Grandma Gertie always said there's not a savory dish that can't be made tastier by just a touch of tarragon.

Tsunami and Me

Tsunami and Me
too big to escape now....

Monday, June 15, 2015

It Can Be Done...and Manual Arts Alums Did It!

Me in the Middle, Crashing the Class of '52 Photo Shoot

Nobody broke into a chorus of the Alma Mater at the All Alums Reunion at El Dorado Park in Long Beach this last Saturday, June 13. But plenty of the alums showed up in the purple and gray colors of the school. Tommy Toiler, our mascot, led the group in dancing most of the afternoon, as well. Besides dining on an assortment of barbecued meets, I also enjoyed watching alums' children testing their agility on the adjacent playground equipment. I also slipped away for a few reflective moments to wander over to the duck pond and recollect how my son used to feed the ancestors of these graceful birds decades ago when he was a boy.

If it hadn't been for Elizabeth Durley Lemons, I'd have been representing the Continentals, Manual Arts High School, S '54 all by myself Saturday at El Dorado Park in Long Beach. What's weird is that I didn't even graduate from Los Angeles' historic high school. Though I studied there for two and a half years, my family moved to Lynwood at Christmas break during my senior year, and I ended up graduating from another school. But Manual's always been close to my heart.

Living on West 59th Place, I'd gone the last few months of sixth grade to Budlong Elementary, and then on to John Muir Junior High and Manual. I'd been busy in high school, taking A Period Journalism, arriving at 7:15 at the campus print shop to put the Daily to bed, as features editor and then assistant editor. I'd been head attorney of Girls Court, in Tri-S and Pavlovettes. I'd been the B-12 class majorette on Senior Day, leading in the band on the football field when the Continentals announced their name and intention to shine.

Elizabeth Durley had been in the band that day, coached by the school's venerable music teacher, Mr. Farrar. So Elizabeth and I enjoyed poring through a yearbook together, brought by a grad from an earlier year.

The Class of '52 turned out mightily, thanks to the organizing efforts of Dan Beattie, perennial alumni chair of the class, who had gone back to Manual and taught phys ed and coached football there from '64 to '73. Dan kept busy all day greeting former students who squealed with glee, "Coach Beattie! Coach Beattie!" Dan also took all the photos on this blog.

Highlights for me:
Sandra Shields '52
Joann Beattie and Nace Benum '52
  • Hugging Nace Benum and Jerry Schwartz-Sands. I'd danced with both these men at Sabres parties back in the day. I'd even taken Dan to the Sadie Hawkins Dance in February 1952, though he didn't remember that particular evening.
  • Chatting about Manual's glory days as a football fortress with Dan's wife, Joann, and Esther Danho.
  • Reminiscing about my sister, Pat French, who had been at Manual with me for a year and a half before transferring to Washington High...and running into George Durgin '52, who produced photos of her taken at a Los Angeles City College party where he'd taken her as his date.
  • Finally meeting Myra Robinson, Class of '73 and master organizer of reunions for the past several years.
  • Connecting with Jerry Rea '53, brother of my classmate Connie. I had several photos of Connie and some of our mutual friends to share with Jerry.
  • Catching up on family news with Bob Lee '53, who had been married to a friend of mine, Jackie Cross.
    Elizabeth Durley Lemons

    Me with Dan Beattie

    Class of '52

    Jerry Rea '53 and Elizabeth Durley '54
Other alums in these photos include Wes Doe '53, Mary Alice Sleight '52, Don Churchward '56, Lou Colombano '52, Sheila Claire Dolan '51, Nace Benum '52, Ralph Orduno '53, George Shammus '52, Esther Danho '52, Tony Navarro '52, Dan Beattie '52, Rudy Lopez '55, Sandra Shields '52, Jerry Schwartz-Sands '52, Michael Treotola '42. (That last date is NOT a typo!)

Hanging out with Tommy Toiler...George Rhodes '52 (R)
Dan Beattie and '52 Classmates
Nobody went hungry!

1 comment:

  1. Nice pics.cute memories..:)these cute little things finally result in sweet memories.. at the end a question exist for you.. Do memories make me or I make memories??