Wheel of Fortune winner

Louise and her sister Maggie won big!

Louise and her sister Maggie won big!

Congratulations to BHS’68 Louise Good Hernandez who won BIG on yesterday’s Wheel of Fortune! She and her sister Margaret Ann “Maggie” Good were the big winners with a total of $99,224.00! Louise mentioned at the beginning of the show that she has been married for 47 years to her high school sweetheart, BHS’67 Gene Hernandez.

Louise could not even tell her husband the outcome until the show aired, as she told him, “no matter what happened—win or lose—Maggie and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.”

You girls killed it, so happy for you and congratulations. It was fun watching you two win. (Argie Nastasi)

Wow, that was one of the most amazing performances on the WHEEL I have ever seen! Thanks for allowing Argie Nastasi and I to share in the excitement with good friends, good food and a great time (Dave Silva)

I had so much fun watching the show. (Peggy Huang)

Louise has some experience with game shows, as you may remember a previous post I wrote, “It started with a game show!” Gene’s winnings on “All Star Blitz” enabled them to put a down payment on a house which they still live in today. Do you remember that Louise calls herself “Groovy Grandma!

Great show, “WINNING Groovy Grandma Louise and Maggie!




RIP Steve Irey

Steve is shown with Theresa Moore.

Steve is shown with Theresa Moore, who wrote: My best and closest friend over the years you were always there. Someone I could forever count on. You were family. I can’t believe you have left so quickly and far too soon. Love you always and miss you terribly.

As many of you now know, our classmate Steve Irey died on the very day of my last post, “Prayers for Steve Irey.” June Ingersoll Roseberry wrote Jim Ranshaw:

Steve was surrounded by friends and family members last night. It was a relief but a sad moment for me this morning when I got the news. I know that he is not in anymore pain. I will miss him as we all will. He was a sweet man and a great friend. I will miss all his emails . There will be no memorial as per his wishes.
I for one am glad that God took him quickly. My prayers are for his family and all of us that are left to mourn.

Jim wrote “sadly he didn’t get to see all the outpouring from his classmates.” In addition to the comments which were left on the last post, here are the comments from Facebook:

I hadn’t seen Steve in over 50 years, but still have vivid memories of what a great friend he was at Emerson School in Burbank. It is always hard to lose a friend, especially a close one. (Jill Gipson)

Oh, so sorry to hear. I remember what a nice guy he was. (Sallie Shelton Thomas)

Another recent photo of Steve.

Another photo of Steve with Deli Thompson

Dave Campbell and I were talking about Steve last night, and like Sallie said, he was a really nice guy; incredibly nice. (Mike O’Connell)

My prayers are with the family & all the friends! !! God’s speed Steve….you are going to a much better place with no pain or suffering!!!! Luv to all, Laura!!!! (Laura L. Young)

So sad to lose another classmate. (Annette Dinolfo Bennett)

Prayers to you Steve Irey. I am so sorry that you have to suffer so much pain. I know what you are going through as my husband and his brother went through the same thing. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻  that they at least keep you out of pain and that God is watching over you. (Elizabeth “Liz” Anderson Eder)

The news is just sinking in. How do you give up part of your own heart? Can’t tell Beauty yet. She’s on her way home. She’s going to be destroyed. He’s always been our kids’ Uncle Irey. (Steve Raine)

Steve, thanks for sharing the journey as classmates at Burbank High ’68. Please know that so many of us Bulldogs are thinking of you. (Kenda Vaughan)

I too had a good time catching up with Steve Irey at the 45th reunion, many blessing for a pain free passing and good blessings to you and your family. (Jodi Tillotson Huddleston)

Thanks to you and June for letting us know. Years have past since our Cub Scout days. So sad! (John Ferguson)
Just found out that Steve passed last night. Our prayers are with the family. (Norm Sabin)
One of my most dearest friends. I will miss our banter, his crazy jokes, big hearty laugh and his kind soul. I found an old picture taken before I left Chico in 1991 and moved to Santa Clara. We never lost touch and now he’s gone. Rest in peace my friend. (Deli Thompson)
Who can forget Steve with his almost neon bright red hair. One of the guys I hung with in elementary school in Burbank. (Michael Katzman)
5/9/16 update: Facebook reminded me about this post from Steve Irey a year ago today: Hi Katherine. How did I end up in Chico. After high school I went to Pierce for a short stint. Basically a waste of time. Was joined the Air Force in 1970. Spent 3 1/2 yrs in Texas and 2 yrs in England. Moved to Glendale and spent time at Glendale Community College. Worked for Gallenkamp shoes in Glendale for a few years while living in Burbank. Got hired by an old friend, Brad Wilhelm, and moved to Kingman Az to manage one of his restaurants. Moved back to southern cal and went to Northridge for a semester or two. Hated it. My folks had moved to Anderson, just north of Chico, and I visited them. While there I visited Chico, liked it and applied to Chico State. Moved here in 1980, graduated in 1984. That’s basically the tale. Pretty much trying to be retired.  
Sounds like you are well in Hawaii. Someday I would like to get over there. Been a dream for years…Since I read Mutiny on the Bounty. LOL

Prayers for Steve Irey

Steve Irey, 1968

Steve Irey, 1968

June Ingersoll Roseberry informs us that our classmate, Steve Irey has only a few weeks to live. They found cancer on his arm and realized that it had spread to his liver and spine which has fractures. He is in immense pain and probably will be moved to a care facility. His brother has cancer also.

You can text Steve at 530-345-7768 or Teresa at 530-828-3363 (Teresa was a boarder for many years with Steve, who was like a dad to her.)

According to his Facebook page, Steve was a former medical administrator in the U.S. Air Force. He studied business administration at Cal State Chico and never left the Chico area. I remember talking to him at length at one of the class reunions — I lived across the street from him when we were in kindergarten and walked to Emerson School together! And for some strange reason, I have an image in my mind of us climbing a tree, which undoubtedly happened.

Here is Steve’s profile photo from his Facebook page:


I also found these pictures of Steve taken in the 70s.

Steve Irey in his younger days

Steve Irey in his younger days

Here is a picture taken in the Thanksgiving of 2014. Steve is in the back row, in the maroon colored shirt. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Alan Landros BHS’70 thought that Steve is actually seated in the second row, in the light blue Hawaiian shirt. However, that is Steve’s brother, Alan.]

Irey family Thanksgiving 2014

Irey family Thanksgiving 2014

Please share your memories of Steve in the Comments section below. Les Heller was good enough to send along this picture of Steve when we were sixth graders at Emerson. The photo was taken by our teacher, Mr. Seymour Novins, a photography buff who won many prizes.

Photo of Steve Irey in the 6th grade.

Photo of Steve Irey in the 6th grade.

UPDATE: Steve passed on 4-21-2016.

I’ve been looking for you since 5th grade!

This was the intriguing title of an email message I received recently. “Saw the 68’ Burbank blog and looked you up from Emerson Elementary … Have no idea if you remember me at all … but in the 5th grade you were something special!!  (We moved to Alabama between 5th and 6th grade .. .there are a few people I remember from Emerson … John Mancini / Carol Aiken / Linda Rodewald …)”

Mrs. Morrow's 5th grade class at Emerson.

Mrs. Morrow’s 5th grade class at Emerson.

The message was from Steve Bowers, one of our “X” graduates (went to school with us but graduated elsewhere).

This is a recent picture of Steve Bowers.

This is a recent picture of Steve Bowers.

I still wasn’t sure who he was until he said that he mentioned that “we had class together with Gedda in the 4th grade and Morrow in the 5th … Saw the photos on the Burbank Class of 68 page … We sat out the dance classes together …” Then I remembered him, although I still didn’t remember what he looked like until Steve told me he was the only one with glasses in the front row.

Steve said that his family moved from Burbank to Decatur, Alabama when he was in the 6th grade and he graduated from Austin High School in Decatur in 1968 … (he was born in 1949 in Athens, Alabama and his family for several generations had lived in North Alabama, so moving to Decatur was in a sense “going back home.”)

Pam and Steve Bowers

Pam and Steve Bowers

He got to West Tennessee after high school by attending Freed-Hardeman University and entered radio in 1976 and has worked media in West TN (Radio, Newspaper, Television) ever since.  For the past 22 years he has worked with News-Talk 101.5 FM in Jackson.  He has also worked in Media and Governmental relations with the Jackson Energy Authority and in that role hosts and produces shows for EPlusTV6 in Jackson, TN.

I found these online quotes about Steve: “Steve is a great guy, very professional on air. . . He is my hero! . . . Steve would give you the shirt off his back. He is a super nice, thoughtful, caring person. One of the nicest people I have ever met.”

Steve married his wife Pam in 1998 and their son Clayton was born in 2003. That means that he is the father of a young teenager! Steve is a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, TN where they installed a large pipe organ in 2001 by the Schantz Organ Company. Hmmm, maybe I’ll have to make a trip to go see it!

So good to hear from you, Steve!




Whatever happened to … ?

Time and time again, we have reconnected with people we haven’t talked to in years — thanks to the wonder of the Internet and social media. It so happens that two of our “X” graduates have found this blog lately and have contacted us. One of them is Brett Wilhelm, who was kind enough to send along some missing elementary school photos (Emerson and Jefferson). I’ll tell his story first.

Look at this picture which Brett sent of Mrs. Gedda’s fourth grade class in 1959-60.

Grade 4, Mrs. Gedda's class. Brett is standing right next to me (I'm the one in the pigtails!)

Grade 4, Mrs. Gedda’s class. Brett is standing right next to me (I’m the one in the pigtails!)

Here's what Brett looked like in his senior year.

Here’s what Brett looked like in his senior year.

I remembered the name Brett Wilhelm, but when I went looking for him in the Ceralbus, his picture wasn’t there. According to Brett, he completed his senior year of high school in South Carolina but returned to earn a B.S. in Business Administration at USC. He worked for several years in the family’s physical therapy equipment manufacturing business which originated in Burbank and later relocated to Temecula. After that business was acquired by a publicly traded firm he started a home medical supply store in Temecula and later opened a second location in Fallbrook.

Brett with his wife, Jan

Brett and Jan in 1988

Brett married his best friend Jan in 1987. Since 1995 they and their German Shepherds have enjoyed living in a very scenic area on Whidbey Island just north of Seattle. In Washington state Brett spent his business time managing commercial real estate.

Brett discovered he was politically libertarian in 1990 and until 2008 most of his volunteer efforts were in support of Libertarian Party candidates. Since 2008, when the Supreme Court upheld the Top-Two primary in Washington state, his volunteer efforts have been in support of libertarian Republican candidates who advocate individual liberty, free markets and peace.

Brett's picture in the newspaper.

Norma Metcalf, wife of the late Congressman Jack Metcalf of Langley, ticks off a few points in favor of Newt Gingrich at Saturday’s Republican caucus on South Whidbey. Behind her at right is Brett Wilhelm, Island County Republican Party Chairman. — image credit: Jim Larsen / South Whidbey Record (Published March 8, 2012).

I did a Google search on Brett and found this picture of him in the South Whidbey Record. Brett said he is wearing the brown V-neck sweater in the newspaper photo.

He wrote, “As the 2011-12 Island County Republican Party Chairman, it was my responsibility to rent locations for the Party’s pooled precinct caucuses. One of those locations was South Whidbey High School where this photo was taken. 

Brett said that he was a few minutes early for an appointment with the school principal to reserve the venue. While he waited in the outer office, another man entered and told the secretary he was there to pick up an envelope for “Zook.” Brett looked up and instantly knew the man had to be related to our classmate, Mike Zook. He was! It was Mike’s brother, Doug Zook BHS’61, who also lives on Whidbey Island. Brett has known Mike Zook since they were both in Mrs. Greene’s 3rd grade class at Emerson. He says, “Now Mike and I have reconnected thanks to meeting his brother by happenstance over 1,000 miles north of Burbank!”

And luckily, Brett happened upon this blog and we are now reconnected!

I’ll tell Steve Bowers‘ story in the next post.

2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Superman retires!

Larry Marak is the latest classmate to retire.

Larry Marak is the latest classmate to retire.

img017Larry Marak posted this picture on Facebook and said, “I’m about to join the rest of our class in retirement next Thursday, Dec 17th. Retirement isn’t the end of a career, it’s the beginning of an adventure.” After working at Burbank Water and Power for five decades, Larry leaves  public service with a vast collection of memories. Can you imagine what his fellow employees are going to feel when Larry isn’t there anymore? The sky is going to fall in! He certainly will be missed by his co-workers, but is only on the cusp of new adventures.

As many of us in the Class of 1968 are turning 65 and starting a new chapter in our lives with retirement adventures, we all have a story to tell. Send us your retirement photos and announcements to me at burbankhigh1968@gmail.com and I’ll happily post them.


Our condolences

Tonia Szilagyi Mapston mourns the loss of her husband.

Tonia Szilagyi Mapston mourns the loss of her husband.

to BHS’68 classmate Tonia Szilagyi Mapston as she mourns the death of her husband of 45 years, Darrell Mapston. Not long ago we wrote about her wedding with many Burbank High classmates in it (see “A BHS wedding – 45 years ago“).

I didn’t ever meet Tonia’s husband, but by all the Facebook comments, he must have been a remarkable person. Some samples:

Tonia and family, I am very sorry for your loss. Your Husband/Father will be missed. I feel lucky to have had Mr. Mapston not only a teacher and a coach, but also later as a friend. The most memorable duck hunting trips I have ever had were with him. They were so much fun because of his humor. My children have heard those stories many times. I never dreamed he could be so at ease after ruling with such an iron fist in the classroom. If more teachers were like him, this world would be a better place.

Hugs to you Tonia! So saddened to hear about Darrell. He was such a special person in my life. Praying for strength for you and comfort.

I lay here with sleep alluding me, silent tears streaming down my face as I snuggle with my Carter remembering my blessings but yet profoundly sad that my life will no longer have my Dad physically in it. I am deeply grateful for the 2 days shy of 41 years I got to spend with my Dad as my coach, teacher, mentor, protector, biggest fan and most importantly my Daddy!! I know the days and weeks and months ahead will be difficult to say the least and I know I will most definitely need help and support to get through this. Thank you all for showering us with your love, prayers and support. We are humbled by the outpouring of love! Dad truly touched many lives and made such an impact on those who knew him! But of course he saw it so differently! You all were the ones who impacted his life and made it so much better!! Thank you will never be enough!! Thank you for allowing me to grieve openly! I am a sharer (if you hadn’t noticed). I know I need the support of a village to keep me strong. You all will truly never know the depth of My love and gratitude for each and everyone of you for being on this journey with me and my family. The memories you have shared with all of us about our Dad bring me great comfort. Thank you for sharing! God blessings on all of you! (By daughter Danielle Mapston Heissel)

You may write your condolence messages to Tonia in the Comments section below.

Spread to the four winds

I recently found a handy website which creates a map based on your data. Without compromising anyone’s privacy, I simply entered the zip codes of all the Burbank High Class of 1968 graduates, and look what I got!

A map of the Class of 1968 now.

A map of the Class of 1968 now. (Click to enlarge, then you can click any of the red dots for further detail.)

We are now located all over the map, with the bulk of the class still in California. We are spread apart from Alaska to Florida, and from Hawaii to New York! If you want to see the details, click the map above, and then you can click any red dot representing a geographic area. For example, I live in Hawaii, and I found out there are nine of us here, two of us on O‘ahu, four in Mau‘i, one on the Big Island, one on Lana‘i, and one on Kaua‘i! This means we could do a mini-reunion of BHS’68 grads anytime!

What’s interesting is that there are 15 BHS’68 grads in the Denver area, 5 in Las Vegas, and 5 in Philadelphia. And would you believe 65 grads still live in Burbank, California! That’s amazing!

Barbara Weitbrecht

Barbara Weitbrecht, 1968

This past summer, I met up with classmate Barbara Weitbrecht in Washington, DC where she works at the Smithsonian (see my post A Dream job) and we figured it had been 47 years since we saw each other last.

Crilly Butler

Crilly Butler

Steven Lester

And not too long ago, our classmates Crilly Butler and Steven Lester had a mini-reunion, and although they took a picture of themselves, they were too shy to publicize it (even though it was posted on Facebook!) Crilly wrote: Steven D. Lester, recently retired, went on a road trip from his home in Seattle to various places of interest around California. One of those was a stop in Davis to visit his classmate Crilly Butler. Though not having actually seen each other in 47 years, it was a wonderful reunion, including brunch on the patio and a late sushi lunch. The conversation was lively and covered 47 years worth of catching up and more. It was wonderful, and hopefully will happen again, preferably before another 47 years pass, since both will be long dead by then.

All of this is just a reminder that the 50th Reunion is approaching, and we don’t want anyone to be left out. If you move or change your email address, please send us the updated info at the Contact Us tab above. Most likely, the 50th Reunion will take place in late summer or early fall 2018. And if you want to be more involved, volunteers are always welcome! Just email us using the Contact Us tab.

A BHS Wedding – 45 years ago

Our BHS’68 classmate, Tonia Szilagyi Mapston, whom I sent on a chase to find her wedding pictures of 45 years ago, apologized that her photos had faded. Not to worry, I told her, pictures may fade, but there’s always Photoshop! So many BHS kids were in her wedding, I thought it would be fun for everyone to enjoy.

(L-R) Cousin Susan Carole Freeman Edelhauser Suzanne Schweitzer Joyce Mulder Ferguson Tonia Szilagyi Cousin Raquel Corinne Bugbee Cousin Linda Janene Verge Ferguson

(L-R) Cousin Susan, Carole Freeman Edelhauser, Suzanne Schweitzer, Joyce Mulder Ferguson, Tonia Szilagyi, Cousin Raquel, Corinne Bugbee, Cousin Linda, Janene Verge Ferguson. Click to enlarge.

CHALLENGE! Say, if you are in any of these pictures below, please write and give us an update on what you’re doing these days! Click the Contact Us tab above. You can also send pictures to burbankhigh1968@gmail.com. We’d love to hear from you!

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