Close. Tight-knit. Cohesive.
When it comes to the NPHS Class of 1983, these are the descriptors we pridefully toss around to describe our group. And rightly so! Forty years after graduating, we continue to defy the averages and challenge (and sometimes break) long held records.
For 2023, out of our graduating class of 333 there were 126 classmates who returned for a weekend to celebrate our legacy. Including guests, the grand total was 178 attendees.
We started with a fun welcome reception Friday night to meet, greet, and relive old memories at the D&N Event Center, a large special events building just south of the South Platte river. Yes, we retold the same old stories … and LOVED it!!
Saturday started with options: A golf scramble at Lake Maloney Golf Club or a river float in a familiar Nebraska farm object: galvanized horse tanks. Saturday afternoon featured a party bus tour of our home city, including a tour of the new high school.
Of course, the big event was—sing it with me—S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night!!
The banquet’s theme was Around the World in 40 Years, and There’s No Place Like Home. We enjoyed a banquet buffet, a cash bar, music and a multimedia presentation of classmate photos and adventures, and a bit of 1980s-style dancing. Attendees were given a ballot of awards, which were tallied up to reveal:
Classmate Most Likely to Attend our 50th Reunion: Chris Wood —the only classmate who registered via mail, is our resident Luddite. You can be assured that Chris will be registering again in 9 years, 11 months (assuming the postal service is still operating). Chris received two drink tickets and a 50% discount on our 50th reunion.
Classmate Who Got The Hell Out of Dodge: OK Doug Twyman, we get it: Anywhere in the world is better than North Platte! Doug has lived all over the world (currently in Germany) in his never ending quest for something better than NP. Doug took home(?) a new book: 100 Places to See Before You Die.
Classmate Who Was The First to Retire: Tammy Stone Lake — When it comes to spare time, Tammy Stone Lake has been enjoying it in spades since she retired in 2012. Don’t worry, we got you covered Tammy: Take your time filling out the big book of Crossword Puzzles.
Classmate Who Has Changed The Least: Alan Metcalf is on to something new: staying the same. We think he needs to join the rest of us pentagenerians (is that a word?) and get with the times. Alan will be studying up with his new book on growing up.
Classmate Who Is Barely Recognizable: Having shed an entire person’s worth of weight (she has lost over 160 pounds) since our last reunion, Tammy Stone Lake will complete the ensemble with a new pair of paparazzi-eluding sunglasses.
Classmate Who Has Improved With Age: We all agree that Lori Tilford Hardin should be arrested … for defying the laws of physics, and biology. She took home a bottle of wine to keep her company while she continues to reverse age.
Classmate Who Is Still Crazy After All These Years: It’s just a matter of time before Rocky Torres will need to make use of the Bail Bondsman Gift Certificate. We look forward to reading about it in the Telegraph!
Classmate Who Has Mellowed The Most: To help her daughter Emma understand what a wild woman we befriended so many years ago, Natalie was encouraged to chug a can of red bull and take out the nearest classmate with a quick left-hook.
Classmate Who Has The Most Unique Job: If you thought your job stinks, consider Jeff Cox. On a daily basis, Jeff wades through more shit than all of the rest of our class combined. Jeff took home a book to help him evaluate other career options. Rest assured, as the owner of a sprawling cattle-feeding operation, Jeff’s nightly gold-coin bath (ala Scrooge McDuck) keeps him smelling good.
Classmate Most Likely To Get Arrested: The committee believes we will be seeing Jim Castle behind bars in the coming years, based on previous time served (granted it happened when he was 15 years old). Jim wore his shiny new handcuffs for the rest of the evening.
Classmate Most Likely To Become A Hermit: Since retiring, Mike Olson spends his days alone in the garage, conversing with his table saw and drill press. He took his Do Not Disturb coffee mug award back to his hotel room to celebrate … alone.
Classmate Most Likely To Run For Office: Every politician needs a scandal. To help Mike Carper get started on his eventual political campaign, we are equipping him with his very own Monica-Lewinsky-inspired stained dress.
Classmate Who Is Actually Getting Laid: Let’s face it: we all wanted to win this one, but the truly deserving recipient is our most recently married classmate, Pam Krzykowski-Harrach, who married in 2019. Pam will be using the condoms and lube for their actual, intended purpose. We also want to recognize the real beneficiary, her husband Rich.
Sunday was a chance to introduce and reintroduce our families. Under sunny skies at the Cody Park Band Shelter, more old friends showed up to reminisce and eat. If you didn’t go home stuffed to the gills with a wide array of picnic treats, that was your own fault.
A special thanks to the Planning Committee:
Becky Neth Thompson
Brenda Phillips Grantzinger
Carol Haddock Halley
Celia Phillips Lawson
Jill Ward Granger
Julie Stark Didier
Kim Johnson Hongsermeier
Tammy Stone Lake