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Paula Moore has a birthday today.
Nov
13
Nov 13, 2019 at 3:35 AM
Steve Misthos has a birthday today.
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11
Nov 11, 2019 at 3:36 AM
Michael Wylie has a birthday today.
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08
Nov 08, 2019 at 3:33 AM
Waltrip High School Class Of 1970
Page has been added or updated: Homepage.
Nov
03
Nov 03, 2019 at 7:33 PM
Bobby Juroska has been added to In Memory.
Oct
30
Oct 30, 2019 at 3:33 PM
Oct
26
Oct 26, 2019 at 3:33 AM
Joe Murdock has been added to In Memory.
Oct
24
Oct 24, 2019 at 7:33 PM
Sep
12
Sep 12, 2019 at 3:33 PM

I met Claudia while at Waltrip where we shared a couple of classes. Though we exchanged pleasantries, I didn’t get to know the real Claudia until our senior year. It was at Saint Ambrose catechism classes that we got acquainted.

There were only a handful of students in our class so the opportunity to interact was inevitable. Saturday afternoon theology class wasn’t the coolest activity for seventeen-year old’s but somehow in her own way Claudia stuck out with her opinions and smile. Her brashness in challenging the clergyman on antiquated religious matters I recall vividly. She was different than a shy kid who often looked at the clock for the hour to be over.

We didn’t meet again until  three years later where at the Galleria we had a chance encounter. I was working at the Houston Oaks hotel as a bellboy while attending Saint Thomas majoring in nothing. Ms. Korczynski was also an undergraduate student, but her future was solidly laid out. She was going to nursing school and was committed to that endeavor. At some point she mentioned that she was looking for a job at one of the boutiques. Having a good relationship with a restaurant manager at the hotel, I suggested to try there. A couple of weeks later she came by the service desk in the uniform of a Coffee Garden waitress! It was from that point forward that I got to know the real Claudia.

We dated for two or three months. My memory of her personality included outspokedness and humor with a tad of sarcasm thrown in. In particularly I recall her gift for conversation and her ability to out talk me (no simple feat). Opiniated and assertive, she was unlike any girl who I had known with my limited social life. I was a little intimidated as well.

One evening sticks out in my memory that involved another classmate, my best friend Mike Kalousek. Michael asked Claudia why she was so certain about nursing school. Her answer was typical “Claudia”, “Well, I already bought the shoes”. We were both stumped as to whether she was putting us on or indeed she owned a pair of nursing shoes. Years later I finally figured out that it was a bit of both her humor and intelligence. She used those shoes as a motivation factor to attain her degree. At the end of the summer we went our separate ways, largely due to the fact that Claudia was much more intelligent than me and  the maturation process had escaped me to that point.

Earlier this year we connected through Facebook and continued our friendship. Her wit and humor were still obvious, and she was well informed on entertainment and the environment. In early August I contacted Claudia to invite her to the Oak Forest Original’s reunion. She declined and mentioned that she had a procedure scheduled soon thereafter and didn’t want to push it. We caught up on our families, and I learned her husband had died much to young.

Later that month she expressed in detail her struggles with various afflictions. I tried to empathize the best that I could but much of her explanation was over my head and technical since she was drawing knowledge from 30 some odd years as an emergency room nurse. Later while at MD Anderson for the operation she sent a correspondence which left me in awe of her courage. Later still Claudia sent a final correspondence which demonstrated both contentment and peace. Despite the cancer and another debilitating disease- she was brave.

Claudia was one of a kind. Although she experienced early departure, she lived a full life. Through her family, our classmate will have an enduring legacy with children and grandchildren. Sorry for being so wordy, but Claudia left a positive impact on me that I won’t forget. To express humor throughout one’s life and to possess faith during our final challenge is something we can only admire and hope to imitate. I feel fortunate to have known her and to have benefitted from her attributes.

Mike

Michael (Mike) Benestante changed profile picture. New comment added.
Aug
02
Aug 02, 2019 at 5:11 PM

Posted on: Jun 30, 2019 at 10:48 AM

Waltrip High School Class Of 1970
A new announcement has been added to the homepage:
Jul
14
Jul 14, 2019 at 7:33 PM

Oak Forest Reunion -

More…style="font-family:comic sans ms,cursive;">*August Save The Date*

Oak Forest Gathering/Reunion

~see details below~

The American Legion Hall @ 3720 Alba in Garden Oaks has been secured for our 1st Mix & Mingle Gathering! Here are the particulars:

When- Friday, August 9, 2019

Where- American Legion #560

Time- 6 PM until 12 midnite

Dress- Casual

Cost- Donation for security 

Music- K-TIMe Radio, La Grange, TX

Eligibility- Members of Oak Forest Originals & Spouses

Happy Hour- 6-9 PM

Food: Pizza, Food Truck, or bring your own snacks

* John Askins will provide the music and will attempt to balance Rock & Roll with Country & Western

* Ronnie Bement will provide security as required

* To secure a spot send an email with number of attendees to: mikebenestante@yahoo.com

* Thank you to Ronnie and John for your help! Mr.Bement was instrumental in us getting the facility at the member price. Also Karen Winfrey Cardwell & Gayle Thornton Willard for their assistance in publicizing the event. A big thank you to A.L. #560 for extending the happy hour for us!

Circle the date or put it on your phone calendar...

* If your roots are in Oak Forest please join the Facebook group page for Oak Forest Originals!

 

 

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Michael (Mike) Benestante added a photo to profile gallery.
Jun
30
Jun 30, 2019 at 9:13 AM
Nov 06, 2018 at 11:59 AM

Happy Birthday again.....take care

Michael (Mike) Benestante posted a message. New comment added.
Aug 03, 2018 at 9:30 AM

Posted on: Jul 31, 2018 at 1:05 PM

Happy Birthday, Craig! Hope it was a memorable one.

Michael (Mike) Benestante posted a message. New comment added.
Jul 22, 2018 at 8:09 PM

Posted on: Jul 22, 2018 at 6:12 PM

Welcome aboard to the coolest reunion website! Hope you can make the big 50th reunion.

Robert Wise changed his profile picture. New comment added.
Jul 01, 2018 at 8:54 PM

Posted on: Feb 24, 2014 at 4:43 PM