The Energizer Cowboys who kept things humming at the reunion

The Energizer Cowboys who kept things humming at the reunion
These kids know how to have fun!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fourth Ward 38 Year Reunion

This picture doesn't quite show everyone who came, or the logistics of getting the picture taken -- which will be a great memory, in and of itself.  At about 7 PM while we were still eating, the top row of sprinklers went on along the hill where we planned to take the picture.  I wasn't worried, as I knew they'd be finished before the picture was taken.  Then Brother Balch reminded me there would be a second row of lower sprinklers that would be going on soon!  So we interrupted dinner and to take the picture before the lower sprinklers went on.  We moved two rows of chairs along the parking lot front for the older folks to use.    
About the time we got everyone positioned on the hill behind them, sure enough the sprinklers went on!  Brother Gardner quickly stepped on top of the sprinkler head by him, and other men followed suite, so we got the picture taken without too much dampness.  However, the water spilled quickly into the parking lot where the littler kids were posed, so they got wet in the process.  Kara and Jamie Laws orchestrated the photo shoot, plus took candids throughout the evening.

It was a beautiful summer evening and lots of time for visiting.

Wilcox guys who attended the reunion
The first out-of-towner to show up that night was Russ Stevenson.  It was so good to see him, as he had helped our boys in scouts, and also with a musical I helped orchestrate.  Unfortunately, he and Connie are divorced..  He came clear from Ogden. He was in quite a few of the slides: plays and scout activities.  Lurlene and Dennis Gutke were there and visited up a storm.  Lurlene had a really fun game recognizing people and gave out five prizes for each category--which made it really fun.  Ethan won one of the prizes for having traveled the furtherest -- Monticello!!  Lurlene is such a good friend and has been for dozens of years.  She also got a gift for me, which was unexpected and a nice surprise. 

Reed and Becky Gardner and Lily also came down.  She came over the night before and we had a good visit. Diane McNeave traveled over from Canon City and stayed with us for 4 nights, and we had lots of wonderful visits
It was a wonderful surprise having Rob, Ethan, and Ryan
come over even though Kathryn was still recooperating.
She also had plenty of time to visit others and also the college folks.  Some of the Webb and Carroll children came and many who had been scattered into other wards in Blanding also joined us for the evening.  It was wonderful visiting with so many people and Brother Ogle kept things moving.  Once everyone had been served (which was tricky -- since we ran out of the main dishes) he invited people to come up
and share memories of the 4th ward.  That went especially well, and was our main entertainment besides the tour de force -- the slide show.
Larena Nakai Eldridge and family.  LaPriel and her
family lived for a short while in our ward.

How it all began

I had wanted to do a slide show for several years and show it at a New Years Eve party for our ward.  We had been in 4th ward since its inception and I had literally hundreds and hundreds of pictures of ward events. However,  last year on Aug. 14 when the Blanding 4th ward was dissolved, I determined that we'd need to orchestrate a reunion instead.  My walking partners helped me brainstorm ways to do it.  Our preferred date conflicted with Women's Gen. Conference, so we moved it up a week to Sept. 22. 


All eight bishops of the ward, along with their wives are still living in Blanding which was significant in and of itself.  They were always ones to know a good thing when they saw it so none had moved away!!  I enlisted their help from the first, and asked each bishop to write a brief history of their tenure, for a history I wanted to include in a written history.  About a month later, President Mike Bradford found some quarterly reports and 4th ward conference information which he gave to me.  This was a wonderful addition to the history. Sister Pincock also had a copy of a script Helen Shumway wrote for the 20th anniversary.  I was able to use some of that information also, but ended up not publishing it in the book.  It is, however, included in the files on the DVD.  The published history ended up being 28 pages long.  The school district media did a wonderful job of printing it thanks to Karen Bronson's help.

The slide show consisted of nearly 800 slides.  I probably had that many in my own collection to start with, but not all were high quality.  There were over 20 people who brought pictures for me to scan. Glenna Webb and Jon Hunt brought over a large amount which especially was helpful.  As more pictures came in, I was more selective and started removing some of the earlier pictures.  Thus the editing went on and on!  Even after the final showing, I discovered 10 wonderful pictures in an album I had overlooked, and I added those.  So the last ones to get the DVD copy, also got a few more pictures.

Because of the expansive time frame-- 38 years of history, activity and hundreds of people-- the show grew exponentially, finally ending up 1 hr. and 20 min. long, which averaged 10 min. per bishopric.  As a result the show wouldn't fit on a regular single layer DVD, and Matt Rogers gave me a quick lesson on using double layers and best choices and how they worked.  Verbatim brand worked lots better than the Ridata which I also tried.  Everytime I made a copy I got the message that the show hadn't been mastered correctly for burning onto a double layer, but the Verbatim discs still played great on a DVD, (unlike the Ridatas)  which was a huge blessing.  I really felt I was guided and watched over through this whole process by angels who made it happen.  I was so thankful by the end of the program, that everything ran well, and that the audience seemed to enjoy it.  I spent a lot of time the next week pressing more DVDs and getting them distributed.

Janet with Robert and Lurlene
Steve helped with set up and clean up, and also gave editing suggestions on the slide show.  Others who helped with special assignments included:
MC: Robert Ogle; Food, set up: Eileen Fahey & family; Decorations: Hurst family; Prizes: Lurlene Gutke; Games:  Silvia Stubbs; Flyer Delivery:  Cec Tibbitts, Kelly  Pugh Family, Joel Tate, Brian Kirby, Steve Wilcox; Name tags: Diane Balch; Table Toppers: Cherie Shumway; Orders: Calvin Balch; Production: San Juan School District Media Center: Rebecca Stoneman and Karen Bronson.