E-mails (latest first)

Last update: 01/09/2012  

From Herman Brown, December 24, 2011:

Hi All,

From our home to your home:

We are wishing you all a Happy Holiday Season and a healthy New Year.

We had a great Thanksgiving with our little family (all 8 of us), and are looking forward for a repeat right after the first of the year.

Later, Herman and Cecelia.

PS. Here is a picture of us taken right after we received a pair of a handmade mushroom ornaments (Porcinis)

From Marilyn Lyon Hancock, August 22, 2010:

Hi Herman,

Here are some pictures from the gathering to celebrate Linda Peterson's life. Her sister Barbara hosted a dinner at Paul Martin's American Bistro
in El Segundo on August 14th. It was a very nice evening sharing our experiences with Linda over the years. You were missed. Kathy printed,
enlarged and framed the picture of you and Linda during the 50th week-end. Very cute! 


From Vince Fennell, July 7, 2010:

Herman, you are doing God's work. You have brought the MCHS Class of '57 back to life, and sustained its current existence and it will be to your eternal credit. I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed your website and its treasure trove of photographs going back over 60 years in many cases. You have preserved forever the legacy of a bunch of kids thrown together a long time ago in a special place many of whom have remained close and that have a special bond, that I think is very rare in this world. God Bless You!

Love, Vince Fennell

From Gail Mungen Burnet, June 2, 2010

Thought you might like to see this. I had forgotten all about our publication, "Reflections". Fun to see the names of those of us who worked so hard on it.

This is from Terry Atherton Studebaker. She was in the class of '58. Reflections 1, Reflections 2

Gail B

From Jack Eastman, April 22, 2010

It's been a while since I howled into the wind and let all the folks, fugitives from Mira Costa (many of you languishing in the warm sun of tropical California, while I'm shoveling a bunch of cold white stuff!) escapees from the Griffith Observatory, various geology and astronomy clubs out there and everywhere.

All is going well with me, as I have said in the past, retirement is definitely agreeing with me. I take demonic pleasure in making that known when I run into, especially, X-bosses who are still submerged in that 4-letter word, "work".

I really enjoy the stuff that some of you send out this way, especially the humor. Keep it coming! Ya gotta have a sense of humor, as they say "An apple a day keeps the doctor away, a giggle a day keeps the shrink away. And an onion a day keeps everybody else away"

It seems that 2009 lasted about a month and a half. New Years and all and then it happened again. Way too fast. '09 began warm and dry and allowed a fair amount of cycling, I think I had about 200 miles by the middle of Feburary. Not so this year, cold and just enough snow to keep the roads icy when it would otherwise be a good time to ride. I haven't perfected a technique for riding on ice. So far the best I can do is to go back inside and practice a bit of Chemistry... make up a batch of Margaritas and not worry about the ice, except that floating around in my glass.

Astronomy has been alive and well, we do an enormous amount of public outreach over at Denver University. The bad part is that almost every monthly open house at the Chamberlin Observatory has been clouded out. We still open the place up and put on presentations and give tours through the place. A couple years ago the complete renovation and restoration of the building was finished. What a nightmare. We'll repaint the place, put in new light fixtures, fix stuck windows etc. Guess again! When this sort of project is undertaken, we need to bring everything in the place up to code; plumbing, electrical and all. I don't think cloth insulated wiring from the 1890's would pass muster. All in all, things worked out and the place is really nice. I don't think the Chamberlin website has been updated yet. That needs to be done. Now it's the telescope's turn. The poor thing has got arthritis of the clamping, fine adjustment and driving system. I doubt it's seen any lubrication since 1917, when it was last overhauled, and it is acting up. We can still use it, but it needs to be pushed along by hand to follow the sky. A pain for a 5-ton really old telescope. Since the first edition of this, we held a telescope butchering party and I'm happy to report the telescope has been cured. We pulled the entire mechanism for the RA slow motion and clamp out and my theory seemed like the answer, no lubrication since 1917, what oil there was in there had clotted up. We tried high vacuum grease with bad results, so out it came again, this time light motor oil. Success. Light oil? Maybe a snootful of Kerosene would be in order. Much of the mechanism is inside the telescope tube, I'd be afraid of anything that'd outgas and get goo on the back of the lens. (Howcome the spectra of that quasar shows absorption of hydrocarbons? Looks like kerosene!) Kerosene? Carla Johns,* who recently moved from Colorado to the Land of Perpetual Smog, is, among many other things, training to operate the historic 100" at Mt. Wilson says that part of the operation of that 'scope is climbing over the mount to lube the declination slow motion with kerosene. (Just don't pour it on the mirror!) The mystery of the loose bolt or whatever that's been rattling around inside the telescope was also solved. Aaron, the observatory manager, fished out the loose bolt and it proved to be a pin out of an internal U joint on the RA clamp shaft. More butchery, and we did get into that part of things, with difficulty. Good thing too! of the 3 remaining pins two were ready to fall out. I can just see it. we sew up the patient, Charlie goes back to Grand Junction and we point the telescope at something and clamp it just as the U-joint fails and we can't move the 'scope! Good thing we did the extra surgery. Telescope? This was much more like operating on the rear axle assembly of a big old Kenworth or the like. Everything else seems to be OK, and the seeing that night (Tuesday) was good, lots of detail on Mars, several double stars and Saturn were all good views.

I got roped into the Board of Adjustment and Appeals for my fair city, Sheridan, on the promise they only meet once or twice a year. First year we met, public hearing on a fence location. That one lasted 16 minutes. More recently, however, we've had about 6 meetings. The most convoluted was still under an hour. It's interesting, trying to figure out how the city operates. City Council, on the other hand is a real can of snakes. I've respectfully declined that hornet's nest. (If you run for office, be sure you can run really fast, lest you get caught)

A couple of weeks ago I was at a friends for eats and all and tried my hand at his flight simulator. Jerry, and some of you who have or have had an interest in flying will get a kick outta this. First was a Cessna 182. Also, I might add, no rudder. After going all over the field (it was L.A. International) I finally got into the air. All was good after that, except I couldn't see out forward if the dashboard was showing. Well, I flew instruments, set a course (so I thought) to Catalina, forgetting that the bearings are magnetic, not true. I got there but couldn't remember the elevation of the runway, I seem to recall 2500 ft. or so. I couldn't seem to hit the runway,turn off instruments and try visually. No good, line up on the heading (I thought got me aimed correctly) no good. I forgot the runway number lacks the last number of the heading, runway 22 is at 220 or so, magnetic, 4 is 40. Oh well, my final landing attempt looked really funny, what's that funny cloud overhead that looks like a runway? Glance at the altimeter--1600 feet. Turns out the field was at 2606. Oh damn, wrinkled the airplane a bit. Next was a 737. Easy takeoff roll and climb and all, but a mess when we got to Denver. Couldn't find the airport and I'm sure we flew through several mountains! Oh well, more practice!!

I'm still addicted to the annual Riverside Telescope Maker's Conference out at Camp Oakes near Big Bear. For me it's more of a reunion with many of the old cronies I bummed around with while I was a prisoner of the Land of Perpetual Smog. This last year I tried a new one, the Okie-Tex starparty near Kenton Oklahoma.* It was great, a lot of fun even though the weather was, for the most part, stinko.

November brought another "The Night the Stars Fell" commemoration of the 1833 Leonid meteor shower. A scrumptious dinner and a great lecture (and book signing) by Mark Littmann, author of Heavens on Fire, a terrific book about the Leonid shower, meteoritics and a tad of celestial mechanics. A foot and a half of snow in the courtyard and really cold compromised the setting up of our telescopes.

Speaking of books, I always thought V. M. Slipher, of the Lowell Observatory, really got the short end of the horn when it came to the expanding universe of Hubble fame. Slipher did all the pioneering work discovering the red-shifts of "white- or spiral- nebulae in about 1914 or so. He did this with only a 24" telescope, and I feel he got cheated out of proper credit for this. I often thought of writing an article about this, but, alas, procrastinitis (I suffer from a most severe case of procrastinitis. No known cure, so drink beer and live with it!) being what it is I never got around to it. To my surprise (and great pleasure) there was an article in Sky and Telescope last summer, "The Man who Expanded the Universe" by Marcia Bartusiak. Exactly what was needed to properly place credit. It turns out that was excerpted from her book "The Day we Found the Universe" One of the best books I've read in a very long time. Well written, not all that technical, a fine history of the mystery of spiral nebulae from William Parson's observations in the 1840s to Hubble in 1924 and the ramifications of this work into the 1930s. A fine piece of writing

Last Summer, Laura Ellen Dafoe gave the club a talk on the Descent Imaging Spectral Radiometer (DISR) which went to Saturn's big moon, Titan along with the Cassini Mission. Laura was the Senior Staff Systems Engineer on that instrument and we roped her into giving two talks, one a few years ago where she described the instrument and the one last year where she talked about the science we have gotten back. What made this special was the Principal Investigator, Dr. Marty Tomasko, from the U. of Arizona showed up, as well as a few of the others who worked on the project. John Flemming, Program Manager, didn't show up, and caught grief for his absence. He said he forgot about it until the following week. I wish he'd been there, I was gonna nominate him for "Cat Herder of the Decade" for keeping all us troublemakers in line and seeing to it the project succeeded. Just last month Laura Ellen and Mark Dafoe hosted a real reunion party with all of us that are still wiggling in attendance. That was a great party. most of the participants were retired, but a few still haven't been paroled.

O.K, I again see I've babbled on and on, it's time to slide off and stuff my face. I hope all of you are well and things are going your way. Something to the effect of "May the trail rise up to meet you and the wind be always at your back, and not of your own making..."

Cheers FJE

* Article, Okie-Tex http://www.denverastrosociety.org/newsletters/NOVEMBER2009forweb.pdf p. 4 or so

* Article, Carla Swartz/Johns talk re: Griffith and Mt Wilson http://www.denverastrosociety.org/newsletters/January2010forweb.pdf Also P. 4

P.S. RTMC or Bust!!

From Kathy Ainsworth (Diane Lingo), March 08, 2010

Hi Herman- 

Well its been 20 years since the 30-year reunion and more than 50 years since graduation.  I look at my kids that are starting to go into their 50's and I am beginning to feel my 70 years. I have 4 children, 8 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren, with one on the way.  

Its amazing to watch the life cycle and see what you have started.  I have been married to my third husband for 20 years.  He has 2 children in their 40's. His son lives in San Diego, his daughter in Washington State.  My oldest daughter lives in Oceanside, CA. My oldest son lives in Vista, CA. My youngest daughter lives in Gilbert, AZ and my youngest son lives in Manchester, TN. I am living in Mesa, AZ.

We are enjoying our retirement. Golf, bowling and traveling have been our agenda, my husband has had some health setbacks so that fun stuff has been scaled back. I have an account on Facebook if you are interested in becoming a friend.  Happy to hear you are doing well.

I have been using my first name Kathryn (Kathy) for so many years most everyone knows me by that name, so if I sign an e-mail with Kathy, you will know why.

Kathy Ainsworth (Diane Lingo) katydiane1@cox.net

From Laura Le (Smith) Dreyfus, March 3, 2010

Subject:  50/60's era

Hi Herman

I thought you might enjoy this. Thanks for all the work you do to keep the class informed. Laura

50/60's era pictures

From Jack Eastman, November 30, 2009:

Hey, everyone!

All has been going good out here in the Land of Thin Air and Occasional Frostbite. Retirement has been treating me well so far, still kicking and squealing. Weather is now becoming a bit unsettled, we can have 70-degree days followed by 20-degree nights and, seemingly without skipping a beat, a foot of snow the next day! Then back to warm, the cold white stuff melting away in a couple of days. Big plus of leisure, no digging the car out in order to get to work (there's that 4-letter word again) go back to bed and to hell with it. Unless, of course, there's nothing to eat in the house, and more seriously, the beer locker's empty. Gotta learn to plan ahead!

In times past I used to take some vacation time and with the company's holiday shutdown, head for Palm Springs to thaw out for the holiday. Surprisingly enough, in the dead of winter around here we get the Chinook winds, like the Santa Ana's of California, and it can warm up into the mid to upper 60s. That'll usually melt the snow and allow for some good bike rides. The only problem is that sometimes the wind is a bit much.

Astronomy is still alive and well, with many public outreach events at the University of Denver's 115 year old observatory. Also our local astronomy shop (S&S Optika) has evening starparties a couple of times a month. They just (just? a year and a half ago!) moved to a new location with a large field out back for setting up 'scopes. The best part is we start off with a piggout at Don Carlos' Mexican eatery. One of the best in the area!

Went out to the panhandle of Oklahoma in September to an astronomical campout in the middle of nowhere. Weather was a bit messy, but we had a great time anyhow. Also a gastronomical pleasure, with volunteers from the local historical society cooking huge meals for us. They clearly didn't want anyone croaking of hunger on the campground. See below, I think it's page 4:


Also, at www.thedas.org
site are some other of my ramblings in the newsletters and schedules of events, should any of be out this way.

Music? Yes still have an avid appreciation for music and am still an associate (means I give 'em money and promise, with all my heart, not to try to play anything) of the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra, a local community orchestra. The Black Hand Drum Ensemble came over here to the library and put on a nifty show, involving African culture and music as well as some of the folksongs and spirituals sung by the slaves, and instructing them to "Wade in the Water" making tracking harder, Follow the Drinking Gourd", head North, follow the stars of the Big Dipper. They had us all sing and play whatever rhythm instruments they had. I told Gill "you don't want me to sing. My singing is used as a bear repellant in camp!"

Egads! My time's up, so I'll sign off for now. Hope all is well with all of you and yours. More to come in a while...

Sorry, I'll miss the Christmas Lunch, it's a hell of a bike ride from here, and I haven't perfected the art of riding on ice quite yet.

Cheers, and have a terrific Holiday Season! 

FJE, Still the Furry Faced Photon Herder, Emeritus. 

From Herman Brown, November 26, 2008:

Hi All,

Here is our Thanksgiving "card" for this year:


Love, Herman and Cecelia

From Gil Archuletta, November 13, 2008:

Subj: Meeemmmmooorrrieeeessss .... do you remember when ... Memories

From Edna (Butler) Irons, September 25, 2008:

Hi Herman,

I spent three days with Anita Klein (Luchessi) when I visited other friends in Oregon this summer. I don't think we stopped talking for the entire time and probably could've used another day or two -- it's great that the tongue never wears out, ha! It was absolutely wonderful catching up on all the intervening years since we'd last seen each other -- about 25 years. I drive up once a year and am already looking forward to our next visit. She occasionally comes this direction, and has a standing invitation to visit any time in Lompoc. The help I received from the site was invaluable. Thanks for all you do. 


From Laura Lee (Smith) Dreyfus, July 9, 2008:

Herman:  Thank you so much for the wonderful updates.  I feel that I am disconnected by living so far from the Manhattan Beach area, but your web site makes me feel close. If ever anyone from our class is coming to Wash. DC, or this way, please come see us. We have plenty of room. Thanks again for the good work. 

Laura Smith Dreyfus.

From Nick Comitas, June 29, 2008:

Hi Herman and Cecelia,

My wife Sue and I enjoyed watching the slide show of Val's recent visit with you. It looks like you all had a great time and I must admit I felt sad seeing Val leaving at the airport.

Val has that happy refreshing smile and attitude that I wish I had more often.

Your home looks warm and comfortable and the area around your place looks like fresh air and fairly untouched by the industrial world. A very good thing I must say.

Like many of us, because of you and the MCHS website you set up for the 50th reunion; have rekindled our lost friendships and are communicating again. 

Keep up the wonderful work and thank God for putting Cecelia in your life.

Your Friends,
Nick and Sue Comitas 

From Laura D, June 24, 2008:

Hey Herman....

I particularly related to your statement in your MICOHI update Email, “We didn't know Val very much at Micohi, but both Cecelia and I have become close friends with her as a result of the reunion site, our recent 50th class reunion, and lots of emails.”  Hasn’t it been so incredible, Herman, how true this has been many times over since last Oct.?!?!  It certainly has been for me & I can’t find words to adequately express what it has meant to me in such a deep & profound way..... 

Signing off for now, Laura D

P.S. I liked the “Mike Ormsby, smiling” caption (in the Lyon-Hancock mini-reunion section, hb). Certainly made me laugh. 

From Web Whitlock, May 2, 2008:

Hi Herman

Thanks for all your hard work. I enjoy our website very much.

One correction on your most recent effort, Lost. The person listed as Gary Hurt is actually the picture of John Hurst.

I believe he went by Jack. I knew him slightly from track. The only reason noticed is I went to grammar school with Gary Hurt and although I don't recall what he looked like that picture didn't seem to be him.

Most of all I was glad not to see my picture there.


From Bernie Haskins Borges, May 1, 2008:

Aloha Herman: Thank you sooo much for this slide show of our "lost" classmates. It is very touching and also very very hard to watch and not have tears develop as each picture passes by. My deepest sympathy goes to each of their family members that are still with us. Thank you again for all your time and effort in keeping us in touch with one another through your e-mails.. Aloha Nui Loa and bless you and yours.

Berni (Haskins) Borges

From Val (Bryne) Gilbert, February 1, 2009, from a reply about Bruce Hampton's coming to the reunion:


I know that he was very happy that he came.  So many of his old friends.  Also he was able to visit the house he lived in for three years.  He said it had not changed a bit.  He got to go inside and was surprised to see that the screen door was the one he put on.  The kitchen cabinets still had the coat of paint he had applied over 50 years ago. Amazing!  He said it was a rush back in time for him.  Left him a little dizzy. One can only imagine. His last memory was of the fight he had with his parents when they told him they where moving to the Valley and he would miss his junior year. My folks let him come back for the Senior year.  He lived in our guest house in the back yard which he shared with my brother who was home on weekends from college.  I had forgotten a lot of this.

Memories, memories, what would we do without them.  Good or bad, they add up to the sum of our experiences, which make us hopefully stronger but surely the man or woman we become.  Lots to ponder.  All stimulated by this wonderful event.

Your friend, Val

From Jack Eastman, January 14, 2008:


Good to see this wormhole is letting stuff through, unmolested by the cyberworms. Poked around in the MCHS stuff on your site last week -- GREAT stuff. Keep it coming! Your list of contacts is truly appreciated. Forgot to bring the short list of folks responsible for putting together the Great Reunion, maybe next time. I think I have a mind like a steel sieve! 

If you think about it, send a note to the guilty parties to the effect that I thought it was a terrific reunion, made my 2007. Also the dinner date up in Arcadia that lasted 3 days (Highly recommend Peppers, across from Santa Anita race track (when there isn't an army of undisciplined kids present)) 

Probably won't impress you, after the dose of snow the Sierras got, but for the beach dwellers, we're freezing up here. Got up to 29F, supposed to get to upper 40s today and tomorrow, then back into the deep freeze.

Cheers-n-Beers, FJE

From Rosemari (Russell) Reimers-Rice, January 12, 2008:


I noticed that you still have my maiden name on the now picture. I also have been inducted on the Surfers Walk of Fame this last June  My name is on the Hermosa Beach Pier, with other well known surfers.

I am married to Johnny Rice who did graduate from Mira Costa in 1956. He is a master surfboard shaper and has been since 1954.

We have been married for about 20 years now. We dated in high school for 2 years. I guess that is what kept me in the surfing circle.

I am a friend of Marcia Schatan and have been since the early 50's. I noticed that she had sent some photo's of her. That's good. Even though she didn't graduate from Mira Costa, all of her friends came from that high school.

I guess that is it for now.

Rosemari Reimers-Rice 
(Some pictures at http://www.johnnyrice.com/RosemariRice.html, Herman)

From Val (Byrne) Gilbert, October 16, 2007:

What can I say but thank you. This is incredible! I must say, had it not been for you and your web site, I probably would not have come. You enticed us, and the hook was to get us involved. Go get some old pictures, anything, send it to me and I will put it up for all to see. Once you got me thinking about the past and looking through those old dusty boxes, I was hooked emotionally. Last weekend released a host of wonderful memories. Each day a fleeting thought would bubble up and give me such a warm happy feeling about all our lives. Memories can be precipitated by many stimuli; a smell, color, a voice. Last weekend filled my senses. For me the hugs, a dance, someone taking your hand and making you feel important. I have only a couple of e-mail address, Herman, but please thank all who worked so hard on this wonderful event. 


From Denny Barton, September 20, 2007:

Herman, thanks for the web site. It sent me into nostalgia mode about living in Hermosa Beach. I too would like pictures and info about North School and grade school class mates. You no doubt have talked to Linda Skelton. Others you probably remember were: Sharon Blackwell, Henry Ford, Wayne Ballard, Denny Seawright, Terry Huff, and Joe Manary. 

Joe and Terry are listed as MCHS '56 grads but Joe and I were class clowns who frequently felt the wrath of Mrs O' Dell in our 3rd grade class. Mrs O' Dell - what a great teacher! Sorry to hear about Claudia Rhind passing on, she was really special. Claudia, David Skinner, and I were kind of pals and I think Claudia probably had a lot of photographs including class group pictures. We always exchanged valentines and wallet size pictures as was the tradition back then and she always had ton of them from everyone. Her brother John [MCHS '55] may be a good source of information. Doctor Rhind [Claudia's dad] delivered my son in '64 and Claudia mentioned to my wife [during pediatric office visits] how fun grade school was with Denny. I really appreciated hearing that. 

I will join the H.B. Historical Society and provide a little history about the Green Store, since I lived just a few doors away and was a fixture there for several years until my family moved to Manhattan Beach - what a bummer move that was. 

My wife and I have a nice home in Costa Mesa but I still miss everything about Hermosa except the surf. Surfing on our southwest facing beaches is much better and allows us old surfer dudes to still paddle out - and that's about all I can do is paddle. A minor note - Fred Burris an old camping buddy who recently passed away was noted on the web, but his birth date was omitted . It was 7-3-38.

I will remind Chris Bader of what a gourmet cook he wasn't, when he, Fred and I camped out in Topanga Canyon in '53/54. I spent 30 years in information systems, programming applications software and managing I.S. departments, and until now haven't looked at a computer screen since retiring in '94. So until I add the right hardware and become more adept on this laptop I just bought, I will use the post office and mail you anything I find on North School and related topics. Hope You and Cecelia are doing well. 


From Bruce Hampton, September 25, 2007:


I finally got to the web site but went there thinking the whole reunion thing wasn't really relevant to me; after all who did I really know anymore and what effect did they have on my life. Well I was wrong. There they were, photo after photo, message after message from people that did matter in my life, perhaps for only a short time, but importantly and some changed my life. The Center Street School class photo blew me away and took me back to another time...a shy kid tripping over his own feet but invited to Jean Lindesmith's birthday party...I was the 'new kid' and wish I could tell her how important that was! I started to remember the surrogate families; Val Newell's dad...Jeff Plough's Mom and Dad...the Byrne's. Really important people; Diane and especially Val. So many teachers but Jean (Swain) Forbath with whom I later sat on a homeless shelter board in the 80's and 90's. I still remember her statue of Minerva that seemed to have a perennial moustache...that may have been Jeff's work. Along with Jeff of course was Skip Stratton, his e-mail reminded me of some adventures.

One of the last was after graduation, it was fall, no one on the beach, and we were body surfing some bad stuff. Big, one on top of another and vertical...to this day I don't know how we survived. I'm glad to see he still surfs...means the bodily parts are still attached! I seem to recall he was also in my MG the night we decided to drive out the Manhattan Beach Pier and take several circles around the house. Didn't get caught but sure had some surprised fishermen. 

The little memories are full as well, Joe Silk, nice to see your words. I should save some of the more interesting stories...skin diving in Baja with a side trip for an evening in the Ensenada jail...beer under the seats at a football game at Redondo Hi; may have been Doty, Plough and Stratton. Cheap hamburgers, 25-cent gas, good friends, a wonderful town...still small. Could it have been a better time?

Bruce Hampton 

From Skip Stratton, September 20, 2007

Greetings Herman:

I've been looking forward our 50th and getting together with old friends. Since leaving Hermosa in 1972 my wife Tracey (MCHS '62) and I have lived in Mission Beach, San Diego. We have 3 children and 7 grandchildren. I've retired from our family-owned business which my wife and youngest son now run. I like to play golf, fly fish, and I still surf occasionally. There are quite a few old South Bay ex-pats down here and many of us get together (along with some old La Jolla Wind 'n Sea friends) every Tuesday morning in Cardiff for coffee and talk. It's really a history lesson of 40's and 50's surfing adventures.

If you would be interested, I have a restored 1957 Chevy that I would like to bring to the reunion. Would it be possible to park it near the entrance to the Saturday night gathering to help rekindle the memories of what all our old wheels meant to us 50 years ago? Let me know.


Skip Stratton 

From Jim Stewart, September 14, 2007:

Hi Herman,

Yes, I'm still working, mostly out of necessity, but I enjoy the rat race. 

I spent about 27 years in IT. I got into programming in 1961 at North American Aviation, in El Segundo. I tried several other businesses, including commercial diving for sea urchins off the channel Islands. In 1990, My wife and I move to Washington State, and I went into the shellfish business, growing manila clams and pacific oysters. That business failed in 2004, as did the myriad of other businesses that I tried. I'm a was much better programmer than a business person. Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed every minute of it, money was never very important to me. 

The computer technology has pretty much passed me by and it's impossible to find a company that wants a trainee that's over 65. In fact it's pretty hard to find any company that wants an employee that is over 65. For the last year I've been doing temporary work, mostly warehouse jobs. But I recently got lucky. I am starting a new career with the IRS in their Seattle call center on October first. I'm jazzed!

You chose a beautiful place to live, I've been near Greenville in route to Nevada, and I loved the hills above Santa Barbara. I used to drive up to a road that turned into a ridge route, and provided an incredible vista on both sides. I think that on a clear day you can see at least four of the channel islands.

In the attached picture, I'm standing on our upper deck. We have a peek at the Puget Sound and Vashon Island.

I'm looking forward to seeing the reunion pictures.


From Nick Comitas, September 6, 2007:


Thanks for the update from Gil regarding the number of classmates who will be coming.

Like Joe, due to the MCHS site and this event, I have rekindled a few lost friendships and am looking forward to seeing those can make it there.


From Joe Silk, September 4, 2007:


Just wanted to pop-off a quick e-mail to you to thank you for your efforts on the 50th Reunion website (really great website, informative, and interesting, and user friendly).

I was aware that it would be 50 years since high school, but since I left in late '57 I didn't really feel that I had much connection to the people from MCHS. That seems a bit strange, in as much as I have returned to Manhattan Beach every September (during the years that I was in the U.S.) for the past 50 years to "Hit The Surf". I won't go on and on about where I have been and what I have done over the past 50 years, but I have seen some pretty great beaches and rideable waves. None the less, Manhattan Beach will always be part of my soul.

Any way, over the past couple of weeks I have visited the website on numerous occasions checking the various photo sections and e-mails The excellent website and the effort put in by the various people have kind of rekindled a little bit of a lost connection for me. The sadness of the "lost ones" and the unexpectedly high number that have passed (unexpected possibly because I have a firm resolve to never wear my glasses when I look into the mirror. Blurred is good! ).

The pictures of the elementary classes are amazing, for many of the kids are very recognizable to me from how they looked at MCHS. It was also great to see photos of old football buddies like Nick Comitas, Trent Castricone, Chris Bader, and Ron Bukowski. At this point in time I'm not real keen on photos of myself, but if they have "stepped up to the bar", I guess that I can do the same. I'll send the only recent ones that I have. Feel free to post one, or more, or none, as you see fit.

I was touched by Nick's e-mail and hope that his families thought that attending would be a good way to represent those that have gone. Haven't figured out if I am going to go yet (I know, not much time left), but I already have reservations for the middle of September for my annual "Manhattan Hit The Surf" trip. Either way, thanks for all of your efforts and I wish you all the best.

Joe Silk 

From Nick Comitas, August 27, 2007 (a reply to my email below):


You're right. We have lost so many, and Greeks love hugs. And I'm like you, if I decide to go I will plan to start at Chris Bader's house and go as far as my energy allows. My entire family is encouraging me to go, and they say MCHS was a big part of my life and I was a big part of our class of 1957.

They told me to represent those that cannot make it or have gone. I have some photos and items I would like to share that others may have lost or not seen. Do you know if their is going to be a picture board?

Thank you for your thoughts,

Nick Comitas

From Herman Brown, August 27, 2007 (edited):

Hi Nick,

Yes, we plan to be there for everything!

Remember, it will probably be the last time for you to see some of your classmates. We have lost too many already. I want to see whoever is still alive! Maybe even get a hug or two! 

Good luck and hope you do decide to come.


From Bernard Connolly, August 19, 2007:

  1. Full name including the name used in the 1957 Hoofprints? Bernard F. Connolly
  2. Email address? bfconnolly@aol.com
  3. Mailing address? 30270 Sunland Way, Tehachapi, CA 93561
  4. Can we include a link to your email address on the reunion web site?  Yes.
  5. Can we include your current city and state of residence? Yes.
  6. Do you have any contact information for any of those listed on the Missing list? No.
  7. Do you have any names to add to the Lost Ones list? No.
  8. Comments? I retired in 2005 from the Federal Service with almost 29 years service, over 18 with the Navy at China Lake and 10 with the United States Attorney's Office in Hammond, Indiana.  I am active as the co-owner of Coldwell Banker Best Realty, with offices in Ridgecrest, California City, and Tehachapi, CA.

Vince Fennel's response to Laura D, August 9, 2007:

Hi Laura,

Many thanks for your wonderful biography. What an interesting and productive life you have had. You are certainly blessed with your 5 children. Your life sounds far more adventuresome than mine and a lot more fun to boot. However, I can't complain. Briefly, after MCHS I entered UCLA and didn't see the light of day until 1970. Four years as an undergrad, 4 years in UCLA Med School, a year of internship, and 4 years of radiology residency and fellowship. In 1970, after all of that, I took a position in Honolulu at the Queen's Medical Center on Punchbowl St. I got very bored after about 2 years and returned to Northridge Hospital where I practiced until fall of 2005. In November of that year I began practice in an outpatient center near the hospital where I still work full time. But, no more weekends, nights, and holidays, which is a treat.

I was first married in 1967 and was far too young and immature. I separated from my first wife, got divorced, and remarried in June 1986 after 13 years if marriage. My first wife has remarried and is doing fine. There were no children. There have been no children with my second wife who is a darling. Her name is Annely and she was born in Holland and is 7 years younger than I. However, I do have a son. I had a brief dalliance between marriages and Todd, my 31 year old doctor son, was the result. 
Interestingly, I did not know of his existence until February of 2005. It's a long story. To make it shorter, his mother got pregnant, chose not to tell me, moved to Florida, and there he grew up with a stepfather, who was a good man. He stepfather died, his mother decided he should know his father, me, and we met and a DNA test was ++++ and we have a great relationship. My family was a bit shocked but now love him. He is a doctor in training in South Carolina and is getting married next May. My wife Annely has a 39 year old son, Steven, who has a 9 year old son named Justin. That's all the reproduction I'm aware of.

Along the way I have pursued many interests, flying airplanes for 30 years, hi fi, golf, photography, amateur radio, motorcycles, which I still enjoy. I spend a lot of time reading and I'm working my way through most of the Russians and key Englishman. Check out my photo website: www.vincentfennellphotography.com. I do a lot of Photoshop work and have sold quite a few images.

My medical practice has radically changed since I began, with the computer revolution with CT, MRI, Ultrasound, etc. They were all developed during my career and I enjoy what I do.

My health so far is good and I've kept my hair.

You look wonderful in the photo with the governor. John Burns was governor when I lived there. Where do you live?

I am so looking forward to seeing you and all of the classmates that can come. Where did you grow up before high school?

Yes, 1957 was a great year!!

Warm regards,

From Laura D to Vince Fennel, August 8, 2007

Hello Vince,

While away I don't have much opportunity to do Emails so I apologize for the delay in my response. I returned last weekend then right afterwards company came in from L.A. so it has been a bit hectic. Now, at last, I have a few moments to set aside for responding to you properly.

My most recent trips have been doing a commute to Maui 2 - 3 times a month with a 5-day stay each. So, it can be a grueling schedule, yet, I don't mind it.

Yes, since graduating high school my life has been full of interesting experiences & the challenges that go along with them. Not the least of which is the raising of 5 children pretty much on my own (my 6th child died in infancy). Parents envision their children to realize their dreams when grown & I am so gratified that mine are all accomplishing what they worked towards to achieve with their lives & careers.

My professional career has also been fulfilling working primarily in the tour & travel industry mostly with Hawaii wholesalers, the airlines, & in hotel sales/marketing. Though challenging, it was all enjoyable. If I had to choose which part of my career I liked best I would have to say as the Regional Sales Manager for 10 hotels in French Polynesia, while based in L.A. & my territory covering 7 western states, western Canada plus Hawaii.

It was a hefty commute to visit the properties - 3 on Tahiti, 3 on Moorea, 3 on Bora Bora, & 1 in Rangirora (6 five diamond hotels & 4 first class). The hotel corporation home office is based in Paris & most of the people I worked with were French. Nine of the GMs were French & 1 was Greek (the Rangirora property). Me being of Irish descent, I decided I had better take a college course in French so I could at least know how to pronounce the names of the people I worked with & for.

French Polynesia is very beautiful & lovely to visit but I wouldn't care to live there. A little too laid back & rustic for me. Also, a major problem encountered in business, particularly the hotel business, is the unreliability of the Tahitians to show up for work. One of the main reasons I guess why the economy there is dominated by local Chinese money.

As you probably know, reefs surround most of the islands so many of the hotels have the unique feature of over-water bungalows. They are absolutely delightful. Each island has its own distinctive personality (like Hawaii) but I would have to say Bora Bora, Moorea, & Rangirora rank higher over Tahiti. The clarity in the water there is spectacular, especially Bora Bora. On a moonlit night in Bora Bora you can easily see 50 feet down.

One of the hotels in Bora Bora I represented features a shark feeding breakfast excursion. The guests are taken out to the edge of the reef in an outrigger canoe with a Tahitian guide. He jumps in the water with food for the sharks (not including tigers or great whites) then everyone else jumps in with their snorkel gear - no cages, etc. either. It's really extraordinary. I must confess that on my 1st time out I was a little nervous. I tried not to show it thinking the sharks might sense it & come after me. But, it was fine. No one has been bitten/attacked yet in the many years this has been done. Quite phenomenal.

Sadly my position was eliminated when the West Coast (LAX) office was closed down, as was the Chicago office, leaving only the New York office to remain open & I did not care to move there. (Side note: The Asia/Pacific Div. Pres. at our West Coast office returned to Paris where he took on the new position of Pres. with the Euro Disney project.)

Uh-oh, I'd better stop here for this is beginning to be too much like a tour brochure. Besides, at this point can you imagine the time there would be to cover the whole 50 years?!?! YIKES!

How about you subsequently taking over here & relating some of your stories during the past 50?

Warm alohas, Laura D

P.S. How ironic!!! I just received my U.S. News & World Report Aug. 13-20 issue entitled, "1957 - A Year That Changed America." WOW! This could be the theme of our class reunion. What do you think about that?

From Gwen Florea, August 2, 2007

Hi Herman:

It was so much fun reading your emails, so I thought I send you a little of my history. I worked as a hairdresser for a couple of years in Southern California then moved to St. Thomas V. I. Working there and sailing around the Caribbean. Back in LA was partners in a bar called the Oar House. Created a wild and crazy sound system which caught the attention of a VP at Mattel. Ended up working at Mattel creating talking and sound toys for many years. Became the voice of the talking Barbie Doll.

After Mattel worked for a firm as Advertising/PR Director with offices in LA, Paris, and Moscow. Spent three years traveling around the US, Paris, and Moscow running trade shows. Got tired of all the traveling especially to Moscow. My father was a director of over 600 television shows. Thought it would be fun to become a director. Studied continuity (script supervisor). Worked behind the camera as a script supervisor and in front as an actress part time. During this time I was a volunteer for many charities, raising millions of dollars. Ended up working full time as a professional fundraiser.

Was diagnosed with MS and told I would not walk if I kept working in high stress jobs.

When I was at MiCoHi, El Camino, and UCLA, I studied fine arts. Created letter art using special designs for each letter. Moved to Maui to kick back and paint. Got a position painting my letter art in the window of an art gallery in Lahina for several years. Moved to Las Vegas and am plying my art trade at Planet Hollywood. Wrote the book about my adventures at Mattel and how I became the voice of Barbie. I love the two web sites you created for me.

Hugs Gwen, 

From Edna (Butler) Irons, July 27, 2007:

Hi guys,

I think I had a "light bulb" moment or something while I was in the shower this morning. Maybe I ought to take longer showers, ha! Anyway, I remembered that Anita's brother bought a brand-new home MANY years ago in Simi Valley, so on a whim, I went online to the free 411 and plugged in his name. Wonder of wonders, I got a hit and the age was right so I called him. He's been in the same house 47 years -- isn't that a trip!!! 

Anita does still live in La Pine, Oregon, but her telephone's disconnected and she only has a cell phone now. Her ex-husband (Ciro Casas) is no longer living, so the other contacts I had through him to find her probably wouldn't have worked out. I did find out that her second husband (Richard Carlsen) died in an automobile accident. 

To show you what a small world we live in, I'm retired from the school district here in Lompoc, and I've been visiting two teacher friends in Bend, Oregon, at least once a year for the past five years. You drive right through La Pine, about 30 miles south of Bend. I usually stop at a little market there to get a cup of coffee and call to let them know I'm half an hour away. According to her brother, her address is the same P.O. Box you sent me, and her current husband is William Lucchesi. At least for now, you can take her off the missing list. I'm going to call her tomorrow morning and will send you an update, also let you know if I can share her telephone number with you. 

George, I looked up your name so I might remember what you looked like, but there's not one in the yearbook photos. I have all my yearbooks, so when I'm through here, I'll see if you were in any of the other years we were at MCHS. I emailed my brother (Jim Butler - graduate of '56) and he's as impressed with the website as I am. I'll try to get some old pictures emailed to you. Thanks again!


From Edna (Butler) Irons, July 26, 2007:

Hi George,

Thanks for the info below. It's way more than I have had in the past 20 years. I did call both numbers and found that they were no longer in service. I also used the free 411 site and tried to find connections to Lucchesi in the main cities of Oregon as well, but didn't get a hit. Of course, not everyone lists their number. On Saturday, I'm going to contact two possible relatives of Ciro's, one of whom resides in Oregon and the other in Canyon Country. If that doesn't work, I'm fresh out of ideas. You guys are awesome to track down so many of us. My address is 1112 North "F" Street, Lompoc, CA 93436, telephone (805) 736-5545. We've only lived in Oxnard (28 years, then Lompoc 20 years) since I married and left Manhattan Beach in 1960, so I feel like I'm definitely not much of a wanderer, ha! Thanks again to you and Herman for your help.

Edna Butler Irons

From George Laun, July 24, 2006:


Herman forwarded your note asking about Anita Klein. I did a little searching, first on Ciro S. Casas who I tracked up into Oregon. I have an address for him of 21877 Allison Rd, Noti, Oregon 97461, (503) 935-1605. That info is old I know, but it is all that I could find.

For Anita Carlsen I have P.O. Box 363, La Pine, OR 97739 and a phone number of (541) 536-1487. Her husband may be William N. Lucchesi. I suspect that may be old too, but you can try it.

Some time ago I had her at 24412 Derian Dr, Newhall, CA (805) 259-8337, but I am pretty sure that is real old. 

If you do find her please send me her updated info for my mailing list.

By the way, would you please send me your address and phone number and I will update my mailing list.

George Laun
217 Deer Path
Lead SD 57754-1015
(605) 717-4213 

From Edna (Butler) Irons, July 24, 2007:

Hi Herman,

I had written several weeks ago inquiring about Anita (Klein), but haven't had any success locating her since I lost touch with her 20 years ago. She had remarried shortly before that, and I have nothing with her last name. Since she was re-married at the 30 year reunion, would you have a record of her of that? I didn't know whether you had access to any Internet service, but she was originally married to Ciro S. Casas (he was a doctor and would be 76 or 77 years old now), and I got several hits on him, but couldn't get any more information without signing up for the search service -- even the white pages. He's lived in Canyon Country, Saugus, Oxnard, and Valencia. My thought was that I could start with him and possibly find out her current location and/or status since they have children together. If you can help with this, please let me know; otherwise, I'll hope someone sees the posting on the board and has current information. The MCHS website is awesome! Thanks for the help. 

Edna Butler Irons

From Laura D, July 24, 2007:

Hi Herman,

So nice to hear from you! Yes, I was dancing & singing flamenco while married to my 1st husband who was a primary flamenco guitarist for José Greco (not sure if you remember that entertainer). Later I was a vocalist with the L A Chamber Orchestra. In between I belonged to a “Hula Halau" (Hawaiian Dance Group) including the Tahitian, Fijian routines as well as Samoan knife dancing (though not the fire dance). Still have my knife too, as a matter of fact, but it has lain dormant for some time now. 

Thank you for your update & sounds like things are going well for your folks. I LOVE Santa Barbara & the surrounding areas so I envy you having lived there in that region. 

I lived in North Hollywood for 25 years where I raised my family. Then in 1992 & relocating I had it down to 3 choices: Santa Barbara, Santa Fe (near where I taught summer school 1 year in Taos & enjoyed it so much), or Honolulu. As you can see, I opted for Honolulu & came here on my own. Subsequently, 3 of my girls have moved over to “the islands” too & pursuing their successful careers – 1 here & 2 on Maui. My son is in Burbank working as a film editor with the studios & my other daughter is in Minneapolis where her husband is a VP with a large engineering firm. She did concert tours with her flute & now has taken up the flamenco guitar to carry on the legacy. In the midst of all that I now have 3 grandsons & 1 granddaughter (who is an automotive diagnostic engineer with the Mercedes Benz dealership in Beverly Hills). 

Making my attempt now for resending the photos in hopes they will get thru this time. I travel “off-island” every week but I will find time to dig into my memorabilia sometime soon to see if I can locate any photos from way back when. If I do I’m not sure if it will be of interest but then I’ll let you decide about that.

Warm alohas,
Laura D

From Laura Le (Smith) Dreyfus, July 22, 2007:

Hi Herman: Yes I am receiving your e-mails, and yes I will be there. We are still deciding which events we will attend other than the dinner. Here are my particulars (probable more that you need, but Oh! Well!)

Laura Le Smith Dreyfus - married to Jack for 43 years. We have three daughters Tamara who lives in Trabuco Canyon, Ca., Tori who lives in Salem, Or., and Tina who lives in Melbourne, Australia. (temporarily living in Shanghai, China). After graduating from High school, I attended college in Northeastern, Oklahoma. Then I joined the airlines as a flight attendant for TWA. After marriage to Jack I became a stay at home mom until 1974 when I purchased a gift shop in El Segundo. In 1985 Jack was transferred to the Washington office of TRW. He was a VP there until he retired. We now travel, boat on the Chesapeake, and enjoy our 9 grandchildren. 

My address is:

10167 Clover Glen Dr. 
Vienna, VA. 22181 
Telephone 703-255-7017. 

I will get my picture together and send them to you soon. Laura 

From Dave Hodson, July 18, 1997:

Hi Herman,

You have my permission to add my email address to your Web Site. My address is 6500 Pueblo Ct., Granite Bay, Ca 95746. Life here is good also. We moved here in 1973 near Folsom Lake, bought some acreage and built our home. With help above I bought addition acreage behind me. The last two years I have been busy helping two of my sons build their homes. It's nice when your grand kids live next to you. They sure like to eat. It's seems like were always going to the store.

I'm a lucky guy.

Nice that you had the foresight to move North. You couldn't give me enough money to move back to Southern California. The older we get the quality of life means more then anything else. 

If you ever think of visiting our area give me a call. My phone number is 916-791-0370 

Thanks, Dave 

From Vince Fennell, July 6, 2007:

I just spoke to Cecily (Bond). She sounds the same, almost. She is married and living in Sacramento and doing arbitration. She sounds great, is healthy, but unfortunately can't come to the reunion because of travel conflict. It was a very nice and cordial conversation. I'll email her the link to the website and some photos. I've got her address and phone number and an invitation to visit.


From Marilyn Reynold, May 11, 2007:

Hello again Herman,

Lucky you! You live up in God's country! I worked for the Forest Service for nearly 28 years (Angeles National Forest), and since it is in a suburb of Los Angeles, I know the difference between it and a 'real' forest, such as the Plumas. I have an aunt who lives near the Tahoe, in Grass Valley. I think that's about an hour south of you.

I don't take a very good picture--it's only a bit removed from the "Ten Most Wanted"--but I will search around and try to come up with one for you. I will have to send it by regular mail so you can scan it--I don't know how to do it on this computer. I retired in 1998, but I won't send anything THAT far back, unless I can't come up with anything else.

We are living in a condo, my aunt and I, but that may change after next summer. We are thinking of moving, but are not quite sure where as yet. In the meantime, I work around the house and volunteer on the residents' newsletter committee here. (The advertising section). If you'll remember, I worked on the La Vista at Mira Costa and I guess I never got journalism out of my blood.

You sure have some beautiful pictures at your other website!

All the best to you and your family, Marilyn

From Kristin (Berbaum) Margetts, May 1, 2007:

Dear Herman:

Thank you for doing all of the work on this website for our class.

I do income taxes and one of my clients was Eileen Brennerman Siwiecki. She died over two years ago from cancer. She had been very happy with her second husband Robert Siwiecki. She had lots of kids and grandkids and I believe the last few years of her life with Bob was a lot of fun for them both. I would see them once a year when they drove down from Palm Desert to do their taxes. 

I am still working doing taxes and enjoy the work although it gets really busy in April. 

I am looking forward to the reunion and will probably attend some of the events.

Have you heard from Bob Baker? Do you think he will attend the reunion?

Thank you Herman for all of your work. I will try to continue to contribute.

Kristin Louise Berbaum (Margetts)