Talkeetna Theatre
Elmendorf Air Force Base
May 27, 1986

George M. Sullivan Arena
May 28, 1986

The photographs for this page are either from the yearbook or photographs of mine. A newspaper article in The Anchorage Times on Thursday, May 29, 1986, best sums up graduation.

"Graduates Say Goodbye to Friends, Hello to World" by Jan Mireles, Times Writer

An open letter to the Bartlett High School Class of 1986:

There you were. All 361 of you, stomping your feet, shrugging your shoulders, throwing your heads back like sleek young race horses waiting at the starting gates.

Well, the gates have sprung open wide, and the race has begun. Some of you know where you're going: into the Army, off to the Bahamas, down the wedding aisle.

How excited you looked waiting in the George M. Sullivan Arena. Clad in blue robes and carrying yellow roses--a symbol of Bartlett's proud colors. The flowers a gift from your school.

You were proud of yourselves and each other.

"Last looks, last looks," smiled Cindy Huhn as she pushed through the crowd to a nearby mirror.

A blond with blue-green eyes swung around and offered an easy grin. "Hi. I'm Mark Howard. I was voted most photogenic. I'm going to California to San Diego State."

Once the symphonic band launched into the traditional "Pomp and Circumstance," you slipped into the arena. One of you yelled over a shoulder: "86 Rocks On," but your name was lost in the cheers of proud friends and family.

Your classmates had a special evening planned for you. Members of the Bartlett Bear-A-Tones and Senior Choir Members offered serenades to send you on your way.

Classmates Jarle Moen, Paula Rodda and Jeb Downing shared memories and hopes for the future. Moen will return to his home in Norway with new friendships. Rodda, a valedictorian, wishes that you will know yourself and continue learning no matter where life takes you.

And Downing hopes you were quiet so his grandmother can understand the tape of his speech he is sending her. Downing made you laugh about being 18 and "walking trouble."

But he tried to make you see how important the choices ahead of you will be. They will make your life, he said. "You pick your happiness."

"Life, by itself, has no meaning. All the meaning it has comes from you," he said. "It's up to you."

By the way, the blue and gold marbles you slipped to Anchorage School Board President Bettye Davis while she presented diplomas were a nice touch. By the end of the ceremony Principal Bob McCormick had his pockets and hands full.
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