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November 04, 2006


I love the before and now pics! Glad that you had such a positive experience :) I think I'll still skip mine and live vicariously through yours! Cheers, JP

Danny, I never would have guessed that my comment would help jump-start a post.

Thirty years is a long time; to help organize reunions and to keep an avid interest in one's classmates and teachers is very special.

I hope you do plan the 40th, 50th and beyond, and you keep having that interest in your academic roots.

Just make sure to include more of those before and after pics that are so great!

And ewwww, elephant pants! I had those. Ghastly. What was I thinking?

I, too, enjoyed the photos here. I recall going, with much trepidation, to my 10th- or 15th-year high school reunion (can't remember which). I traveled down from Boston to New Jersey and joined a friend of mine who had been equally a misfit. I had never been in the 'in' crowd and I wasn't sure what to expect. That night, I was unexpectedly moved by how the late bloomers, who weren't doing so well in high school, had really come into their own. That is the strongest memory I took with me. It made it truly worthwhile.

I was on the committee for my 20th last year. I had a great time getting to know people I'd never crossed paths with in my class of 400. And we had a few grandparents in our class, too. Some through step relationships, some not. And we also had a classmate pregnant for the first time.

Thanks for the ideas for better Memory Questions. Our class president needs some fresh ideas in that regard.

Top notch Then and Now photos - thanks for posting them. I enjoy seeing how people change and don't change.

These Reunion things can go so very many different ways, depending on where you are in your life at the time they are happening....I'm so glad you felt yours was a huge success Danny...! And I love seeing the pictures of "Back Then" and "Now"...My own experience to the only Reunion I went 40th...was that they women seemed to be in better shape than the men...Somehow most of the women seemed to age more---shall we say----gracefully...!
From your pictures it kind of looks like that is the case, too...When you see everybody at the 40th be sure to take pictures then, too! LOL!

Loved this post, Danny, and the fact that you and I were able to connect during your reunion weekend. I recently attended my 50th (Class of 1956) at Roosevelt High School in Chicago -- Von's rival. I had a similar experience as yours: it was great fun to see everyone (thank goodness for the before pictures we wore on lavalieres around our neck, as 50 years really does change one's appearance). And thanks to a generous committee member, everyone on the reunion list had heard about my memoir. So, I was enjoying my 15 minutes. As you learned, sometimes it's good to go back and view our past through a different lens. A more compassionate and honest one.
Much love,

The before and after pictures are fabulous. I wish I had schlepped you with me to my Habonim Reunion last year - to create these pictures for us. What a riot! The physical transformation with these things is just mind blasting for me. Am still reeling from mine!

Insightful comment about your art teacher. Our art teacher, Clayton Starky Williams, would simply look at our paintings and say, "This area in here is highly suspect," and leave us to do as we pleased. Many of his students went on to earn art degrees at Otis, Parsons, and the Art Center School of Design and have very successful careers in the arts. Thirty years have gone by, and he's become a dear friend, that's the kind of art teacher he was. I'm going to share your comment with him. It's sure to "provoke an inner chortle", another one of his famous comments.

Great post, Danny -- wonderful to relive last Saturday night with your side-by-side shots. (My 'before' picture is a PSA to parents of teenage girls everywhere to deep-six the eyebrow tweezers.)

Alas, I never even saw LaJuan -- but glad you did. :-) And thanks to your help and everyone else's on the committee it appears that EVERYONE had a grand time, including the old teachers who showed up. (It is gratifying -- and humbling -- when they remember you after 30+ years.) Even so, we often said that even if no one else showed up, we'd still have fun. In the end, at least 196 schoolmates took us up on our reunion idea -- a real rush!

Your fans should know that your lasting contribution is our souvenir booklet -- which you designed and edited with the same verve and enthusiasm you give to your blog. Your tribute to our late friend and classmate Julie Rotter was particularly touching and appropriate. Bravo!

What a find, this blog. Okay, I didn't read every word, but it did choke me up more than a little, relating to 4 years of self-imposed isolation. Thank G-d for adulthood.

Having deftly avoided ALL of my reunions, I took a chance when the class had a 50th birthday party in 2002 (we were all 50) just before Yom Kippor. I thought, wow, what a great time to revisit and see if anyone I had grown up with was remotely interested in getting beyond High Holiday attendance.


It'll take a lot of coaching for me to go back again. But we'll see.

gosh this blog thing of so many old friends before and afters made me feel closer to home more than i ever had in 30 years. when i heard of this reunion i was as excited as ever to go and couldnt wait everyday i would check my e-mails and try to get updates about it .a couple of days before ,my father passed away and i wasnt able to attend and i feel like i just missed out of so much glad everyone had a blast and please plan more how about a31st or 32nd why wait till 40 everyone out there write ([email protected]) take care for now.....charlie bambulas

I attended my 20th high school reunion this summer, arranging our annual visit to the US to coincide with the reunion. I had my doubts about going (even though I'd flown 7000 miles to do so!), but was so glad that I did. It was fascinating to see how people turned out, and really interesting to watch the way people interacted and with whom. Thanks for sharing!


Thanks for posting pictures from my high school yearbook. Okay, not really mine, but it could be.

If the teens of 1976 had been visited by some emissary of the future and shown the 2006 pictures of themselves, they would have said, "Omigod, it's my parents!"

And if that same emissary from the future had visited my drama-queen self back in high school and told me that some of those kids with an "air of superiority and carefully studied insouciance" were trying to coccoon themselves from realities at least as bad as mine, I'll bet I would have felt a lot less insecure around them.

I enjoyed working with you on the committee. Thanks for everything.
The reunion was successful because our classmates made the effort to come. From those crazy high school years of ours, there was some pull that was strong enough to draw people back - a person, a memory, a place, a time. Hats off to those who came!
If we would have a dollar for every smile we saw that night we would be rich. But in reality, we are rich because of the smiles shared.

I think I may be entering some sort of male menopause period because this post made me cry, but in a good way. I have never gone to any reunion... and I enjoyed school.

Oh that was just great. Thank you!

I'm dying to know who was snorting cocaine behind their math book...obviously we were talking to different people during the event. I will say that I was struck by all the joy, laughter and excitement in the room, that lasted all evening.

I am still thinking of how fun the reunion was and how great it was to see everyone that was there. It really was a fun night filled with wonderful memories!!

I enjoyed reading about your 30th--I went to mine last year. It was strange to see how everyone (else) had become middle-aged! I also enjoyed your piece on singing Xmas carols in your mostly-Jewish school. I grew up in similar schools outside of Cleveland, and we sang Xmas songs too!

I really wish I had been able to attend. You don't know how much I missed being there. Damn these knees of mine. Hopefully by the time the 40th rolls around I will have a new knee ... or at least be between surgery's!

I hate I missed the reunion it would have been nice to see everyone love to hear from some of my classmates [email protected]

Danny.... I grew up in Albany Park, but moved to the suburbs before I started high school. I would have been in the VSH class of '75.

Any info on any of that class today ?

I went to Hibbard school and upper grade center (7th & 8th)at Von.



Have never been to any of the reunions. I guess I just never saw the point. My life just went in an other direction from that point. IF there is another and am notified of it I may go. Just out of curiosity. Hope all are well as can be expected at this point in our lives.

P.S. to the above posting:
E mail is [email protected]

Sounds like you had lots of fun at your reunion. The "Then and Now" pics were a neat idea. Congrats on finally mustering up the courage to talk to LaJuan! :)

I have always enjoyed the reunions and your postings are a favorite also. I reconnected with some long lost friends & will be eternally grateful for that. Like we never lost touch. Sonia Caceras, Marilyn Kohen and I talk all the time and we do our best to keep everyone connected. Greg Wooten, Debbie Relaz, Les Bograd, Chris Fabino, Steve Ditter, Kim Tate, Bill Tong, Laura Nanos, Jeff Relaz, Dave Marcus thanks for coming back into my life, it has been a wonderful year, and if I left anyone out, it's not intentional & I would like to see that list continue to grow!!!! Thanks again Danny for all you do to keep us linked knowing how you have felt about the past and that you feel better about it all now. To all that did not make the 30th reunion, hope to see you at the 40th or at any gathering before.

This Friday the 9th, some of us are going to Gamblers at 4908 N. Pulaski in Chicago if anyone wants to go. Hope to see ya there.


[email protected]

Another get together Saturday, February 2nd 8pm at Rivals on Dempster in Morton Grove. Used to be Champs......would be nice to see everyone.

it's amazing

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