40th Anniversary Dinner Party

November 30, 2009

by Jim Valentino

Ken Krueger and Jim Valentino at the Krueger Dinner at Filippi’s Pizza Grotto on July 23, 2009

Ken Krueger and Jim Valentino at the Krueger Dinner at Filippi’s Pizza Grotto on July 23, 2009

It was in a phone conversation with Ken that I discovered that he, like myself and several other alumni had been invited as special “40th Anniversary Guests” to the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con. I think it took me all of a day to realize that this would be a perfect opportunity to gather all of Ken’s “boys” together in one room. It was Ken who started the tradition of Sunday dinner during the cons at Filippi’s, an Italian restaurant in the Little Italy section of SD. A tradition my sons and I had kept going all these years, so it was a fitting place to have the dinner.

To be honest, I knew it would be the last time any of us would get to see him.

The first two people I contacted were David Scroggy and Scott Shaw!. Without their invaluable help with sending invites to those I either didn’t know or didn’t have contact info for, the party would never have been the success that it was. And it was a smashing success!

Scott and his son, Kirby, had to leave early, Ken who had to have dialysis across town, showed up late. The table was long and most of the folks we invited showed up. Ken sat at the head of the table and one by one, everyone went up to spend some time with him. Talking, laughing, and reminiscing.

I saw Ken briefly Sunday evening. He was having dinner with his family. He had tears in his eyes when he spoke about the dinner. He said it was the highlight of the show for him. He was deeply touched by the affection and the gratitude everyone showed him.

In a phone conversation a month or so later, he told me how proud he was of the men we had all become. The successes we had made of our lives, the people we turned out to be. He made special note and was greatly amused by Greg Bear having him autograph something. (He thought he should be asking Greg for his autograph, not the other way around.)

It was a damn good thing we did and I cannot thank all of the attendees and, especially, David and Scott enough for all of their help pulling it together.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Joel Mielke November 30, 2009 at 10:29 pm

Thanks for posting the photos.

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Jackie Estrada December 1, 2009 at 12:21 pm

Joel–How the heck are you?

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