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Name: Keith D. Jones ~~~~~~~~~~ Wed-Jul 22, 2009, 7:10 am - HHS Time
Class: 1976
City & State: Las vegas
Message: I saw Dean's post and had to add. Growing up in Holy Glen and living literally across the street from the park was awesome. Me and my brother along with Dan and Ricky Johnston and Donald and John Dye competed in everything. We played touch football, over the line and basketball ALL the time depending on the season. Playing over the line with Mike Scott and Mike Colbern was something I cherished too. We would play before games in Little League and if you could hit the black top playground at Peter Burnett you could hit it a mile. My brother was one of the best pitchers in Little League at that time but both Mikes seem to get the most credit. My brother had numerous no hitter and I think he threw a perfect game if I remember right. He just wasn't flashy which was too bad cause he was the biggest in Little League and he was the biggest at HHS. When you look at the talent we had in Holy Glen it is amazing. Sports was so big back then. I remember when Pop Warner football started. It was a nightmare across the street from our house. Had to have 1000 kids there everyday practicing. Me and my brother would play stickball in the handball court till it got dark. He could pitch so fast. I truly believe if my brother got serious and wasn't so shy he could have played in the pros in either baseball or football. He just didn't have the heart or will to play. I remember helping Wayne Bryan when he was teaching tennis at Holy Glen. I would chase down the balls. He was awesome to watch play. Seeing guys like Tony and Frank Lococo, Gary Allenson, the Mike's, Dean, Terry Hartman, Doug Pomeroy, and others including a couple guy in Little League that were well over 6' tall (can't remember there names). We had so many guys who were awesome in sports. I grew up during the perfect time and place. I'll never forget some of the touch football games we had across the street. We had a few times where every start from HHS at the time was playing across the street. I was in heaven. Gene Skulik, Terry Howse, John Dye, my bro, me, and others I can't remember right now. Mike Colbern was such an idol of mine. Our families were close (we had the same address but different streets) They had a huge collection of trophies between all the family. Greg was great in bowling, Dennis one of my best friends was so cool, Debbie was so pretty and Mike. Even his mom and dad were great athletes and good in golf and bowling. We didn't have as many trophies as them but we had quite a few all over the house. Anyway, it was a great time
It seems everyone had their own era, and sports stars. I could name our group on the playground at Intermediate, and it was the same as Keith's; sports guys and mentor parents alike. It really didn't matter when or where we grew up in Hawthorne, we all had our idols. Thanks Keith for the story.
Name: Susan King ~~~~~~~~~~ Tue-Jul 21, 2009, 7:43 pm - HHS Time
Maiden: Bierman
Class: 1974
City & State: Thousand Oaks, CA
Message: Let me just say, right here and now, that I just LOVE that Deanie Morris. You craft your tale beautifully, and the picture is vivid, even for those who did not grow up in the Holly Glen section of Hawthorne. We each had our Little League or Scout programs, our neighborhoods with their hierarchies and pecking orders, our church groups, teams of kids playing cops and robbers, cowboys and indians or army vs army, and Park and Rec summer activities at our respective elementary schools in the summer. The characters may have had different names but the character-building was the same. I'm totally proud to have come from Hawthorne, City of Good Neighbors. I sure hope that I have carried forth some or much of the wonderful upbringing that I was given....I think I have. So Dean, will you please post up more often?
I agree, Dean, you do have the gift...
Name: Dean Morris ~~~~~~~~~~ Tue-Jul 21, 2009, 3:53 pm - HHS Time
Class: 1972
City & State: NorCal
Message: Note to Jim Gibson- Although it is futile to try to argue for anyone as the best ever, I would give my nod to Mike Scott despite your experience with my buddy we knew as Fat Jack. Mike and I, like lots of Hawthorne's boys, were products of the Parks and Rec. We were given early exposure to older HHS athletes who were Park Coaches. Most of these coaches, like many "Greatest Generation fathers", did not coddle their kids in sports or life. No smiley faces just for showing up, the current fashion. We learned toughness from guys like you Jim Gibson (how to handle a brush back pitch), Ron Petersen (muscling in for a rebound or tip-in), Bart Graves (quickness and good shot selection), John Warner (playing vacuum cleaber defense) and stays with you for life. I remember coaches like Pat Hammon who would come out and play sports with us at Dana and at the Parks. Pat Hammon was the starting halfback for HHS and yet Larry King and I both crushed him in arm wrestling while at Dana. No telling what KJ would have done, perhaps put him on the bench permanently. Same story holds true for a great coach and mentor like Wayne Bryan. You can only guess how tough he was as a coach based on how he molded Mike and Bob Bryan. We used to get into contests with Wayne on throwing a long football or winning at burnout (receiver could not catch the ball). Mike could through a 60-70 yard pass in junior high! We stood in and took Wayne's toughest passes because we did not want to take abuse if we chickened out. No, the Summer was too long to give Wayne the opportunity to disrespect us. We did turn down his offers at tennis games however. Mike's father, Warren Scott, hit little league infield drills harder than I ever experienced in high school or at Stanford. This Joe Jackson school of child rearing clearly works, if you are certain you have kids who could handle heat, wont break down or be humiliated by a mistake. Warren never dished out more than he believed we could handle and he helped to create lots of great competitors, including Jerry Scott and many others around Holly Glen. Whatever does not break me makes me stronger. Anyway, Mike was simply a natural who could do anything- including surfing (he did not sink like the Myk!) and golf. The truth is, each era has its own greats and heroes. The Myk's fans should never believe anything other than he was the next Johnny Bench, and let Mike Scott's, Henry Thomas' and Curtis Conway's admirers believe they too were the greatest of their decade. My hero for this week isnt someone forty years out of the past who once could throw a wicked curveball and rack up 300 big league strikeouts. No, my hero this month is 59 year old Tom Watson who played the British open like a 25 year old champion he used to be. Although he came up short in a playoff, Tom Watson is the kind of man we should all emulate, someone who is still out there competing at a game he loves, whatever it is, instead of reminiscing about what a career he had, playing the senior circuit and going to autograph shows for some spare change. Congratulations to Tom Watson who still has the right stuff and hopefully inspired lots of old duffers to get back in the game.
I'd have to say Tom Watson is a piker compared to 81 year old Herschell McGriff (started Nascar mid 50s) who started in the Camping West World Series in Portland last week and came in 13th out of 28 cars driving for D.E.I. AND he had to start last, and a lap down, due to changing a carburetor AFTER qualifying. Herschell McGriff, you are MY hero.
Name: Chris Prewitt ~~~~~~~~~~ Tue-Jul 21, 2009, 12:44 pm - HHS Time
Class: 1967
City & State: Fullerton, California
Message: For me this past weekend was the end of nearly a week of "Disney". On Sunday I had dinner with Ron Clements who is directing "The Princess and the Frog" for Disney. At the table next to me was 94 year old Art Linkletter whom I had sat with last year. Ever year he likes to ask, "Were any of you on my show?" He would then go on to say that sent letters to the schools asking for kids that the teachers would prefer not to have in their class for a day. Those were the kids who would "Say the darnest things". For those who didn't know the connection to Disney, Art was the MC for the opening of Disneyland.
Quite an honor Chris, thanks for sharing.
Name: Penny Prouty ~~~~~~~~~~ Tue-Jul 21, 2009, 12:38 pm - HHS Time
Maiden: Prouty
Class: 1962
City & State: Torrance, CA
Message: Thank you, Jim Frederick, for all your good words on put in words, exactly how I felt about him as I was growing up. You stated it beautifully. And God Bless you Jim, especially throughout your time in Afghanistan. I'll say a prayer for your safe journey.
Name: Gordon Martin ~~~~~~~~~~ Tue-Jul 21, 2009, 9:58 am - HHS Time
Class: 1959
City & State: Phoenix,AZ
Message: Johnny Bench was a Hall of Famer,14 time all-star,2 time MVP,Rookie of the year,had 45 HR's and 148 RBI's one year and is one of the top 3 catchers in history. Gary Mykannen may well be the best athlete in HHS history,who knows,but to say Gary,healthy or not,would have made Bench an "afterthought" because he hit a home run in a minor league spring training game may be a bit of a think???
Hey Gordon, I was going to say something when Sloey wrote that but kind of knew someone would come up with that answer.
Name: Jim Frederick ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Jul 20, 2009, 8:46 pm - HHS Time
Class: 1969
City & State: West Hills / Hanalie Hi.
Message: .. Hello fellow Cougars .. As most of you know , Walter Cronkite Passed away ...I watched the special about him on sunday eve, on CBS . What i want to say and share is ...... the majority of us that like to reflect our memories here at cougar town will most likely agree that we all grew up with Walter . He knew how to translate to us .So we could have a better understanding of the event he reported on . He was like an uncle , always their to tell us ..... To tell us about When Kenedy was shot , Robert Kenedy , Martin Luther King , All the civil rights issues , Etc. He had a special way to calm us all down ... Or how about sitting in front of the t.v. and watching the 20 th , century ... You know i think i learned more about the world and the space program because of Walter ! ..... Or how about those films we watched in class " You Are Their " ! .. He was such a large part of our life and the life we lived at that time . My father worked in the space program and like so many other kids fathers and mothers .... They would have us sit in front of that t.v. and watch the rockets blast into space ... The " T Minus " and waiting was like holding your breath ! But Walter was their to tell us just what was going on ... I guess he kind of held our hand in a way . He had a way to connect with us, a way to help us all understand just what was going on whether it was apollo 11 or a civil rights issue .And it was generally Walter Cronkite who we trusted to tell us about Viet Nam . It seems like a large part of our generation has broken off and soon other parts will break off ... And so it gets back to our memories here at cougar town ...Who was the greatest athlete ?, how many plane crashes ? and the list goes on.... I will be leaving soon to help work on a documentary in Afghanistan . I will miss my reunion and Im not sure what is more scarier .... seeing classmates i haven't seen in 40 years or seeing insurgents point their guns at me ? ! Enjoy your memories and enjoy your reunion's .... and try to remember how Walter Cronkite played such an important role in our era .... As Walter would say ...... " And thats the way it is " Aloha and Mahalo ! Peace out !
Name: Gary Bickers ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Jul 20, 2009, 6:29 pm - HHS Time
Class: 1963
City & State: pve cal
Message: I have tried to stay out of the best athlete emails but here goes. You guys left off a few including Curtis Conway, good in two sports and Henry Thomas, world class in one sport. That said the guy who was comfortable and a game changer in every sport was Gary Mykkanen. How our football coach allowed him not to play our senior year still amazes me. Gary was all world in basketball and made his living playing baseball. Gary played with the shotput, volleyball and golf. I think because he would sink like a rock he skipped surfing. I am sorry to be a homer but I never saw anything like it and I think most HHS coaches would say the same. It still remains to be seen if he can organize a party when we all get together in August. Just my opinion.
Name: Keith D. Jones ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Jul 20, 2009, 3:05 pm - HHS Time
Class: 1976
City & State: Las Vegas
Message: I saw some airplane crash posts. I have two stories (as short as I can make them). I was landing in Miami. The plane pulled forward to the gate and people started standing up before the pilot said to do so. Well all of a sudden the plane started shaking really bad where people were falling all over the place and the luggage all fell out of the storage above. People were screaming and yelling and it was pretty scary. I was still seated looking out the window and saw this thing flying around and hitting the side of the plane. When everything stopped and they finally opened the door we ended up having to stay in the terminal to speak to the FAA about what happened. What happened was the plane pulled to far forward and the engine sucked up the A/C hose (which is about the same size as a fire hose). It sucked it threw the engine and it tore it off the front of the truck and was whipping it around and then shot it out the back. It destroyed the engine and put some major dents in the plane. Second one, was hitching a ride to Kauai to go play while me friend was going over to tile a house. His friend had a small plane as was offering us a ride since he was going over anyway. Well after loading up quite a bit of tile there was no room for me or my friend. So, we had to wait to get a flight out the next day. So later that day I am watching the news and a small plane went down right after take-off. It was my friends friend who went down on top of a warehouse because his plane was to heavy. He didn't get hurt but that was close too. Okay sorry for the long story.
I thought you were going to say, "AND TILE CITY WAS BORN!!"
Name: Jim Gibson ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Jul 20, 2009, 1:34 pm - HHS Time
Class: 1967
City & State: Redding, CA
Message: I would agree w/ Jim Sloey's analysis below. ( still call a good game!). Re: Mike Scott - I worked @ Dana Jr High as a "noon supervisor," responsible for organizing noon recreational activities. I remember Mike Scott, then, as a pudgy, mouthy, kid who couldn't get enough of sports. Even back in grade school, his abilities were noticeable. When he grew up physically, the combination of his physical stature, natural talent, competitive nature, and tremendous self-confidence made him an extraordinary pitcher in the "show."
Name: Michael M Kratz ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Jul 20, 2009, 12:03 pm - HHS Time
Class: 1971
City & State: Vegas
Message: Since were on a Space subject... Ex-astronaut Ken Bowersox now 52 lives in Hawthorne. Bowersox retired from NASA?s space program in 2006 and recently was hired as vice president of astronaut safety and mission assurance by Hawthorne, California based Company - SpaceX.
Name: Jim Sloey ~~~~~~~~~~ Sun-Jul 19, 2009, 11:28 pm - HHS Time
Class: 1966
City & State: solvang
Message: Coop, what I said was your ears looked like a couple of beers so get me one, a beer not your ears. As for the comparisions that have been made, concerning the best athlete to ever come out of HHS, there were many, some specialized, others played multiple sports. Mike Scott was a great basketball player when he was younger, [I once picked him first in an all star group when he was in 6th grade. The kids he played against were 8th graders. However when he was a senior he was much better in baseball than basketball, he could still shoot but he was too small to play forward or center and way too slow to play guard. I saw Scott Laidlaw start at QB when he was a sophmore, primarily as a runner-later years he was moved to "I back" where he played at Stanford and then moved to FB with the Cowboys. They were both exceptional. However having said that and seen them play and having seen the other Myk play, coming out of high school there was no one from HHS or any other school in the south bay that I have ever seen that was as good an athlete as Gary. He could have played major college basketball, football or baseball. He was a first round draft pick of the Mets in '63 and traded to the White Sox the following year. The day he was sent down to triple A, a step from the show, it was the last day of spring training and he was one of the last to be sent out at age 19, Gary hit a 2 run homer off of Bill Monbouquette who was a 20+ game winner for the Red Sox the year before-when the Red Sox were horrible. He later hurt his shoulder and did not play again. Had he stayed healthy, Johnny Bench would have been an after thought.
Name: Patty Saville ~~~~~~~~~~ Sun-Jul 19, 2009, 10:16 pm - HHS Time
Maiden: Valencia
Class: 1974
City & State: Laguna Beach, Ca
Message: Gloria got in trouble for talking too much and finally, my parents threatened to send her outside. She gathered herself up and said she'd prefer to "watch it live anyway."
Funny Patty....
Name: Susan King ~~~~~~~~~~ Sun-Jul 19, 2009, 6:10 pm - HHS Time
Maiden: Bierman
Class: 1974
City & State: Thousand Oaks, CA
Message: All of us kids were outside in the neighborhood playing and mom called us all home and "forced" us to sit in front of the TV and watch the historic event, despite our pleas to skip it all. Once again, Mom was right. Thanks Mom. : ))
Name: Sharon Macdonald ~~~~~~~~~~ Sun-Jul 19, 2009, 2:46 pm - HHS Time
Maiden: Badger
Class: 1963
City & State: Bruceville, TX
Message: Monday, 20 July 2009, marks the 40th anniversary of the televison broadcast of the American astronauts walking on the moon. It was an event that so many people from around the world watched on TV. I remember we were visiting my parents in Hawthorne and we all gathered to watch (including our 16 month son). Later we wrote the date in his baby book and included a newspaper clipping. Who else remembers where they were?
I was at home on 111th Pl. watching that event.
Name: Rick Weaver ~~~~~~~~~~ Sun-Jul 19, 2009, 2:08 pm - HHS Time
Class: 1973
City & State: Bedford, Nh
Message: Best athlete? Having been on the same track team and watching him play football, I'd have to say Scott Laidlaw (he graduated 2 years before me). I was a high jumper and when needed, Scott would jump too (he beat me every time). He often won the event, but almost never practiced. He was a gifted natural athlete. The high jump of course was not his best event - he was an awesome hurdler as well and if memory serves, ran the 440 relay too. Needless to say, as a very high scoring CIF athlete in track, by itself would put him in high regards. However, when you add in his contributions on the football field (college & Dallas Cowboys), you'd be hard pressed to come up with another name, except maybe Mike Scott (Cy Young award winner) on the baseball field and the basketball court! GO COUGS!
Hey Rick, Good calls there.
Name: Jim Dally ~~~~~~~~~~ Sat-Jul 18, 2009, 9:29 pm - HHS Time
Class: 1963
City & State: Carson, CA
Message: Just thought I'd mention the late great Walter Cronkite and the last time I saw him in person was at a huge Christmas event in Salt Lake City in December 2002. He had a big part in the show as a narrator and it was spactacular.In regards to airplane trouble in Hawthorne, I recall when on Freeman Ave and outside; seeing a Cessna or Piper type plane make an unusual turn somewhere over the Blvd and fly back to the airport--heading EAST--without the engine running! The pilot was gliding back to the airport (most likely in an emergency mode)and from the altitude and speed of the craft I'm pretty sure it made it. Since there was no "News" about it, I'm certain that plane made it back.