Nov 16, 2013…
Welcome to the page that celebrates the lives of the unbeatable,
best ever class to graduate from Monrovia-Arcadia-Duarte High, the
Class of 1954.
FLASH! FLASH! FLASH! Save the dates, the ’54 reunion committee
has met several times this year and has finally set the dates for
our 60th Reunion. October
3rd and 4th, 2014. We plan to invite members of ’53
and ’55 and for that matter other class alumni who want to mingle
with the best MAD had to offer. Save the dates. And, please, plan
on attending. It won’t be the same without you.
A no-host Cocktail Get Together at the Double Tree Hotel,
Monrovia. You and your spouse or significant other can take the
edge off the wear and tear of getting here safely. Begin the social
intercourse that makes our reunions so memorable. And at our age
“social” is all most of us can consider.
Nostalgia will reign as we tour the newly refurbished and
enlarged MHS campus. You won’t believe it ‘til you see it. Old
buildings look like new. New buildings looking like Wow! A
football stadium with an all-weather track and an auditorium that
would do New York City theater goers proud. And speaking of
football, perhaps attend the
Friday night varsity game at MHS
once we know next year’s schedule. Oh! The Wildcats won the first
of their CIF playoff game by last night defeating Sierra Canyon High
62 to 10.
A buffet dinner and open bar at an old, posh Arcadia landmark.
Plenty of time to renew old acquaintances and, perhaps, make some
new ones. Time to take photos of friends and share photos of times
past. And time to feel the sadness that goes with learning who is
no longer among us after 60 years.
Your committee consisting of Buz Buster, Ray Infantino, Larry
Cullinane, Gene Bishop’53, Enid Arozena Busser, Bob Huntington,
Duane Gray ‘53, and Bruce & Mariellen Matthews Staller has met and
discussed the preliminary when, where, what and whos
of our upcoming reunion.
In about two weeks we will have the Reunion Schedule nailed
down. AND THEN WE NEED TO GET THE WORD OUT.
We need your current address, phone # and email and also
those of any other alums with whom you may be in touch or know whom
have passed. And please give us your most creative feedback and
ideas for our 60th reunionwhich we all hope will be
our best ever.
Email your info to Mariellen Staller at
firstname.lastname@example.org or snailmail to her at 3229 Elda
St., Duarte, CA 91010.
We look forward to hearing from you. Thank you....Bruce &
P.S. The dates are firm, so you may wish to make reservations at
the Double Tree Hotel, Monrovia where we have a block of 40 rooms
Please give of your most creative feedback
and ideas for our 60th reunion together with your current
address, phone and email and those of any other alums with whom you
may be in touch.
Email your info to Mariellen Staller at
email@example.com or snailmail to her at 3229
Elda St., Duarte, CA 91010.
We look forward to hearing from you about
what we all hope will be our best ever Reunion. Thank you.
The Very Best of Times…
Nostalgia reigned at our M.A.D, 55th Reunion held Friday, Saturday
and Sunday, October 3rd thru 5th.
Your committee invited members of the classes of ’53, ’54 and ’55.
Many thanks to our Reunion Committee of Bob Huntington, Gene Bishop,
fearless leader Ray Infantino, Enid Arozena Busser, Larry Cullinane,
Mariellen Staller, Buz Buster, Bruce Staller.
Special thanks to Harriett Cravens Bernard’55. Kathi Henry’53 and
Gretchen Cacciotti’53 for working so hard to ensure their classes’
There Was A Downbeat…
They were supposed to attend the reunion but within days of each
other we received messages that Gary Price
firstname.lastname@example.org, Robert McKinley
email@example.com and Tom Flournoy
firstname.lastname@example.org had serious medical problems and would not
make the Reunion. Glad to report that they’re on the mend and still
among us. Please email them your get well thoughts and your take on
Buz Buster on the Monrovia Tour
On Saturday, about 30 classmates and spouses participated in the
Town Walking Tour. Marilyn and I started off at the new library. The
staff was so helpful in showing us this great addition to Monrovia.
For those of you who did not go on the tour try to visit the library
and take a look around. Don’t miss the Heritage Room - it has all
the Monrovia High School Annuals dating back to the beginning up to
the current edition.
Today, there is an art gallery on Lime, right across the street from
Library Park. The gallery occupies the space once held by Burton's
Hideaway, which was Bill Burton's dad's bar. It is the only art
gallery still open in Monrovia. Quite a few more bars, though.
It was great that we had people that were born and raised in
Monrovia because it was like a living history lesson of the town.
One person would point out that their grandfather owned a certain
store and they lived above it back in the 30’s and another would
point out that there was a store such as McBratney’s and a whole
flood of memories would come back. Everyone in the group would add
their information and memories regarding downtown Monrovia making
the walk a meaningful tour. It was truly a wonderful experience.
THE FRIDAY EVENING COCKTAIL PARTY
held at the Doubletree Hotel in Monrovia was a smashing success.
Over 75 grads and their spouses got reacquainted over cocktails and
That bartender poured ‘em with a heavy hand at the Doubletree. Tony
Saccoman and Don Polifka wisely sit next to the Lifesaver ring.
Memorybook maker Enid Arozena Busser’54 and Marlene Little Willet’54
recount 55 long years.
Marilyn and Buz Buster chat it up with Doctor Jack Kistler
(center). Jack’s still in practice in the Riverside area.
A pensive Scott Morris (center) pondering on the 35year old Bordeaux
or the Two Buck Chuck. You’re in Monrovia, Trader Joe’s Hq.,
Scott. Take the Two Buck Chuck!
Bill Holmes took most of the pics of this party and the Santa Anita
bash. Thanks Bill. Thanks also to Judy Tope for sending along the
pics her family took at Santa Anita and to Derwood Crocker for
several sharp Sat. Eve. Shots.
Sandi Russell Pearson’54 and Pat Scott Lonon’54 were early arrivals
and ready for refills.
Bob Tope’54, all the way from Alaska, Barbara Treydte Steggall’54
and Mariellen Matthews Staller’54 catch up on the last five years.
Barbara Prior Jameson’54, Jim Jameson’53 and Gloria & Gene Bishop’53
are all smiles at Friday’s party. Jim went to West Point, retired
as U.S. Army Colonel and then had a second career as a stockbroker.
Gene Bishop was a MAD yell leader and later served as president of
California State Bank which he and brother, Tom ‘55, started.
Lyle’53 & Lorna Fleming greet arriving guests.
They now reside in Chico, CA, south of Groucho and west of Harpo.
THE SATURDAY EVENING AT SANTA ANITA…
Over 160 MAD Grads and guests gathered in the elegant Directors Room
to celebrate at least 55 years since graduation. Note the beautiful
staircase whose use later in the evening would deliver a musical
surprise to us all.
Ethyl Vance Wilson’53 and Don Polifka. Ethyl brought down the house
when she strode up to MC Infantino and loudly declared I’m here
to tell you that I’m very much alive! Seems our ’53 webpage had
been misinformed of Ethyl’s demise. Later in the evening, Ray went
from table to table and had each alumni introduce himself.
Long time Arcadia classmates Chuck Williams’54, Derwood Crocker and
Tom Tobin share the evening’s special glow.
Dick Bradburne, bro-in-law, Bob Tope’54 and his sis, Pricilla Tope
Bradburne’54, share a laugh.
Fresh from a day at the races, Howard Krisvoy’54 and wife, Miko,
chat it up Viola Feuhr Panman’53.
Judy Coleman Aronson’55, Audrey Crellen Beatty’53, Marilyn Jones
Buster’56 and Carol Muffley Simms’54 get reacquainted in style.
Four 55ers ready to make it to the buffet. Barbara Dollar’55
identified John Craigmyle and Alan Heritage as the guys to the left
of Jimmy Olson and Hal Folts. For her prompt identification of John
and Al, Barbara wins two meatloaf dinners at Monrovia’s V&H
Restaurant. Well, Barb, the V&H has been closed for about 50
years. The meatloaf available to us is more than a little green.
How strong is your stomach? Can you come to CA as the FDA won't let
the stuff across state lines? Let Mariellen know at
Leonard Wilmsen’54 tells Molly Hughes Holguin’54 and hubby, Vic,
about moving north shortly before graduation.
John Bianchi’55 and his lovely wife, Nikki enjoying Bob Huntington’s
talk. Bob eloquently spoke on the “Greatest Generation” and his
Many of you have heard of or read Tom Brokaw's best selling book
"The Greatest Generation" written in 1999. It tells of some of the
WW II heroes and their personal stories - stories of bravery,
patriotism, self sacrifice, etc. And modesty! Tom Brokaw writes:
At a time in their lives when their days and nights
should have been filled with innocent adventure, love, and the
lessons of the workaday world, they were fighting in the most
primitive conditions possible across the bloodied landscape of
France, Belgium, Italy, Austria, and the islands of the Pacific.
On the 40th anniversary of the allied landing at Normandy, Tom
Brokaw began to see - and hear - the extent of their
As I walked the beaches with the American veterans who had
returned for this anniversary, men in their 60s and 70s, and
listened ta their stories, I was deeply moved and profoundly
grateful for all they had done. I came to understand what this
generation of Americans meant to history. It is, I believe, the
greatest generation any society has ever produced.
I'm really pleased to introduce two graduates of MAD who were
bonafide members of “The Greatest Generation"
Frank Bell, MAD Class of 1936 and wife Ramona. PLEASE STAND. Frank
and Ramona are 91 and 90 years of age respectively and celebrated
their 69th anniversary last July. Frank was shot down in WW 11- he
actually lost one wing of his plane and his wife thought he was
killed. They live on McKinley Place in a home they built 60 years
ago. He sold his Monrovia insurance business to some lIupstart" or
"punk kid" named Ray Infantino.
Bob Humble, MAD Class of 1948 and wife Marilyn. PLEASE STAND. Bob
attended First Avenue School and MAD where he played football and
ran track. He and Marilyn, also a graduate of MAD, have been married
for 58 years. After graduation he joined the National Guard and went
to Japan and Korea. He returned home in 1952 and continued with the
military, completed the Command and General Staff College, and after
40 years of the military he retired as a Colonel.
Adding it up, here before you are four people with a total of 127
years of marriage!
These MAD graduates are our own home-town heroes of The Greatest
Generation. We deeply appreciate your patriotism and sacrifice, the
"sacrifice" meaning to the military, not marriage!
WE SALUTE EACH OF YOU!
Frank & Ramona Bell celebrate Frank’s 72nd reunion and their 69th
wedding anniversary. Frank piloted an A-26 bomber over Germany
during the closing months of WWII. He was shot down but obviously
lived to tell about it.
Bob’48 and Marilyn’52 Humble celebrate his 61st and her 57th
reunions. Bob served in the National Guard, Monrovia, and was
called up for the Korean War. He made the Army a career and retired
with the rank of colonel.
At the bar, but not a lawyer among ‘em, ‘54’s Chuck Sihler, Derwood
Crocker, Bob Tope, Ray Infantino, Bob Huntington, Bruce Staller and
Reggie Jack pause briefly for the camera.
Gene’53 & Gloria Bishop and 54er’s Ron & Barbara Griep Solar share a
Jim’54 & Arlene’53 Fremeau and Pat Bennett Rankin’54 trading MAD
recollections with Phil Smith’52.
Robert Schow, ’52 webpage editor Jane Nash Millet and hubby, Tom
enjoying a laugh with Sally Nash (left).
Sally Nash listens as Jack Nash’54 and Joan Biddle LeBlanc’54
remember their days at Santa Fe Elementary School.
Jocelyn Orth Pyle’53 and Karen Wenzlaff Saunders’53 whoop it up as
Judy Coleman Aronson takes the mike from Ray Infantino.\
A disappointed Phelps Wood ’54 listens intently as Beverly Gaebel
Wood’55 tells him he may have but one dessert.
Buz Buster and Don Thomas’54 trying to figure what went wrong with
their 8th race selection.
Committee Chair Ray’54 and Laurie Infantino are all smiles
anticipating their move to La Quinta.
Former jockey, Wolfgang Backstretch, autographs Barbara Dollar
Rogan’s’55 program as a smiling Hal Folts’55 looks on. After
leaving racing in 1965, Wolfgang took part in an experimental drug
program that injected retired jockies with Human Growth Hormone.
Now 6’2” and 260 lbs, Wolf had a second career as a circus lion
tamer. “Once you’ve had the whip, you can’t give it up,” said
Background, left, Harriet Bernard Cravens, ’55webpage editor heads
for the buffet as Tillie Tope Bradburne’54 and Rosemary Armstrong
Brown find a seat.
Ken Clark & Margie Van Gundy Clark’54, relax, as Moe Witt’54 and
Reggie Jack’54 argue the relative merits of brewski and merlot. A
relaxed Cheryl Jack texts her daughter. Editor’s note: for this pic
we moved Moe to his left so he would not be in jeoprady under the
Marilyn Nollac Spears’53, ‘53webpage editor Kathi Phelps Henry and
Gretchen Kambeitz Cacciotti’53 are excited and surprised as…..
And then, surprise. A unit of the MHS Marching Band announces its
arrival while wending its way down the stairs. Now, reflect. Who
among us, at our age, would care to descend that stairway, your
vision impaired and center of gravity compromised by that bass drum?
The band, under the direction of MHS Band Director, Daniel
Magallanes, played school songs that we knew and many that we
didn’t. For many alumni its appearance was the evening’s high
point. Your committee made a generous donation to the MHS Band Fund
administered by the Monrovia Schools Foundation.
And one more cheer from Yell Leaders Judy Coleman Aronson’55, Gene
Bishop’53, Ron Linderman’54 and Buz Buster’54.
Finally, Isn’t this what reunions are all about? Two old friends, a
little worse for wear, sharing old memories and making new ones.
This reunion also differred from all our previous ones. There were
no living teachers present.
Now, please all stand for the MHS Alma Mater. Thank you for coming
and sharing this evening. Arrive safely at your homes. Keep your
health and we’ll see you soon.
Lastly, you have the pleasure and sometimes sad responsibility to
send us your news and new email and home addresses. Please email
Mariellen & Bruce
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