Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Bison and Buffaloes

Bison and Buffaloes

There have been a few posts on Facebook lately featuring depiction of bison and the confusion behind the name "buffalo."

Laurel shared an interesting article about the genetic purity of Utah bison:

Here's a little synopsis of some comments:
Jeff Cole Interesting article. I hope they don't DNA test Tempe Bison; they might discover my impurities.
Patrick Fleming Yes, I believe that we THS "buffs" are bison, based on all of the photos, logos and taxidermic evidence that I've come across. The "buffalo" name that we took on is simply less formal and more friendly, and probably not the result of genetic impurities from European or Asian species. I'm not so sure about brucellosis, however.
Jeff Cole Actually, we had bison heads in the gym, but a "buffalo" is an African critter. Just sayin'.
Patrick Fleming Aren't there some Asian buffalo species, aka water buffalo? I think they excel mostly in the diving events.
Jeff Cole That's the point. American Bison are not buffaloes. A misnomer that stuck!
Patrick Fleming

Write a reply...
Phil Lundberg Aren't we all Africans?
Patrick Fleming And all cousins, too.

Donald Hull Tell me Buffaloes. Aren't badass Pat!
Donna Wallace Thanks Pat. Looking forward to it. Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year to all!!!!
Judi Paris Cool picture - thanks for sharing all you have Pat & ditto on Donna's message smile emoticon

Friday, October 23, 2015

Now Planning the 45-year Reunion!

Reunion Practice Feedback:
It was a good, valuable practice, clearing out a few cobwebs, getting a little loose and looking ahead to the season. We have a strong potential to gel into a fine team of classmates.
Without exception, every person from our graduating class that I encountered at the All-Buffalo Roundup last week was having a great time, and everyone I asked said that a 45-year reunion was a really good idea! So let the planning begin!!!

Our graduation date was June 3, but everyone with whom I’ve discussed potential reunions has said that it’s usually too hot then to draw out-of-towners, and even the locals wouldn’t enjoy, say, a picnic type of event. Spring and Fall tend to be preferred by most. So, I nominate Spring!
Spring Break, Easter, and Spring Training are common planning issues for the spring. Considering those, a proposal for scheduling our 45-year reunion in Tempe for the weekend of April 16, 2016 is hereby put forth. Further, let’s try for a catered, buffet-type meal for an evening at the Rolling Hills Golf Course Clubhouse for one event, and perhaps a picnic event with an invited food truck for another, say somewhere like Kiwanis Park.
This is a suggested framework only. There is a vast spectrum of other possibilities, but getting consensus seems challenging without someone making a clear proposal. And time waits for no one.
Now I am seeking feedback and planning committee volunteers!


We have no money, but we do have a treasurer!  Debbie (Logan) Willette has offered to serve in this capacity, and I have enthusiastically accepted!  Neither Debbie nor I live in the Tempe vicinity, so we'll be looking for other committee members to create a local presence.

The April 16, 2016 event at Rolling Hills is becoming more clearly defined, but additional details will only be available after further negotiation and agreement.  We're still seeking representatives to set up a second event, probably for Sunday April 17.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Buffalo Roundup and Homecoming 2015: Like a Pre-Season Reunion

The Buffalo Roundup began several years ago, under the auspices of the Association of Tempe High Alumni Groups.  I have not yet attended one, but I have been told that they're a blast! This year's will take place on Thursday, October 14, starting at 4:30 pm at Macayo's Depot Cantina in downtown Tempe. I believe that in prior Roundups, the Class of 1971 has been only lightly represented, at least with respect to the number of attendees. It looks as though that is all about to change.

The Facebook page that the Alumni Association uses for the announcement and sign-up has been busy, and a bunch of '71 buffs have committed there.  Others have threatened, and some have expressed their regrets. And of course, lots of alums aren't even Facebook users, and there's no real requirement to even sign up, but please do. (By the way, the Alumni Association web address is, and they have more information about the Buffalo Roundup).  If I was going to guess, I'd say at least 25 to 30 of the class will be there. I will. And I know Patti and a bunch of her '72 cohorts are planning to attend.The Class of '70 will undoubtedly  have a high turnout, with their 45-year reunion happening that weekend. Perhaps we can learn something from our elders.

Sal Cafiero, perhaps the most likable 71 Buff of all, may be able to provide some live music featuring other 71 Buffs performing at the Roundup. How cool would that be?

Some folks seem more inclined to attend the homecoming game, which is Friday the 15th at THS's Bruce Harper Stadium. Let's do that, too! Maybe go to the north end of the bleachers to sit together?

So, it's going to be something like a pre-season reunion for us! Spread the word! Our 45-yr would be next calendar year, and this could be a springboard to planning a real one!!!

I'm really looking forward to a good time, and I hope to see you there.

(If you're interested in planning or otherwise assisting the next reunion, which could be the 45-yr if there is enough momentum from the pre-season, please let me know! Leave a comment on this blog, or contact me on Facebook, or e-mail me at

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Buffalo Clippings (No, not Chips)

The Buffalo was published and distributed approximately bimonthly at THS the entire time we attended classes to graduate in 1971, and an unknown period before and after.  Personally, I no longer have a single issue saved anywhere. However, Dr. Patti Bender of the Class of 1972, saved quite a few, and graciously allowed me to leaf through some of them and scan some pages. They are intended to show a cross section of the stuff that was in there, which is really priceless at this point. I'll add more to this post as time goes on, but this is a good sampling for starters.

First, from May 28, 1971, believed to be the last issue before our graduation:

And from WAY back, October 5, 1968:

And here's some good stuff from the following spring semester, February 28, 1969 edition:

 (and a photo of the State Runner-up Basketball Team):

Did anyone spend the $4.50 to see Janis Joplin on October 3, 1969?

A photo of Gary Welz and Catherine Hayden from September 5, 1969:

And more interesting stuff, including a photo of Patti Watson (Trisha Hassler) in a phone booth with several older students:

A piece of the November 26, 1969 Issue:

Some poetry from the November 19, 1969 issue:

Here's one with lots of buried treasures! From February 20, 1970:

From football season (October 5), 1969:

No one, except maybe one of the coaches, would dare call Jim Wehrman "Jimmy."

A little more from the October 3, 1969 edition:

Monday, June 15, 2015

Official Photos of the 20-year Reunion

Those who attended the 20-year reunion of the Class of 1971 were able to purchase a souvenir booklet containing some fun photographs of attendees and a few submitted by non-attendees.  Here are some scans of one such booklet, graciously provided by Trisha Haussler. Thank you Trisha!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

A 44-Year Observance

Greetings, classmates from the THS Class of 1971, and interested public!

On June 3, 2015, at 6:00 pm MST (6:00pm PDT, 7:00 pm MDT) we of the class have declared that there shall be a commemoration of our graduation from Tempe High School 44 years ago!

At that time we will observe a moment of noisiness, to celebrate that great moment in 1971 when we each began our individual post-high school lives. Please celebrate in place, wherever you may be, by making inordinate noise, using any means at your disposal. Some may wish to plan something ahead of time, and that would certainly be appropriate to the joyous nature of this celebration, but don't be discouraged by other obligations that you may have for your time at that moment.  For example, those also observing a vow of silence may wish to celebrate with some vigorous throat-clearing, robe-swishing or cork-popping. If delivering a speech or fly-fishing, maybe a simple "woo-hoo!" at the top of  the hour would seem adequate.

Everyone is encouraged to share your observance by posting photos, videos, sound byte files, sketches, journal entries, and the like. If you sent them to me or post them on Facebook, I'll be happy to add them to this post to share with our non-Facebook friends.

We're only two days away right now!


This wildly successful event was "attended" by 19 people.  This video submission by Laurel Ostler Jensen was judged to be the best of show:

Winning 44-year Video Clip

Thanks Laurel!!!

Thursday, April 30, 2015


In his recent comment, Scott Clayton rightfully observed that "we need to take some 'baby steps' and do some mini-reunions." Well, it seems that an impromptu opportunity has popped up!

On Sunday evening, May 3,  7:30, at Gold Bar Espresso, 3141 S McClintock Dr, Tempe, AZ (480) 839-3082, three (3) of our esteemed classmates will be jammin' on some jazz tunes!  Sal Cafiero and Rusty Falk perform together regularly, as part of the band, "Jazzola," and they've persuaded Jeff Cole to make the trip from Tucson to join them for this very special performance. Folks, that's what I'd call a critical mass!

I hope lots of other 71 buffs can take this in. I know of a few who have already declared their intent!

UPDATE!  Photos from the performance and evening:

Jeff Cole on keyboard

Sal Cafiero on drums

Rusty Falk on vibes

The most 71 Buffs in one place in some time! From back, left, Rusty Falk, Tom Ditsworth, Stephen Cole (leaning over), Tom Hascall Cole, Mike Hudnall, Sal Cafiero, Don Hull and Jeff Cole.

WAIT, There's more!
Word has it that there will be another performance this coming Sunday, May 10, same time and same place!  What class and what a Class!


A nicely produced video file made by our own Duane Ernst, of the Jazzola performance on May 10, 2015:

From The Class of 1971 here is Sal Cafiero, Jeff Cole, Rusty Falk and more..... "Jazzola"

Outstanding!  We'll have to watch for announcements of future performances!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

So How?

So, we've addressed "why." Next question: "How?"

How can we bring about real interaction among our members? How can we overcome the inertia of fallow or even non-existent relationships? How many ways can this same question be posed without saying it the same way twice?

All right, all right. No, I don't think step-by-step prescriptive approach is best for this.

In fact, it seems that we're having some success in achieving the goals of "why" already, through a sort of, kind of trial and error, playing with today's social media tools. The Facebook group has continued to grow, although more slowly, with 58 members currently showing. We've reached some non-Facebook folks with this blog, and by encouraging them to spread the word to the people they know. Some people have been more active than others, but, the interaction on line has been pretty good!  Some of the group has undertaken to find some of their old friends using other social sites, and even by networking otherwise (even using such ancient methods as the telephone and ...yes, by pen and paper).  It's building!

If we can leverage this into more folks participating in  the conversation, I believe we might start formulating a plan for getting together in real time and space...the final frontier.

I propose that we try to keep the conversations alive and try to add participants any way we can. Subscribe to this blog through your e-mail address!  Subscribe for a friend! Join the Facebook group, or at least check the page once in a while:

If you have a Facebook account, please join our group.  It's fun, and as a long-time, stalwart denigrator of Facebook, it pains me to say so.

Another suggestion is to "follow" this blog by entering your e-mail address at the upper right of the post, where it says to. Of course, there are hundreds of cybercriminals who are salivating and rubbing their hands together feverishly as they wait for you to do so.  Believe me, nobody gets more irritated than I do about junk emails. If I learn that this blog is bringing any about, it will be promptly discontinued.

It would be nice is someone besides Laurel would offer a published comment, too. I'm not complaining; just sayin'.

When our expansion of membership looks as though it's really slowing, then we should think about the next next step. To those who may be thinking ahead: please share your thoughts!