Category Archives: Memories

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!!

Baby Boomers, Crashing the 50th Reunion? What to expect…


So – we should all know the Golden Girls – not that I’m putting anyone in this category!  Here is a humorous look at what to expect when well intentioned non-schoolmates crash a Baby Boomer class reunion party!  Enjoy!

 

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.

 

 

Stand Tall for DHHS…


Only a few days remaining before the big event – our 50th Class Reunion!  There was a song we used to sing – I’m wondering who remembers the melody?  Also wondering if you remember who Mister HBL was?

Get those vocal chords in shape!  You may want to do some singing at the reunion!  See you soon!

“Be True to Your School”…


“Be True to your School” – the Beach Boys

Watching a Beach Boys cover band last week brought this almost forgotten song to mind and fond moments to remember from Dixie Hollins High School back in 1969.  We were definitely true to our school!  We’re still looking for memories to share from our high school days or memories from your high school days which brought you to who you are today.  Were you a great parent?  Top chef?  Successful writer?  Teacher, minister, business person?  How did you contribute to others in the last fifty years?  How did high school influence your thinking, actions, and goals achieved?  Whether simple or grand – every achievement is worth the share!  You are appreciated!

Memorial Day 2019 – Memories


 

Memories of lost lives, of service to country

Era’s past and present

Murder, mayhem, dictatorial reign

On foreign shores far from home

Readying for battle – recruits, drafted, enlisted, then

In the blink of an eye, lives forever changed

At war

Leaving souls, earthly presence behind

Dying so that

All

Yearning to be free, remain free…

 

On this Memorial Day, 2019, we honor those who lost their lives in the name of freedom.  We honor those who bravely served yesterday and serve today.  Thank you for your selfless commitment to country and citizenry throughout the world.

Military Review – Information Please…


The following is a request from Fran regarding military experience.  In addition to completing the questionnaire, feel free to add information in a reply to this post.  Thank you for your service to country!  You are appreciated!

Good Morning…thanks for registering for the reunion.  We look forward to seeing you in 2 short weeks.
The Reunion Committee would like to honor the veterans from our class who have served our country.
If you have served in the military, please take a moment and answer the questions below and return this email to me.
1.  Name:  __________________________________________________________________________________
2.  Military Branch:  ___________________________________________________________________________
3.  Years of Service:  __________________________________________________________________________
4.  Rank:  ___________________________________________________________________________________
5.  Service Awards, Medals, etc.:  ________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________________
6.  Most significant, memorable or unusual station:  __________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________________
Thank you,
Fran Yacko, Reunion Committee

The Baby Boomers – One Moment in Time


As we draw closer to our reunion, it’s a good time to refresh our memories of one moment in time synonymous with 1969.  The Baby Boomers – The Woodstock Generation.  Were you there?  What did you think when it happened?  What do you think about it now?  Add a comment.  Leave a reply.  Thanks!

National Teacher Appreciation Week 2019


It’s been almost fifty years since our graduation from Dixie Hollins High School and we certainly have some catching up to do.

Over the years we’ve gone into different vocations. Many of us became teachers or worked closely with students of all ages.  Those who didn’t may have fond memories of a teacher who inspired you to enter your chosen field.

National Teacher Appreciation Week is May 6th through May 10th, 2019.  Do you have a fond teachable moment or a favorite teacher memory you’d like to share?  If so, click on “reply” to share.  We’d love to hear it!

That said, here’s special appreciation to all teachers past and present – especially those who realize(d) the true meaning of education as espoused by Sydney Smith…

THE REAL OBJECT OF EDUCATION

“The real object of education is to give children resources that will endure as long as life endures; habits that time will ameliorate, not destroy; occupation that will render sickness tolerable, solitude pleasant, age venerable, life more dignified and useful, and death less terrible.”  Sydney Smith

Rite of Passage


The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Rite of Passage as a ritual, event, or experience that marks or constitutes a major milestone or change in a person’s life.

Our graduation in 1969 was a major rite of passage. We were leaving a community we finally and hopefully had found a sense of belonging to and venturing to new communities as yet unknown – the workforce, military, vocational school, college…

We were the fortunate ones – attending high school when memories were less fleeting, longer lasting, and more enjoyable to make. With no limitless technology to distract us, we focused on each other, what we sought to accomplish, and making memories.

We gather soon to once again reminisce and relive the memories we made in high school.   We’ll remember those no longer with us and those unable to attend.

It’s been fifty years.

New memories remain to be made.

Here’s to seeing you soon.

In Memoriam…


As we develop our Dixie Hollins Class of 1969 Blog, we will be adding items to keep you apprised of all that has happened in the fifty years since we walked the halls of Dixie together.  We have added and are working on a memorial section in the right column of your blog page to remember those no longer with us.

Thank you.

Memories…


Over the years there are things we remember and things we forget. An experience so common to one may be easily forgotten while the same “new” experience to another is remembered well.

I reached out to Janet Pollard Shaffer, a friend and neighbor in the 60’s after discovering she was on our Missing Alumni list. I was lucky to find her on Facebook. She sent me her phone number and I called her. We talked about our lives, families, and the reunion.  We had a wonderful time sharing stories of growing up in the old neighborhood. She said she remembered coming to my house one day and seeing eggplant slices all over the place on kitchen towels and thinking – What is this?  My mother (a fabulous cook!) used to soak eggplant slices in salted water to get the bitterness out, and then dry them on clean kitchen towels before making her delicious Eggplant Parmesan. Janet said she’d never seen anything like that! We laughed so hard at the thought of it.

After we said our goodnight’s I realized Janet had rekindled a sweet memory in me that I had all but forgotten. I spent the evening recalling other memories from that time and wondering what the other neighborhood kids had been up to over the years.

Our brief visit brought back memories that I know I’ll never forget. It made me realize how special this 50th reunion is.  Back then…

We all made memories in high school.  Maybe there is someone you’d like to reconnect with.

Join us at this very special time in our lives – our 50th Class Reunion. Revive the memories. Share in the fun. Hope to see you there!

Nancy Pimpinelli Ellington