Traverse City Record-Eagle

June 16, 2013

Green reunion committee searches for classmates

BY MARTA HEPLER DRAHOS mdrahos@record-eagle.com
Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Listen up, Traverse City High School Class of 1973: Your classmates want you!

A class reunion committee is planning a 40th reunion for the weekend of July 18-20. It has been searching since January for about 800 alumni, but still needs to find 233, said co-chairman Josie Powell.

“Trying to find your classmates is very challenging,” said Powell, who has helped track down classmates by telephone, email and snail mail, newspaper obituaries, county records of marriage licenses and deaths, social media including Facebook, and online search tools like PeopleSmart.com, Classmates.com and AnyWho.com. “It was very sad when I found out that 37 of our mates have passed on.”

The reunion weekend will feature two golf tournaments on different courses, a pre-party at a local brewery, and a tour of what is now Traverse City Central High School. But the highlight is a June 20 party at the beach house of 1973 grads John Robert Williams and Terrie Taylor.

In keeping with the committees’s green philosophies, the party will emphasize smart commuting, recycled compostable materials for zero waste, and catering by food trucks featuring local, sustainable foods. It will take place during the day so as not to draw on electricity.

Attendees will receive a silicone pint mug with a class reunion logo that they can use for drinks and then take home as a souvenir.

“That way you have no glass on the beach” said co-chairman Carol Tompkins-Parker. “John and Terrie are adamant about that. If you don’t have your mug, you don’t get anything to drink.”

Attendees are encouraged to cycle, boat or Jet Ski to the festivities. Or they can park at the high school and take a shuttle bus to the party site at the base of Old Mission Peninsula.

Even the table decorations, including cut and silk sunflowers in recycled Mason jars, will have an environmentally friendly theme, Tompkins-Parker said.

“It’s just to be more environmentally conscious. We’re a group that thinks that’s important. Hey, we’re just a bunch of hippies,” she said.

The Williamses often use their home to entertain groups from the Traverse City Film Festival, the Traverse Area Recreation Trails and the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, all of which the couple are deeply involved in.

“We recycle almost everything,” John Williams said. “At parties we go out of our way.”

The 1973 class reunion — the first in 10 years — is expected to attract classmates from as far away as Maryland, Arizona, New Mexico and California, said Tompkins-Parker, who married a fellow TCHS alum.

“A lot of people in the Southwest want to come to muggy Michigan in July,” she said.

The reunion committee is still hot on the trail of its missing classmates. If you have information, or to register for or find out more about the reunion, visit tchs1973.com.