I am a lover of horticulture, gardening and the environment. At age 8, I sent away for a package of Zinnia seeds for 10 cents and I've been hooked ever since. After 25 years of being self-employed, I retired. That only lasted 4 years and I now work in a water conservation program: I buy grass from homeowners who are willing to convert to desert landscaping and lose that thirsty green stuff. I pursue what interests me and you can blame my sister for getting me into this blogging thing.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I've been busy planning my class reunion

I haven't posted for a few months. That's putting it mildly. I have been on an internet hunt for my classmates from high school. It will be 50 years since I graduated from high school. I haven't figured out how that happened. I sure don't feel old enough to be out of school that long.

I start out a couple of years ago by finding our class president enjoying his retirement on the east coast. He was interested in having a reunion but felt he couldn't be of much help since he too lived far away. I worked on our 25th reunion. We didn't have the resource of the internet then. Many of our group was not to be found.

At any rate, I volunteered to find almost 400 people. Since I live far away from my hometown, searching out my classmates seemed like something I could contribute to this once in a lifetime get together. So here is what I learned about finding folks.

My main site is called zabasearch. It allows you to search the entire country or just one state.
There are links to other sites as well as google searches. There is, very helpful. I also used and Some websites give the month and year a person was born. Others tell cities people have lived in during the past 20 years. Some give phone numbers and the approximate age range of the people at that number. You can put the phone number into google and sometimes will get an address for that number. Frankly, I don't think the sites that charge you money will give you any information that you can't find for free.

When I couldn't find people, I looked at the SSDI. That stands for the social security death index. I used the rootweb site that has a powerful search engine. It was sad to find the name of a classmate who was deceased but I could stop search for them. On the SSDI site, you can put in the year the person was born. Most of my class was born in 1940. That was a help.
This is a good site.

I started with my year book from the year we graduated. I also had the booklets w
e published for the 10th and 25th reunions we had in the past. Some people were a real challenge to find. I could find no trace of one fellow. Finally I googled his name. I got one hit, he worked for Boeing Corp for 35 years in 2004. So I looked up the Boeing headquarters and called them, he was still working. Lo and behold, the operator connected me to his desk at his office in California. Finding women is a little harder, sometimes they've been married, divorced and remarried.

Most of all, I tried to phone everyone I found and verify their information. It was a hoot, talking to old friends from the
past. I spoke to several people who I went to grade school and high school with, we shared so many old memories. I was impressed by the number of educators in our class. None of us would be where we are today without the dedication of our teachers. It was a lot of fun. I can hardly wait for the reunion.

Our reunion dinner will be held at a local restaurant that serves Lake Michigan perch. Many people were thrilled that we would meet there. Most of the eateries from our high school days have long since closed. I had quite a few dinners at the restaurant where we'll meet. We have fond memories.

We mailed out the first letter to the people I've found so far this week. Now we'll see how many are interested. Surprisingly, only a few said they weren't interested on the phone.

In case you're curious, here's how I looked then and today.

You'd think after 50 years I could change my hair style?
What can I say?


Blogger Motherkitty said...

Cute pictures. I guess we've all changed a "little" since that far-away place we used to call home.

Have fun at the reunion.

January 17, 2008 4:51 AM  
Blogger Alipurr said...

hope you have a great reunion! 2009 will be my 20th high school reunion. Can you believe that?

January 17, 2008 11:48 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

What a fun thing to do - and a mammoth undertaking on your part - but as we well know, you love a project! I hope you get a good response and I am sure the event will be memorable. It is a treat to have you posting again and I love the pics. I don't know if this will make any sense, but you've matured/aged happy - and it shows. Interestingly enough, your comment about your hairstyle made me think about the fact that I have always worn my make up the same way - ever since I first started wearing it, which was at around 14!

January 23, 2008 1:54 PM  
Blogger Abandoned in Pasadena said...

WOW! what a big class. This year will be Jimmy's 53rd (?) Class Reunion. His class has held reunions each year since they have been out of HS.

Have fun at your reunion.

April 29, 2008 5:51 PM  

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