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La Jolla High classes planning reunions

Reunion time is approaching for La Jolla High School’s classes of 1954 and 1964, and the committee members say they are having a great time getting ready.

The class of ’54 gets the jump on their younger classmates with a luncheon at the Grande Colonial Hotel on Sept. 9. The class of ’64 will hold a fiesta on the beach at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis club on Sept. 19.

Julie Bowman Fiss, who’s on the 45th reunion committee, and Linda Mnimaka Brockett, heading up the 55th group, both said they hold gatherings every five years because they’re losing classmates.

The class of ’54 had 353 students. Of that group, about a third are still in San Diego County, Brockett said. “But there are 60 we can’t locate and 75 that we know are deceased.”

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Doug Russell is coming the greatest distance, she noted, flying in from Rochester, N.Y., and they’re also expecting grads from the Anacortes-Friday Harbor area of Washington state.

While they won’t all be there, the grad list includes the likes of Chuck Buck of Buck Knives, Judge Robert Coates, scholar and theologian Rosemary Radford and photographer and author Lawrence Schiller.

The class of 1964 - the last to graduate from the combination La Jolla Junior-Senior High School before Muirlands was built, had 359 students.

Fiss, one of five people on the nine-member planning committee who went to school together from their days at Bird Rock Elementary through LJHS, said they expect classmates from as far away as Alaska, Colorado and Missouri.

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Some don’t have to travel far. One is John Schroeder, a former PGA golfer who now lives in Del Mar, and former Union-Tribune columnist Tom Blair, who is now editor of San Diego Magazine. Other 1964 graduates include Jack Drown, a retired deputy sheriff who ended his career as undersheriff, pro baseball’s Dave Robinson and tennis player Bill Canning.

Brockett said the committee for the class of ’54 includes Tony and Laura Sarspe, who were high school sweethearts.

As of about a week ago, about 90 people counting spouses and grads were planning to attend the luncheon. They’re planning a champagne toast to those who have died in the past year - including Leon Smith who was on the committee with his wife Suzanne. They also had been together since high school, Brockett noted.

Just for fun, some of the ’54 grads, who were in the Tappet car club in high school, are bringing their classic cars. Bob Lambert will bring his 1932 Ford Roadster, Tom Stevens his ’29 Ford Roadster and Jay Buyers his ’56 Ford pickup.

Mickey Cooper, who will emcee the event, also is planning to bring his 1927 Ford Roadster, but “it may have to be on a flatbed if he can’t get it started,” Brockett said.

If you want to go

  • Class of 1954

Call Linda Brockett
(858) 676-1151

  • Class of 1964

Call Julie Fiss

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(858) 454-2685