We have some exciting news to share with you. It relates to many post-50th reunion comments we received from both attendees and others expressing a strong desire to gather again soon.

As Jack Langlois fought his terminal cancer with great dignity and courage, his wife of 40 years, Hsin-i (pronounced “Shinny”), was constantly by his side. They had an apartment on the East Side where they lived before Jack entered the hospital. Several 1960 classmates met her during those difficult days and found her a lovely, shy, private person who was extremely touched by the respect, concern and love shown by Jack’s friends in personal visits, phone calls, and sending cards, letters and photos.

After our brave comrade and her beloved husband passed away last August, Hsin-i contacted her sister-in-law, Jeanne Langlois Kull(wife of the late Tom Kull, class of 61), to discuss how she could show her appreciation, remember what a special man Jack was, and honor his close relationships with Class of ’60 friends. She offered $5,000 to support another gathering of Jack’s friends to celebrate his and their lives.

Paul and Ken got together last summer and discussed a possible replay, on a more modest scale, in the next several years and Hsin-i’s magnanimous offer will allow us to move ahead sooner than later. We surveyed some classmates and arrived at enough agreement to propose holding a reunion this fall on October 21, 22, and 23 in New Smyrna Beach, FL.

That attractive community was a likely venue because Ken is adding to a comfortable beachfront home he owns there. The town earns many accolades for its beautiful beaches and delightfully funky atmosphere. Look for a link on our WWW that will soon give further information on the event along with photos of the venue.

There’s a spacious house next to Ken’s (5 bedrooms, 6 baths-- site of his son’s wedding that held 90 people for a catered dinner) that can be rented for the occasion, other available houses, and a number of hotels/motels within a mile. The location and accommodations will give us ample space and time to catch up, enjoy each other’s company, and toast Jack’s memory.

October is a usually a spectacular month in Florida. It’s warm, but cooler and less humid than the summer. Downside? It’s the tail end of hurricane season but, as Wildcats, we must say-damn the torpedoes.

Hsin-i’s donation will cover transportation costs for classmates who might need assistance and for other event expenses--rent for the houses, food, beverages, etc. Anyone needing financial aid to attend, please contact Ken via e-mail- KEMLKC@CFL.RR.COM or phone (B) 386-424-1635, (H) 386-426-6185. Such requests will be confidential-kept strictly between you and Ken.

Hsin-i, Jeanne Langlois and Jeanne’s daughter, Kathleen, who attended our 50th, will be invited to join us. We have also discussed the possibility of creating a speaker’s program in Jack’s memory at Wheatley, perhaps in Asian studies, and we can discuss that option and others in the coming months and when we gather next fall.

The committee planning the event now includes Elaine Abrams, Lucy Mullman, Charlie Zimmerman, John Moncure, and the two of us. Anyone wanting to participate, please e-mail Ken.

We’re asking for an expression of your interest relatively soon, preferably by the end of January. Your commitment won’t be etched in stone should conflicts preclude you from attending in October, but the sooner we can start getting an estimate of numbers, the better we’ll be able to make and communicate plans.

This is also an opportune time to update our Chit Chat page on our WWW. Please let us know what’s happening in your life. Your classmates truly enjoy reading about your thoughts and doings.

Most agree our 50th class reunion was something special. Why not? We’re a uniquely close-knit class and this event could provide more lifetime memories. We hope you’ll be able to join us, but we hope to hear from you in any case.

Veritatem Quaerite,

Paul Hennessy
Ken Martin

The above was eventually followed by the below plan:

Yoh Cats, It is now time to get serious about our mini class reunion this coming October 21st through 23rd in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

As a refresher, our 50th was truly a bell-ringer, and many of us said we should have another get-together before our 55th. Approximately three months after our 50th Jack Langlois’s widow, Hsin-I, touched by the concern and sympathy of so many of our classmates during Jack’s last days, donated $5,000.00 for the express purpose of having our classmates again assemble in his honor. The die was therefore cast, and given the weather and the fact that so many classmates live in the state, Florida was chosen as the venue.

What we need from you now is a commitment from those who plan to attend. We know many of you face uncertainty, and therefore some guarantees can’t be given at this time. Conversely, we heard from prior communication that many of you are planning on attending. The sooner we know who is in, the better. We need to lock in lodging arrangements.

As mentioned, most of the event will be held at the “Wheatley Compound,” which consists of five homes on the beach, one lot (Ken Martin’s) has three houses on it, and the other two houses are on either side of Ken’s lot. At the moment many of our alumni coming solo will be billeted in these homes. The one big house is for the “single”guys and will be referred to, quite affectionately we might add, as “Animal House.” The other three smaller homes will have the “unattached” girls living in them. As one of our foxy coeds suggested-why not call their domiciles “The Cathouse.” Ok, so it is.

For alums traveling with spouses or friends, we have booked 18 rooms at the Riverview Hotel, a charming older facility on the inter-coastal waterway and approximately a mile from the Wheatley Compound. Should single people prefer to stay there and not in the Animal or Cathouses, that is fine. And there are many other lodging alternatives in New Smyrna Beach not far from the compound.

The bulk of Hsin-I’s gift will go toward lodging costs. If there are left over funds, they will be applied toward other incidental expenses associated with the event.

The entire gathering is designed to maximize interaction among classmates and friends in a comfortable, laid back setting. All classmates can do whatever they want to with their time and themselves throughout the course of the event. The town, as mentioned in other correspondence is charming, with many funky shops, bars, and restaurants nearby.

We have created, for now, the following schedule. It is subject to modification as other ideas and suggestions surface. Again, it need not be strictly adhered to by all classmates-set your own pace.

Friday, October 21:

Arrival and checking in during the day.

6:00-8:00 PM Happy Hour at the compound.

8:30 dinner at the Riverview. The hotel has a fine restaurant with much ambience. It is also capable of serving a large body of people. There are also many other dining alternatives right down the street from the hotel.

Saturday, October 22:

9:00 AM For those who want to-walking or jogging groups around and on the beach starting from the compound.

10:00 AM- Light continental breakfast at the compound featuring world renowned Bloody Mary’s made by our own John Moncure. (Warning-there might be Maine jokes told-let us all hope, for our own sanity, that he does not bring his hat).

1:00 PM-Beach Volleyball featuring a grudge match between alumni of Northside and I U Willets grade schools.

2:00 PM-Lunch-tailgate on the beach next to volleyball court.

5:00 PM Happy Hour at Compound.

6:00 PM- Catered Dinner at Animal House. This particular venue has a living room/porch configuration that can comfortably hold and feed 90 or so people. A treat awaits us as the caterer is a young man from New Smyrna Beach named Danny Veltri, who two years ago was the winner of a reality based TV cooking show called Hells Kitchen. He won a first place prize of $250,000.. Google his name to get an idea of his background. In any case, he will be our caterer. The attached Word document reveals a bit of his repertoire.

8:00 PM-A tribute to Jack Langlois. All classmates will be afforded the chance to say something about Jack.

9:00 PM-Oldies sock hop. A highlight of the dance will be a contest. You have all seen or heard about “Dancing with the Stars.” Our contest will be billed as “Dancing with the Cats.” The way it will work is this- all guys and gals who want to enter the contest will do so. The guys will put their names in a bowl. Subsequently gals will draw a guy’s name and they then become a team. Three couples will start out and a special panel will select one winner. Then another group of three dancers take the floor and the same thing happens. Winners advance and ultimately a winner is determined. And yes, because of a strong demand found in many emails to the committee, there will be some Sadie Hawkin’s numbers throughout the evening. Long lost lust resurfaces….

Sunday, October 23:

9:00 AM-Pick up and sort the bodies. Only kidding. Continental Breakfast at Compound before returning home.

Other details:

For those flying there are two airports to consider-Orlando and Daytona Beach. Orlando is larger and probably easier to get flights to. The drawback is its size and the fact it is roughly an hour and a half to the Compound. Daytona Beach has both Delta and US Air flying into it, and although far smaller, it is way more convenient than Orlando. Daytona is but one half hour from the Compound. Rental cars are available in both airports.

The compounds address is 1801 Beacon Street, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169. It is quite easy to get to. Any map program or your GPS system should easily get you there. Actual driving directions will be given in subsequent communication. Casual dress throughout. Which reminds us-anyone wanting an authentic t-shirt to wear at the event? We have contacted The Wheatley School store and they are more than willing to sell us some shirts.

Options follow:

1. White T-shirt "Wheatley Football"

2. Black T-shirt "Wheatley Established 1955"

3. Gray T-shirt "Wheatley Wildcats"

Get back to us with sizes before August 15 if you would like to order one. Cost is $16.00 each. It will also help current students at Wheatley.

Weather (end of hurricane season) permitting, and with your participation, it should be a memorable event. As we are all too vividly aware of, the hourglass continues its inexorable march. But we ain’t there yet, so therefore, let’s rock and have a real old-fashioned blowout!!

For those who plan to attend, please respond ASAP. While so doing, let us know what you are up to and that information will be posted to our Chit Chat page on our WWW site. Thanks.

May this find you all well.

The committee