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Woodrow romances result in neighborhood rug rats

I’ve been intrigued by the romantic entanglements of Woodrow Wilson High School students over the years. At one 50-year class reunion, there were more than 30 couples who met at Woodrow.

Aging alums also sometimes call looking for their high school honeys after a death or divorce.

I can’t even think of any couples from my era who have divorced.

Nikki Stefanos Harrington, ’76, and Sam Harrington, ’74, just had a baby girl.

And Gayle Parrish Thompson, ’77, and Paul Thompson, ’76, recently moved back to a Lakewood home on Westlake Avenue with their two children, Nathan and Sarah, after being Ross Perot’s neighbors for a few years. She’s a Swiss Avenue girl, and he’s from the longest house on Avalon.

I received a couple of good letters about other Woodrow romances. The first letter stated:

“The star football receiver from the class of ’67, Manuel Zaby, made a great catch when he married his Woodrow sweetheart, Libby Fagin, ’68.

“They still can be seen at Woodrow Hill showing the sites of White Rock Lake to their two future Wildcats, Allison, a fifth-grader at Stonewall Jackson Elementary, and Adam, an eighth-grader at J.L. Long Middle School. May they ‘cherish’ each other forever.”

(“Cherish” is a word I would use to describe Elizabeth Zaby, who served on the last school bond committee, among other civic endeavors.)

The second letter stated:

“Bruce Hanssen, ’55, and Claudia Stewart Hanssen, ’57, recently celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary. They met while she was at J.L. Long, and he was at Woodrow and dated all through high school.

“They still live in the Lakewood area – always have. They have a son, Keith, and a daughter, Elizabeth, as well as a grandson, Shawn, and a granddaughter, Nicole. They went deer hunting with grandma and grandpa recently.”

Hmm, I remember some guys who also used to deer hunt – some male cheerleaders from Woodrow once went to Long saying they were helping the Buccaneers, the middle school’s female cheerleaders, learn routines. One of the Woodrow guys is now a detective with the Dallas Police, Alan Bietendorf, ’76.

Thanks to our cupids who wrote letters, including Lynn Wright and Claudia Hanssen. Let’s dredge up some more stories from White Rock Lake.


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