Reunion 2012 - - Springville, California


Joe Heitz

April 27-29

The 2012 DOLOP reunion is now history, and those who made the trip to Springville had a great time. Seeing relatives you haven’t seen for a while — in many cases, for a few years — is always a hoot, and there was plenty of news about families, jobs, travel, etc. to get caught up on. Pictures of the reunion may be seen on links from the DOLOP site and Facebook. 

Bob Johnson’s five acres in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains worked well for this gathering. Bob’s house is perched on a knoll surrounded by pastures, with higher hills all around. Scattered trees and awnings provided places to get out of the sun. The pond below the house was the focal point for many G3s and G4s. This was also convenient for parents, who could visit with others up at the house while keeping an eye on their kids down below.


Recent rains had greened up the pastures and hillsides, and the view from Bob’s place was spectacular. One car had some difficulty finding traction on the wet ground Friday night, but several able-bodied G2s pushed it out of trouble. It was cool enough during Friday evening’s hot dog dinner to get a fire going in the pit on Bob’s deck. But overall the weather cooperated, with lots of sunshine and highs in the 80s on Saturday. A few of us had major sunburns going by the end of the day.


Group photos were Saturday a.m. out in the pasture between some big boulders. A friend of Bob’s (nice Corvette!) did the official group portraits, but it looked like a half dozen or so photogs were shooting at any one time. Ben’s dad Linc got the award for coolest-looking camera.


Ryan and his crew had horseshoe pits, fishing poles, and a driving range for golf set up down by the pond. Fishing generated the most action — some of the G4s, with help from G3s and G2s, happily spent most of Saturday drowning worms. Monteen provided the bamboo poles. Fishing was pretty good — the winner of the fishing contest, Trent Regier, caught eight fish. A silent auction also was popular, and helped offset some of the expense.

Before dinner, Kim read a piece written by Monteen.  It was on the reunion theme of Home for Everyone. Beautifully expressed, it moved several people to tears.  A copy of the reading will be posted on the DOLOP website. (see “A Home for Everyone”)


A high point was Carol’s brief presentation about her parents and the founders of this extended family, Lowery and Opla Poteete. They raised 10 kids under one roof, all the while instilling the values now being passed down through the generations. Carol also recognized the heavy lifting that Wayne Lance has put into maintaining the DOLOP web site and the DOLOP directory — essentially providing much of the glue that holds us together. And she expressed concern about G2s and G3s stepping up to move Wayne’s work forward. Ron Liesch, Kris Casparie, Linda Smith, and Monteen all shared anecdotes about Lowery and Opla. Bill Poteete got a well-deserved round of applause for winning medals in a recent Special Olympics sprint competition.


No one went hungry. Plates of fresh fruits and veggies, and baskets of peanuts were on every table, and trays of homemade cookies circulated. Iced tea, punch, and a variety of bring-your-own beverages were available. A catered lunch of chicken, tri-tip steak, and several side dishes were served mid-afternoon.


Several guests were first-timers at this reunion. It didn’t look like we scared any of ‘em too badly, although we all know appearances can be deceiving.  


Accommodations at Porterville’s Holiday Inn Express were comfortable, and mornings and evenings at the motel provided more opportunities for socializing. Room 212 was party central.


Kudos to Bob and all his family for a great job hosting this event. At the risk of leaving out someone, several others deserve recognition for putting this reunion together and making it run smoothly. Among them: Linda and John, Mary Poteete, Lisa Regier, and Cynthia. Thanks to all, and especially to Bob; most would probably agree that Springville ranks right up there with the best of these reunions.




Top 10 Reasons I Couldn’t Make The Reunion


Couldn’t make it this year? That’s too bad, but we understand that things come up. Illness, money’s tight, demands of work or school, scheduling conflicts — all completely reasonable. Here are a few other excuses that might apply to your particular situation. Feel free to use ‘em as needed. Hey, no problem, glad to help.


1. “I don’t care to see [name relative here]; he/she makes me want to barf.”


2. “My GPS screwed up and somehow I ended up in Palm Springs.”


3. “I break out in hives and boils in crowds, and a mild case of Tourette’s Syndrome causes me to keep yelling 'More beer!'"


4. “I was keeping score in a game of Cow Pie Bingo (Google it) and time got away from me.”


5. “I didn’t want to embarrass anyone by driving up in the Ferrari I bought with proceeds from selling a few 10-year-old shares of Apple stock.”


6. “The president called and asked me to lead a secret mission to Khujand. That’s in Tajikistan, obviously, but if I said any more I’d have to kill you.”


7. “The cosmetic enhancements I got since the last reunion might cause some jealousy.”


8. “After getting a tip, I put a thousand bucks on a 2-year-old filly, Red Lightning, to win by three lengths in the second afternoon race Saturday at Macadamia Downs, and I couldn’t afford to not watch.”


9. "My hemorrhoid operation hadn't completely healed and I couldn't sit and couldn't stand either."


10. "There was a reunion this year...?"