“Kathy! Kathy Au!” I heard my name being called by Sallie Shelton Thomas as I turned the corner of the entrance to the Toluca Lake Bob’s Big Boy. It was with a little bit of apprehension that I am even here in the first place. Will I recognize anyone after 45 years? I have seen a few of my classmates’ recent photos on Facebook, but how else would I know anyone else from my class?
Fortunately I didn’t have long to wait, because before long, nearly the whole Reunion Committee showed up and they gravitated right to me. “Thank you so much for doing the blog!” and “I love reading about my classmates” was the gist of their first conversations with me. Members of the committee who showed up included Jim Ranshaw, Sallie Shelton Thomas, Stephanie Llewellyn, Annette Dinolfo Bennett with husband and fellow ’68 classmate, Tom Bennett, John Wray, and Patti “Trish” Molloy Vosper, all of whom still live in Burbank.
Later Deanna Dugger Bergman, now living in Pennysylvania, showed up, then Craig Weber and his wife made a brief appearance. We were also joined by Ann Shamoon Chandler (Kansas), Loanne Wright Ginchereaux (Illinois), Barbara Bautista Lear and finally, Jodi Tillotson Huddleston (Colorado). Deanna went into the restaurant to find our class, and thought she had found us only to discover the group was the class of ’59, and from John Burroughs to boot! No wonder she thought everyone looked really old!
I can understand why some people avoid reunions. They say, “High school was an awkward time of my life,” or “I wasn’t in the ‘in’ crowd,” or “I have moved past that time in my life.” Others say it takes guts to go to reunions–we have ALL gained a few more pounds, our hair has turned gray or is thinning or in the case of some men, gone altogether. Well guess what, our experiences in high school formed the core of who we are and this is what we have in common with our classmates. We all walked those ancient hallways, had classes together with those teachers, stood shoulder to shoulder on the stage of the Starlight Bowl as we were given our diplomas.
But guess what, we are all survivors, and it is our common experience at Burbank High School which unites us. We may now be strangers, yet we are old friends.
In my next post, I will share pictures from the reunion at the Castaway.