JAMESTOWN, New York - Parachute jumping (which morphed into sky diving somewhere since the late 1960s) wasn't a real popular activity among the members of the Class of '66, except for one fellow, Bob Fulcher, whose dad, Richard Page, was a serious jumper. One of his buddies was named Taige Grant (though the spelling on Taige might be incorrect) and Taige, a wild man by all accounts and by observation, was married to the lovely blonde lady in the center of this photo: Miss Grant. We (Bob, Bud Hooper and I) would occasionally catch a glimpse of Miss Grant at the airstrip, where Taige would be going up in a small plane to bail out of. Once he jumped and fell and fell and fell, finally triggering his emergency chute so close to the ground that he left big footprints when he hit the earth - hard. It was the first time I had ever seen a bunch of adults actually terrified. It terrified me to see them so frightened. Miss Grant was part of the Home Economics faculty, an odd corner of our high school lives, because it was years before any sane Southwestern male would voluntarily take a Home Ec course - despite the obvious fascinations of being close to Miss Grant. No, Home Ec was an island, like shop classes, while we studied some lofty college prep courses. As I wrenched on my diesel today, I think taking shop might have been a very good idea. Perhaps it also might have been better had every male in the Class of '66 been required to learning how to cook, clean and (gasp!) sew - at least a little. And we could have learned from Miss Grant without having to impress her by diving out of an airplane 5,000 feet above a runway. 'Oh Miss Grant! Miss Grant? Could you check my souffle? It seems to have fallen.'
PARADISE VILLAGE MARINA, Nayarit, Mexico - The Class of '66 blog might not be updated day to day for the next few days, because I will be in Mexico, boogie boarding, swilling margaritas and generally NOT doing any work. That's not exactly true, because I will be working on getting 'Sabbatical' ready for her trip from Puerto Vallarta to San Diego, a trip my delivery captain son is going to be taking, not me. Three weeks of beating to weather - and not making any consulting money to pay for the trip - seemed like a bad idea. I do have some SWCS photos, new links, and weird ideas for blog entries (of course, of course) that will show up in the next week. So don't give up on the page. And if anyone can give me a link to anything that would call up Randy Carlson's business website (he does have one, doesn't he?) I would appreciate it. Rah, rah, ree, kick 'em in the knee...
JAMESTOWN, NY - When you thumb through the Southwestern Central High School yearbook, you see all kinds of things and every once in awhile a glaring inconsistency. Such as what is Bill Taylor doing in this picture? It looks like a science club - with all the usual suspects. And Ed Smith (er, Mr. Smith) in the back gives away that this is probably the Physics Club (did we have one?) or some other science-based group, all posed sooooooo nicely for the yearbook camera. I just don't remember Bill as having a great love of science, or school for that matter. And the sports coat! Jaysus! It reminds me of the photo of the Trojan staff (the first blog photo listed) in which Jim Lindell is wearing glasses. Jim Lindell, didn't wear glasses, but he certainly looked in place in that shot. When I finished up my B.A. degree in California (at my FOURTH college), my degree was in English with a minor in physics. Maybe I should have borrowed a sports coat and crashed this photo, too. What ever happened to Bill anyway?
Michael J. Fitzgerald has been a journalist for 40 years, working as a writer and editor for newspapers, magazines and web publications. In 2014 he published the novel, "The Fracking War." In 2015, he published his second novel, "Fracking Justice." He writes or contributes to five blogs. He and his wife Sylvia Fox are the owners and principal partners in *subject2change Media, a multi-media firm involved in print, video and broadcast. He writes a weekly column, "Write On" for the daily 'Finger Lakes Times' newspaper in Geneva, NY. He was a journalism professor at CSU Sacramento from 1986 to 2011 teaching Newswriting, Column Writing and Magazine Writing.