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Personal Message to Azusa High School Class of 1961 Alumni

This site was created in 2008 to provide a central location where 1961 Azusa High Alumni can access information about our class including alumni news, events, photos, archived newsletters and bios, links to alumni blogs and websites, updated alumni lists, as well as a nostalgic walk down memory lane.

High school was a positive experience for some and for others, a time they would rather not remember. However, as the years pass, the unpleasant memories fade and are replaced with remembrances of happier moments at Azusa High.

It seems the older we get, the more we enjoy spending time with our "old" friends and for some of us, new friends. I've gotten to know people I didn't even associate with in school, or should I say, they didn't associate with me.

At our age we're no longer interested in impressing each other with our life's accomplishments, instead we're just happy and thankful that we've made it this far. Of course, we're always proud of fellow alumni that have made names for themselves, but we love the ones who didn't just as much.

We don't care if our former classmates are gray, bald, fat, have to walk with a cane or have missing body parts because we will always have a bond that unites us as a community. We went to Azusa High School at the same time and shared many of the same memories, happy and sad.

We lived in an era when it was safe to stay out all day with our friends, hitchhike to the beach, ride in cars without seat belts and attend school at an open campus. We got teary-eyed when we heard the National Anthem and cried when Old Yeller died.

Together we went through puberty, played sports, marched in the band, joined boy scouts & girl scouts and after-school clubs. We drag raced on Highway 66, ditched school, made out at the Foothill Drive-in, hung out at Baker's Tacos and Coffee Dan's, went steady, and experienced slow dancing and bebop at sock hops in the gym.

Under protest from our parents we listened to Elvis, Rick Nelson, The Platters, Fat's Domino, Chuck Berry, Johnny Mathis, Jerry Lee Lewis and The Drifters. We watched American Bandstand on TV and teen idols, Sandra Dee, Annette Funicello, Troy Donahue and Frankie Avalon on the big screen. We invented rock & roll, wore the first bikinis, and made it "cool" to wear levis & white tee shirts, penny loafers and white bucks.

We experienced this era together, maybe in different ways, but at the same time. Some of what I mentioned may seem trivial, but these experiences helped form who we are today.

We were born during WWII (pre-baby boomers), even though I still consider myself a baby boomer because I don't want to be left out of that significant group. The important thing is that as students of Azusa High School class of 1961, we are are forever bonded.

Some of our Kiowa classmates have passed, but we still have the memories of the time spent with them at Azusa High and we still have each other, if even for a moment.

So this site, dear alumni, was built out of love and a way of my giving back to those whose memories I will always cherish.

Enjoy!

Cheryl Burlingame Dillard
Azusa High School
Class of 1961

 

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Why donate? Cheryl wants to spend her time directly helping our 1961 alumni by providing news of upcoming events; by creating alumni bios, articles, and newsletters; and by posting photos, alumni lists, completed questionnaires, and yearbook pages; -- always with the primary intention of serving the highest good of all. If you want to support Cheryl in her mission to help our alumni, please make a contribution. Any amount is appreciated.

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