School Class of 1983
25 Year Reunion Recap
July 18-19, 2008
Be sure to also check out images from the events on our Pictures page
Friday, July 18th @ the Race Track
well, at least it was a start. It was pretty hot & humid out after the
early rainstorms which probably kept some people away. Attendance was even
lower than a typical White Sox home game :) so
maybe it was just too early for most folks. No big deal, the cold beers helped
. . . and the big events were still on the horizon.
Friday, July 18th @ Durty Nellies – for many people this was the first visit to the “new” Durty Nellies, being that our 20th was one of the final events at the original place. At about 7 PM people started checking in at the door, where they received a name tag and wristband (identified for drink specials). Some early evening rain forced our crowd to gather in the main Band Room for the first couple hours, but eventually the skies cleared and people headed up to the main outdoor beer patio on the second floor. This turned out to be a very late evening, with several hanging out until closing time. A few of us visited the NW Highway Taco Bell at 3:55 AM, five minutes before it closed. That certainly brings back some memories though it could be questioned if they were all good ones!
tally from the bar stated we had 104 paid people, but the real count was
probably closer to 130 as numerous folks came later or through the front door,
paying only for the band. My one complaint (and apology to everyone) is that the
drink specials offered were quite weak, and in most cases weren’t even followed
by the bar staff – perhaps some signs with posted prices would be helpful for
future gatherings. In retrospect the cover charge was a bit high for what you
got, but overall it didn’t really seem to matter for most. Great crowd and a
fun time as expected.
Saturday, July 19th @ Palatine
High School (tour) –
there were roughly 20 people or so that met at good ol’ PHS at 10 AM to
experience a nostalgic walk-through the school. I was not there myself but
understand it was quite interactive and went very well. The next reunion will
certainly feature this same event.
Saturday, July 19th – The Main Event. This was at the Arlington Park Sheraton in a section of the Arlington Ballroom that was not a whole lot smaller than what we had for our 20th. Unlike the last one, the crowd here was much smaller – slightly over eighty people in attendance. HOWEVER, the event itself was nothing short of a complete success, as everyone who was there would attest. The atmosphere was conducive for dialogue, the photographer was not intrusive, the food was absolutely excellent and the bartenders did a nice job of getting drinks in everyone’s hands rather quickly. The DJ played an interesting variety of 80’s music, but it seemed more background as people engaged each other in conversations all evening. Our former class president Joe Wiegand, who now tours the country doing shows as former U.S. president Teddy Roosevelt, took the microphone later in the evening to give a short speech. And, let’s not forget about the 50-50 raffle which featured what was arguably one of the most humorous and pathetic group of prizes ever assembled! The Sheraton extended our open bar time an additional hour at no further expense, which was a nice late night surprise that was enthusiastically received.
main event officially came to a close shortly after 1 AM, but the party
continued. Nearly two dozen people managed to work their way over to
Lamplighters, where many feasted with forks and bare hands on a full tray of
delicious lasagna, courtesy of Dave Andriano’s mother. Once Lamps kicked
everyone out at 3 AM (their closing time) a few people started walking towards
Durty Nellies . . though at that time my wife and I decided to call it a night
and went back to the hotel.
The committee does apologize for the smaller room and a more no-frills approach to some things – due to our necessary cost-cutting measures we had to eliminate many planned decorations and the gifts/giveaways. Additionally, the “Classmate Directory” is still forthcoming and will likely be released to all event attendees in electronic format. I’ve probably unfairly harped on the lower than expected turnout . . . this was really because it made it tough for the committee on a planning (and financial) perspective. However, the end result was a great weekend that was truly fun for everyone who attended.
As pretty much everyone knows by now we unfortunately ended up short of meeting our banquet minimums for the main event, but as of this writing we’ve received several generous donations from many of our fellow classmates to help offset some of the balance due. A heartfelt “thank you” writeup will be posted a bit later on the site.
I’d like to send out another THANKS to the Palatine Jaycees who volunteered their time to help with the main event, to Mark & Aaron @ Durty Nellies for their assistance with the Friday event, to the folks at Palatine High School who assisted with the reunion and let us borrow the Centennial Banner (again), and of course to everyone who came out for the weekend. A HUGE thanks goes out to all my fellow committee members, who for nearly a year remained dedicated to the efforts. It has been MY pleasure working with this crew, as without them this weekend never would have happened.
Will there be a 30 year reunion? Well, the countdown clock has been reactivated on the main page, but at the moment it’s way too early to think about it. To be honest, much may depend on our final monetary totals from this recently completed reunion weekend. Several people gave us some good ideas - such as combining classes (maybe ’82, ’83 and ’84), having it somewhere else like Las Vegas, or even doing some co-planning with the Fremd class of ’83. We’ll see…but for now we can look back on an enjoyable weekend and feel good about having such a special group of people in our class.
Thank you again, and perhaps we'll see everyone again in a few years!
PHS Class of 1983 Reunion Committee