We remember '86 and more
Jess Shut Up
This weekend the class of 1986 from the great halls of Lake Roosevelt will celebrate 30 years out in the real world. Classmates will come back to the streets of Electric City, Elmer City, Grand Coulee and Coulee Dam, their old stomping grounds, to reunite with friends and reminisce. But this celebration does not come without some pain, considering the recent loss of their classmate who held maybe more Raider Spirit than the rest of the class. Danny “Squeaker” Williams, the former president of the “BRA” group (Boys Rooting Association) back in high school will be missed greatly by not just classmates but the whole community and the whole area.
I did not know Danny as well as my wife and the rest of her class, but when I hear the countless stories being told on Facebook, in person and by former teachers, it makes me realize he was a special person. I do remember him asking my wife to dance once, and I could see the twinkle in his eyes then that many of his classmates saw every day while in school. Everyone’s friend, a lover of Raider sports and a family encourager are the things I keep hearing over and over about him. I personally know he is a true survivor and showed more heart through tragedy than anyone I have ever met. Some might think his story is a sad one, but I don’t. He lived the life that was dealt him with dignity, pride and compassion. He loved with the biggest love. It showed in his family and everyone he talked with. He was the true heart of the class of 1986. Danny will forever be remembered around Lake Roosevelt and the whole area.
As the class comes together in different locations around town, the past will be remembered; stories of classmates pulling pranks, who dated whom, and sporting milestones will cause laughter and smiles to fill the areas they invade. They will get a private tour of the new school, led by the Voice of the Raiders and by one of their former classmates, Nancy Kuiper, to see the fulfillment of many an alum’s dreams. They will once again check out the old barn where basketball and volleyball wins and losses still echo above the hardwood. They will all see Squeaker, in the stands, cheering them on. They will see Kirk Arnold’s (class of ’86), business, The Fusion Café, and hang out; they will return to Siam Palace for a visit with Kachane and his Siam Chow Mein. But most of all, they will remember and smile.
They will also remember April Adolph, Lori Clayton, Jeff Jackman, Paul James, Darlene Stanczak, Kelly Smith, Roger Olson, Maureen Wright, Jeff Etheridge, Dixie Benton and Principal Wally Loe. All taken way too early but each having left a lasting impact on this class.
So have fun, ’86ers. Remember the good times and those who have left us already. Enjoy the Coulee Country and each other. It is good to have you back, even if it is just for the weekend.