Burlingame High School - Class of 1955
News Bytes from 2001

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(January 2001) Ron Marlin and wife, Gail (BHS '59), are finally in their new home in San Mateo. Forty five years ago it would have been a sacrilege to move to San Mateo but now we won't make any further comment. Ron's e-mail address is unchanged.

(January 2001) A note from Linda (Thorpe) Sprague: My e-mail address has changed. It is now Linda.Sprague@21stCenturyInsurance.com. Sorry I missed the party. I had reservations for another bicycle ride in France since March so couldn't change them. Our company won the Governor's Trophy in the 2001 Rose Parade. I spent many long hours out in Duarte decorating the float. Again, I was in charge of about 600 volunteers. It is always lots of fun. I am looking forward to retirement on July 1, 2002 if I make it that long.

(January 2001) Ed. note: We asked Gil Larish what he would be doing until the next Reunion. Gil writes: I do hope to be at the 50th providing the dates are announced far enough in advance. We tend to book vacations 10 months to a year in advance so we can get what we want. (Ed. Reunion Ctee please note!) Yes, we finally got unpacked. After the April 5 move to Incline it took 6 weeks of unpacking. Linda did not retire and join me until the middle of May.

After moving to Incline we had a busy schedule. In May we went to Europe and toured Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England. After the tour, we went to Switzerland to hike in the Swiss Alps. Wild flowers were abundant and the views from the mountain peaks were spectacular. Since we had just moved to Tahoe, July & August were spent welcoming visitors and getting to know the Tahoe area better. It was also a time of reflection. The thought of living in an area so beautiful is like a dream. Am I dreaming, or is this reality? We have so much to be thankful for.

September brought our annual trip to Ashland, Oregon, for the Shakespeare Festival. We had our usual wonderful time. The plays were excellent with a mixture of Shakespeare and other playwrights. Then it was on to Hawaii for two weeks on the islands of Kauai and Hawaii. It was a 'laid back' vacation with a lot of beach time. In early November we made a trip to Arizona We stayed at Sedona for a week and did a lot of hiking and 4-wheeling. The Red Rock area is gorgeous and we hope to return there. On our way home, car trouble put us in Laughlin, Nevada, for 6 days (ugh).

(January 2001) Ed. note. We asked Mike Reed Johnson to do a little bragging about his family. He writes: Wife Kathleen is at a meeting in Annapolis and I am home with our 12 year old, Susan. Susan was selected to be the pianist for the jazz band at her middle school. She is also in the advanced orchestra playing the violin. She is on the volleyball, basketball, and track teams so we are kept busy. Michael is a senior at University of Pacific this year. He will be a fifth year student next year as he decided to get a second degree in mathematics. Then I will finally be able to retire. Marjorie graduated in June in chemical engineering and is now a process engineer at Intel. She is just back from a business trip to Ireland. Rosemary continues her work at OHSU. She will be taking a business trip to the Italian Riviera and Kathleen will tag along. I will stay home here in paradise (Salem, OR). We are all active at Morningside Methodist Church where Kathleen and I are Stephen Ministers. I am still enjoying my work and the attention that the Beavers are getting after an NCAA record 28 consecutive losing seasons.

(January 2001) Not be upstaged entirely by his good friend Mike Johnson, Grey Whipple reports that his son, Brian, just took his GRE test for grad school applications. He wants to be a public policy analyst. His scores were Verbal: 670 of 800 (94th percentile), Quantitative: 800 of 800, and Analytic: 800 of 800. Way to go, Brian!

(January 2001) The Difference Between Men and Boys is the Price of Their Toys. The photographs are from classmate George Schroeder. George attended Washington Elementary School and Burlingame High School through his sophomore year. In 1953 his family moved to the east coast. George and Grey Whipple were close friends with many of the same interests. They both built model airplanes and had HO gauge train layouts. To this day George still has the trains that he and Grey played with.

Very early on, George had a "thing" for American Airlines and Grey recalls that his model planes had AA color schemes and decals. It may have been that his family was from Texas and that is where AA is headquartered. Anyway, as fate would have it, he became a captain for American Airlines and the elements of the photo collage were taken on his last flight before retirement, 27 Nov 1997. The woman in his lap is George's wife, Zsuzsi.

George's interest in trains has not waned. As a retirement gift he bought himself an O gauge scale model of the steam engine that pulled the Southern Pacific Coast Daylight train. That was the train painted orange, red, and black. Following our reunion last year (his first), George attended the annual gathering of the Southern Pacific Historical and Technical Society, held in Portland. One of the highlights of the meeting was visiting the old Daylight engine 4449.

Since retirement from service, engine 4449 has had storied role. In 1976 the engine was painted red-white-blue and was used to pull the Freedom Train in the western U.S. In 1984 it was repainted orange, red, and black and was featured at the New Orleans World Fair. In 1999, engine 4449 was on display at the California Rail Fair in Old Sacramento. It is currently painted black due to its lease to Burlington Northern. During the war engine 4449 was painted black and had its lights masked (see mask on lower front light of engine) so that enemy planes and submarines would have a hard time spotting it as it ran along the coast to and from Los Angeles.

(January 2001) Bob Czapkay writes that since the Reunion his health has taken a turn for the better. He and wife Valentina are enjoying a moderate success with a web based jewelry business. "We have one of the largest jewelry web sites on the internet, and are slowly building a solid client base and reputation for fair and honest dealings. We are located on the web at http://www.vscjewelry.com ." Bob and Valentina are offering a ten percent discount to anyone who identifies themself as a BHS graduate.

(January 2001) A note from Linda (Berry) Gillispie (with permission): At the present time, I am still working for Modesto Junior College and for Turlock Schools. I started the school year off by being Dean of Students at Turlock Junior High and am now acting Assistant Principal for an elementary school. Life continues to be very busy. Our oldest daughter and her husband + two children are living with us until they can build a house. Her husband's with the Turlock Police Dept. and she's a junior high counselor. It's been fun having one come home. Our next daughter works for a labor law firm in Sacramento. Our son is at Hastings in San Francisco (2nd year) and our youngest daughter starts a MA in Counseling and a credential program at Long Beach this week.

(March 2001) Some very good news. Your webservant has been in touch with Jain (Fairfax) Langston. She reports that husband Mike has responded well to treatment and as of his last scan he is clear of cancer. I quote Jain, "Our best to all who stormed the gates of heaven on his behalf."

(May 2001) Enroute to Portland, George Schroeder visits Grey Whipple. With a day to kill and as luck would have it, the Confederate Air Force had their WWII Boeing B-17G bomber on display at Buchanan Field in Concord. They spent an entire morning photographing the plane on the ground and in the air. Excursion rides were being offered for $350 for 20 minutes. They would have stayed longer but the temp was climbing above 100 degrees. The pinup is Betty Grable.




(June 2001) Grey Whipple, George Schroeder, and Mike Johnson meet in Portland (OR) to ride an excursion train 110 miles up the spectacular Columbia River Gorge. The thing that made this so special was that the train was pulled by the last remaining Daylight steam engine, No. 4449. Those of us who lived in Burlingame will recall the Southern Pacific Daylight which ran daily between San Francisco and Los Angles. This was the train that was painted bright red and orange. The era of the Daylight steam engine ended about 1954. Mike recalls his Burlingame days, living on California Ave facing the train tracks and watching the Daylight pass by (left to right: Mike,Grey,George).



(June 2001) Gil Larish and Grey Whipple had a first reunion at Gil's home at Incline Village. Gil (on French horn) and Grey (on drums) were fellow musicians in Eugene (Prof) Brose's band. Grey reports that Gil and wife, Linda (see photo), have retired on God's half-acre at beautiful Lake Tahoe.


(July 2001) Life's Little Embarassments - Your web-servant, working on an enhancement to this website, observed that the spelling of Dolores Deist's name had two spellings - Deist on the Commencment Exercises Progam, and Diest on her yearbook senior photo. An e-mail to the school office confirmed the correct spelling is Deist. We last knew of her as Dolores (Deist) Howell, but she turned up on our missing list when doing the mailings for our 45th reunion last year.


(July 2001) Some Technical News - The San Mateo Union High School District maintains a website for Burlingame High School (see the link below). More recently, the District has placed a link to this website on the Alumni page of the BHS website. The importance of this is that any of our missing classmates who may be inclined to lookup Burlingame High School will now be able to discover this one.

(August 2001) Carol (Clark) Roberts has returned from a two-week cruise to Alaska and raves about its beauty. The photo is Carol, sitting on an iceberg at a beach in Prince William Sound.


(August 2001) Drs. Mike and Kathleen Reed-Johnson invited Grey and Lillian Whipple to Salem OR to attend the Oregon State Fair. But the ulterior motive was to attend the Beach Boys Concert. Also on the agenda was working on this website. Mike is a professor of computer science at Oregon State University and he and Grey spent time at OSU working on its next major development. Kathleen is the Plant Pest and Disease Programs Supervisor in the Plant Division of the Oregon Dept. of Agriculture. Excitement is building in their household over two daughters who are to be married later this year.


(September 2001) Dixie (Eason) McCarthy is displaying some of her recent art work in Northern California. See below for details. (Ed. note: Dixie's show has been extended through October. She also now has prints of the painting on the card below. They are being sold at a restaurant in Coronado.)

Grey Whipple visited Dixie's show in mid-October. Boonville is a quaint town of 750 permanent residents in Mendocino County. Cafe Glad is an old-time diner with plastic and chrome furniture, a contemporary sandwich menu, and a display case with delectable bakery items. And the walls are covered with Dixie's oil paintings. Dixie has also posted the following explaining the show:

Artist Statement "The show has to do with funky, country dust regional flavor of the 1920's on.The artist travelled to Mendocino County, Sonoma County and the Santa Cruz area - looking for new ways of seeing and painting. She pulled aside the curtain of time to invite and engage the viewer, to create stories from their own memories. She painted florentines, cobblers, buns and Danish pastries peeking out from refrigerated cabinets waiting to be eaten. Dixie's show is a reflection of her interest in the nostalgia of the 1920's, 30's and 40's, simpler times, a fondness for animals, her memories of coming up to Boonville during childhood, and her keen interest in places and travel."

(September 2001) Carol (Baccigaluppi) Clarke writes of a trip to Germany and Italy last year. It is reprinted with permission. [From Carols biography in the "Panther Tracks 1995" (published for our 40th reunion)...she graduated from Cal in 1959 and in 1962 she travelled to Germany to teach at the Ludwigsburg American High School. Carol married Major Frank P. Clark, United States Army. In 1976 her husband retired and they settled in Rock Island, IL. (Ed.)]

Our Summer (and golf) are winding down here and Fall is in the air. This Fall will be rather quiet, but last October was memorable. We flew first to Germany and stayed in Stuttgart, where we were married 38 years ago. We stayed in the Hotel am Sclossgarten (we had spent our wedding there!). When the management found out, they offered to give us the same room. Who could remember? We were treated so nicely--I think they were shocked to find that two old fossils could find their way back after so many years. We had a grand time visiting old haunts. Some places seemed unchanged.

We were shocked and saddened to see how our base, now Headquarters for the European Allied Command, had degenerated. Another interesting note--the street signs on post were in German and...Turkish!! Then, we boarded a wonderful train for a day trip to Italy. The trip through the Alps was magnificent--a beautiful, sunny Fall day. After an 8 hour trip, we found ourselves in Santa Margharita, a village on the Italian Riviera (about 30 miles South of Genoa).

This area of Italy, Liguria, is magnificent, with cliffs dropping right down to the sea. In many places, you see beautiful villas perched on the mountainside. We met my brother, his wife, and my nephew and his wife here. Together, we journeyed to Costa Figara, a tiny mountain village of 8 families. This is where my Grandmother Baccigaluppi was born. We still have relatives living in this tiny place. You cannot imagine the range of emotions we experienced during our visit with them. It was absolutely memorable. Carol.

(September 2001) Irene Taylor writes that she is now retired from teaching and looking forward to some substitute teaching and travel. Her e-mail address is posted and would love to hear from her classmates.

(September 2001) Joan "Bunny" (Fieldhouse) Leon writes: (Husband) Pete and I have been doing fine. I am "sort of" retired, as my company (Kemper Insurance) held me on as a consultant. This month we spent 5 days at Catalina on our boat with a couple of our friends from San Ramon, . . . we are leaving for a week at the (Sacramento River) Delta with 20 other friends for a week of house boating, . . . and the last week of September we will be in Michigan for a week with my brother, Bill Fieldhouse "1954 graduate from BHS" with friends we have kept track of that were on the same ship together in the Navy during the late 50's. (We have asked Bunny what the Navy thing is all about. Ed.)

Bunny responds: Just after I finished High School my brother, Bill, was in the Navy and his ship, the (aircraft carrier) USS Hancock, was leaving for overseas. My Mom and Dad and I went to San Diego to see him off. In those days women were not allowed to go below the hanger deck, so Bill had to find someone to "baby sit" Mom and me while he showed Dad the rest of the ship. The lucky sailor he picked, 4 years later, became my husband. We have kept in touch with several of the guys that were in their (ship) division and we get together every year. I kid Pete by telling him that he was lucky that I picked him out of the 3000 sailors on board ship!

(September 2001) Dee (Williams) Ropers (now residing in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico) writes that she has bought a house there and will soon be remodeling before moving in. She comments that all her Mexican neighbors have been sympathetic and supportive regarding the September 11 terrorist attack in New York City.

(October 2001) Dixie (Eason) McCarthy has helped publish a book titled 'Life is....A contemporary woman tells it as she sees it'. By: Lindsay Barret and Illustrated by: Dixie McCarthy. The book is a collection of short stories and poems. Dixie, as a contributor, has written about her Hawaii years. Per Dixie, "it is 62 pages of fun reading and perfect for a stocking gift, hostess gift, sick in bed friend gift or secret pal, something that can be read in about 40 min." The book is spiral bound and is formatted 5-1/2 x 8-1/2". Copies of Life is... may be ordered by sending a check or money order (payable to Dixie McCarthy) to Book Orders, 625 Ocean Boulevard, Coronado, CA92118. $6 per copy and $2.50 postage per copy. Allow 4 weeks for delivery. (Ed. I have seen the book and am charmed by the stories that are vignettes of real life experiences. Readers will not be disappointed.)

(October 2001) Janice (Cortopassi) Leonard writes: "We live outside of the Columbia State Park on a ranch where we raise sheep. We are about an hour away from Yosemite, and two ski areas and lakes for fishing and water skiing. Just love it here. We are about three hours away from the bay area so I can still see my family and friends."

(October 2001) Re: Richard Minkin. When I am bored I try to find our missing classmates. Help me out here if you knew Rich. I find an entry in the California Death Index for a Richard Lee Minkin, b.01Feb1937, d. 28Feb1994. Would that be him? The birth date is about right. I sent a note to the BHS principal but he has not yet acknowledged it. Maybe he doesn't read his e-mail. You can see his picture on the Senior Pictures page. Which grammar school did he attend? Grey

(October 2001) All In The Family. Grey's aunt, Ann (Bailey) Whipple, has reminded him that she was a graduate of the BHS Class of 1940. She was born the year the school first opened and fondly recalls the "beautiful" new building. Ann and her husband now live in Cle Elum, WA. They both attended the Class of 1955 Commencement Exercise at San Mateo H.S. auditorium.

(October 2001) Linda (Thorpe) Sprague writes that she retires 2 November 2001. Congratulations, Linda! In her employ at 21st Century Insurance, Linda was responsible for getting the corporate float ready for the annual Tournament of Roses Parade. She is switching her e-mail to home. See her new home e-mail address on the e-mail page.

(November 2001) The estate of Marilyn (Dickman) Short and Lawrence Short has gifted the University of the Pacific Conservatory (Music) with a half-million dollar endowment. See the story in Marilyn's biography posted on her Senior Photo page.

(November 2001) Mike Johnson's son, Michael, was recently inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi academic honor society. Michael, a senior at University of the Pacific, will graduate next May with degrees in Music and Mathematics. He is currently in a National Science Foundation sponsored mathematics program at Penn State University. His degree in Music will be from the UOP Conservatory. He started in music at UOP playing the viola and later switched to clarinet. When we suggested that Michael came from a good gene pool, his father said the smartest thing he ever did was marry wife Kathleen. The photos of Michael and his dad were taken at ages five years apart. (Ed. see item Feb 2002).

(November 2001) A note from Jess Undlin: He now has DSL internet service (to better do some web surfing) and his new e-mail address can be found on the e-mail page.

(December 2001) Your web servant doing a search on Burlingame has discovered the City of Burlingame, Kansas. The interesting thing about it is that they consider our Burlingame to be their Sister City. Cool! Burlingame, Kansas, is located about 25 miles SW of Topeka. Its web site describes it as a rural community of 1100 residents. Their web address is http://skyways.lib.ks.us/towns/Burlingame/index.html.

(December 2001) A note from Ron Marlin: We sold the family home after 25 happy years in Hillsborough and embarked into a building program for our new home just a few blocks south of Peninsula Golf/Country Club, which we in turn joined as a part of our overall game plan. Both Gail and I have taken up golf in addition to our usual tennis activities. As my real estate career slowly winds down, travel has been gaining focus. Tahiti, Hawaii and warm weather sites seem to dominate, but Prague is in the schedule for March, 2002. Xmas will include travel to Boston and a visit with 4 lovely granddaughters, (from my oldest daughter.) Our second girl, Julie, resides in MIll Valley and has just informed us that she will be adding to the fun with her firstborn, in June. Son (Ron Jr.) turned 30, remains unmarried, and resides in Hollywood, with Universal Studios. Both Gail and I are enjoying good health, but with the usual aches and pains. (Ed. note: see current photo of Ron and Gail on his Senior Picture page)

(December 2001) Our thanks to a heads up from Mike Johnson. He spotted John Hinners name on Classmates.Com. We called him back in North Carolina and now he is back in the fold, so to speak. John is retired from a 25 year teaching career at a private high school back east. Back in '54 Grey worked weekends as an assistant projectionist at the Patio Theater in Half Moon Bay. During a showing of 'The Robe' the film broke and made a mess in the projector housing. A length of the damaged film never made it back on the reel and a piece was given to John Hinners. John says he still has that piece of film!

(December 2001) The Burlingame High School varsity football coach, during our tenure at BHS, was Elmer Schaake, father of our classmate, Bruce Schaake. Sadly, both are deceased. We have discovered that Elmer Schaake has been enshrined in the State of Kansas Sports Hall of Fame. A link to this web site is provided on the Faculty and Staff page. We have had two positive IDs that this Elmer is one and the same that coached at BHS. It is a shame that we did not know of his achievements while we were his students.

(December 2001) A note from Pat (Wilson) Coles with permission): "My husband, Harry (BHS'50), and I moved to Cupertino, CA from Burlingame after our 3rd child was born in 1966. I returned to school in 1975 and graduated from SJSU with a BSEE in 1982. I worked for HP for 18 years retiring in 2000. My husband (of 42 years) died in 1998. I now keep myself occupied with volunteer work, mostly at St. Jude's Episcopal Church. I have one 17 year old grandson who will graduate from Lynbrook High School in the class of 2002." (Ed. see Pat's address posted on the E-mail page)

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