Michael Cunningham (Cunningham)
Kathy, that’s the best part of growing up in La Mirada in our time. So many simple forms of activities that we shared with so many friends. The memories got me caught into melancholy before I finished my thoughts to Wayne. I love that he mentioned the families that struggled. But, I wanted to say that I knew very few of us that cared who had more or less than we had when it came to being friends. La Mirada had a wide economic range but few that I knew cared. If we were playing army you might admire the gun your friend had but he might admire the one you made from pieces of broken toys and your imagination. Five weeks and I can’t wait to see all who attend the reunion. I hope to spend the night hearing the paths our different lives have taken. All the memories get me rambling. See you there!
Kathy Goettsch (Baker)
Kathy, both. But even though we are old(er), we had a fortunate childhood that bred those fond memories we look back on. We are lucky. There are so many that don’t have that pleasure. I seem to remember a Four Seasons song with that lyric..”See you, in September”...
Wow, Kathy and Mike such great posts ! They bring back a flood of memories. Like Kathy, I remember warm summer nights sitting on the porch with my Dad while he smoked and watered the lawn, and we shared small talk that meant so much to me. I also remember hearing the wail of the train going by, a memory that I had lost until Kathy reminded me of it. It is also nice to hear from Mike about Dean Fera. Dean and I played baseball and basketball together. In 8th grade at McNally he was the best hitter on our school team. Coach Edwards put together his lineup with the best hitters in descending order, and Dean always batted first. Dean must have batted over .500 that season, and there was no pitch he couldn’t handle from the fastest fastball to the most wicked curve. One of my fondest memories of Dean was in high school when he would talk with such passion about his favorite song, which was the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations”. That was one of my favorites too, and I learned a lot about it from Dean, including how long it took in the studio to record and how much it cost to record, which, at the time, were both records in the music business. I didn’t know Dean went to Vietnam, and I am sorry to learn he had some ghastly experiences in that terrible and meaningless war. My last memory of Dean was of a much better time : either one or two years out from high school, in the summer, I remember playing in a pickup basketball game one evening at Cerritos College with Dean. He had his usual fast and smooth game, and afterwards he marveled that I had developed a nice outside jump shot. That compliment and what joy it gave me is one of my fond memories. And as for Kathy asking whether we could have grown old ? My answer, is of course not, how in the world could we be old, or worse yet, seniors with AARP Memberships, the flyers for which I tear up whenever they reach my mailbox. Of course, growing old might have a little to do with why I avoid looking in a mirror as if I were a vampire, or why I never stop to comb my hair, most of which vanished years ago. Seriously, I cherish the memories of our collective past : we came of age in an amazing time, with war raging around us, but also a renaissance in art and music, and culture shifts of profound magnitude. So, as hard as it is sometimes, I like to think of the past in terms of all of the good and simple times I recall from it, and not to “let the past remind us of who we are not now.” Crosby, Stills&Nash. I am looking forward to visiting with all of my friends at the Reunion.
David Kearns (Bratton-Kearns)
Reading the posts from you three this morning...Kathy, Wayne, Mike...has been a tonic much better than my Peet’s coffee. Thanks for sharing, and can’t wait to see you all next month. Which reminds me (because it’s sort of my reunion job), Wayne, I don’t see that you have bought your ticket(s) yet. What’s with that??? :<)
The last time I our paths cross Stu was sometime in the mid-70’s at the Wedge in Newport Beach. I was there taking photos of the large surf.
I saw him as we were both leaving. We talked for short while about old times, he told me Mike Johnson had passed away. Mike, Stu, Neil Anderson and I were good friend during our days at Hutchinson.
I have some great memories of all of us riding our bikes to the beach during the summer…what a truck, but what fun times. I think it was Stu who came up with the idea of using old wagon wheel and a 2x4 to haul his surf board all the to the Cliffs.
One time a few of us were at Sunset Beach. It was early morning and up drives Stu, at that time was a belly boarder, with his radio blasting “8-Miles High” by the Birds… still think of him when ever I hear that song…
Debbie Jones (Vietzke)
The way I remember Stuie was at Hutchinson - he was in three of my classes - 1st grade with Mrs Reush, 4th grade with Mrs Kaminski and 6th grade with Mrs Grifall (see below)
Stuie was always nice to me - he smiled when he spoke - and he was kind. We had several boys like that :) For the most part, we all knew and liked each other.I think to this day I still long for that belonging feeling.
I think I have mentioned this before but one clear memory I have of Stuie was in 6th grade we were on rainy day schedule and had to take our recesses in
the classroom. We often played 7-up and other games I can't think of at the moment. But this day we had a record player and I think Stuie brought the records and Stuie and we danced along somewhat in spite of the desks. Of course we were laughing at each other. The one song I remember us working on was The Twist by Chubby Checker. Every time I hear it on TV or something I think of that day, and Stuie.
I don't know why this stuck in my memory.
Stu Roe and I were good friends during grade school at Hutchinson and McNally. I remember being at his house and afraid to go inside because his crippled chijuajua would always attack me and try to bite my feet. I remember working with Stu on the family boat they had parked in the driveway and eventually taking it out on a cruise in the San Pedro harbour. I remember his Dad on Sundays cooking Mexican food, drinking beer, and playing his vibes. Stuie, Mike Mooney, and myself all rode unicycles and we had the opportunity to ride in the La Mirada parade. Those were good memories!
Debbie, that wasn't even my sixth grade class but I had come to know most everyone in that picture over those last three plus years. We have all followed our own paths but whenever I see a picture like this I can't help but wonder where we have all ended up at in our lives. Sadness but good memories for those whose paths have ended early and curiosity about those faces I see that I haven't heard from in so long. Stu looks so mature in this picture. Amazing.