1953 PAGE UPDATE 04/26/2013
Hi Classmates. Finally back from travel and other commitments and want to further discuss the reunion year we’re in (like it or not) and what we might do to celebrate still being here to celebrate it. After that I have a fascinating story of one of our classmate’s children. Before I get into that, use the link below or copy and paste into your browser’s address bar and watch. It was provided by Lasley Scholl Biven to get into the right mood for reunion matters.
AN UPDATE ON OUR 60TH REUNION
A few months back I put out the idea of having an online reunion in lieu of an actual (physical) get together to test the supposition that more people in our class will want to participate online than will want to travel. Maybe I’d like to know more about everyone not on our “Gone But Not Forgotten” list and maybe I’m willing to submit a written personal update but it appears, with a few exceptions, that’s just me. At the behest of my close friend Robert Irone, I also brought up the idea of a small get together, perhaps a dinner meeting for a few of us willing to travel to be with one another for an evening. Based on responses and primarily on lack of response, the meet and greet crowd is far greater than the read and write bunch. Okay so let’s resolve it before the year is behind us.
MORE ABOUT AN INFORMAL BUT MEANINGFUL GET TOGETHER
The emails have been coming in, perhaps not a warp speed, but a goodly number of classmates are expressing enthusiasm over the possibility of an actual (not virtual) get together to celebrate our graduation from MAD in 1953. What’s a “goodly” number? Good question. Maybe anything over 40 given our age and appetites. Here are some people I’m hearing from who would like to consider and be in on such a soiree:
Mary Jo (Burns) Dalmont, Marilyn (Strauss) Carpenter, Susan (Watson) Tierney, Lilian (Budworth) Trubert, Kathleen (Shepherd) Campbell, Lasley (Scholl) Biven, Sally Eggstaff Welsh, Kathleen Coopland Lord (and Jack who was once our West Haven mentor), Marlene (Teigen) Weaver, Harry (O’Hara) Yates, and of course Robert Irone
Using the above numbers of classmates to make an offhand approximation of how many may participate and factoring in additional classmates (some have been named by the above people), I’m thinking 40-50 participants is looking feasible. At some point we’ll probably have to “go” with the people we’ve heard from and/or can confirm.
Location? Well, the Derby remains a favorite among many of those responding and I know The Northwoods Inn is alive and kicking as I had lunch there recently. Good food too. Someone mentioned The Aztec in Monrovia the current status of which is unknown to me. Rocco and I selected The Derby originally as a place offering because of its locale and rich Arcadia (Santa Anita Race Track) history. It’s also a really decent place to eat. Kathleen Campbell mentioned a pub named Matt Denny’s very near The Derby. Maybe some others of you know of it. I don’t doubt there are other candidates.
Our final location selection may be either constrained or permitted by the number of attendees. Meanwhile here’s something each of you can do to help me: give me your preferred place or recommendation please. Send it to my email address above or if you don’t use email then try to let another classmate know so they can send it in.
Date? We need to start thinking about a preferred date also. How about 29 June, my birthday? Kidding. How about a month or time of the year: the start of school, early September, late summer? Send me thoughts on this along with the location (above). Address time of day as well please. Early evening dinner beginning with a short social period?
I’m thinking we can give this data collection effort about one month from now and then I’ll aggregate the inputs and pass on the results to everyone who responds and we’ll make a final selection together. If nothing happens and I hear from no one from this point on then we’ll go to The Derby sometime after 15 July with the players now on board plus or minus new enlistees (there’s bound to be a couple) and dropouts. Either way, I’m going to need some help on this being so far away from Arcadia-Monrovia and I have received offers of assistance from a few ladies. I’m speaking to making reservations, determining meal options or setting up costs with a location…most of you know the drill better than I do.
WHY NOT AN ONLINE CLASS OF 1953 UPDATE TOO?
I just finished paging through the booklet prepared for our 50th reunion and reading the “Where We Are Now” comments and looking at accompanying photographs are a trove of fond memories. I’m positive that a similar synopsis from as many who tune in to our online page whether regularly or occasionally would be of interest to us all. Here’s an example of what we’d like to have people send in and a hopefully a starter:
Lasley Scholl Biven writes that all is well. I have such fond memories of Holly Avenue and First Avenue Schools and MAD. Little did everyone know that from 4th grade to 9th grade I spent 6 months a year transferring in November to a one room schoolhouse with one teacher in Death Valley and returning back to Arcadia in April. After graduating from MAD I went to USC where I graduated with a degree in Education and also there met my husband, Jack. We have been married for 54 years, living in Pasadena where we raised our 2 children, Jenifer and John.
I did teach elementary school for 3 years before children, and returned later as an administrative assistant to the Headmaster at a private school in Pasadena before retiring after 27 years. Jack only recently retired after 46 years as an investment broker. We are enjoying life and time with our 3 grandchildren. I am also a docent at the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens in San Marino. For 10 years as a member of the Botanical Board I have arranged Educational Field Trips for the garden docents.
I am still very much in touch with MAD pals, Kay Shepherd Campbell, Marilyn Strauss Carpenter, Veeva Hamblin Presnell and Mary Jo Burns Dalmont. For many years Kay and I have been traveling to gardens in our states arranged by a horticultural group in San Diego. This group has also taken us to flower garden shows in England and Italy. This year we are going to visit special gardens in Tucson. It is great fun and exercise.
My best to everyone in the Class of 1953.
I’m regrettably not including the photograph of Lasley and Jack and their family that Lasley sent. I will be sending Gary Dayton photos that can be adequately reproduced in the near future. The easiest to publish now are those in digital formats (jpeg) on your computers than can be sent along with emails (attachments). Thanks for Laz for making the effort to provide us with exactly the kind of information we’re looking for here. The detail you choose to include is up to you but I think Lasley’s decision to reflect briefly on school days while letting us know what she’s doing now is a great example for everyone to follow. You decide though.
Here’s another idea. Those of you like our past fearless leader Dr. Bruce Ballard or the Honorable Blair Barnette (ret) who contributed to our 50th Reunion booklet can fill the square here (meet our needs) by using what they provided ten years ago with a few revisions as might apply: great grandchildren, etc. This will make responding almost painless and still of major interest to readers. As always, photos are optional.
I don’t plan to add these bio updates as I receive them but instead hold them for a single update edition in the future.
AND NOW FRIENDS, BACK TO THE REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAM
Our page is intentionally about our classmates and their families and friends, their accomplishments, adventures, journeys or things of mutual interest. I’ve hounded you all for inputs and some of you have responded and I’ll always try to get those online as quickly as possible. Here’s one that I think you’ll enjoy.
Sally Eggstaff Welsh writes stating that in the past she’s sent stories about her son, Chris Welsh, a quite famous guy, to Gary Dayton but not to our class site. Gary was a good friend of her late brother Phil and has published articles about Chris on his 1950 class page. Sally, we understand and forgive you. Sally states that Chris’s latest adventure has not yet been revealed or published in the MAD newsletter anywhere so here begins our scoop on Gary.
As background Sally writes that Chris is ’her bachelor.’ At 50 he has spent a life of adventure, primarily in sailing. He owns the 65’ racer Ragtime, a well-known sailboat. Chris has raced Ragtime from LA to Honolulu, LA to Tahiti (and won), Sydney to Hobart (won his class) and more. Chris is accomplished as well with planes, helicopters and motorcycles and Sally writes etc, etc. Let your imagination run with that.
Three years ago Chris heard that the 125’ catamaran, Cheyenne (formerly Play Station), owned by the late Steve Fossett, was for sale. You may recall that Fossett was an American businessman, and a record-setting aviator, sailor, and adventurer and was the first person to fly solo nonstop around the world in a balloon. On the way to look the craft for purchase, Chris was told that Fossett was building a one-man 18’ submarine (to be carried by the Cheyenne) to go down in the Marianas Trench (36,000’…the deepest place in the world.). He was hooked. Chris decided to buy the sub too because it had wings like a mini plane enabling him to fly in the ocean, his two favorite activities. Fast forward…He contacted Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Airways and they became partners, planning dives in the 5 deepest ocean regions in the world.
There’s a bit more from Sally on Chris but check out this link please. It provides pictures and the full story on the Virgin Oceanic project, the catamaran, the sub and the dives that Chris Welsh and Richard Branson will be tackling soon. Click around on the site and check out the catamaran and the sub. You won’t believe how big that sailing vessel is. No need for me to tell the story you can read and see for yourself here:
Chris is a member of the Explorer’s Club of America and the Adventurer’s Club of America. Chris is now deeply involved in preparing the sub and awaiting the completion of a $190,000 piece of man-made quartz that has been in Flagstaff, AZ for over a year, slowly being honed out to form a dome for Chris and Richard to look through. When it is completed, it will be united with the tube each pilot will lie in (26” in diameter and Sally states that Chris is a big guy in girth and 6’3 ½ “in height.) After completion of pressure testing (must handle 16,000 lbs per square inch), the dives will begin….The Marianas, off Australia’s coast, the Falkland Islands, Puerto Rico and Norway. At this moment Chris is in Russia where he has been lecturing to engineering classes at an Engineering University in St. Petersburg. Wow, talk about your over achiever. Do read about him on the web site. What a great story.
Here’s an equally impressive story. Sally has had a 13 year battle with melanoma while being in a 52 year marriage to husband Terry and having two sons (she calls her second son the “normal” one…married, manages a stock brokerage firm in Fashion Island…wife, three kids and a life she can understand.) She continues to see doctors “digging holes in her” and likely to continue for many years to come but hasn’t slowed her down. She has written a book titled “Lemons Really Do Make Lemonade,” which is now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kindle. All proceeds go to melanoma research. Sally is living life happily one day at a time and enjoying it to the hilt.
As Dick Bolton wrote in his contribution to our 50th booklet, it’s easy to “appreciate what a truly remarkable group comprises MAD’s Class of 1953.”
You’re right Dr. Bolton. Go Wildcats!!