, imagining every other room in town booked. 

When we arrived, however, the shiny new Best Western was bustling with activity. When I checked in, I asked the front desk person if perhaps I had the wrong number since I could not reach the hotel earlier. She smiled and told me no one answered because they were all outside … having been evacuated because of a bomb threat at the bank next door. Not only was it a threat, she said, there was an actual bomb, one the bomb squad from Elko, 124 miles away, had to come and “neutralize.”

When I returned to the car and relayed the story, we could only laugh … but made our way to our room with some hesitation.

Food, traffic, bombs were just part of the 30-Year Reunion Tour. But not the best part. That was family and friends and a new look at an old life.

A few miles east of Winnemucca, when we hit the road the next morning without further explosive incident, a black SUV passed us slowly. When I glanced over, the driver smiled and waved. When she finally pulled around in front us, I knew what I was going to see.

A Nebraska license plate.

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Are you planning a class reunion?

We can help get your started!

Contact us for your class list and send us information about your reunion. We will post it to our webpage.

Kari Price, Alumni Coordinator
kprice@gips.org
308.385.5900 ext. 1148

Class of 1956

The Class of 1956 wishes to extend an invitation to fellow classmates to join them at its monthly gathering. They meet on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Midtown Holiday Inn at 6:00 pm. 

Class of 1959

The class of 1959 is planning a 60 year Class Reunion on September 27-28, 2019 at the Riverside Golf Club.

Class of 1966

The Class of 1966 wishes to extend an invitation to fellow classmates to join them at their monthly lunch gathering. They meet the 3rd Wednesday of each month at the Platt Duetsche at 1:00 pm. 

Class of 1969

The Class of 1969 is planning its 50th Class Reunion on October 18-19, 2019 at Riverside Golf Club.

Class of 1974

The Class of 1974 is planning its 45th Class Reunion on August 2-3, 2019.
August 2 from 6:30 pm - 1 am at Sluggers Bar and Grill, 707 West Anna Street.
August 3 from 6:30 pm to midnight at Fonner View Golf Course, 2224 S. Stuhr Road.

Join our facebook group: GISH Class of '74 - 40th Reunion 

Registration Deadline is July 21, 2019. Send a check made out to "Class of 1974" to Bob Buck, 4411 Quail Lane, Grand Island, NE 68801. Please include the number attending the Friday event, and the number attending Saturday event ($10 per person). If you have questions, call and leave a message with Bob Buck at 308-383-4616.

 

Class of 1979

The Class of 1979 is planning a 40 year Class Reunion on July 19-20, 2019.
July 19 - At 5 pm doors open at Platt Duetsche, 1315 W. Anna Street.
July 20 -  Tours of Grand Island Senior High (meet on the West side of the school) at 1 pm; At 5 pm doors open at Platt Duetsche; At 6 pm will be the meal (steaks and all the fixings); The dance will begin at 7 pm.

Registration Deadline is June 1, 2019. One price for both days. 
Pay online:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gish-1979-class-reunion-tickets-56458097690
$75.89 (couple) $44.06 (single)

Pay by mail:  $70 (couple) $40 (single)  "Class of 1979" 822 Pleasant View Dr., Grand Island, NE 68801
http://www.gish1979.com/class_classmates.cfm

Class of 1989

The Class of 1989 is planning a 30 year Class Reunion on July 19-20, 2019.
Friday, July 19 - 6 pm check in at the Chicken Coop, 120 West 3rd. The "Hear Grand Island" concert is that night downtown. All bars and restaurants will be open with a variety of food and drink options to enjoy, or you are welcome to stay at the Chicken Coop.
Saturday, July 20 - Tours of Grand Island Senior High at 11 am; 6 pm meet at the Happy Brush, 305 West 3rd, Appetizers provided. Painting at the Happy Brush, again many choices for a variety of food and drinks downtown, Kinkaiderpalooza is Saturday night. Streets are blocked off, food, drinks and a variety of music styles ( you can reserve and prepay for private tables at that event).

Join our facebook group: GISH Class of 1989 

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Shaking the World

Tradition, honor, glory, and memories


When the GIPS Foundation decided to take on a fundraising effort to renovate Grand Island’s Memorial Stadium, the first thing we knew we had to do was research the past. We wanted to know how this community pulled together to build the stately Memorial Stadium and who was involved. We found some great help at the Grand Island Public Library and started to piece the information together. 

Shortly after we started the project we got a call from Jean Ashworth Fisher class of 1950. She explained that she had a copy of the program for the first game played at the stadium (Friday, September 19, 1947). Mrs. Fisher graciously donated this program to us. It was a wonderful addition to our growing repertoire and understanding of the initial project.

When we went looking for some video footage of the Class of 1949 football great Bobby Reynolds, another Grand Island High School grad came to the rescue. Tom Hill, class of 1964 lent us his copy of a football game where you can see just how talented Grand Island’s Mr. Touchdown was. He weaved in and out, hurdled other players and made quite an impression. 

Still, we were piecing together memories and official documentation of the project. We were missing THE FILE. The school district didn’t own the stadium until its dedication. The school district didn’t fundraise for the project…so we were pretty sure that the district didn’t have THE FILE. 

We were hoping that THE FILE documenting the campaign effort existed. This summer our friend Bill Scott brought us a file from his father’s things. The tag on the file read: “MEMORIAL STADIUM, Bayard H. Paine, Jr. Chairman, Final Drive.”
This file was the American Legion file.  Bayard H. Paine, Jr. class of 1924, had headed up the final drive for the project as the initial drive fell just a bit short.  Bill’s father was A.C. Scott, class of 1942.  A.C. served as both Legion Commander and Commander of the elite 40 & 8.  A.C. Scott also served as the Veteran’s Service Officer from 1971 to 1988. 

While other files might exist, we were giddy with what we found in this file:  Newspaper clippings for all of the mentions of the campaign, fundraising letters and campaign materials, personal notes, and the original donor list.  This file helped us fill in some major missing pieces.  We will be adding these things to our history page of our website and featuring them from time to time. 

We are so grateful to the Scott family for preserving this history and to Bayard H. Paine, Jr for meticulously keeping information for the file. And we are grateful to all of our alumni and friends that have helped us so far. If you have memories or information that you want to share with us, or you would like to get involved with the campaign, click here: How to Get Involved. We need all hands on deck. 

Here is one little nugget we pulled from the file:

Original except from the Grand Island Daily Independent, September 16, 1947:

The Daily Independent has a sense of personal pride in the Memorial stadium, which is to be dedicated tonight.  This newspaper has never supported more enthusiastically any community project.

It was well over two years ago that the proposal for a stadium in memory of the services performed by Hall county men and women in the armed services during World War II was first made.  The goal set, $100,000, looked almost unapproachable in a city the size of Grand Island.  But the committee in charge of the campaign went out after the money.  And the money came in.

There were hundreds of contributors – the number may have reached the thousands.  Some came back a second and third time.  The gifts ranged from $5,000 down to a few cents, and the same thought was behind each. 

At the end of the two and a half years, more than $100,000 has been made available-at least $1,000 more than that unapproachable sum of 1945.  The stadium has been all but completed, and will be ready for use by the time of 1947’s first football game next Friday night.  It is a classically beautiful athletic plant, and one that will take care of the community’s needs for years to come.  It isn’t as large as was first planned, because prices have gone up.  But the additions can be made as funds are made possible.

The stadium will serve a useful purpose not only for football games, but throughout the year.  It can be used for 4-H fairs, for the Harvest of Harmony, for many exhibitions, for concerts.  It is a great community asset, of which Grand Island has every reason to be proud.

(This article was first published July 2018)

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A Distant Mirror

Mike Parmley, Class of 1967

On May 10, 2019, my 1967 GISH classmate, Mike Parmley, passed away. On the day this Newsletter comes out, July 15, 2019, he would have been 70 years old. He was an extraordinary fellow and my close friend since second grade in Miss Langdon’s class in 1956 at Howard School. From 1975 until the late 1990’s, when he retired to Nebraska, Parm was the clown prince and the charismatic center of a very close group of friends in California. The group included fellow 1967 classmates Bob Johnsen, Jerry Stroud, and myself, plus Bob’s wife Donna (from Plattsmouth), Jack Oldham, GISH class of 1965, Tom Housel (from Lexington), J.D. Graninetti (from Omaha) and Nancy Sanstedt (from Omaha).
Following are two stories I wrote some time ago about Parm, drawn closely from his reports of the events at the time.          


November 22, 1988 – Ninth and Pine Street, Grand Island

Little Davie Parmley, Mike Parmley’s six-year old nephew, was twitching with excitement. His Uncle Mike from California was visiting Nebraska. Uncle Mike was that rare grownup who seemed to think like a kid would think. Uncle Mike's idea of fun was usually close to his nephews' and nieces’ views of fun, and he consistently let them do things their parents would never approve. 

Uncle Mike had just returned from hunting, and as he walked in the house, the smell of mud, pheasants, and the outdoors filled the room. Davie followed devotedly as Parm took one particularly bloody pheasant and quietly sought out his nephew Bobby, who was watching cartoons on the television in the den.

“Oh Honey,” said Ellen, Parm’s mother, who smiled involuntarily as she saw her son holding a battered bird by its legs and heading towards the den, “Don't frighten the children.” Parm drew his free hand to his mouth to quiet his Mother and slipped up quickly behind Bobby, with nephew Davie following close on his heels.

Parm jumped in front of Bobby and dangled the dead bird in front of him, loudly shouting, “Whoa….there’s a big one, it's flying low and somebody is going to shoot it…. Bamm!, Bamm! … It’s been hit! Look out!” 

Parm then flung the bird in Bobby's lap. As with many of Parm's antics with his nephews, nieces, and his buddy Mucker's kids, his audacity often initially brought them to tears, particularly in the younger years. They learned quickly, however, that Uncle Mike's exploits were usually harmless. Not always, but usually.  

Here the damage was moderate. Bobby wasn't crying and only a little bit of the blood from the bird had stained Bobby's shirt and the couch. 

Bobby at first jumped and shrunk back in fear. Once he realized that the bird was dead, however, he lost his fear, and tossed the bird back at Parm. His aim, though, was foul. The bird struck the coffee table, knocking off the ashtray and the paper turkey decoration anticipating the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

“Now boys,” said Ellen, “See what you’ve done.” Ellen's smile remained, though she tried to appear stern. 

“Now look what you've done,” said Parm to Bobby, “Let's clean this up for your Grandmother.” Parm, Bobby, and Davie all began to clean up the mess, with Bobby whispering to Parm, “You started it, Uncle Mike.”

“Now, let’s not start pointing fingers,” said Parm, who had in the previous instant been pointing the finger at Bobby.


Later That Day

“Uncle Mike,” said Davey, “ Will you take out your eye for us again?”

''Now Davie — you know I can't do that too often because it's not good for my eye.” 

“But Uncle Mike, you haven't done it once yet this trip.”

“Well, OK— but I want everybody to be really careful, because it’s very dangerous if you drop it. Let me go to the bathroom first. You get all the gang in the basement, make sure it's totally dark, and I'll be right down. Now don’t say a word to your Grandmother.”

Davie, Bobby, and little Mikey, Parm's three-year old nephew, headed noisily to the basement, shouting to each other.  “We’ve got to be careful,” “It’s so slippery,” “Don’t tell Grandma Ellen.” 

Parm went to the refrigerator and selected three green grapes. As he headed to the bathroom on the main floor, he could hear his nephews giggling and laughing below in the basement. He went into the bedroom, carefully chose the grape closest in size to his eye, and slowly peeled the grape until all the skin was gone. Then Parm accidentally dropped the fleshy grape.  “Oh crap.” he whispered to himself. He picked up the peeled grape and then washed it off in the sink, leaving it a little slick and mushy. He then placed the grape in his shirt pocket and went down the wooden stairs to the darkened basement. He quietly slipped into what was his old bedroom when he lived at home as a boy.  

He saw the children in the dark, closed the door, and whispered softly, “Shuuuuush. Now young folks, step back, and your Uncle Mike will take out his eye, but here are the rules: Number one, we got to keep it totally dark — let's close this shade even lower — or my eye will be damaged; number two, whatever you do, don't drop it, or your Uncle Mike could lose his sight in that eye, especially if we step on it.”

“Uncle Mike, Does it hurt when you takes it out?” asked Mikey.

“Well, it does hurt a little bit, but if you handle it real carefully, it's not too bad,” said Parm, nodding slowly. The room was now dark enough that it was difficult to see his nephews. He reached into his pocket for the grape, and cried out, 

“Oooooh … Aaaaaah, … there … OK.”

“Is it out, Uncle Mike?”

“Ah! Yes, I've got it out, now here Davie, be as careful as you can possibly be.”

Davie gently cradled the grape in his grimy hand with an eerie feeling churning in his stomach at the thought of actually holding his Uncle Mike's eye in his hands, “It's so slippery, Uncle Mike, I'm afraid I'll drop it.”

“Well be careful, for Christ's sake,'' said Parm, feigning anger at Davie’s actions.

Next Bobby held the grape, and he silently dug his fingernail into the grape, looked up at where he thought his Uncle Mike was, and neither felt, nor heard, any indication of pain from his Uncle.

“My turn,” said little Mikey, and he grabbed at Bobby's hand, trying to find the eye. Bobby handed Mikey the eye, and as he did, he felt Mikey pinch the eye.

“Mikey’s pinching your eye, Uncle Mike.”

“Hey Son, what are you doing with my eye! Oooooh. ouch, stop it!”

Mikie couldn't understand why Uncle Mike cried out in pain at times when he wasn't pinching the eye. Maybe it still hurts later even after I pinch it, he thought.

Parm then took the grimy grape from Mikey, popped it into his mouth, took one chew, and swallowed it, pronouncing, “Whew, I think I have it back in safely. I can see with both eyes now.”

Later during Parm’s trip, the nephews wanted to have him take out the eye again, but he staunchly refused, “No, I can’t take that chance more than once during a trip to Husker Land.” 

But he did show them how he could take his index finger off, oh so briefly, and how he could stick his finger in his ear, thrust it through his head and poke the opposite cheek from the inside of his mouth.

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In Memoriam

May and June memorial list of GISH Alumni ...

KAYLIN “KAY” ANN (NIETFELDT) LAMBORN, Class of 1973, died Dec. 24, 2018, in Fate, Texas. She was 63.

ESTHER (LUEBKE) SCHNASE, Class of 1964, died Jan. 11, 2019, in Grand Island. She was 74. 

CHRIS (JESSEN) JONES, Class of 1970, died Feb. 18, 2019, in Grand Island. She was 67. 

RICHARD ROENFELDT, Class is 1954, died April 19, 2019, in Treasure Island, Fla. He was 83.

BETTY (HANNA) SVITAK, Class of 1958, died April 29, 2019, in Grand Island. She was 78.

ROBERTA (SHAVER) FILKINS, Class of 1961, died May 2, 2019, in Alda. She was 75.

DOROTHY (LYKKE) POST, Class of 1940, died May 5, 2019, in Amarillo, Texas. She was 96.

JOHN WILLMAN, Class of 1962, died May 6, 2019, in Buckeye, Ariz. He was 74.

SHEILA (DEXTER) ROBERTSON, Class of 1964, died May 8, 2019, in Grand Island. She was 72.

JEROME COCHNAR, Class of 1986, died May 9, 2019, in Grand Island. He was 51.

MIKE PARMLEY, Class of 1967, died May 10, 2019, in Central City. He was 69.

ROY HOPKINS, Class of 1978, died May 12, 2019, in Grand Island. He was 58.

ELEANORE (BAUMAN) KROEGER, Class of 1950, died May 12, 2019, in Livingston, Texas. She was 86.

KATHRINE “KATHY” (RAMIREZ) SIGALA, Class of 1969, died May 15, 2019, in Sun City, Ariz.

RANDOLPH “RANDY” BIXENMANN, Class of 1970, died May 20, 2019, in Elko, Nev. He was 67.

JAMES “JIM” SCHWADERER, Class of 1963, died May 22, 2019, in Lincoln. He was 74.

JEROD TIFF, Class of 2002, died May 25, 2019, in Grand Island. He was 35.

TOM PETERS, Class of 1969, died May 27, 2019, in Lincoln. He was 67.

CARL SHARP, Class of 1940, died May 30, 2019, in Grand Island. He was 96.

MARY HARDER, Class of 1964, died June 5, 2019, in Lincoln. Mary lived in Grand Island. She was 72.

PATRICK SCOGGINS, Class of 1947, died June 8, 2019, in Grand Island. He was 91.

MARY MOLLE, Class of 1970, died June 9, 2019, in Grand Island. She was 66.

JOHN HARRINGTON, Class of 1970, died June 10, 2019, in Lincoln. John lived in Hastings. He was 67.

RICH SHRINER, Class of 1963, died June 10, 2019, in Hastings. Rich lived in Grand Island. He was 74.

ELNORA (LINT) OBERMEIER, Class of 1945, died June 12, 2019, in Grand Island. She was 91.

RICHARD “DICK” WILES, Class of 1964, died June 12, 2019, in Aurora. Dick lived in Phillips. He was 73.

BONNIE (SNYDER) LEBO, Class of 1969, died June 14, 2019, in Grundy Center, Iowa. She was 69.

DONALD GROTZKY, Class of 1947, died June 28, 2019, in Lombard, Ill. He was 90.

DAN TRAUDT, Longtime teacher and coach at Barr Middle School, died June 29, 2019, in Grand Island. He was 72.

To report an alumni death since June 30, 2019, please send an email with the first name, last name, class year and maiden name if applicable to

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Media Inquiries
Jack Sheard, Marketing & Communications
308-385-5900 Ext. 1127
Your Legacy.
Their Opportunity.

Enhancing opportunities by seeking and securing resources for projects, scholarships and programs.

Access digital copies of our district flyers.

Improving school-to-home communication by distribute school flyers directly to families digitally.


Click on Section to read more:

Welcome to Rise

Welcome to the July 2019 edition of “Rise Grand Island” the alumni newsletter for Grand Island Senior High published every other month by the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation...

Grand Legacy Update

GI Memorial Stadium Project Continues

Although milestones have been celebrated with the Ground Breaking celebration this past January and the Top Out Ceremony days ago for West Stadium, renovations and improvements...

At the Top

Topping Out Celebration at Memorial Stadium

An update on the progress of Our Grand Legacy, the Memorial Stadium project, is a fitting subject for our At the Top story this month. Crews installed the last steel beam in place on...

I've Been Thinking

Reunion Tour Filled With Food, Family, Friends, and One Bomb

Thirty years ago this month my wife and I drove away from our duplex in West Hollywood, where we had lived for a decade, and headed for Grand Island...

Alumni Reunions

Current Reunion Information

Shaking the World

Tradition, Honor, Glory, and Memories

When the GIPS Foundation decided to take on a fundraising effort to renovate Grand Island's Memorial Stadium, the first thing we knew we had to do was...

 

A Distant Mirror

Mike Parmley, Class of 1967

On May 10, 2019, my 1967 GISH classmate, Mike Parmley, passed away. On the day this newsletter comes out, July 15, 2019, he would have been 70 years old...

In Memoriam

May and June memorial list of GISH Alumni...


Welcome to Rise

Welcome to the July 2019 edition of “Rise Grand Island” the alumni newsletter for Grand Island Senior High published every other month by the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation. “Rise” is where we connect with thousands of Islanders across the globe, keeping you and them informed on what’s happening in Purple and Gold land, and reminiscing a little bit as well.

This is Volume 4, Number 4, the fourth edition of Rise this calendar year, our fourth year as the official publication for alums of Islander Nation. Thanks for reading us and for your comments and support.

We really enjoy hearing from those of you who find “Rise” in your in-box every other month. Give us a shout, especially if you or a GISH alum you know has done something new, newsy, or newsworthy. You can reach us at the email addresses on the front page.

Our “At the Top” lead story covers the last steel beam that was put in place in the Memorial Stadium project, Our Grand Legacy. With the placement of the beam comes a tradition in the construction industry called a “Topping Out” ceremony. Check out the details on our front page.

Speaking of Memorial Stadium, Leigh Lillibridge’s Grand Legacy Update details how you (and anyone you may know) can still become part of the Memorial Stadium project. 

Our Class Reunion Update lets you know who is going to party and when, in case your class is on deck or maybe you just want to crash another class’s soiree and see a few old friends.

In our "Shaking the World" story this month we revisit an article Traci wrote last year discussing the Memorial Stadium project. 

Our “Distant Mirror” correspondent, Mike Monk, Class of 1967, remembers his lifelong friend and classmate Mike Parmley. “Parm” passed away last May.

My “I’ve Been Thinking” column details the 30th Reunion Tour my wife and I took in June to points Southwest and West, home to thousands in Islander Nation. The Tour’s terminus was almost three decades ago to the day that we left Los Angeles and came “home” to Grand Island.

As usual we’ll see what songs were popular on the radio, what movies were wooing us on the big screen, what novels we were reading, and what television shows entertained us from each decade during July .

We hope you find this “Rise” to your liking

Remember Islanders: Keep pushing on.  

George Ayoub, Class of 1968
Editor, “Rise Grand Island”

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Grand Legacy Update

GI Memorial Stadium Project Continues


Although milestones have been celebrated with the Ground Breaking celebration this past  January and the Top Out Ceremony days ago for West Stadium, renovations and improvements to East Stadium still await as part of the project plans. Those plans include a possible additional structure if fundraising allows, so we need your help to get this project over the goal line. You can make your gift or learn more about the project at https://www.gimemorialstadium.org/how-to-help/ways-to-give.html

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At the Top

Topping Out Celebration at Memorial Stadium


An update on the progress of Our Grand Legacy, the Memorial Stadium project, is a fitting subject for our At the Top story this month.

Crews installed the last steel beam in place on Wednesday, July 10, setting off a celebration dubbed a “topping out” party at the stadium. That fun was followed by appetizers and refreshments hosted by Whitey's on Webb Road.

Tradition in the construction industry holds that placement of the last steel beam is a major milestone in the evolution of any building project. This benchmark is commemorated by having the builders — from architects to steel workers to laborers — as well as donors and dignitaries sign the beam. Sometimes a small evergreen is attached to one end of the beam and an American Flag to the other. The custom celebrates the building process and, in a sense, introduces the building to the public. “Topping out” honors the accomplishments of the construction crew, not unlike an old-fashioned barn-raising celebration. 

The tree is a key symbol of the topping out. For steel and construction workers, it signifies construction has reached the sky without loss of life or injury, a positive omen for the future inhabitants of the building. The tree is also a sign to those looking on that the time to start the celebration of a job well done is at hand.

Dozens of signatures from Islander Nation and beyond graced the beam that crews put in place … the last steel beam that will be part of the school and the city’s Grand Legacy.

Islanders and others from everywhere can still be part of the project. To see how, read Leigh Lillibridge’s “Grand Legacy Update” in the issue of Rise. (photos by Kelli Mayhew)

To read more, check out these stories:

GI Memorial Stadium Website: Grand Island Senior High Memorial Stadium WEST Historic Top Out Ceremony

The Independent: Final steel beam placed at Grand Island Senior High's Memorial Stadium

KSNB Local 4: Last beam placed at Memorial Stadium

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I've Been Thinking

Reunion Tour Filled With Food, Family, Friends, and One Bomb

Thirty years ago this month my wife and I drove away from our duplex in West Hollywood, where we had lived for a decade, and headed for Grand Island. It was not an easy move. A tearful tribe of friends stood in our front yard to bid us adieu and, for a few of them, to question what we could only describe as the inexplicable yet undeniable pull of home.

More than once between California and our first stopover in Albuquerque, I considered turning the U-Haul truck around. Jacalyn, weepy in the seat next to me, was surely a yes vote.

But we kept driving, arriving in Grand Island on July 4, tired but happy to be “home.” We set about living adult lives (we had essentially left as teenagers) in Central Nebraska. We looked up old friends, made scores of new ones, and raised our son as an Islander.

Last month, a trip to Wichita for a wedding turned into what we dubbed as the 30-year Reunion Tour, a 10-state, 25-day, 4,000 plus mile reconnection to points west, southwest and our treasured past. The Tour headed south into Texas after the wedding, then west for several days to the beauty and history of Santa Fe. There we visited art galleries and museums, spent hours exploring the city’s famous plaza, and used the services of an oxygen bar when my traveling companion was hit with a bout of altitude sickness. Thirty minutes of oxygen, a massage, and a “cocktail” of minerals and vitamins righted her listing ship.

From Santa Fe we headed for Flagstaff to spend the night and have dinner at Josephine’s on Humphreys Street in the city’s Downtown and Railroad District. Before we arrived in Flagstaff, however, I couldn’t resist the Winslow exit, 55 miles to the east, just to say, with apologies to the Eagles, “I stood on a corner in Winslow, Arizona.” To our surprise, Winslow has embraced its eponymous rock and roll fame with a little park, statues, gift shops, and even a flatbed Ford, permanently parked next to the musical shrine.

Inside one gift store, I found the names of a Grand Island couple who, at the Wichita wedding, had told us they were following Route 66 to the Pacific. They were two days ahead of us, but we shared Winslow photos via our phones.

We meandered from Flagstaff to the splendor of Sedona where we had breakfast before we headed to Phoenix to see my aunt. After a couple hours in the 107 degree heat we headed south to Tucson to my sister-in-law’s and a couple more days of Arizona sizzle. 

When I travel, I have this overwhelming sense (six degrees, perhaps) that at some point I’ll see someone I know or at least a Nebraskan … maybe ever a member of Islander nation. A week and five states into the Reunion Tour, we neither had met nor seen anyone remotely connected to home base. In fact I never even came across a vehicle sporting Nebraska license plates.

Off we went from Tucson on a quiet Monday morning, across the desert southwest to Newport Beach, a gorgeous strip of coast south of Los Angeles. During our stay there with friends, we backtracked to have lunch with cousins in San Diego, the Pacific blue and beautiful, the traffic congested and cantankerous. Speaking of traffic, we braved the infamous 405 from Newport to eat Asian food in Sawtelle Japantown, a wonderful little neighborhood in west LA.

Our friends in Southern California had told us the traffic had steadily become worse in the three decades since we left. I now believe them. Case in point: We left Newport on a Friday morning, taking the 101 from Los Angeles to the Bay Area, a trip bookended by two, two hour stop-and-go sessions, construction everywhere, and one missed exit, turning a Google Maps-Endorsed six-hour trip into an 11-hour gut out. 

In northern California I was able to see a Major League Baseball game, stay with wonderful friends, and continue our streak of eating fabulous foods. We’ve tried, unsuccessfully, to rank the top 10 meals on the Reunion Tour, but suffice to say we came home stuffed. Still, I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend (among others) the aforementioned Josephine’s in Flagstaff (the crab cakes were wonderful); breakfast at Cafe Pasqal’s in Santa Fe (bravo for the buckwheat pancakes); the Royal Hen at Balboa Island (Jacalyn’s assessment of the chicken pot pie was “best ever”); and Dead Fish in Crockett, Calif. overlooking the Carquinez Strait. (The shrimp alfredo with a touch of red sauce was breathtaking, too.)

From the Bay Area, we took a right on I-80 and headed home, taking an easy four days to cover 1,500 miles, including a stop in Sacramento to see another aunt and some cousins.

The Reunion Tour was not without some bumps in the road, several of which were more funny than they were annoying. We had a reservation in Winnemucca, Nev. at a Best Western, but when we tried to call from the road to reconfirm, no one picked up. After at least a half dozen tries over a couple hours, we began to wonder if the hotel was out of business, and we were destined to sleep in our car, imagining every other room in town booked. 

When we arrived, however, the shiny new Best Western was bustling with activity. When I checked in, I asked the front desk person if perhaps I had the wrong number since I could not reach the hotel earlier. She smiled and told me no one answered because they were all outside … having been evacuated because of a bomb threat at the bank next door. Not only was it a threat, she said, there was an actual bomb, one the bomb squad from Elko, 124 miles away, had to come and “neutralize.”

When I returned to the car and relayed the story, we could only laugh … but made our way to our room with some hesitation.

Food, traffic, bombs were just part of the 30-Year Reunion Tour. But not the best part. That was family and friends and a new look at an old life.

A few miles east of Winnemucca, when we hit the road the next morning without further explosive incident, a black SUV passed us slowly. When I glanced over, the driver smiled and waved. When she finally pulled around in front us, I knew what I was going to see.

A Nebraska license plate.

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Are you planning a class reunion?

We can help get your started!

Contact us for your class list and send us information about your reunion. We will post it to our webpage.

Kari Price, Alumni Coordinator
kprice@gips.org
308.385.5900 ext. 1148

Class of 1956

The Class of 1956 wishes to extend an invitation to fellow classmates to join them at its monthly gathering. They meet on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Midtown Holiday Inn at 6:00 pm. 

Class of 1959

The class of 1959 is planning a 60 year Class Reunion on September 27-28, 2019 at the Riverside Golf Club.

Class of 1966

The Class of 1966 wishes to extend an invitation to fellow classmates to join them at their monthly lunch gathering. They meet the 3rd Wednesday of each month at the Platt Duetsche at 1:00 pm. 

Class of 1969

The Class of 1969 is planning its 50th Class Reunion on October 18-19, 2019 at Riverside Golf Club.

Class of 1974

The Class of 1974 is planning its 45th Class Reunion on August 2-3, 2019.
August 2 from 6:30 pm - 1 am at Sluggers Bar and Grill, 707 West Anna Street.
August 3 from 6:30 pm to midnight at Fonner View Golf Course, 2224 S. Stuhr Road.

Join our facebook group: GISH Class of '74 - 40th Reunion 

Registration Deadline is July 21, 2019. Send a check made out to "Class of 1974" to Bob Buck, 4411 Quail Lane, Grand Island, NE 68801. Please include the number attending the Friday event, and the number attending Saturday event ($10 per person). If you have questions, call and leave a message with Bob Buck at 308-383-4616.

 

Class of 1979

The Class of 1979 is planning a 40 year Class Reunion on July 19-20, 2019.
July 19 - At 5 pm doors open at Platt Duetsche, 1315 W. Anna Street.
July 20 -  Tours of Grand Island Senior High (meet on the West side of the school) at 1 pm; At 5 pm doors open at Platt Duetsche; At 6 pm will be the meal (steaks and all the fixings); The dance will begin at 7 pm.

Registration Deadline is June 1, 2019. One price for both days. 
Pay online:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gish-1979-class-reunion-tickets-56458097690
$75.89 (couple) $44.06 (single)

Pay by mail:  $70 (couple) $40 (single)  "Class of 1979" 822 Pleasant View Dr., Grand Island, NE 68801
http://www.gish1979.com/class_classmates.cfm

Class of 1989

The Class of 1989 is planning a 30 year Class Reunion on July 19-20, 2019.
Friday, July 19 - 6 pm check in at the Chicken Coop, 120 West 3rd. The "Hear Grand Island" concert is that night downtown. All bars and restaurants will be open with a variety of food and drink options to enjoy, or you are welcome to stay at the Chicken Coop.
Saturday, July 20 - Tours of Grand Island Senior High at 11 am; 6 pm meet at the Happy Brush, 305 West 3rd, Appetizers provided. Painting at the Happy Brush, again many choices for a variety of food and drinks downtown, Kinkaiderpalooza is Saturday night. Streets are blocked off, food, drinks and a variety of music styles ( you can reserve and prepay for private tables at that event).

Join our facebook group: GISH Class of 1989 

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Shaking the World

Tradition, honor, glory, and memories


When the GIPS Foundation decided to take on a fundraising effort to renovate Grand Island’s Memorial Stadium, the first thing we knew we had to do was research the past. We wanted to know how this community pulled together to build the stately Memorial Stadium and who was involved. We found some great help at the Grand Island Public Library and started to piece the information together. 

Shortly after we started the project we got a call from Jean Ashworth Fisher class of 1950. She explained that she had a copy of the program for the first game played at the stadium (Friday, September 19, 1947). Mrs. Fisher graciously donated this program to us. It was a wonderful addition to our growing repertoire and understanding of the initial project.

When we went looking for some video footage of the Class of 1949 football great Bobby Reynolds, another Grand Island High School grad came to the rescue. Tom Hill, class of 1964 lent us his copy of a football game where you can see just how talented Grand Island’s Mr. Touchdown was. He weaved in and out, hurdled other players and made quite an impression. 

Still, we were piecing together memories and official documentation of the project. We were missing THE FILE. The school district didn’t own the stadium until its dedication. The school district didn’t fundraise for the project…so we were pretty sure that the district didn’t have THE FILE. 

We were hoping that THE FILE documenting the campaign effort existed. This summer our friend Bill Scott brought us a file from his father’s things. The tag on the file read: “MEMORIAL STADIUM, Bayard H. Paine, Jr. Chairman, Final Drive.”
This file was the American Legion file.  Bayard H. Paine, Jr. class of 1924, had headed up the final drive for the project as the initial drive fell just a bit short.  Bill’s father was A.C. Scott, class of 1942.  A.C. served as both Legion Commander and Commander of the elite 40 & 8.  A.C. Scott also served as the Veteran’s Service Officer from 1971 to 1988. 

While other files might exist, we were giddy with what we found in this file:  Newspaper clippings for all of the mentions of the campaign, fundraising letters and campaign materials, personal notes, and the original donor list.  This file helped us fill in some major missing pieces.  We will be adding these things to our history page of our website and featuring them from time to time. 

We are so grateful to the Scott family for preserving this history and to Bayard H. Paine, Jr for meticulously keeping information for the file. And we are grateful to all of our alumni and friends that have helped us so far. If you have memories or information that you want to share with us, or you would like to get involved with the campaign, click here: How to Get Involved. We need all hands on deck. 

Here is one little nugget we pulled from the file:

Original except from the Grand Island Daily Independent, September 16, 1947:

The Daily Independent has a sense of personal pride in the Memorial stadium, which is to be dedicated tonight.  This newspaper has never supported more enthusiastically any community project.

It was well over two years ago that the proposal for a stadium in memory of the services performed by Hall county men and women in the armed services during World War II was first made.  The goal set, $100,000, looked almost unapproachable in a city the size of Grand Island.  But the committee in charge of the campaign went out after the money.  And the money came in.

There were hundreds of contributors – the number may have reached the thousands.  Some came back a second and third time.  The gifts ranged from $5,000 down to a few cents, and the same thought was behind each. 

At the end of the two and a half years, more than $100,000 has been made available-at least $1,000 more than that unapproachable sum of 1945.  The stadium has been all but completed, and will be ready for use by the time of 1947’s first football game next Friday night.  It is a classically beautiful athletic plant, and one that will take care of the community’s needs for years to come.  It isn’t as large as was first planned, because prices have gone up.  But the additions can be made as funds are made possible.

The stadium will serve a useful purpose not only for football games, but throughout the year.  It can be used for 4-H fairs, for the Harvest of Harmony, for many exhibitions, for concerts.  It is a great community asset, of which Grand Island has every reason to be proud.

(This article was first published July 2018)

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A Distant Mirror

Mike Parmley, Class of 1967

On May 10, 2019, my 1967 GISH classmate, Mike Parmley, passed away. On the day this Newsletter comes out, July 15, 2019, he would have been 70 years old. He was an extraordinary fellow and my close friend since second grade in Miss Langdon’s class in 1956 at Howard School. From 1975 until the late 1990’s, when he retired to Nebraska, Parm was the clown prince and the charismatic center of a very close group of friends in California. The group included fellow 1967 classmates Bob Johnsen, Jerry Stroud, and myself, plus Bob’s wife Donna (from Plattsmouth), Jack Oldham, GISH class of 1965, Tom Housel (from Lexington), J.D. Graninetti (from Omaha) and Nancy Sanstedt (from Omaha).
Following are two stories I wrote some time ago about Parm, drawn closely from his reports of the events at the time.          


November 22, 1988 – Ninth and Pine Street, Grand Island

Little Davie Parmley, Mike Parmley’s six-year old nephew, was twitching with excitement. His Uncle Mike from California was visiting Nebraska. Uncle Mike was that rare grownup who seemed to think like a kid would think. Uncle Mike's idea of fun was usually close to his nephews' and nieces’ views of fun, and he consistently let them do things their parents would never approve. 

Uncle Mike had just returned from hunting, and as he walked in the house, the smell of mud, pheasants, and the outdoors filled the room. Davie followed devotedly as Parm took one particularly bloody pheasant and quietly sought out his nephew Bobby, who was watching cartoons on the television in the den.

“Oh Honey,” said Ellen, Parm’s mother, who smiled involuntarily as she saw her son holding a battered bird by its legs and heading towards the den, “Don't frighten the children.” Parm drew his free hand to his mouth to quiet his Mother and slipped up quickly behind Bobby, with nephew Davie following close on his heels.

Parm jumped in front of Bobby and dangled the dead bird in front of him, loudly shouting, “Whoa….there’s a big one, it's flying low and somebody is going to shoot it…. Bamm!, Bamm! … It’s been hit! Look out!” 

Parm then flung the bird in Bobby's lap. As with many of Parm's antics with his nephews, nieces, and his buddy Mucker's kids, his audacity often initially brought them to tears, particularly in the younger years. They learned quickly, however, that Uncle Mike's exploits were usually harmless. Not always, but usually.  

Here the damage was moderate. Bobby wasn't crying and only a little bit of the blood from the bird had stained Bobby's shirt and the couch. 

Bobby at first jumped and shrunk back in fear. Once he realized that the bird was dead, however, he lost his fear, and tossed the bird back at Parm. His aim, though, was foul. The bird struck the coffee table, knocking off the ashtray and the paper turkey decoration anticipating the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

“Now boys,” said Ellen, “See what you’ve done.” Ellen's smile remained, though she tried to appear stern. 

“Now look what you've done,” said Parm to Bobby, “Let's clean this up for your Grandmother.” Parm, Bobby, and Davie all began to clean up the mess, with Bobby whispering to Parm, “You started it, Uncle Mike.”

“Now, let’s not start pointing fingers,” said Parm, who had in the previous instant been pointing the finger at Bobby.


Later That Day

“Uncle Mike,” said Davey, “ Will you take out your eye for us again?”

''Now Davie — you know I can't do that too often because it's not good for my eye.” 

“But Uncle Mike, you haven't done it once yet this trip.”

“Well, OK— but I want everybody to be really careful, because it’s very dangerous if you drop it. Let me go to the bathroom first. You get all the gang in the basement, make sure it's totally dark, and I'll be right down. Now don’t say a word to your Grandmother.”

Davie, Bobby, and little Mikey, Parm's three-year old nephew, headed noisily to the basement, shouting to each other.  “We’ve got to be careful,” “It’s so slippery,” “Don’t tell Grandma Ellen.” 

Parm went to the refrigerator and selected three green grapes. As he headed to the bathroom on the main floor, he could hear his nephews giggling and laughing below in the basement. He went into the bedroom, carefully chose the grape closest in size to his eye, and slowly peeled the grape until all the skin was gone. Then Parm accidentally dropped the fleshy grape.  “Oh crap.” he whispered to himself. He picked up the peeled grape and then washed it off in the sink, leaving it a little slick and mushy. He then placed the grape in his shirt pocket and went down the wooden stairs to the darkened basement. He quietly slipped into what was his old bedroom when he lived at home as a boy.  

He saw the children in the dark, closed the door, and whispered softly, “Shuuuuush. Now young folks, step back, and your Uncle Mike will take out his eye, but here are the rules: Number one, we got to keep it totally dark — let's close this shade even lower — or my eye will be damaged; number two, whatever you do, don't drop it, or your Uncle Mike could lose his sight in that eye, especially if we step on it.”

“Uncle Mike, Does it hurt when you takes it out?” asked Mikey.

“Well, it does hurt a little bit, but if you handle it real carefully, it's not too bad,” said Parm, nodding slowly. The room was now dark enough that it was difficult to see his nephews. He reached into his pocket for the grape, and cried out, 

“Oooooh … Aaaaaah, … there … OK.”

“Is it out, Uncle Mike?”

“Ah! Yes, I've got it out, now here Davie, be as careful as you can possibly be.”

Davie gently cradled the grape in his grimy hand with an eerie feeling churning in his stomach at the thought of actually holding his Uncle Mike's eye in his hands, “It's so slippery, Uncle Mike, I'm afraid I'll drop it.”

“Well be careful, for Christ's sake,'' said Parm, feigning anger at Davie’s actions.

Next Bobby held the grape, and he silently dug his fingernail into the grape, looked up at where he thought his Uncle Mike was, and neither felt, nor heard, any indication of pain from his Uncle.

“My turn,” said little Mikey, and he grabbed at Bobby's hand, trying to find the eye. Bobby handed Mikey the eye, and as he did, he felt Mikey pinch the eye.

“Mikey’s pinching your eye, Uncle Mike.”

“Hey Son, what are you doing with my eye! Oooooh. ouch, stop it!”

Mikie couldn't understand why Uncle Mike cried out in pain at times when he wasn't pinching the eye. Maybe it still hurts later even after I pinch it, he thought.

Parm then took the grimy grape from Mikey, popped it into his mouth, took one chew, and swallowed it, pronouncing, “Whew, I think I have it back in safely. I can see with both eyes now.”

Later during Parm’s trip, the nephews wanted to have him take out the eye again, but he staunchly refused, “No, I can’t take that chance more than once during a trip to Husker Land.” 

But he did show them how he could take his index finger off, oh so briefly, and how he could stick his finger in his ear, thrust it through his head and poke the opposite cheek from the inside of his mouth.

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In Memoriam

May and June memorial list of GISH Alumni ...

KAYLIN “KAY” ANN (NIETFELDT) LAMBORN, Class of 1973, died Dec. 24, 2018, in Fate, Texas. She was 63.

ESTHER (LUEBKE) SCHNASE, Class of 1964, died Jan. 11, 2019, in Grand Island. She was 74. 

CHRIS (JESSEN) JONES, Class of 1970, died Feb. 18, 2019, in Grand Island. She was 67. 

RICHARD ROENFELDT, Class is 1954, died April 19, 2019, in Treasure Island, Fla. He was 83.

BETTY (HANNA) SVITAK, Class of 1958, died April 29, 2019, in Grand Island. She was 78.

ROBERTA (SHAVER) FILKINS, Class of 1961, died May 2, 2019, in Alda. She was 75.

DOROTHY (LYKKE) POST, Class of 1940, died May 5, 2019, in Amarillo, Texas. She was 96.

JOHN WILLMAN, Class of 1962, died May 6, 2019, in Buckeye, Ariz. He was 74.

SHEILA (DEXTER) ROBERTSON, Class of 1964, died May 8, 2019, in Grand Island. She was 72.

JEROME COCHNAR, Class of 1986, died May 9, 2019, in Grand Island. He was 51.

MIKE PARMLEY, Class of 1967, died May 10, 2019, in Central City. He was 69.

ROY HOPKINS, Class of 1978, died May 12, 2019, in Grand Island. He was 58.

ELEANORE (BAUMAN) KROEGER, Class of 1950, died May 12, 2019, in Livingston, Texas. She was 86.

KATHRINE “KATHY” (RAMIREZ) SIGALA, Class of 1969, died May 15, 2019, in Sun City, Ariz.

RANDOLPH “RANDY” BIXENMANN, Class of 1970, died May 20, 2019, in Elko, Nev. He was 67.

JAMES “JIM” SCHWADERER, Class of 1963, died May 22, 2019, in Lincoln. He was 74.

JEROD TIFF, Class of 2002, died May 25, 2019, in Grand Island. He was 35.

TOM PETERS, Class of 1969, died May 27, 2019, in Lincoln. He was 67.

CARL SHARP, Class of 1940, died May 30, 2019, in Grand Island. He was 96.

MARY HARDER, Class of 1964, died June 5, 2019, in Lincoln. Mary lived in Grand Island. She was 72.

PATRICK SCOGGINS, Class of 1947, died June 8, 2019, in Grand Island. He was 91.

MARY MOLLE, Class of 1970, died June 9, 2019, in Grand Island. She was 66.

JOHN HARRINGTON, Class of 1970, died June 10, 2019, in Lincoln. John lived in Hastings. He was 67.

RICH SHRINER, Class of 1963, died June 10, 2019, in Hastings. Rich lived in Grand Island. He was 74.

ELNORA (LINT) OBERMEIER, Class of 1945, died June 12, 2019, in Grand Island. She was 91.

RICHARD “DICK” WILES, Class of 1964, died June 12, 2019, in Aurora. Dick lived in Phillips. He was 73.

BONNIE (SNYDER) LEBO, Class of 1969, died June 14, 2019, in Grundy Center, Iowa. She was 69.

DONALD GROTZKY, Class of 1947, died June 28, 2019, in Lombard, Ill. He was 90.

DAN TRAUDT, Longtime teacher and coach at Barr Middle School, died June 29, 2019, in Grand Island. He was 72.

To report an alumni death since June 30, 2019, please send an email with the first name, last name, class year and maiden name if applicable to

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