Thursday, October 21, 2010

Party like it's 1970!

My dad's 40th high school reunion was the first weekend in October (yay!!)  Dad was one of the committee members, and about 2 months ago when he was talking about it, I somehow offered to do the catering for the casual sock hop on Friday night and then to do the decorating for the formal night... and even worse, I also volunteered the services of my sweet friend, Maggie!!!! (Mags, I still want to apologize for getting you mixed up in the craziness!  I don't know what got into me!!  Maybe because, deep down, I want us to be able to start our own business and call it "Oops I craft my pants" and for people to be lining up down the block to buy whatever random craft we feel like making that day!  Whew- that was a long sentence!)  Well, I somehow thought it was going to be super simple- and boy, was I wrong!!!  I can't even say how many hours I actually spent on it- and the last 4 days before the actual event, I didn't have time for anything except work and then reunion planning. 

Part of me wanted to do it because Huntington East High shut down in 1996 and consolidated with its rival school, Huntington High the next school year.  So I got to go to HEHS for 1 year, my freshman year- the last year its doors were open.  I thought it was a great idea that the reunion committee wanted to have a sock hop in the school's gym, just like they did when they were in school.  The building is now used for the Board of Education, but the gym was in terrible condition just a few weeks ago.  I really didn't think they were going to get it cleaned up in time- but it worked out :)  There were still hundreds of boxes stacked up in the bleachers, but I couldn't even believe it was the same place that I had seen just 5 weeks before!

We didn't have much of a budget to work with ($700 total- for food and decorations), so we had to be a little creative.  It was also a little tricky since their colors were maroon and gold- not easy colors to find decorations in!  But we made it work.  Thankfully, our sweet friend, Courtney, let us borrow the cute lanterns that she used at her wedding as centerpieces on the tables- which saved us a ton of money!  So we just had to buy candles and then put a ribbon around each lantern for the formal dinner on Saturday.  One of my residents at Woodlands Retirement home had been a teacher at HEHS {and actually had both my mom and dad in class :)}, and she mentioned that she had a bunch of the old yearbooks.  So she let us borrow all the yearbooks that were the years my dad and his classmates were there for the memorabilia table.  {sidenote: one of the committee members always had some especially interesting comments and input.  He kept suggesting that we needed to put a chain through the middle of each of the yearbooks and bolt them down to the floor so they didn't get stolen. He also wore safety goggles to one of the committee meetings though.}  We tried to find some of the old uniforms to put on display {and the committee really wanted Mags and me to wear some if we could find any cheerleading or majorette uniforms haha :)}, but didn't have much luck.  They did find someone for Saturday night to play the bagpipes though- which I thought was so cool!! (Their mascot was a highlander.)  I think, all things considered, that it went really well and was a success!!  It was a fun experience, but I think it's a little too much on top of a full time job :) 

The menu had to stay casual, because they had just advertised it as refreshments, not a full dinner.  They requested that we have Stewart's Original Hot Dogs as one of the items, so that was easy enough!  Stewart's is a local old-fashioned hot dog stand where several of the people had worked in high school, and everyone in that generation loves Stewart's.  We just stuck with appetizers/finger food for the rest of the menu.

So here's what we served:
-fruit on a skewer
-veggies and dip
-guacamole salad
-ham and turkey spirals
-Stewart's hot dogs
-pumpkin brownie bites
-cinnamon bun popcorn

Here are a few pics!
{These first pictures are from the Friday informal night}

{The red cabbage wreath I made for the fruit skewers- thanks to Kim Wilson for this idea!}

{Love these letters!!  I hate how everything looks with all the boxes in the background, but we couldn't really do much about that :)}

{Somebody else put up the lights- but I loved them!}

{My favorite details- thanks to Mags!  She freestyle painted these. How cute are these??}

{Since we didn't have much money for decorations for the sock hop, we made a bunch of these baby pumpkins for the tables}

{Mags- hard at work. Drew- chowing down on popcorn :)  Nick even helped carve the pumpkins- but didn't want to be associated with crafting}

{We made tissue puff balls with ribbons and used Chinese lanterns to hang from the ceiling for the Saturday night dinner and dance}

{I'm sad I didn't take any close ups of the cute puff balls! But here's what the room basically looked like}

{This last one one is a bit weird looking, so I should probably explain :)  The tradition at East was that at the football games, girls would wear a big yellow mum with "HEHS" made out of pipe cleaners.  So the committee wanted us to recreate that.  I wish my crappy camera took better pictures and actually captured detail :/}

The great news is that Maggie and I thought this was just volunteering, but we ended up getting paid!!  What a good surprise! :) 


  1. I love the baby pumpkin candles! What a great idea!!

  2. You guys are semi professionals now! Yall did a great job- so creative & cute! I LOVE the store name idea Oops I Craft My Pants. hahaha. I would be a regular shopper there for sure.

  3. Wow ! You all did a GREAT job!!! ProfessionALS!!!