The Class of 1964 50 Year Reunion School Tour

Right from the top we have to thank Diane Mayer and Tom Gaspar for putting together the tour and making all of us old timers feel most welcome on Saturday afternoon. Diane is without a doubt one of the most approachable persons I have ever met and she is always there at St. Monica's Alumni Center to answer your questions and get you up to date on alumni activities.

The most impressive part for me was to be greeted at the very start by seniors from Saint Monica's present high school class.  I don't want to get into hyperbole about today's youth but I have to say it was encouraging to meet such a fine group of young men and women who will be carrying the banner for the next generation. Okay, I will say it.  They reminded me of us and what we were like when we attended Saint Monica's. 

To put all of this another way, I saw in the first few moments that Saint Monica's hasn't changed its traditions and programs that send young adults into the world educated, ready, informed and of great character.  I am of the opinion that we were lucky to go there when we did and I am here to testify that has not changed. based on what I saw on the tour on Saturday afternoon.

That said, Saint Monica's has changed some of its structures and physical environment to provide a better place for its collective community to celebrate those traditions and pastimes. It underwent a $27 million dollar overhaul in the last decade that built a new community center, parking structure and reorganized classrooms, gym and meeting areas.  Some of it is obvious by the green turf that now is evident where we walked on asphalt in the school yard. 

I think all of us had mixed feelings as we toured.  We saw the new structures, yes.  But we also embraced the old ones that were still there because they held and preserved our memories like a monument to a wonderful time when we were young, hopeful and innocent, positive the world was ours to conquer. We remembered our lockers, hallways, even the steps we lingered on between classes.  As our tour guide talked we listened on one plane but our eyes wandered back to the past when we were there and walked those same hallways as teenagers.  We remembered our friends, the performances and meetings in Cantwell Auditorium (and that ball that spinned around at dances above). Everything. 

The gym was recently redone but mercifully it too could not change much from the way we knew it.  They had posted the sports celebrities up on the wall and Kenny and Tom noted that Bob Klein was not among them.  That was surprising since he had been an all star with USC and then played for the Rams and Chargers.  The Tom Gaspar, tour guide and president, told us that in fact there were many notable sports celebrities that had attended Saint Monica's since our time there.  It did not satisfy or really answer our question and I think we felt that maybe we were just too old and too far back in the past to be counted. 

If you are wondering, they moved the anchor from outside of the boy's school to around the corner where they made a new place for it.  However, the ship's wheel and compass that our class donated somehow has gone missing. 

But those things that we remember are a part of us and can never be lost to our collected memories and enjoyment although their physical presence is gone. The things we did, playing football and other sports, attending games, being stellar students, dances, clubs, and socializing will always be with us as a part of the mortar that binds the walls of Saint Monica's together.  We share that with those eager and bright youths that greeted us on Saturday.  They are us fifty years beyond and we can take great pride in our collective experience and continued traditions.

They showed us with great pride the new Saint Monica's but I think we all really wanted to see the old, and we did.  We pushed away the new paint, the green turfed yard, new structures and reformed classrooms and found our old friend stil there to embrace us and welcome us home.  We relived our high school days again and like everything else with this 50 year reunion, it was wonderful.