Saturday, April 16, 2005

There's no school on weekends, so there's no new postings...

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The writing machine (my head) is jammed today with several other projects and so 4/16/05 is officially a non-blog day for The Class of '66. And so is 4/17/05.

Monday, look for more photos, more stories, and more links.


Thursday, April 14, 2005

The old barn looks a lot like it did in 1966

SWCS today
Originally uploaded by Brite Lights photos.
JAMESTOWN, NY, HUNT ROAD - The website for SWCS is listed now with the links on this page and there you will see this relatively recent photo of the front of the school.

This kind of deja vu is a shock for those of us who live in California or other parts of the country where things change so quickly.

In Sacramento, they put Taco Bell and McDonalds restaurants in a few weeks. Homes take a little longer, but not much.

So it's a real bellringer to see that the old dome is still there. The other shots of the school from other angles are also likely to induce memory hysteria.

In pounding the keys the other day, I was remembering (and shuddering) thinking about a cross-country run we had to endure in Phys Ed class called, innocently, The Robin Hood.

It was about 7/10 of a mile, I think, and it could bust your lungs if you weren't careful. Bob Fulcher, who smoked cigarettes, drove me crazy whenever we ran it because he would LITERALLY run circles around me while I tried to keep my head down and win. (I was a track star - at least I thought so.)

Maybe the dome and associated hallways should be on a reunion tour, too.

Kee-rist, I wonder if they ever changed the combination on my locker?

They're fixing up the Surf Club for the Class of '66

Originally uploaded by Brite light photos.
BEMUS POINT - Oh my God how many beers did the Class of '66 pound down in the Surf Club?

And, according to that paragon of journalistic excellence, the Jamestown Post-Journal, the place is being renovated and spruced up. My sister Evelyn sent me that photo that appears today. There's a story available online, too.

Think of the memories being swabbed out by buckets of TSP? It was a the surf club I met an 'older woman' (23!) when I was 19. We drank like maniacs that night and the next day when I went by her house to see her (she lived near Lakewood Beach where I was a lifeguard), she trotted out her 16-year-old sister to meet me. She said she was more age appropriate.

NO! I did not date the 16-year-old. I had standards.

The Surf Club is (was?) one of the last standing places in the pilgrimage I try to make when I am back in Jamestown. Gone are the Pastime, the Triangle. The Hideaway (where Jerry and Jan served Lime Coolers and took bets on football games) has been converted back into a single family home.

I hear the Pub is still open downtown, but owner Jim McKusker (sp?) must be ready for assisted living living by now.

When we reunite in the summer of 2006, let's organize a wild bar tour, starting with Surf Club and working our way around the lake.

The Mar-Mar? Snug Harbor? The Gloves?

Designated drivers required, of course. And no racing. Hear that John Rupp? No racing!

Unless Jim Carr brings his Corvette.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Rah-rah ree! Kick'em in the knee! Rah-rah-rass!

Pep club officers
Originally uploaded by Brite light photos.
JAMESTOWN, NY - The yearbook is full of gems like this, people sitting on cold concrete trying to smile for photographers using equipment we now house in museums.

This one features some familiar faces to the Class of '66 (with three of the four women pictured being seniors, Laura Sweeney, Sally Smith and Shirley Adams).

But the guy in the back is the real ringer - Bruce Crist, good old Mr. Crist, a 7th grade teacher who many of us had for that first homeroom and social studies class.

He was a kind fellow, despite our tendency to spell his name wrong on papers. (Mr. CHRIST, of course).

I lost track of him when I left the junior high wing and headed to the other side of the school where we hung out as big kids. But he hung in there with us, obviously, at least as adviser to the Pep Club. That or he happened to be the only faculty member available for the photo.

Rah-rah-ree! Kick 'em in the knee!

Rah-rah-rass! Kick 'em in the other knee!

So it goes...

Monday, April 11, 2005

Some great brains at SWCS, at least I think so

JAMESTOWN, NY - In order, in this photo it looks like Ward Romer, Annette Moore, Mick Olsen, Barbara Bunce, Dan Sundquist, Cherie Tower and Dave Carlson (from the bottom step to the top).

And while I don't know exactly why they merit a corner of a page in The Centralian (yes, that's the name of the yearbook) given that they all were top dogs in the classroom (Ward was valedictorian, I think), it had something to do with their high school GPAs.

Ward I remember because I taught him how to do a simple maneuver on the parallel bars - for which he thanked me profusely. All the IQ points rattling around in his brain couldn't help him when Dick Shevalier told him to get his ass up on the bars and swing his legs on the outside.

On the other end of the line is Dave Carlson, who was a bright light, but with a sense of danger, too, once helping me and John O'Neill finish a quart of scotch we bootlegged from Dale Arrison (sp?). He crawled in through a bedroom window, a block from the scene of the scotch slamming. I had to walk a mile home and got grounded for the rest of the summer.

And dead center is Barb Bunce, a Class of '66 heartthrob who was the first girl I knew who had an actual boyfriend - Ted Cappella - and that was in the 5th grade!

The whole 5th grade class (Mr. Gugino's) watched Ted ride off for California in the backseat of a convertible with his parents. What a class act!

Barb later got hooked up with class president Dan Flanagan, but that union didn't last and by the time we all met again at the 20th, life had moved on, Dan had joined the Mormon Church and Barb was happily married.

But what the hell ever happened to Ted Capella?

Ted? Do you hear me? Ted?

Cryogenics and the 40th Class of '66 reunion

Barbara Pilkey
Originally uploaded by Brite light photos.
JAMESTOWN, NY, 1986 - The 20th class reunion was a blast (at least the small parts that I remember) but in looking at the picture on my wall of the entire gaggle that made it to the second night, Barbara Pilkey's face jumps out.

She's wedged between Dana Bolles (with a drink in his hand) and Shirley Adams. And if you take a magnifying glass and look, she seems even YOUNGER than in the prom queen photo with today's blog.

I wrote at the time that I thought she had been cryogenically frozen and thawed just for the reunion. (Thank God for science!)

The other person who blew the doors off the place was Marcia Carlson (now Marcia Carlson-Hein) who most of the guys swarmed around like flies when she showed up.

Unfortunately, I was under the influence of the writing of Norman Mailer at the time. Mailer would go such events and get roaring drunk (draw your own conclusions here) and then write about the whole episode later, making himself the hero.

But I remember Barbara Pilkey from the 20th reunion and hope that she has enjoyed the last 20 years, whether she has spent it in a frozen tank or not.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

So what exactly did Dan Flanagan say to us?

Senior class meeting
Originally uploaded by Brite light photos.
AUDITORIUM, SWCS - We only had a few class meetings, at which our president (Dan) addressed us, trying to get some consensus about something.

But for an unruly bunch of hyperactive teenagers who could barely hold it together in front of such more formidable teachers, Dan didn't have a chance.

My only memory of this scene was that I spotted something going on that eventually made it into the Eavesdroppers column in the Trojan newspaper.

Democracy in action in 1966.