St. Raymond School Class of 1967 Celebrates 50 Year Reunion
The St. Raymond School Class of 1967 gathered in Menlo Park for their 50th Class Reunion. Spearheaded by Tim Johnston, and attended by 20 classmates, the reunion was a huge success. The class kicked off the weekend on Friday evening with a visit to local favorite, The Dutch Goose. After enjoying deviled eggs, burgers, and beverages, the group headed to St. Raymond School to take part in the annual Pumpkin Festival. Saturday evening they enjoyed a barbecue at Tim Johnston's home. The class had a wonderful time catching up and reminiscing.
Tim Johnston has been no stranger to St. Raymond School over the past 50 years. His two daughters also graduated from St. Raymond, Caitlin - Class of 1999 and Allison - Class of 2001. Tim and his wife, JoAnn, have been active and involved parents and supporters of St. Raymond through the years. Please read Tim's story on the 50 Year Reunion featured below the photos.
ST. RAYMOND CLASS OF 1967 CELEBRATES AT 50-YEAR REUNION
by Tim Johnston, St. Raymond class of 1967 graduate and 50th reunion co-conspirator
They came from near and far. Some didn’t have to leave Menlo Park, but many traveled hundreds and in some cases, thousands of miles. But they all came to celebrate and reminisce.
On October 6th and 7th, 20 members of the 1967 graduating class of St. Raymond School gathered to catch up, play school yard games (Hop Scotch, Four Square, …), share photos, and simply recall, as best we could, the past 50 years of our lives. It was our second reunion in five years, and we had created a Facebook group to stay in touch, but many attendees had not physically seen each other since June, 1967 – the Summer of Love (SOL). And, in the spirit of the SOL, we had come to fondly refer to ourselves as the Merry Pranksters traveling on the Magic Bus.
Simply trying to determine where all 62 students who had, at one point or another, passed through the class from 1959 to 1967 was no small undertaking. But, thanks to some enduring friendships, social media and good old “detective” work, we were able to “find” 44 members of the class. Many had left the area – Southern California, the Northwest, Alaska, Utah, North Carolina, Ohio, New York; even Australia – and, sadly, six had passed away.
The majority of those we were able to connect with were genuinely intrigued by the idea of a grammar school reunion; some, at the outset, more so than others. Of course, there were a few people who were just not interested and/or unresponsive; but not many. And, as the planning progressed and the connectivity grew, the interest, enthusiasm and excitement took off. It became more of a question of when and where than who is going to be there.
Reunions can be tough, especially high school and college – “So, what do you do?” (my irreverent response, “When?”); “Married?”, “Kids?” … - that kind of ‘social vectoring’ that can make people very uncomfortable. But my experience with this ‘crew’ has not been like that. After all, 50 years have passed since we graduated, and I found we were much more interested in what we had experienced, who we had become, and what we had come to value as human beings.
The weekend was, dare I say, “magical!” First stop on the magic mystery tour, Friday night burgers, deviled eggs, beverages and more at the Dutch Goose; second stop, just down Santa Cruz Ave for a visit to the St. Raymond School Pumpkin Festival (conveniently scheduled for the same weekend), and finally a BBQ on Saturday afternoon. The laughter, reminiscing, toasts to classmates - present, near, far and no longer with us - and reflecting on all the water that had passed under the ‘bridge,’ continued well into the evening.
It takes a village to plan, organize and pull something like this off and it wouldn’t have happened if not for the dedicated efforts of small group of hopeless sentimentalists who believed it could be done. And done it was! Will we do it again? You bet we will, five years downstream!
As everyone dispersed on Saturday night, several classmates left to return to the north bay counties, where the catastrophic wild fires were, unbeknownst to any of us, just beginning. It is a testament to this class and our genuine affection for one another that we have continued to stay in touch with and support them as they have endured an unimaginable nightmare.