The Bismarck High School Class of 1981 periodic update

Volume 3, March 2001
The count down has begun…
have you started your dieting, started to look for that perfect outfit, picked a hair color, sent in your registration??? See ya in four months!

Hi everyone,
This month we are doing something special. The time is getting close so I decided to interview two "victims" this month. I hope to do so in the months to come also, that way we can catch up with a couple more classmates before the big weekend! Thank you very much to Larry and Roxy for sharing their lives with us this month! Also, a big thank you to Doug and Julie, who were brave enough to go first!! Lauri

"In-depth and Personal with …Roxanne Delaney",
Name: Roxanne Delaney
Career: Teacher
Home: Las Vegas, NV
Family: I have two beautiful children, Erin is 9 and Ryan is 7.
Greatest accomplishments: Master's Degree in Educational Administration. I graduated last year on Mother's Day! Currently I am taking Doctoral credits at UNLV.
People whom I admire are: My family. My father challenges me, my mother is always supportive, my brother is there when I need assistance, and my children give me so many new insights!
What do you have in your pockets: Post-it notes, there are always so many things to remember and do!
Fantasy (or reality) job: Teaching is a fantastic job! I get to work with children who are enthusiastic about learning and life!
Latest book I've read: I read several books each day with my students and own children. Personally, I enjoy inspirational and motivational reading.
Favorite music: I enjoy all music..except "Rap"
Recommended movies: Disney and Pokemon movies are frequently watched in our home!
Favorite cities: Bismarck, ND, Sedona, AZ, Pompano Beach, FL and Las Vegas, NV.
Where have you traveled? I've had the opportunity to travel to most states throughout the U.S. I student taught in London, England and traveled throughout Europe before returning home.
Favorite place to vacation? Anywhere! I think it's important to get out of town every once in a while for a new perspective!
Favorite foods: Steak and Lobster
Hobbies: I enjoy snow skiing, golfing, swimming and walking. I'm going to learn how to deep sea dive this summer!
What if any community service organizations are you involved with? Church.
Memories of Bismarck: It is a great city! It is a clean, safe place to live. We did have a lot of fun in Bismarck!
Memories of BHS: I remember making the school a more beautiful place! We painted a rainbow across the windows of our classroom! That was a fun project!

Favorite teachers at BHS: I always enjoyed saying "Hey Ray!" to Mr. Jesser. Mr. Bolken was always fun and interesting to talk with. Mrs. Otto was so very patient when I would forget to bring my fabric to sewing class (every day)! Rosa Lewis inspired me to become a teacher.
Favorite hang-out: Sertoma Park (I think that is how you spell it!)
People you hope will be able to come to the reunion this summer: I have not been back to Bismarck for many years. I am looking forward to returning this summer and having a blast with some very cool people who graduated in 1981 from BHS!

"In-depth and Personal with …Larry Kessler",
Name: Larry Kessler
Career/occupation: CEO Technology Firm
Home: Charleston, South Carolina
Family: Beautiful wife, college sweetheart Sarah, and a brand new baby boy, Ethan.
Spouses occupation: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Pediatric Oncology
Greatest accomplishments: Graduating high school after whittling away my years at Wachter, and BHS between playing sports and being a class clown, second only to Bruce Sowka Seriously? Ethan, of course. And running a kids cancer camp on the side, each summer.
People whom you admire and why: William Jefferson Clinton, because he had the guts to become the first antithetical idol for everything we want our children to not grow up and be; Thomas Jefferson, for teaching us that you can achieve balance between all things great and small; Ronald Regan, for his numerous and all too obvious feats of greatness and brilliance; and finally, but most importantly of all, the many, many children who I work with each summer at a camp myself and several others run for roughly 250 kids who are diagnosed with or who have survived cancer.
Never could anyone imagine a more awe inspiring and inspirational moment than when a kid who expects to die looks past the obvious. At roughly the age of 12, he turns to you. Because he has relapsed, he knows his time may be limited since second chances are rare. But he is fine enough now to play hard for this one awesome week of camp. He asks, "Why does everyone think I’m afraid of dying, because I am not. I’m more concerned about you telling that stupid lifeguard to leave the lake waterfront open after dinner." That is who I admire. My little, living reality checks.
What do you have in your pockets: Lint.
Fantasy (or reality) job: Team leader of the new space station.
Latest book you've read: Robert Ludlum – "The Prometheus Agenda."
Favorite music/musicians: Just about anything but country. Except of course Willy Nelson’s ‘Orange Blossom Rose", to which several other brave souls and myself learned a dance routine from the Demonets (we became the Demonuts). Our crowning performance? The BHS homecoming football game against Century.

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Recommended movies: Braveheart (a level of self-sacrifice that is simply inspiring). Saving Private Ryan (ditto). Last of the Mohicans (ditto). Rooster Cogburn with Kathryn Hepburn and John Wayne (just too d… funny). What do these all have in common; they provide powerful images of ultimate dedication, self-sacrifice and undying (things that have grown soft over time), and mostly, they let you spend at least a couple of hours realizing how the simple act of living in a free world was something that was not taken for granted. My high far we’ve fallen.
Favorite cities and why? Washington D.C.; embodies all that makes us great and not so great. Seattle; just too many great things to do; Charleston, South Carolina; it’s like a mini-Seattle but with all of the very interesting color and flavor of Southern life. And finally, Beach, North Dakota; a simple reminder that not matter how many wars, presidents, stock market crashes or tax increases we have, life will always be about the simple act getting out of bed in the morning, being thankful for the ability to do so and trying to do something better today than we did yesterday.
Where have you traveled? All but 2 states in the U.S., every major city, every major national park, 5 oceans, 12 countries and most recently our guest bathroom floor after falling through the ceiling while "fixing" something.
Favorite place to vacation? Any place you would recommend? Bar Harbor, Maine, the first two weeks in October. Do the bed an breakfast thing, sea kayak Penobscott Bay and backpack or hike all over Acadia National Park (the first place on the North American Continent to see the sun rise – Cadillac Mountain), as well as climb the face of a very cool cliff that is already mounted with devices to hold onto. Eat 2, 1.5 pound lobsters for $12, which includes Blue Berry pie, a baked potato and beer. Cool nights, spectacular colors and super nice people.
Favorite foods: Dolphin (the fish), Tuna or King Mackerel, about 3 hours after getting back from a day of deep sea fishing, and about 30 minutes of marinating the catch.
Hobbies/second career: Sea kayaking, semi-pro soccer (oh, that’s what Motrin is for). Golf? I suspect that most of you put this down, since it is popular to have reached this stage of life. Well, I love the nice looking grass and fresh air. But I grew up on the wrong side of Bismarck to have ever gotten good. Today, I own an incredible set of clubs, live within 15 minutes of 6 tournament play course, 2 of which are on the ocean and have two friends who are golf pros. My average score? +12. I am absolutely guaranteed to lose at least 12 balls any time I go. And this despite the fact that I still manage to scrounge up 5-6 balls that aren’t mine.
What if any community service organizations are you involved with? The kid’s cancer camp mentioned earlier
Pet peeves: Hypocrite Liberal Democrats who think 1) too much of their paycheck goes to taxes, 2) there are too many people on welfare, 3) that we don’t need a stronger military but think terrorists should be taken out, yada, yada, yada. Hypocrite Environmentalists who drive cars, wear clothing with dyes, write with ink pens, wear Nike or Reebok shoes with leather, and work for all of us capitalist pigs responsible for destroying everything, just so they can get a paycheck. Go figure.
Memories of Bismarck (good ones): The Desert. Schaumburg Ice Arena. Track meets.
Memories of BHS (good ones): P… off Rudy "to stiff" Stidle. Excellent parties. But the best of all - - 10th grade when all of the 9th graders from Wachter, Simile and Hughes came together to become one of the most memorable classes to ever walk those halls. We bonded that fateful year when it was time to build the class float. Favorite teachers at BHS and why: Don’t remember names, however, the very cool Anthropology teacher and the Chemistry teacher (who was also the wrestling coach).
Favorite high school hang-outs: The Desert, and McDonalds on Main Street. And generally, anywhere along the river.
People you hope will be able to come to the reunion this summer? Anyone physically and financially capable of doing so.
In closing:
It’s hard to actually conceive of what 20 years means. For now, it is quantified by our upcoming class reunion. It is lots of years past. Years we will not ever revisit with opportunities to make better or worse. The death of Dan and Stuart was the first battle cry of the future, telling us that we really were no longer high school kids. It was the first dose of life’s reality for many of us. They were too young and the time was too early. By now we’ve all experienced other loses. I suspect that these have given sufficient reason to pause and think about the past. In a way, Laurie’s persistent phone calls, until she finally reached us, gave time to pause again.
For the most part, we all have roughly 40 more years to go at it. Some less. Some more. That’s 480 months or 1,920 Saturdays. This is not much time on one hand, while it is plenty of time on the other. Living in Bismarck was an experience. It is a place that still today has people asking me "Where did you say you were from again?" Or, "Where is North Dakota?" We experienced winters that leave folks saying "Your full of crap, it doesn’t snow that much or get that cold anywhere." Well it did in Bismarck and it did "back then." Track & Field, once an integral fiber to the fabric that makes up many of us, has given way to soccer, a sport we new nothing about. The Desert is no longer what it once was. I am certain that parties go on, but beer, wine and liquor are but child’s play for today’s BHS kids.
We are all a part of a time that is only a memory, of which there is little left in Bismarck. The last time I flew home for a funeral several towns away, I could hardly recognize anything. I was all fired up to show Sarah Wachter, BHS, the track at Hughes, the ice arena. What an awakening. Our glory days of Junior High football and track have given way to soccer fields. The girls seem more "of woman" than they once were, but not as cool as they once did. The rivalries between schools seems to be a whisper compared to once it once was, which may be a good thing. And the list goes on.

Welcome to the world little one
Ethan Kessler, born on December 6, 2000 to
Larry and Sarah Kessler, Mount Pleasant, SC.
Our sincerest congratulations!

Remember when……
…you had to know by Tuesday what you were doing on Friday night, because there was no way you could have nothing to do on the weekend! I’m writing this on a Tuesday, and when I looked at our schedule I saw nothing for Friday or Saturday night, I am thrilled! Yeah, a weekend where I can stay home all day and veg., sounds perfect to me!! What an attitiude shift!

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BHS had a many losses in the sports department this past month! Rather than bringing you nothing but bad news I think I will let you read about it at www.ndonline.com. You will have to go to the news archives section and then locate the link for "sports" for the month of February. Just to depressing…

-The Bismarck Tribune is reporting that Applebee’s will be opening a second location in Bismarck. The new location will be on the north side of town by the Country Suites.
-Another retail center is being explored for Bismarck. If it all works out the new location could be by Country West Conoco, which is off the BSC exit.
(To read more about these stories go to www.ndonline.com, and see news story for Feb., 2001)

I am having great fun doing this for all of you every month! I am more than welcome to your ideas, please let me know your thoughts and impressions on where you would like this newsletter to go or what you would like to know more about!
I write this from Waukesha, WI. every month, but am more than willing to do a little research to get the information you are looking for. See you next month! Thanks, Lauri
You can contact me at… keckmann@packersrock.com