Tonopah community reunion brings back memories

For those looking to catch up with people from Tonopah’s past, Jim Butler Park was the place to be Aug. 27.

That’s where a yearly tradition returned to Tonopah, the 40th Annual Tonopah Reunion Picnic.

The crowd was estimated at about 200, including former Tonopah residents from as far away as Florida and Pennsylvania.

“I think it’s great,” said Vikki Beko, the reunion’s co-coordinator. “All these people come all the way here. Most of them were born and raised here. We have new faces around. We have grandkids, great-grandkids. It’s all family.”

“It benefits the community,” Beko said of the reunion. “The people come in. They stay in the hotels. They eat at the restaurants.”

Plaques were awarded in various categories for those attending, including oldest male and female, most family members present and the person who traveled the farthest, for example.

This year’s reunion theme was “Where the Past Meets the Present.”

Those on hand included retired Tonopah school principal Don Logan, 86, now of Las Vegas.

He was principal from 1969 to 1985 in Tonopah and also taught school in town for 14 years.

“I like this town, good people,” said Logan, a Tonopah native and a past exalted ruler of the Elks Lodge in town.

The best part of being back in Tonopah?

“Seeing people you haven’t seen for 100 years, and visit and sort of renew acquaintances,” said Logan, who moved to Las Vegas in 1991.

He estimated he had met about 50 former students at the reunion picnic.

Logan recalled that sometimes he had to paddle some students “to make sure they straightened out a little.”

“Now you can’t touch ‘em,” he said. “In my day you could …to keep ‘em in line.”

Among the reunion attendees was Tonopah resident Minnie Perchetti, 96.

“I was born in Tonopah, and I know most all of the people,” she said. “I am waiting for new faces. I enjoy talking to (them).” Perchetti looks forward to attending the reunion each year.

“I love it,” she said.

Bonni Forbes, a Tonopah resident for almost 50 years, expressed similar sentiments.

“It’s a great chance to see people you haven’t seen in a while and catch up with folks,” she said. “I worked at the school for a long time, and I love seeing the former students who come to their reunions.”

Contact reporter David Jacobs at


Awards were given to:

■ Minnie Perchetti, oldest female Tonopah native attending

■ Don Logan, oldest male Tonopah native attending

■ Lydon family, largest family attending

■ Carol Bennett, farthest away attending (Hollywood, Florida)

■ Carolina Loncar and Bernie Merlino, age-related honors

■ Reunion activities also included a dinner Aug. 27 at the Tonopah Station hotel-casino for the Tonopah High School classes of 1956 and 1976 along with graduates of other classes.

SOURCE: organizers

■ See more photos on the Facebook page of the Tonopah Times-Bonanza & Goldfield News.