The 45th Reunion-Memories

12 July 2008 Dinner & dancing at the home of
John & Linda McGrain

The 45th Reunion of our class of 63" was just fabulous. The weather was perfect and the attendance grand. Around 150 people gathered. It was only the second reunion I have ever attended, the first being our 5th. So that was 40 years ago! The good news is that I recognized all the people I knew! And that's pretty wonderful, considering it could have been otherwise due to all those 40 years of living. John and Linda McGrain were incredibly generous and gracious to open their lovely Spanish hacienda to us, overlooking the Rose Bowl where we all graduated 45 years ago. They spoiled us with a wonderful buffet, complete with an open bar, a terrific band and dancing, celebratory flower arrangements and John Muir 63' decorations in our school colors of blue and yellow, and many other thoughtful details, including valet parking. We were not the last to leave, and that was 1:30 am. Many had traveled from afar to join us: Sari Weatherwax came from Connecticut, Donna Goodenow from Scotsdale, Margee Reeder from Virginia, and others from all over California. It was so interesting to hear about people's children, careers, challenges and successes. We all tried to catch up on each other as fast as possible. It was also very wonderful to expanad my horizons by meeting other fellow graduates whom I hadn't really known as a student at Muir. A special feature to mention was the presence of the current principal of John Muir, Sheryl Orange. She is a gifted and loving professional who has many ideas and plans about how to effectively reach her student popularion. She is putting special programs in place to meet their needs for a relevant education and to give emotional support. Let's give her praise and support. Many of us are teachers, so her mission is close to our hearts. All in all, it was a not-to-be-missed occasion and I certainly plan to attend our 50th reunion 5 years hence. I hope to see you all then, if not before. Many blessings, Linda BLEYLE Puhr-Westerheide

I too want to give thanks again to John and Linda McGrain for hosting a wonderful 45th reunion at their lovely home and ordering perfect weather! There was an open bar and catered food buffet by "Elements" which were superb! The band, which was outstanding, played all of the "oldies" music that brought back memories of our years at John Muir. And finally, seeing all of our classmates again and enjoying their company was just fantastic! I am also glad that we could be instrumental in helping to raise money for our alma mater's sound system. Of all the reunions, I only missed the 35th, I have to say this was one of the best! 

It was great seeing my Madrigal buddies, Mollyanne Brewer, Cathy Howe Archambeault and Julie Seydewitz MacNeil. I was also able to chat a little bit with Jim Held, Ken Hansen, (couldn't find Barbie) , David and Kathryn Bassett, Ed and Jeane Prudhomme and Darlyne Billotti Garofalo.

Sharing tables with Mollyanne Brewer, Joe and Nolanda Love, Michael and Lois Douglas, Jon and Debbie Williams, Hurlan Lankford Mounday, Gwen Jackson Lisboa, Camille Gordon Hayes, Betty Betts Turner, Melvin Terry, Brent and Chris, Pat McWhorter Simon, Warren and Sheila Ruffin Johnson and Wil Abram was wonderful. We had so many wonderful memories to share...

We talked about how some of us live in Pasadena and rarely see each other, because of our busy lives. We also talked about Cleveland and Jackson Elementary School, walking 4 miles to Washington Junior High School and having a track meet at the Rose Bowl in Junior High!!

Of course the conversation always turns to the Turkey Tussle, discussing our long rivalry between the Mustangs and the Bulldogs and losing our senior year. What a bummer. We also remembered selling "World's Finest" candy during our senior year to be able to have a free Senior Prom and present Muir with the tile facade on the auditorium and the marquee that is still there today.

We also lamented the fact that when we went to John Muir, anyone who came from out of state, was put back a year because of our academic excellence. I hope that some day Muir can be strong again, with the committed leadership of John Muir's Principal, Sheryl Orange.

I am looking forward to our 50th reunion cruise if that is what we decide on. I think it would be a wonderful time for all. Again, thank you John and Linda for opening your home, thank you Kathryn for keeping our website going and thank you reunion committee for another successful turnout.

Ardelia Crawford Wright