Category Archives: DHHS 50th Reunion Weekend Experiences

Creating a DHHS Blog Community 50 Years Later


The reunion dust has settled and we’re off to experiences as yet unknown.  That’s where you – my dear classmates, come in.  We’ve had but a brief moment in time to reconnect, yet there is so much more to be discovered from the past fifty years and to connect to from this day on.

This blog is “YOUR” blog.  We want to know what you want to read about, what you want to share, what you think would be helpful to you.  There is much that can be gleaned from staying connected at this point in our lives – even if online.

Many of you have read Michael Taylor’s piece on our champion football team.  So many in fact that it’s our top post!  I wasn’t on the team (of course!) but reading about it brought back many fond memories of attending those exciting games.  It also led me to reflect on other memorable events that significantly impacted my my career choices in life.

Dixie was a trade school and as such gave us the opportunity to explore different vocations.  Perhaps you’d like to share how your Dixie years impacted your career choice or choices.   Maybe you’d just like to share your memories of the programs you participated in.  If so, leave a comment or connect with me at nanisss@verizon.net for writing guidelines.  Our community wants to hear from you!

Other topics we’ll explore in the future:

  • Next get togethers
  • Baby Boomer tips and treasures
  • Travel
  • Diet and health
  • Shared experiences
  • Caregiving
  • Exercise
  • Leisure
  • Networking
  • and more…

And, speaking of friends – more reunion pictures are coming!  If you have any to share please send them to me at the email listed above.  Thanks!

 

 

 

 

Reflections on a football team after our 50th high school reunion – Michael Taylor


Sincere thanks to Michael Taylor for his second written contribution to our DHHS 50th Reunion Blog.  His generously shared talent and the enthusiasm from others before and after our reunion has been testament to the continued success of our reunited classroom community.

Reflections on a football team after our 50th high school reunion  

by Michael Taylor

The DHHS football team, 10-0-1 in the fall of 1968, relied on a double split end/ double-wing halfback formation with a fullback directly behind the quarterback. The QB, Randy Shively (or Don Neel), would set the offensive line with his first sound, start one of the wingbacks (often Don Neel) in motion on the second sound, and have the ball hiked by the center (usually Michael Sykes) on the third or fourth sound. He would pivot with the ball as he read the defense and choose to toss the ball to the motion back, hand off to the fullback (usually Don Dixon or Mark Hobbs) up the middle, run the ball himself, or pass to either split end (typically Riley Erwin or Lyn Dreger) or a halfback. The offensive line, anchored by guards Dave Burns and Skip Culver and tackle Ray Horner, created lanes for the running backs or gave the QB a few seconds to find a receiver. The inventive offense created by Head Coach Frank Goddard with input from Larry Cameron averaged 316 yards a game, which set records locally for a 48-minute high school football game. The defense, fortified in the middle by linebacker Don Dixon, only gave up an average of 8 points and 159 yards a game. Larry Whiteside and Mark Hobbs moved in and out at linebacker while Randy MacGinnis and Mike Taylor played defensive ends. The middle of the defensive line, manned by Dale (Hall) Kersey and Ray Horner, was spelled by John Womer and Andy Charles at nose tackle. Jimmy Macfarlane and Tim Condron played at end and defensive back, while Don Neel, Randy Shively, and Lyn Dreger rarely left the field because they were playing defensive backs. Dixon, Dreger, Shively, and Neel spent the most time during the season playing both offense and defense, but Don Dixon put the most minutes on the field over the eleven games. Of course, there were strong efforts from the juniors and the sophomores on the team. This simple reflection is calling to mind the members of the class of 1969.

Our coaches, Elmer Vogelsang, Elmer Aldridge, Larry Cameron, Gus Stergeos, and Paul Wallace, made us work hard at becoming a team from the August two-a-day or even three-a-day practices in the Florida sun and sandspurs. Our trainer, James McCracken, tried to keep us patched together after we were injured.

Those of us attending the fiftieth reunion missed not being able to reconnect with Larry Whiteside and Ray Horner, who did not attend. We did reflect on the teammates who have passed away: Randy McGinnis, Skip Culver, and Mark Hobbs.

After looking through online copies of the Evening Independent, I came away with a few details from moments during the season.

9/21/68 Seminole 7-7

Don Neel pass to Lyn Dreger for TD (Dreger kicked extra point)

9/28/68 Clearwater 27-20

Shively runs for 2 and passes for one/Dixon runs one

10/5/68 Bishop Barry 46-7 Everyone got to play.

10/12/68 Boca Ciega 32-0

Shively was 16 of 22 for 271 yards and 3TDs and ran for a TD. Dreger catches TD and intercepts pass to stop scoring drive.

10/20/69 Manatee 26-14

Hurricane delay, so the game is played on Saturday

11/1/68 Largo 13-7

Don Neel complete 9 of 14 passes to set up Don Dixon’s winning score in the 4th quarter after Randy leaves the game injured

11/8/68 Dunedin 47-7

Shively is 17 of 36 for 291 yards and 6 TDs and at this point in the season is 84 for 150 for 1326 yards and 10 TDs. Randy MacGinnis kicks an extra point.

11/15/68 St. Petersburg 21-12

Don Neel runs 7 times for 40 yards, catches 4 passes for 101 yards and scores 3 TDs. Dixon carries 11 times for 55 yards and makes 5 unassisted tackles.

11/23/68 Gibbs 21-6

Dixon makes 10 unassisted tackles and Shively runs for two scores.

11/27/68 Northeast 34-7

Mark Hobbs scores on a draw play. Randy throws for 234 yards and two TDs. The defense stops two strong running backs and plays a superior game to finish the season undefeated.

Randy Shively passed for 1,861 yards completing 113 of 206 passes for 14 touchdowns and scored 9 TDs running the ball.

Erwin caught 27 passes for 309 yards (1 TD and kicked 1 extra point)

Neel caught 32 passes for 607 yards, ran 72 times for 353 yards and a 4.9 yard per carry average. He passed 42 times, completing 24for 306 yards. He scored 8 TDs.

Dreger caught 38 passes for 473 yards to lead the conference. He scored 6 TDs and kicked 14 extra points.

Dixon scored 4 TDs.

MacGinnis kicked 3 extra points.

Taylor recorded a 2 point safety.

12/7/68 Bishop Moore (Orlando Bowl) 34-20

Riley Erwin scored twice. Mark Hobbs scored on a one-yard run. Don Neel scored on a flea-flicker from Erwin. Lyn Dreger scored on an 18-yard pass.

 

You Can Always Come Home…


What a weekend!  The 50th Reunion happened!  It was great to rekindle friendships from our Dixie Hollins Class of 1969 and make new friends meeting family members and significant others.  Though it took months to plan the reunion, the weekend seemed to fly!  With so many traveling from around the nation to join us, Jason Mraz’s “93 Million Miles” lyrics are a “must” to share – even for those choosing to remain close to their St. Petersburg roots.  Be sure to click  “full screen” when viewing – you just might see yourself!

Know we were thrilled to have you all back home!

Special thanks to the Reunion Committee and all who worked so hard to make this a successful event.  Also, special thanks to fellow graduate Mike Giles for donating his time and talent to provide music for us on Friday evening!

Keep checking in.  There’s lots more to come!

My photos are limited so please be sure to submit any reunion photos you can to me at nanisss@verizon.net so I can get them posted.

Thanks!  Nancy

Fifty Years Later…


Two nights of gathering and one more to go!  There’s still lots to catch up on!  Not enough time to share much now before tonight’s event, but will share one of the highlights of our Friday night event!!  Look for more to come!

 

Please send your pictures and videos to nanisss@verizon.net to add to our blog.  Be sure to add “Dixie Pics” in the subject line.  Thanks so much!

Special thanks to Theresa Paterson for sharing this video on facebook!

Bon Jovi – Reunion


Searching for just the right song to share on the eve of our 50th Reunion, I ran across “Reunion” by Bon Jovi.  I’d never heard it but fell in love with the heartfelt meaning behind it…


 

Oh!  Sorry!  You’d rather see Bon Jovi perform it?  Here you go!  Enjoy!

 

 

See you at the Reunion!!

Mimosas & Masterpieces: Brunch at The Dali Sunday, Jun. 09, 11am–2pm


The weekend is almost here and with it – our long awaited 50th Class Reunion.  As indicated, the Dali Museum, a few blocks from the Hilton has docent tours every half hour on Saturday, June 8th.  I just received the June Dali Newsletter offering some interesting events.

In case the Dali is not on your list for Saturday, you might want to consider it as a nice way to round out your weekend by making a few more memories before heading home with…

Mimosas & Masterpieces: Brunch at The Dali

Sunday, Jun. 09, from 11am–2pm

Click on the link below for more information on what should be a relaxing brunch by the bay…

https://thedali.org/event/mimosas-masterpieces-brunch-th-edali-2017-11-26/2019-06-09/

Please note – The above is not a committee planned event but one you may be interested in doing on your own or with a few “reacquainted” old friends.

 

DHHS 50th Class Reunion Saturday Off-Site Events and Additional Weekend Experiences


Saturday Off-site Events:

Golf

The Vinoy Golf Clubwww.vinoyclub.com/golf

600 Snell Isle Blvd. NE

Tee times for our group start at 11:08 AM on Saturday. Proper golf attire (collared shirt-no jeans) is required. You must sign up in advance if you want to play. Email me at fyacko@verizon.net.   The price will be between $40-50 for 18 holes. Driving range, putting green and chipping area are included. Club and shoe rentals are available.

 

Museum Tours

James Museum of Western & Wildlife Artwww.thejamesmuseum.org

150 Central Avenue

A 10:00 AM Saturday morning docent led tour is scheduled. You must sign up in advance if you want to join the group. Email me at fyacko@verizon.net. The price is $10 for this 45 minute tour of Native American art.

Museum of Fine Artwww.mfastpete.org

255 Beach Drive, NE

A 2:00 PM Saturday afternoon docent led tour is scheduled. You must sign up in advance if you want to join the group. Email me at fyacko@verizon.net. The price is $15 and we can hop on the free Looper Trolley for transportation.

Dali Museumwww.thedali.org

1 Dali Blvd

The Dali has docent led tours every 30 minutes. The price is $22 and the museum is less than 5 blocks away. We will have a sign up at registration if you want to join us for this magical tour.

 

Other Things to do while at the Reunion –

 

 

Friday night is First Friday St. Petewww.firstfridaystpete.com

It is a fun evening of live music, vendors and restaurants. It is held on Central Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Streets. Get a real taste of downtown St. Petersburg. Check it out before or after our poolside gathering, it runs from 5:30 PM – 10:00 PM.

 

The Looper Trolleywww.LooperTrolley.com

Maybe you would like to ride around the downtown area and see all the changes and what you might want to do later. Ride the FREE Looper Trolley. The Hilton is a scheduled stop and the trolley stops there every 15 minutes.

Times:

Friday 7:00 AM – Midnight

Saturday 8:00 AM – Midnight

Sunday 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM

 

There are many other museums and things to do: Coast Bike sharing, Segway tours, Pub Pedal Trips, shopping at the many boutiques and unique stores, finding a seafood or Irish pub for lunch. Enjoy yourself.