Thursday, December 18, 2008

I wanted to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and offer this to bring a twinkle to your eyes and laughter to your lips. Just click on Merry Christmas, turn up the speakers, and enjoy!

Words and music Copyright 1942 by Irving Berlin; music arrangement and performance by The Drifters; animation by Joshua Held (2002). Special greetings and thanks to animator Joshua Held who made this animation available for us to enjoy.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving all!

I hope each and every one experiences a very happy Thanksgiving. I hope you are looking forward to the reunion as I am.

Friday, October 10, 2008

NASA and you


I thought some of you might be interested in how NASA has improved, and continues to improve, our day-to-day life. From batteries for electric cars to force feedback joysticks for home entertainment to foam mattresses that conform to your body. This site ( contains all that information (check out the spinoff database, just enter a word in the "topic search" field and click search) and more.

Yes, doing things "out there" is the job of NASA, but as this site reveals having that job has generated ~.001% of all patents ever issued by the US Patent office has lead to quite a few spinoffs.

Friday, October 3, 2008

October Birthdays

I'll start this off with an unofficial Happy Birthday to Russ and the rest of Nasa. They turned 50 on the 1st.

My daughter Una turned 2 on the 2nd. Here's a picture of Una and myself at a 4th of July parade. I put a little slideshow together if anyone's interested. It's located here.

Hope everyone's doing well...John

Friday, September 26, 2008


I thought some of you might be interested in the following animation of the planned lunar landing. And yes, the crater is that big (dwarfs the Grand Canyon)!

By the way, I believe the images of the surface of the moon are real from the lunar surveyor activities, the animation is the integration of the Lander on the flight path to landing.

I also think this is an excellent example of why the world needs more young people to take an interest in the sciences and math. This is not easy stuff but it is doable when a team of bright individuals work together.

Oh, and here is a sight that has not been seen in almost 20 years, and may never be seen again. Two shuttles standing tall and being readied for launch. Click on the image to see all the detail.

I, for one, hope the rainbow is a good sign.

I hope you all are enjoying the first days of Fall.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

It's DSI not CSI

Give the girl a little clue , and she hands you the person .......Gave Darlene the name of " her sister Cory" ...and TUH DUH .........Darlene has found Valerie .....Job well done ...E-mails to follow on contact info for Valerie and there are rumors floating around that our Detective slueth from DSI " Darlene Solemn Investigations " has found Alison ....Gave her the name of Mike Chelone , Alison's older brother, and ' Voila" ...details to follow on that find

September Birthdays

Does anybody remember when we were let's say around 25 years old and our parents were let's say around 50 ...and we thought they may have been let's say a little old .......Now that we are there or let's say some of us are here "at 53 years of age "..... it really doesn't feel old at all now, does it ???

Speaking of 53 years young , there are two of us celebrating Birthdays this month

Cathy Verette September 2

Darlene Dinius September 17


Thursday, August 21, 2008


Deepest thanks to Alumni Darlene Solem -
She continues to offer any help and assistance in our search for classmates -
Darlene and I had a very nice conversation a couple of weeks ago - she asked if I had found anyone else - I said I was in the process of searching for Chris Daniele - I had looked her up on - although I did not find Chris I did find Julie Daniele - I remembered Chris had a sister named Julie - to my surprise - the number was the same as on the (keep in touch page) from our 8th grade yearbook that Ricky sent to me -
Darlene offered right away to call - not only did she talk to her - she also got her birthday!
Even though it is belated Chris - Happy 53 to you!!!!!!!! - I am sure you celebrated with music - To this day every time I see a 45 record - I always think of you! Welcome back to the class!
Hopefully we will continue to find as many as possible and be reunited again soon!
I wish it was tomorrow!
Much thanks again to you - Darlene - for keeping the "thread" going!!!!!!!

Sincerely - Nisa

Monday, August 4, 2008

"Dating" oneself


Well, I thought it might be reassuring to some of us that we are not the only ones who reached 50 this decade. NASA turns 50!

This link take you to a site that is good for all ages. I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, July 25, 2008

To the moon Alice!


Remember how Ralph Kramden always was saying he was going to send Alice, his Wife, to the moon when we were classmates (ok, it was in reruns but you watched, right)? Well how would you like to send your whole family into space? Well not physically but their names?

As part of the Kepler Mission to Search for Habitable Planets a Name In Space program has been created. You may submit a name or names on either: or

Names submitted by November 1, 2008 will be stored on a DVD and rocketed into space on board the Kepler spacecraft. When you submit a name, you will receive a certificate via email. You can also create certificates for family and friends to serve as gifts.

Hey, maybe we can be the first OLPH class "lost in space" (sorry, yet another flash back to our youth)?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

July birthdays?

I hope everyone has a wonderful Fourth of July.
Also, being one of the outed June "babies" I have to wonder who has a birthday in July?

Monday, June 16, 2008

June IS A GREAT MONTH ..... for Birthdays

Russ... June 1st
Wayne... June 2nd
Patti... June 11th
Nisa... June 18th
Susan S... June 19th

Fifty Three Years Young.....PS Thanks Nisa ....who else would know I love "GARLIC" and "Peppermint Altoids"




Sunday, June 15, 2008

Cathy Verette

This is my first blog, so bare with me everyone. After I graduated from OLPH my family moved to Petaluma, I attended Keliworth Jr High School for 9th grade. We moved back to Daly City a year later and I attended Westmoor High School my Sophmore , Junior and Senior Years. I then went to Skyline Jr College for a short time.

I met my husband Michael while working at KFC on Mission Street in Daly City. We got engaged in 74' and married later that same year. I still live in the bay area in Contra Costa County. We have three children all adults now. My son Michael is 33 yrs old, married with three boys, Derek, Zack, and Niko. My daughter Sharon is soon to be 30 yrs old, married with a son Jayden. My youngest daughter Deanna, is 27 years old divorced , with two children, Brianna, (our only granddaughter and the princess of the family) and Anthony. I have had two careers, I managed and co owned a KFC franchise for 16 years with my husband. And I am currently employed with Wells Fargo Bank as a underwriter in their Auto Finance Divison. I have been employed with the bank for the past 19 years.

I have some fond memories of my time at OLPH. I started in second grade, we lived on Irvington street and our back yard faced the convents back yard. My brothers and sisters and I used to spy on the sisters all the time. We always thought we would catch them doing something. They disappointed us though, they only did gardening and had tea on the patio.

In second grade someone dared me to go into the boys bathroom to see what it looked like.
I took the dare, ran in the bathroom, looked around and ran back out right into Sister Mary Johanna. I was morified, but luckily she didn't scold me too badly.

I loved having lunch in the caffeteria, the hamberger gravy over mashed potatoes was my favorite meal . And my absolut favorite desert was the candied apples. And the caffeteria ladies would give us some of candy coating. It was like taffy and we could pull it and eat it.

And then there's my concussion in 4th grade, getting knocked unconsious and waking up on one of the nun's lap. Not knowing how I got there. I liked the ride to the hospital in the ambulance with the sirens blaring. I remember all the nice get well cards everyone sent home for me.

I remember our transistor radios at lunch in 8th grade, my favorite song "On the dock of the bay" playing. But mostly I remember all of the faces of everyone I went to school with, through all othe years, and all of our teachers. Sister MaryJohanna, Sister Loretta Marie, Miss O' Keefe, Sister Mary Corina, Miss Votaw, Sister Carol and Sister Elaine.

I was sad to hear about our classmates that have passed on. Mary Fode was the first person to befriend me in second grade. I used to go to her house on the weekends and her family was very friendly and gracious to me. Peter R Martin, lived around the corner from me, and I played Yahtzee for the first time at his house. I remember Laura Murphy and Carol Thrush being best friends. Ted Reed was always nice, and the last time I saw Roland, I was in high school and I remember how nice it was to talk to him about how he was doing at the time.

So I hope I haven't bored you all, I enjoyed going down memory lane. And I'm looking forward to seeing everyone at our reunion.

Not the Edge of the World ...but you can see it from there !!!

brinnnng ! brinnng !.....Let's see , it's midnight and I wonder who would be calling at this hour ...Thank goodness this call didn't interrupt Jay Leno's monologue .. It can only be one of two people ....person one is my sister Karen ......she has one speed in life .....FULL TILT....out of her way or you will be breathing dust and eating pavement ...My sis works for an Attorney who has offices on both coasts.....sleep is not an option but rather an inconvenience because after her 75 plus hour work week you will find her at one of the many Peninsula Tennis Clubs ( she is ranked in the Northern Calif NTSA Womens 4.0 category and she likens this part of her day as Therapy....Tennis is truly her passion ) , OR ..out Salsa Dancing with her best friend Prima from their St John's Ursiline days.....Since I had already fixed her plumbing issues at her condo earlier in the day , and I had briefed her on the outcome ( no more leaks and hot water is working ) could only be one other person ........" Hello , Rick did I wake you ? " "Not at all NISA. What's up ?".............You see, Nisa and I had promised to touch bases every other week , and since we are both night owls , midnight is a good time to catch up on all the re-union plans ....go over who has returned calls .....who do we track down next ??? ..(.which reminds me ...Nisa has found Sue S . in Sparks , Nev......We are all looking forward to catching up on the good news from her neck of the woods......) Nisa and I swap more BACK IN THE DAY , TOP OF THE HILL , BACK IN THE 'HOOD stories, this particular night we talked about the advantages of her living in Cottonwood, Ca and my coming back to the advantages of The Top of the Hill ,Daly City ...First of all where the heck is Cottonwood ....."It's not the Edge of the World , but you can see it from there " Please tell me you saw that coming...anyway I think it is 30 miles north of Chico .... she says it's real quiet there .....I say it is usually quiet here in Daly City except for the midnite phone calls, the drone of the BART trains, the jack hammering down on Hillside Blvd, and the police sirens every 15 minutes.....she says her neighbors are far enough away that it's very serene and peaceful ......I say that my neighbors are a work in progress ..everyone seems to own four cars and on Thursday and Fridays we all play the game MOVE YOUR CAR BECAUSE IT'S STREET SWEEPING DAY OR WIN A $ 50 PARKING TICKET....she says her commute is really easy ...I say pound sand .....she says it's really sunny and hot .....I start to cry !!!!!........For your information fellow Alums , Nisa is a land baron and they call her MS TRUMP because of her Real Estate holdings .....I think she owns half of Cottonwood .....Here is an Aerial View......OK . OK .....maybe not half of Cottonwood , but at least a hillside worth .....I've already staked out a plot of land on her property for my end of summer camping trip this year ...SEE YOU IN SEPTEMBER !!.....kidding .......There is a silver lining in coming back to The 'Hood ....back to The Top of the Hill....Nisa , you may have your 115 degree Summer days .....I'll take the 56 degree days for now can have your peace and quiet....I'll take the sound of a neighbors flushing toilet for may have your chores ....i'll take the can have fresh air .......I'll take Times Square....You are my friend ....good bye City Life ...Green Acres we are .........OK Please tell me you saw this one coming .......What does the Top of the Hill offer ???? ......MILLION DOLLAR VIEWS and great memories is something I grew up with and have always kept with me wherever I moved ...The views from the hills behind my house.....As kids , anybody that lived near the Bellevue Ave corridor , the Hillside blvd corridor , East Vista , Muirwood , Hey we have our Cottonwood too, Tallwood, Garwood , Gambetta , sounding familiar ???.....we hiked those hills till dusk ......I bought $ .25 cent paper kites from the Sprouse -Reitz at Knowles and Mission at the Top of the Hill , a couple balls of string ......tore up my Dad's underdrawers for a kite tail and off I went ....The kite would take off getting smaller and smaller from view ....and when I was tired of the flying , I would cut the line and let it go, go , go !!!'s the view I 'm talking about ...the first aerial is X MARKS THE SPOT........From this aerial you should be able to make out where OLPH is in relation to the yellow X ...I've marked where Vista Grande used to be ..You should be able to make out .the Mission St / Hillside merge .....The horseshoe shape of East Vista Ave...and the start of San Bruno Mountains...........

Nisa , You can have your slice of Heaven ...Let me have mine ..............
Now If I did this correctly you should be able to click on this panoramic I 've created should be able to save it and open it up in one of your picture viewers to enjoy the full size view..It's the image of what I will always remember ....
Not so much the newer bldgs , but the fact that as a youngster I could cut through my back yard and in just a few minutes get to a spot on the hill and look out to the Pacific Ocean , Lake Merced, spy on Westmoor High , Broadmoor Village , Jefferson High ( they are in the process of revamping the Football stands ...That's why they are missing in this picture ......
.....Well I hope you've enjoyed.....I know that many of you are in your very own Shangrai -La's, but I hope you don't forget the jewel that we once shared here at THE TOP OF THE HILL....
Happy Father's Day to all of you alums who are Dad's, and to those whose own Fathers are still around sharing with kids, grandkids and great-grandkids .......
And for those of you who would like to call me at Midnight , .......
" Hi, You've reached Rick's residence.......I'm not able to answer the phone at this moment , but if you would be kind enough to leave your name and number at the beep, I'll gladly get back with you as soon as I am able .......Thanks for calling , and I will talk to you very soon "
BEEEEEP ..............

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Patti finally adds her 2cents

I have never done this before and it took me awhile to get signed on but here I am. Before I fell asleep last night I remembered standing outside the front doors until a group of us were there before we went into the yard, with our matching navy pea coats, double breasted with silver buttons. I remember, candy apples, popcorn sales, ice cream bars fudgesicles, and 50/50 bars that your tongue would stick to. I have pictures of some of my partys which by the way because my birthday was the last day of school was why my parents would let me have a party, Then my dad went deer hunting in September so I could have a slumber party then. But with 3 older sisters our house was always a party house. I have lots of fond memories of OLPH and I am reminded of them daily as I work at a catholic school, St.Patrick in Larkspur, and when I supervise on the asphalt yard it brings those memories back to me. the boys and girls get to play with each other. I remember playing red-rover too, somebody mentioned that, as I was one of the light people who could not break through arms very well. Nesa I did do a blog the other day and you were the only one to see it at the time I had just created my own blog sight and not on the OLPH one which I am on now. So I am going to tell you all a little about me since I left OLPH. I went to Jefferson High, did not want to go to an all girls high school. I did not go to college I started working for CSAA in Serramonte right after high school. Then I married Dave Pacini in August 1978 and moved to Marin County to get out of the fog. But my mom still lives in the party house. We have three children ,Gianni 26 he is handi-capped and lives in Vallejo we see him often. Andy he is 24 lives and works in the city. Marla is 20 and at Santa Clara Unniversity. We are very proud of all of them. Like I said I am a teachers aide at a grade school I love the work as it keeps me young. I need to end this blog now as I need cook dinner for us. I have had so much fun reading about everybody and excited to see people too. Patti

The Answer Man , Well .....not really

Kudo's to Bunny Gillespie and her book ...Images of America Daly City...this is a must have for us Top of the Hillers...My brother Ron and I were reading stories last week and the book gave me ideas for some future posts .....Here's the book ...Go and buy it !!!

After reading yesterdays posts , I figured I'd better answer some of the questions that popped up in Wayne , Nisa and John's blog posts......( and before Russell , Gary, and Wayne start blogging about Imsai 8" Floppy discs, Commodore PET's, TRS-80s,Sinclair ZX-81's, Apple II's, Atari's, Odyssey 2's, Vic 20s, Commodore 64s and ZX Spectrums ).....just kidding ...don't get your drawers in a tether !!!

Wayne , the school that we competed against for the annual Trophy was Corpus Christie located at Alemany and Santa Rosa Ave in San Francisco. We played at their gym BUT , the most memorable for me , regarding our rivalry, was when we Whooped on them at the Kezar Pavillon Gymnasium . Now , if there are any Corpus Christie Alums reading this and your skin is crawling for a rematch , I say bring it on ..... The OLPH "A" and "B" teams await your call ....( and bring the proverbial lunch bag because it's going to be an all day affair of 55 gallon whoop-butt ) ....Peter J brought the first of many midget footballs to the yard ( that was a blast ) and Paul McCoy was one of the few that hit the volley ball on top of the Rectory ...

Nisa, yesterday during a break , I took a peek at the OLPH alum site and saw the word POPCORN and no story ......I tried to figure out who was trying to post and I remember your e-mail to me asking about popcorn and the popcorn store . Sad to say I don't remember it........Now , keep in mind I had braces back then . The momentary pleasures of a six minute woofing down of buttery popcorn weren't familiar to me because it would have meant six hours of misery trying to dislodge popcorn kernals from my metal encapsulated teeth . There were a few of us that could relate ( Ms. Twila ) ...... BUT, I do remember the Ice Cream store on the corner where a lot of us went to .....It may have been there during our high school years too. I remember Ron Shaheen , Class of 68 Alum working there and giving extra big scoops .......

John oh John ......3000 miles away and the THREAD OF LIFE is still working .....You posted the picture of the Wellington St .view of OLPH .....Like minds as we are, I had taken the same camera shot last week before I left for Bakersfield...I left it with a lot of kb's

.....This way , when you click on the picture , it blows up with details ( I hope )

Regarding 75 Wellington , .....Since my mom worked at the Police Dept side I figured I could whip up a few pictures of 75 Wellington .......( no luck so that's why I say Kudo's to Bonnie ) is a progression of said address...1915, 1959, 1988 and .....

............YESTERDAY......... what a change .....

Regarding the store down at the corner of Irvington and Crocker ...It is the Crocker Grocery Store and it was owned and run by Steve and Paul and the sweet little lady who's name escapes me .....My fondest memories are of Peter R and myself going to the store ( dozens of times over the many years ) and getting Bologna on a hard roll , heavy on the mustard and mayo for 25 cents....throw in a bottle of Nehi orange and we were set .....Many times Pete would never let me pay... In his big teddy bear ways he would say "Rich , this is on me " ..he always called me Rich . ( truth is he was the one that was rich, rich in heart and always the giver ... I sure do miss him ).....THIS ONE 'S FOR YOU BUDDY

OH and we can't forget STEVE , PAUL and THE STORE.......Does anybody remember the bird whistles we bought there ?......A little half round piece of leather with cellophane ...we'd stick it in our mouths and on our tongue and whistle and I am sure some of us received the business end of anything the Police ( I mean the nuns ) could get their hands on .........

LAST , but not least , a preview of my next post.......Patti and I had a great chat the other nite and we had stories about the Daly City Public Library ....Well it has since been moved to the new War Memorial Community Bldg ( Wayne it has TWO , count em TWO Gyms , this way , Twila and Cathy could whoop you twice in the same day !!! )....back to the Library ........I was telling her about my escapades with Jeff and she said she had gone to the library with Jeff.......Forty years later , and I have to find out now ....Jeff, you were hanging out doing homework with Patti too ????...I'm crushed....well I guess here's where you two did your Geography lessons , mixing in a little Mathematics......

Well, There's a Pesto Salad calling my name but ,....I think I'm going to get a bologna hardroll sandwich , heavy on the mayo and mustard , and wash it down with an Orange Nehi and think about ........FRIENDS

My Turn

Okay, Nisa, I jogged your memory, you've now jogged mine. I so remember taking my lunch money and spending it at Paul's (I will admit, however, that I didn't recall the name of the store. Ahhh, age.) I think I enjoyed Swedish Fish or Sunflower Seeds the best. I also recall occasionally saving my lunch money for the week and being able to get a roast beef or salami and cheese sandwich on a fresh sour dough roll (I sure miss those rolls). Mmmmm

Speaking of Mission St. Anyone recognize these? I so vividly recall standing at the Bank of America on Mission St selling these. As the passengers would get off the MUNI bus, I was ready. As people came out of the bank counting their $$s, I was ready. I could sell a couple of cases on a good Friday.

The other gold mine for selling these things was Friday night Bingo at the school. My Dad worked the bingo, and Mom played, so I could tag along. There were evenings I'd sell so many that I'd have to replenish my stock. I vaguely recall either getting someone from the convent or the rectory to get a few extra cases from the office.

Gosh, I could go on and on as the memories flood back. I think I'll save some for another day.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


John posted a picture today that instantly brought back a memory that I haven't thought of in years - the picture of the corner of wellington and mission - I remember turning that corner to walk down mission st to the popcorn shop - and it was the best popcorn - it was fresh and had so much butter - I remember an elderly couple and a popcorn machine and the wonderful aroma -
I was still very young - I do remember being very upset when the popcorn shop went out of business but I cannot tell you the year -
I also thought of Paul's Corner Store on Irvington - many mornings I stopped there to buy my favorite snack for lunch - Suzie Q's - many times I ate one while I walked up the hill -
Which reminded me of our own cafeteria - my mom worked there one day a week - and she still makes my favorite from the OLPH kitchen - hamburger gravy - and I loved the candied apples!
What was your favorite OLPH lunch?

Thanks John for jogging my memory!...................Nisa

The Games We Played

OK, there was some earlier mention of games, but let's get it all organized. First, the indoor games. Remember during inclement weather how we usually played the "7 Up" game? I was horrible at that game because I never knew who tipped my thumb. Another indoor class-time game was the spelling contests where the girls would be lined up against one wall, usually the windows I think, and the guys along the other wall. I don't remember the guys ever winning a spelling duel. Everytime I see the word "government" I always fade back to that time when I got knocked out for missing the 'n.' Any other indoor games?

The rules for outdoor games were relaxed a bit for PE time. I remember we were able to mix it up with the girls on fist ball, and a few Red Rover games, but I can't remember much else there.

Then we had all kinds of games for recess. Someone mentioned dodge ball. There was no one, I mean no one who could dodge a ball better then Brendan Rocks. He was lanky and quick. Of course I enjoyed basketball. We also played with the small football. How many people remember running through the archway to catch a pass? There was also four-square and tether ball. The boys also used a volleyball for fist ball. I forget who it was but one guy socked the ball up on the rectory roof. We all thought that was pretty high then.

I am sure I am missing some things here... Oh, and what about those annual games where our school would compete grade by grade in basketball. I forget what school we were competing against, but we would always play at their gym and in the years I remember we always came out ahead. I enjoyed those games alot because it was the only time the B and A teams played as one unit.

One Thing Leads To Another

I heard from Jeff M today and he mentioned "Shoe Fair" I remember Shoe Fair, but for the life of me I can't remember exactly where it was. So, being the techie type I turn to good old Google. No luck on finding Shoe Fair in Daly City, but I sure had fun exploring Daly City history.

Living on the East Coast and only rarely getting back to visit my folks who still live in Daly City, reminiscing about Daly City can be quite fun. I stumbled on the picture to the left in the Gateway to the Peninsula book by longtime Daly City Librarian Samuel Chandler. It's a fascinating read. The picture shows "Top of the Hill" probably in the 1920s. It looks like the church and rectory are there, but no school! I never knew our school was built on the site of a rock quarry.

Did you know that the original City Hall was at 75 Wellington Av. If you enlarge the picture I think you can make it out.

For those of you distant from the old school as I am, here's a clip from Google Street View. I imagine it's fairly recent. I stumbled on this tyring to find out what 75 Wellington was today. Street View only goes on Mission St., but you can turn to the right and look up Wellington.

As I said, one thing leads to another.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Boy's chorus

A quick quiz for the guys,

How many of you remembering volunteering for the Boy's Chorus and singing at a mass? If memory serves we sounded ok for a handful of boys. Wasn't it during the Christmas season? It did not last too long for what ever the reason.

When my Son was in middle school he joined Ragazzi and truly enjoyed learning music theory as well as performing at the concerts. My how times have changed.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

A little bit of fun

To all my classmates - enjoy!

That Yellow Line!

Family photo (Hawaii for Easter 2008)
This is my first blog ever so please be kind!

First off I felt the great need to post something on this site since only one woman from our class (Nisa) has done so (and I'm impressed since Nisa created a whole site of her own!). It is time, however, that more of the women from our class posted directly to the site. 4o years ago we had a lot to say (I don't think I was the only one who got poor conduct grades) and I hope we still do.

But back to that yellow line. I know back in the day it didn't bother me too much and it seemed to make some sense. (After all the guys were rowdier than we were back then.) However, once I got to high school and got to play basketball I realized how much fun it would have been if we too could have had basketball hoops on our side of the line too. And it wasn't until many years later when I was doing my third year paper in law school on Title IX that it occurred to me that we were also deprived of the opportunity to play lots of sports when we were little girls (notice the guys can talk about their CYO friends from back in the day - we didn't have CYO for girls back then). Anyway, I am glad the yellow line is gone and I am glad that times have changed. My daughter's friends (she is a senior in HS right now) used to laugh when I would tell them about the "old days" and the yellow line and that girls could not play basketball back when I was growing up because it was too physical for girls. My daughter has played sports since she was six years old and next year will get to play volleyball and basketball in college (only at the Division III level - she unfortunately is my kid and wasn't born with the genes to play at the Division I level).

And I keep trying to remember what we girls did on our side of the yellow line. Of course I only had 4 years at OLPH. I remember volleyball and four square (okay so we did get to play with a ball) and hopscotch. I remember lots of talking. (Little did I know what all the guys were up to on their side of the line.) We had lots of slumber parties and for many of us Girl Scouts. Were we boring? I can't remember!

For those I haven't been in touch with at all through the years, I went on to St John's after OLPH (go Class of 73 from SJU -which includes a number of our classmates), then on to Cal (where I was roommates with Donna Abrahamsohn) and then on to Harvard Law. I practiced law in San Francisco for about 24 years before I quit law firm life. I got married about 25 years ago (upcoming 25th wedding anniversary this summer) to a lawyer I worked with and have two kids. My son is a junior in college down in Southern California and my baby goes off to Philadelphia for college in August. We live in Oakland. This next year, as an empty nester, I will need to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life (definitely not law firm life!). (Wow, a whole life in one paragraph).

So hi to all of you. I will be sending emails. It's hard to believe that I have gone so many years without even talking to people who were my whole life back in the day.

Rick (see I can say Rick!), thanks for starting us all off. It is truly a gift.

Twila (still go by Foster)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Patti's Party House

Just recieved a short note from Patti S .and I can't help but think of the parties at her house in the TOP OF THE HILL ' , was she a party animal ? Did she have the biggest house ? Did she have cool parents ?......I want to say Patti's Mom and Dad wanted to keep an eye on her and what better way than to host the parties......Now that makes them pretty cool in my eyes !!!....Jean H. ( all the way from Chicago ) wrote me a short note and she says she just remembers everybody with our 13 year old little faces .........I had to laugh to myself because she's right .....anybody that left the hill after 1969 would only have those smiley little faces stuck in their memory banks for 40 years ......OK Gang everybody break out the old and new photo's and let's e-mail a ton of pics to Jean , allowing her to erase those young faces from her memory and replace it with our forty year older faces .....Come to think of it , not a good idea ......Jean , I will send you a picture of when I was thirty and that will have to do ...All kidding aside , I hope everyone is feeling the excitement and looking forward to THE EVENT in 2009.......

Since music is my passion and I know that music is a powerful medium, let me throw you back a few years , OK how about forty years .....



Monday, May 26, 2008

Passages OLPH Class of 1969

When the last teardrop falls.......We will stand tall
..........And hold onto the wonderful memories......
Of how they used to be......

Please take a couple minutes out of your life to remember

Saturday, May 24, 2008

General Information

Here is a brief synopsis of my life since OLPH (consider yourself were warned)

1969 - 1973 Lick-Wilmerding High School (yes, I was accepted at Riordan but that was not my path as the saying goes)

1973 - 1975 College of Small Minds. Some of you just smiled, didn't you? What can I say, the price was right and the teachers were good.

1975 Summer is where things got interesting. As a result of work at the above mentioned "college" I was accepted at Cal-Poly SLO. Neat, having worked for the last 6 years or so I had saved up enough money to cover the costs. The problem, Intel offered me a job to design CMOS and PMOS but the folks that caught my fancy was a small group out in Livermore, a national lab across the street from the one most think about. The problem, instead of the summer job I asked for, they offered me a full time one with the additional temptation of... paying for me to go to school "later." Wow, double my wage, full time, health benefits, and a free education? I jumped at the opportunity. I bought a 1969 Mustang and headed "East" to start a new life. Later became much later for formal education but I learned my real education started in the Fall of 1975. Not much later the Lab actually pulled a war powers act on many of us to keep us working 12 hour days! That caused me to re-evaluate things and soon I was back in night school (SFSU this time).

1978 Married the love of my life, Linda
1980 Son, William, born
1983 Daughter, Lisa, born
1987 Both kids old enough that I no longer had to worry if they were playing out of sight or silently sooooooo I started night school at College of Notre Dame to complete my BSCS. There is a funny story about USF actually asking me not to go there because they were afraid I would challenge their teachers, hey working in Livermore was a *real* education and I had been playing with Crays for awhile. 8^) CND on the other hand said why do you want a BS and when I explained welcomed me with open arms. It turned out to be the right choice, my professor was a pupil of a Von Neumann pupil. Talking about education not far from the CS tree.
1989 Quit on the the fourteenth anniversary of starting work in Livermore and switched jobs (look when your Wife tells you to quit, you quit! And her reasons were sound though doing research gets under one's skin). I was now working for NASA at Moffett Field
1991 Graduated from CND and thought "Wow, no more calculus!!!!"
1999 Accepted into a NASA development program
2000 Worked in DC
2001 - 2003 MIT. Yes sleep is *highly* over rated. Lots of stories here (for one class I was part of a team competition that designed a supersonic business jet, our design won), a truly crazy place and yes there is still an Einstein there. Oh, and I was SOOOOOOOOO wrong about "no more calculus" above.
2007 back in DC again and working to help us get back to the moon and beyond (Buzz Lightyear, where are you?) Oh, and while being 2,704 miles away I was working on this other task... ( My program management side of the brain requires me to state that the task was successfully completed on time and within budget. 8^)

Oh yeah and less than a month before the aforementioned task was completed, Lisa completed her MS in Biomedical engineering at... Cal-Poly SLO, just as Will had done 3 years previous. So yes, I never went to SLO but both of my kids decided to. And their major ended up being an interesting blend of Linda (an RN) and myself (engineer). It is a great engineering school with a penchant for hands-on learning, but for many reasons (see 1978 above) I am happy I never went there.

2008 30th anniversary (yeah, not sure why she still puts up with me) was just celebrated!

That brings us up to today. I am still located at Ames Research Center but work part time for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, Directorate Integration Office at HQ. So travel around the US working enterprise architecture issues for them is my reality. And yes, I have access to some real cool pictures like this one that was taken, ummm, not from land.

General Comments (yes, ex-military must stand and salute!)

Ok Wayne you started this. 8^)

I posted my Altar boys memories as a comment to John's post (hey, this is sort of like playing clue!).

And yes, I remember the plays, I think I was part of a spoof of the three musketeers or was it Man of LaMancha in one of them? But we got to make fake swords (wood covered with foil if I remember) and I think there was a controversy about us running around with them and hurting someone. Also, what about the square dancing lessons? A lot happened down in the cafetorium (remember the sports "banquets" and such)?

Also, how many of you remember joining St. Vincent dePaul? The Sunday meetings after church with *free* doughnuts? Come on now.

Or trips to the library (OLPH and the Daly City library around the corner). yes actually checking out and reading books. I remember a certain person who used to check out the same book I did because we liked talking about them, especially science fiction!

Or recesses playing with the wiffle football? Running and flipping over the chain link fence (jump, hit the top of the fence around belt high, lean forward, grab, and try and land on your feet). When done well a feeling of exuberance. When not..., well I do remember ripping a shirt in a familiar upside down "L" pattern. And playing hard on top of asphalt (these days the kids have to have cushioned falls). Somehow scrapping a knee or palm of the hand seemed to breed character.

Or what about the "tie-fights" when someone thought young men properly attired included clip on ties?

Also, are we going to try and track down any of our transient classmates (Kevin Tinsley comes to mind).

Wow, thinking about this sure has opened the dam gates as the saying goes.

Altar Boys

Someone made a post about the altar boys. Of course I was one too and yes, we did have to learn a few latin phrases. I don't remember the "buzz" though, but I am sure those brain cells have probably left me. I do remember pairing up with Gary alot. I also remember loving to do weddings because you normally got paid for it, and hating funerals because you didn't.

When I was in the back getting ready and hungry I would munch on two things. I would eat sugar cubes and grab a few unleavened hosts (or whatever you call them now). Other than that I didn't get into too much mischief.

I did most of my masses for Father Bergen. I remember him as a very nice guy, for an old person, as he tolerated all my mistakes in the mass. The latin for "God be with you," and the response, "and with you also," still rings in my ears. Of course the hardest part was the long latin phrase we had to learn just before the wine and water. I can't recollect that at all.

Class Performances

Does anyone remember the two performances put on by our class in the cafetorium? The first was a concert put on by Rick P. and Danny C. and some others. The only thing I remember about that was the word Buttermilk. I think Danny recited it over and over again, so I think that was the name of the piece.

The other performance I think was our 8th grade show to the underclasses. We did a laugh-in spoof. I remember very little about that. I only remember two things from that performance. One, when someone threw a "knife" offstage and Brendan falls over from behind the curtains with the "knife" stuck in his chest, and second, our final song. It went to the tune of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. I think some of the words went like:

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah,
Teacher hit me with a ruler,
I bopped her on the bean
With a rotten tangerine,
and her teeth came marching out... one! two!
and her teeth came marching out... three! four!

... and so on.

Am I remembering this correctly or did I mix my own childhood dreams into it?

Friday, May 23, 2008

The "In-Between"

I guess I will deviate slightly from the posting of memories to quickly catch you all up on my "In-Between." I was not the sharpest tack on the wall at OLPH (see evidence at left) but I think some of that had to do with my rough childhood. Things settled down after my parents divorced and our large family enjoyed some normalcy at that point. After OLPH I attended Riordan High for three years (1969-1972). Unfortunately, my hard working mother couldn't afford the tuition for the last year as she was caring for all seven of us. So I graduated from Jefferson High in 1973.

From the summer of 1973 to the fall of 1974 I did a little bit of college at Skyline Community and a lot of work as slave labor (well, practically) for a small construction company. In November of 1974 I joined the Air Force. I enlisted as a general enlistee with no specific job but my high school grades and entrance scores put me in the top percentile of enlistees. I was chosen to go to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey California to be taught Chinese Mandarin. For the next 24 years I worked for Air Force intelligence and reconnaissance programs. In April of 1976 I went overseas to my first assignment, Okinawa, Japan. This was a flying assignment where I worked as aircrew on an RC-135, a military version of the Boeing 707.

The group picture upper left is a crew from one RC-135. We could squeeze about 25 people on those planes in and around all the equipment. Of course, when the mission was done it was definitely time for a cold one.

I left Okinawa the first time in late 1977 and went directly to Korea. It was here that I met my wife to be. We actually married two years later in 1979. The picture on the left is her in 1978. I left Korea in the Fall of 1978 and came back to Monterey for an Intermediate Chinese course and then went straight back to Okinawa to fly some more. When I arrived in Okinawa in 1979 I flew to Korea to get married. I stayed in Okinawa till 1983, trying to fit in with the local customs (see picture at right). I then proceeded back to Monterey for an advanced Chinese course, and then went overseas yet again for a two year tour in Korea. Then in 1986 my fortunes were to change a bit as I was assigned to Hawaii. I stayed there for six years straight. In 1992 I went back to Korea for the third and final trip, and then arrived here in San Angelo in 1993 as a language intelligence instructor. I retired here in 1999 and have been here ever since. After retirement I worked for several information technology companies while getting my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Computer Science. I am now a Program Manager and Senior Software Engineer for BAE Systems.

Somewhere along the way we had a son, Joseph, who was born in Okinawa in 1980. He will be 28 this Fall. He works locally as a records technician for the San Angelo Police Department. He is single and enjoys living alone.

The picture on the left was taken a few years ago. The picture on the right depicts my son with his mother on the occasion of mom's GED Graduation Ceremony from a local college. We were all very proud of her achievement to get a high school education outside of her native tongue.
I went through this pretty fast because I like the reminiscing better. But I think it's cool to know a little bit about what we have been up to in our "In Between" years.

Class Alums

John has sent a general e-mail inviting each and everyone of you to post to this site . It does make the stories more personal.... Russell W and Ed M are already aboard as contributors to this site ( I created my own G-mail acct to post to this site as Ricky ).....otherwise John has sent instructions for the General alum acct ......Hope this doesn't confuse anyone ....Happy blogging .....Ricky

What's missing from this picture ???

Bless me Father for I have sinned , It has been 39 years since my last confession......Well not really but after reading John's posts yesterday ........playboys?, tossing quarters? , throwing baseball cards? I was ready to grab the first priest I saw and confess right on the spot. What next ? The climbing to the top of the Old Rectory story , oh, and you know what happened next ? John , I will leave it for you to fill in the blanks because David G . isn't aboard yet to defend himself .......OOPs , I forgot , you've already hung Jeff M out to dry .......TOUCHE'

Well funny you should mention all the extra curricular activities in THE YARD because I just happened to have taken pictures of where these purported crimes took place keep in mind as a First grader when we entered the yard back then , it was HUGE...coliseum big . When we left the OLPH grounds after graduation the yard was still good size . When I drove into the yard the other day it appeared as if there was some acreage missing, but after a quick tour around, it all looked intact, albeit a little older ....Then I said to myself , " where is the yellow line ?" ......I grabbed my camera , took pictures, then went home to e-mail Ed Mahoney to see if he had a back story regarding the line.....Then I remembered where I had seen the picture of that line a few weeks back . I e-mailed OLPH Alum Jim Flaherty Class of 1973 to see if he would let me grab it off of his site ......Profs to you Jim .....he's a veteran blogger of 4 years and his site is full of great stories ...when you have a second check him out at

Here's pics of my drive by where the shootings took place shots, not actual shootings ..

And here it is ..........
What you have been waiting for ........
The "YELLOW LINE " ( Thanks again Jim )


Today's Memory

Rick dropped me a line last evening and mentioned a name I hadn't thought of in probably 39 years. Father Tom. I immediately conjured up images of Church and the 60's movement of a "kinder gentler" Church. Mass in English, not in Latin. Remodeled modern Church building. Flowing modern banners. And, Father Tom strumming his guitar rather than the organist playing.

So, today's memory is about the OLPH Church. Do any of the guys who were alter boys remember the shock you could give yourself by touching the screw on the side of the Church bell electronics cabinet and the metal handle on the sink? Zzzzaaapppp!!! I sure do. I have a few other Church memories. I'll save them for another day.

The picture to the left obviously has nothing to do with Church; it's just the evidence of the stingray from the fish story (see earlier blog). That's my folk's backyard, btw. The grass is long gone (probably about the time I left home since it was my job to cut it.)

Anyway, I'm claiming the 90% rule Rick asked for. The story is 100% true, but looking at my picture it might be post OLPH. My hair is a little long. Let's just say it was the Summer after OLPH graduation.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend...John

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Recess Anyone?

Here's a few of the things I remember from recess:
  • One-foot-off-the-gutter (I stunk at it. Too slow)
  • Dodge-ball (I stunk at that, too, for the same reason)
  • Four-square near the back of the rectory (I held my own in this game)
  • Pitching baseball cards in the arches (Mike Stanley's article in the Summer 2007 edition of Perpetual Light (page 4) reminded me of this) (I was better than average at it)
  • Pitching quarters along the walkway behind the Church (I made a few bucks)
  • Upper and lower play-grounds
  • I only once hopped the fence the cool way where you ran to the fence, grabbed it and sort of cartwheeled over it and landed on the other level. Ripped my sweater and never tried again.
  • No one could hop the fence between upper and lower faster than Peter J.
  • Ripping holes in my pants at the knees. Did that once on a Monday after Mom bought me new pants on Saturday at the JCPenney in Westlake. I was able to keep it from her for maybe two weeks. I think she made me iron on my own patch that time.

Speaking of Jeff

Here's a little story that is sure to get a chuckle from him. I still LMAO whenever I think of it.

At some point probably in 7th or 8th grade somehow I got from the Cigar Store on Mission St (around the corner from Gary's home) a copy of a Playboy or two (they had used ones). Needless to say, they found a home between my mattresses.

Now, to set the scene. My room at the time was on the 2nd floor of our home (my folks still live there, btw). Anyway, in the afternoon that room, since it faced the West, got the most sun and was nice and toasty on cool days. My Mom would just love to lay down on my bed in the later afternoon and soak up the afternoon sun.

Okay, the scene is set. Now for the Jeff part. Jeff either slept over the night before or was dropped off for school in the morning. Jeff had this bright idea to take the centerfold from one of the stashed mags and lay it on my pillow (under the bedspread). He obviously thought I'd get a kick out of it later that night when I went to bed and pulled back the bedspread. Well, I think you can figure out what happened. Mom goes in for her afternoon soak in the sun, her head hits the pillow covered still by the bedspread, and CRUNCH! "What the heck?" Mom pulls back the bedspread only to find the picture of a young beautiful NAKED woman staring lustfully at her. I wasn't there YET, but I can hear her, "Oh, my!!!"

Home from school I proceed to my room only to find the centerfold still on the bed with the bedspread pulled down. You can imagine my "Oh, Shoot" (I don't think I've ever heard the word shit uttered in my folks home so I know I didn't say that.) Anyway, Mom enters the room for an explanation.

Quick John, how are you going to get out of this dilemma?

"Ummmm. That's gotta be Jeff's"

Fishing Stories?

More WOW!!!

Gary and Wayne, what terrific stories. I too use to ride Muni to fish the Bay. I usually did so down about Pier 29 (Somewhere in that range. I know it was between Pier 39 and the Ferry Building). Anyway, a couple of fantastic catches were a 6' Tiger Shark (once landed we had to let it go as it was too big for the bus) , and a stingray with a "wingspan" of about 3 feet. That one I called my Dad to help me with and I have a picture somewhere of me and the ray in my Daly City backyard. Fishing was usually with Jeff M (where are you, btw?).

Thanks again Rick (and Wayne and Gary) for the most wonderful memories you've pulled from the recesses (no pun intended) of my mind.

I've definitely added this blog to my Google Reader so I will not miss one wonderful story we all share.

What a treasure this site is going to be.

Take care all...John

Great Memories and Halloween

Rick and Nisa, you guys are doing a great job of getting this altogether. Thanks. I am really enjoying the memories and getting back in touch. I am all for a reunion and chance to catch up with everyone again. When I look at the pictures you posted it brings back so many memories, the majority of them good. I have to take one Chauvinistic moment to say we had the best looking ladies of any graduating class I can remember ahead or behind us. Ok, the guys were good looking too!

Speaking of Patti Spinetti's graduation party, do you all remember her Halloween Party? She did a super job with the ghost story, where all the lights were turned out and she recited a story about a ghost needing to recover its body parts. With each mention of a part she would pass something down the line that we had to take and pass down. For instance, when talking about the ghost's eyes she passed down a couple of peas. There were a few "ewwws" during that story but it was fun. We also bobbed for apples at that time.

But what I remember most about that day was when I was staring out the upper window day dreaming, I suddenly felt someone tapping me on the shoulder. The person pointed up to a window near where I was looking and there was Nisa and Peter J pointing their fingers at me. After a few seconds I realized they thought I was invading their privacy, but I unsuccessfully tried to assure them I wasn't.

Looking back I wish we did more things like that as a class, because when we did, we had a great time.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

blasts from the past

You know how when you hear a song , or when your nose catches whiff of a faint but familiar smell ......over the years , whenever I heard the song "la la la la la la la la , I love you "
it would send me back to pattii spinetti's house where we had our graduation party... and down in san diego , whenever I smelled eucalyptus trees , my mind raced back to the hills behind my home where I grew up ......put your seat belts on for an "e" ticket ride to " the days" .....Ricky

.............You can take a rest ......I'll be back ....with more ...Ricky