More than a year ago, when Jim Ranshaw asked me to be the Class Blogger, my goal was to attempt to make contact with every BHS’68 grad and “tell your story.” My recent post about discovering Susan Parker Easley and learning that she celebrated 44 years of marriage created quite a buzz!
Another one of our Class of ’68 also celebrated 44 years of marriage — Louise Good married Gene Hernandez (Class of ’67) in July 1969. Louise writes: Kathy, I had no idea there were so many classmates who married within five years of graduation. Your curiosity and discovery of our classmate, Susan Parker, is a perfect example of social media at its finest. Thank you for all you do to keep us connected. I am sharing the last 44 years, in hopes that others will do the same.
My story probably isn’t unique from others. After graduation, the bonds of high school friendships, that back then seemed so critical to our survival, were fractured. Only the strongest bonds withstood the split. (Thank you, Jan Wahler, for our continued friendship.) And yet, I would assume/hope that an extremely high percentage of us never looked back and have lead moral and ethical lives, with a personal mission statement to “leave this world better than we found it.”
Gene Hernandez is a 1967 BHS graduate. On July 5, 1969, we said, “I do” and began our lives together. That promise, 44 years ago, catapulted us from Burbank to around the world. Gene’s career choice of law enforcement, with a degree in Administration of Criminal Justice, resulted in a planned move to San Jose in September of 1969, where he attended San Jose State. Three children and four grandchildren later, we have spent the bulk of our marriage in Yorba Linda, CA. For 35 years, Gene worked his way up from a patrolman to Chief of Police for the City of Chino. During that time, I had a career in the medical field, retiring in 2005 as a sole proprietor of a medical transcribing, home-based business, specializing in the field of Radiology.
Our oldest daughter, Nikki, was born in 1970 and our son, Paul, was born in 1972. Fast-forward to 1985 and our youngest daughter, Elissa, was born. When Elissa was one-year-old, Gene joined a local Rotary Club. This involvement changed our lives. Over the last 27 years, we have attended many Rotary International Conventions. These conventions have been as close as Salt Lake City and as far away as Bangkok, Thailand. Giving back to our community and the world through Rotary and other local service organizations is what occupies most of our time in retirement. Our first priority is always our children and grandchildren. We’re fortunate that all live within four miles of us. Since Gene is a newly elected Yorba Linda City Councilman, we’re seeing our city in ways we never noticed before and enjoying all the friendships created through the campaign and subsequent election. We ran into my classmate, John Todora, at a Chamber of Commerce event! I had no idea he lived in Yorba Linda.
Our 15-year-old granddaughter is a sophomore in high school. Lately, I’ve been listening to her stories of drama with friends. I’d like to tell her that this time of her life is just a blip on the radar screen. It’s three years out of possibly an 80-year or more life span. I wish I could tell her to enjoy every day because, before she knows it, she’ll be celebrating her 45th high school reunion. I’ll keep these messages to myself. She might think I’m weird. I don’t want to spoil my reputation as a “groovy” grandma. OMG! Why did that word pop into my head? It’s been fun reminiscing. Looking forward to other stories and seeing everyone at the reunion.