By Alan Sorensen
Fossil Festival all-'60s reunion and campout isn't until Labor Day Weekend 2000 on Sept. 1-3.
Organizers insist, however, that those dates are closer than some may think. That's why they've called an informal organizational meeting for tomorrow at the Community Center at the Hill County Fairgrounds.
The meeting begins at 7 p.m. and is open to everyone who graduated or would have graduated from Havre Central or Havre High in the 1960s.
Sandy (Saunders) Anderson of Boxcars came up with the idea of the all-decade reunion a couple of years ago and has recruited numerous people to help. Two of the most helpful so far have been Diane "Jonesy" Lamphier and Mike Spencer, fairgrounds manager.
Anderson said the reunion will take place at the fairgrounds and will be "nothing fancy." "No fuss, no muss, it's just for us," she said.
Anderson said Bill Nelson of The Squires, among the most popular bands of the decade in northern Montana, agreed that it should be laid back. "It's a hot dog in the dirt and there's music," he reportedly told her.
Anderson said that '60s alumni should not be waiting for engraved invitations and that those who know about it should pass along the news to their friends here and abroad. Anderson suggests that people cut this story of the paper and send photocopies to their friends and classmates.
Most of the planned activities (there aren't many, so far) will be held at the fairgrounds, so everyone is encouraged to bring lawn chairs, umbrellas, folding tables and other items of comfort.
All former Havre High band members are invited to participate in the opening ceremony with a few select pieces at noon Saturday. C.I. Carlson's son, David, band director at Havre Middle School, will provide copies of the pieces to be played and a rehearsal is set for 5 p.m. Friday. More details will be available later.
The cost of attending the holiday weekend affair will be $10 per person, $15 per couple and $20 per family. There will be sign-up tables at the site and preregistration isn't necessary.
The campgrounds, midway and the vast parking lots are available for campers. The 21 stalls with hookup for water and electricity at the campground go for $17 per night. The 50 to 60 stalls with no hookups on the midway will go for $6 per night, as will the unlimited spaces in the parking lots. Public showers at the campground are open to everyone.
Various clubs and organizations will have their food booths open for the weekend so campers may be able to purchase such memorable goodies as Pronto Pups, scones, and buffalo burgers. Havre Youth Baseball will have the Beer Gardens open, so don't worry about bringing beer and wine.
Reservations for the total hookup stalls are available only by calling 1-800-26507121 or 265-7121.
Havre's many hotel and motel listings are included on the reunion's web sit at www.havre.k12.mt.us.
The fairgrounds office will have local information, tour listings and other pertinent bits of news for visitors.
Each class is responsible for setting up a display of its deceased classmates. The displays will be set up in the community hall where the decade's faculty and staff will be displayed, too.
Among those groups that have indicated that they are coming is the state champion Havre High School Blue Pony football team of 1959. All but a couple of the players from that team are expected to show up, team spark plug Gary Blazek said. The team will gather at Blue Pony Stadium Saturday morning for a photographic portrait in the same location they posed 41 years ago. For the seniors on that team, 2000 marks their 40th year of freedom from HHS.
Anderson said the response to the event has been overwhelming from people throughout the country. Now she's getting worried about the hometown folk who may fail to attend.
"Anyone who lives in Havre and doesn't show up better watch out," she said. "We're going to be breaking legs."
Music for the weekend includes Friday night's DJ Music of the 1950s and '60s; Saturday's live performance by The Squires (Bill Nelson, Kurt Miller, Larry Olson, Lyle Dille, and Rick Richter); Sunday's jam session and The Squires bring your own instruments.
All food, drink and concessions will be available at the fairgrounds with food booths open for breakfast, lunch and supper.
Anyone who wants to help get the weekend organized and events lined up is encouraged to attend. If all goes as planned, several hundred of the classmates of the '60s and their families should be on hand for the big bash.