Laguna Beach High School
Class of 1970 Virtual Reunion
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Welcome to Laguna Beach High School
Class of 1970 Virtual Reunion
We are celebrating our 50th year with a bang. The organizing committee members would like to extend our warm and heartfelt regards to this extraordinary display of our collective lives.
Margie le Roux
As I sit here on a cold wet August night, and ponder the many things which I cherish, and am grateful to have experienced in my life, my eyes fall on one of the smaller things for which I quietly give daily thanks – a large glass of red wine! It is a source of considerable satisfaction that quality wine comes in great abundance and at a low price from the winelands of the Western Cape here in South Africa. Thinking about it, living in the Western Cape, and specifically in Cape Town, provides the context for much of what feeds my soul, and not just my taste buds – extraordinary natural beauty, a myriad of accessible hiking routes, a rich cultural life, and a vibrant, diverse community. It is also where I received an excellent education. And, where I learnt to appreciate the ready availability of water.
Let me explain…
Here in Cape Town we had a devastating drought three years ago. Water restrictions limited us to 50 liters a day, and we lived with the threat that our taps (faucets, to you) would run dry. Today the dams that supply Cape Town are 88% full. In the past, people complained constantly about the wet winters in the Cape. Now, nobody complains when it rains. We are grateful for every drop. The drought also forced me to rethink my garden and, to my delight, I discovered the many beautiful and quirky water-wise South African succulent plants that I had previously devalued. Tough experiences often open one’s eyes to previously unnoticed possibilities.
I am not married and don’t have children, so my wonderful friends and my dogs have been my Cape Town family. I value my friends hugely, for the many shared laughs and their warm support, and I toast them regularly with the red wine mentioned above, and also with our excellent local bubbly!
My brother and sister-in-law live a thousand miles away. They, their two adult children, and their grandchildren are my non-Cape Town family and we connect regularly by phone and online. Because so many of their children have emigrated, for many South African parents of our generation it is a sad reality that contact with their children and grandchildren takes place, of necessity, online. This means that when my friends travel overseas, they travel to visit their children and grandchildren, and not necessarily to explore the world. And that means that it is difficult for me to find traveling companions to the destinations I seek out. Which brings me to the next thing for which I am deeply grateful – sound health.
Interesting isn’t it how something we take so for granted when we are younger acquires such prominence at this point in our lives. It has been sobering for me to realize how much of what I find life enhancing is reliant on my having good health. I love to travel, but on my income and given the collapse of the South African currency, the comfortable ease of an organized tour is not an option. My last three overseas trips have been solo, seriously low-budget, Airbnb, public transport adventures - and sometimes trials – hence the need for good health, and steely nerves. But what freedom!
My two trips to Russia and one to Portugal in the last seven years have been spirit-raisers of note, both in the planning thereof and the execution. “Why Russia?”, people have asked. Well…... Tolstoy, Solzhenitsyn, Rachmaninoff, the Bolshoi Ballet, the Hermitage Museum, the Moscow Kremlin, and also the historic, sad, decaying town of Veliky Rostov. In case this stirs your interest, Google Veliky Rostov. To be completely honest, though, the fact that the Russian Rouble collapsed even further than the South African Rand, and hence made it affordable to travel there, was also a determinant in my choice of destination. Just imagine what you could do there with your dollars!
Unfortunately, these trips beyond the borders of South Africa do not occur as regularly as I would like, but there is plenty right here in my own back yard that gives me great satisfaction. For me, chief amongst the delights that Cape Town offers are the weekly, and sometimes bi-weekly mountain hikes in which I engage. These hikes keep me sane and happy, and they are also reliant on the good health that I have only recently stopped taking for granted. And beyond the boundaries of Cape Town, nature provides more surprises, like the explosion of spring flowers which annually transform the otherwise arid landscape north of Cape Town for about six glorious weeks.
As a South African from a privileged community I am acutely aware that much of what I enjoy as life enriching is not accessible to most of my fellow countrymen, and I need to acknowledge that.
Enough of reflections about my life here in South Africa. Time to go back fifty years. High on the list of the special chapters in my life was the year I spent with you all in Laguna. I was all wide-eyed enthusiasm and eagerness to involve myself in as many things as the hours in the day would permit. It was a year of enormous personal growth, and equally a year of the most fun I have ever had. To this day I am hugely grateful to the adult and school AFS committees who worked so hard to fund the programme, the Judy family who hosted me, and to all of you for the welcome you extended. I was so looking forward to meeting up again in September but, if all goes according to plan, we will see each other in September 2021. Until then, as they say in Xhosa “Hamba kakuhle”. Go well.
Margie le Roux
Fernando Gaja i Diaz
It’s been a while since we had the chance to meet… only a little over 50 years, so my delay in answering could be considered almost acceptable. I will not make excuses (expressing myself in English, work, the pandemic...) I have no forgiveness, but I still trust your magnanimity.
I spend only a year at LBHS, a fantastic year, as an AFS international exchange student, and I was wondering, if I should send any updated photos for the Virtual Reunion Website. If you want to give it an exotic touch and you allow me to be there, I will be delighted. If not, no problem, I will continue reading your interesting mails from a physical distance, but the emotional proximity
Hugs, despite the pandemic
Fernando Gaja i Diaz
Dear LBHS Class of 1970,
Now that I’m a retired teacher a few weeks shy of (gulp!) 80, I look back over a long career—and I still recall with delight those early years with you.
Of course I remember you best as teenagers—high-energy, fun-loving, personable. But now you are really grown-ups . . . even old enough to receive social security checks. (Wow, and you think you feel old!) Thanks to your forgiving natures, I’ve been lucky enough to attend some of your reunions, where several of you offered some very kind words to me—and a few of the more foolhardy & self-sacrificial folks even got out there on the dance-floor with me! Those sure were enjoyable events for me.
This latest project John Slowsky has undertaken (supported & cheered by volunteers, which is no surprise) is quite something. I was delighted when he asked me to take part in it—and so far I haven’t heard you hooted him down for inviting me! So I feel flattered to be included in this, your 50th-anniversary celebration. I may have received a few awards over the years, which were genuinely gratifying to me, but today I feel your continuing kindness to be a special honor indeed.
The other day a wow! moment for me flashed into my mind: I saw John’s mention of “recognizable influences“—then came across my name in that list . . . right after the Beatles, even! For me one of the most enjoyable times with you was discussing the Sergeant Pepper album, so John’s comment was certainly a happy surprise . . . until, alas, right after that I saw his request for ‘good taste,’ which pretty much took me out of the picture!
In case you’re curious, here’s a quick summary of my life since Laguna. After leaving you, I enrolled in the graduate program at UCI, where I taught for three years as a Teaching Associate (and taught Chris Lambert, btw). After getting an M.A. in Comp Lit, I began teaching at Golden West College. While there I created several new classes, met many fine students & terrific people, worked on some exciting projects (my favorite of which was starting an honors program), and taught none other than John Slowsky again (in an intro to lit class, this time with him in his fifties)!
Along with teaching, after a few years at Golden West I became a part-time private art dealer. Later I opened the Charles Whitchurch Gallery, specializing in contemporary and Latin American artists. I must say I learned a lot more about life as both a full-time professor and an art-loving businessman.
Sadly, after ten years my once-happy marriage to Michèle foundered on the marital rocks. But out of that union had come Gialisa, now married to Bernie, and Mother of Caden & Annika. Since then, for nearly four decades my lovely wife Susan has soldiered on bravely beside me. She gave birth years ago to Marisa, married to Stephen, and Mother of Maggie & Nico. All these folks are bright, giving, affectionate, fun-loving people. Yes, grandkids sure do rock! I feel lucky indeed.
Now I’m looking forward to seeing John’s completed site and finding out more about you old folks! I was interested to learn so much about Bill Brown (R.I.P.), and I expect to be edified over and over in getting to know your lives a little better.
Two points before I pipe down:
1) I composed a long thank-you letter about 20 years after you’d graduated. It went to John, then to a reunion committee 10 or 20 years later. John is placing it on this site, slightly revised, for anyone who didn’t see it but might like to.
2) My second point is essentially a summary of that letter. It’s this: Throughout my whole life I’ve thought happily of my classes with you. They’re still etched vividly in my mind. Of course, our time together was my first full-time teaching job. But that’s just part of the reason I remember you. I’d served in leadership roles before—in college, in the Army, at United California Bank. In all those positions I enjoyed the people I was striving to help.
But you folks—you were something else! Your enthusiasm, creativity, engagement with life, commitment to causes you believed in, willingness to take on—and, more important to me, grow from—the challenging assignments I gave you: those qualities and more, plus the fact that you all had such vivid personalities and were so fun to work with, well…who could forget such a combination?!
And please know that . . . I do recall your thanking me for what I was able to give you. Those words from you were like the best Christmas presents! They still are.
But I must thank you. You gave me such a feeling of validation, of fulfillment, in my teaching, plus a lifetime of most happy memories and associations. The privilege of knowing and working with you I see as one of the great blessings of my life. I told you that thirty years ago, and I still feel grateful to you. As I said then, thank you. Thank you—may all your days be as rich with joy as you have helped to make mine.
“You can’t always get what you want But you find sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need”. Rolling Stones
Growing up in Laguna Beach was what what I “needed”. All though at the time, I didn’t know it. It didn’t hit me until a lot later in life. All the friends, accomplishments, ocean environment lifestyle with lifeguarding as one of my most rewarding experiences. The LBHS experiences and wonderful friendships, the best music to grow up with and meeting my future wife, fun, fun, and more fun. How can I not appreciate those early years after all this time. I can’t say it’s what I “wanted” because I really didn’t know what I wanted back then. I kind of let life just take its course and ride the faithful wave for wherever and as long as it would take me. But taking advantage of the opportunities afforded to me was in mind for sure. And luckily, it all turned out. Now, more than ever, I’m so fortunate to be able to take advantage of increased close family gatherings. My gratitude of my children’s successes and the amazing grandkids experience they have provided. A small variety circle of close friends we have made over the decades will be even more appreciated when we can get back to a more normal life one day so we can stay connected. A satisfying and over 35 year career with mostly one company that has generously afforded me a very comfortable and successful lifestyle. Usually don’t see that kind of company longevity any more. That’s a big thank you that helped me grow. And speaking of long time commitments, the almost 50 years of the love of a magnificent woman. Who I am forever thankful that she found it in heart to hang in there with me all this time. Cementing a partnership, as my wife, to raise a family and managing her successful 40 year home business as well. So, again, I got what I needed, even though I didn’t realize it for decades, that has molded me to who I am 50 + years out of LBHS. Here’s to the day when we can all gather again at our alumni event, with any luck, next Fall. Because it’s both what I “want and need”.
I want to express how much fun it has been working with the reunion committee planning all of reunions and other get-togethers. It sure puts a smile on my face when our committee talks about the great times that we had going through school at our unique time. The passion of our classmates still amaze me on how true we are to our convictions, and that goes back to our High School days. There is a true “brotherhood” with the kids that we went to school with. I think that our class has remained very tight.
The attached picture of Kathy and myself dressed up for a 1980’s benefit held last year at one of our granddaughter’s school. I still think the music of the 60s and 70s is better than the 80s.
Nanette Trentini (Vergote)
Nanette and husband Renny. 1990-ish
I’ve had a blessed life. Married for 42 years, a lifetime. We grew a business together which after we sold it we got serious about traveling. Love to travel. Visited Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, Scotland, Ireland, the Mississippi River twice. Alaska, South America etc etc.
My husband is now in an Alzheimer’s unit. Knows me one day not the next. I’m learning to live alone and rely on friends and my family living across the green from me. Laguna was a lovely place to grow up. We didn’t know how special / lucky we were.
In my younger years, I spent so much time drying my hair straight and forgoing freedom to swim in the ocean. Nowadays, I embrace my white curls with more time to do more fun things without a care. In 2002, I learned to ride a motorcycle and then spent 16 years riding to so many beautiful destinations. Sold the Harley in 2018 and am now taking golf lessons. In 2005, I joined a group of entrepreneurs and we created a specialty bank, which went public, then acquired. A unique experience was being part of the Nasdaq event in New York. I appreciate the people and opportunities.
I’m grateful to have been raised in Laguna with a loving dad, a giving mom, and an awesome brother. I’m grateful for our LBHS reunions that brought Mark Moore and I together. Life has interesting challenges but each day I’m grateful for a home, money to pay bills and good health.
I love us, the LBHS Artists! Thank you for bringing us together for our 50th reunion virtually in 2020.
Carol Dugger Moore
Diane Riegler (Judy)
She tells a great story
Open a PDF file HERE.
Chuck at the Dirty Bird
Repeat after me...
LBHS Class of 1970:
It was the best of times and it was...well, the best of times!
1966 through 1970.
What other generation in what other time and PLACE would you rather have come of age?
For me, the runner up would be 1750 to 1800, in Paris, Amsterdam or Boston. Instead of most wanting to hang out with John Lennon, Grace Slick or Bob Dylan, I would have wanted be a groupie with Rousseau, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Locke, Jefferson, or my personal favorite, Kant.
But only the lives we have lived, the events, experiences, opportunities we had as young people and ever since, are real. I would not trade for those of my ancestors or descendants, even if I could.
Of course, that is subjective, there is no right or wrong answer. It’s like music, you don’t have to please anyone but yourself.
Speaking of music, one of the experiences we had was to be the pivotal, front line, real time Beatles generation. Kids even a year or two older or younger were by one or two degrees removed from the moment of first discovery that a new era had been born.
We were the 12 year olds who bought the first Beatles album at a Safeway for $2.99. We bought the first Beatles newsprint fan magazines, put the first Beatles posters on our walls.
At the moment Ed Sullivan introduced the Beatles to the whole nation, our siblings both older and younger were spectators. We had ownership, and as the Beatles went on from celebrity unmatched in our times to a creative cultural force we had ownership every step of the way.
I heard the first album in December of 1963, when a friend in my equestrian class came back from England with the first British album. Instantly, instead of mourning JFK I took ownership of a new reality right then and there, never imagining what was to come.
My emotionally available and present mom saw what it meant to me. She had raised me listening to and learning to love the music that was the soundtrack of her life, and so made sure I saw them live at the Hollywood Bowl in 1964 and 1965, then again at Dodger Stadium in 1966.
We were freshmen at LBHS in 1966. There was a dance in the cafeteria. Recent hits like “Good Lovin’” by Rascals, “Time Won’t Let Me” by Outsiders, and “My Girl” were already oldies but goodies that got us out of our chairs.
Before our freshman year was over we saw Buffalo Springfield at the UCI gym, and Paul Butterfield at the Golden Bear.
Easter week of 1967 we hitch hiked up to Haight Ashbury and saw Jefferson Airplane and Youngbloods in Golden Gate Park after marching for…oh, yeah…peace. We met Alan Watts and Timothy Leary and, yes, Grace Slick at Mystic Arts. It was the first but not last summer of love, and justice and equal rights for all.
A year later RFK and MLK were dead. Anybody here seen my old friend Martin?
And so on and so forth we went. The Beatles broke up in our senior year. So did we.
So, where have you been my blue-eyed son? What have you learned, my darlin’ young one?
I don’t know about you, but for my part, I’ve learned life is too brief an opportunity to try being decent to too few people. I helped free people like my heroes, but unlike so many of my heroes, I did not die young.
Now I am too old to die young.
I’ve learned that the most important decisions we make each day is what we put in our mouth and what we allow to come out of our mouths.
Trying to live up to that standard every day, but so far I am 25 pounds overweight and I talk way too much.
I tried being a man of few words many times, like Robert Mitchum or Gregory Peck. Didn’t work out for me. People wanted to know why I wasn’t talking. “Are you OK, Howard? We were counting on you to keep the conversation lively.”
And then there was , “You are a great writer…but it’s so long!” Like I said, 1775 was when there were no movies or social media and people liked to read.
So I also learned that it is only a matter of time before I lose interest in people who make me feel judged.
I figure we all know what we got wrong better than anyone else, and everyone else know what they got wrong better than I do.
But let us not talk falsely the hour is getting late.
Most of you don’t know Jon Jeffers and I lived a Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn life without adult supervision for two years, sophomore and junior years.
We had to be our own adults, cooking, doing laundry, studying, not getting busted, so we didn’t draw unwanted attention. What we shared was the death of parents, which is what John and Paul shared too.
But some of your mons knew, and dropped off casseroles and deserts. I am writing a book about our secret life in the counter-cultural milieu of our town and those times. Working title “Lost and Found in Laguna."
It truly was the best of times. And the Beatles as metaphor for our lives has been on my mind more and more.
Have you ever thought about the irony that Paul and John went through a creative and relational separation that John described as far harder and worse than his divorce and estrangement from his son?
There is a reason it got so hard.
Paul experienced his mom’s death as a call to adventure and the emancipated optimism he brought to The Beatles. John experienced far more profound loss that included abandonment by his father from the beginning, then abandonment by his mother, followed by her death.
John was emancipated by his genius before he discovered music, but music is where he expressed his broken hearted romantic need for the love he later would tell us was all we need.
It’s also the best of what we get. After he died Paul said John’s creative fire burned hot because of his passionate joyfulness combined with his anger about how painful it had been.
At the very moment he found reconciliation and resolution of his conflicts of character, his own history of loss was repeated for his sons.
Just as John borrowed aphorisms like “half of what I say is meaningless” and “pride came before the fall,” in his last great artistic statement he borrowed “ life is what happens while we’re making other plans.”
None of this is sad to me. It is beautiful. I listen to the Sirius Radio Beatles Show every day. It makes me happy, even the sadness and loss is part of a wonderful story of sheer genius and success and love and artistic triumph.
In a way, The Beatles are the metaphor for us all. Life is a matter of time. Its not how much time, it is what you do with the time that counts.
Paul became his own man but ended up without Linda. John became his own man, and Cynthia and Yoko as well as their sons ended up without John.
Life is what happens while we are busy making other plans, but that does not mean the life we live is less than what we planned.
It means life is more mysterious than we can ever understand. That’s because God knew we could never know what God knows, but God did not want us to ever get bored. And at least if we are paying attention we never will.
Steve Wonder wrote “Joy Inside My Tears.” It evokes for me the Buddhist idea that true happiness must include comprehension of loss and sadness in life.
When I am doing 85 down I-85, rolling into the forests of North Carolina at sunrise, with my wife within reach, my joy can include my sadness, because all the good times mean so much more than the times of loss, sorrow and regret.
What John came to understand is that anger, regret, envy, idolatry are all about fear of not being loved. What I came to understand is that the innocence we lost is not as important as the innocence we kept.
And if we have a chance, we can recover some of our lost innocence. Sometimes we need to ask those we hurt for forgiveness, other times we just have to pray for grace we don’t deserve, because what we got wrong can’t be fixed.
But then something happens that seems to make everything alright, the way it was when we were playing on the beach at Fisherman’s Cove in 1959.
That is how it felt one morning last year, as we were flying down the highway to see our grandchildren in Charlotte. As the climbing sun set the wetlands ablaze, the Beatles song “Two of Us” comes on the radio.
I turn it up, loud. Paul sings “You and I have memories, longer than the road that stretches out ahead.”
For the two of us, that was not sad, that was joyful. That was looking at the realities of good and bad, life and death, triumph and defeat, and saying thank you to each other and to God.
Given the wonderful life we had in what were the best of times, that moment of truth also is within reach for those of us so blessed to have survived and thrived before, during and after our one brief shining moment at LBHS from 1966 to 1970.
So all I can say is all the best to all of you as we head down the next stretch of highway, on the road of life leading to destinations that await us.
P.S. For some photos and exhibits some of you may find to be of some interest, go to www.howardhills.org and click on Photos, then Growing Up In Laguna.
Well I have good news and bad news. The good news is you made it to your 50th High School Reunion. The bad news? We’re not kids anymore without cares or worries other than making it to class on time and seeing your friends everyday either at school or at your favorite beach. Those days may be gone but they live strongly in my mind and heart; shaping who I am even today. And many of my best friends from LBHS ‘70 remain my best and closests friends still to this day.
The day after we were given our diplomas at Irvine Bowl I headed north to Santa Cruz to attend Cabrillo Jr College and major in Music. After college my journey would take me to many new and wonderful places; Colorado. New Mexico. Idaho. As luck would have it I lived in many places that, like Laguna, were small tourist resorts famous for outdoor beauty and recreation. And like Laguna a lot of these places are now over crowded and too expensive to live in. I guess it makes sense that I landed on the Central Coast in Santa Barbara where my son Marlon was born 38 years ago and lives today with his wife, Arielle. The Bay Area and Laguna are both within reach from here and I visit both often to see friends and family.
I don’t have to tell you how blessed we were to live our youth in what I’ve come to believe is one of the most beautiful places in America. And when I return to Laguna I know I’m home. I think the most valuable gift as classmates and graduates of the class of 1970 was our experience of unconditional love and mutual respect. Just imagine if we could bottle that and share it with the world?
Once an Artist, always an Artist!!
What happened to Tracy Stice after graduation?
He attended Saddleback College for two years 1970 -72, then on to UC San Diego, graduating in 1974 with a degree in Biochemistry as a pre-med student, but there was no med for Tracy. Tired of having no money, broke after college and in a tough job market post Viet Nam, he got a job selling hospital supplies for Hospital Service and Supplies out of Pomona. This was 1976-1978.
He starting dating Laura Townsend (LBHS 1973) as a freshman at Saddleback. During sewing class in 1969, he got to know her and they became friends. At a LBHS football game in the fall of 1974 he met her standing near the Gym and invited her to sit on the visitor’s side with me. (a stealth move of course ) . He took her home and they walked on the beach at 3 Arch Bay under a big moon and he landed the first kiss of many more to come.
Changing to the first person.
We dated, off and on for 8 years. With our age difference, her in high school and me in college, we agreed that we would date others and it was difficult at times, but in the long run, it was the best thing for both of us. She graduated from Cal Poly Pomona in 1978 and I tried to con her into moving in with me in Del Mar, where I lived in a very cool beach house. No luck! My mother, Janet, conspired with her and I got the ultimatum; the whole order or none. We got married in St. Mary’s church in Laguna July 1, 1978!
On a trip to Maui in 1977, I already had an idea where I really wanted to live. 4 stoplights on the whole island, nice warm water, great surf and not a lot of people. With my mother’s help Laura and I bought a 5 acre pineapple field with a tiny 500 sq. ft. cottage and moved to Maui, Oct. 16, 1978. We still live on the same property today.
What followed were many years of hard work. Moving to Maui with no jobs, $2,000 and a mortgage to pay, we had no idea how we were going to make it work, but we did. In many ways it really solidified our marriage. Laura’s father Jeff, had passed away while we were on our honeymoon to Maui and we had to return to Laguna to put him to rest. We returned to Maui in October and have never looked back.
The nice thing about Maui is that although we had no friends and didn’t know anybody, everybody we knew from everywhere knew where we were. Our couch in our tiny house was not vacant for more than a few days for the first year we moved to Maui.
I got my real estate license and car sales license immediately and went to work. Laura worked for a high end interior decorating firm using her college background. It did not take long and financially we were in pretty good shape and had enough money to visit family in California regularly. Then, along came Jeremy in 1983. Our life has never been the same since.
He was a whirlwind baby and a tornado as a little boy. Then came Sister Brianna who was as mellow as could be. It was a nice balance and we thought we were done, then came our wonderful surprise, baby Chloe! She inherited her mother’s “boss “gene and pretty much directed what went on.
Now 40 years later and a lifetime of stories, real estate deals and sales, endless hours working on the house and property are; married, all the kids are married, and we still living on the same property. Jeremy and Brianna live on Maui and Chloe moved to Yakima Washington.
We now have the time and money to travel and we have been to Europe a couple of times in the last few years. Hopefully we will have grandkids in Washington State soon and we plan to visit a lot in the Pacific Northwest, visit Tim and Betsy Ullom again in Portland, and see some pines trees that are sorely lacking on Maui. Jeremy and Megan had our first grandchild, Kiera in March 2020 and she is just a doll. Right now, it is tough visiting with the Covid-19 virus, but we have been able to spend some time with her. Brianna married Courtney in August 2020 and they live in Brianna’s house in Kahului, Maui with Courtney’s “adventure baby “Cadence, who comes out to the farm, feeds my chickens, plays with the dogs and helps in the garden. She is almost 2 and has endless curiosity. We have young people in the yard once again after a many year drought. The swing-set is up and running again and the house and yard are full of toys, books and all kinds of things to trip on.
We are so blessed to still be together after almost 50 years of knowing each other and married 42 years. Marrying my best friend, Laura, was the best decision of my life.
Thank you Mom for the advice!
Aloha from Maui!
John, This is something I am working on right now, a statewide food drive for Hawaii. The video is fun and is filmed at my farm in Haiku Maui. If you want to put it in the reunion site, feel free .
Some of my fondest memories are of growing up in Laguna Beach. My family moved to Laguna from Hawaii when I was 3 years old with my brothers Wes, 6 and Allan, 5. My dad Ernie drove down the coast from Los Angeles and when he got to Laguna, found that it was perfect and decided that that’s where we would live. He commuted to Los Angeles even though the 405 didn’t exist yet. We lived a block away from Victoria Beach and across the street from Polly’s Café. The beach was our playground and my dad and Uncle Herb Lee, would fish and dive for abalone. My mom, Fannie and Aunt Nancy would bring dinner down to the beach for us.
One of my first friends was Scott Seeman, who lived nearby. Even though I was such a shy little girl, he befriended me and I have fond memories of going to his home to play, his birthday parties and looked forward to having a friend who was happy to see me at the school bus stop. We rode the bus to Aliso Elementary together and this is where I began to make many more lifetime friends, who like Scott, would become a part of my life and memories.
There I met Carol Dugger, Diane Judy and so many more that I still keep in touch with. I consider Carol and Diane to be my closest of friends to this day, even though we don’t see each other often. I remember playing 4 square, jacks, hop scotch, tetherball, kickball and jump rope. Remember Clancy, the Sizemore’s bulldog that lived next to the playground? No one wanted to have to retrieve the ball that went into their yard! When the Beatles came to the US, we picked which Beatle we wanted to be. I think that Di was Paul, Carol was George and I was John. Was Debbie Creveling, Ringo? We had so much fun together, I remember rushing home from school, calling Di on the phone and talking until someone on the “party line” needed to make a call and finally told us to get off!
Thurston Junior High is where I met Carol Allen, who was to become my best friend, maid of honor and godmother to my oldest daughter. We spent countless hours and days at the beach at T Bay and West Street. In high school, we’d sometimes jump into her Camero and head to Husky Boys for lunch. Our senior year we snuck out in the middle of the night to spray paint a big ’70 in the street by the school. One day we ran out of class and rode a trolley car from the school to downtown. Once there, we didn’t know what to do. We hadn’t expected to get away with it and didn’t have any money with us. My mom who was the principal’s secretary, saw us leave but didn’t stop us. The student teacher in our class never said anything to us. I must have gotten away with this and more because of my mom.
I had the best job at the Pottery Shack, working with many other high school students. Even though I had to work every weekend, I was among friends, so it was fun. Sometimes I’d go to the side door at La Paz for lunch or go to the beach, trying to get the sand off afterwards to go back to work.
We had so much fun in those days, there was so much freedom, running around with friends, going to parties, living life to the fullest. What a special time and place it was to grow up. It was ok to be different, we accepted each other and we were friends. We were young and naïve. I think back at the crazy things we did and wonder how we survived.
Now 50 years later, I don’t consider us old. I’ve been married for 47 years, living in Santa Barbara. I have 2 daughters and 5 grandchildren. These grandchildren are the best! I’ve traveled the world, tried to live life to the fullest. We enjoy making our own wine with friends from college. I try to still have that Laguna mentality of accepting others for who they are and appreciating the many differences, cultural and otherwise. I love seeing our classmates and getting together for our reunions. I’m saddened each time I hear of someone passing. I wish that I could have seen them again. I miss them, no matter how close we were. Each of you is a part of me and helped me become who I am. I’m so fortunate to have grown up in Laguna and to have had all of you in my life.
Things that I am grateful for:
My three children. My two daughters are Registered Nurses, my son a Software Engineer. I am a proud Papa for sure!
Then, of course, I am grateful for having grown up in Laguna with all of you!
Peace, love and avocados to all!
Coming of age in Laguna was amazing. Our class of 1970 was as special then as it is today. I am happy to have established close friendships from this Laguna family. We have lifted and cared for each other through the decades. John’s conception of and commitment to this project is awesome and inspiring. 2020 has shaken us all to our roots but has also drawn out our strengths.
If my parents had not divorced in 1953, we would not have moved to Laguna in 1960. I would have missed out on all of you! Norm Babcock, my stepfather, would not have entered our lives in 1961, and I might have wound up going to high school in Ohio- which has no ocean. What a different experience that would have been. My father and my mother both remarried in 1961. Those marriages each lasted 39 years. For this, I am grateful. This combined family of seven siblings and step-siblings was a lot of fun. I’m closest to my brother Pete. He has been my spiritual anchor. We share a bond that I cherish and are connected by humor and, of course, our love of baseball. Go A’s!
Photography was my first love and has sustained me as my primary creative outlet. It was my good fortune to have worked as an independent tile contractor in Berkeley for 40 years. My back and knees are especially grateful to be finally retired. Actually, all my joints are happier. Maybe next I’ll open a back scratching salon.
Gratitude is present every moment in my day-to-day life. On an atomic level, I am thankful for Fire, Air, Earth, and Water. I find joy and satisfaction in the beauty of all things. I try my best to maintain my sense of humor and remain in the present. It has helped me enormously to shed numerous addictions that I had collected over the years and engage recovery with an open mind and heart. Each of us only has today.
Family and home define and nurture me. It has been my great privilege to meet, court, and marry Lisa. She is a smart, talented, and creative woman with whom I laugh daily. When we met, I was more than a little reality averse! Our partnership has kept me tethered to the earth and allowed me to find my footing. Lisa’s work as an event producer has allowed us to celebrate all kinds of festivals and holidays as well as a few she created. Lisa also works tirelessly for many non-profit and civic groups and is very active in the art community. Her leadership and commitment to service has spurred me to a life of service as well. I am lucky to have been by her side these many years. I am also grateful for our son Tyler in our lives. He loves travel, science, biking and is of quick wit and sharp humor.
I can’t wait to see all of my special Laguna High family for real. Let the hugging begin.
I consider myself to be a very lucky and grateful person. First and foremost, I am grateful to be born and raised in the most beautiful town in the world, Laguna Beach. I’m grateful to have gone to LBHS where I had inspiring teachers and wonderful friends, especially Claudia and my dear friend Tom. I so appreciate how Tom and I were able to lead the AFS club, and how I was fortunate to be chosen by AFS to be sent abroad after our graduation. The year I spent in Belgium changed my life, determined my future career and still is part of my daily life today, since my host family became just like my own family. Returning to California, I was fortunate to go to UCI, then UCSB, where I spent my junior year studying in Spain, and my first year of grad school studying French at the Sorbonne in Paris. After a detour to Poughkeepsie New York, I moved back to my beloved California, but this time up north to the Bay Area, where I still live 40 years later. I am so thankful that I was able to teach French for 34 years at a wonderful independent high school (the Athenian School) before retiring six years ago. I think Mrs. Wise, our LBHS French teacher, would have been proud.
So today, since I’m retired, life is calmer, but no less fun. Together with my wife Julie, (who lived in Europe for twenty years herself), we spend much of our time traveling and plotting our future trips. I spend a lot of time hiking and camping, often in the Sierra or down the coast in Big Sur, driving my beautiful blue Westfalia van, the Voila Express. I’m lucky that my mother, who lived in Laguna since 1948, is still alive and I go down every month to see her and my sister. And I go back and eat avocado sandwiches from the Stand on my old Anita Street beach, where I went every day growing up. So, when asked to express my gratitude and appreciation, I feel I couldn’t have more to be thankful for. Growing up in Laguna, given the opportunity to explore the world, having a loving family and cherished circle of friends, and being healthy today, despite a bout of serious breast cancer ten years ago (yet I’m still here and kickin’!) is truly a life for which I am extremely grateful. We, the LBHS class of 1970, are indeed blessed; we are the lucky ones who have the good fortune to have lived in a time and place that others could only dream about. And I can’t wait to see all of you lucky classmates next year!
Hugs from afar,
Greetings to all my Classmates,
I am looking forward to seeing everyone in Laguna next year. Missing Laguna and will see you on Facebook Natives Page!
BEATLES FOREVER!!!! Yeah, Yeah,Yeah
Love from your Shortest Classmate,
Debbie Creveling Sheflin
I'm profoundly grateful for: My husband Spencer, my daughter Chelsea and her husband Michael, my son Travis and my grandsons James and Ben. I'm also profoundly grateful for having lived in two very unique communities. I was blessed to have grown up in Laguna Beach where my whole family lived during a time when we didn't lock doors and everyone knew each other and looked out for each other. I developed long lasting relationships with whom I'm still in touch with to this day. My pastime was spent at the beach or at South Coast Theater watching movies or Festival of Arts during the summer. For the past 38 years, I've lived in Norco that touts "city living in a rural setting." I am so grateful for the lifestyle my family has enjoyed in this town. We have raised and showed horses, have always had free roaming chickens that supply us with beautiful organic eggs, have goats, pigs and mini donkeys for pets as well as dogs and cats. To summarize, I've had lots to be grateful for.
Debbie Creveling Sheflin
Christina Ziegler Stephens
Debby Creveling Sheflin and I were together on the beach near Surf and Sand. We were reminiscing about our lives as children on the beach. We have been friends since we were 4 yrs. old!
We would play along the shore, skipping and turning cartwheels as “besties”. Afterwards we would go hunting for glass soda bottles to return for 3 cents each so we could buy penny candy at Carroll’s Book Store along Coast Hwy. What memories we share of a care free childhood!
Page forward 50 years, still thinking we could ACTUALLY DO them ... our minds believing we can but our bodies not so much!!
Christina Ziegler Stephens
Laguna was a great place to grow up. A beach community filled with magic to explore. A place where a kid could ride their bike down to the South Coast Theater, stack your bike (unlocked) against the wall with all the others, and watch the Saturday Movie Matinee (with 10 cartoons) for 35 cents. And when you got out, our bikes were waiting for us to ride home.
Well, it has been a wonderful life, and I say this with more clarity than I can share. I have been considering writing a short story about a young man that feels he has discovered the Garden of Eden, hidden in plain sight. He realizes that ‘this’ is the heaven everyone is dreaming about when they die. ‘This’ is that heaven. In his frustration to convince others, he embarks on a journey to see how deep the rabbit hole goes, only to find that he is not alone. One only needs deep appreciation and a heart full of gratitude, and Brigadoon appears before your very eyes.
Growing up in Laguna Beach was heaven for me. When I saw that photo of Tony Fryer as a kid, sitting on the boardwalk drinking a cold 7up; doesn’t it feel like Brigadoon to you as well? I can still recall the texture of that boardwalk with the nails and the hot metal plates under my bare feet.
My wife of 21 years and I live in Oceanside, CA. We have no children, but we do have two black German shepherd dogs (my girls). We have built a beautiful craftsman home with a separate art studio. Every tree on our property produces fruit, and the vegetable garden is very productive in the summer. A nice shelter to hide from the pandemic.
I am grateful for all the friends I have made throughout my life. I have traveled a lot for both business and discovery. I have surfed on six coastlines and feel so fortunate I was good enough at the sport to surf almost any wave worldwide. I have designed some cool projects and have made life-long friends in those countries where I have participated. I have rafted down the Ganges, participated in numerous Holi festivals in India, prayed with Muslims in Malaysia, dove the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, lunch with the Ambassador of Norway in Havana, Cuba (after making a presentation to the Vice Prime Minister of Cuba). And I was fortunate enough to grow up in Laguna Beach. I love this life and will be sad to see it go. It has been a gift and a reward to me, good times and bad.
Cheers to all of you!!!
Wow! Fifty years! Where did the time go?
How lucky I was for my parents to move us from Cleveland, Ohio to Laguna Beach that summer of ’64. My dad was tired of those cold winters and decided “if he ever had a heart attack, it wasn’t gonna be shoveling snow in Cleveland”.
So off we drove across the country stopping at the New York Worlds Fair first and then headed west to California or bust. We took out time and explored this beautiful country. You know- St Louis Arch, Grand Canyon, Painted Desert, Las Vegas, Route 66! And 12 years old was the perfect age for me to appreciate all of the wonderful sights we saw.
My dad actually had no job waiting for him. We just drove up and down the California coast and took our time exploring the coastal towns. My parents decided on either Santa Barbara, Laguna Beach, or La Jolla. And yes they pronounced La Jolla with a “J”. But my mom fell in love with Laguna Beach and the lovely homes climbing up the hills. And Laguna Beach was actually affordable back then! For my 7th grade school year, we rented a darling little furnished house on Rounsevel Terrace above Victoria Beach. 3 bedrooms for $135/month! Several years later I remember going to a “hippie” party there and my old bedroom was full of black lights and the smell of pot wafting through the air.
My dad had found a job commuting to L.A. daily and mom sewed bathing suits at Margie Webb just down the street on PCH. Leigh Mayeaux was my first friend and her mother also worked at Margie Webb. They lived just a few houses from us then.
My parents bought a brand new house on Alta Laguna Blvd in summer of ’65 and we thought we’d all died and gone to heaven. The ocean view and sunsets were amazing!
I was so lucky to make such fast friends at Thurston with Leigh, Lou Atcheson and those Top of the World girls- Peggy Holm, Jackie Miller, Carol Dugger and Terrie Leslie. Such fun times we had!
After working for Norm Browne DDS downtown as a Dental Assistant in high school; I ended up going to college to become a Dental Hygienist and practiced for over 30 years until my back told me it was time to retire in 2006. But I did work for Aramco in Saudi Arabia as a Dental Hygienist in the 80’s for 4 years. Saudia Arabia had great pay but the international travel is what kept me going! Egypt, Hong Kong, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Kenya, Tanzania, Virgin islands. Those wonderful memories will never leave me. I hope most of you got to do some world traveling as well. It changes you.
And now I’ve come back full circle. I live in Laguna Niguel and I’m working part-time at Thurston Middle School in the Health Office! I still love that view of the ocean driving down Park Ave. As many of us have had, I too have had some health concerns but I’m grateful to be a breast cancer Survivor!
I was married for a few years in my 20’s. I was wife #1. He’s on wife #4 now. I think I dodged a bullet there.
I am ever so grateful to have grown up with all of you at LBHS. And I truly appreciate all of the warm friendships I made with you.
My favorite song is still by the Youngbloods – Get Together – Come on people, smile on your brother, everybody get together, try to love one another right now.
And my favorite motto is – The true measure of success in life isn’t money, fame or power. It’s laugh lines.
I was voted Best Smile in our senior class and I still love to share my smile with everyone. Laughter is the best medicine!
I’m so looking forward to seeing all of you in September 2021 to celebrate our 51 year reunion! Please save me a dance!
Love, Heidi xox
Anne Wellsfry Bethell
Greetings to my LBHS classmates!
Can we really be celebrating our 50th class reunion? I always thought that was for "old people", and I guess I know where that puts me. With a few exceptions, I have not done a good job of staying in touch with all of you. After college I married and moved away and I think the only reunion I was able to attend was the 30th. So I will share a little of my story with you here. Thank you, John, for creating this wonderful way for all of us to connect!
College was a great experience for me. I became an RN and met my husband there. He was from Kansas and we returned there to work and raise our family. Eventually we bought a ServiceMaster franchise and I was able to be home to care for our children.
We had 5 children. Our middle girl, Jenny, had Down's Syndrome and struggled to grow and thrive like normal babies. I was raised in a family that loved God, but my faith had never really been tested. Death and illness really hadn't been part of my life, and I was pretty naïve about how hard life can be. I cared for her the best I could, but despite that, she became ill at 6 1/2 months. We rushed her to the hospital. To see my baby struggle to breathe, pleading with me to help her, was heart breaking. After being transferred twice she had a massive seizure that left her brain waves flat. My husband (Tom) and I were faced with a difficult decision, and I needed time to think and pray. I went to the chapel and poured my heart out to God AND HE MET ME THERE. He directed me to various Bible verses; like James 1:2-5, John 14:1-4 and others. He gave me a peace that passes all understanding there in that room. My husband and I were able to make the difficult decision to remove life support, and actually were able to sing songs of praise to the God of all Creation in that hospital room.
Why do I share all this with you? It marked my life in a new way and taught me to be grateful for His guidance and help in whatever situations I would find myself. In the uncertainty of our world and life today, that gives me joy and peace. It is something that God offers to each of us. If you want peace and joy in your life, He wants to give it to you! You can have peace with God by believing in Christ's death and resurrection and giving Him the Lordship of your life. I encourage you to take that step to experience the blessing of eternal life. If you have any questions or want to talk, my email address and cell number are below.
After over 30 years in Kansas we sold our business and moved to Oklahoma to be closer to our kids. We were able to find some land and build a home. Three of our four living children are married and we are blessed with 8 grandchildren. Our fourth child (Wade) lives with us apartment upstairs, and works full time for our son-in-law who is a farmer/rancher. I could go on and on about the grandkids, but will spare you!
I try to stay active walking and caring for my garden and flowers. I also enjoy quilting, traveling, camping with our family, and teaching a Bible study with friends. We have just celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary and are thankful to God for that.
It would be so great to be able to see all of you next year! We will see how things unfold.
Blessings to all of you,
Carol Allen Westlake
Here we are in August 2020!! The poem helps me to realize how very fortunate I am. The words remind me of what’s really important in my life and how much I appreciate these basic needs that we as humans need. I’ve had such a privileged life over the last 68 years and even though I’ve had some bumps in the road along the way I am so very grateful for this amazing life!
I’m aware of the fact that so many of our fellow global citizens are not as fortunate as myself and it breaks my heart. I am hopeful that we will come together, listen, educate ourselves, be patience, stand up for love, kindness and each other just as we did in the 60’s and 70’s!!
Now that I’m retired I’m excited to volunteer to help my local and global community so they can experience good health, have shelter, love and friends....!! It’s definitely been a year of reflection and gratitude for me. Thank you for your continued friendship.
Sending love, warmest wishes and good health to you all. Can’t wait to see you at our 51st reunion next year!!
Carol Allen Westlake
“For each new morning
with it’s light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything thy goodness sends.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Darci Linkey Bodin
Well since graduation, I mainly stayed in the Orange County area. I worked a variety of day time office jobs and then did stage crew work at the Moulton Playhouse, Ballet Pacifica, and Pageant of the Masters. Jobs included Customer Service Rep, Construction materials buyer and other jobs.
I met my husband while dancing and we have been married for almost 30 years. During that time, I have managed a coffee house in Tustin, learned Flamenco dance, and landed a job at the Orange County Fire Authority. Started off as an Admin Assistant and gradually promoted to Sr Fire Prevention Inspector. Most of the time I was in New Construction/Tenant Improvement area. I’ve also been on Fire Watch (firework shoots, contentious council meetings and code enforcement hearings).
To keep me busy, I started attending classes on quilting. I believe I have made over 300 quilts. Some were quilted on my domestic machine and others were done on a long arm Gammil. A lot of the quilts were donated to raise funds for the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer “Race for the Cure.” I was team captain for the Fire Department for over 15 years and we raised money for the OC Chapter.
After 20 years at Fire, I retired and started to travel. I’ve been to Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the UK. I mostly went with the same group that specialized in Quilt tours. We also went to museums, castles, churches, fabric stores and both large and small quilt shows. Each trip was wonderful and I can’t wait to go to Newfoundland in 2021 with this group.
I have attached photos of some of my quilts. Whenever I finish one, I thank Miss Messman for all she taught me in Home Ec.
I’m still in So Cal and my Mom is up in Oregon. That’s about it. I’m healthy, I have my cousins nearby (The Diercks’s- Pat used to work in the attendance office. Toni (71), Mark (72) and Chris (74) are also doing well.
Love to you all,
Darci Linkey Bodin
There is so much to be grateful for in my life but in the end, it all comes down to love. I feel extremely fortunate to have found the love of my life, my wife Jackie. We spent 30 years building a life together and have two exceptional daughters. Alas, Jackie’s life was tragically cut short 10 years ago. The ache and emptiness from that loss has slowly given way to a realization that having spent decades in a loving relationship is truly a gift that not everyone experiences and the love we shared will forever fill my heart.
Our daughters have been a continuing source of pride, joy and love and I have a beautiful granddaughter that I can shower with love even if it is from afar during these trying times. I am also grateful for the unwavering love of my friends as they have helped me through some very trying times and shared my joy during life’s happy moments. I hope that I have been as good a friend to them as they have been to me.
When I look back, I am so thankful that I was able to spend my formative high school years together with all of you. It was hard to realize then that 50 years later we would still be sharing wonderful memories and a comradery that only being an LBHS Artist in 1970 could produce.
I really think the Beatles captured it best: “And in the end The love you take Is equal to the love you make”
Hedy Buzan Williamson
I am most grateful for each day and the lessons I keep learning: acceptance, forgiveness and wonder at our great big lovely world. I’ve had a great life as an artist and art teacher, worked with lots of young college students and have great hopes for the future.
Hedy Buzan Williamson
My family is incredibly lucky. Young adults hang here because they are heard, as is their music, and they are celebrated when they beat me at Pool. I am grateful vinyl collections gather at the “Pool Hall. ” Rocky Mountain rivers, streams and lakes float my boat(s) and tickle my ears. I am grateful for the genetics that help me be healthy and not so competitive that I can't learn more. I love that my daughters read as much as I do. The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, Night Circus, and The Little Paris Bookshop are smiles sent to you.
We are grateful for the travel that taught us to appreciate, while my construction skills have fed us, housed us , and now entertain me. I smile because one of Ken’s Merry Pranksters joined us for a eclipse/yard/street party and left an inscription saying Lyle “you're on the bus” Life is good, love is better, say thank you with cash, and I’m sorry with wine.
Wendy Wainwright Swenson
I am grateful for time off
The devastation from Covid is terrible, and I was laid off as a result, but I am grateful for the time off to do lots of things such as clean my closet, empty the shed in the back yard, finding treasures within, including our 20th reunion booklet, old video tapes (35+ years) to convert to DVD, lots of Legos, and children’s books I’ve been looking for, and now have more time to do art projects, read books, and go to the beach to boogie board! I’ve given up beach volleyball until Covid is resolved.
Does anyone remember the arts and crafts classes we took at LBHS each summer as kids? It was upstairs in the Girl’s gym (I think), and we learned how to make potholders, lanyards (which I was able to teach our Cub scouts many years later), and mosaics, etc. etc. And after the class (was it 9 to noon?), we went down to the pool for our swim lessons. I’ve always appreciated art as the years went by, and loved to go to the festival to look at and sometimes buy paintings there and during my travels. In 2018 and 2019, I enjoyed Barcelona several times, and fell in love with the design and mosaic work that artist Gaudi did.
Until now, I managed to squeeze a little time to learn how to China Paint. We would paint ceramic pieces – tiles, plates, vases, baby booties, etc. More recently I have learned how to make mosaics and work with clay by using the hand thrown method. I still need to learn how to make things on the pottery wheel.
Other fun items to paint are little ceramic baby bootie banks for my grandchildren. I copy from the baby books I enjoyed reading to them. Now that I have a new grandchild whose name is Escher, 8 months old, I am starting to babysit him a couple days a week, so I will get new inspiration for my 3rd baby boot (and probably not the famous Escher stairs but they are tempting!)
So now that I have time, I am enjoying creating mosaics using tiles, and making tiles, and hope to take some more art classes. In this way I am really enjoying and thankful for my “retirement”.
Wendy Wainwright Swenson
First, a well deserved big thank you to the “reunion team” for its hard work, perseverance and determination in making the LBHS Class of 1970 Fiftieth Reunion memorable. This is a remarkable fete, particularly with the pandemic preventing an in-person gathering. Bravo, reunion team! And, bravo to those who have assisted the team!
Topping my “gratitude list” is my son, Tyler, my one and only child. He is now 30 years old and engaged to be married early next year. I like to think, starting with the day of his birth, his mother, Mary, and I created a prophecy that Tyler would have grace. You see, Tyler was a “breach baby,” needing to be delivered by cesarean, and as such, we, the parents, got to choose his day of birth. We chose a Tuesday, cognizant of the old saying, “Tuesday’s child is full of grace.” As far as I am concerned, our romantic allusion to such a prophecy has come true; Tyler is indeed full of grace.
Beyond the somewhat “tongue in cheek” prophecy, I believe we, as parents, played a significant and responsible role in who Tyler is as a person. But with humility, I realize there was so much out of our control that shaped Tyler, some of it from within himself, and a lot from the good grace of others. For all this, I have eternal gratitude.
Fond and kind regards to all my fellow alumni. May many healthy and happy years follow for everyone. And, here is to a Fiftieth + One Reunion in-person before the end of next year!
David E. Hustwick
Wendy Cole (Sadler)
"I was lucky to end up in Laguna Beach for high school. Pretty idyllic place to be in the sixties! Have lots of fond memories of good times with my best friends Wendy, Pam, Anne, Jan and Patti! Thank you all for the best high school experience!”
I would love to know where everyone ended up and what you are all doing!
Born to a “dirt farmer” father and a “carpenter’s daughter” mother, a foundation built upon Midwestern values. Raised during California’s Golden Era (my opinion) within a small artist’s colony above the beaches and bluffs of the blue Pacific surf . . .
First “real” job was being hired by Mrs. Florence Nichols, La Paz Restaurant at 14 1/2 years old . . . worked the next five decades; traveled in Micronesia, Nepal, Afghanistan, India, Thailand, Laos, Mexico, and 36 hours in Amsterdam (I love the Dutch). I have been practicing yoga ever since that summer afternoon on the beach at Thalia Street in 1968. Currently living in both Mammoth Lakes and in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico . . . favorite books – Atlas Shrugged and The Ugly American . . . (((have been told in both SE Asia, and South of the Border, “You do not act like an American” ))) . . . I am John Galt & Homer Atkins, with a touch of George Mallory . . . in my approach to living.
“. . . the permanent temptation in life is to confuse dreams with reality. The permanent defeat in life comes when dreams are surrendered to reality . . .“ “. . . the son of a tiger, is also a tiger . . .“ . . . while filling “the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run . . .“ “. . . I took the road less traveled, and that has made all the difference . . .“
We were young, and grew up in Laguna Beach . . . LBHS Class of 1970
I loved seeing the Gary Larson cartoon a few days ago captioned “If 2020 Were an Ice Cream Truck”, an old, battered Good Humor truck bumping down the road with the words “Liver and Onions” emblazoned across its side.
1970 was way better!
But 50 years on, those of us who can still read (and write!) these lines are lucky enough to continue to be awed by being alive on this extraordinary planet, replete with all its wonders and complexities, still able to find a universe of beauty in a flower or a grain of sand….
I still have memories
of the Good Humor Truck
parked above Diver’s Cove
Its bells beckoning
…la la la la la la la
…la la la la la la la la (you remember the tune…!)
And we raced up the stairs
Nickels and dimes in hand
Naked except for these coins
and an old pair of trunks…
“I’d like a Dreamsicle, please….”
Sue Mickie Glotfelty
Shannon Cook Langmade
Back then it was the sand and then the ocean out to the horizon. The promise of migrating whales.
A very small circle of friends and a loving family. Lots of laughter.
Now it is the Texas prairie and Post Oak trees and the Endless Sky.
The promise of branding cattle.
Married for 45 years to a good man. More loving family.
Still thankful for my oldest and dearest friend, Elizabeth Jean ….
Yesterday…we stood shoulder to shoulder at LBHS with big eyes searching forward toward our future.
Today…with pensive eyes we survey our surroundings and give thanks for life’s blessings.
Tomorrow…offers each of us a bright new dawn and horizons within our reach.
My best wishes to all my 1970 ‘Artist’ classmates…here’s hoping our paths intersect again some clear Laguna day!
No laudable accomplishments whatsoever here. I was just lucky that with a bit of “loitering with intent”, a few minimal skills and equally skimpy brains I could always get fun, arty jobs. For that I am wholly indebted to the blessedly lightweight decades we grew up in.
Maybe the Gods, (or whoever’s running the show here), were satisfied they’d caused enough trouble for one century, with two World Wars and a Great Depression. So they toddled off to the bar till closing time, benignly sparing our generation all but a few world-class thumpings.
But they’re back with wicked hangovers since 2000, starting with Y2K and 911, to take it out on the ill-fated new Gens, and are thundering along slinging disasters by the dozen. (Although at this point, who’s counting anymore?) But the great pendulum always swings back, and with any luck, it won’t get around to raining frogs again anytime soon, unless it’s on Netflix.
Whatever comes dear friends, we’ll always have lived in a charmed time AND a charming town, and we’ve managed to make it this many times around the sun. Still, the party’s not over yet, so cheers to you all! And here’s a wish from the Shakespeare we were supposed to be reading instead of Rolling Stone; that “Thy Eternal Summer Shall Not Fade”.
Sharon Knowlton Miles
Sharon Moffett Salas
I think fondly of many of our days, crazy things we did, the crushes I had on all you handsome boys and hoping that time has treated us all well. It seems like we have molded into a BIG family with memories and respect for one another. May we all be able to continue to meet in the coming yrs.
Wow…where do I begin? To start…to have made it to 68 years…relatively unscathed…being a child of the 60’s, like most of you…when I look back at some of my “adventures”? Yow… surviving my own youthful choices…that in itself is reason to celebrate!
There is hardly ever a day that goes by that I don’t have a moment where I look around me and let in, how blessed I feel to be living in this moment , in this place (Vashon Island) with, a partner, wife, who makes me laugh throughout my day, and who loves me for not only who I am, but for where I have been and what I have been through to get here! I have children…and grandchildren…and sometimes when I look at them…I can see my parents in them, even my grandparents…it gives one perspective and appreciation for them…
So very grateful to live where I can look out my window and see the garden growing …to be entertained sometimes merely by the coming and going of a multitude of birds, bees and dragonflies ( I call it Bird TV)…the simplicity and beauty of my life at times, humbles me… It has not always felt like this, I moved around a LOT, trying to find a sense of home, of belonging… like many, I have lost many people I love…after losing my sister Carolyn…I felt something shift…that realization of how brief life is…and with that comes the awareness that life feels pretty much like a privilege to me…not to be wasted…so I try to catch myself when I hear myself moan, complain or belittle myself for “being old”…and tell myself to do a little reality check…and give thanks that I GET to be 68!
I am enormously grateful for my parents, who were crazy enough to move to Laguna to try to make a life as artists, while raising 4 little girls, grateful for my exposure to art and music, through all the years they showed their work at the Festival and for experiencing the magic of being in the Pageant of the Masters, and the late night puppet shows…for my years of practicing ballet and the sisterhood that felt like family at the dance studio…for going to school at El Morro, perched above the Pacific and then to travel through all 12 of my school years with the same kids…for long days spent on the beach, returning home after sunset…and for the nights my father would wake us at 2:00 in the morning, bundle us up in sweatshirts to go down to the beach…and go “beach combing” to find treasures washed ashore in the night… Ahhhh.. when you are given such an amazing start in life, how could you not be filled with gratitude?
Darlene Lundell Milne
BIG Things Happen Quietly………….
Are You LISTENING?
Mark Sizelove and Jani (Sizelove) Wilson on stage at the Grand Ole Opry
Debra Hogan Sixta
Elizabeth Mason Boyd
Memories of life in Laguna for me are a kaleidoscope of images invoking feelings of sunny days, safe, stimulated, priceless, engaged, secure, pleasing, silly, active, life long friendships, love and inspiring a positivity that I carry with me today...
I know I am blessed to have lived this life as it is, Laguna was an expression of all the good that life can be, 50 years and counting...
Gail McRell Fox
Married with two dogs. We live in San Clemente. Own our home outright and are both enjoying retirement.
I feel so blessed to have been raised in Laguna and to have been fortunate enough to go to LBHS. Except for having to kneel to pass the skirt length test - remember that, ladies?!
My how things have changed! We had such inspiring, creative teachers in such a blissful environment.
Thinking back to that time, I remember one of my favorite songs was For What It’s Worth by Buffalo Springfield - the lyrics are just as appropriate today as they were then, unfortunately. With all the turmoil and divisiveness we are experiencing today I’ll just close with another song lyric.
Come on people, now, smile on your brother everybody get together, try to love one another right now.
Gail McRell Fox
Lanie (Ann) Geldert
There are so many exemplary friends, for brevity’s sake here are accolades of gratitude to these people I am forever grateful to, who without their understanding, love and support, I would not be the person I am today.
Walt and Shirley…unbelievably the most understanding parents in the world! Dad always pushed me to never give up my goals in life and enroll in architectural school. Mom, lovely, elegant, sweet lady, who was my best friend ever. Mike, my dare devil brother who taught me how to be scared to death every time he took me sailing, jumping the cornice at Mammoth, or white-water rafting in Alaska! And amazing sister Robin who has the biggest heart of gold.
Growing up, Mr. Logan in 6th grade, who benched me at recess to do math equations, unknowingly launching my Mathematics college major …. Chuck Whitchurch, who instilled in me a long-lasting love of literature…Susan Leach, art teacher and phenomenal woman, introducing us to the wonderful world of art.
Last, but not least to my husband, Russ, who I am forever grateful for taking a giant leap of faith to cross the pond and move to Altea, Spain. I have found this to be a special place to LOVE, LAUGH, PAINT and enjoy life to its fullest.
Lanie (Ann) Geldert
He has a great story to tell
Open a PDF file HERE.
Marsha Hinwood Aronoff
Dear friends, what an adventure it has been. I am truly grateful for the journey and happy to circle back to be with all of you.
I remember my first day of 1st grade at Aliso School. I was the “new girl”. When I walked up to the door with the principal, Mr. Proctor, I still remember the first faces that came to the door to welcome me. Nanette Vergote and Carol Dugger; Diane Judy and Ann Geldert; Lorna Lum and Debbie Boye. There were a few boys as well. Bill Reimer and Bill Brown.
Fast forward 11 years and I remember our final LBHS days at Irvine Bowl, June 10, 1970, practicing for our big finale. The culmination of not just 4 years of High School but for many of us, our entire lives growing up together in Laguna Beach. John Jeffers at one point jumped up to the microphone to get us all moving forward and in tempo, no doubt, to get to the beach faster. Commencement was here. Although the literal translation is “a beginning or start”, I felt it was the end. The end of all I had known to date, and no real idea of where life would take me. Who knew what the next 50 years would bring?
Here we are again, not taking the stage this year, but remembering our friends and classmates who shaped us along the way and happily filling in the gaps for the last 50 years. Each year, for the past 20 years, I have served on the Scholarship Foundation at LBHS. There is a scholarship called the Diane Alpert-I love Laguna Scholarship created by Diane’s family to honor her memory. This scholarship has very little monetary value, but over 150 students apply for this scholarship every year and only one can win. They all believe they love Laguna the most. There is nothing better than reading what the next generation loves about our hometown and how it’s shaped them.
Although we live in different times and at a different pace, the love for Laguna remains very much the same. I loved the T-shirt Jean Boyd did for our 20th reunion that had all the favorite hangouts of our generation. I loved the old Laguna photos Tim Votz shared at our 30th reunion. Especially the one on the old Capitan’s house-formally ocean front and moved to the lower high school area in the early 80’s. Although Laguna continues to change with the next group that makes their mark, our memories will always remain.
Here I was, a small town girl who spent her days at the beach playing mermaids, snorkeling and body surfing but who wanted to teach and see the world. I forced Bill Reimer, Eileen and Glenda Acord, as well as others, to play school and they were willing students. Many of the highlights of my life have been the people I’ve met along the way. I went to China when the population wore only Mao jackets and were fascinated by western clothing. Taught a class in Hanoi, Vietnam where they asked me who my favorite Rap artist was. Rode camels in the Sahara with my grown children and went to Fez to find the color blue. Went to Cuba and witnessed the opening of the US Embassy after 54 years. Visited beautiful South Africa and wished I had contacted Margie LaRue along with Manfred Heine when in Germany. That’s what I get for not being on social media.
I have been truly blessed to have shared all of this with my husband Frank of 44 years, our children Whitney, Nick and all of you.
Marsha Hinwood Aronoff
I am grateful for the life I’ve lived, am living and will live! I chose the spiritual path over the material world and it worked for me! I ended up with both. I was married and have two beautiful daughters…all grown up (mostly, the youngest is just 22) and living their own lives. I’ve lived in the Rocky Mountains of Montana since 1983, close to the Yellowstone River and my spiritual community. I like to hike, swim, walk, read, do puzzles and laugh.
I still work full time and am planning to semi-retire in a couple of years, when I’m 70. I’ve had many careers in my life. Surprisingly, the one that “stuck” for close to 30 years is as an Accountant and I love what I do. When I graduated from High School, I never wanted to work in an office! I have for the past 40 years or so and I am happy.
My life has been rich and full. Full of love, loss, growth, happiness, sadness, tragedy, bliss. I am grateful for every day, every year, and every opportunity.
I love our hometown! As John said, “We grew up in an amazing time … We were lucky …”
I look forward to seeing you next year in person, god willing.
I lived all my adult life away from Laguna but I can never forget The Amazing CRAZY, WILD FUN Times in Laguna where I got my start. Everything was so magical and so confusing to me back then in Laguna. I always walked a dual path, a middle road between adventurous and tentatively shy. I still do. I traveled a lot, I studied a lot, and I floundered in the "wrong" career for a long while. I kept Laguna friends and lost a dear friend in Lynn Jay who left this life too soon.
At 48 I started teaching in Adult Education, and finally found my calling. At 43 I found love and companionship. Every day is a new adventure in loving and living. Somewhere around Medicare age I began to feel steady and adult. What took so long?? But it absolutely has taken all this time.
I love to laugh especially when Life gets Lifey! I still enjoy spiritual pursuits (I taught a mini-course in Comparative Religions at LBHS…does anyone else remember those mini-courses?). I love the Home Arts, family, fresh air and the outdoors. Bicycle rides, train travel, foreign languages, two sisters, so many friends and fellows. I try to wake to each day with wonder, expectancy, a willing heart, ready hands and gratitude for the journey. I have been blessed in countless ways, not the least of which has been a natural kind of internal intentional Pollyanna attitude coupled with a Girl Scout's practicality. I will stop here, only wishing ample sufficiency (and superfluous abundance) on all my comrades from our class of 1970. Blessed be.
Although I think of high school as an awkward time for me, I have always felt incredibly fortunate to have lived in Laguna during the 60s and to have attended LBHS. What a magical time and place. Our classrooms had stunning ocean views and the art classes were a budding artists dream. What a privilege to be surrounded daily by art, artists, kids of artists and the Festival. But by far the most important connection for me was with the ocean. I doubt I am alone on this. The beach and ocean was my hang out, my free and fun place. I grew strong and daring there and became aware of the rich abundance of the natural world. I believe we all shared in this special experience and that it helped shape us all in some very meaningful ways.
Gratitude: While living in Laguna I mastered the art of hanging out. Creating space for hanging out supported a work/life balance during a 30+ year stressful career of fighting epidemics (HIV, HepC, TB, smallpox). Hanging out is very portable, easy to adapt to different localities, such as Pacific Beach, Berkeley, Venice Beach, Nevada City, even Sacramento. My appreciation for hanging out with my spouse and two cats has only grown during the current pandemic.
Pam Favour Lane
So WHAT and WHO make my life great now….??
By Pamela Favour Lane -2020
Time with my 7-yr old grandson…Noah, especially watching him grow up makes me feel happy and full of a special new “grandma” love. Plus my daughter Denise (34) lives now in Oceanside and is due in October with a girl (and has a new husband- to-be I do like a lot) … So I am excited I will be fairly nearby to help and enjoy and love the baby!! She does now work close by in Mission Viejo as a physical therapist. (A great advantage at my age 😊) I also love visiting my son Matt (33) who lives in San Diego; is an ICU nurse and his girlfriend is a respiratory therapist, yikes… What a combo! He had good training in the Army as a medic after HS, tough time to be in 2005-9, and I did worry a lot.
I love visiting my three sisters in Laguna, we play cards (Hand and Foot) and have large fun family get-togethers including ping-pong like we did when young. The three live in the same house we grew up in right down the street of the HS football field entrance. Us five Favour daughters all own/inherited the house now. (Of course we were all raised in Laguna as my parents bought the now-historic house in 1948. We can usually hear the football games from our house, not to mention I could make it to a close class upon hearing the 5-minute bell! … I have visited my oldest 4th sister in Oregon in Depoe Bay many times and gone whale-watching and walked beautiful hikes and big cliffs nearby with waves crashing into the rocks. The smallish quaintness reminds me of Laguna! I usually play tennis on the indoor courts when I go, and that’s also my best enjoyed exercise these days as I usually play twice a week in leagues for many years. I have been living in Rancho Santa Margarita since 1990 when my daughter started Kindergarten. I love my neighborhood as we all often sit in the driveways or in our pool lately BBQing and share what is going on etc.!
My husband retired 3 years ago and we have been traveling and vacationing the last couple of years in a new (to me especially) travel trailer… All the way to Michigan in 2018 to see his uncles and cousin, and on the way back we stopped at Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse, and Zion National Park, (hiked in the Narrows river with huge tall cliffs). Driving was so eye-opening and amazing seeing all the plains and different land! We took the kids (now 33 & 34!!) when they were young to Twin Lakes in Bridgeport (near Mammoth) and again last two summers-- but in the trailer!!! … EVEN last June the resort opened, thank goodness. So refreshing to be in beautiful country outdoors with snow-capped mountains, campfires, fishing & hiking, some kayaking too. Lots of memories and pictures there! Also in 2017 we drove hubby’s new huge diesel truck to Canada to Kelowna BC, went hiking and wine tasting in beautiful country, and stopped in Seattle to see sights and also Vancouver’s Victoria Island to see the gorgeous flowers at Butchart Gardens, so impressive! No trip to Europe yet, although next May to Germany, Austria on a Viking Cruise! Several times we’ve been to Maui & Oahu, twice with kids, once honeymoon and family, always a favorite place.
Now my favorite creative hobby and skill is in FLORAL design, making all kinds of arrangements, a lot for family and friends, and their families! I put my creations on FB under Pamela Lane (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA) as well as some favorite happenings! … I was laid off in 2008 from laying out/editing special sections in advertising at The Register, … so I decided to have fun and go to GoldenWest Community college in HB for a 2-year certificate program in Floral Design -- and fell in love with flowers and making people happy or/and appreciative … and actually I also love to garden and I use my succulents I’ve grown to put in pots that I’ve painted often. Makes great growing gifts too, and I add succulents often to bridal bouquets and centerpieces, even boutonnieres. I also enjoy permanent flower designs.
OLD fun Laguna memories
I was quite shy in HS, but Mr. Whitchurch helped that when he made us each teach his two classes. I was frightened but by the second class I felt a huge relief and did a lot better! I went over a poem (of course!) called Mariposa or Butterfly. … I loved the new literature, his fresh exciting approach! One other time he graded compare/contrast essays on the backside and handed me my “A”, saying he thought he was reading Pam Theine’s, HA ha, I sure remembered that!! Best teacher of all.
I also had the late Hal Akins for art, fun and free expression for me…. I loved to dabble abstract watercolor at home on the dining table. He often had football plays of X and O’s on his desk; he was good at that too. I am also enjoying sewing more now! Masks and aprons for now but Miss Messman taught me so much in 3 or 4 years of her classes! I started to major in Home Economics at Cal Poly SLO but switched to the Graphic Arts option in the Printing Dept (Graphic Communications)….
I went to Main Beach and the old boardwalk to rent firm green rafts for 50 cents a day to ride in those wavy waves. And I collected bottles for pennies to buy candy like sweet tarts, pixie sticks and bubble gum! Don’t think my parents worried back then… I even walked downtown barefoot. I also had a great 1969 summer working at the HS pool taking 35 cents during the summer for public use. By the way Bill Brown (RIP) (loved the meaningful recreation of his legendary Laguna life John) … and Charlie Ware were lifeguards that year at the pool…. I watched the man walk on the moon with Bette Davis’ son Mike and his 3 friends who stayed a week in a pop-up tent in our driveway! Bette is my dad’s first cousin and would stay once a year or so with us to visit in Laguna for a night. Sadly in 1989 she came to my dad’s service and died about 4 months later. I didn’t realize she was sick then, the cancer had returned.
Thank you John and everyone for contributing! I can’t wait to read about what my classmates are doing! I have gone to El Moro and had Mrs Berry for Kindergarten. I remember bringing in my Grandma’s rug for naptime! Time flys…
Pam Favour Lane
Nancy Hanson Stewart
I am grateful for so many things in my life, the Lord God who loves me and gave His life for me, a loving family, my darling son. wonderful friends, the animals I've loved; my beloved horse and her two foals, our hoards of cats and my present two dogs, Daisy and Romeo.
One of my favorite things I'm grateful for is all of you, our class of 1970, with our common bond of growing up in Laguna. Because I was so painfully shy I didn't personally know a lot of you, but I certainly do remember each one of you. As a child my mom had to pry off my death grip from the piano and surrounding furniture to get me out the door to school. I confess, even on the first day of 8th grade at Thurston I hid in the tree house in our back yard and had to be coaxed out to go to school! But what a special and remarkable place and time it was for us. Because of that I think a lot of us have a shared appreciation for what we had in Laguna and it draws us to gather together. Now over the years I've gotten to know so many of you I didn't know in school and it's been a sweet blessing for me. Outside of my LBHS friends I can't think of anyone I know that is as committed to their high school graduating class as we are.
These past few months have been life changing for me. My mom died in April of this year. Well, I like to say she is more alive than ever in Heaven (taken from the book Heaven by Randy Alcorn)! She was at home with me and surrounded by her family. I'm grateful and blessed that I got to take care of her the last three years. Now I'm purging and cleaning and getting ready to sell this place. I'm hoping to fulfill a life-long dream of living on a farm. Don't know where I'll go yet, but I think I've narrowed it down to somewhere between Lake Elsinore and Southern Oregon! At this point God only knows and I'm looking forward to what He has for me in this new phase of my life.
Many thanks and appreciation to those of you that have given their time and energies over the years to coordinating our reunions and gatherings. And a special thanks to Carl Klass for hosting our 60th birthday party celebration...one I'll never forget! Thank you John Slowsky for putting together our virtual LBHS 50th reunion...can't wait to see it!
Nancy Hanson Stewart
MY STORY OF GRATITUDE
Married at 23 to a fantastic young lady was the best thing I ever did. She encouraged my 3 careers in art to happen.
~ photographer for 2 years in NYC
~ art furniture maker in exotic hardwoods 20 years at my Laguna Canyon studio.
~ metal sculptor for 23 years at the same Laguna Canyon studio. Just this week I completed my 40th public sculpture. www.jonseeman.com
Growing up in Laguna in our era had to be the BEST OF THE BEST place to live. We had the freedom to go to the beach anytime we wanted. We built elaborate tree forts in the hills, underground forts, wooden coasters, skateboards, skimboards, and surfboards. This is for sure, where my creativity began.
My childhood and high school memory flashes include:
~ collecting soda bottles on the beach, Gene’s Market to cash-em in for La Paz back door bean plate - climbing trees - running everywhere - sleep over to our forts in the hills with friends - rafting - body surfing - surfing - snorkeling - the blowhole - sailing - sandy bed sheets - wooden sword fights - grass bomb wars - flashlight tag - kick the can street football - bicycle jumps - best friends - grass slides with cardboard - playing horse - track and field - food fights - science fair - gutter ball - first day of school with new pants and shoes for the year - better then Xmas was the last day of school
~ the smart but goofy John Wilkerson (still see him and he hasn’t changed) and the smart but too stern Fred Pratley motivated me to have a strong interest in science.
~ the “I don’t make the rules” teacher Jack Lythgoe encouraged my pursuit of photography.
~ the “make what you want” Mr. Bradshaw wood and metal shop teacher was great for those of us who wanted to create stuff.
~ I loved Mr. Paige’s typing class. He was cool. I can still automatically type without looking and I don’t know how!
Call me sentimental, but I believe we grew up in the best place and best era in recorded time on this planet.
Health and happiness to all,
Jon (Jan) Seeman, Class of 1970 Artists
I am very grateful for my years in high school there, up the street from stunning white sand beaches and minimal crowds. I am also deeply grateful for my teachers and the much cherished friends I made while in high school. I do read the emails that are sent and they remind me of such a carefree youth!
Jackie Miller Parker
She tells a great story
Open a PDF file HERE.
After graduation from LBHS I spent about 5 or 6 years working and going to school at Orange Coast College with visions of following my artistic interests. Well, after almost starving during that time period, I thought of combining my Laguna artistic talents with a trade…and voila, up pops Landscape Architecture which at that time before computers was a chance to draw plants and get a pay check! Yaaa Hooo, off to Oregon State University I went to study with the masters, which led to a great job opportunity in Phoenix. After several years of great work but “no ocean” I headed to Washington State where Laguna friends and my brother lived. More specifically, Salmon Beach, near Tacoma. The late 70’s was such a great time to live in that area as it was primarily occupied by artistic personalities with an affinity to live an “alternative” lifestyle with all the comforts of the city of Tacoma close by. Salmon Bch was a small community of about 100 homes built on stilts near the Narrows Bridge to the Olympic peninsula to house the migrant railroad workers. Access to our homes was trudging up and down about 700 rickety, slug-fested, slime covered, occasionally rotten steps down the hillside to the homes on the water below. Tote your groceries down and your garbage back up, you could check the tide level by lifting the toilet seat, water was available by inserting a steel pipe into the hillside. Certainly, Salmon Bch offered a feeling of freedom and choices for those hearty enough to withstand the hearty lifestyle, ha ha. Some of the best parties come to mind when you combine lots of young folks, lots of mind-altering libations/whateveryourpleasure and a total lack of authorities, ha ha ha! At that time I hadn’t a clue about such things as Cryptosporidium, Giardia and water pollution…how ironic that I would spend the second half of my working life as a civil engineer where those topics where the focus of my work day!
In Jan, 1980, I immigrated to Canada to join Laguna friends who left Laguna and for Alberta in the early 70’s. I have lived on Vancouver Island, near Victoria, since that time but have travelled all over most of Canada mostly mountain biking, visiting friends and recreating. I married my guitar teacher and we have three wonderful children with kids of their own now…my life is rich, meaningful and happy. At 67 years of life, I can go up that mountain almost as fast as my 27 year old, but he whoops us on the downhill, ha ha! In about 2005 I returned to Laguna after so many years away and I feel like I finally reunited with my “tribe”…it is more of a feeling or an attitude but sometimes it hard to see your roots until you leave them! For all the travels away from my Laguna days, I have always been a bit different in my attitude, politics or outlook on life. What I think I discovered is living all those formative years in Laguna shaped my orientation of the world…I have never stopped loving and feeling proud of my “home” town and all the crazy, unique times we had living and growing up in Laguna in the 60’s and 70’s.
Thanks so much to all of you for making a ‘virtual’ reunion possible! I had such a great time at last year’s 1969 class reunion (as it coincided with a trip to Utah for us) can’t wait to see a few faces or names I may remember!
All the best to all of you,
As for words of appreciation,
I appreciate our teachers, their patience and quiet guidance.
Please stay safe and healthy
so we can share a group hug at our 55th year reunion
Laguna Beach. A town in a different place and time. Perhaps, its own Camelot.
My less than extended family moved to Laguna Beach in 1960. As fortune would have it, my mom had an affinity for the beach, and Laguna was the chosen spot. We had a house built (mid-century design), at the top of, what was then called Countryman Estates ( known today as, Arch Beach Heights, or perhaps, Lagunita, or something like that). The house was situated on the backside of the hill, and was surrounded by endless miles of open space. Every morning was greeted by great horned owls, deer, rabbits, et al. They were our neighbors. The cities of Irvine, El Toro, Mission Viejo, Laguna Nigel weren’t even on the map yet. Country living. Laguna was, “small town America”, filled with mom and pop stores. Accord’s, Bushard’s, the “Crap Shop”, (located at the bottom of Bluebird Canyon Road and PCH.), where you could get three pieces of candy for a penny. My mum called the store that. Hmmm. Not sure why. Laguna, also had a very small population by today’s standards. Sometimes, whilst driving thru Laguna Canyon one would notice the population sign had increased by maybe ten folks that year. Wide open spaces in the hills surrounding the town, scenic coves and beaches, clean water. Nice folks. Great place to be a kid.
Entered 5th grade at Aliso School. A kid named Brian says, “Hey kid. What’s your name?”, in a not so friendly manner, so, I responded, “You guess”. Well, every time I saw that kid from that day on, he would call out, “Hey, you guess”. Kids will be kids. Things got better pretty quickly though. Was introduced to my new class with an amazing teacher at the helm, Mr. Oelke. Kids in the class were friendly, accepting. Keith Gregg (Oelke’s nephew), Mike Armstrong, and so many other guys and gals.. Eventually, over the next few years friendships would develop that continue to this day. Many great memories of those, an ensuing years. Playing on the Aliso softball team against El Morro, joining Boy Scout Troop 109 (which actually consisted of mostly a bunch of unruly surf rats). Thank you to Dale Anderson’s father, the troop leader, for his leadership and teaching us of the value of honesty and commitment. Not to mention all the great camping trips. The High Sierra, Joshua Tree, et al. Joining the skateboard club. Careening down the Contryman’s Estates hill with Randy Williams on a Flexy Flier (the one with wheels). Yeah, we crashed. Playing volleyball and bodysurfing at Cresent Bay, learning to surf at Rockpile, and watching John Enfield, an amazing surfer glide across the waves there. Surf trips to Dana Point (before the harbour) with all the Stodder clan. Eric would charge us twenty cents for the ride in his VW bus, which bought him just enough gas for the journey, and a hamburger and a coke at A’s on the return trip ( BTW, which he ate if front of us starving groms, and would say, “ah, hamburger” ).Thoughts of mutiny. Hanging out at Thalia Street with the whole surf crew. John Slowsky, Tony Fryer, Armstrong, Dave “Brother” Tomkins, Pat Tobin (both incredible surfing talents), Steve Haller, and, many more. High School at LBHS.
So many untold stories. Surfing Salt Creek with “Army”, and Karl Klass during the epic swell of 1969. Watching the Hitchcock movie,“The Birds”, on senior day. Ugh. Will never look at a seagull the same way again.. Off to Hawaii the day after graduation. Living in a house on the beach, shared with Mike, the Smith brothers, Pierre, and Gollum (that’s what we called him). 1970 North Shore. Surfing. Living the dream. A curious and interesting time to say the least. Vietnam. Called up for the draft. College. Acquiring a teaching credential. A first time teaching position at LBHS during summer school. Ceramics. Deja vu. More trips to Hawaii. Maui. More life in general, and specific in the years that followed.
Yeah. So many great memories of Laguna. Growing up there and being surrounded by so much beauty, so many kind, talented, and amazing classmates was, quite honestly, life-changing. It was definitely a Camelot of its own. Perhaps, idealistic, but, it was a different time and place, and, I imagine the indelible impressions those years had upon all of us has, and will continue to be, with us forever. All said, it was those early years in Laguna that shaped the direction of my life’s journey. It’s said, “you can’t go home again”. Maybe true, but, we all have our memories. Sometimes fleeting, yet, no less precious. So, thank you to all my classmates, the Class of 1970, for all that you have given, for all your kindness, and sincerity, for all the love you have shown for each other, all these years. Thanks for all your goodness. Thanks for all the memories.
Look forward to seeing you again!
Hello again. It is good to hear from you and about your busy, interesting lives. It has been a long time since our high school graduation. I trust that through all of life’s ups and downs, most of the LBHS class of 1970 Artists have fulfilled some of their hopes and dreams. I’ll share some of mine, but fifty years is an awful long time. I’ll hit the highlights.
Through a circuitous route, of first completing a BS degree in Animal Science at Cal Poly State University and studying Anthropology for a year at Northern Arizona State University, I found myself back at our local Saddleback Community College studying to be a Registered Nurse. I went on to San Jose State University to complete a BS in Nursing there. This was to be my profession for the next forty some years and I loved it.
One of my dreams in my 30’s, was to build a log home together with my husband, to be near the Sierra Nevada Mtns, where we both had enjoyed so many happy backpacking trips. So, we did build one on an acre of land on the Eastern slopes of the Sierra in Nevada. I live here still with the snow and ice in winter at times and the smoke from the forest fires in summer, but also with the Sierra looming out my front window view. Hiking/walking in the mtns now continues with lots more effort I will admit.
I look forward to traveling abroad and to Mexico when it is safe to do so. I also look forward to visiting family again in Laguna Beach and to see the Pacific where I sailed with my father and swam in the ocean surf.
My daughter and granddaughter and her father live close enough to visit. They are everything to me along with my family living far away. I don’t know what I would have done without them during these trying days of the Covid Pandemic isolation. We have used messenger chatting and video conferencing as I am sure so many others of you have also. I am retired from nursing and regret that I’ve not been able to assist with those hospitalized from the virus.
I will continue instead to encourage everyone to keep following the safety precautions/guidelines for Covid and proactively encourage their loved ones and acquaintances to do so also to prevent the spread. Soon, the life saving Covid Vaccinations will be available for the 65 + tier crowd in a few months and we will see the end of the pandemic in time.
My Hopes and prayers are that our governing elected officials in Congress and everywhere will keep us on track with saving America’s inalienable rights to life, liberty, TRUTH, pursuit of happiness and justice for all.
Thank you to the LBHS reunion team for allowing this virtual 50th for the class of 1970.
Nancy Jacobson Hirshenberger
Laguna Beach. I didn’t completely realize what a special place it was in which to live. As I went through my life, especially living in some tiny towns in Montana, I have noted that I am the only one walking or dancing down the street with little kids, all of us singing boisterously. That was perfectly natural for me in Laguna, and I’ve never lost that sense of freedom to emote. In Laguna, I met my best friend on the bus the first day. We were both new to Laguna. I asked her name, and she thought a bit (hard question) and finally said “Mickie”. Ok. Then I asked her if it was spelled with and “-ie” or with an “-ey” or a “y”. More thought. (I tend to ask difficult questions.) She finally decided on “-ie”.
From then on, we were best friends. Mickie Glotfelty was the one that made me feel completely comfortable belting out songs from old musicals while galloping down the road. And it was Mickie that convinced me that we could ride horses from Laguna Beach to Montana during the month of August. We decided against it, when, upon doing the research (my role in this friendship) I discovered that we wouldn’t get there until mid-November. But together we bought an old Chevy pickup, conned a nice guy into building a plywood camper on it, and set off for Montana. On the way home, near Moses Lake, WA, we rolled the pickup (several times).
No seat belts, but we came out with only minor scrapes. We grabbed what we could salvage and started hitching home…. Well, Mickie put her thumb out, but only after thoroughly examining the car, and occupants.. I just sat there like her addled sister. She moved up to Montana shortly after I did, and we continued to have hitch hiking adventures. The kind you don’t tell your kids about.
Then we went our separate ways, she to France, and myself, off to be married to my love, George Hirschenberger. We’ve been married 47 years. We worked in a hunting camp, George, as a guide, me, as a cook. Then we were ranch managers at Deep Creek Ranch out of Choteau. We left there and went to Malta, where he worked for the BLM (which means Bureau of Land Management) as a range conservationist and forester, helping to write one of the first EIS’s for the Missouri Breaks. Then to Butte, via Wise River, and then to Whitehall, where we lived 16 years. Now we’re in Missoula, since ‘93. In all the moving around, we’ve remodeled 2 homes and built 2 homes. We’ve buried 2 children, and mourned the passing of too many of our family.
I went back to school when my kids were older and retired in 2017 from teaching Spanish for 19 years. During that time I took 5 trips to Spain with students, and 5 to Peru. I’ve traveled in Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Germany, Austria, Italy, Croatia and Slovenia.
I’m so grateful for my health and that of my husband and children. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to interact with teens, who are just starting to really think. I’m grateful for grandchildren who have me dancing and singing down the street. I’m grateful for the amazing place in which I live, where I can sail and ski, swim and hike, travel by canoe or by bike. Every evening George and I sit down to dinner and speak of our gratitude. We are so very fortunate.
Notes from the author:
Creating this site has been an experience. Everyone is so intertwined. I loved all the photos and how so many classmates remained friends for life. I could only use a few of your photos, so forgive me if I didn’t include them all. I must give a shout of thanks to Wendy Wainwright Swenson, who took the challenge to scan and cut each class photo so I could use them. She was also the person who selflessly reached out to encourage classmates to contribute their expressions. I am standing and applauding her now (Yea! Wendy!!).I would like to thank the organizing committee for their relentless efforts, and best of all, I would like to thank all of YOU for opening your heart and sharing your gratitude. Please post the link on your social networks. I feel anyone who would read through these letters would be touched as much as I have been. Go Artists!
We did grow up in Brigadoon.
Background imagery from Tim Volz
LBHS patio photo: Jackie Miller Parker
Original class photos assembled by Wendy Wainwright Swenson
Poster created by John Slowsky
Site produced by John Slowsky
How lovely to see all the photos and read all the stories about former classmates. It was so full of memories that only belong to Laguna. It was a golden time, where art was king and love was everywhere. I still remember so many of you. And so many really wonderful teachers. It all was so formative for me, music, art, theater, such beauty every day just out my kitchen window.
Thank you so much for producing this wonderful virtual reunion.
God Bless you all!
Cynthia Carter Tingler
I just got around to checking out the 50th Reunion site, and it totally rocks!!
Thanks for all the time and effort you put into it. It is really a joy to be part of this wonderful group of people.
And thanks for putting my video in a surprise location….and the Good Humor Truck photo!!
... if you check out Tim Volz’s page, the guy with him, whose head is cut in half, is me, on a photographic Journey we took in Mill Valley a couple years back.
Hopefully our paths will cross again in the near future!
You’re welcome to share this with everyone...
John and Wendy,
I was just now able to sit and check out the LBHS site. What a sh*t load of work that must have been. It has been great reading. I didn't have time to read them all, but I will love coming back to them.
Nancy Hirschenberger (Jacobson)
If it is not too late, I just scanned a really neat picture of Jeanine. I think it was at my house, in the patio area. I would like the caption to say, "my best friend", and include it with my offerings.
I cannot wait to see the finished project. But take you time! This will be a real and lasting recording of our time in Laguna.
I could not get the photo to straighten out. Hopefully you can do that. I will attach as is to this email. If I can import it into my photo program, I will do it and resend it. It scanned surprisingly well. I want Jeanine to be surprised with this.
and sorry I'm sure you're inundated with thanks already... But this project is enormously entertaining and fun, and I'm sure I join all the other kids in saying that I really appreciate all the incredible work.
This is fantastic.
I dropped everything I was doing to sit and read through this and it was so much fun. Thank you John and Wendy, this was certainly a labor of love and so worthwhile.
By the way, I miss our group emails...couldn’t we have an opted in group and an opted out group?!😘
Much love to all,
What a great job!
This turned out better than anything I could have imagined. Of course we were all disappointed that we couldn’t get together in person. Kudos to the reunion committee for all their efforts in planning, replanning and thinking outside the box!
Big, big kudos to John for undertaking this huge project and seeing it through to completion! Of course to Wendy too, for all her efforts in making this a success.
For me, it’s been wonderful to read about our classmates and their journeys. 50 years later we all seem to be at the same place, grateful and comfortable in this period of our lives. My heart and soul have been nourished reading about our classmates and the road they have traveled.
I realize that some of our classmates aren’t included. I would have liked to hear about everyone. However it can be daunting to decide what to write and to try and find a picture, especially during COVID times when the grey hasn’t been touched up! And who do you ask to take that picture...not my husband and not a selfie! In my case my 9 year old granddaughter stepped up to the plate.
Would an in person gathering have been optimal? No doubt. But would we have been able to have had these “conversations” and to have heard these personal stories. I’m sure not. I even learned new things about those I’ve been close to all these years!
So for this and more, I am forever grateful to have had this reunion, and am looking forward to when we can see each other again.
Love to all,
Lorna Lum Kemmerer
Phelan sent me your Virtual Class Reunion.
I wish I could find adequate words to express how impressed I am!
I have some idea of how much effort you must have put into the project but I cannot even guess how many hours you have spent.. Of course, with your flair for art and writing it is a real masterpiece. I hope your classmates are properly appreciative.
As a longtime member of my own class reunion committee and someone who has made an effort through the years to keep in touch, I feel a kinship with you.
As you know my girls did not have a similar experience and have not maintained contact. I don't think they ever attended any of their reunions. I think that is sad---but that is just my point of view.
I am thinking that you could turn the virtual project into a lovely booklet. But that is my bias---I like something tangible.
I'm guessing that whenever it is possible to meet in person your class will have a traditional reunion.
In the meantime stay safe.
Love, Nancy (my Mother-in-law, one of first female NASA mathematicians)
OMG In the words of that great Stand decal
This is GROOVEY and AMAZING
Thank you Jon!
Thanks for all your time and efforts that you put into making the web site. It turned out really good ! It was neat reading so many stories and learning about some of our classmates.
Who are all the folks in the reunion committee pic? Some look familiar, some not. Well, we’re back to Winter again it seems. Rain, wind, and snow.
All good. Perhaps more NW swells in the mix too. Hear there’s good surf down your way. Anyway, thanks again.
And thanks again for all your efforts in this. It is beautiful.
Fantastic Job. I really enjoyed going through it.
Sent from your Optimist Teammate.
Bill Reimer (*we played little league together)
I can’t say enough about the wonderful LBHS virtual that you created! It brought back so many memories, a walk down memory lane. It helped me feel connected to my past friends and life in Laguna. I laughed, hooted and had a few tears of remembrance of good friends. It has ignited my hope to be back to Laguna one day and renew old friendships.
John the website is an incredible treasure and gift. Thank you.
After seeing how Diane and others did PDF link it occurred to me I should have done the same and inserted the rest of the document I sent. What are your thoughts about that? I am not sure I even still have it. Can’t remember if it was worth posting.
Any guidance you have on that would be appreciated. But without or without doing that in my own case the site is beyond perfect. A masterpiece.
Dear John, Wendy and organizer of the LBHS Class of ’70 Reunion
CONGRATULATIONS & THANKS!
It will take me a little time to look at the fantastic work you have done, a wonderful reminder!
Fernando Gaja i Diaz
Loving the stories and photos as I scroll to locate what you created for me . . . Hey, and thank you for mentioning my name . . .
Con una sonrisa
Scouting Safe Harbors
Just been through your marvellous piece of work in relation to the 1970 LBHS Class. Your hard work resulted in an excellent collective outcome; so just writing this to acknowledge my appreciation to you as the main progenitor. Well done!
In these progressively tough times, it was nice to have a journey into remembrances of the past for those of us that fortunately have survived the vagaries of time.
May I additionally make a small request: would there please be a chance you might be able to send me Chuck Whitchurch’s email address as I see his entry mentioned me by name and I wish to simply send him a brief note; this would be most appreciated. Thank you so much in anticipation.
Again, excellent job on putting the whole shebang together amigo!
My best wishes and kind regards
John, Wendy and the whole crew,
thank you so much for this ! It is wonderful to hear from so many of you and your life adventures.
I have not quite finished all the stories and hopefully as we round the bend to the physical reunion in the , more classmates will see this and add their stories.
As we say in Hawaii " Mahalo " to everybody for sharing your lives with me.
Hello to All,
A big THANK YOU to all of you who put this together.
John, you hit it out of the ballpark!!!
Looking forward to seeing you again,
Christina Ziegler Stephens
Our first full day in the Biden/Harris era and what comes along? Our new reunion site! Thanks So much for this gift to us all. Quite a service you and the others have provided. I am going through it slowly on this cold day enjoying the reconnection.
Thank you again for including me and creating a great virtual reunion for us all.
Very nice job John,
I can only imagine the emotions you must have felt while collaborating the assembling this loving memory for all of us. It's nice to see what our classmates are up to and how well everyone looks.
What a fantastic job you (and Wendy) did! The layout is excellent, and the photos are superbly presented.
I've only looked briefly at it, but I have looked at all of it, and read much of it (including your mini-bio, heroic world traveler), plus Mosaic-maker Wendy's and others.
What a treat! What a treasure! What happy memories seeing some of those long-lost-yet-so-familiar faces! And learning something of my former stoonts' post-LBHS lives....
Thank you so much for giving so generously of your talent.
As I'm sometimes fond of saying, real artists are givers. The real ones are also darers, as you know.
And I know one Artist to whom those sayings most certainly apply. You've always been so giving with me, and this vibrant site is but another example of your generosity, this time with your whole wonderful class – and me!
I'm proud, and lucky, to know ye.
Also, thank you for including me (and even placing me prominently, as well as with all those (still, to me!) youngsters, near the center of your cool updated Sgt Pepper cover). As I told you before, I am deeply honored and gratified. I can't wait to share this with Ringo!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
And hi to Phelan! and Wendy!
When I brought up the idea to the committee and that you might be willing to craft it, I never dreamed it would be as amazing as you have produced. Thanks again and I’m sure this will live for decades to come.
Wow, you guys are doing a great job on the website. Thank you for all your efforts. It was heart warming to read through what has been submitted so far. You’re right, I was inspired…here’s a few words from me.
Thank you again!