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Dave L. Jefferson (1951-2021)
 
Classmate Dave Jefferson lost a long but valiant fight against cancer on Feb 23. Dave will be remembered for his exuberance, over-the-top pranks, and participation in some of the funnier events in high school. He was a member of the DHS football squad and was known for the ubiquitous World War I leather cap he wore.

Dave graduate from Ohio Wesleyan before moving west to Breckenridge, Colorado. There he enjoyed the great outdoors, including skiing with classmates, while building a respected construction business. Dave also participated in many community and civic activities.

Despite his early cancer detection and its exhausting treatments, Dave not only attended the 45th reunion, but the 50th reunion too. This heroic effort was not lost among his friends and classmates.

Dave is survived by his wife Sharon and daughters Lauren and Bailey.

 
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Darien Picks Up Win

After securing a come-from-behind tie against New Canaan last week, the Blue Wave hockey team knew they had to be faster out of the gate while being more physical. Mission accomplished.

On Feb 24 the Wave took to the ice against Ridgefield, pouring in three goals in the first period. The final score was 4-0.

This was Darien’s first win since the season opener on Feb 10, against Greenwich.

Darien’s record stands at 2-2-1

 
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And Still Going...

Darien resident Alford Andreoli just received a second COVID shot. Alfred Andreoli is 102 years old. He was b
orn at the start of the 1918 pandemic. 

It is estimated 500 million people, or one-third, of the world’s population became infected with the 1918 flu virus, with nearly 675,000 deaths occurring in the United States.

Andreoli coached little league for his sons in Darien and spent his career in highway maintenance for state Department of Transportation. 

As he received his vaccine last week at Darien’s Mather Center, his daughter, Patricia Fern, said his secret to longevity is “don’t worry so much.”

 
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Back Playing Hockey

Blue Wave hockey entered the season ranked No. 2 in preseason polls. But that was before dropping two straight games and trailing New Canaan by 3 in the second period on Wednesday. The game was the first meeting between the rivals since last year’s FCIAC final, which was won by the Rams 4-3.

The scoring started with a wild flurry midway through the first period, (three goals in 36 seconds)  with New Canaan leading 3-1 at the buzzer. The Rams scored first in the second period to go up by three goals. Darien answered with three unanswered scores to finally tie 4-4 with a minute left in regulation. Neither team scored in the eight minute  overtime period.

Darien currently is in 4th place with a 1-2-1 record.


 
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Forgetaboutit!
 
Interim DHS coach Mike Forget is now the head coach of the Blue Wave.

Forget (pronounced "For Jaa") was Darien’s defensive coordinator for eight years before taking over for former coach Rob Trifone. Mike has big shoes to fill, as Trifone led Darien to three state titles and four FCIAC championships in 13 years.

“It feels great and I was humbled by their decision to remove the interim tag,” Forget said. “I look forward to getting through these COVID times where we can have a real season and get back to real football.”

After Trifone stepped down in January, 2020, Darien had started a coaching hunt, but was unable to complete the interview process with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The district decided to make the football coaching job a one-year position at the time, with Forget leading the team.

Mike’s been a coach for many years - a former head coach at Ludlowe and an assistant at Westhill and Masuk.  Forget joined Trifone’s Darien program as the defensive coordinator back in 2012. The Blue Wave became one of the state’s elite programs during an eight-year span, highlighted by back-to-perfect seasons when they went 12-0 in 2015 and 13-0 in 2016.


 
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First DHS Student Receives Vaccine 

On December 2020, Junior Swati Sriram became the first Darien High School student—and one of the first people in the country—to receive a dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
Swati was able to receive a coronavirus vaccine so early because she fell into the “healthcare workers and medical first responders” category.
Swati’s journey as a front-line worker began in ninth grade when she took her first emergency medical responder training class. In 2020, she became an emergency medical technician.

 
 
The days immediately following immunization, however, were not pleasant. The first day went relatively smoothly, other than some mild pain in the left hand. But the second day was a different story: Swati described not being able to even get out of bed because of the intense pressure and soreness of her left hand. All of her muscles and her back ached, and she described intense fatigue throughout the entire day. Fortunately the pain went away.
 
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Darien Hit by (Another) Winter Storm
 
More to come later in week. School out of snowdays!

 
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The FCAIC has just approved plans for a basketball season this year. The games will begin on Tuesday, Feb 9 and run through March 11. There will be a post season tournament starting March 16.

The plan will split 18 teams into two divisions. The West Division will includes: Greenwich, New Canaan, Darien, Westhill, Stamford, Danbury, Ridgefield and Wilton.

Players will be required to wear masks during games, and social distancing will be maintained on the sidelines. No spectators, including parents, will be allowed at games. Locker rooms will not be used and visiting players will arrive wearing their uniforms.


 
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As the COVID-19 crisis drags on, Darien schools are hoping to return students to full in-person learning. Starting January 25, Darien high seniors and Middlesex middle school eighth-graders will go back. Then on Feb. 8, ninth-graders should return to the high school, and seventh-grade students return to the middle school. Starting March 1, 10th- and 11th-graders return to the high school and sixth-graders to the middle school. 

While the parents are concerned about a lack of classroom time, teachers are concerned with their own health issues.

One teacher wrote the Darien News saying: The decision to bring back both the high school seniors and eighth grade class to full in person learning comes at a time when we’ve had the highest number of cases yet, there are two new strains of COVID-19 that are more virulent, and we had 60 teachers and students recently quarantine.  Cases are going up, not down, and it is no longer feasible to hold classes or eat lunch outside. 

We teachers find ourselves in a position where all we can do is make this humble plea to the rest of the community: please, do everything in your power to keep the schools as safe as possible.

 
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The DHS Girl’s Hockey team has been permitted to start practicing and games should begin by Feb. 8. There will be a maximum of 12 games during this year’s regular season, ending March 12.

Although there will be no state tournament, postseason conference tournaments can be held March 15-28.

Giving the players a chance to be part of a team again is a victory.

“If we can provide an opportunity for them to be together with their teammates, working out and playing the sport they love, even if it’s modified or not full contact right now, that’s important,” the CT Hockey director said.


 
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New Restaurant 

While many restaurants struggle under the weight of pandemic fears and social distancing, some see opportunity. We previously reported on the grand opening of Baja Joe’s Tex-Mex, located at 23 Tokeneke Rd. Another restaurant has recently opened in Darien. The café, Barvida, just began business last week at 879 Boston Post Rd.
 
The brainchild of Brennan Branca, 2013 DHS graduate and soccer player, it is 100% organic and a 100% plant-based café. Along with fresh juices, his new establishment also features acai bowls, smoothies, salad, wraps and wellness shots, among other food items.

“We source ingredients from all over the world to ensure that our menu items are the cleanest and healthiest they can possibly be,” he said, including cacao from Guatemala, mushrooms from Japan and Siberia, and organic açaí from the Amazon Rain Forest in Brazil.

“I love Darien and I really wanted to bring health and wellness back to my hometown,” Branca said. “I thought that Darien was lacking in healthy food and I really wanted to make that change.”

 
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The Dock Shop on Tokeneke Road is closing. The store catered to beach combers, boating enthusiasts and fishermen. It offered carefully selected and unique items that represented life on the New England coast.  


 
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Picture from Pear Tree Beach posted on Facebook

 
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The Pond-Weed House, the now faded and neglected home on the corner of Post Road and Hollow Tree Ridge Road, is for sale.The house was probably built around 1730 in the vicinity of the original settlement at Holly Pond. Originally an inn and tavern, it is believed George Washington may have stopped there. 

The house was converted to a trade shop before finally to a private home. The most recent owner was Timothy Miller. Miller worked with The Jim Henson Company and he and his team were nominated for four Emmy awards, including two for "The Muppet Show". Miller owned the property for 33 years before passing in 2019. His estate has been working with the town and the Museum of Darien for the best options on preserving as much of the house as possible. 


 
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Jed Sells Lawrence Funeral Home

Darien’s only funeral parlor, Lawrence Funeral Home, has been sold. As of Tuesday, the Edward Lawrence Funeral Home was officially sold to Lesko & Polke Funeral Home of Fairfield. This sale marks the end of the 127-year family ownership.
 
Originally located in New Canaan, the Edward B. Lawrence Undertaking Business began in 1893. In 1931, Edward B. Lawrence’s son, Edward (Ted) Lawrence moved the business to Darien. Eventually, the business was passed to Jed Lawrence’s father, Edward Green Lawrence. Jed began working in the family business in 1973.
 
Lawrence, a lifelong Darien resident and Darien High Class of ‘68 grad, said he is ready for a bit of a “less demanding” lifestyle as a semi-retiree. Jed remains an elder and member of Noroton Presbyterian Church, Kiwanis Club of Darien, Darien Chamber of Commerce, and the Noroton Fire Department. He also coached Darien Little League and the Darien Junior Football League. He and his wife Debbie have two adult children
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Darien boys X-Country finished their abbreviated season with a perfect 5-0 record. Two Darien runners were included in the top 5 FCIAC All-West Region Awards.

The DHS girls team finished 4-1 and also had two of the top 5 runners mentioned in the FCIAC All-West Region Awards.

 
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Darien girls soccer had a great year, finishing the regular season undefeated at 9-0 and top of the FCIAC West.

In tournament play, Darien won its semi-final match against the Stamford Black Knights, only 2-6 in the regular season.

In the FCIAC West Regional finals, Darien faced off against rival New Canaan and lost a heartbreaker 2-1, the Rams scoring the tie-breaking goal on a corner kick in the second half.

 
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The Blue Wave cross-country runners have a new home course this year. So far, the new course has brought luck as both the boys and girls are 2-0, first beating New Canaan and then Stamford HS.

Against the Black Knights, standout Mairead Clas was first for the girls, finishing 15:32 for their 3000m course. Darien won the boys 4,800m event with a time of 16:25.

More than 15 years ago, the Blue Wave ran home meets at Wee Burn Country Club, but were limited to Mondays when the golf course was closed to members. When the club shifted the layout of its greens, the course was virtually wiped out, and the runners had to use the road. The new course brings welcome relief. 


 
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For High School Students,
A Complex Way to get Around

Hallway patterns will promote social distancing:
  • One-way hallways.
    • The first floor will go clockwise - from the Welcome Center in, you'll go straight down the A wing hallway.
    • Each floor rotates directions.
  • One-way staircases
    • green = up
    • red = down
  • Staggered exits from classrooms to control flow into hallways
  • Longer passing periods to allow additional travel time for increased distance
 All clear?
 
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Hard to Believe
One Year since our 50th Reunion !
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See You Again Soon!
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Some Historical Photos of Darien

 
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Town officials at Bell gravesite
Town officials at Bell gravesite
Darien Celebrates 200 Years

It was June 12, 1820 that a gentleman named Thaddeus Bell called to order Darien’s first town meeting. Right after the American Revolution, five towns stretched across the shoreline of Fairfield County.  One of the towns, Stamford,  included today’s Darien, and most of New Canaan. A local religious society, or parish, Middlesex Parish was recognized officially in 1741. When parishes lost their civil standings with the new state constitution in 1818, towns were drawn along political lines and our area petitioned for incorporation.

Thaddeus Bell came from a family who first settled the town of Stamford in 1640. Thaddeus was a leader in the community and perhaps it’s best known veteran of the Revolutionary War. A man of ‘substance’, he owned a large farm in the Ox Ridge area. Under his leadership, the Connecticut Assembly approved the petition to form Darien in 1820. 

The original charter listed the town’s name as Belltown, and it was Thaddeus who decided on the name Darien.


 
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Post 50th Reunion Get-Together
 
Great shot of classmates Kenny Peliksza, Mike 'Lope' Lopriore, Dick Costello, and Ben Bruno in Jacksonville. Nobody mentioned any golf scores but all were sad to see former Jax resident Paul Hepp leave for Texas. 

 
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Teachers, Students Celebrate End of School
 
DHS seniors celebrated the end of the topsy-turvy school year but not before one more tough decision had to be made. The event was scheduled for Thursday but with rain predicted it was moved to Friday.
So on Friday morning the Darien High seniors drove colorfully decorated cars and waved posters as they took a victory lap around the campus and collected their diplomas.

 
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DHS Ranked High by U.S. News

U.S. News magazine recently released a list of top high schools, and nationally Darien High School came in a very respectable #214th place. The school has a graduation rate of 97%.

Additionally, DHS is ranked tied for FIRST (!) in the nation in the ranking of Math and Reading Proficiency (determined by state administrated tests).

The high school is also ranked No. 3 in the state. Local high school Weston was ranked higher in CT but ranking slightly below the Wave were Westport (4), New Canaan (5), and Greenwich (7).

Darien’s national ranking in the important Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) category was a respectable #84.


 
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Great DHS Athletes

Anybody remember Bob Staak? Bob was a DHS graduate in 1966, a year before our class arrived. He is the all-time DHS basketball scorer with 1,166 points. And this was before the 3 point shot.

Bobby started playing basketball at the age of 5 or 6 and was always good at it.

After graduating from high school he transferred to UCONN his sophomore year. He was co-captain his junior and senior years, MVP his senior year, and at graduation was the 4th all-time leading scorer at UCONN with 1,288 points.

Bob eventually entered coaching, where he worked with a number of college teams including being the head basketball coach at William and Mary. Bob has also been in the NBA for nearly 20 years in various assistant coaching and front office positions.

There is now a movement to have Bob’s DHS No. 21 jersey retired. 

 
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Go Team!

We know things are rough right now. So who better than some cheerleaders to keep up our spirits to finish the fight!

Front row left to right:
Anahid Kavookjian, Josie Mullen, Joni Dobson
Back row left to right:
Sue Geiger, Sharon Denunzio, Cinny Cobb, Sue Perschino, Peggy McNeil, Sue Venarde
Sandy Young, Carol Ann Augustus



 
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Bill Wright, Steve Craig, and Paul Hendrickson attended the CIAC State Track Open Championship in New Haven on Saturday. 

In the 1969 track season, Mark Tinker, Rick Poccia, Steve Craig and John Fitzsimmons ('70) ran a DHS record time for the 4 x 220 yard relay. The event is now the 4 x 200 meter relay, so their record will remain on the books. 

This year's winning time for the 4 x 200 m was 1:32.18.  The 1969 record time for the 4 x 220 was 1:31.20. The 1969 relay was a full 45 feet (13.72 meters) longer and yet  run 1.5 seconds faster then this year’s time! Well done!


 
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The Blue Wave boys and girls track teams competed in the CIAC Winter Track Championships held at Hill House HS in New Haven. Class L events were held Saturday, Feb 15. Both Blue Wave squads came into the event each having finished second in the FCIAC East Division behind Ludlowe.

In the state championships Darien boys finished a distance 12th behind State Champs and host, Hill House HS. Darien was fourth in 55m Dash (6.73), fifth in the 4X400 (3:32.95), and second in the Long Jump (21.00’).
 
For the girls, the team finished sixth in a field of 22 behind Champs Windsor HS. Darien was second in the 600 m Run (5:08. 50), fourth in the 4 x 400 m Relay (4:21. 00), third in the High Jump (5 – 0) and first in the Long Jump (16 – 11).

In the Open Event the Darien boys team finished tied in 29th place.
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Mardie Porter shares her winter adventure:

Another ski adventure! Three days at the Appalachian Mountain Club  Lodge “Gorman Chairback”. We left home when the temp was a freezing -14 below.  We trekked eight mile to the lodge as temperatures  warmed to near 17 degrees. 

The second day was on snowshoe on back-country trails. Day 3 we skied back out to our cars on a glorious day, with temps above freezing!!!

Sounds like a ball!

 
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Steve and Patti Craig did well in their apple orchard this fall. They report harvesting over 20 bushels of apples. (Note: 1 bushel = 48 pounds). The Craigbo Cider Co. made 16 gallons of unadulterated apple cider, while also donating apples to a local farmer and food pantry.
 
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Wave Football Coach Retires

Darien High head coach Rob Trifone is retiring. Taking over as head coach in 2007, Coach Trifone has compiled a 129 – 26 record (.832) including four FCIAC and three State championships. From 2015 to 2017, Darien ended each season ranked  No. 1 in the state. Trifone has had four of his sons in the Blue Wave program: Kevin of the Class of 2007, twins Bobby and Christian of the Class of 2016, and Mark, a senior who will graduate in the spring.
 
Trifone has been with the Darien football program for 15 years, joining as an assistant coach in 2005 and then taking over as head coach in 2007. Including his earlier time coaching Brien McMahon, the Coach has compiled a 252-86-2 record (.741).
 
Trifone was inducted into the FCIAC Hall of Fame in 2014, and has also been named Coach of the Year 16 times, including two times by the National Football Foundation, one by the CT High School Coaches Association and four times by the FCIAC.
He was inducted into the Connecticut High School Coaches Association (CHSCA) Hall of Fame earlier this year.


 
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The Big 5-0
Reunion Central

 
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Check Out the Photo Album page with Pictures from all 3 Nights
Send Us Your Pictures
From Our 50th!


 
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Chris Eng Leventhal, Kate Mason Gredinger, Sue Geiger Johanson
 
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Benny Bruno, Mark Tinker, Gary Gibbs
 
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Tim and Jamila Potts
 
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Folks From Hindley School
 
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Sue Venarde Mahoney, Sue Geiger, Anahid
 
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Thomas Lane and Edward Tyler
 
Upload by going to the Photo Album tab on left side
or send them to tapotts@darkfield.com or johndvdh@gmail.com



 
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Georgianna Smith Bloom, Rick Bloom, Tom Lane
 
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Charlie Smith and Lauren Fair
 
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Carol Ann Augustus Summers and Bev Bonfoey
 
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Patti Shaw Craig and Mardie Porter
 
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Mark Paddock, Dennis Sullivan, Sue Venardi Mahoney, Janet Martin Fisher, Martyn Goossen, Kathy DelleFontane Goossen, Steve Craig

 
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Dave Lynch, Barb and Jim Tully
 
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Cliff Powell, Gork Boneman, Sandy McGill
 
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Chris Eng Leventhal, Dennis Sullivan, Patti Shaw Craig, Dick Costello
 
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Rick Weber, Chris Weber, Eric Joosten, Paul Hendrickson

 
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Josie Mullen and Lauren Fair
 
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Peter Johnson, Paul Dominis, Paul Buckley, Carolyn Johnson

 
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Sue Geiger, Anahid Kavookjian Vrana, Ann Back Price

 
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Josie Mullen and James Tully
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Bill and Annie Schade
 
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Ed Tyler and Bob Mercer

 
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Dick Costello and Rick Poccia

 
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Janet Martin Fisher and Sally Armus Shutts
 
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Anahid
 
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Charlie Smith, Bill Guptill, Kathy Strachan
 
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Tom Lane, Stu Traver, Jay Baker, David Miller

 
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Bruce Frail, Eric Joosten, Vandy Van Wagener

 
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Sue Venarde Mahoney, Kathy DelleFontane Goossen, Marty Goossen, Ed Tyler
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Gary Gibbs and Chris Bischof

 
Our Schedule of Events

Friday


The Goose Restaurant at 7:00 pm.
Cash Bar, Refreshments, Free Appetizers 

Saturday


Breakfast at the Sugar Bowl

A golf outing at Ridgefield CC 11:00 

Main Event at Tokeneke Club
6:00-11:00

Dinner and music at the Tokeneke Club


 
Sunday

Weed Beach Paddle Pavillion
Lunch and refreshments




 
    Our Guest List

 
Pete White Dave Terry
Claudia Smith Davenport Kathy DelleFontane Goossen
Dennis Gavin Pete Johnson
Rick Poccia Janet Martin Fisher
Mark Beckwith Anita Conway
Bruce Frail Paul Dominis
Patty Mazza Sturges Sue Dickman Klein
Sally Armus Christy Rodgers
Mardi Porter Ed Tyler
Bill Guptill Mark Blackman
Georgiana Smith Bloom Kate Mason Gredinger
Pete Franklin Gary  Gibbs
Tom Lane Billy Harper
Anahid Kavoojian Vrana Dave Lynch
Lauren Fair Jimmy Valente
Tim Potts Casey Nickerson
Suzanne Nikola Baldino John van den Heuvel
Jim Morrison Chris Bischof
Josie Mullen Paul Buckley
Johnny Maul Skip Kennedy
Bev Bonfoey Barb Thorne
Marni Kent Hansell Bob Mercer
Bob Ierardi Eric Joosten
Dennis Sullivan Tom Milek
Gary Swartz Dave Miller
Steve Verses Jay Baker
Cliff Powell Ann Back Price
Steve and Patti Craig Anne Marie McGarry
Vandy Van Wagener Bill Schade
George Farrington Todd and Martha Robbins
Rick Weber Jane Seyferth
Sue Venarde Mahoney Mark Tinker
Joan Dobson Glazebrook Paul Hendrickson
Sandy McGill Ted Vanech
Jim Tully Stu Traver
Dick Costello Mike Lopriore
Charlie Smith Chris Eng Leventhal
Jane Genster John Wuerthner
Carol Ann Augustus Summers Anne Irvine
Ken Broska Paul Hepp
Dave Jefferson Sue Geiger
Allison Poccia Joanne Schoepf Reisser
Benny Bruno                 Kyle Hepp    
Kathy Strachan Pam Burkhardt Mele 
Peter Scholtz  
*
 
Comments from Class Members!

 
Mary Bass Brown: Have fun everyone! Enjoy - post pictures.....lot's of pictures!
 
 
Anna Lamberton Whelpley: So sorry to be missing this great time😫Have a blast!

Thank-you!!
 
Update Your Profile at
 

Hey You!
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Be sure to say "Hello" in the Guest Book section!
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Important Contact Info

Where to send Classmate info : darienhs1969@gmail.com

Where to update your profile and see classmate's info: www.50thdarienhigh69.com

Where to post your pictures: On Facebook, join

Darien High School Class of '69 members group

Thanks, and see you soon!
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Christy Rogers on the Camino de Santiago
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Pete White
Thanks for the Update!

 
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Joanne Schoepf Reisser

Thanks for the Update!
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We Thank the DHS 1969 Classmates Who Served
 
 
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Skins and Terry Cummings
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Mike Lopriore and Paul Hepp get together in Jacksonville, FL.

Hey, where's the invite? It's freezing up here!


 

 
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Vandy Van Wagener - Good to hear from you!

Thanks for the Update.
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Anne Marie McGarry
 
Thanks for Your Update!
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Deb Ridabock preps for the end of summer
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Greetings Anahid!
Great to Hear from You
 
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Hot Fun in the Summertime
 
The perils of missing class on senior 'Skip' Day
 
 
 
 
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George Wehmann's Pontiac Super Chief
 
 
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Mary Grace Joynt and Suzanne Ferree
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 Terry Cummings, Tim Maul, Cliff Powell

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Tina Rollins McKay in Bali
Tina Rollins McKay in Bali
 
George Farrington, Mark Tinker and Jay Baker  Photo by George Wehmann
George Farrington, Mark Tinker and Jay Baker Photo by George Wehmann

 Shot of trip out west during summer of '69 when we hitchhiked to California. Mark Tinker's dad bought us the car to roam around California and back to CT. Thought I lost this. Great memories from that trip. Those were the days!  -George Wehmann
     

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The names just keep on coming in!

(starting bottom left): Chris Garr, Ellen Johnson, Martha Whelan, Jane Hindenlang
Sue Dickman, Kathy McIntyre, Pam Burkhart Melee, Co Koppert (Young LIfe)
Bobby Grant, Kathy Fricke, Jackie Fitzpatrick, MaryLou Sivos
Heidi Gerber
Carol Augustus Summers, Anna Lamberton, Louis Belfour, Sara Schyler
Man in hat- L. (Ron) Hubbard, the kid on far right with hood is Mardie Porter's brother, Clark Porter 
The guy near top row hat and glasses: Middlesex science teacher "Booger" Bates
Right Center back row: The man in the hat and woman next to him-
Mr and Mrs Hendrickson (Paul's parents)! 
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The Duchess Restaurant, near Exit 13 South of I95 on the Boston Post Road, is planning to close. A proposal to build a 24 hour 7- Eleven store in this location has created a brouhaha in Darien. Residents say it is an unwelcome addition.
“In the interest of Darien, I see no reason to approve this site as a gas station; it will bring no added value nor enhance the quality of life in the town of Darien and may in fact have the opposite effect,” one resident said.
 
The Darien Police expressed concern over traffic increasing on the Post Road, pedestrian and crosswalk safety in the area, and potential criminal activity in a 24-hour convenience store/gas station on US 1 directly adjacent to I-95.
 
While a new gas station has not been built in Darien in the last 25 years, residents argue that less than 3 miles from this location on I95 is an Interstate rest area complete with multiple fuel and 24-hour food service.
Reunion Quiz
What is the DHS Motto?

Cheaper than Prep School!
Ivy League Here I Come!
Best partyin' school in Fairfield County!
Veritas vos liberabit
Reunion Poll
How do you feel about the new virus?

Scared
Bored
Too much attention to it
Not enough attention for it
  Results
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