Sunday, October 16, 2011

Come home for Homecoming

We are planning a few events for next weekend's OHHS Homecoming. Please let us know if you are going to stop by for any or all! We'd love to see you again.

Thursday, October 20
  • 5:00 p.m. - 2:00 a.m.  ~ Alumni meet-up at The Scarlet Tree in Seattle owned by Wildcat Rob Lowe, who is soon moving to San Francisco
    801 NE 65th St Suite C
    Seattle, WA 98115
Friday, October 21
  • 1:00 ~ Pep Assembly @OHHS, meet in parking lot to walk in with Class of '86 attendees
  • 2:30 ~ Alumni Tea & tour of the high school
  • 5:00 ~ BYOdinner Tailgate Gathering at Hillcrest Elementary, across from the stadium
    1500 NW 2nd Ave
  • 7:00 ~ Football game vs. Marysville Getchell HS
  • Post-game outing TBA

Saturday, October 22
  • 9:00 a.m. ~ No host Breakfast Gathering, location TBA
  • No host dinner / entertainment TBA

Wear your purple & gold and show your Wildcat pride with classmates!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Good Now Days

As much as I can appreciate nostalgia - I lived and breathed Happy Days throughout elementary school, plus I was a " '50s girl" for at least three Halloweens in a row - and as fondly as I recall forced trips to Mount Rushmore and Disneyland and Texas throughout my childhood, I do really really like my life now as an adult.

I enjoy such grown-up perks as driving and voting and drinking [though not at the same time, of course. Except maybe always sometimes usually a glass of wine when filling in my ballot.] It's satisfying to know all the stuff that comes from earning diplomas as well as spending dozens of years working field labor, retail, food service, and teaching (oddly similar experiences, actually). And even though I now I have to deal with graver concerns than whether or not a certain boy acknowledged me in Algebra (Brian Wood), I am pretty relieved that I don't ever have to take Algebra ever again.

As I prepared for our 25th class reunion, I found myself thinking about my time in high school. Generally, it was an okay few years; I had the same kind of angsty drama that most teenagers do about hair, clothes, guys, grades [probably in that exact order]. But I realized as I scanned pictures for name tags that while I knew most of my classmates by face & name, I didn't have many real memories of those people - I could not conjure more than a handful of actual stories involving any of them. I had general impressions - mostly positive, some a bit suspect as I realize they were based on a naive 17-year-old's perspective. Still, I got a little panicky; would they remember me as aloof, stuck-up, a nerdy weirdo? Or worse - would they not remember me at all? I resolved to stay upbeat about the weekend because, at the very least, my best friends about whom I can recall many (mostly embarrassing) details would be there for me.

The first people to arrive at Friday's event were some of the very classmates I was worried about, yet I took a deep breath, greeted them warmly, and found that I was genuinely happy to see them even if I still couldn't think of a single interaction from 25 years ago. All that mattered is the fact that we shared space in our claustrophobic small town during the most insecure time of our lives, and we survived to adulthood. Where we can now drive whenever & wherever we want, talk politics meaningfully, and share a legal drink.

A toast, friends, to Now.

Hope to see you in October.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Reunion Questionnaire

The high school reunion: It's been written about endlessly, portrayed in movies, sung about, and passed into American legend as an adult rite of passage. High school is when every event felt bigger than life; now we see how big life is. Emotions that were so raw and consuming have dulled over time and friends that we thought we would have forever have moved and been replaced, but the memories last. Memories and curiosity are the primary reasons people attend reunions.

This little questionnaire may or may not be used formally but we thought it would be nice to get some information on where everyone is at 25 years after high school.

Please answer these questions and send your reply to Dave O'Neal via FB message or email it to DavidO [at] and we look forward to seeing you soon!
  1. Name:
  2. Occupation:
  3. Married (how many or how long):
  4. Children (and Grandchildren)names and ages:
  5. Where are you living now?
  6. Your biggest highlight of the last 25 years:
  7. What do you still hope to accomplish?
  8. Know anyone famous or had a brush with greatness?
  9. Favorite TV show? Favorite movie? Favorite band/artist?
  10. Favorite 80s song you still know every word to?
  11. Any cool tattoos?
  12. What are your hobbies?
  13. Do you have a pet?
  14. If you had a free $250 bucks to spend on you, what would you buy?
  15. Possession you are most likely to brag about?
  16. How many reunions have you attended?
  17. Who are you most excited to see?
  18. Favorite high school memory?
  19. What words of advice do you have to young people today:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Welcome, friends

Thinking about attending a 25th high school reunion makes me happy - I love seeing old friends again, and I look forward to getting to know new friends who should be old friends by now but I was too dumb to make it happen back then.

As a teacher, I try daily to impress upon my teenage students that it is immensely important to make some connections with the people they are struggling through school with. They are so focused on getting gone from their small town [sound familiar to some of us?] that they think making too many friends here & now will slow them down, hold them back. What they don't realize is that making friends here & now can build them up, give them roots.

I did not relish living in Oak Harbor throughout my childhood - too many people knew too much about me; it was so small there was no room for cool record shops or clothes stores; it was far away from Where Things Happened. In my kid mind, nothing EVER happened in Oak Harbor. There was NOTHING to do. It was boring and stupid and horrible and I was going to live in Seattle when I grew up.

But every summer our family traveled through Eastern Washington, California, Texas and I started to realize that, at the very least, we actually had a pretty place to live. Other places didn't have those everlasting Evergreens alongside rocky beaches and miles of farmland. And we did have some interesting elements: nobody else had Fort Casey in their backyard, or fighter jets flying overhead, or a Roller Barn, a bay and a lagoon, or a place called Kow Korner where the cooks remembered how you liked your burger. Plus everyone thought living on an island sounded so exotic.

I figured out how to enjoy the shops we did have room for. I took such pleasure in frequenting Masten's, and our musty old theater, and that strangely-spelled drive-up joint (where I ended up working for more than 2 years) that I sobbed when they closed and still avert my eyes when driving by their former locations.

I like that my kids are excited to visit their aunt & grandparents. I like the feeling I get crossing over Deception Pass Bridge or riding the Mukilteo ferry. I like the idea of heading back for Holland Happening and 4th of July more often. I like that when I say "I'm going home," I mean Oak Harbor.

Hope to see you this summer, friend.