'76 Grad Meets Gene

Member of '76 class meets Gene in 2002


My name is Kim Schnell and I am one of the '76 grads. My music tastes back then was into more of the mellow music of the 70's. That has always been the one and only rock concert I ever attended.

My second time to see Gene Simmons was just a few weeks ago. Gene was signing his new autobiography at a Century City bookstore, here in Los Angeles. I took the day off from work to stand in line that cascaded throughout the mall.

What I had seemed to cause a stir in the crowd of KISS fans. I brought my '76 yearbook to have him sign. The crowd of 10-20 in front and behind me that looked at the yearbook was amazed. They all knew about Cadillac and it was fun to brag and completely date myself.

My wait in line lasted four hours (and I was toward the beginning of the line). The message came from the bookstore that no one was allowed to have anything but his autobiography to sign. People were bringing too many things besides his book and it was slowing the line down too much. As we got closer to Gene, his promoters were pushing people through, holding to the rule and keeping the line going. My small group had all championed my cause saying that Gene HAD to see this yearbook. The promoter gave in and allowed me to ask Gene to sign.

He did sign his autobiography and the yearbook very graciously. I was surprised that he asked me questions regarding my keeping in contact with my old classmates from home. He seemed very genuine in his interest. He seemed really appreciative of having the opportunity to see the yearbook. It was fun for me because it put the person back into the icon. I have to admit, I did feel a rush of excitement at meeting a rock star today, really more then I did when they were in Cadillac. He commented that it was "an amazing piece of memorabilia," thanked me for bringing it in for him to see. Then I was on my way.

So 26 years later - thanks to you (Jim Neff) - I had a second opportunity to connect with KISSTORY in a way that only a 1976 Cadillac High School graduate can do. What a special life memory you created for all who participated, so many years ago. --Kim Schnell--