Class of 1988

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Members of the Bradford High School Class of 1988. The Class of 1988 is the basis of the Bradford Exiles series.

1988: Graduation

The "Common Prologue to the Bradford Exiles series" introduces the series, as a speculation of future fate of the young people in the class. The Exiles are members of the class of '88 that needed to leave their hometown, whether willingly or not. While not all of the stories in the Bradford Exiles are about class members who have "taken the on-ramp", the majority of them are.

1998: Ten Year Reunion

A significant milestone in the lives of many characters is the 10-year reunion in October 1998, which is covered in several books from various viewpoints.MC26GM2

2008: Twenty Year Reunion

The twenty year reunion of the Class of 1988 was organized by Emily Holst. It was in a little place across the town from the diner where the ten year reunion took place, since Emily disliked the food served in the diner. Perhaps because of all the revelations of the ten year reunion, many more people attended the twentieth reunion, about half the class.WLH9

Alphabetic Listing

Relationship to Other Series

The Bradford exiles are part of the larger universe started in the Spearfish Lake Series and the Dawnwalker Cycle. Characters from Bradford meet and interact with characters in the other series. For instance, Jennlynn Swift is a close friend of Jon Chladek and his family, who are major characters in the Dawnwalker novels.

Class Members

There are 81 graduating members of the class of 1988,GM1 but these are the only ones that have been mentioned by name. Diane Caldwell,LP10 Brett and Brock Mansfield and Steve SharpGM6 died before graduation, so it is unlikely they are included in the count of 81. One other guy by the name of Tracy is mentioned as one of those who had disappeared.REU2


1. Magic Carpet

Jennlynn Swift, the class valedictorian who becomes an electronics engineer, pilot, and an expensive prostitute — all at the same time. In the book, she encounters Dayna Berkshire, whose life as a wandering musician sometimes touched prostitution. She also comes back for a 10-year reunion, and maintains somewhat tenuous contact with her hometown through Emily Holst. Magic Carpet covers several encounters with Jon and Tanisha Chladek, who are the major characters in Alone Together and Growing Together.

2. Hat Trick

Dayna Berkshire considers life as a musician more fun and rewarding. "This beats hell out of work!" It takes a while to learn the tricks, but she discovers a friend to explore where it might lead, both for good and bad.

3. The Girl in the Mirror

The story of the desperately unhappy Denis Riley, and his quest to become Dr. Eve McClellan, a successful and happy psychologist, supported by a good friend, Shae Kirkendahl.

4. Homestanders

Emily Holst is one who stayed in Bradford and now her life seems dull compared to some who left. Vicky Varney had left, but came back to town after a disastrous marriage. Both find what they're looking for (adventure, excitement and love) back at home.

5. Picking Up the Pieces

Dave Patterson's wife was in the World Trade Center on September 11th and with the help of fellow classmates, he starts to pick up the pieces and start the next phase in his life. Dave had left Bradford behind, and didn't even go to the 10-year reunion; but in his hour of crisis, his home town and the Class of 1988 come to his help. Orchestrated by Emily, Eve and Shae find him and pull him out of the chaos, and then many others pitch in to help.

6. Three From Bradford

Three novellas collected in one book:

7. The Last Place You Look

Medical equipment distributor and part-time Emergency Medical Technician John Engler is having one of those periods in his life when even his interruptions get interrupted. His business issues are complicated when he meets Sally Hanson, a lost classmate from the Bradford Class of 1988.

8. Hearts of Gold

Continuing the Legend of Learjet Jenn: after landing a hijacked airliner, Jennlynn Swift, also known as "Learjet Jenn, The Fastest Woman in the State of Nevada," has become the nation's most famous prostitute despite never working more than very part-time at it. It's a reputation she does not like and isn't sure how to bury after she marries her long-time lover, Air Force Sergeant Will Hoffman. She would rather live as she sees herself: a pilot, engineer, and wife. Getting rid of her past isn't going to be easy to do and is complicated by the fact that Will is half a world away. What's more, she has come to realize that her experience is not how most prostitutes end up in the life and her perceived glory might lead young, impressionable women down paths they really shouldn't take. Is there some way she can repair some of the damage while she tries to make her own life a little more like normal?

9. Nature Girl

Twelve-year-old Kayla Holst likes being barefoot, even in the winter. She runs track and cross country without shoes when they let her. In fact, Kayla has discovered she likes being totally nude and now wants to be a nudist. She wishes she had friends who did. Her girlfriends even hate changing clothes or showering in the school locker room after gym, so they aren’t going to join her for skinny dipping in their home swimming pool. She isn’t even a teenager yet, so boys don’t interest her, and she’s already smart enough to know that being nude doesn’t automatically mean sex anyway. Adults can be so stupid sometimes. Kayla’s family doesn’t yet know her preference, which severely limits her nude time. With her mother the mayor of the town, a liberation march for nudism could cause problems for her family. She’s too young to join a nudist resort, so how can she find friends who also prefer to be clothes free?

10. Reunion

The 20-year reunion of the Bradford High School class of 1988 and the finale for the ten-book series. Boring old Bob Spheris meets ditzy motormouth Sharon Holdenhoven, and after not seeing each other in twenty years they kindle a torrid romance. Can Bob talk Sharon into moving to Colorado with him? Sharon has doubts as to whether a relationship would work. During all this, the couple works to extract a young newlywed couple from a religious cult. This book contains more sex than Wes’s usual writing.

11. Bulldog Spirit

The story is of Cam Patterson, who was a 4-year-old in "Picking Up the Pieces", now starting his first day at college. It is just a partial story, one Wes never finished, final notes included at the end. It should probably be placed in the Bradford Exiles area, though has crossover with characters from Spearfish Lake.