Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sunday, February 8, 2009

March 7th

I am working my schedule now to be there for the reunion. I hope to see many of you there. I don't think I will be able to make the family get together Russ is talking about for the summer. In any case, whenever two or three of us get together, take a lot of pictures and share them with the rest of us! Although we have been separated by the decades I feel like we are family.

Speaking of family, I thought I'd include a pic of the Bascom Bro's. Oldest to youngest right to left are me, Paul, Raymond, and Michael. Paul was two grades behind me, but the other two bro's went to East Bay schools when the family moved to Newark. The three girls, Robin, Vicki, and Theresa all went to OLPH as well, although Theresa transferred to a Newark school and graduated there. My brother Raymond passed away three years ago in a workplace accident, but everyone else is doing fine. My mother turned 75 last year and I cherish every moment I get to be with her. She lives in Tracy now, so guess where I'll be after the party!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Interested in a casual reunion?


We realize that there are some classmates that were not able to attend the OLPH open house and mass on January 31, and others that might not be able to attend the OLPH auction-dinner-dance on March 7, which you just received the invitation to from Nisa (there is also information on March 7 from OLPH here and from the reunion committee below).

Others that might be attending have expressed an interest to meet for another, less formal, gathering. As a result some of us have talked and we would like to coordinate a more casual celebration of the 40th anniversary of our graduation. Possibly in June, when the weather is good for something outdoors.

We are thinking about a family-style (yes, this means family and friends are welcome) picnic or barbecue with everyone bringing a favorite dish to share. It can be at a park, someone's home, or maybe even OLPH (we can always ask).

Date, time, and location are unknown for now. We encourage your suggestions.

Please let Darlene and/or Russ know if you are interested.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Just how young are you? (or being our age really can make us smile!)


Darlene received this from a friend and we both thought you would enjoy a different trip down memory lane.

The answer to the question? Well, let me put it this way.

A little test.
Try your best.
Do you recognize these scenes?

If your eyebrows furrow,
or forehead burrows...

You might be too young to understand.
For some of us this was our play land.

But if you smile and chuckle,
Enough to bust a buckle,
Be proud, smile, and stand.

You're just the right age,
to be declared sage,
and most proudly say
"I do understand!"

Yes, to simpler times and knowing smiling causes good lines on your face.
Wear them with pride.

Black and White
(Under age 40? You won't understand.)

You could hardly see for all the snow,

Spread the rabbit ears as far as they go.

Pull a chair up to the TV set, 'Good Night, David. Good Night, Chet.'

My Mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread mayo on the same cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn't seem to get food poisoning.

My Mom used to defrost hamburger on the counter AND I used to eat it raw sometimes, too. Our school sandwiches were wrapped in wax paper in a brown paper bag, not in ice-pack coolers, but I can't remember getting e-coli.

Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the lake instead of a pristine pool (talk about boring), no beach closures then.

The term cell phone would have conjured up a phone in a jail cell, and a pager was the school PA system.

We all took gym, not PE.. and risked permanent injury with a pair of high top Ked's (only worn in gym) instead of having cross -training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors. I can't recall any injuries but they must have happened because they tell us how much safer we are now.

Flunking gym was not an option even for stupid kids! I guess PE must be much harder than gym.

Speaking of school, we all said prayers and sang the national anthem, and staying in detention after school caught all sorts of negative attention.

We must have had horribly damaged psyches. What an archaic health system we had then. Remember school nurses? Ours wore a hat and everything.

I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was allowed to be proud of myself.

I just can't recall how bored we were without computers, Play Station, Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital TV cable stations.

Oh yeah and where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when I got that bee sting? I could have been killed!

We played 'king of the hill' on piles of gravel left on vacant construction sites, and when we got hurt, Mom pulled out the 48-cent bottle of Mercurochrome (kids liked it better because it didn't sting like iodine did) and then we got our butt spanked.

Now it's a trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10-day dose of a $49 bottle of antibiotics, and then Mom calls the attorney to sue the contractor for leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel where it was such a threat.

We didn't act up at the neighbor's house either because if we did, we got our butt spanked there and then we got our butt spanked again when we got home.

I recall Donny Reynolds from next door coming over and doing his tricks on the front stoop, just before he fell off. Little did his Mom know that she could have owned our house. Instead, she picked him up and swatted him for being such a goof. It was a neighborhood run amuck.

To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that they were from a dysfunctional family. How could we possibly have known that?

We needed to get into group therapy and anger management classes? We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills that we didn't even notice that the entire country wasn't taking Prozac! How did we ever survive?


Pass this to someone and remember that life's most simple pleasures are very often the best.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine!" (Prov 17:22a)

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Very Special Day for One of Our Own

When I get older losing my hair, Many years from now.

Will you still be sending me a Valentine, Birthday greetings,
bottle of wine.

If I'd been out till quarter to three ,Would you lock the door?

Will you still need me, will you still feed me,

When I'm Fifty-four................

Yes Val, we'll still feed ya ...And Happy Birthday , today on your 54th

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Open House, January 31


Well it was quite interesting walking the halls of OLPH once more and then going to mass in the renovated Church. What is the saying? It's all different yet the same?

Those attending from the class of 1969 included Valerie (Blasi) Hansen, Sue (Radiotes) Sanz, Rick Pacheco, our sixth grade teacher Susan Votaw, and myself. And yes, that is the attendance book for sixth grade Susan is holding. Just how many days were you sick? Susan still knows! 8^)

It is amazing how quickly comfortable it is with classmates, 40 years becomes nothing but an opportunity to discuss shared experiences. Turns out many of us have lived in Belmont since graduation and Sue still lives less than 2 miles from me. Valerie works where my Wife did and had passed each other innumerous times without realizing there was "less than 6 degrees of separation." This is a small and shrinking world.

One of the challenges was remembering which classroom we were in for sixth grade. If my memory still serves it was on the second (middle) floor, faced the hill, and in the corner closest to Brunswick. Can anyone confirm which classroom indeed was ours? Yes, that is our sixth grade teacher coming out of the cloak room.

And it would not be a complete visit without one last image of... the library! A place to seek wisdom but, for some of us, oh so much more. This is where we enjoyed becoming life members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul! Why? Well, not the only reason why but remember we were young boys becoming men, ok? Free doughnuts! Yes, we could consume free doughnuts *after* participating in the meeting on the second(?) Sunday after mass! Young "Homers" in the making were we. 8^)

I hope you enjoyed the pictures and reminiscing.