50 Reasons to Go to the 50th Reunion

50 Reasons You Need to Go to Your 50th High School Reunion!
a special feature from Leslie & Kay, founders, Grandparentslink.com

Hey, don’t be reticent to get up enough nerve to attend your 50th reunion! There are so many motivating reasons for you to be part of such an important aspect of your life journey. Go ahead, enjoy yourself, and take note!

  1. You are grateful you can attend!
  2. You realize some of your friends you grew up with are pretty damn cool, still to this day.
  3. It is hard to believe that you made it through those tumultuous years. Remember the too-fast car rides? The tests you forgot to study for? The teacher who insulted you?
  4. You look at old pictures of yourself, and can’t believe you were ever that age.
  5. You think about your family, and what it was like for your parents and grandparents.
  6. Reconnecting is good and powerful.
  7. One of your high school teachers comes to the reunion.
  8. You cannot believe how many classmates of yours passed away, and you ask why and how and when.
  9. You look back and think about some of the foolish things you did or said, and ask “why?”
  10. You look back and think about some of the good decisions you made, even though you were just a “high school kid.”
  11. You talk to a classmate who served in Vietnam, and think about where you were, and what he went through. You thank him.
  12. You talk to a classmate who had a really tough time growing up, and you knew nothing about it. You see the pain… and you had no idea.
  13. You miss the friends who are not attending but are still around, and wonder where they are or how they are.
  14. You see old friends in a new light, a wiser light.
  15. You look at some folks and realize you did not connect then, and you still cannot connect now.
  16. You miss that really good friend of yours who died way too early.
  17. You talk about old times, old girlfriends, old boyfriends.
  18. You appreciate the reconnections.
  19. You look at that huge football field and can’t believe how gorgeous it is, and you relive Friday night football games.
  20. You talk about what you did that you weren’t supposed to do.
  21. You realize how much wiser you are today.
  22. You laugh a lot.
  23. Your emotions surprise you.
  24. You are exhausted from all the energy it takes to see everyone.
  25. You look at your old school, walk the halls, and reminisce.
  26. You wonder about your own driving force in high school. What motivated you? What bothered you?
  27. You relive some of those precious moments.
  28. You think about some of your painful moments, and how you got past them.
  29. You think about how cool so and so was back then, and that same person now reveals all their personal insecurities and how they never ever really felt cool.
  30. That beautiful friend of yours is still beautiful.
  31. That friend of yours who was a total geek is now a well-known and successful physician.
  32. One of the most “popular” classmates ended up in big trouble. Who would have thought?
  33. You see an old friend who is not physically well, and you see those studs who were so cool and so into themselves when you were in school — but now, they are the kindest, taking care of this friend with such love and warmth.
  34. The peer pressure is gone.
  35. You see your classmates now as you saw them years ago. They don’t look 68. You still see them as 18.
  36. You realize life is short. Enjoy the moments now.
  37. You can be yourself. You don’t have to prove anything.
  38. Remember you thought you were invincible?
  39. You get to share pictures of your grandchildren, and talk about this new journey.
  40. You wonder, “Will I ever see some of these people again?”
  41. You get to hear all that great music that you loved, and you remember what those songs meant to you. And you may even dance.
  42. You rekindle old friendships, and vow to stay connected.
  43. You watch as new flirtations and new relationships develop. What a kick!
  44. You recall all sorts of anecdotes and adventures. You may remember some and your friends don’t. They remember and you may not. Oh my!
  45. You see that boy or girl who was your first crush.
  46. You become Facebook friends, and can now really keep up with each other.
  47. You recall the politics of the time, what you were doing the day JFK was killed.
  48. You see that people are real. Who cares about the frills?
  49. You learn how to share more than your gum- you enjoy reaching out to others
  50. You reflect on the moment at hand- you are mindful of life’s embrace. Something as simple as a reunion can do just that!

Hey! Did anyone take note of the fact that we are the class of 1968, and many of us will actually be age SIXTY-EIGHT at the time of the 50th reunion! How cool is that! Thanks to Carla Robinson Pollard who came up with this idea.

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Because this may be the last time…

If ever there was a reason to attend a 50th High School Reunion, it may be this: It may be the last time you ever see these people. Yes, even as our Reunion Committee volunteers are trying to call all those graduates with no updated email addresses, we are learning about the death of four more of our classmates.

Linda Loranger

The most recent was Linda Loranger Snipes, whose obituary appeared in the Downey Patriot: Linda Loranger Snipes passed away suddenly on Oct. 25, 2016 in South Gate. She was born and raised in Burbank and worked as a registered nurse for Los Angeles County before working at Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Center in Downey for many years. She is survived by her daughter Lisa (Joelle) and her son Daniel. Linda was predeceased in by her parents.

Another one was Myron Eugene Mikkelson,  who was born on November 2, 1949 and died on December 16, 2007. Here is his obituary as published in the Salt Lake Tribune: 

Myron Mikkelson

Photo of Myron Mikkelson in the Salt Lake Tribune obituary.

Myron E. Mikkelson, Sr., loving husband and father, passed away Dec. 16, 2007 at the age of 57, at the Salt Lake City Veteran’s Hospital. He was born in Scottsbluff, Nebraska on November 2, 1949. Myron will be greatly missed by his wife, Elena; son, Gene Mikkelson and his wife Jennifer; and grandchildren, Julian and Jeanette. He served his country in the Army during the Vietnam Conflict. Funeral services will be held Friday, Dec. 21, 2007, at 11 a.m. at the Murray 8th Ward, 4600 S. 160 E. Friends and family may attend the viewing at Jenkins-Soffe Mortuary on Thursday, Dec. 20th from 6-8 p.m. and Friday at the church from 10:00-10:45 a.m. Interment: Utah Veteran’s Memorial Park. Online condolences may be shared with the family at http://www.jenkins-soffe.com (Published in Salt Lake Tribune on Dec. 19, 2007)

We also found out about the deaths of Rudolph “Rudy” Maurer (born 12-4-48, died 12-4-2011) and Michael A. Olds (born 5-26-49, died 3-17-09 in Denver, CO at age 59). Jim Ranshaw, our chief detective in tracking down people, said that he actually spoke to Rudy when he was searching for classmates back in 2007-2008. Neither of these two guys, though, had senior photos in the Ceralbus. If any of our classmates has further information about Rudy or Michael or about any of our other fellow Bulldogs who died, please send information to “burbankhigh1968@gmail.com.
You can also check out the rest of the Memorial List here.

Sewing is IN again!

If you’re female and reading this, do you remember taking a class in junior high where we learned how to use sewing machines? As I recall, “Clothing” was mandatory for all eighth-grade girls. I remember sewing a lot of my clothes in those days.

Here’s a little history of sewing in America:

In 1963, American women spent a record $1 billion on sewing—including patterns, fabric, notions, and sewing machines. By 1964, the average age of the home sewer was 25 years younger than in 1940. Between 1960 and 1968, the amount of clothes sewn at home increased by 50 percent.

By the 1970s, the overall sewing numbers are down (44 million women and girls sew in 1974—8 million less than in the 1950s), but the back-to-basics idea of making something with your own hands appeals to a generation of young women fed up with mass consumerism.


By the 1980s, we started buying more and more ready-made clothes, but fiber arts become an area of interest, however, and the art world begins to look at quilting as a relevant form of artistic expression.

1990s through today: A 1997 Home Sewing Association survey put the number of American women sewing at about 30 million. By 2006, that number was 35 million. Sewing is booming again, thanks in large part to the Web (especially sites like Etsy) and the DIY/eco-chic movement.

We’ve previously written posts about seamstresses in our class: Jan DeJaegher and Carla Robinson Pollard (“Fabric Artists“) and that was about the time we also heard that Susan Parker Easley (“Married for life“) was looking forward to getting home and sewing. Since then she has been quilting up a storm, and was happy to share her creations with us.

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Sue Parker Easley and John Easley, her husband of 48 years.

Sue writes, “Most of these quilts are from kits, so somebody else picks the fabrics, but I do have a lot of fun sewing them together. My biggest problem is remembering to take pictures of them before they leave the house… Mostly I sew for pleasure, so if you receive one of the quilts it is usually for a special occasion. My husband complains I do all that work and then I give it away, so now I am taking pictures so I remember what they look like. Most of the smaller wall hangings are on the wall in my workroom.”

Beautiful work, Sue!

He planned to be a forester

Plan to be a forester. That was BHS’68 Wayne Wyatt‘s statement for the Senior Index at the back of the Ceralbus. Today we found his obituary on the Horan and Conaty funeral home website:

Wayne Wyatt, June 10, 1949 – December 4, 2013

Wayne H. Wyatt, 64 of Arvada, Colorado, passed away on December 4, 2013, of a massive heart attack. Wayne was born on June 10, 1949, in Los Angeles, California, to Rufus and Marion Wyatt. He had an older brother, Warren. He grew up in Burbank, California. When he was 16 years old, he professed to serve God. He was a smoke jumper right after high school then started working at Forest Lawn in California then at the City of Burbank Parks Department. He met Joyce Morrison when she was working in Burbank. Wayne and Joyce married on August 8, 1970, in Bayfield, Colorado. One year later, they welcomed their first daughter, Glenda, to the family. They lived in California about a year after she was born then moved to Bayfield, Colorado, for a short time where Wayne worked for La Plata County and operated road graders and plow trucks. They then moved to the Denver area and stayed briefly with dear friends Bill and Rene Hartman before moving to Aurora and holding various jobs. There, they had a premature baby girl named Mirenda who passed away shortly after birth on July 16, 1973. On Glenda’s 2nd birthday (August 29, 1973), Wayne started working at the City of Arvada Parks Department. He worked at the City for 40+ years.

In November, 1973, they moved to Arvada to their current home. Their daughter, Tonya, was born in 1975 and son, Stan, was born in 1979. He served as a father figure for many kids over the years. In 2003, Wayne earned his favorite title of being a Papa to Brooklin and happily welcomed grandson Traybin in 2011.

Wayne enjoyed hunting and camping and spending time with his family and did side sprinkler jobs most of his life. He served as President of the Arvada Cemetery for a while and was a board member on several ditches over the years. He really enjoyed working with the Horse Protection League. Wayne even played Santa Claus a few years with a little persuasion for the City of Arvada and helped deliver gifts to needy children for Lighting up the Holidays. He always loved kids.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Rufus and Marion Wyatt, and his daughter Mirenda. He is survived by his wife Joyce, his daughter Glenda and her husband Darrell McCord, his daughter Tonya, and his son Stan and his wife Jenni and their children Brooklin and Traybin. He is also survived by his older brother Warren, his wife Sue as well as many brother- and sister-in-laws, nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be Monday, December 9, 2013, from 6PM-8PM at Horan & McConaty Family Chapel, 7577 West 80th Avenue, Arvada. His Funeral Service will be held on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 1:00 PM, also at Horan & McConaty Family Chapel. Interment to follow at Arvada Cemetery at 2:30 PM, 5581 Independence Street, Arvada, Colorado. Reception to follow Interment back at Horan & McConaty.

We extend our deepest sympathy to Wayne’s family and friends.

Unfortunately Wayne was one of a handful of Burbank High School 1968 graduates whose senior photo was not in the Ceralbus. Others who are missing senior photos (so far) include Steve Gleason, Christine Cullen, Monty Morgan, Steven Lester, and Carol Cooke, the graduates who have contacted us about attending the 50th Class Reunion.

 

RIP Rick Alan Nelson

Rick Nelson

Rick Nelson, November 22, 1949 – July 13, 2016

Inevitably when we are searching for long-lost classmates, we come upon an obituary. That’s what happened when we looked for Rick Nelson. Here is his obituary as published in the Sacramento Bee:

NELSON, RICK ALAN, entered into rest July 13, 2016 in Martinez, CA age 66. He is a native of Glendale, CA born November 22, 1949 and a former resident of Madera, CA before moving to Placer County for the last 12 years. Loving father to Chad E. (Melissa) Nelson, Meghan E. (Bobby) Jovel and Scott T. (Danielle) Nelson. Grandfather to, Chase E. Nelson, Cameron E. Nelson, Caiden E. Nelson, Macy Jane Nelson, Robert Jovel, Thomas Jovel, Scarlett Nelson, Harper Nelson. Also survived by a sister Lynn D. Nelson. Rick is preceded in death by a son Jason Nelson and both parents Robert E. and Shirley (Coffeen) Nelson. Rick was an auto mechanic for over 40 years and a veteran of the Vietnam war proudly serving in the US Navy. The family invites you to attend a Celebration of His Life on Sunday, July 24, 2016 at 12:00 Noon at Chapel of the Valley 97 Vernon Street Roseville, CA 95678.

We convey our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

Here are some comments which have been posted on Facebook:

That is sad news! (Deanna Dugger Bergman)

So sorry to read this. (Nancy Frisch Silverman)

I’m so sorry to hear this. He was a neighbor of mine on Groton during junior and senior high school and we saw each other around town when he still lived here. His son, Jason, was a student at the preschool where I taught. (Sallie Shelton Thomas)

Rick and I were good friends in junior high and high school. His parents were good friends with mine. His sister Lynn and I were in Jobs Daughters together and Rick was in DeMolay. (Patty “Trish” Molloy Vosper)

Kindergarten through 12th [Grade]! Nice guy! (Tonia Szilagyi Mapston)

He lived around the corner from me. Rick was such a nice guy, sorry to hear this. (Jeani Chiarolla Chambers)

RIP Rick! We dated after my second husband passed away, just one or two. He was so sweet. (Elizabeth “Liz” Anderson Eder)

 I often wondered about Rick. He was such a nice guy. (Kathy Benno)

Loved rick. Such a sweetheart. (Laura Dermedy Unch)

We are Survivors!

One of the most sobering realizations for anyone our age facing a 50th High School Reunion is that there are fewer of us around than there were 50 years ago. One insurance website I found said:

Forget the fun, warped mirrors of amusement parks. At your high school reunion, you’ll experience true terror: an irrefutably accurate reflection of the march of time.

For the price of a single ticket home, you can witness the horrifying truth that your former classmates — and you — are getting old. Going gray, getting bald, growing soft. Dying.

Statistics from the insurance industry give us these numbers:

  • 10 year reunion — 1 death per 100 graduates.
  • 20 year reunion — 1 death per 50 graduates.
  • 30 year reunion — 1 death per 20 graduates.
  • 40 year reunion — 1 death per 10 graduates.
  • 50 year reunion — 1 death per five graduates.

Wow! This means that for a 50 year reunion, about 20% of our classmates should have died. But in fact, if you count up the number of our memorialized classmates, nearly 70 people in our class are on that list.  That means that our class is below the average since we had about 640+ graduates. If you haven’t gone there already, our class website, www.burbankhigh1968.net has a list of classmates who are gone forever but not forgotten: In memoriam  

[EDITOR’S NOTE: You can tell how bad I was in math—My original post said that we were above the average when in fact we are below the average.]

John Curtis died last year.

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John Curtis 1968

In trying to contact all our Burbank High 1968 classmates, we found out from Steven Lester that one of the people on our Missing Classmates list, John Curtis, died last year. “John was one of my Facebook friends and we talked occasionally.  When he died last year, I think, his family notified us via a message in Facebook and then they closed his site…  I can’t remember where he lived.  I googled for an obituary but couldn’t find one. He was a very stand-offish person and suffered from lung problems that derived from his experience in the Navy during Viet Nam and was greatly frustrated by the way he was treated by the VA.”

If you have any more information about John or any of our classmates marked “missing,” please send it to burbankhigh1968@gmail.com.

Some links on the website which you may find interesting:

Save the Date
Information about the Reunion FAQs
Tentative Guest List (RSVP)
Senior Class Photos of those planning to attend (in case you forgot!)
Current Photos of the Class of 1968
Missing Classmates
Archive of all posts (Stories about classmates who have contacted us)

Missing 1968 Classmates

NO CONTACT INFORMATION

Bill Ardizzone
Michael Blumberg
Timothy Bonner
Richard Bredeson
Ann Brown
Rosemary Buckley Brunch
Jay Lynn Case
Peggy Dyer Cave
Consuelo Cazares
Susan Cohen
Michael Dolph Connell
Bob T. Correll
John Curtis
Greg A. Davidson
Dennis Dawson
Kathy Del Pino
Catherine Dubiel
Eddie Earle
Thomas Edmisten
Joseph Escobar
Anthony Favazzo
Judy Geldin
Andrea Goldberg
Jose Aguilar Gomez
Miguel Guerra
Cliff Ray Hamilton
Ken Howitt
Sue Kelley
Ken Kleist
Patrick Kloepfel
Rick Logan
Leonard Marsh
Etsuyo Mochizuki
Dina Monarrez
Mary Makarowski Morrison
Ralph P. Moyle
Joan Linea Marcella Myers

Giancarlo Nannini
Frances Gregory Nevue
David Nicastro
Mercedes Pelaez
Paul Pilson
Kim Plunkett
John Curtis Price
Steven Proctor
Angela Ramirez
Carol Robinson
Lynn Ross
Barbara Sebern Rowe
Sylvia Ruiz
Ray Rutherford
Mike Lane Shaw
Donna Staples
Michael Steinberg
Carol Stevenson
Cheryl Lynn Stewart
Gerry Stratton
Charles E. Stricker
Brenda Stubbs
Janet Teague
John Treloar
Daniel Trotter
Steve Ubleman
Jim Venters
William Walker
Carol Cooke Walter
Mike Bruce Williams
Bob Zubricky

50th Class Reunion!

BHS Save the Date-lowres

“I feel like a million bucks!”

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Carla’s first day back in the gym following cancer surgery, “her crowning achievement!”

So proclaimed our BHS’68 classmate, Carla Robinson Pollard, as she wrote to RSVP to the 50th Class Reunion. You may recall that we heard from Carla four years ago in October 2013 (see post “Fabric artists“) and saw some of her beautiful handiwork.

I have a remarkable life—among other reasons—I’m a cancer survivor.  Was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in April of 2016, went through chemo and radiation last summer, then successful surgery in November when they got it all.  I was extremely fortunate to have a medical team of gladiators out of the Marin General Hospital network; my surgery was at the Mission Bay campus of UCSF in San Francisco by a world class surgeon who specializes in only my kind of cancer/surgery. 

Carla Robinson, 1968

Although I was strong as a bull  going into it, I wound up in the hospital twice afterward with infections; then a third time after having a seizure from one of the meds I was taking to clear up an infection (sepsis).  I had a couple of docs tell me I could have died!  Not quite ready for THAT!  Lol.  So my 67th birthday this year was particularly significant.  And, many of our classmates will be 68 for the class of ’68’s 50th!

Now I feel like a million bucks, living the dream still running two small businesses for which I am sole proprietor: I have a custom sewing studio in Sausalito—with an abundance of wonderful clients, including interior designers from the SF Bay area.  I also maintain a bookkeeping business with clients who have a variety of businesses.  I’m blessed to have a huge network of ongoing support, colleagues, clients and friends. 

Although I wasn’t directly affected by the unspeakable tragedy of the wine country fires I spent a lot of time in Napa some years ago visiting a close friend on a regular basis who used to live there.  I also have a dear friend whose parents lived in the Fountaingrove community of Santa Rosa who lost absolutely everything.  Unlike hundreds of others at least they had another place to move to (in with my friend, their son) here in Mill Valley where I still live (going on 29 years!) This event has touched so many I know, it’s positively unbelievable.

So that’s the scoop on me right now.  I feel extraordinarily grateful every day.

The picture above was posted on Instagram, on Carla’s first day back in the gym. Her trainer wrote: “It’s been a long year for Carla. Cancer, chemo, radiation, surgeries, hospitalizations. Things got dark, but she pulled through. Today Carla worked out with me for the first time since October. And you know what? She’s as strong as ever. A take-no-s*** attitude and a will to survive will get you through almost anything, and Carla is living proof.”

We’re so happy for you, Carla, and look forward to seeing you at the reunion!

Carla’s favorite photo.

Where are you now?

News Flash!

Burbank High School Class of 1968 is having a 50th Reunion and would like to tell everyone about it!

Big Problem: Here is a list of people for whom we have no contact information. If YOUR NAME is below, or if you know how to contact any one of these people, please send the email address to burbankhigh1968@gmail.com.

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 6.53.19 AMIf you know ANYTHING about how to contact these people, please let them know about the 50th Class Reunion and direct them to the website, burbankhigh1968.net.

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 6.54.15 AMOr if you would be willing to volunteer to search for people and their email addresses, or perhaps make telephone calls, please email us here.