This Saturday, we will host a party at our house for a group of friends I’ve known for a very long time. I started kindergarten with most and attended high school with many of them. Who are they? Grammar school friends. We’ll celebrate the 55th anniversary of our elementary school graduation.
These are the people who graduated from Marguerita Elementary School in June of 1960. We had two classes. Both teachers and our principal, Mr. Charles Clark, are also in the photo.
Row 1: Larry Miller, Bill Boller, Dennis Anderson, Jim Macnider, Tim Washburn, Cherie McMillan, Kathleen Huber, Ann Stephenson, Pamela Nassief, Peggy Boone, Diana Dean, Mrs. Anderson (teacher).
Row 2: Joe Samson, Mike Eldridge, Mike Holahan, Ray McCollum, Larry Poe, Jill Carlson, Pama Pace, Jeanne Kohl, Joyce Thomas, Pamela Ball, Elaine Ellis, Kathy Nisbett, Janie Comer.
Row 3: Mr. Charles Clark (principal), Stan Schobert, Fred Bunge, Fred Morzov, Hector Ferreira, Jack Nester, Rebecca Rocha, Rochelle Ramirez, Elaine Nelson, Jane Harrison, Kay Doebler, Barbara (Bege) Davis), Mary Ann Schildknecht.
Row 4: Mr. Lamont (teacher), Donald Sloggy, Michael Tabulara, Larry Lavender, Louis Gargaro, Tom Onstine, Willie Gibson, Betty Spindler, Susan Maxwell, Jo Anna Romick, Marie Stratton, Deanna LeRoy.
Row 5: Andy Weiss, Dick McKeown, Bob Van Dermolen, Chuck Smith, Michael Poe, Chuck Usher, Suzanne Van Clief, Joanne Bellino, Jackie Harris, Trudie Suerth, Janet Woodfield, Victoria Hanner.
Row 6: Bill Sasz, Bill Tully, Gary Benjamin, Bob Rosecrans, Dennis Morrison, Walter White, Ray Manthorne, Tom Stelzreid, Jannie de Krieger, Jane Griffith, Mary Jane Jewel, Lorna Lund, Helen Cloos, Susan Tabulara, Jo Anne De Petro.
In some ways it’s sad to look at the photo. Several of these folks are gone: Jim Macnider, Tim Washburn, Pam Nassief, and Helen Cloos. Mr. Clark, Mrs. Anderson, and Mr., Lamont have also passed away.
We located most of the rest for our high school reunion in September of last year, but a few remain elusive.
Saturday’s party will not only include those from my school but also graduates from two other schools in the area: Fremont Elementary and St. Thomas More.
We all lived in close proximity to one another, swam at the park, took part in Little League and other sports, and attended church together.
Judging from last year’s high school reunion, you can’t go home again. Actually, there’s little left in Alhambra, where we grew up, to bring back childhood memories. But it is possible to reclaim precious friendships from the past.
Many of those who will attend on Saturday also came to the high school reunion last September. We discovered we still like each other and have enjoyed learning about what has happened to us during the intervening years.
Not so long ago the idea of a grammar school reunion seemed pretty strange to most people, but they have now become pretty commonplace.
Those of us who have planned this one have already had a lot of fun. We’re excited to see everyone and to share our common memories of a bygone time. Many of us started in school together in kindergarten and continued through high school. In those days, folks were less transient. We lived in the same houses for many years. Some of the group still live in the homes in which they were raised.
The house is ready. The catering order has been placed. The invitations and responses have been sent and received. Come Saturday, it will be party time!
Have you stayed in touch with your friends from early childhood? Have you attended a grammar school reunion? Would you like to?