Elementary School reunions

One of the most fun moments during our Class of 1968 50th Reunion was when alumni of the elementary schools posed for a picture. Since I went to Emerson, I’ll start with that photo.

Emerson

Emerson School alumni

We just got an updated picture of Mrs. Perry’s Kindergarten class at Emerson School from X-graduate Jill Gipson and I’ve stored it with the other elementary school pictures, but here it is again.

Emerson

Kindergarten, Mrs. Perry

I can spot at least three of us in this picture who came to the reunion! Myself (Kathy Au) in the far left, front row, Carole Aikin Hutcheson second row in the middle, and Bob Chamberlin, far right top row. There may be more of us—if you are in the photo above, and you also came to the reunion, please comment in the space below! The three people I identified are just the ones I could pick out right away. Just think, this kindergarten picture was taken a whopping 62 years ago!

Have fun with the kindergarten picture from Jefferson School.

Jefferson Kdgn

Mrs. Hosier’s class, Jefferson School

ThomasJefferson

Jefferson School Alumni

We don’t have any other kindergarten photos, so if you can pass them along, please send them to burbankhigh1968@gmail.com.

And all we have from Horace Mann is the 6th grade class of Miss Ambrose:

6thgradehoracemann

Hey, I think I recognize Teri Hill in the front row! Please help us identify more kids—use the comments section below. Here’s the photo of Horace Mann alumni from the reunion.

HoraceMann

Horace Mann alumni.

Here are the other school photos:

JoaquinMiller

Joaquin Miller alumni

BenFranklinJPG

Tom Bennett, Annette Dinolfo Bennett and Gene Hernandez from Ben Franklin.

BenFranklin2

More from Ben Franklin: Larry Lewis, Barbara Bautista Lear, Gene Hernandez, and Jerry Trotta.

GeorgeWashington

George Washington alumni.

Providencia

Providencia alumni.

ThomasEdison

Barbara Sebern Rowe from Thomas Edison.

MontereyAve

Ann Shamoon Chandler and Loanne Walker Ginchereaux from Monterey Avenue.

Just a reminder that it’s not too late to order a Memory Book from the 50th Class Reunion, but we will only order a limited number of books, based on pre-sales. We don’t want to fill up someone’s garage with unsold books! Memory Books should be ordered no later than October 31, 2018. The book will definitely be a special memento of the Reunion Weekend with full color photos throughout plus an alumni directory.

Reserve your Memory Book now.

Check the list of all who have reserved a Memory Book.

 

Definitely a 10!

Emerson School alumni

Here are some comments from our classmates on what they thought of the Burbank High Class of 1968 reunion:

When I was asked how the reunion was, on a scale of 1-10, I said definitely it was a 10! We enjoyed every minute and want to thank the Committee for the time and effort that went into the success, from concept to completion. (Louise Good Hernandez)

Such a wonderful evening! Super fun catching up with old friends at the reunion! (Karen Parrish Rapport)

We had such a great time. Can’t wait until next time. Fun fun fun! (Carol Stephenson-Walter)

Thomas Jefferson alumni

A special thank you to you and your committee for a very lovely evening for the 1968 Class Reunion. The location was so pretty and the thoughtful details to the evening made it so much fun.  The name placards started many conversations with those we knew and those we didn’t and it was so nice to meet new interesting people that I hadn’t known in high school.  The video was so creative and the décor with the blue and white and pretty centerpieces (I won the one at our table!) added to the festive evening… Thank you again for all of your hard work.  I appreciated it so much. (Tina Anderson Hughes)

Thank you for ALL that you did for our reunion. Great time! (Debbie Myers Schmidt)

A big thanks to all the people that put the event together—it was a blast. This was my first and had a great time. Thanks again. (Fred Lee Stenson)

It was really a blast!. Thanks to all the people who came a long way to attend the reunion. and thank you to all the significant others who came too and actually seemed to be having a very good time. (Stephanie Llewellyn)

Horace Mann alumni

It was such a blast!! Thank you so much to the reunion committee for all your dedication and hard work!! It was a great turnout and an an absolute joy to see everyone…like coming home again. (Deborah Dana Richman)

It was a great night! Many thanks to Katherine Crosier and all committee members! 👏👏👍👍 (Tenny Battles Kendryna)

I’ve enjoyed all of our reunions, but this may have been the best ever! So many details that made it special.  People were remarking how much work was put into it.  (Michele Bro Paul)

Keep the pictures coming. Almost like being there. Would love to have come, just wasn’t meant to be. I may not be remembered by many of my classmates as I only spent my senior year at Burbank High. However I went to Kindergarten at Joaquin Miller with some of the same people I graduated with. My dad grew up there and my grandmother lived there all of her adult life. Burbank is very special to me. (Kathy Brake Falk)

Three Karens: Karen Parrish Rapport, Karen Watson Gillespie, Karen Walther Berg

It was THE best place to be! (Teri Hill Clark)

So much fun to see everyone tonight! Thank you for all time, resources, and love that made this reunion so special! (Merrily Thorne Prescott)

We had such a great time. Can’t wait until next time. (Carol Stephenson Walter)

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! (Debbie Myers Schmidt)

I can’t say enough great things about our 50th reunion!! We had a great time. The committee did an outstanding job and all their hard work is greatly appreciated!! Loved the Bob’s menu – nice touch! (Cathy Dibble Perfect)

Great reunion weekend!! Thanks, everybody! (Kenda Vaughan)

The Reunion Committee

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: The Memory Book is being processed. Even though my brother, Rick’80, took over 400 photos at the reunion, we may not have taken every person’s picture. Please send your best pictures to burbankhigh1968@gmail.com no later than October 15, 2018. Or, if you were not able to come to the Reunion and wish to submit a picture for the book, please send it to burbankhigh1968@gmail.com no later than October 15, 2018. 

Also, it is not too late to order a Memory Book! It’s only $10 postpaid and is full-color throughout. Order a Memory book here.

Here are some posts you may wish to view:

To dream the Impossible Dream – Sallie Shelton Thomas’s speech

We had a BLAST!

If anyone has asked – Kathy Au Crosier’s speech

The Reunion Tour of Burbank High

The final guest list

The list of those who have ordered a Memory Book.

I

Cathy Dibble Perfect

Cathy Dibble

CATHY DIBBLE PERFECT met her ex-husband in 1972 and didn’t believe his last name was “Perfect.” Yeah right! “Let me see your driver’s license,” she quipped. They married, had three great kids, and pursued any number of hair-brained business ideas. She tired of that and divorced in 1995. It was amicable and they agreed to keep their children’s interests foremost in the decision-making.

“I tell people I have perfect kids and grandkids. 😂😂 As Fred Lee Stenson and I caught up with each other’s lives at the reunion, we agreed our children are our redemption! I must have done some things right; I am truly blessed to have three amazing children: Amber, born in 1975, Brooke in 1980, and John – our 1988 surprise. Amber and her daughter Caitlyn, 16, live nearby in Kern River Valley and we spend a lot of time together. Brooke and her daughter Leila, 17, and son Preston, almost 10, live in Peoria, AZ. We keep Southwest Airlines busy with frequent flights to and from Phoenix. John and my youngest granddaughter Sydney, who turns 3 on New Year’s Eve, live in Stafford, VA, just south of Washington D.C. With that many miles between us, we don’t visit as often as this grandma would like; however, they fly to California as often as possible and it’s given me the opportunity to visit our nation’s capitol.”

Cathy is a cat person and has rescued and been adopted by many felines. Most recently Maisy, a white Scottish fold, was the offspring of her daughter’s cat, Snowflake.

After high school graduation she attended Valley College in Van Nuys for a couple of semesters. She also worked full time and gradually drifted away from school. In 1996 Cathy decided to pick up where she left off and enrolled in classes at Cerro Coso Community College. As a 45-year-old re-entry student she found her niche and excelled! She transferred to California State University Bakersfield and graduated in 2000 with a BA in Communications. She was on a roll and applied to Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at University of Southern California. Cathy was stoked when she was accepted into the graduate program. “You’ll love it,” a friend told her, “but it probably kill you.” She was right! She graduated in 2002 with an MA in Communication Management. Fight on!✌🏼

She took an early and unplanned retirement when her job as managing editor at Kern Valley Sun, a small weekly newspaper in Lake Isabella, was eliminated in 2012. She continues to substitute teach, but she loves having time to work in the garden, read and enjoy the grandchildren.

Her greatest accomplishments are raising three beautiful children and earning a Master’s Degree at the age of 52. And being a Trojan. Fight on!✌🏼

At Burbank High, her priority  was hanging out with friends and taking way too many unauthorized, weekday trips to the beach.

Cathy Dibble Perfect

 

 

Barbara Sebern Rowe

Barbara Sebern

BARBARA SEBERN ROWE met Robert Rowe in New Hampshire in 1984 at a Christmas party. Five years later they married and raised his two daughters together. He worked at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. After his retirement they did a little traveling to other states though mainly to his family cottage on Lake Sunapee in the center of NH. They spent a lot of time in his boat and entertaining friends and family at home and the lake. Unfortunately he died in 2007 of pancreatic cancer. The only positive part of that was he was able to stay at home with the help of Hospice and people from their church.

She has two step-daughters. Both are married. Lynette lives just over the border in Maine and has one son now age 6. Severin loves to find out how things go together and how they work. Puzzles keep him busy for quite awhile. Sybil lives in Florida.and has two children. Xander, age 12 loves computers. “If I am ever able to figure out how to use I Instagram I will be able to connect with him more frequently.” His sister, Zoey is 6 and is a water baby—it is difficult keeping her out of the water. At age 2 she squirmed down from her daddy’s arm and jumped right into their neighbor’s pool. No stopping that child.

She had two cats; born wild and caught as kittens. She taught them to trust humans and become friends. They looked almost identical and caused visitors to think she was the fastest cat they had ever seen. Zeebo died of heart failure in 2003 and in 2005 they had to have Rum put down as she had cancer. Barbara has yet to decide whether to get another cat or a dog.

After high school Barbara went to the Fashion Merchandising Institute in North Hollywood. It was a one year school set to prepare a student to work in the retail industry. By the time she graduated she realized the last thing she wanted to do was drive into downtown LA for work everyday. She heard Valley College was looking for someone to make the costumes for “Royal Gambit”. They had been designed but there was no one to put them together. As Barbara had made a full new wardrobe for the designer the year before, she got the job. What she had learned about the history of fashion got her interested in period costuming and “Royal Gambit” sealed the deal.

Barbara is retired as a motion picture costumer for twenty years and moved into teaching costuming at Cal State Fullerton. Once she moved to New Hampshire, she worked at Colby/Sawyer College, University of New Hampshire, and Salem State in Massachusetts. She sings in the church choir, works the thrift store, is a reception coordinator for all church receptions, a Stephen Minister, and works with a quilt group making quilts for newborns in distress. During the summer months she takes care of the turnarounds of the family cottage on Lake Sunapee. She still occasionally makes costumes for period shows or speciality costumes at the local community theate, Garrison Players. Since her husband’s death she has finally downsized by selling her house on the Great Bay and relocated closer into town in a smaller house which just suits her needs. “Now that my house is settled and my health back I am looking around to find out what other mischief I can make.”

Her favorite memory of Burbank High was learning that cooking on a gas stove was much better than an electric one.

“I’m still alive, love life and look forward to living every day.”

Barbara Sebern Rowe

At the 50th Class Reunion, Oct. 6, 2018

 

To dream the impossible dream …

Front row: Tom Bennett, Annette Dinolfo Bennett, Michele Bro Paul, Sallie Shelton Thomas, Donna Canzoneri Wray, Kathy Au Crosier, Stephanie Llewellyn. Back row: Bill Vosper, Patti “Trish” Molloy Vosper, Patti Ranshaw, Jim Ranshaw, John Wray

Hey, anyone remember the theme of our Senior Prom? It was “The Impossible Dream”. Some may think that planning a reunion for a class of over 600 was an impossible dream but thanks to the hard work of the reunion committee, that dream became a reality. Everyone had such a good time and enjoyed themselves!

We especially want to thank Sallie Shelton Thomas, chair, who had the dream and vision of this Reunion for nearly fifty years! She was the “Office Manager” who has worked on every reunion. Her concern was details, details, details! She sent texts and emails to schedule meetings, ordered everything for the name tags, talked to the school about the tour and checked with Bob’s Big Boy about reserving space. Someone suggested we do a photo booth, and she rounded up what she could find at home, picked up a few things at thrift shops and you can find anything on Amazon.

Sallie made it happen!

Sallie had an old Bob’s menu that was perfect for the program cover. Getting it copied at a reasonable price was a big challenge, ranging from $130 to over $900. Luckily Patti “Trish” Molloy Vosper was able to have them printed at the Burbank Unified School District for $25! Thank you, Trish and BUSD.

Bob’s Big Boy menu from 1963.

This doesn’t begin to describe all the time and effort from each committee member. Everyone here appreciates their commitment to making this dream a reality.

Here’s what she said about the rest of the committee members:

Kathy Au: Our Queen of email, blogging and all information about the Reunion. Even with traveling about the world and playing the organ several times a month, she still found time to send and respond to countless emails, maintain our website and blog. She is also going to gather all the photos from tonight, produce and distribute the Memory Books. Thank you, Kathy, for all of your time — we sincerely appreciate all you have done to make this evening possible. [Editor’s Note: Click here to view a copy of Kathy’s speech. She was notified TWO DAYS before the reunion that she would be expected to speak at the reunion!]

Jim Ranshaw: our sleuth — stalked the Internet to track people down and make contact with classmates to let them know about the reunion. He also printed out the photos for the name tags. He and his wife, Patti, hosted many meetings at their house. We usually had a potluck dinner and Jim flipped many burgers while we lounged by the pool in his back yard. Who said working on a reunion isn’t fun? Sometimes we even managed to get a bit of work done.

Annette Dinolfo and Tom Bennett: Our Social Butterflies — they know everyone! They let classmates know about the reunion and encouraged them to be here tonight. Tom ran a mean laminating machine.

Michele Bro Paul: Our Cheerleader. Her move to Canyon Lake last year made getting to meetings difficult, however, she still gave us moral support and encouragement.

Stephanie Llewellyn: Our quiet one. While still working full time, Stephanie researched Burbank Parks, contacted the school to get our reunion posted on their website and had several wonderful ideas to help make this weekend special.

Trish (Patti) Molloy Vosper: The decorator. We have Trish to thank for all the decorations. She took over the task and the results are beautiful! Her husband, Bill, a 1967 Burroughs graduate, also pitched in. Thank you both!

John Wray: the Money Man, and Donna Canzoneri Wray: who were always cheerful and ready to take on any task. John took care of all the financial details and visited several venues for our consideration. Donna was always there, bringing delicious food to our potluck meetings, tried to get some of the cheerleaders to be here tonight, bagged and tied the candy on the tables, and more.

Michael Katzman produced the video and also designed the program inserts. Thank you for the countless hours it took you to put together the videos and program. [Editor’s Note: It is our plan to distribute a link to the video to everyone in our database after Mike finishes encoding it for the various Internet browsers and formats.]

The program insert was designed by Mike Katzman.

Thank you for all of your support. Keep dreaming and remember nothing is impossible with help from others!

Reminder: Send your best photos of the reunion to burbankhigh1968@gmail.com by October 15, 2018 for inclusion into the Memory Book!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If anyone had asked …

Kathy Au Crosier

In 1968 if anyone had asked me what I would be doing in 2018, 50 years after graduation, the absolute last thing I would have imagined was that I would be standing up here and giving a speech!

After all, if you look in our Ceralbus, you’ll find that I was named the shyest girl in our class! I was so self-conscious that I never wanted to raise my hand, even when I knew the answer.

Some of us have wonderful memories of our high school years. One of my favorite memories was accompanying the choirs under Mr. Regnal Hall. When the Burbank High administration found out I played the organ, I ended up playing the Alma Mater at every assembly.

Yet for others high school was a time of pain and uncertainty. I have a horrible memory of playing the processional for Baccalaureate and learned the hard way that my music wasn’t long enough for 630 people to march into the Starlight Bowl! I played the same piece over and over and over—I think I stopped counting after about 50 times!

Some people were popular and others were wallflowers like me.

But here we are, and I have somehow become the lightning rod for connecting all of us through the blog and the website.

The real miracle is that we are all here 50 years later and that WE ARE SURVIVORS.

school reunion, We are never sure in life what may happen in the future, but I love being in the present, and that means embracing the past, and looking forward to the future, and maybe finding a few old friendships along the way.

After tonight is over, I will continue to maintain the website and blog, so this is a reminder to please fill out the Reunion Questionnaire so everyone can find out what you’ve been doing for the last 50 years.

At this time I would like to recognize some special members of our class, people who have come a LONG way—please stand up as I call your name.

Deanna Dugger Bergman, Easton, PA 2,709 miles away
Myself from Honolulu, HI, 2,557 miles away
(and please give me a call if you ever come to Hawaii!)
John Ferguson, Raleigh, NC, 2,548 miles away

Susan Parker Easley, Milton, FL, 2,094 miles away<

Please stand if you have been married 50 years or more.

Diana Morris Hawkins and Bill Hawkins ‘65 married in April 1968 and

Kathy O’Rell Schaedler and Gary Schaedler ‘65 married in December the same year.

Now, will all the couples who have been married 45 years please stand? Next, if you have been married 40 years? How about 35? And lastly, all those who have been married for 30 years? [Editor’s Note: The vast majority of people in the room had been married at least 30 years or more. Congratulations!]

Who has the most children? Anyone have five or more?

How about grandchildren? Anyone have ten or more?

Anyone have Great-Grandchildren?

At this time I would like to call up Tom Tanksley, who has come to the reunion from Las Vegas. Tom is offering ten hardback copies of his novel, Tainted Visions. He calls it fast-paced but complex women’s historical fiction, with themes of real world survival and a touch of sexual harassment. Tom has spent the last thirty+plus years as a civil litigation attorney and mediator. He opened his own office in 1998, but prior to that he was involved in many cases, trials and appeals including multi-million dollar matters covered on the pages of Las Vegas newspapers.

Thank you. I will now turn things over to Sallie Shelton Thomas who will recognize other members of the Reunion Committee.

We had a BLAST!

Stunning table decorations by Patti “Trish” Molloy Vosper and her crew.

Such a wonderful evening! 😍

Super fun catching up with old friends at the reunion! (Karen Parrish Rapport)

We had such a great time. Can’t wait until next time. Fun fun fun! (Carol Stephenson-Walter)

it was THE best place to be! (Teri Hill Clark)

A special thank you to you and your committee for a very lovely evening for the 1968 Class Reunion. The location was so pretty and the thoughtful details to the evening made it so much fun.  The name placards started many conversations with those we knew and those we didn’t and it was so nice to meet new interesting people that I hadn’t known in high school.  The video was so creative and the décor with the blue and white and pretty centerpieces (I won the one at our table!) added to the festive evening… Thank you again for all of your hard work.  I appreciated it so much. (Tina Anderson Hughes)

Thank you for ALL that you did for our reunion. Great time! (Debbie Myers Schmidt)

A big thanks to all the people that put the even together—it was a blast. This was my first and had a great time. Thanks again. (Fred Lee Stenson)

It was really a blast!. Thanks to all the people who came a long way to attend the reunion. and thank you to all the significant others who came too and actually seemed to be having a very good time. (Stephanie Llewellyn)

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After the tour of the remodeled Burbank High, Betsey Nash commented that she felt no attachment to the school itself but it was with the people she felt connected.

Our informal picnic at Johnny Carson Park was on the Friday night agenda and here are some of the pictures I took.

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Betsey Nash and George Parsons reprised their musical number from the John Muir 9th grade talent show — 54 years ago!

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Then there was the brunch at Bob’s Big Boy—a trip down Memory Lane if there ever was one: Double-deck hamburgers and cherry Cokes!

Patti Ranshaw, Jim Ranshaw, Kathy Au Crosier, Carol Thomas Stephenson Walter, Tom Bennett, Annette Dinolfo Bennett, Sallie Shelton Thomas, Michael Katzman, Patti “Trish” Molloy Vosper

Crilly Butler and Takami Sato Butler

Michael Katzman, Kathy Au Crosier, Sallie Shelton Thomas, Karen Walther Berg, Annette Dinolfo Bennett, Tom Bennett

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“I hope this event inspired every one to reach out and connect with those one or two people they had really hoped to see but who couldn’t attend, or maybe make arrangements to meet up with a classmate who lives nearby they didn’t really know before. I’m wanting a bigger circle of friends myself and feel we all need good friends and lots of love, compassion and understanding in these challenging times.” ❤️ (Stephanie Llewellyn)

In the meantime, please upload your best pictures to burbankhigh1968@gmail.com for inclusion in the Memory Book! Send your pictures to me by October 15, 2018 if you want them to be considered for the Memory Book.

If you haven’t ordered your copy, or if you want to check the list to see if you ordered one, click here.

 

Back to School

Yesterday was our first event for the Class of 1968 Reunion: a tour of the new and improved Burbank High School. In 1996, the city of Burbank passed a school bond for the rebuilding of Burbank High School. Phase I was completed in 2001 and 80 new classrooms had been built, along with the administration offices and a counseling center. By 2003 there was a new Performing Arts Center (including the Wolfson Auditorium, named for beloved drama teacher, Deanne Wolfson) and more than 100 classrooms with lighting and most importantly, air conditioning! I do remember that some of those old classrooms got awfully hot at the start of school. Ninth graders came back to the school, increasing the student population to nearly 3,000 by the year 2011.

We met at the far end of campus, where the old Science building was located near Delaware Road. It has been completely replaced by a parking structure and athletic facility—but what I was more interested in was taking photos of my former classmates!

Patti (Trish) Molloy Vosper and Karen Watson Gillespie
Kenda Vaughan
Jodi Tillotson Huddleston
Mike O’Connell and Dave Campbell
Janet Ogle Kami and June Ingersoll Roseberry
Chuck Duffy
Barbara Sebern Rowe and Chris Heim Teuber
Betsey Nash and Jodi Tillotson Huddleston

Our first stop was to the Athletic Hall of Fame where trophies and other sports memorabilia are displayed.

The new gym
Now, no one will forget the words of the Alma Mater, as they are painted on the walls of the gym.

We walked outside to a brilliantly clear day and saw the new football field. Games are still played at John Burroughs field, though, because there is no space for fans of the opposing team on the opposite side of the field.

Next we walked toward the Art building, and I took more pictures of our classmates along the way.

Mike Katzman
Stephanie Llewellyn
The new PRIDE sign.

On our way to the main academic buildings we saw the new dance studio and swimming pool.

Dance studio
Swimming pool
Karen Walther Berg in the Art Gallery
Classes are now held in Animation.
Outside the Deanne Wolfson Auditorium.
A sneak peek inside the auditorium where the musical Spamalot will be performed. There was a hiatus of about 17 years where no musicals were performed in alternate years with the students at Burroughs.


We ended our tour of the Quad, a brand new complex of buildings for teaching the academic subjects. The courtyard is where students enjoy their lunch.

Administrative offices are located just off the Quad.

There is even an ATM on campus!
Group photo, Class of 1968

You know the saying, “You can’t go home again”? Touring this new school facility was like going back to a home you have grown up in — and the present owners have remodeled it beyond recognition: Same in some ways, but oh so much better now!

I was impressed by this sign as we departed.

Kim Harrington

Kim Harrington

Kim Harrington met his wife Suzann through an old Navy buddy in 1992. Sue has always been in sales and Ron was one of her clients at Roseville Communications. She had complained to him that she could not find the right guy and Ron immediately called Kim at the studio. They met halfway between Emeryville and Roseville, CA for dinner and the rest is history.

He has never had kids himself (nor his sister, poor mom).He now has a number of grandchildren from Sue’s own children. “For someone who never thought much about a family life, I must admit, I Love all my step grandchildren. Who would have thought!”

He and his wife are Lab lovers—their 4th dog, Shiloh, is now 13 months old.

In 1976 he moved to Eugene, OR where he attended the University of Oregon and studied photography, painting and art history. He was in Eugene for 8 years until he needed to move back south to find the sun, a SoCal boy! (“What can I say!”)

In 1984 he became a member of the Emeryville Artists Community in the SF Bay Area and started a commercial photography business, focusing on architecture, produce and special assignments. His time at the studio will end March 1, 2019 when he sells the studio and leaves it to another young energetic artist.

He now has constructed a smaller studio in the backyard next to the pool and will continue his art. He is now a docent at California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento. He travels with Sue and Shiloh around the country in their tent trailer and looks forward to seeing New England states, Washington DC and all its attractions.

Kim feels that his greatest accomplishment was finally getting married at age 43 to his wonderful wife Sue and running a business for 34 years. (“I am really a shy guy.”)

His favorite memories of Burbank High are his friends there and great experiences after school. He also remembers his 42 Willeys jeep and Bob Elliot’s white van which he bought from him. That van went a whole lot of places with Kim at the wheel.

Shari Hartwig St. Michael

Cheerleaders Les Heller and Shari Hartwig

Shari Hartwig

Shortly after graduation, I moved to Santa Barbara, experienced the interesting ‘hippie’ movement short term—it was not for me. I dabbled in college at Mount St. Mary’s College, although interesting, found college was not for me. In the early 1970’s I lived in Europe by myself in Fiumicino, Italy for 1 ½ years 2 blocks from the beach on the Mediterranean outside of Rome where I worked.

There are just too many awesome stories to list. Moved to London, England after taking a few months in my VW van touring France, Germany, Holland and Switzerland where I skied the Alps while staying in Gstaad, Switzerland.

When you’re by yourself you tend to reach out and engage with the locals. My companion in the van was my 8 track tape player, and again, far too many experiences to list. I enjoyed London for another 1½ years before returning home to the states. I dabbled in drugs and alcohol far too much, therefore the reason I am clean and sober 28 years through Alcoholics Anonymous in which I am a proud member to this day.

I moved to Palm Desert, California early 1980’s and opened my first business, a Broasted Chicken take out restaurant where 5 more soon opened after the success of the 1 st one. After 12 years in the desert I decided it wasn’t for me so I sold my home and business and moved to Durango, Colorado with my dog and have gratefully lived here for the past 25 years because I had finally found my forever home. I live on 3 acres in ranch country with my beautiful black horse, big donkey, handsome 140 lb dog and great ranching neighbors. My horse doesn’t want to be ridden so I ride my Harley instead. I opened a few more simple restaurants, some succeeded, some didn’t and that’s o.k.

As for personal romantic relationships I found the few I tried to develop did not fit me. Perhaps my independence and sense of adventure fit me so well it has been personally more fulfilling to open businesses and have good friends.

Having been healthy all my life, I was diagnosed last year with stage 3 colon cancer. I only mention it, not for myself but to perhaps help someone else. I went through surgeries and intense chemo treatments with a chemo pump attached to me 24hrs 3 days a week for 6 months. When I realized I might not survive this, my lifelong positive attitude reminded me how fortunate I’ve been to have lived such an exciting wonderful life and if it was my time to go I made an easy decision to make peace with whatever was to be my fate. That was powerful. It did not mean give up. For me, that meant the simple Serenity Prayer – to grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the courage to change the things I can. I accepted that I was very sick from chemo treatments but did not stop them.

Oddly enough, during the darkest hours I was able to have many meaningful ‘magical’ moments that can only come from going through such an experience. Today I am gratefully cancer free while joyfully living with the adverse side-affects all that chemo creates. Chemo brain is just one and is real and can be very funny. I bought a patch for my leathers at a Harley Rally that states: THERE IS NOTHING RIGHT IN MY LEFT BRAIN AND NOTHING LEFT IN MY RIGHT BRAIN. I never lost my sense of humor or positive attitude. I believe there is magic in that alone. I love my life and always have. It isn’t what happens to you in life it’s how you handle what happens to you in life.

I am disappointed to miss the reunion. The reason is I have follow up cat scans and appointments during that time in order to keep me healthy, strong and full of the same exciting life I have always lived.

Have fun at this very special reunion and I will be thinking about you on Saturday.

Shari Hartwig St. Michael