Category Archives: 50th SAHS Reunion

Barbara Thornton writes:

Summary:  50 years, 1 husband, 2 children, 2 grandchildren, 3 post high school degrees, 2 home addresses (post college), 13 email addresses, 42 pairs of shoes,  1 medicare card, 5 careers done, 3 more careers to go.20150603_042429

Current career: building a business: practice and expertise in technology for cities in the 21st century.  And another business:  InterimExecutive.Solutions.  And another business:  a startup, a basket of technology and services to help elders live independently at home longer. That’s the current stuff.

Seems like a long jump from shoes (started an ecommerce company in 1997 selling women’s shoes) or human services (worked for the state, municipalities and as a private consultant to help develop stronger human services programs) but it’s not.  Love that geeky tech stuff!  I am passionate about Civic Tech, dream of writing open source code for a city digital platform and hang out at hackathons on weekends.  Asset Stewardship,  Follow me on Twitter @assetstewards.

Winding the clock backward, I left Santa Ana to go to grad school at Yale.  Bad choice, the school had “issues” and they offered to pay our tuition at MIT in City Planning.  I accepted.  Met Ron Alex when he tried to pick me up in the Boston Commons.  Guess you could say he succeeded.  Worked, gave birth to two kids, tried to do independent consulting, got bored, applied again to a nearby grad school (still living in Boston).  Got accepted.  Graduated from Harvard Business School in 1995 (our reunions are always the same year) at the age of 47, about 20 years older than the other 989 people in the class.  Loved it!

Barbara’s favorite son & daughter, Byron & Rucker

Next career:  Writing.  A book on the history of Santa Ana, then one on some science fiction.  Or maybe that will combine to one book.  Hoping Tom McNeal will give me some advice!

Barbara's favorite grand-daughter, Sylvia.
Barbara’s favorite grand-daughter, Sylvia.
Barbara's favorite grand-son, Sol.
Barbara’s favorite grand-son, Sol.


Barbara's favorite daughter-in-law, Victoria
Barbara’s favorite daughter-in-law, Victoria

Sol is 2 and Sylvia is 1.  Alas they are in Brooklyn with Byron & Victoria, 3 hours and 27 minutes away from where I sit.  I raised terrific kids.  Rucker will bring water to the parched world with city planning and Byron will make people healthy with MD and public health.  Their dad, Ron, looks forward to meeting my SAHS classmates because he forgot to go to his reunion.

Ron is an architect and does real estate development.  He is on his third year of talking about retirement.  He can’t do it until he cleans out our basement.  This is not imminent.  While we still talk of professional projects we might do together, I suspect travelling will be the next big joint venture.

Barbara Thornton, hello from Russia.
Barbara Thornton, hello from Russia.

Extracurricular:  Over 20 years serving on Arlington Capital Planning Committee.  Very proud that after 10 years of recommending, the Town finally let me design a new Maintenance Dept. which was approved this spring.  Going to theater whenever I can.  Small theater, like Company One in Boston.  Gym, Tai Chi and Aqua Aerobics are on the daily list with a 71% success rate.

But lately everything is diverted to the back burner while I have the incredible opportunity to be in touch with so many interesting classmates that I knew so very long ago.  How often in life do you get a chance like this!

Barbara Thornton


John Watters writes:

You are right that I was Student Body President. The way the system worked back in our high school days was the following. We elected a Student Body President and a Senior Class President at the end of 11th grade. Those elected served in those roles the first semester of the Senior year. Then at the end of the first semester we elected a new Student Body President and a new Senior Class President. So I served as Student Body President the first semester and as Senior Class President the second semester. Being Senior Class President the second semester meant I had to speak at our graduation. The other class speaker was our valedictorian, who I believe was Susan Tamura. During that second semester when I was Senior Class President, Nick Sanden as Senior Class Vice-President and Kathie (Swanson) Watters was Senior Class Secretary.

I suppose most of our class is still in California although many no doubt are living elsewhere. We have been living in Duncanville, Texas, next to Dallas, for the past 15 years. However, we travel 40-50% of the time out of the country. We lived in Africa for 26 years (Cameroon, Kenya and now visits to Nigeria) plus a year in France before moving to the Dallas area. We have been working in the areas of Bible translation, linguistic/language analysis, and development of educational materials, all in African languages. Kathie got her B.S. in Nursing from University of California San Francisco (with two years at UCLA) before we got married in 1970 and then she got a Masters in African Languages and Linguistics at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, in the early 1990s. I got a B.A. at UC Berkeley in History (1969), had two years at Fuller Theological Seminary, and then a Masters and Ph.D. in Linguistics at UCLA around 1980. We have been involved in a variety of roles and responsibilities and living situations over the years in Africa, and that continues more recently out of Texas involving language, linguistic analysis, training Africans to do the same in their own languages, developing educational materials, and the translation and use of the Christian Scriptures in African languages by Protestants and Catholics alike.

P.S. We have two daughters, 41 and 39, who have given us two sons-in-law and three grandchildren each. That makes three  granddaughters and three grandsons. We also have a son, 35, who produces apps for iPads and iPhones for Bottle Rocket Studios, but no daughter- in-law and no grandchildren, at least not yet.

John Watters

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50th Reunion Planning for Class of 1965

Check here for Reunion News and Updates

The REUNION is tentatively scheduled for

August 20-23, 2015.  

Now we need to plan activities!

Club, Organization Meet-Ups

Mike Wilde has started working on a reunion meet up for  the GENERATOR staff.  Jog your memory.  Review this  list of organizations that you may want to gather with again!  Contact us and let us help organize a meet up for that group.

Reunion Meet Up Groups


Let’s not waste time catching up on 50 years.  Send us your news now so we’ll be ready to  move on at the Reunion!  John Watters  just sent in his update.  Watch the Whassup page for details!


More Reunion Activities

After the last reunion, many of you listed the activities you’d like to have.  We’re working on that list and expanding it.  Lots of ways to share ideas:   1)   Email us.   2.  Post more ideas on the class Facebook page:   3.  Make suggestions through this poll.

WHAT?  You aren’t getting all the emails?!  Write to us IMMEDIATELY and give us your name, maiden name and best email address!

Ideas for Reunion Activities:

1.  Scheduled meet-ups with SAHS activity groups like Athletics, Journalism; Music , etc. (SEE Meet Ups)
2.  Scheduled meet-ups to discuss special issues like:  Travel, Hobbies, Staying Healthy, Planning for Retirement, etc.
3.  Tours of SAHS campus
4.  Brunch, Lunch, Drinks at favorite hangouts:  El Tobrito?, Balboa Fun Zone?
5.  Scheduled “down time” to make plans with others arriving for reunion.  (SEE Whassup)
6.  Other suggestions?

Marcia Lemon Sanserino has scouted out a great rate at a hotel near the OC Airport and a separate venue with a great price for dinner.  She’s under orders to get maximum value for minimum price.   We know many of you (Putul!?) may be flying in.  We want to see you all!

Visit our Facebook page and let us know what you’re doing!