I snuck out of the house at 8 a.m., not wanting to wake Walt. I was supposed to be in San Francisco to meet some of my former classmates to help call some other of my former classmates about our upcoming reunion, celebration our 50th anniversary. I have been on the fence about whether I want to go or not,since none of my best friends from high school will be going. But I had been nominally on the committee to plan and as yet had done nothing whatsoever, so when the call went out for help with phone calls, I volunteered.
For awhile on the ride down, I thought that I was going to be too late to do anything, since the traffic was bumper-to-bumper, but after about 5 minutes, I came across the reason why.
(the quality of the photo is a testament to my -- again -- forgetting The Prime Directive. At least this time I had the camera on my cell phone.) Once I'd passed the accident, it was clear sailing across the bridge and into the city.
As I approached the school, suddenly there were cars double parked on both sides of the street, tons of people wandering around, some of whom were carrying clothes in bags. I went into the designated parking lot which was not only full, but double parked in some areas, and lots of people driving around looking for somewhere to park. I was lucky that on my second trip through the lot, I found a guy who was pulling out and I was able to grab a great spot, right under the Cathedral's spires (which I always tell everybody look like the agitator of a washing machine.
The woman who is organizing this thing, and who organizes all of the social events at the school, is the energizer bunny. She's been there 13 years, is a graduate (a few years behind our class), but I had to wonder if she'd checked on what else was going on today. Kids were picking up their graduation robes, there was something about Confirmation at the cathedral and other things happening. The room and phones we were supposed to use were needed by a couple of other groups, so she was wandering around trying to find us a place to set up.
It was nice to see my former classmates, Della and Maureen, again.
We were pleased to note that none of us have changed a bit since 1960. And I got the answer to a question I've been asking for decades--whatever happened to my best friend Madelyn. I knew that she married right after graduation and I heard that she "gained a lot of weight" and had a lot of kids. But none of us who were her friends have heard from her. She just disappeared, even though we knew her married name.
Well, sadly, we learned that she died in 2007 and at the time of her death, she was living with one of her children in Tennessee. I was sad to hear of her death and sad for all the years that we knew nothing about each other.
The number of volunteers for this job was overkill. There were three of us from the girls' school and 30 people to call. We were finished in less than 10 minutes, since most of the people we called weren't at home anyway. But the experience made me decide that I do want to attend the event.
When I left, it was around lunch time and I was trying to decide where I was going to stop to eat. Walt and I watch a local PBS show called "Check Please, Bay Area," where people sit around and compare notes on each other's favorite restaurant. A fun show, even though we don't live in the Bay Area, so aren't near any of the recommended restaurants (many of which are way out of our price range). But one that they recommended this week was Bette's Oceanview Diner, in Berkeley. I realized I could stop there, so I did.
The one thing about Bette's "Oceanview" diner is that it's nowhere near an ocean. It's close to San Francisco Bay, but there are a couple of blocks of buildings between it and water. Apparently the area where it is built used to be called Oceanview--and the the place has been there since the 1930s.
The pancakes were recommended enthusiastically, so when I learned that the special of the day was lemon ricotta pancakes, I ordered them. They were delicious, and the scrambled eggs came exactly as I like them (moist) and it was fun sitting at the counter watching the guys working at the grill.
I was home six hours after I left it, with a list of people I need to call again. Kind of a silly day, all things considered, but it did help me decide whether I was going to go to the reunion or not.