Cambria, Shalyn and me looking a little crazy.
After meeting up with Allisa and getting settled we went to the Hall of Fame "no host" social. It was at the Fish Bowl. At first when we walked in we didn't know if we were in the right place. We didn't recognize anyone and there were some older people sitting around 2 tables. Then I heard someone mention the girls cross country team and then one of the gentleman said --"It's Vicki Hyde." I went blank and couldn't put my finger on who it was even though I knew I should recognize him. It took a few embarrassing seconds and then I realized it was Bob Maddox my 8th grade basketball coach and middle school english teacher.
Alissa knew more of the people there than I did since she has been a part of the community for so long. After a while a few more XC girls showed up and finally the coaches too. After they got there we talked for a few hours and had a blast reminiscing about road trips and telling stories.
Dean Bonney, Greg McClure, Tiffany Gebs Lantz, Sarah Beck, Me, Allisa Hardy Nathan
Sept 9 - I drove by my old house and also visited my friend Kim and her son. It is always so great to see her. We didn't have much time because she has a pretty busy schedule with homeschooling and had a conference that weekend too.
After having so much fun the night before, Coach Bonney suggested that we all meet up for dinner before the Football game. We contacted everyone and got "reservations" (well we let them know a large group would be coming) at the Hitching Post. We also invited Mike Wilkey who was the fastest runner in the state and nationally ranked when we were in High School. He has remained a good friend of mine since high school and the coaches went on a lot of trips with him for national races so they really enjoyed catching up with him. I think our waitress had a pretty hard job and was probably pretty annoyed with us because no one would sit down and everyone was so busy talking and greeting everyone that she couldn't even get a drink order for the longest time.
I am pretty sure Mike is talking about the story from an Idaho meet when he was quoted to have said "the sand got in my sneakers and slowed me up." We all remembered it because we knew he never would have said sneakers or slowed me up -- the guy who wrote the article had just made it up.
After wards we went to the football game where we were walked out onto the field by cheerleaders at half time and announced as this year's hall of fame class.
Sitting in the stands I realized that I had never appreciated what a beautiful view we had from our high school track and football field.
I think I got to almost every one of my basketball coaches from my Green River Days. At the football game I got to visit a little with Mr. Wilson who was my 7th grade coach.
I also got to catch up with Jason Grubb who was our class of 94' class president and now is over the sweet water county libraries. He comes out to Oregon and Washington a lot and helps me with my website, so he and I stay in touch.
Sept 10 - This morning I stopped by and visited the Rutherfords who were like my second family in GR. I lived with them and my best friend Chrystal the summer after I graduated when my parents moved to Lovell. I stayed in GR because I had a good job with the school paint crew. I showed them snapchat filters for the first time and helped them clear some tree branches and watched as Rex used a chain saw attached to a long pole to cut the top off a tree. It was a bit scary, the chainsaw kept getting knocked to the ground and finally broke off of the pole. Their son Chad's daughter Samantha was there with them.
We arranged to meet for a picnic that day down at the island. It wasn't really a picnic because we just talked and maybe had a snack. I never had seen the salmon running in the river before.
Holly brought her giant scrapbook -- honestly the largest one I have ever seen. Everyone looked through it and talked. Mike invited Hippie Valerio to come join us. He wasn't on the team when we were because he was Ashlee's age but he had coach McClure the first few years he coached. It was fun to hear his story of how he and some of the other guys who lived out at Little America started running. The coach in their early years was Mr. Nelson (who was later the Athletic Director). He knew these kids could run fast and asked them to join. They were expected to work both at Little America and on the ranch way out there where their family lived. So at first their father told them that they couldn't be on the team. I think Mr. Nelson went out and talked to Hippie's dad and asked him if the boys could run if he got a school van to drive them home the second they were done practicing so they could get their work done too. He accepted and those guys were all really good runners during those years. The Montoyas and the Valerios.
Hippie is the one down in the front, Mike Wilkey, Me, Holly Peterson Steed, Allisa, McClure in the back, Jessica Peverly Graham, Dean Bonney.
Right before the banquet we asked for a tour of the new High School. It is huge and amazing. I wish Washington schools even had small pools in them.
Our Hall of Fame plaque in the entry way hallway of the school. Holly has an individual plaque too because she was inducted as an individual one of the first years they did it.
The banquet was nice, we had dinner and then there was a video about Green River and the pictures of the previous members of the Hall of Fame, and then there were snippets about the incoming class. Two individuals were inducted: Jack Evers and Byron Toone then our. Jack was interesting character who we met at the social. Byron Toone passed away a few years back so his daughters were there to speak on his behalf. Coach McClure spoke about our team and did a great job. He made a top 10 list of things he was sorry for putting us through. I don't remember the whole thing but here are a few -- "I'm sorry I treated you like wrestlers" (he used to tell us to "Rub some dirt on it" if we complained of an injury), "I'm sorry for driving too fast, for having us stay in inexpensive hotels, for making you guys run so many quarters" etc... Of course none of us were sorry for any of the things because most of them helped us win all 3 state championships, but it was fun to listen to his speech.
Born: September 17, 1930 – Death: August 11, 2009
Me and Laurel -- I was worried she wasn't going to come so I called her twice in the month before and was thrilled when she called me back and said that she and her husband would at least be at the banquet. For the past 8 years or so she has been part of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. She just resigned in April. The only times I have "seen" her since high school have been during general conference when I look for her singing. I give credit to Holly, Laurel and Tiffany for the three state championships. They were all the same age and all of them were in the top 5 on the team all three years. They were all All-State runners as well.
Holly and her family
Members of the team from the three years. All members of the team, not just the varsity were included in the induction.
We also took pictures lined up like we are in our state championship pictures.
This is the 92' team (Jessica Peverly is in the front where Cayde Terry was in the picture). Jessica was our alternate that year. Cayde couldn't make it to the induction.
This is the 93' team
This picture has all the runners that participated in the three years of state championship meets. The only one not here was Cayde.
back row - Tiffany Gebs Lantz, Laurel Harmon Piccolo, Holly Peterson Steed
middle row - Me, Traci Gillmore LaOrange, Maurgan Warren Porter, Veronique Anderson Silltioe
Coach McClure, Sarah Beck, Allisa Hardy Nathan, Stephanie Lewis Swanson, Amber Carroll Feller, Coach Bonney
Me and Diane Lovell - She was a freshman when I was a senior.
Towards the end of the picture taking frenzy I noticed that my cousin Derek Rayback and his wife and grandson were standing by the doorway patiently waiting. Derek is a journalist for Sweetwater Now and lives in Rock Springs. He attends a lot of these types of events and writes about them, but he wasn't writing about this one because he had missed the Rock Springs Hall of Fame induction earlier in the month and said he didn't dare report just on the Green River one, or he'd hear about it. He just knew I'd be there so he came to see me.
My high school coach - Rick Carroll wasn't at the banquet because he was babysitting his daughter Amber's kids (she was on the 94' championship team). But he came after so I got to talk to him a bit.
Sept 11 - As I headed out of town I drove one last time past my old schools and house and down by the river. Then I headed to Salt Lake. I stopped in Evanston to drop some puzzles off to Tiffany because I had forgotten to give them to her while we were in GR and it was right on my way.
I had plenty of time before I needed to be at the airport so I stopped in at Julie and Cherilyn Bradford's apartment. They made me dinner and we had a nice visit before I headed to the airport to fly home.
It was a great weekend with lots and lots of reminiscing and laughing and a little crying too. I'm so glad I got to go and I am so thankful that almost everyone was able to be there. What a neat group of people I got to call teammates and coaches.
Here are some "Then and Now" photos just for fun -