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2007 Turkey-15 Reunion in San Francisco

Almost 40 years to the day that we arrived in Turkey in 1967, twenty Turkey 15’s (accompanied by an assortment of family and friends) recently gathered in San Francisco to celebrate our 40th reunion.

There were no dorm rooms, no dolmuş rides, and clearly it wasn’t a remote, single site.  Instead, we stayed at an upscale, new environmentally “green” hotel downtown and right next to Chinatown. 

We started out on Friday night with a lavish meze and Turkish wine at Karen Hagewood’s home that included Tony Venegoni’s son, Nick, serving as waiter, and a local Peace Corps recruiter who let us know the PC was alive and thriving and actually found a few interested parties. 

The weekend that followed was full of more fun, food, drink and lots of camaraderie and included a sumptuous dinner overlooking San Francisco Bay, a champagne brunch on the hotel rooftop garden, and several impromptu meals because we just couldn’t stop reminiscing and didn’t want the weekend to end. Our Saturday night dinner included the reading of a thank you and congratulatory letter from the Turkish Ambassador to the USA.  

We picked up our friendships and conversations just where they left off those many years ago.  After all these years, we still remembered clearly: The Rolling Stones, shoeshine boys and their brass stands, “Light My Fire”, METU dorms, “The Graduate”, visiting the PC office in Ankara for shots, the $24,600 house, the death of Robert Kennedy, and the Vietnam War.  Some even remembered their Turkish.  And, we all remembered the good and the bad about training (after all it was what had bonded us). 

But mostly, we remembered the wonder of serving in the Peace Corps and becoming lifelong friends with an awesome group of people who have common bonds that have lasted a lifetime.  Many of us had also attended our 20th reunion in Seattle.  But, it was agreed, that for obvious reasons (our ages), that we wouldn’t wait 20 more years for the next one.  Two among us have offered to host the next reunion, five years hence, in Washington DC.  We are putting it on our calendars, and we hope even more old friends will show up for the next reunion.
                                                                                      -- from Karolyn Bragg

 
Turkey-15's in San Francisco, September 2007

Seated:  Karolyn Bragg, Isabel Pllotti, Phil Konkel, Karen Hagewood, Robert Eschenbach
First Row: Lorraine Hong, Sibyl Erdman, Barbara Roos, Carolyn Bridge, Chris Pilotti, Hannah Eulenberg
Second Row: Philip Bridge, Ray Bragg, Pete Nadell, Ilsa Duke Dickenson,
Bev Larson Farlow, Dana Marmion Briederstein, Ken Briederstein
Back Row:  John Hoover, Brian DeLeo, Doug Gilzow, Richard Erdman, Dale Hultengren, Ruth Hultengren, Rick Farlow

Missing from photo but also in attendance were:
 Tonya Pence Flightner and her husband Ned, Jim Kouzes and his wife Tae, and Richard Beebe and his wife Pam.


Other Photos, courtesy of Carolyn Bridge:


#1  Philip  and Carolyn Bridge

#2 

#3

#4  Barbara Roos
 
#5

#6
 

#7  Clockwise from left:  Ruth Hultengren, Lorraine Hong, ??, Karolyn Bragg, Ilsa Duke, Dale Hultengren

#8

#9  Seated: Barbara Roos, Karen Hagewood
     Standing: Carolyn Bridge and Lorraine Hong

#10 ?? and
Philip Bridge


#11  Carolyn Bridge and Phil Konkel

#12

#13

#14

#15 Carolyn and Philip Bridge

#27  Barbara Roos and
Donell Quinitchette
 

#17 ??
and Philip Bridge

#18
Nick Venegoni; Jim Kouzes and his wife

#19  Ray and Karolyn Bragg

#20 
Donell Quinitchette, Bob Esenbach, Brian DeLeo, Dana Marmion, Phil Konkel, Ruth Hultengren

#21  Chris Pilotti, Ilsa Duke Dickinson's daughter, and Isabella Pilotti

#22  Hannah Eulenberg and Ray Bragg

#23  Sibyl Erdman and
Tonya (Pence) Flightner

#24  Bob Eschenbach and Karolyn Bragg
 

#25 Jim
Kouzes and Karen Hagewood

#26  Bryan DeLeo and Doug Gilzrow