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Victoria High School alumni reflect on the '80s

July 16, 2017 at 10 p.m.
Updated July 17, 2017 at 6 a.m.

Art Garcia, right, shows Laura Turner a yearbook from Garcia's graduating year in 1987 during the Victoria High School class reunion. Turner, originally from New York, laughed when she saw a picture of Garcia, saying, "It was funny to see his old photo. He stands exactly the same way even now."

Art Garcia, right, shows Laura Turner a yearbook from Garcia's graduating year in 1987 during the Victoria High School class reunion. Turner, originally from New York, laughed when she saw a picture of Garcia, saying, "It was funny to see his old photo. He stands exactly the same way even now."   Nicolas Galindo for The Victoria Advocate

An 18-year-old Bard Letsinger sported long hair that went down to his shoulders and classic horn-rimmed glasses in 1987.

The self-proclaimed "jack of all trades" crossed all the cliques, going from being on the football team to participating in drama and journalism clubs.

Letsinger would take drives with his high-school sweetheart in his 1966 Ford Mustang while listening to music by bands like Van Halen, Duran Duran and Poison.

The 47-year-old now drives a Harley-Davidson Road King Classic and still has the same taste in music, which does not surprise people much.

What makes old classmates do a double take is where he drives to work each week.

"I am a pastor at Renegade Church," he laughed. "People usually have mixed reactions when they find out because, let's say, I wasn't very pastoral in high school."

Letsinger and about 80 former classmates reminisced about wearing acid-washed jeans, girls with big hair and guys wearing Ocean Pacific polos as Victoria High School's Class of 1987 reunited 30 years later Saturday at the Knights of Columbus Hall.

The Class of 1987 was about 580 in size, the mascot was the Stingaree and their song was "Never Say Goodbye" by Bon Jovi.

Jennifer Johnson, 48, and Ursula Riemenschneider, 48, have been the organizers for most of the class reunions since graduation.

The event started with time to socialize and dinner. It was followed by more time to catch up and flash back to old times at the memorabilia table.

"The older we get, the more we forget. There are things I don't remember that others do," Riemenschneider said. "Being reunited is just like old times, like time didn't pass."

Johnson said reunions allow people who might not have socialized with each other in high school to realize how much they have in common.

Letsinger said the most prominent high school memories are the Friday night lights and the rivalry between Victoria High School and Stroman High School.

He remembers meeting his wife, Mollie Letsinger, now 45, at a football game when he was a junior and she was a freshman.

Bard Letsinger said he attends reunions to bring back memories of activities and locations that are no longer around today and to see people he grew up with.

"The Crossroads is a great place," he said. "I don't remember much of all the classes I ever took, but I remember these people."


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