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Then & Now
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Kim Schulze Hackley
1974
I enjoyed going to MHS. I was in the marching band plus other activities at school . I remember one friend who was so nice to me.We were the buddy bells. Her name was Gayle. We both played the bells for the marching canes. I still live here in Bradenton. I am married and have two sons . Eric , who graduated at MHS in 96. We also have our younger son now who is now attending Manatee, Jason. He is the starting middle linebacker for the varisty football team. He hopes to win state before he graduates in 2004.
 
Wanda Sexton
Simon%20
1983
I was with the class of 83. After leaving school I stayed in Sarasota for a few years, got married had a son who is almost 12. I left after the divorce and came back to Cinti where I was originally from. I remarried (this time it's a keeper) and had another son who will be 2 in November. I am now a stay at home mom, but very much involved in the school system, (at the present I am trying to make positive changes in the system and working with our city council). I have actually been asked to run for council! I am not ready for that kind of politics yet. Career wise my background is in the medical field (medical assistant). I have worked ranging from with patients to durable medical goods (vascular and burn garments to hospital beds and oxygen and also mastectomy patients). My last job was handling workers comp for Anthem, and that was a great job! Needless to say I have a very full life and feel blessed everyday. I would like to reconnect with old classmates so if anybody who remembers me please look for my email address on the other site.
Brook Shaffer%20
1990
Then and now, huh? Well, I was never so glad something was over as I was the day we graduated Manatee High! Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate the place, I just hated school. I played volleyball and barely passed most of my classes. Not much to remember, huh? I do remember the important things, like OOH BUNK, and buying candygrams to send Patrick Ferguson (where IS he now???), and Ghostgrams to Stacey and Stacie, and toilet papering Jerry Engerski's truck while it was in the Wal-Mart Parking lot, dating Eric Scarbrough for a LONG time, driving around and around in circles the last day of school, and hanging out for hours on end with Gareth Evans. Kind of a freakish version of Grease, don't you think?  I stumbled around the MCC campus for a while, then quit altogether. I decided to be a travel agent, so I became one, and ended up working on cruise ships for over three years, instead! I traveled so many places - the Caribbean (have been to most of the islands), South America, the Canal, the West Coast, Alaska, Canada, New England, some of the Mediterranean... it was a wonderful life. But I had to finally face real life and settle down.  I came back to Bradenton late '97, decided I wanted to go back to school, and took a job at MCC so I could go without paying tuition. After one semester I decided it was time for a move, and moved to Clearwater. I LOVE it here. I have been at Tech Data for 2 1/2 years, now working as an Account Coordinator in the Marketing Department. I finally went back and completed my AA and graduated in December WITH HONORS! (That should shock a few people.) I'm still not sure what I want to be when I grow up... I don't think I have to make a decision yet. I'm having fun and loving life. I am still single (surprise), have three guinea pigs I love dearly, am involved in some animal rescues in this area, still love to golf (live on an 18 hole course) and have a wonderful group of friends. I still travel every chance I get. MHS seems like a lifetime ago... I didn't do well keeping in touch with anyone. Now I wonder where people are and how they are doing. Drop me a line if you want to catch up! Brook :)

   
Paula Jo Sheley Bassitt-Dudley
1965
Paula Jo Sheley (Bassitt) graduated June 1965, soon after graduation I married Larry Lee Bassitt, in Feb 1966. We Divorced after 26 years. Had 2 beautiful children together. Gina Lee (35)(she is Mrs. Gene Brown, Brown & Son Funeral Home in Bradenton) & Larry "LEE" Jr (30) of Jacksonville, Fl. I have 4 beautiful grandchildren. 11,9,8,3. I remarried a New Yorker (what a mistake) and divorced him after 10 years. So then I bought me a Harley Davidson and said Heck with men until 3 years ago, at a bike night on ST. Armands circle at Barnie's coffee. I met a wonderful Harley Man........."George" We moved to Gatlinburg Tennessee last year, to the cabin my father built in 1978. Since then we have purchased another 7 acres nearby and George is in the process of building us our Dream Home.... Log Cabin, it is situtated atop a mountain overlooking Gatlinburg & the Beautiful Smoky Mountains. What a wonderful place to live and ride our Harleys. We own our own business of several rental cabins here in Gatlinburg, so we have alot of free time to ride, travel & go to all the bike weeks throughout the country. Our 3 year old toy poodle "Harlie Jo", goes everywhere we go on my lap on my 2001 Pearl White FATBOY, she has logged over 20,000 miles since she began riding at just 8 weeks old. George and I are getting married next weekend Oct 12, 2002. On our Harleys atop a mountain overlooking this beautiful place we live. Of course, "Harlie Jo" also has a veil and will be part of the festivities.... I guess you can say, My Life is almost Perfect now .... Perfect Man, Perfect Place to Live, Perfect Family and Pretty Much Retired........and with God watching over our lives... P.S. I think it's time someone in the class of 65 got a reunion together. Mary Dobbe and I did the others, and now we want to be paying guests at the next one. Thats my life from 65 to date.

Derelle Smith%20
1966
Derelle majored in Journalism and has had a successful career in the field, working as a reporter for United Press International in Miami, a People magazine writer on assignment while in Miami, as well as a prominent editor at newspapers in Tampa, Fla., Colorado Springs, Colo., and San Francisco. In addition, Derelle as an entrepreneur ran a successful national newsletter firm headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area. Today, at 49, he is committed to the field of channeling and associated work, including publications, tapes, seminars, workshops, group and community activities, while maintaining his strong ties to his private clients who extend all across the United States and Canada. He believes strongly that Michael can offer practical, down-to-earth perspectives that can help people make better choices in their jobs, their loves, their family, and their dreams. (Editor's note: Information from Ask Michael website.)
Karen Sneary Wood%20
1959

  Since high school, (class of '59), I married Chuck Wood the same year (December.)  In 1969, Chuck graduated USF and we moved to Atlanta. I worked for an Insurance Company which I truly enjoyed. We were transferred back to Sarasota, lived there until 1971. Chuck changed jobs and in March of 1973 we were transferred to Harrisburg, Pa. I went to work for Nationwide Insurance Company as a claims adjuster. I worked for them until 1980,  and left Nationwide when we were transferred to Indianapolis, Indiana. At that point I went to work for Foremost Insurance Company. I continued in the claims department, handling bodily injury liability claims. It was very interesting and truly a learning experience. I had to complete many medical and law courses through out my career. We were transferred to Michigan in 1985 where we found the temperature and climate NOT to our southern liking. We moved back to Bradenton in 1987 and plan to stay here forever.  I am no longer working but my days are full. We had two sons, the oldest having met his wife while at IUPUI, still resides in Indiana with their two daughters. The youngest lives on Longboat with his wife and has no children. I have been able to stay in touch and see  friends from school, for which I feel fortunate. I have made wonderful friends everywhere we have lived. I feel I have had a wonderful life and look forward with great anticipation to the next chapter.
Update (July 2, 2002) We have moved to Venice so thought you should put that in my now and then information on the Manatee High website. I just read it saying 'I would live in Bradenton forever'.... guess we never know do we? We are building a new home (what a hassle) and hope to move in by the end of the month. It has been a real experience.

Kelly Sooy%20
1984
I was in the class of 84 and now I am medically retired from the military due to aggravated wounds from the Gulf War. I was also a paratrooper for 9 years and worked with the 1st Ranger Battalion and 3rd Special Forces group. I currently Live near Ft. Bragg, NC. 
Dave Thompson%20
1961
  I graduated in 1961, entered the Army and was medically retired as a Captain in 1980. Along the way, I received a BS in Business Management from Hampton University, Hampton, VA and my MS in Business from Florida Tech, Melbourne, FL. I married my High School sweetheart, Bonnie (from Sarasota High), raised three kids and now have two grandchildren. Our eldest is a career Air Traffic Controller so watch yourself when you fly!  Our middle son is an Audio Engineer and our daughter is the Marketing Manager for Chicago Title in Seattle. I worked for Wang Laboratories from 1984 to 2000. We retired in April, 2000 and now reside in Las Vegas.
Belinda Trudelle Wilson%20
1990
I graduated in 1990. After graduation I moved to Port Charlotte for about 3 months, then on to Venice Florida. That is were I met my husband. We have been together since Dec of 1990. We moved to Spring Hill, Florida in Feb of 1992. Bought a house and  we got married in May of 1994. We had our daughter Madison in August of 1995. In 1996 I thought about joining the Army, but my husband ended up joining instead of me. So at 29 years old my husband joined the Army. We have been stationed at Ft. Gordon in Augusta, Georgia and we are now stationed in Landstuhl, Germany. We will be moving back  the states in May of 2001. I have been to some school since graduation, but nothing like I wanted to.  So when we return to the states I will finish school and hope to be nurse.  I am involved in a lot of community functions and try to stay busy. My daughter helps with that! I can't wait for our 10 year reunion to see all the old classmates.  Hope to see you soon!
Judyth Vary Baker
1961
As you may recall, I was engaged in cancer research, and seemed to drop out of sight. Until now, I could not have mentioned what was going on in my life. The military paramilitary and intelligence communities had interest in me, and I became involved in a dual life: outwardly a student, clandestinely, continuing in sophisticated research-- in  service to my country as an asset to the CIA. Didn't you ever wonder why I, who had won national recognition for my magnesium project, and whose cancer research project gained me Honors in the Westinghouse Science Talent Search, plus a trip to Buffalo to work in the nation's oldest cancer laboratories, did NOT get the science award on graduation night? Larry Jerome got it. I got the art award instead! Even then, efforts had begun to pull me out of the spotlight. After my initial training I had been sponsored by Senator Smathers and others, in anti-Castro factions, including Dr. Harold Diehl and Dr. Alton Ochsner. Between 1961 and 1963, I was trained to do special cancer research. I can't even discuss the impact of this project, but suffice that by spring of 1963, I was in New Orleans, ostensibly working for Reily coffee company (my boss former FBI agent William Monaghan) but I was actually engaged in clandestine cancer research with 'Dr.' David W. Ferrie (supposedly committed suicide but was probably murdered during the Garrison investigation) and renowned medical specialist Dr. Mary Sherman (brutally murdered July 21, 1964 for her part in the scenario I am about to describe). You may recall that I took Russian (all fees paid) at Manatee (then Jr.) Community College. I spoke crude conversational Russian by 1963, when I was introduced in New Orleans to Lee Harvey Oswald. I was almost a dead ringer for Marina Oswald when I wore my hair and makeup the same--was same height, weight, and spoke Russian. Lee Oswald and I worked together for the CIA in an anti-Castro project which included delivery of live biological weapons into Cuba, one of them aimed to kill Castro. Not only was Oswald an innocent man, he was framed in Dallas. He was a patriot who, had he defended himself, would have led our deaths. We had endured the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, and the threat of communism spreading throughout Central and South America. I have been unable to speak about this for all these years, and indeed went into hiding after the events of Nov. 22-24, 1963. I am writing this to let light fall at last upon what must have seemed my many mysterious activities even in high school--such as meeting with Nobel Prize winners in St. Petersburg, and why I was never to become a doctor or research scientist. Within weeks or days of the reunion this matter will come to light before the public. My book (will be called "JUDYTH AND LEE") will deal with these events, and of my love affair with Lee. (Name Deleted*) and can verify my history. I suggest you order his book from Amazon.com. We expect movie and television productions, etc. I am sorry I cannot attend the reunion, and felt an explanation was in order. If any attendees remember my science research project, etc., please give them my email address. I think now you know why the email address is so named. Rec'd an AA degree in 1965 from U of FL Gainesville. I rec'd a B.S. degree in anthropology from U of Houston. Rec'd M.A. from University of central Florida in Creative Writing/Linguisitics. ABD University of Louisiana.  Had five children: Susan-- M.A. Creighton U.: she has three children. Josiah has six degrees. Professor at U. of Central FL, economics. World traveled, was present in Berlin year of Fall of Berlin Wall. Recent trips to Russia, Europe, spent year in Japan Has two children. James; graduated valedictorian (rank #1), SE H.S. 1991. Won Gold Feather Award. Has B.S. &  M.A. from Vanderbilt U. Computer guru. Has one child. John: graduated valedictorian SE High school 1992 (rank #0, a 'higher' rank than #1, as he also graduated PRIOR to H.S. graduation from MCC with an AA in engineering and had a GPA that was off the chart). Won Golden Herald Award in Mathematics, 1992. Works for a company that does projects for the CIA. Grad. U of Central FL and Penn State with MS in computer engineering. Sarah: graduated 1998, valedictorian of her class at North Central HS, Lafayette area, Louisiana. Married and attends U of LA in  Lafayette. Plans to be a chemistry teacher. Just as her siblings did, she attends on full scholarships. I never had to pay a nickel's tuition or fees for any of these five children. I am very proud of them. I was married 24 years -- divorced after I left the Mormon Church, which we had both joined in 1969 (I wanted to clear my conscience of the project and the pain of it all--I had seen Lee get shot on TV, and it almost destroyed me.) I had married Robert Baker just after meeting Lee, and had planned to divorce him after Lee and I fell in love (Lee was not getting along with his wife at all). Lee Oswald had been sent into Russia so that he could then be sent into Cuba. there is much, much more, but he was betrayed. They knew he would not betray any of us, and he was a handy scapegoat. He knew he was going to be set up, but hoped he could do something to save Kennedy. This is the man who is blamed for Kennedy's death. The cruelty of the way Lee Oswald was treated is unbelievable to me. I had even met Jack Ruby, who had liked Lee. The mafia forced Ruby to murder Lee, or they would have exposed his part in everything, as he had been a longtime FBI informant, and I believe the mob held the life of his sister, Eva, over his head. He knew about the cancer research project. He even thought he had been injected with live cancer cells (he died of sudden lung cancer--which was what our project revolved around originally). Lee was a courageous man -- as will come out soon. I really don't expect you to believe any of this without documentation and proof. Don't be concerned: I've got the proof. Disinformation people sponsored by the CIA may try to muddy up my reputation. They have even claimed on the internet that I never did any cancer research in high school, and many other lies. It doesn't matter. I have my defenders and I've been able to prove everything I'm saying. I did want my class to have this information in case they become aware of the situation, which should occur at any time between early September and November 22, 2001. I've lived in Mexico and Norway as well as having traveled extensively. I have spent the past five years teaching college English in Louisiana, while gathering witnesses on tape and film who knew about me and Lee. Now I am living in Dallas, and I'm receiving some harrassment, along with my investigative team. Our wonderful physics/science seminar instructor Col. Phillip Doyle knew some of what was going on. David Tracy, class of 1960, who also was trained in Russian, ran into me a few times in nuclear research facility at UF where I should not have had clearances, but did. By 1963 I could handle radiation experiments on human tissues via a special private permit at UF. Those permits were rescinded early in 1964 as everyone became firghtened about tracking down people like me and finding out how much funding was done through NSF, NIH, NCI, and ACS with CIA behind distribution of funds. You can trust (Name Deleted*) and what he may say about me (if he will talk--it's up to him. Many people have been too frightened to speak up, even now). Now you know. I send my very best wishes to everyone. Judyth (From e-mail)

* ("My name appears in two sentences on the MH website.  Both are in an email supplied by Judyth Vary Baker 61. I write to request that you take both sentences out of her email.  It's a privacy issue on my part." -- from e-mail)

David J. Wallace%20
1969
Spent a lifetime in the military--Army and Air Force, retiring in Sep of 01 as a Lieutenant Colonel.  Along the way I picked up a BA in English at the University of Louisville, Louisville, KY and a MPA in Urban, State, and Federal Governance from Golden Gate University, San Francisco, CA.  Jeanne Parrish wouldn't believe it, but my last military assignment was as Deputy Director of Communication Studies (she probably doesn't believe the BA in English either) at the USAF Air Command and Staff College in Montgomery, AL.  Married to Dr. Linda Fisher (Ed.D) of Chagrin Falls, OH for over 27 years who teaches nursing at Indiana University, Kokomo.  We have two wonderful kids, Channie (analyst for Accenture, graduate of Purdue University) and Jeremy (forensic anthropology major, University of Tennessee--you've seen Bone Collector?).  Major hobby is music--playing trumpet and singing--converted from trombone due to lack of space in the barracks while in the army, but I'll play a 'bone any time I can borrow one.  Returning to Kokomo, IN to start a second career as a civilian.  Got intensely fascinated with Manatee about a year ago--the search continues.  Who's got my Besson 10-10 and what will it take to get it back?
Lyle Betsie Watkins Letterle
1973
1973  graduate from Manatee. 
Three children ages 19, 17 and 10 along with 2 dogs & two cats. 
Resident of Asheville, NC for over 10 years 
Work: American Red Cross and the National Marrow Donor Program
Gary Willingham%20
1984
I'm alive and well and living happily here in Bradenton these many years since my return from the Air Force.  I was there for a while, but I got out, am now married to a lovely lady from Englewood, Ohio, and have a two-story Victorian-style house not far from MHS that I'm fixing up at the present time.  I am working now for Tropicana Products as a Shipping Coordinater; basically just checking the truck loads for the proper product and the proper dates of products to be shipped out everywhere, from coast-to-coast.  I work the 3rd shift, but that does give me time to at least have an evening to enjoy before heading off to work <grin>.  So, I welcome all former class-mates to e-mail me with greetings, stories, etc., and I'll be sure to answer them all.  I hope to meet everyone at the 20-year reunion in 2004, hopefully by then I'll have a house to showcase by that time (here's hoping!).
Mary Jo Willis%20
1961
After a short stint at Wesleyan College, I returned to Bradenton and married my high school sweetheart. Over the next decade we traveled with his employment to many areas of the U.S. and Germany. Three children later I became a busy single parent... during that decade, besides attempting to keep up with the children,  I became an organizer with the National Organization for Women in the effort to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (in my spare time?) and earned a degree in business administration at USF in Sarasota. Now, my life is no longer stress-filled and insane. It is joy-filled with my wonderful family (my children, grandchildren and parents), terrific friends and with part-time work in web/desktop publishing - send me your email addresses for the connections page!

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