A few months ago while working on my blog posting, I came across a black and white group photo from 1970 that was all too familiar. It was from my 8th grade grammer school graduation and the posting was from Laura, a name I had remembered from 41 years ago but not spoken to in as many years. In the baby booming 60’s, the average Catholic school class sizes were always large and ours was no different with 46 per class and 2 classrooms. Many of the faces in the photo were tagged and the old names and faces were coming back to me like it was yesterday! I contacted Laura to add my name to the post and began to name as many as I could.

In the picture with us were our teachers,  Mr. Kadan and an older nun that we all fondly referred to as SAJ. (aka Sr. Auralia Joseph) How those nuns kept us in line I will never know!

We grew up in a time without computers, 300 cable channels to choose from, instant information or Facebook chats. Ours was a time when knowing your friends and their siblings was easy because every daylight hour was spent together and we only went home when it was dark and time for dinner. These relationships and friends were unforgettable even after all these years.

As more names were gathered, the talk of reuniting again sounded like such fun, and finding everyone would be a task, but that’s what the internet is for right? I became quite the stalker and with the help of Madalene, knocking on doors and peeking into houses in some of our old neighborhoods, and Mary calling every golf course in Temecula looking for JT, we were getting kinda good at it! With only a few days left, I found Mr. Bob Kadan and sent an email hoping that he might know “Our Mr. Kadan” as he looked quite a bit like the man who taught us 41 years ago! To my surprise, and his delight that he was recognizable, he and his wife were able to join in what was an amazing day with some of the best people I have ever been so honored to call my friends!

Thanks to all of you that traveled so far, Tom from Japan, Chuck from Arkansas, Ellen from Idaho, Di from Colorado, Jim from Texas, Pat+ Maggie from No.Cal, all the OC peeps, Laura from San Diego who put up that silly picture and made me think that while we may have moved away from Manhattan Beach, Manhattan Beach will always be with us as will our friends.

Here are is a compilation of photos from past to present.

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