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26 Miles Across The Sea
The 4 Preps

Name: Marilyn Ross ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Aug 28, 2006, 4:11 pm - HHS Time
Maiden: Wisham
Class: 1956
City & State: Garden Grove, Ca
No E-mail
Message: Hey John, speaking as someone who is a "little" older than you, it isn't really so bad - yet anyway. You forgot to mention replacement joints as part of ageing. My husband just got his second new knee. Thank goodness for modern medicine. Serutan, there's an oldie, thats "natures" spelled backward. Don't know if that one is around anymore. My parents always had a bottle. It looked like rabbit food. I too want to wish you a very Happy Birthday. This is a time of our life that past reflections are more meaningful to many of us oldies. We could never have connected with the past so easy on our own. Let's hear one for the big guy! 2, 4, 6, 8, WHO DO WE APPRECIATE, JOHN BAKER! HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN!!
An HHS yell....I am flattered. Why thank you Marilyn and yes, I'm very lucky healthwise. I see our Cougs at reunions in wheelchairs, walkers and canes. Heck, I'm in the midst of replacing my patio cover; still swinging a sledge, although I'm just slightly sorer at the end of the day.

Name: carole ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Aug 28, 2006, 3:36 pm - HHS Time
Maiden: Anderson
Class: 1960
City & State: Lake Isabella, CA
Message: Hi John, well I read your very elegent birthday e-mail and ended up thinking "where does this guy get off feeling bad about his age" because as far as I can figure it you are a few years younger then me, so if anyone gets to feel old its the people in classes of 60' and earlier. LOL But it does seem like things start breaking down except blood pressure and cholesterol which are going up. You can't make the years go away but you can make the ones ahead the best. Love you for this site and hope it goes on forever so eat right, don't drink, don't smoke, work out a lot and keep out of trouble. Carole
Hi Carole, Let's see, if I eat right, don't drink, don't smoke, work out a lot, and keep out of trouble.......I AM DEAD!! Thanks very much and for all who think I'm worried about adding one more year, it's all in fun. Heck you can't make it to 3 digits without adding the years and I've only 38 to go.

Name: Jim Sloey ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Aug 28, 2006, 2:54 pm - HHS Time
Class: 1966
City & State: Solvang, Ca
Message: I read your reminisce this morning and all I could see was you sitting in your kitchen with a bottle in front of you [as Bobby Hunter always said better than a frontal lobotomy], a cigar in one hand and a glock in the other deciding your fate and Cougartowns just because you got old. I was so glad you answered your phone this morning. Happy Birthday again boy.
So I DID get old, you've got me reconsidering.

Name: Carolyn ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Aug 28, 2006, 2:07 pm - HHS Time
Maiden: Gamradt
Class: 1962
City & State: Ann Arbor, MI
Message: Hi, John, I don't want to miss the opportunity to wish you a fantastic birthday! I was glad to finally pick up on the fact that you aren't on your way to assisted living! Have a good one and thanks for all that you've done and continue to do to keep us all connected. ~Carolyn
Thank you Carolyn, and tell me more about assisted living. It sounds like alot more fun than that Dr. Kevorkian thing that was going around a few years ago.

Name: Sharon MacDonald ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Aug 28, 2006, 1:56 pm - HHS Time
Maiden: Badger
Class: 1963
City & State: Bruceville, Texas
Message: John, hope your birthday is enjoyable - in my house, when you get past the big six-O, you get to celebrate the whole dang week! So, HAPPY BIRTH-WEEK!!!!!!!
Well thanks for that, Sharon, that's GREAT news. Can I stop scrubbing my kitchen floor now?

Name: Roni Kobel ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Aug 28, 2006, 1:39 pm - HHS Time
Maiden: Treckman
Class: 1976
City & State: Huntington Beach, CA
Message: JB, I loved your 10-till-midnight memories! Have a WONDERFUL birthday! What is it about you, anyway? You are the magic. You have the "Midas touch" on CT! The connections that have been made because of you really are more precious than gold! I think it is what it is because you care so much, which is made obvious by your witty, sweet, and humorous comments following so many of the posts. Thanks for all you do, and enjoy your day!Sharon and Clark, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
Hi Roni, Thanks for the Bday wishes and as for the rest, you make me blush... The hard fact is, CT is CT because of YOU and all the others Cougs, who share memories and stories. We are so connected and bonded now, by all growing up in the same place and attending the same school. It is magic, isn't it? I feel that magic pretty much everyday, from all of you. Thanks for being a part of OUR Cougartown family.

Name: Armand Vaquer ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Aug 28, 2006, 11:32 am - HHS Time
Class: 1972
City & State: Tarzana, CA
Message: Happy Birthday, old chap! Tell me, did you really pass out at Teddy Roosevelt's inaugural ball?
No, but I did sell him his first shotgun. Thanks Armand....

Name: Bud Rhoades ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Aug 28, 2006, 11:29 am - HHS Time
Class: 1974
City & State: The Shore
Message: Happy Birthday John Baker! We couldn't do anything without your support here. I have to use my wine analogy but like the great 1st growths your just getting better with age. Cheers........Bud Rhoades
Thanks Bud, and BTW, they now call me "Old Vine Zin"

Name: Jill McFarlane ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Aug 28, 2006, 10:11 am - HHS Time
Class: 1977
City & State: Mission Viejo, CA
Message: Happy Birthday JB, when I saw your post I almost got worried, it sounded like you were saying good-bye and then I read all your birthday wishes and realized you were just being tongue n cheek. I've been reading what a raging success the 76 reunion was, and I am not surprised with the lovely and delightful Sharon B. having something to do with the planning part, by the way Sharon, Happy birthday to you too! So, 2007 is just around the corner, the class of 77 will just HAVE to out do those 76'ers! Whose the committee and who do I sign up with to help? Please email me.
Now see, that's the way to do it. Get started early the way Sharon did. Advertise your reunion right here, so all your classmates know the whats, wheres, and whens. Start your own Reunion site and advertise THAT here too. There are 161 77ers on the Alumni list, although a few email addresses won't work, and as of today, 67 home addresses in the database, with more coming in every week. That's a great start on a reunion. BTW, please add yourself to the Cougartown Info System, then you'll always be invited to your reunion. Thank you Jill for being a Ctowner and thanks for the Bday wishes.

Name: Patti Smith ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Aug 28, 2006, 10:08 am - HHS Time
Maiden: Smith
Class: 1968
City & State: Cypress, CA
Message: Happy Birthday, JB!! Hope you have a wonderful one. Thanks for all you truly is appreciated.
Hi Patti, Thanks for the nice thoughts, and thanks for being part of the Cougartown family.

Name: KIRK C. GREASBY ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Aug 28, 2006, 9:29 am - HHS Time
Class: 1976
City & State: Colorado Springs CO.
Message: A BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MR. C-TOWN JOHN, MY SWEETIE SHARON, AND MY BUDDY CLARK. Best wishes on another year of Cougar years. I guess you're right Clark, Bashing S.C.'s National Championships and Heismans isn't right. Sooners, Huskers, and Longhorns have to fight for the right to be called National Champions. Their BIG 12 conference is in a category all by itself. HECK they're just a bunch of "Good Ole Boys" when you think about it. To think that the Big 12 could even compare with the PAC 10, What was I thinking. PLEASE except this "Hard to be Humble When Your a Sooners" apology and FIGHT-ON to all those Trojans.....The eyes of TEXAS are upon you....Its all in Fun- Coors anyone?
Thanks Kirk, and I say it's that time of year when we can all brag on our teams....EVERYONE is undefeated. And in the spirit of Big12-Pac10 friendship....OK, mail me a Coors.

Name: Harry Plotkin ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Aug 28, 2006, 9:22 am - HHS Time
City & State: Harbor City, CA
Message: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOHN!!! Your feedback memories were great. One could literally feel your emotions (wish I could take credit for having taught you to write). I am compelled to once again thank you for being the catalyst of Cougartown. I have been in touch with so many former students and you and the Rowdies. I am currently exchanging e-mails with a student who was in my very first class! Kathy and I were pleased to be included in your memories. You have brought much joy to thousands of Cougars and we all love you. HCH
Chloe Ella - Warm regards to your parents and please send me an e-mail.
Thanks Harry, I feel very very lucky to have you and Kathy as very close friends; another Cougartown connection, as I was an Intermediate guy. Thanks for being my friend as you two were so loved as teachers. Nothing but the cream of the crop here in Ctown, boy.

Name: Mary Ann Martin ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Aug 28, 2006, 9:04 am - HHS Time
Maiden: Walton
Class: 1961
City & State: Murfreesboro AR
Message: Hey, boy ... you're just hitting your prime. Happy, Happy B-Day, JB, and, again and again, thanks for all you do!!! You da maaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnn!!!
Thank you Mary Ann, I LOVE this Ctown stuff.....

Name: Sue ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Aug 28, 2006, 7:39 am - HHS Time
Maiden: Jolly
Class: 1961
City & State: Hesperia Ca
Message: Happy happy birthday John. Thanks for all you do---for all of us. We all appreciate it. We LOVE YA MAAN !!
Hi Sue, Thanks for the Bday wishes. Geez, I've been answering phone calls all morning. Sloey called and said the Feedback I left sounded like I was sitting here with a bottle of "Jack" in one hand and a Glock in the other. Not a downer at all. I love my life the way it is and if getting older is a part of it, then so be it. It beats the alternative.

Name: John Achrem ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Aug 28, 2006, 6:14 am - HHS Time
Class: 1976
City & State: Las Vegas, NV
Message: Greetings Mr. Baker-man. WOW, now that the dust has settled from the 76er's reunion, I felt compelled to chime in and (first) share some heart-felt Birthday wishes to Sharon B, Clark and the Captain of CT John Baker. Next, a standing ovation goes to Sharon (Bierman) Branigan for throwing an AMAZING 30 year reunion party; second to none! It's amazing how 18 months of meticulous planning, 43,276 emails and numerous relentless reminders can make a plan come together! ALL of the effort paid off BIG with a room full of great people having a great time; it was magical. Dave Krikac was outstanding! You must have worn out your Mr. Microphone set as a child! That "Hey good lookin, I'll be back to pick you up later" line works every time! Furthermore, the room and gifts were decorated to perfection (thanks to Carmen) and the speeches by Clark Millman, Mike Rice and Doug Long were priceless. In fact, it was great to have one more opportunity to see, hug and converse with some of our oldest and dearest friends. I only wish we had more time; there were so many people and not enough time to visit with them all. However, what was most cherished is that I had the honor to share it with my best friend and partner and love-of-my-life Gloria Valencia. Oh, and I'm still blushing from taking home the MOST ENVIOUS AWARD TOO! Whoo Hooo! Fame and fortune AT LONG-LAST!
Hey John, Thanks for the wishes. The 76 reunion was one of the most fun events I've been invited to and it all boils down to the hard work of the committee. Dave K, you were fantastic, although you might want to look up the word, "verbose". No kidding, you did a marvelous job.
John, you did a great job on your video. It had me blubbering up and I didn't know half of those classmates. And Dave, thanks too for the Michael MacDonald Cougartown tribute. It was the best. You 76ers have it together, now keep it together.

Name: John Baker ~~~~~~~~~~ Mon-Aug 27, 2006, 11:58 am - HHS Time
Class: 1962
City & State: Lomita, CA
Message: As dooms day grows near and thinking back about things like running the Hawthorne streets with Bob Reagan, George Gates, Gordon Bell, Mike Spitzer, and a few others. The day I got my drivers license (Eisenhower was President), or graduation day (JFK) it appears that it's now time for Rockin' chair money (George W. Bush) and being put out to pasture.
Time to reflect on what has happened in the last 61 years 364 days and 23 hours and 50 some minutes.
First off, I'd love to thank my family for a great life in Hawthorne. For Little League they signed me up for. For scouting, for quarter midgets, fishing, hunting, summer camp at a couple of different places (HEY, kinda looks like they wanted me out of the house, huh), and many many more fun things.
Thanks for bringing me up correctly. I know I probably didn't like it all MOM but thanks for doing it anyway. Thanks for the swats, the groundings and for letting me know you weren't going to put up with my crap.
Then marriage..... Thanks Joyce for our two lovely kids (I know I helped but you did the mixing). I loved drag racing and you put up with it as best you could. Thanks for all the fun times in the sixties.
The seventies were a little different and for the most part, they were OK, but uneventful, except for Softball at Centinela Park. I LOVED softball..
Thanks to HHS61 Mike Shay and HHS62 Tom Shelley for our venture into SBS Industries in the late 70s to mid 80s. We had a business AND we had fun, didn't we.
The early 90s were....well, OK but lost, then Cougartown came along.
I have rekindled, met, found, re-rekindled and met for the first time, people who would have never been in my life, EVER!! Janet Humphreys Burkett and I had the best of times. She taught me to ski at 58 years of age, sip wine from a glass instead of a jug, and backed me off from a being a Bulldog to maybe a Great Dane. The Rowdys, (Judy, you know I love you still), the mid-70s HHSers (I LOVE YOU GUYS MAAAANN!!). The Harry Plotkins, Kathy Brooks, Coach Hals, Bob Kyllonens, and the rest, you people know who you are...
Now it's time, as the hour closes and Serutan approaches. Headaches Neuritis, Neuralgia, and Doan's and Carter's Little Liver Pills are on the horizon. Prune Juice is a staple now as are Fleet enemas and Corn Plasters. NO Cheeseburgers and Fries and more lettuce
Lawrence Welk is starting to sound pretty good to me and the Chiffons and Chuck Berry are fading from memory. I used to go out at 9pm and now that's WAY past bedtime. Anyway, I will get past this mid life.....OK, OLD AGE crisis. It's a pleasant thought though that I'll NEVER catch up to the Class of 61ers.
Good Night all, for tomorrow the transformation is complete.

Name: Debbie ~~~~~~~~~~ Sun-Aug 27, 2006, 10:40 pm - HHS Time
Class: 1977
City & State: Del Aire, CA
Message: Thanks for the birthday wish, Jerry. Along with brotherly teasing! Happy birthday wishes to you, John! You're not over the hill, the best is yet to come!
Yeah Yeah, How would you know, you're a child.....Thanks Debbie

Name: Walter Holt ~~~~~~~~~~ Sun-Aug 27, 2006, 9:08 pm - HHS Time
Class: 1966
City & State: Surf City, CA
Message: Duh, Brain F*rt Thanks John. HAPPY B'DAY in 2 hours and 53 Minutes. YOU DA MAN
Thanks Walter, I can feel myself fading fast....

Name: Walter Holt ~~~~~~~~~~ Sun-Aug 27, 2006, 8:34 pm - HHS Time
Class: 1966
City & State: Surf City, CA
Message: If anyone knows how to get in touch with Vinnie from cruise night please email me. I have a friend that's interested in taking a look at his 55 chevy wagon he has for sale. PS the surf was awesome this weekend, well except for today.
Hey Walter, That was HHS60 Bob Fitzgerald who had the 55 Chevy Wagon at Cruise Night. His email address is on the list.