SAS Reunion 2013

Allen ordered a beautiful banner for us
Allen ordered a beautiful banner for us

This weekend was the SAS bi-annual reunion and was held in Atlanta this year. Also, for a change of pace it was in September instead of July. After sweltering through several cities in Texas, New Orleans and Washington, D.C, everyone decided they didn’t want to do the south in the summer again. Then we went on to have what was probably the coolest summer ever.

This reunion has been going on every two years since 1979 and has always been primarily for the classes of the 50s, 60s and 70s — the rest of us were still in school or possibly not born yet! This year we really wanted to expand it younger classes. I tried my best to round up everyone I could. There were five of us from the 80s and about three from the ’90s.

Here are the 80s reps: myself, Dave Dawson (’85), Bill Anderson (’86) and Robyn Williams (’86). We had a great time1

Everyone smile!
Everyone smile!

We stayed at the J.W. Marriott in Buckhead. Friday night we had a reception at the hotel with good food and the world’s slowest bar tenders. We had a couple of special guests. Claire Angell, the director of International Affairs for the City of Atlanta spoke to us. I don’t remember what all she said but it was interesting.

Lauri Coulter, the current director of Alumni Relations at SAS, was in town for the event. She spoke a little, too, and brought some SAS items for us. She comes to the US every February and swings through a few cities holding alumni get-togethers. Heath and I cornered her and I think we have her convinced to include Atlanta on her next trip. I told her there are a lot of alumni in the area and within driving distance and I was just sure they would come for a school-sponsored event. So you people better come! She also got the history of the reunion and wants to do a six-to-eight page spread on it in Journeys.

Alumni t-shirt
Alumni t-shirt

Lauri had a lot of SAS items with her but she said she’s going to get a Cafepress store up and going where we can order things. The Booster Club can’t sell things overseas as they are not an exporter. They looked into getting an export license but you know what it’s like getting things done in Singapore and the shipping would be outrageous, anyway.

Allen Lundy, the organizer, also extended an invitation to former SAS student Tammy Duckworth who was recently elected to U.S. Congress representing Illinois. Her schedule was booked up before the mess in Syria so she wasn’t able to come but she sent a nice letter I never did get a chance to look at. And she would have been another ’80s person!

Saturday was open for sight-seeing and visiting. Heath, Katy and I went to Legoland Discovery Center in Phipps Plaza as Katy had been wanting to do that. Then we went to Piedmont Park for the Atlanta Arts Festival.

Saturday night we had dinner down the street at Maggiano’s Italian restaurant. We had the worst time coming up with a place for dinner. Our favorite Malay spot, Penang, was too small plus there was a transportation issue. Mary Mac’s, a wonderful southern restaurant, bailed out on us after agreeing to it. The Carter Center has a wonderful Indian menu and offered to have the museum open for us after hours and the price was good but once again, Atlanta’s lousy public transportation system was an obstacle. The Georgia Aquarium was easy enough to get to but it’s $1,500 just to rent the Ocean’s Ballroom. So Italian it was. The food was great. Heath, Katy and I met with Allen and Brenda about a month ago for a tasting to settle on the menu. We got a lot of compliments so I don’t think people were disappointed in not having an Asian dinner. We had an upstairs room entirely to ourselves with a DJ, two bars and a dance floor. Katy couldn’t find anyone to dance with her.

Saturday evening Allen gave a small presentation. He told us about an email he got through the reunion website from a woman named Andrea. She wasn’t at all connected to the school, just a random person. She wrote that her family had been in Washington, D.C. for vacation recently and visited the Vietnam Memorial Wall. She asked her children to pick out a name off the wall and they would pray for that person’s family. She wrote down the name and then looked online to see what she could find out about him. She discovered he had graduated from the Singapore American School and then I guess searching that, the reunion website popped up. So she emailed Allen and he got her in touch with the man’s family and they have communicated. That was really neat.

We took group photos. Here is the mid-70s group. Or maybe ’72-’74, I forget how they were divided up.

Naturally everyone is looking at someone else's camera
Naturally everyone is looking at someone else’s camera

And the ’80s and ’90s group. We were small, but we’re going to round up a lot of people for 2015!

That's the DJ's head in the back
That’s the DJ’s head in the back

Someone from Heath’s class (’74) had signed up to go and Heath didn’t recognize his name at all. Come to find out, the gentleman (whose named I can’t remember) was only there in second and third grade but his brother graduated in 65 and had been to the reunions so he decided he’d come, too. Heath got to talking to him on Saturday night and then said to me “Didn’t you tour the Ranger”. The USS Ranger was in port in Singapore in the summer of 76 and this guy was on it! So I told him all about my visit. He asked if I’d been to the big party and I said no, I was only seven! I have a photo with myself and the sailor who showed us around that I scanned and am going to email to him. There are a couple of thousand people on those ships but you never know who knows who.

Sunday morning we had breakfast at the hotel and talked about plans for the next reunion. Someone said “Well I heard it was going to be in Las Vegas and so-and-so is planning it”. So-and-So wasn’t even at breakfast that morning! Steve Hurst said “as they say in Ottowa, if you haven’t heard a rumor by noon, start one”. It wasn’t even noon and she’d already started on! Plans are for Las Vegas, though, and if that doesn’t work out then Chicago is the back-up plan. And SAS is planning a 60th anniversary celebration in 2016 and Lauri said the date should be set in the next month or two. I told her to shoot for the second week in April as that’s our spring break!

Allen's last surprise. Light on the floor.
Allen’s last surprise. Light on the floor.

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