The Lincoln Class of 1954 “Night at the Movies” event on Saturday, July 15, began with the arrival of guests driving around the lawn display of parking spaces marked by posts holding the “speakers” facing a large marquee inscribed “Blue Sky Drive-In” and screen with now playing “Night at the Movies.” Leading up to the entrance of the Ellwood City Saxon Club, the movie popcorn smell greeted the arrivals as they entered and were registered by Pudue LaCava, Bob Calve, “Pinky” Maielli and Ellie Paul.
The “Director” John Tino, in full khacky dress, beret hat, mustache, goatee, safari jacket, jodfur pants, megaphone in hand standing in front of his director chair, holding his “take-board” waived the guests to the “Usher” Ilene Gardner. Dressed in her red uniform, red pillbox hat, with gold braid, fitted jacket over full length red pants all outlines in gold, black shoes, white gloves and flashlight in hand, she led them to the candy counter with the popcorn machines on top for picture taking. A flashing lighted Manos marquee, flanked by panels holding large placards featuring Gene Kelly in “American in Paris” and John Wayne in “The Quiet Man” framed the candy counter. Flashing her light led all to the center of the room where appetizers provided by the committee filled a long table facing the buffet table. Red and white popcorn striped napkins accented the white linens, silver servers and table covers.
The 3p.m. social hour began with Tino directing self seating at the red covered tables with places marked by laminated place mats featuring film clips of movies of 1951-1954, favors of red and white popcorn filled replica boxes. Centerpieces of the extra large size popcorn boxes filled with movie type candy complete the decor. Following the movie theme, he gave honor to our local sites, the Manos, Majestic, Blue Sky and Spotlight 88 that afforded our class so much entertainment.
Co-chairman, Paul Abraham, on behalf of co-chairmen James Spielvogel and James Gillespie, welcomed the class of 1954 and the guests. He expressed appreciation to the wives, Ingrid Abraham and Arlene Spielvogel for their support and patience and to all the committee members, LaCava, Calve, Maielli, Paul, Patty Tino, Rose (Nocera) Massaro, Jan Keenan, Gardner and Clemmy Sirimarco for their work all year. He called on Gillespie to voice the invocation for the serving of the dinner. Aurora’s Catering prepared the buffet meal of Manicotte, meatballs, chicken Marsala, roasted potatoes, bakes corn, salad and assorted breads. Dessert of fruit plates and decorated white and chocolate cakes were provided by the committee.
Director Tino and Usher Gardner conducted a memorial service at a table displaying pictures of the 107 deceased classmates. Tino read the names as Gardner lit seven candles in memory of Raymond “Beau” Johnston, Bonnie (Graham) Kirkley, Hazel (Black) LaRitz, Ann (DeLoia) Amadio, Martha Ann (Barr) Johnson, Dawn (Hazen) Price, and Joan (Filippone) Haney, who all passed away from 7-15-16 to 7-15-17. A memorial candle was dedicated to all the deceased members of Class of 1954.
Responding to the request to come as a favorite movie character, prizes were awarded to Ruth (Chima) Risinger and Gail (Wardman) McCormick, both representing “Singing in the Rain” dress, umbrellas and all. Abraham, Massaro and Spielvogel conducted a 50-50 raffle, won by Ray Shinsky and Mary Tincani.
The Director acknowledged Ilene Gardner and her son Jeff Gardner and daughter Kim Groom for their work in creating the movie night with their design, building, painting and assembling all the decor. Calling attention to the Manos display, he noted the memorabilia table was designed as a movie library complete with tapes and full sized pictures of the 50’s stars, a wooden sculpture of movie tickets and a bulletin board that held correspondences received from classmates.
Door prizes of popcorn box centerpieces were awarded to McCormick, Bob McDowell, Red Herron, Calve, Rosonger, Joyce Lerace and Jerry Magee, Jan Keenan photographed the committee and presented the Art Club coloring books that are available to purchase. Director Tino advised classmates that the TV Discovery station may be presenting a story regarding the tragic death of Ruth Ann Viccari Henderson in the near future.
Concluding all activities he expressed the appreciation from all the committee to everyone for their participation. Planning for a 2018 event has begun and all classmates will be notified. The time date and place of the committee wrap-up meeting will be announced.
Submitted by Clemmy Sirimarco.