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Post-'83 Adventures

Created on: 06/01/18 09:30 PM Views: 431 Replies: 14
Post-'83 Adventures
Posted Friday, June 1, 2018 09:30 PM

May 25, 2018

From Steve Welling:

Hey, Classmates!

I've really enjoyed hearing from you in these conversation that come up from time to time. As our 35th anniversary passes by without a formal gathering, I've wondered if there is a way we can still honor our time together.

A few of us have come up with the idea of an 'online reunion'. The suggestion is that each of us take a few minutes and post to this site an update on our post-'83 adventures. Tell us a little bit about where you're at in life, and what you enjoy doing. And, if you can find it in you, and I hope that you can, a story from your days at Eureka High. It doesn't have to be hilarious or profound, certainly nothing that would be embarrassing to anybody. Just a good time that you remember with you and your friends. We promise, the English department won't be grading them!

Let's have June 1st, 2018 be the date we can start looking to see what has been submitted. Some of you will see this much later; that's OK too. I'll get mine together in a few days, and I'll look forward to seeing yours!


Edited 06/01/18 09:32 PM
RE: Post-'83 Adventures
Posted Friday, June 1, 2018 09:31 PM

Hello beautiful class of '83!

Not sure if anyone noticed, but I didn't have the opportunity to cross the stage with all of you.. I left in my senior year to have a baby.. I attended a continuation high school down south (Riverside County) because back then it seemed as if having a baby at 18 was a disease 😂😂..

I was always real shy in school but didn't have a problem making friends.. I went to Grant and Winship, so I do know most of you.. I really miss those times.. Hard to believe we're middle aged now.. I really didn't attend a lot of events because I had a boyfriend (who is also from the town) at 15. He was 19 and attended CR and also ended up being husband #1..we have three children together.. 35 (son), 26 (dghtr) and 23 (son).. All three have one child so I'm a grandmother three times..

We moved to the Bay Area where I found a liking to the medical field.. I worked as a Clinical Project Assistant working on Cancer Research for 18 plus years..... Remarried and had two more sons now 19 and 14...

I now reside in Sacramento and love, love, love it.. My mother and older brother still live in Eureka. Every time I go home it brings back the best memories.. I had a wonderful childhood and a great upbringing..

I could go on and on but I'll stop here.. 
I'm going home for the 4th of July.. Hope to see some of you downtown 😘

RE: Post-'83 Adventures
Posted Friday, June 1, 2018 09:33 PM
ld. We had spent so much time over the years over birthday parties and just hanging out at each others' home that when I found out that she had died, I was devastated and angry at God. I didn't think it was possible to cry that much and feel so much pain. But, as time went on a heart heals and faith is restored and even made stronger. But, on the opposite end, one of the most funniest times happened during practice for senior class night. I had gone to the bathroom to change into my outfit for my skit when I heard the bathroom door open. A person with a ski mask came in and at first I was wondering what skit that was a part of. Then as i stood there trying to figure out who this person was, the person unzips his pants, takes out his penis and starts waving it around!! I just stood there in disbelief and then started laughing. After a few brief (no pun intended as I saw no briefs) moments, he leaves and I go back to my group of friends and tell them what happened. Of course an adult overhears this and calls the police. So, the questioning process was interesting with questions such as, "was he circumcised? you know what that is right?". Well, yes I knew what that meant and no I didn't really a close up view!! 
So, if anyone out there wants to come forward and admit it was you, I will not be upset, lol Then after graduation it took me awhile to figure out exactly what I wanted to do but then was led into being a probation officer, mainly with juveniles, that went on for 26 years. I got married, had two great kids, and am now retired. My husband was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer last year so that has been a life change for us. Kids are out of the house and adulting. Not a grandmother yet,but God willing I will be one day. Still live in Humboldt County 
but plan to move at some point to Idaho, Oregon, Washington? 
Looking forward to seeing you all at our 40th reunion in 2023!!
RE: Post-'83 Adventures
Posted Friday, June 1, 2018 09:34 PM

Hello everyone,

High school was pretty uneventful for me. I have few specific memories, I was uninvolved, didn't go to any dances, proms, or sporting events. I remember a small group of us would eat lunch everyday in the gym up in the bleachers. Mostly went hunting and fishing with my best friend Tim Latham. Also hung out quite a bit with Greg Rickards, Jeff Klein, and Corry Mitts. I keep in touch with Tim and Corry but haven't talked to Greg of Jeff since shortly after high school. We used to go "cruising" Friday and Saturday nights in downtown Eureka, and go to Sharkey's Arcade. I don't think kids "cruise" anymore do they? I remember my chemistry class with Mr. Benzinger, he was an awesome teacher. Anybody know how he's doing BTW?

After graduating, I joined the US Military where I found my niche. I made a career out of it and would spend the next 27 years in the Navy. I have been deployed to the Middle East, Pakistan, Indonesia, Australia, most of the countries in Asia, and a little bit of Europe. I've been to alot of places and seen alot of stuff. I retired in 2010, and since have worked for the Department of Defense as a civillian doing very similar work as I did in the Navy. The last few years my job has taken me out of country about half the year. I have been married for 31 years to a wonderful woman, and we have 2 kids and 2 grandkids whom we love very much.

I wasn't able to make it to the 10 and 20 year reunions due to deployments, but was able to attend to 30 year. It was great to see everybody, especially people I went to Lafayette Elementary and Zane Jr High with. (Pam Scott, Mark Strickland, Ken Harper to name a few).

RE: Post-'83 Adventures
Posted Friday, June 1, 2018 09:35 PM

It is a little intimidating to try to write one post that summarizes my EHS experience, the impact you all had on me, and what it means to me now. I’m sure I’m going to miss some one or some thing, so I am going to apologize in advance.

I read through Brett Daly’s story about the “shorts protest of 1983” and laughed because he told, much more eloquently than I, the go-to story that I tell about growing up in Eureka. That it was so cold in Eureka that no one had ever *considered* wearing shorts before that, and that the 70F heatwave we experienced that year was such a historical anomaly that the dress code question had never come up before. My conclusion is that period in EHS history and that heatwave launched the future political career of Jeff Leonard.

There are several teachers that, only in retrospect, do I fully appreciate. It reminds me how much we need to support our children’s (grandchildren’s?!?) teachers and reinforce what they teach. There are a couple that stand out, and I regret that it is too late for some of them to hear from me that they made a difference:
- Mr Benzinger, who made physics and chemistry fun. My two fondest memories are watching him get down on the floor and play with a watch spring toy car to evaluate the potential and kinetic energy and challenging Ken Harper (who was late to class) to hold on to an aluminum ring on an induction coil. Exploding sodium chips, ammonium permanganate, et al, he made learning fun. I think he has been publicly acknowledged by at least two NASA astrophysicists as being instrumental in their careers.
- Mr Goetz, who taught mechanical engineering, and made me think about the quality of my workmanship.
- Mr McClure, who taught speech and some other classes, who taught me to think on my feet and project confidence even though I had no idea what I was doing.
- Mrs Johannson, who gave me an appreciation for English literature and instilled in me the fundamentals of good written communication.
- Mr Weber, who was my junior high football coach and high school algebra teacher. He taught me to pay attention and solve problems, both on my feet and in my head.
- Mr Chegwidden, the only history teacher who made the subject interesting. Too bad we were all too pathetic to appreciate his efforts.
- Mrs Penicks, who taught typing as I was learning computer programming, and together we pondered what the future held.

There are also some fellow classmates that make me smile whenever I think of them or see their posts:
- Only in retrospect do I realize that Carol Cornejo is actually Hermione Granger (sorry if you haven’t read the Harry Potter series). And I was Neville Longbottom. In chemistry, physics, and all the hard core college prep classes we took, she was always in a panic before and after tests, sure that she had failed. She would get A’s. And I… wouldn’t.
I hope her kids realize they have a *high* standard to live up to, even if Mom doesn’t state it.
- I remember watching the final episode of MASH at Karen Carter’s house with most of the “theater group.”
- My daughter is now in college studying musical theater, which makes me realize how much fun the “theater group” was at EHS. I wish I had come out of my shell a little more and did theater at EHS. But of course, I probably would have sucked.
- Bret Adams, who is the only high school & college classmate that my family and I meet up with now. He dragged me out to SCUBA dive, and water ski, and jump out of planes, and jump off cornices, and ski down slopes and do things that I wouldn’t have done if given the choice. 
- Mary (Cress) Whitehouse who has had an amazing life adventure with her husband Bob. They have lived all around the US, from Alaska to Virginia to Monterey to Puget Sound. I should connect her up to my quilting fanatic stepmother.
- Binky Sundeen (the lawyer) who I went through Cub Scouts and UC Berkeley with. And he became a lawyer in Oakland. (Sorry we haven’t made it to the Big Ass Bash the last few years).
- Kathie Bury, who I have known since Grant Elementary School , and posts fun, horse-centric, life-affirming, grounded stuff. Practically every hour.
- Dessie Bartlett, who I think our parents knew each other before we were even born. She posts real, fun, horse-centric, life-affirming, grounded stuff. Just not quite every hour. But well worth reading.
- Terri Sondrel, Deedee Hill, John Hanley, and some others from Grant Elementary School. I have known you longer than practically anyone else on the planet. You might not think I remember much about you, but I still value you and your impact on me.
- Steve Frediani (& Joe Romero 1984) who I did Boy Scouts with. And blasted Def Leppard with while ‘cruising’ on 4th St. I wish we had known we were 100’ from each other at the concert at Shoreline last year.
Tyche Gage, whom I promised to keep in touch with. And didn’t. 
- Steve Welling & Ken Harper, who keeps personal perspective in focus even when we don’t. Their posts in 2016 regarding Jeb Bradfield drove home a point that I need to support and help those around me in difficult times, because I never know what is going on with the people around me unless I make the effort to be involved. 
- A lot of impactful people. If you ask me, I’ll give you the longer list of name and why, It’s funny that a bunch of 17 and 18 year old from 30+ years ago, in a small backwater town in northern California matter to me now. But my experiences with you all placed me where I am today. Thank you.

No surprise to any who knows me that after graduating from EHS I went on to study computer science (UC Berkeley 1987) and have worked since then at a number of companies in the Silicon Valley on graphics, 3D, and supercomputing. My most recent project is a supercomputer in a dorm fridge ( My wife and I currently live and work in San Jose. We have a daughter studying musical theater at Azusa Pacific University and a son interested in 3D animation who is going to graduate from Valley Christian High School in a year. Cindy and I are planning to retire to our house near Auburn, CA within the next few years. My mother still lives in Eureka but moved into assisted living (Timber Ridge) Sept 2017. My stepmother currently lives in Redding. As my mother’s mental health has declined I have found myself travelling back to Eureka more in the last 12 months than I have in the last 20 years.

RE: Post-'83 Adventures
Posted Friday, June 1, 2018 09:36 PM

My 'online reunion' bit.
Post EHS: 
After serving as a missionary for my church in the Fiji Islands, I went to HSU, then received degrees in Electrical Engineering from BYU and went to work for Intel. My wife, Kimberly Kelly of Farmington Hills, Michigan, is better than me in every way, and deserves most of the credit for our 3 awesome kids.

My career was cut short by a diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease. I have managed well due to a slow progression and a recent deep-brain stimulator implant. (See my music video at )

During the school year, I work part-time at BYU coaching a team of engineering students. We just recently designed a solar-powered cell phone range-extender and recharging station which we deployed in a couple of villages in Zambia, Africa.

During the summer, I host a rock band summer school with neighborhood kids.

Finally, We love traveling and gardening. My favorite project is a thornless version of those wild blackberries from home.

My EHS Story:
There were a lot of great days in the Summer of 1983. On one of them, I had everything going for me. I had just graduated from high school, the weather was beautiful, and I was going with a friend (I'll call him John, since that was his name) to play some jazz music at Merriman’s Restaurant on Moonstone Beach. Derek Senestraro, Ward De Witt and a few others from the EHS jazz band would be waiting there to join us. This was a unique gig in all my life’s performing experience; we were going to get paid.

We had to turn back at one point to pick up some gear I had forgotten, so we were trying to make up time in John's little Honda Civic. Then came an awkward moment when we passed a Highway Patrol car going the other way. I was thinking: "If we get a ticket, it's on me.” I felt a knot in my stomach as we watched the CHP flip on his party lights, deliberately cross the meridian and begin pursuit.

But getting a ticket was the farthest thing from John's mind. "Sorry about this, but I already have a couple of judgements against me and I can't afford a ticket". I didn't know what a 'judgement' was but I was totally OK with him keeping this new part of his life to himself. Then he said something under his breath which I couldn't quite make out but the feeling it conveyed to me was "They'll never take me alive."

Without asking me how I felt about any of this, I find myself barreling down California's Highway 101 at 110 MPH in John's Honda Civic. Thankfully, the weaving around cars going 50 MPH slower than we were ended when John took the next exit . We found ourselves entering a quiet, or at least previously quiet, neighborhood. John slams on his brakes and pulls immediately into the carport of the first house. "Get down!" he said. He obviously had more experience at this high speed chase thing than I did, so I followed his example and reclined my seat, all the way and leaned back. Sure enough, a CHP comes blaring right past us, lights and sirens ablaze. I'm counting in my mind. After just 5 seconds of ridiculously intense silence, John powers out of the carport, and gets back on 101 North.

We stuck pretty much to the posted speed for the rest of the way. We said nothing to each other. When we exited off the highway to the restaurant, he turned at me and smiled an "OK, we're clear".

We arrived at the gig on time and set up. A fine summer day turned into a wonderful summer evening, as I played along with but mostly listened to one of my favorite musicians, John Majors. When he had to, he could drive his car like a wild man un-chained. And when he felt like it, he could drive a band and it’s audience anywhere he wanted with his saxophone. Sometimes, he’d break all known speed limits, other times, he dropped way down tempo, to the beat of the waves as they rolled in at Moonstone Beach.

If you’re out there, John, thanks for those memories.

RE: Post-'83 Adventures
Posted Friday, June 1, 2018 09:36 PM

Many of you don’t remember me, I don’t remember you either. I wasn’t very social, I didn’t attend all the high school stuff. I didn’t make a lot of friends, but the ones I did make are still my friends today. 
You wouldn’t even believe the crap I went through just to graduate with this class, at the tender age of 17. 
Life since then has been a roller coaster.. many successes and many failures. I’m not going to sugar coat anything or pretend to be something I’m not. 
What I am now is just a humble, hard working optimist who never gives up hope. I love the coastal weather ( thanks Eureka) and I still love my besties Stacy Lindblom Donna Burton
And I’m proud to be an alumni of Eureka Senior High!

RE: Post-'83 Adventures
Posted Friday, June 1, 2018 09:37 PM
ety of acts. I loved that night! My tie to Eureka High is kept alive by Heidi Giovanoli Cobb, my wonderful Facebook friend. I have yet to make it back to Eureka as once I returned home, I fell in love with the most amazing human being, married and settled into “real life.” Now all these years later I have been married for 32 years, am a deputy principal of a primary (elementary) school and, as of next month, our daughter graduates as a police officer. Where have the years gone? Last year I spent seven of the most fantastic hours as two of my host parents stopped by on a cruise. The years just melted away and I was reminded of how special my time in Eureka was. I will make it back one day but if any of you make it to NZ and want a place to stay please message me. I look forward to hearing everyone’s stories.
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RE: Post-'83 Adventures
Posted Friday, June 1, 2018 09:39 PM

This is the view from my balcony this morning in Dubrovnik, Croatia - day 13 of a 15 day cruise from Monte Carlo, Monaco to Venice, Italy.

When I'm not on vacation, I'm at home in Eureka, and working for the City of Eureka for almost 27 years, currently as a Senior Planner.

After graduation, I briefly went to college in Arizona, but came home to Eureka when family was ill. I later lived in Oregon for a short time, but eventually went home to Eureka again. Then, after working for the City of Eureka for about 10 years, I moved to Redding, and worked as a labor relations representative for a public employees union for several years. I missed the coast, and after getting laid off, started working back at the City of Eureka as a temporary employee, driving back to my house in Redding on the weekends. In 2001, I moved home to Eureka again, and have been here since.

Hmmm...noticing a theme here of Eureka being "home." In spite of the challenges we face as a City, for me, Eureka always has been, and is, the place I think of as home. However, I do love to travel, and do so whenever I can. Not only do I get to visit interesting places, and meet interesting people, but it gives me the opportunity to repeatedly "go home."


Image may contain: ocean, sky, mountain, cloud, outdoor, nature and water

RE: Post-'83 Adventures
Posted Friday, June 1, 2018 09:40 PM


History was all around us, but we didn't know it. Nor did we care.

History happened to other people. People who lived in a world of black-and-white, and moved really fast.

US History was a "required class". This meant I got to see faces of people I had never seen before.

I was happily seated toward the back, but not at the end, unfortunately. That meant I couldn't slouch all the way down in my chair and stretch my legs out as I'd normally like, because my hair would spill onto the desk behind me.

"US History" was the exclusive domain of either one of the two oldest teachers on campus. They muttered about history into the ether, mentioned the word "pension" on occasion, and regarded the world with a sort of resigned indifference.

I don't remember their names. I don't think anybody knew their names. They were specters who emerged from the shadows with regularity, and repeated themselves.

Just as history does.

In the row to my left, and behind me a few chairs, was where R- sat (I'm protecting his anonymity).

Now "R" was a name well-known to us, but the person who owned it was largely invisible.

I only knew OF him. He was to be avoided. Not to hang-around with. Not him, nor his "types." You didn't know why. You didn't ask why.

Ok. Not much risk of that. The chair would probably be empty all semester. Perhaps he was doing detention preemptively.

And then there he was. In the flesh.

R, I assumed, was known-of by all, but a couple of people seemed to know him very well; and were especially fond of him.

Missouri was known for its compromises and was the "show me" state.

R bore nobody ill-will. He smiled a lot and was generally happy for no explicable reason, and otherwise just passively sat there, staring into space. The final frontier.

He brought no weapons, nor anything that could carry a weapon, nor could be used as a weapon. Textbook. A #2 pencil when needed that came out of nowhere.

R was a "minimalist."

Somewhere on campus must have been a vast storage room with endless reels of film, nearly all of them having something to do with history.

They must have been sorted by grade, because while we never saw the same film twice, we saw the same subject, expanded upon in some way. We always knew the ending.

Occasionally, some tragedy would befall the projector, and the promised film would be postponed. I'd whisper a silent prayer to myself that the projector would have been fixed and it was going to be wheeled-in any moment. We'd be rescued.

The prayer had worked before, in some class years ago, and it was one of those private moments that affirmed to me: "Yes, there is a God."

Today we had a "Substitute."

Substitutes continued the flow of instruction while the teacher was out, without placing too many demands upon us.

...and a Substitute who showed films...Well, we had already seen proof of God. That's a private, one-time, thing.

This was proof there were Angels.

The fact that these Angels were the most clueless people in the Universe was proof that God moved in mysterious ways.

The Angel commanded the blinds be drawn, and plunged the room into darkness.

I don't remember any specific film, or what was said, or any detail. I remember themes. The same themes we had always seen.

The US made things, and we made them unbelievably well. The rest of the world must have lived in the Dark Ages.

We made things out of metal. Lots of them. We made money from the little metal things. Then we put the little metal things together in some innovative way that nobody had ever thought about, and made even bigger metal things, which made even more money. Battleships cut through the ocean going to the left. Tanks cut through the mud going to the right. We were going to blow the crap out of anyone who provoked us. And we did. We already knew the ending.

It was wonderful.

If you watched attentively enough, you might just see the battleship "hop" forward a tiny bit. Someplace where the film had broken once and been taped-together.

One day, the Angel gave us a test. A strip of paper with multiple choice questions on each side. It reminded me of the test I took at the DMV.

I remember one more thing about R.

A couple of days later, the Angel told us that she had graded the tests, and she announced the name of the student, and the score, starting from the top grade.

R had received what, for all we knew, was the only "A" he had ever received in his life.

The Angel announced it with a kind smile, and R embarrassingly accepted the test, crumbling the paper into himself, not wanting to draw any more attention his way. He would rather have received an "F", so the world can move-along according to its expectations of him.

The teacher returned. Soon we were nearing the end of the book. We were approaching "The Present". The Present always seemed hastily stuffed together in the back, with color photos. When the book was printed, thereby defining "The Present" forever, I would have been 10.

There was the iconic lunar landing photo. The photo which was a little smaller with each new edition.

World War II had consumed so much of our attention that the Korean War seemed barely a whisper.

It seemed odd to me, sitting there in class, that there were no films made after World War II.

A few teachers knew about the Korean War very well. They were "tenured" in some way I didn't understand, or soon to be. Either way, they were charismatic fixtures on campus.

They taught P.E. first, and Social Studies second. They knew Korea. Oh, yes. Indelibly. They would withdraw into themselves momentarily...

...and then talk about football.

There was another war after that. We all knew what it was. It had always been alluded to, briefly, and then we talked about something else. Home. School. It didn't matter.

We never saw films of that war either.

But approaching that topic was always a "sign" that class nearly done. Maybe we'll get to watch some films made in the '70's about ecology, conservation, or the wonders of nuclear power.

And then the teacher mentioned that war. That war with the letter "V".

OK. Well, you have to mention the war at least once, I guess.

But then he kept talking about it. He articulated as he never had before. I have no recollection of what exactly he said. I just remember being stunned.

Now, we were no complete strangers to taboo topics. Why, we had been dancing-around evolution since 9th grade biology. Roughly 2 instructional days, if I recall correctly, which never appeared on any test.

But here he was, talking about that war. And he didn't just list dates and battles and quantify all the stuff we made.

Somehow, if I'm remembering correctly, he tied it back to the other wars in some clever way.

Some way that could only be spoken.

Because there was no film.

RE: Post-'83 Adventures
Posted Friday, June 1, 2018 09:40 PM

Here's another -


I don't smoke.

(I assume pot doesn't count)

The cafeteria of Eureka High, that vast expanse of folding tables and chairs dedicated to the efficient dissemination of processed food (which never seemed to have many people), has a tiny, enclosed, outdoor alcove dedicated to the smoking of cigarettes.

You "enter" the alcove leading to the "outside" through a glass door along a glass wall, just to the left of the jukebox.

That was the one and only place a student can smoke. Nowhere else.

...and I'd sit in the cafeteria, facing the direction of the alcove, separated by several rows of tables, waiting (often in vain) for the jukebox to play my selection before the bell. It became a sort of "game": would it play my song, sponsored by my quarter, and play all the way through, before the Hall Monitor would pull the plug?

...and I'd see "the smokers" (as we referred to them), very contentedly smoking and chatting. I never talked with any of them. Never had them in my classes. But they seemed alright to me. Nice people, from my vantage point. That opinion never changed.

No reason to "judge". I don't think any of us then used that word - judge - in the way then, as I've heard generations behind me use now. Now it has a sort of "just let me be/just letting you be" context. I like that. I would have liked it then.

They were doing their own thing, and never bothered anybody, and I admired that (even if I did fret for their long-term health).

...and I always found it curious that the "place" for smoking (the "Morning Bulletin" drilled its location - underscoring there was to be no other location - regularly) was the perhaps the most beautiful place on campus.

It was positively pastoral. Trees. Bushes. Grass. Foliage in different shades of green with color from the scattered flowers.

I never went there. Though I thought about it. Wondered what it would be like. I wonder if anyone else felt the same. That little rectangle of real estate hosted at most 5 people.

I always thought how odd the most beautiful place on campus would be dedicated to smoking.

I mean, "the administration" had any number of places to choose from. To make "smoking place". Those of my parents' generation and before smoked everywhere. Making breakfast. In a restaurant.

Even on airplanes.

This was in the days before a package of cigarettes was covered in warning labels. There were still ripples of what smoking might have meant to my parents' generation. Smoking wasn't a yes-no thing. It was a lifestyle. The brand you chose spoke to who you were.

The objections to smoking were as well-known then as they are now, without the abundance of those well-intentioned apocalyptic labels. At that time, I distinctly recall the detriments ranging from the physical to the biblical. Where, along that spectrum of opinion, a person fell suggested something about their background to me. The chosen objection was a sort of "brand" in its own way, which suggested a part of someone's identity. Their upbringing.

They smoked anyway. The bell rang. They extinguished their cigarettes. They joined the throngs called to their next class.

Later in life, I noticed how the muscles in people's faces would relax. A calm confidence would take-over. There must have been a coping element taking place.

I think it "did" something for them, that they needed. It wasn't just a "thing" you did, because you could, in your special place. On the other side of the glass. It really was something more for them. Only they knew it.

That said, I hope they later gave it up.

My kids smoke. I don't know why.

(Especially now that pot is legal)

RE: Post-'83 Adventures
Posted Friday, June 1, 2018 09:41 PM

Ok, I won't be able to sleep until...


Forced into our schedules. Required, mandated, taken and completed lest certain Doom fall upon your soggy soul, was my opportunity to meet classmates I had never seen before, and I would never see again.

...and it was to make us better citizens of the world. Soon we were to "turn 18". Then what?

"State Requirements" was paired opposite semester from the other mandated-for-the-betterment-of-self: "Driver's Ed."

I was in Driver's Ed for only 1 day, so I don't have much to say about it. I can only say the man probably had his license long-since revoked, and the only two comforts in his life were his dog and his home's proximity to a liquor store.

I spent a semester of reading Newsweek in the library, looking at the weekly-updated charts of the growing competitive tally of warheads. We were winning this contest. That, and the gold medal count thing at McDonnald's. There was a feeling of pride (and of fear).

State Requirements brought me back into the fold.

The first letter of my last name did me good fortune of generally placing me either along the wall, where I could lean; or in the back.

In front of me was a nice guy who always told jokes (which were funny, true - not as funny as others found them. But ok. He was funny).

To his left, along the wall where those whose names began with the letter "A", was a blonde girl who generally wore blue.

The Blue Girl and Green Boy seemed to know each other, and it seemed to me, from my vantage point, that she had a "thing" for him.

But...there was this invisible wall. The guy seemed to reciprocate, but held back.

I'm thinking to myself: "Oh, c'mon man..."

The teacher commanded the students sitting alongside the wall to move their tables an exact number of inches from the wall, toward the center.

The Blue Girl liked this idea. The Green Boy seemed ok with it, said something witty that had still worked well the 3rd time, but there was still this invisible wall.

I like sitting in back.

I don't remember the specifics of what we learned. There was a general theme involving certain woe and suffering, and we needed to prepare.

I had met my first "survivalist". He wore a tie.

We watched a lot of films from the '50's.

I had "learned" that the '50's were like "Happy Days". I had been lied to.

Roll film.

People in the 1950's only did one of two things:

They fixed their cars.

Or they prepared for the apocalypse.

At the end of one of our series of films I was gazing through the blinds in the window. The teacher was muttering one of his hypotheticals involving standing alongside a close one who may die. The ambulance was presumably far away sinking in a ravine. "You remember what you do?"

Remember? Shit, you've been saying it a million times since the first day: "Look out for Number One. Don't be a Hero. Heroes die"...blah, blah, blah...

"Because who decides when a person dies?" he rhetorically thundered.

"God" I said, quietly.

The Green Boy was officially the funniest man the planet.

The Blue Girl tore-down the Green Boy's wall.

I remember he looked back at me, sincerely, "you're the one who said it."

"It's OK."

RE: Post-'83 Adventures
Posted Friday, June 1, 2018 09:41 PM

One more and then to bed -


An admissions requirement of the University of California is a minimum of 2 years of a foreign language.

Spanish fit that bill nicely. I had lived in Mexico for a year with my grandparents, and while I stubbornly refused to learn the language then, it somehow "stuck" with me later, making this a relatively low-effort grade.

And it was amongst the most fun classes of my life.

The language itself has a sort of passionate and festive character in its own right. But I didn't see that then.

Then, I thought we were just goofing-off.

El clock-o is muy slow-o. There being too little time to start the next capitolo, we retreated into playing "completo".

Bingo, basically, with Spanish. "Libre" was the middle square (FREE). We'd hesitate a moment before saying "si", but "libre" we had figured-out. For some of us, it was the only word we knew.

Draw your squares. " Libre"! We'd shout. Got it. Ok, now what happens...?

Now, the class being a forum for passion and festivities, with the letter "o" appended on occasion, it's easy to miss the quieter types lingering in the corner of my eye. People just biding their time. A member of a very tiny group who looked like professional models. Looking bored. Wanting to be anywhere else.

The other game we played was like Family Feud. My side was happy to have me. We were having a blast. I was getting an "A". We were going to win this thing.

But we never did. I just KNEW the word(s) in Spanish, and could elaborate upon them. There was a sort of "ring" to it. Once you "got it", it was natural. Kind of fun, actually.

But it would be my turn and I'd always miss it. Even though I could point out-out the obvious grammatical errors in what the other guy had said (if I wanted to) who was declared "the winner". But my friends always forgave me. We were having fun, I'd whisper to them the answer to what was probably going to be the next question. We had each other's back.

We were tied...

One more, and that's it. We were all watching the minute hand on that clock.

OK. Forget about sentences about your life, or even the colors of things.

Word in English. You give the Spanish.

Got it.

I'm up. I'm ready. The model is my opponent.

The teacher says: "Free".

(my friends always forgave me...)

RE: Post-'83 Adventures
Posted Friday, June 1, 2018 09:42 PM

Ahhh what it's like to be the new kid before I became an ehs class of 83 I was an class of 83 at st bernards. Only a few of you know that . Was so welcomed into a friendly class . Thank you for that! Many friendships were made and getting involved in tennis and ice cream scarf and Mr Schasers class. Memories of Mrs parrot Mr Cobine Mr Chegwidden and Kenna Reed. Mr Lopez, and Mr Mclure who liked it when my hair smelled like pancakes I'm sure there are many other teachers to remember history with Mr Williams . And Roger Weber won't you be his flunkie? So privileged to remeet everyone at our class reunions. even tho some live down the street from me ahem Luana Nelson. Looking forward to reading all of your memories. Life is good .Be well friends, and for those of you who keep in touch thanks 😉🍷cheers

RE: Post-'83 Adventures
Posted Friday, June 1, 2018 09:43 PM

Ok, since Steve Welling got this idea started, I'll begin with an inaugural post. Several ideas have been running through my head, and I'm reading a great childhood memoir right now so I'll grab the inspiration and see what happens.


Senior year.

I was later to learn that I was clumped with the "Me Generation" as it was to be called in the later part of the '80's. During high school we were aware of "the '60's" , but we were too young to have been a part of it. No long hair. No tie-dye. No war. No cause.

But a bold few embarked upon their own sartorial rebellion, and suffered consequences from "the administration", but ultimately prevailed. For that, I admire them.

I was not a part of this. But I admired those for the idea of their cause, and their ultimate victory, even if I admired '70's fashion more than what was to come in the '80's.

And so I was sitting in Shakespeare class, where we debated the ideas swirling on campus as much as we did The Merchant of Venice, when I was struck by the high drama over whether or not anyone should be allowed to wear "shorts" at school.

"Shorts", when I heard it, always recalled to my mind the "We wear short-shorts" jungle that accompanied some edgy commercial.

But our (or rather, your) cause involved just-above the knee, plaid, shorts. No belt. Lower legs exposed.

"If you want to do "shorts", you need to do the "we wear short-shorts" commercial type. Girls only." I thought to myself.

"But whatever. Your thing."

Seemed strange to me that of any "cause" to choose from, that it would be this. We were rebels in search of a cause, it seemed to me. So people chose this. Whatever.

But it's like ("Valley Girl" was just starting to gain traction) 40-degrees outside. Not just in the morning. ALL DAY. When, presumably, the sun arced across the sky at its highest point.

I took the idea of "the sun" on faith much of the time. It was there, I was pretty sure, behind the gray. Above the rain, but never able to evaporate it preemptively.

Absurd. Sure. But Reagan was president, and some of us were trying to sort that phenomenon out too.

But wear whatever you want. It was at least a contrast to the heavy lined flannel. The hiking boots (though nobody ever seemed to "hike" anywhere). The round chewing tobacco outline that was sported so fashionably on the back pocket of everyone's jeans. Straw cowboy hats.

And then it got more absurd.

"So and so was sent home for wearing shorts."


Days continued (as did the rain), and I'd learn that some of us (well - you, or them) were conspiring together on your own time to wear shorts in unison. As a collective effort. To wear them at school.

You can send one person home. Even 2 or 3. But after a while there will be too many.

People were accosted by "the administration", and sent home. Did they come back that day? I don't know. We knew each other but didn't take the same classes.

But the cause continued, and we read King Lear. The kingdom had been divided. Shorts were worn, by some, and eventually the clouds made way for the sun. Slowly. Begrudgingly.

And...magically, one day, a sort of "truce" had been declared, without any formal announcement.

Then acceptance.

The weather now in the upper-50's and "Valley Girl", the British Invasion, were becoming a greater part of our collective consciousness. I was still listening to John Cougar and the Eagles. I seemed to be only person on the planet who listened to the entirety of Pink Floyd's "The Wall" repetitively, and always got something new out of it. So I listened to it, from the first track to the last, following the story. Alone. Driving my Mustang when it was still working.

At least I didn't need to spend as much time in the morning revving the engine to get it "warmed-up."

Enter: Izod.

Now at this point, I was almost certain the world had lost its mind.

Certainly we all needed a distraction from maps of the US and the Soviet Union, showing likely targets in the event of a nuclear war, and mentally estimating how far we lived from the nearest target.

But Izod? That's cruel.

Here we were, unwittingly taking the flowering of our youth for granted. Bulbs on the verge of busting into full flower. I could feel the pounding of my heart as if it were located more in my throat, than my chest.

And what did they do? Imagine a rose bush, just coming into full bloom. And someone just drapes a giant pastel cloth over it. With an alligator stitched on.

A tragedy in conformity. Why not just dress like Chairman Mao?

This rebellion had also met official resistance. If the guys wanted to wear them, sure. Pink, whatever. Soon enough we'd be in college and away from this tyranny and you can wear whatever you want. But the girls?

At this point, I was starting to become sympathetic to "the administration"'s view on things...

But the official resistance quickly fell. It had already spent its firepower on "the shorts thing."

Soon college. I went to Davis. It was HOT. Everyone wore shorts, and Izod shirts, hung a British flag in their dorm room. Played music with synthesizers and talked about it. They came from from strange cities that I had never heard of, but orbited around a place called "San Francisco."

But not me.

I formed a small cadre of friends, who found my Pink Floyd enthusiasm an amusing curiosity. That, and still wearing bell-bottom jeans. Full-sleeved shirts, in shades of gray.

Because, you see...

I'm a rebel.