George and Johnnie McKinney on their wedding day.  Also shown are two of George's daughters, Natalie Dines and Terese A
George and Johnnie McKinney on their wedding day. Also shown are two of George's daughters, Natalie Dines and Terese Adams.
January 2013
Big News!  After meeting again at our last reunion, classmates Johnnie McKinney and George Brown have tied the knot.  They married on January 3rd, 2013.  As soon as we have a photo to share, we will do so.  Congrats Johnnie and George!
July 3, 2012

DNHS Blog....... Whaddya have to say???

Hey - you guys got anything to say?  Let's start a Blog!


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Claudia Russo on July 3, 2012 6:36 PM
I don't know if anyone else is feeling this way, but I am guessing some of you are.  After HS, I just lost contact with so many people.  Married, moved away, divorced, remarried and moved some more.  Now that I am back home, I am regretting all these lost contacts.  I hope we can all catch up with eachother here.  Currently I live in the NE heights with my husband, John.  He and I own 10 boutique websites for promotional products and we are lucky to be able to do this out of our home.
My parents are with us still, living in the same home from where I walked to Del Norte.  I do a lot of visiting with them and helping out.  I feel privileged to still have them with me.  I have 2 stepchildren (whom I call my own!) and 4 grandchildren, the loves of my life.  Since I never had children of my own, the pleasures of having them as little ones just never entered my life.  So starting with baby grandchildren has been the biggest thrill!  I'm a lucky, lucky Nonna.  I have had a few careers and went back to UNM for a second time in the 80's and became an RN.  I worked as a pediatic RN in the Sub-Acute center at UNM.  What a wonderful job!  So, now, my family and friends all call on me for medical advice.  I'm not sure that is wise, but I always try to help.  OK, then there are my Scottish Terriers, Winston and Oliver.  We have had Scotties for over 30 years now and adore them.  To some, I am actually known as the Scottie Lady - ha!  It could be worse.  So I keep busy with all that and now am happily working with the Reunion committee on the 45th Reunion.  Anyone know where Marsha Brenningmeyer and Janet Littrell may be?  Love to be able to contact them.  Happy 4th to you all - Claudia Jackson Russo

Pat Luther on July 8, 2012 12:30 PM

First of all, kudos to Claudia and everyone on the reunion committee for all of the time and effort they are devoting to organizing this event.  The website is very cool.  I am enjoying looking at the profiles, photos, and other updates.  Although I lived in Albuquerque for almost 30 years after graduating from DNHS, like Claudia, I lost contact with just about everyone from HS.  From looking at the lengthy list of “the lost,” apparently I’m not alone.

After graduating from UNM, I briefly worked for a state agency in Santa Fe before joining the Presbyterian Healthcare System in the mid-70s.  I worked at Pres for almost 20 years, initially in finance as the Budget Officer, then as Director of Strategic Planning, and lastly, as Director of Decision Support.  My family moved to Albuquerque when I was in the first grade, so when my husband, Bob, had the opportunity to be CEO of the hospital in Lancaster, SC, a small, charming community located 25 miles south of Charlotte, NC, I urged him to accept, in part, because I was the only person I knew who had never lived any place except Albuquerque.  Fortunately, my dad was a SC native, so when Bob and I moved there, I think I was regarded as a molecule that had been lost in space and had finally come home.  I jokingly told friends my plan was to become a Southern Belle.  It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the South and its gracious people.  The day after our furniture was delivered I got very little unpacking accomplished because of the steady stream of neighbors stopping by to deliver chicken salad, biscuits and other goodies.  I am embarrassed to admit that I knew more neighbors at the end of that first day than I did after living in Tanoan for 12 years.  Bob pursued new career opportunities that subsequently took us to Scottsdale, AZ, and the historic community of Franklin, TN, located south of Nashville.  After spending almost 40 years to the day in Albuquerque, the move to TN was our third in 10 years.  I have learned that no one rolls out the welcome mat quite like folks in small Southern towns.  Fortunately, when I stopped working, I took up golf and duplicate bridge.  Both activities provide many opportunities to make new friends no matter where you live.  When I met and married Bob, I became the stepmother of three children and now have three grandchildren, who live in Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Colorado.

While Bob and I are fortunate to be able to divide our time between AZ and TN, we have fond memories of Albuquerque.  I miss the Sandia Mountains.  There are few vistas as spectacular as the view of the city lights from the NE Heights.  I miss the cool, bug-less summer evenings.  Albuquerque’s brilliant blue skies provide the perfect backdrop for hot air balloons.  We don’t get back to Albuquerque as often as we would like.  The reunion provided the perfect excuse to plan a trip.  As we say in the South, see all y’all in a few weeks.  Pat Boatwright Luther

Tom Harrington on July 9, 2012 10:59 PM
I must agree with Pat: Thank you so much to the members of the Reunion Committee. This is a rather difficult undertaking and you have accomplished a lot in a short period of time. Bravo!

Claudia, I agree with you completely. One of my biggest regrets (there are so many!) is losing track of friends from DNHS. After I left high school I was a mess. I had no idea what I wanted to do except to just disappear. I went to UNM for a while where I tried to get back together with my former girlfriend. Major fail there. I didn't pay much attention to my classes and failed there as well.

After a few other failures I wound up sitting at a drafting table for several years, and I liked it, but was unsatisfied with the pay, especially after getting married and having two kids. So on the advice and arm twisting of some family members, I tried real estate sales. Another major fail. I decided to take night classes at U of A, and after a couple of difficult courses I was craving something relatively easy. I signed up for a class in real estate appraisal. It turns out I was a natural at it, so I hit my instructor up for a job after two classes. He helped me find someone who was willing to hire an untested newbie, and I worked for him for a couple of years before my former instructor's boss called me and wanted to interview me. He hired me to work in the residential department. I was there for a few years and, long story short, I ended up buying the residential business from my employers.

I had my own residential real estate appraisal business for about a quarter of a century, during which time I got involved in a couple of investment groups which did rather well. I retired a month after I turned 50. Since then I have had plenty of time to regret much of my early life and try a few other things including photography.

But I have always been bothered by losing track of friends, and not only from DNHS, but every other place I had been over the years. I will try to make it to this reunion. There are so many people I want to see again. And I really hope that some of us will stay in closer contact after the reunion and perhaps rekindle some old friendships. See you there!


Claudia Russo on July 8, 2012 6:20 PM
Hey, Pat!  This is kind of cool!  Whaddeltheythinkofnext????  Can't wait to see you in a few weeks and we can really catch up.  The neighborhoods in Albuquerque used to be friendly like your southern ones, but not so much anymore.  Something has changed and I can't quite put my finger on it.  I spent some time in the south when I was married to my first husband (you remember him, don't you, Pat) and I loved it as well.  Didn't like the weather so much, but the people were great and it was such a different part of the country for me.  I'd love to go back.  I'll never forget the dogwoods and redbuds in Spring, really wonderful.  But then I just go get some enchiladas.......
Pat Luther on July 13, 2012 2:49 PM
There's really nothing quite like New Mexican-style Mexican food, and I always have to laugh a little to myself when someone starts telling me about the really terrific Mexican restaurant they've found.  Having said that, there really is an almost authentic New Mexican restaurant in Franklin, TN, called Sopapillas.  The owner has some connection to Roswell and they have Hatch green chili.  Of course, they have to dumb-down the flavor just a bit for the middle TN palate, but whenever Bob and I start craving blue corn chicken enchiladas we go there.  They serve the sopapillas after the meal.  Go figure! 

Claudia Russo on July 13, 2012 5:18 PM
Hey Tom and Pat....  Thanks for the nice words about the website.  I had been very familiar with them thanks to our business and using a template, and a hosting company, it went together fairly easily. The big part is maintaining it.  But so far, having fun doing that. 
Tom - photography?  That's fabulous.  Could you send me an example and I'll put it up on the web.  But that's up to you.  But always interested to see what a fellow Knight is doing.  Since I always take such pitiful photos, I am very impressed to see really fine and innovative photography.  See what you think.
Pat - I had to laugh about the New Mexican food.  We have lived in so many places and they never have a complete understanding.  It may be ok, or acceptable and scratch that itch, but it's never just right.  Even when we are in California for a couple of weeks, first thing over the state line and we are into a NM restaurant.  Woe to them if they don't have enchiladas!  And the sopapilla as dessert we found everywhere - Connecticut, Chicago, Minneapolis and Indiana.  We always gave explicit instructions to bring with dinner and did we get some stares!
I am starting a new photo album following the refurbishing of the DN Knight.  Be sure to check over the weekend and then follow the journey.  It's pretty cool.


Bob Derryberry on July 18, 2012 12:21 AM
Okay Pat . . .
Franklin, TN? I live in Nashville near the Dam and Airport. Yes classmates we have LOTS of water around us. I had no idea another Del Norte Grad lived in this beautiful area! Here's hoping to catch up to you at the Reunion. Claudia- you've done a remarkable job putting all of this together! BD

Claudia Russo on July 18, 2012 12:37 PM
Hey, Bob - while I thank you for your kind comments, I really can't take credit. I was recruited by the committee who was already down the path on plans, etc.  I have to say, they have lots of experience (I don't) with these reunions, so many good ideas and a wealth of organization.  My main contribution has been with the website, which I am enjoying immensely. Anyway, Gary Sandoval, Gary Wolfe, Kileen Vandam Scott, Laurel Hoffman Moore, Larry Koester, Richard Braziel, Vidal Lopez, Jan Spates DeLorenzo, Diane Dreibelbis and Beth Clark Altherr have been the main movers and shakers.  I am just thrilled they have included me. It has been just the right medicine for me at the right time!  Can't wait to see you and hopefully, you and the Luther's can get together. BTW, I think Tennessee is gorgeous.  I visited there years ago with my first husband who was attending classes for 3 months in Oak Ridge.  It was great!  Talk to you later - Claudia

Carolyn Sanders on July 20, 2012 7:02 PM
     I too would like to thank the reunion committee for putting this event together and for maintaining the great website.  I attended the reunion 25 years ago, but have lost contact with my former classmates throughout the years.  I have been fortunate to maintain a close friendship with Yolanda Smelser (one that started when we were in 1st grade) and see her every time I am in Albuquerque. 
      I married right out of high school (Paul Sanders, DNHS 66), and he chose a career in the military.  As a result, our travels found us living in every corner of the United States, Ethiopia, Belgium, and Germany.  We traveled extensively, taking in the  beauty of wherever we set up our household.  After several years of moving around, we found ourselves in the great Northwest, where we have lived for thirty years.  I would like to put to rest that it rains all of the time up here (might be hard to convince some of you of that, especially with the weather we have had this year), but nothing compares to the beauty of the mountains, the magnificant lush forests, the blue waters of the Sound and all of the outdoor activites one can participate in.  
     We have three wonderful sons and two beautiful granddaughters, all of whom bring us great joy.  Paul and I both retired almost three years agon - even though I moved around a great deal, I was fortunate to have a successful career as a Budget Analyst for the government.  Some may think I am crazy, but I have returned to work (on a part-time basis) with a large law firm in Tacoma - it doesn't take up much of my time and I love being around people, helping out any way I can.  I also give back to the community, by spending one day a week at the Superior Court House, as a volunteer - I call this my "three ring circus",  but it makes me realize just how lucky I am.
     I am looking forward to the reunion, and connecting with everyone.  

Jo Ann (Varga) Price on August 12, 2012 1:01 PM
What a great reunion!  I would really like to thank the committee for putting this together in such a short amount of time.  It was so nice to see faces from the past and listening to their life stories.  I'm all in for the 50th!  Good job! 

Pat Luther on August 13, 2012 6:47 PM

The 45th reunion was so much fun.  The committee did a great job organizing the event.  The buffet dinner was very good.  The DJ was great (no surprise since he is a DNHS alum).  It was nice to reconnect with so many people.  A big thank you to the reunion committee!  You all worked so hard and it showed.


Carol Chinberg Warner on August 17, 2012 11:28 AM
 We are in the kitchen in KY this morning making carnitas and red sauce. The kitchen smells are working on our taste buds and it's almost lunchtime! Mmmmm! For those of us who no longer reside in NM you know what I mean. Thank you to everyone for making our visit down memory lane so much fun. 

John Kir on August 31, 2012 7:42 PM
The reunion committe did a great job in organizing and running the show.

The meal was very good and reasonable

We would have liked to see more people dancing however.

My suggestion for the 50th would be to have a cruise with a Bon-voyage party the night before.

Tom Pearson on October 31, 2012 4:57 PM
Sorry i didn`t make the reunion. I`m enjoying looking at all the photos, but I don`t know if I could party with such an old looking crowd. I`m still 18 in my mind..lol. I hardly rcognized anyone....but my heart is still with everyone..go Knights

Bob Derryberry on January 22, 2013 9:44 PM
The last installment of the Knight's renewal was fun to read. I recall doing much of what was described to do in Albuquerque in the sixties. I lived near the Duke City Drive-in. I remember seeing the Graduate there and Cat Ballou. I also remember the dust storms and the fact that Del Norte set out all by itself in the open but, there stood the majectic Knight thru all sorts of weather and many, many generations of school kids. I'll bet that Knight could share some interesting stories if he could talk! Thanks for donating time and talent to renew the school spirit figure!
Lankston (Morrie) Headley on October 18, 2013 4:10 PM
It has been a personal reward to accidently stumble onto the DNHS Class of 1967 website. It has prompted many fond memories. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading what our classmates have been doing over the years. My pride swells as I read your words describing what is accomplished. Your happiness is fully demonstated. I have been privledged to communicate with a few of you as a direct result and that too is a treaure. I look forward to the 2017 re-union. It will be my first.
Morrie 10-18-13

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