A Long Time Ago at a High School Far, Far, Away

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\Ok – so La Habra is just a few miles away from Placentia, so that’s not quite true.

In any case, a couple weeks ago, close to 100 grads from Sonora High School’s Class of ’88 held our 20-year Reunion. It was great fun to see faces I hadn’t seen in 10 or 20 years and see who had changed and who hadn’t. Oddly – it was the men who had changed the most. The women all looked great – some better than when they were 18!
For me – it was also a great chance to reconnect with old friends and discover what other Raiders had accomplished since we sauntered across the stage at the La Habra football stadium. Sheryl and I decided to attend without our spouses for two reasons – first, neither wanted to come if the other wouldn’t be there, and second, tickets were close to $100 each! We sat at one of the committee tables with other planners Brent and Kate, Kevin, Sheryl, Dior and Heather. 

The most embarrassing moments of the evening were, naturally, my fault. I was asked to emcee the evening and in a moment of weakness, I agreed. Early into the program, we had planned to take a moment of silence to honor the memories of our two classmates who have passed. They are, for the record, Julie Smither and Jill Christopher. Julie passed away during the summer before our junior year and Jill more recently due to cancer.

As I introduced the beautiful memorial that had been set up near the back of the meeting space, I mistakenly asked attendees to honor the memory of Julie Smither and Jill Dennison. Of course, Jill Dennison (still very much alive) was about 30 feet away from me at the moment I pronounced her early passing…She very quickly (and loudly) proclaimed her health and continued existence (in a monty python-esque “I’m not dead yet..” exclamation)-, to which I was barely able to blunder through a correction and direct attendees to the back of the hall. All laughed and the moment was recovered, but I felt terrible for both Jills.

The second most embarrassing moment was during the contests. As with most reunions, we offered door prizes and ribbons to the ‘mosts’. We offered prizes for married longest, most children, traveled from furthest away, longest raider friendships and most recent baby. Of these, one of my closest high school buds, won for most children AND most recent addition. She was mortified and asked that someone else win the second recognition. I gave this to someone claiming to be Mark Peña, who later turned out to be an imposter. For the record, I lost by three months, as Kellen was four months old and the winning addition had arrived in early May.Karin & Sheryl

Ultimately, I believe these blunders were my subconscious attempt to assure that they won’t ask me to emcee any future reunions….

imagesimages, more images, even more images and still more images and a slideshow

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