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King City
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July 6, 2022

Funny Papers Again Column | Tis the Time to Gather and Remember

The body politic of a school campus is known as the student union, so it follows that when a class graduates from the institution, those students are no longer part of the union. There is a tradition within societies that members of a particular class, or classes, join together to reminisce about those years when youth was their status and life was their oyster to be opened to reveal the pearl inside.

These affairs are when the union is brought together again in ceremony: ergo they are called reunions. And now when the short cold days of winter are over and the warmer days of summer approach, the time of class reunions are fast upon us.

As a member of the graduating class of King City Joint Union High School of 1970, I have attended all four of our class reunions and, good Lord willing, will attend the 50th anniversary of our graduation come Sept. 10. I look forward to this reunion with both great anticipation and a little trepidation.

I don’t suppose in that respect I am any different than most people who attend their class reunions looking forward to seeing former classmates, but am aware that the youth and strength our high school days are far behind us.

Here in our community there are reunions in the planning stages, the most ambitious is the gathering of 10 classes for one evening of reunion. On Aug. 27, the classes 1970 through 1979 will gather to greet, mingle and dine with former classmates and friends from classes who attended KCHS during the four-year endurance test known as high school. And while that is a 10-year grouping of alumnus, it is not the largest held here in town.

A few years ago — don’t ask me to remember the date exactly, but it was in 2015 — there was a 20-year group, from 1950 to 1969. Though not in a class included in the night, I was invited to attend by an old Greenfield friend, the sister of my elementary school girlfriend, who was an honorary member of the class of 1968 (she moved out of town before graduation).

It was quite an affair with many, many faces I had not seen in years. I’m sure the upcoming multi-class reunion will compare with that evening and will be long remembered by those who mark the date and plan to attend.

The ’70-’79 reunion is not the only planned event for past Mustangs (“past Mustangs” may not be appropriate if, like Marines, Mustangs are Mustangs for life), there is the Class of 1972, who plan to gather on the same day as the folks are gathering for the big event. And just 10 days after that, my class will gather for our 50th reunion, this after two years’ postponement.

I don’t know how many alumni from the 10-class reunion will attend both reunions, but I suppose there will be a few. If one looks at just the numbers, then the classes 1973 through 1976 have the advantage of reuniting with fellow students from three years above and below their class.

Like the many other planned attendees, it will be nice to once again meet up with those people who once shared the four years spent at KCHS when we were the younger versions of ourselves.

***

With reunion reminisces in the air, maybe it was the gathering of people last Saturday at Sun Street Centers that made me stop and really take notice of the place. I have, like everyone else in town, watched as the original buildings, a gas station-restaurant combination and motel, underwent upgrades that has made the southeast corner of Broadway and Mildred streets a wonderful attraction to the city. On Saturday, as I pedaled past, I was moved to stop and really take a look back to my first memories of that corner.

In September 1966, when I was a freshman, Broadway was still the 101, the bypass took place at pretty much the same time the campus was destroyed, er, demolished, and new campus construction began. But when all of the north-south traffic rolled through town, crossing that bit of asphalt could be tricky, so I remember at lunch time when those of us who left campus would gather on the corner and a large friendly man named Moe, the owner of the Richfield station cattycorner from the campus, would walk into the middle of the intersection and stop traffic allowing dozens, or scores, of us to cross.

I mentioned the restaurant part of that building; it was situated at the east end opposite the motel and was aptly named The Little Corner Café. This was a popular place with some of the older KCHS students, both in the morning and at lunch; there was a rear dining area where hot chocolate and Danish were consumed before school, and at lunchtime there was a metal building at the rear of the property with tables for burgers and fries. And, for those so inclined, both places were smoking-allowed areas.

As a Greenfield boy, it was my first real contact with my new fellow high school classmates from the south. It was the first time I became aware of San Ardo kids, three stick out in my mind: Willie and Dennis and his sister. I would come to know the former two far better as the years passed.

What made me think of them was because in the midst of those gathering for Saturday’s Open House event was Councilmember Darlene Acosta, who as most of us know has been a driving force behind Sun Street Centers for many years. She was the San Ardo girl I first saw on the same property over 55 years ago, and much has transpired since that faraway time; but I am very glad we are both still here in South County doing what we can to make things a bit better for our fellow humans.

Take care. Peace.

Steve Wilson
King City and Greenfield Columnist
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