Monday, December 29, 2008

The Future of the NGHS 1986 blog

Regardless of the book issue (see previous post), I'm not sure if it makes sense to keep going with this until the next reunion.

I could keep it up on the web so that people can check in.
I can take it offline until a year before the next reunion (25 year in 2011?). I do think this would be a great way to publicize and plan for the next reunion. I know that most people really enjoyed the reunion, but many didn't hear about it, and a lot of folks thought the venue was too small and the time allotted was too short. So those planning the next one could use this site as another way of broadcasting the details of the event. In any case, we do have an updated email list.

I could keep it up as more of a community bulletin board, making it easy for others to post questions and comments. Perhaps a listserv would be better, but then people get inundated with emails. The bulletin board issue is that I would probably need to keep track of possibly inappropriate postings.

I could turn it over to someone with more time than me to keep it going in whatever format.

Regardless of the future state of the blog, I think it has already had its intended effect of letting everyone know what we have been doing, and in many cases getting some folks back in touch with each other. Not to mention clearing up some of the Northgate Mysteries (though much still remains murky!).

So let me know in comments what you think.


The Reunion Book

Hi everyone,
I know it's been awhile since I've posted, but now that the semester is over I can think about this site again.

I was recently sent a copy of the Reunion Book. I was wondering if you think I should post some things from the book, from people who haven't sent in their info. My guess is that most people by now have heard about the site but haven't emailed because they are not willing to have their personal info on the web.

On the other hand, they did publicize their current (as of 2006) status.

I have had a few requests to take down information, and I have complied with every one, even if the info was already someplace else on the web.

I could scan and post the book as is, but the quality isn't that great to begin with. I could post the bios of the folks who have not yet posted. I could ignore it altogether.

So, for those of you who check in occasionally, let me know what you think.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Inland Empire

Northgate-related trivia of the day: the main character in the David Lynch film "Inland Empire" is named Nikki Grace.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Kurt Arnlund update

I am a video game programmer living in Irvine, CA: Double Helix
is the name of the company I currently work for, and Silent Hill:
Homecoming is my latest game that was just released Sept 30th.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Kevin Plazak

We had some sketchy details about Kevin earlier, but he wrote in to comments and I'm posting them on the main page with his permission:

In answer to your invoked "spill" -- first wife didn't take (11 years-- it was a good run), currently living with my fiance -- making it official soon. There was a gap in there where I was unattached -- we shall call that Kevin's age of bad, bad choices and eventual enlightenment. "No kids that I am aware of" as the poets say.

I currently go by the handles of "Pilaf", "Bert", "Ernesto", "Kevicchio" and "Veeks". Never had a nickname until the last two years -- been an interesting two years.

I am learning to cook from a chef friend in his restaurant -- it is a cultural shock -- a lot of fun too. I have about 2000 gallons of water in my basement full of fish. I own my own business selling the aforementioned fish. I am working on trying to garden (first year mostly a bust) but a few veggies did okay.

I lecture on tropical fish throughout the west coast, write articles for tropical fish magazines every few months, consult for folks with tropical fish businesses and generally know too much about teleosts from tropical climes.

Got a degree in Biological Conservation, living in Portland, Oregon (excellent food, wonderful culture, fairly good beer, perfect weather), starting to become not awful at frisbee golf and enjoying myself nearly every day. Been happy for a couple of years and I think I am going to stick with it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Nicole (Mathewson) Scott

Nicole wrote in today. Many thanks for the photos and the update!
Here's my story:

I earned a BA (Int'l Business/Finance) at Howard University in Washington , DC . I stayed in DC after college working and traveling for a professional association. At the same time, I opened a coffee house/art gallery with my husband-to-be (Bruce). We closed the store in '96, but I am still working in IT consulting. I'm an Oracle DBA, but also design and implement data warehouse/business intelligence solutions.

I've been married 13 years and have a 10 year old daughter.

Photography has always been my passion. In 2005 I had an exhibit in the Governor's gallery at the state capitol in Santa Fe , NM and I do some freelance work when time allows. I loved taking photos for the school yearbook and have great memories of Mr. Schwerin's photography class. He seemed to have a perpetually full coffee cup in his hand and threw erasers when he was angry (usally when kids kept exposing whole rolls of film and tossing coins in the fixer).

I've attached three photos: one of Kim Vietch (circa'85), another of me, Sydney Abram and Jeff Keys at graduation, and one of my daughter a few years ago when we were overrun by millions of cicadas.

NGHS ‘86 Connections:
· I have kept in touch with Kim Vietch Hauxhurst by snail mail for years.
· Sydney Abram Taylor earned a BA at Rice and MBA at Michigan . She's moved around the country, but currently lives in Atlanta with her husband. She works for Coca Cola. She keeps in touch with Connie Gonzalez who I understand is married with 2 kids and living in Vacaville .
· Jeffery Keys did undergrad at Berkeley and earned his MBA at UCLA. He's been working in finance between LA and NY. Currently manages a private equity fund in NY and lives in NJ with his wife and 3 kids.
· I caught up with Kathleen McAuliffe probably 8 years ago in Charlottesville , VA where she was living at the time. She was an Episcopal minister; married with an infant son.

Interestingly two of my daughter's teachers have had a NGHS connection. One is Sandhya Rajan (‘91??) and the other is not a NGHS grad, but is a good friend of Bart Hummer. I've seen Shawn White ('85) and Kim Lassair (’87) each a couple of times. Shawn lives in North Carolina with his wife and kids. Kim is here in DC.

Thanks again Jeff for doing this!

Best Wishes,

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Bernd Martini

Hi Jeff!

I happened to come across the NGHS86 site purely by chance. I wasn’t even trying to look up anything NGHS, Walnut Creek , etc, related, yet some how I ended up there. I have to say it’s been a blast reading all the posts from everyone. Thanks for the memories!

Just a quick summary of my life the past 22 years.

After high school, I also ended up at UC Berkeley (along with 40 or so other people from our class, none of which, ok there were 3 or 4 exceptions, I ever ran into during my time there). In 1991 I graduated with a BA in Political Science. About a year after graduating from Berkeley , I ended up working in a town just north of Venice, Italy. My dad knew the managing director of a company that manufactured fractional horsepower motors (the kind that operate washing machines, dishwashers, etc) and he suggested that I write to him to see if I could spend a year working there. Well, I ended up working for the financial controller looking through ream after ream of printouts trying to pick out anomalies in the data.

At the time I thought I’d just spend a year in Italy and then go back to the Bay Area but as my year in Italy drew to a close, I decided to go teach English and German in Central Europe. Having studied Political Science, and since it was the early 90’s, Central Europe was too hard for me to resist. So, I ended up in Budapest teaching English and German at a technical high school. At the time most schools in Central Europe were transitioning from mandatory Russian lessons to English or German. It wasn’t that the school I worked for was looking for qualified teachers to teach English but rather that they wanted somebody that the Russian teachers, who were being retrained to become English and German teachers, could practice with. Although I did have a full class load, I can’t say that I was a very effective teacher for the kids. Couple the fact that I was not a qualified teacher (and didn’t speak much Hungarian at the beginning) with the fact that during this transition period, the grades the kids earned in English or German didn’t get calculated into their GPA’s (ie, most, not all, didn’t really care about whether they learned something or not)…..well, you get the idea.

Again, I thought that I would spend a year in Budapest and then go back to California , but as the year drew to a close I decided to pursue an MBA in Hungary. I ended up studying at the Budapest University of Economic Sciences (formerly known as the Karl Marx University of Economics) for 2 years and had the time of my life. I met an exchange student from the Netherlands while in Budapest and after my time at the university was over, I ended up moving to the Netherlands to be with her.

So, I lived in Amsterdam for about 11 years. While in Amsterdam I worked for a company called Trane where I did inventory management and ended up traveling throughout Europe . This lasted for about 6 years, the last year of which I spent shutting down about 13 warehouses and, surprise!, I worked my way out of a job! (Yes, I did see that coming!) I then ended up working for a San Jose based company called Novellus Systems where I also did the European inventory management. Both jobs were a blast and I learned a lot about logistics during that time.

After about 10 ½ years living in sin my girlfriend and I finally got married. Prior to getting married we were already contemplating our next step and finally, after considering many different places (yes, including the Bay Area) we finally decided that we would move to Australia . We have now been in Brisbane , Australia for a year this month and don’t regret coming here. …….and all I ever wanted to do was to go to Italy for a year!

I don’t see many people from high school and the ones I do, I don’t see very often nor have contact with very often, but contact we do have on occasion. When we do see each other it is like the years in between just melt away and that we haven’t been apart at all. They know who they are and should know that I miss them dearly.

Well, that’s part of my story. It’s been amazing to read all of yours and to read about where you have been and what you have done over the years. I see that at least 1 other person from our class is in Australia. Are there any others?

If you ever find yourself in Brisbane , Australia please drop me a line. I’d be happy to put you up for a few nights. Or just to meet up with old (class)mates and have a few stubbies one arvo!

Bernd Martini

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Caryn Gribbon

Hi! Yes, I am in Real Estate and I did make it to the reunion! It was a
great time and so nice to see everyone. I think it is great that you
started this Blog and thank you to Elizabeth Bacher for notifying me of
it! (and unfortunately, I am one of the mystery kids in the Castle
Rock, Mrs. Glenn's 4th Grade Class! scary!)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Everyone Googles Themselves Eventually

According to Mike S., "Everyone Googles themselves eventually." Based on this axiom, I'm going to bore everyone by posting the names, all 255, of those alumni who possibly do not know about this site. Perhaps they will also search terms such as:

Northgate High School, Walnut Creek, Class of '86, Class of 1986, Mrs. Thiele (kidding)...and then find us that way.

Remember, anyone who wants me to delete non-publicly available information from this site is welcome to send me an email.

Site Stats: We have 95 updates posted. There are 12 people who have either emailed or posted in comments but haven't sent in an update yet. There are about 7 who have posted on the NGHS site, but not here.

Of the remaining ~250 alums, I have email addresses for about 41, snail mail addresses for about 190, and no information whatsoever for about 25. Of those 25, I know at least one was at the reunion. I know a lot of people who have posted here are in contact with these folks, so I'm sure there are many who are not really interested in this, or at least prefer to stay behind the scenes, as it were.

Rebecca ABEND, Sydney ABRAM Taylor, Michael ALPHIN, Kris ANKAITAS, Holly ARNOLD Ehrhart, Barbara ASTER Washington, Anthony AVANSINO, Kevin BALLEW, Steve BANDUCCI, Beverly BEHM, Andrew BELL, Leslie BELL Regos, Deanna BENEDICT, Steve BERG, Mike BILUND, Mike BORKE, Louise BRADFORD Sloan, Andrea BRAIDMAN, Kerry BREEN, Nicole BROOKS, Joe BROWN, Kathleen BRUEMMER, Shanon BRUMFIELD Pascoe, Maria BULARAN, Bob BYLAND, Brian CALLAHAN, Dan CANTRELL, Steve CARROLL, Greg CASE, Rodney CENTENO, Ted CHAMBERS, Mary CHATSWORTH, Becky CHENG, Lesley CHIU, Nancy CHOI Hwang, Cristella CHU, James CLARK, Erin CORRIGAN, Karolyn COVIONE, John CRITES, Karyn DALE, Kris D'AMELIO, Mark DANIELS, Lora DEILY, Martina DENARDO, Jim DOSS, Laura DULL, Robert DUNBAR, Janelle DWINELL, Andreas ECKLEMANN, Karen EILER Roach, Monica FABIAN Lowney, Jay FALLON, Jill FARRENKOPF Kramer, Patricia FEGAN, Shelia FITZGERALD, Mike FLAMINIO, Christy FOK, Renee FOUST, Bill GASS, Evgenia GEORGE, Christopher GILLIS, Mike GIOMI, Steve GLASS, Connie GONZALEZ Hall, John GOOCH, Seth GOODMAN, Garth GOODRICH, David GRAJEK, Jeff GREEN, Pamela GRIFFITH, Jeffrey GRUBB, Jim GUENTHER, Ken HAAS, Jim HACKETT, Melanie HAGERSTRAND, Lisa HALL Tyrell, Audra HALLQUIST Morucci, Lisa HAMANAKA, Bert HAN, Jason HANCOCK, Kirsten HANSEN Foehr, Robert HANSFORD, Mark HARRIS, Tim HARRIS, Milton HARTOGH, Susi HAUG, Felicia HAYES Ponce, Jeffrey HERMAN, Amelia HERNANDEZ Vallejo, Mike HESS, Kristin HICKS, Lynn HODGES Thompson, Tiffany HOGAN, Ann Marie HOLM, Brian HOLMES, Michael HOUSE, Amie HUANG Aslami, Caren HULT Bodiot, Bart HUMMER, Mitch HUNTER, Martin Iglesias, Amira Issa, Jill JACOBS, Charlotta JOHANNESSON La Via, Tom JONES, Karen KANESHIGE Cortez, Linda Keating, Carolyn KEMPKER, Michael Kendig, Jeff KEYS, Martin KINDNESS, Rebecca KINZLER Fredrickson, Robin KNAPP, Eric KNIEP, Chris KNOX, Jennifer KRINER Herbert, Sylvia KUNG, Gerilynn KURPINSKY Borghelli, Dawn LAWSON Byrd, Angie LECAS Borgwardt, John LEE, Laurie LENTZ, Dave LINCOLN, Victor LOCASIO, Tracy LONG, Kimberly LOOMER, Clive LUI, Paul MACHI, Linda MACLEOD Mcdougal, Mike MANNIE, Neda MANSOURIAN, Kurtis MARTINEZ, Bernd MARTINI, Cara MASON Wilfong, Kristin MATHEWS, no MATHEWSON Scott, Jody MATTHEWS Buie, Kathleen MCAULIFFE, Karen MCCARTHY Macdonald, Jim MCCRACKEN, Barbara MCDONALD Mathis, Larry MCDONOUGH, Maureen McGhee, Jennifer MCGILLIVRAY Byrom, Jim MCMANUS, Colleen (Kelley) MESSEX, Katie Messner, Monty MILANO, Matt MONACHELLO, Danny MOORE, Laura MORAN Wilber, Jeffrey MORGAN, Jessica MORGAN Kinsey, Scott MUNCER, Kathleen NEUMAN Shipp, Mike NEVILLE, Mary Kay NIELSON, Karen NIESS, Lane OCHIKUBO, John O'CONNOR, Rudy OEST, Kelly O'KEEFE, Jeff ONDECK, Mark PAPINA, Bill PARIS, Lisa PATTERSON, Karen PAYNE, Jennifer PAZ Galligani, Lars PENDLETON, Kathy PERZEL, Natalie Pfeiffer, Scott Phillips, Kristine PLACHY, Michelle PLOURDE, Paul PLUMMER, Laura POTTS Page, Courtney POWELL, Chris Power, Leanne POYNTER Hile, Greg PROPHET, Jeff PROSSER, Michelle PUSICH, Krag RASMUSSEN, Martin RASMUSSEN, Tami RATHJEN, Don REEVES, Adam RICE, Christi RICHARDSON, Brian RILEY, Karen ROBIE Ivankovich, Bill ROGERS, Peter ROONEY, Leah RUBINSTEIN, Chris RYMER, Ludwig SALVADOR, Diptendu (Bobby) SAMANTA, Brigit SANDERSON, Jonathan SCHEELE, Heidi SCHEXNAYDER Goodman, Melissa SCHRAEDER, Colleen Sharapata Huber, Victoria SHARP Fiske, Greg SHAW, Flora SHY Pinnella, Cynthia Silldorff, John SNYDER, David SPERLING, Dave STAFFORD, Michelle STASHYN, Tracie STEPHENS, Reid STEVENS, Mark STIEFVATER, Justin STOREY, Joann SUGIMURA Wyman, Joyce TAN, Greg (Morgan) TAYLOR, Julie TAYLOR, Anthony THIELE, Tom THORPE, Joe TONDA, Kim TORKINGTON, Gayle TORNBERG, Tim TRICE, Carrie TUBB Fair, Patricia TURNER, Debbie VAN SLAMBROOK, Doug VELIKAN, Laura WAKEFIELD, John WALKER, Libby WALKER, Lynn WALKOWIAK Morphew, Celia WANG, Pam WATROUS, Scott WEBB, Katherine W., Jennifer WEED, John WEISEL, Kristin WHITE, Raquel WHITE, Darren WHITTAKER, Wendy WILK Spence, Karen WILKIN, Spencer WILLIAMS, Chrissy WINSLOW Anderson, Arnold WONG, Eric WRIGHT, Christine Yee, Lisa YEE, Andy YEN, Karen ZAWADZKI, Kim ZITTER Nunn, Brenda Zugar, Mark GRAHAM, Charlotte NG, Kelley MEER, Kathryn JOHNSON, Carmie ANDERSON, Teri ROSS, Deborah Hellman

Kevin Herney

Thanks to Google, Kevin found the blog. From comments:

I own a small contracting company. I have been married for 20 years. My wife Dana and I have two beautiful daughters, Amelia and Sophia. (11 and 9)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Chris Weiss

Chris Weiss writes in today, with bonus info on Pete Rooney and Gregory Morgan Taylor, among others...

Post Northgate, I meandered around trying to find my path, trying a
bunch of classes at DVC and generally pissing my life away. In a fit
of "getting my shit together", I went through the quick & dirty
educational path of technical school for electronics and got in early
as a game tester for Maxis. I spent 7 years there, working on games
like SimCity and the Sims and such, then on to Palm for 7 years
working on their handhelds and then a short stint at an industrial
chemical testing software company. I'm currently a producer at
Expresso Fitness, making interactive cardio bikes sold into places
like 24hr, Crunch, YMCA, and corporate gyms and living in San Jose.

I've fully embraced my inner geek and am a big social networking-web
2.0-lifecasting whore. You can find me on Facebook, FriendFeed,
LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr, Pownce, and just about any other "look at
me!" site out there either under my own name or as "stickyc". I'd say
'check out my blog', but it's not been updated in years.

I still keep in touch almost daily with Pete Rooney, Andrew Bell, and
Jon Hastings. Pete married Shannon Deverman (NGHS class of '88) and
works for San Joaquin College of Law (incidentally, Shannon became
a teacher who taught at Northgate for several years before moving
to Clovis with Pete where she teaches now). They live in Fresno with
their 5 year old redheaded son, Sean. Andrew Bell lives in San
Francisco and works for WestEd, writing standardized tests for school
systems in Kansas. He got married this June to a co-worker, Megan
Andrew. Jon's already posted here.

I keep in touch less regularly with Gregory Morgan Taylor. He lives in
Livermore with his wife, Tony and their 4 kids. As far as I know, he's
still working for FedEx and acting as a real-estate agent on the side.

Some asked about Jay Fallon - the last I heard of him, he was working
for an ISP in Walnut Creek ( as a customer service rep, that
was maybe 8 years ago.

It's awesome seeing where everyone's lives have taken them

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Interesting Yearbook Quotes

Some of my favorites.

Doug Alessio: "The time has come to crush the mouth that bites the hand that feeds it" -Spiro Agnew (Spiro Agnew???)

Barbara Aster: "And now for something completely different." -John Cleese

Chris Bowhay: "When it gets dark enough you can see the stars." -C.A. Beard

Don Dornblaser: "If you have been measuring the temperature of the water in your three test cups, you should have enough data by now." (who was this? Tippary?)

Brian Duckering: "You can lead a duck to water but you can't make him sink; which shows you can't keep a good duck down."

Seth Hansell: "As a circle of light increases, so does the circumference of darkness surrounding it."

Jon Hastings: "It's hard being bean."

Anneliese Hopwood: "There are universes begging for Gods...yet he hangs around this one looking for work."

Andrea Lee: "I move my feet to the pop tart beat." -Kellogg's

John Lee: "Yes, I am a Senior!!!"

Mike Sela: "Hey, wait a minute! This is grass! We've been eating grass!!" -Gary Larson (pasted into the book, see below)

Ted Wait: "NO BRAINS NO HEADACHES" -Mazz (the music teacher, Tony Mazzaferro).

Raquel White: "Twelve years of schooling are coming to an end...come to think of it, I'll have a Heineken."

Some of the authors/groups quoted:

Music (yes, it was the '80s!):
Prince, Billy Joel, Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, The Who, David Bowie, The Doors, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Monkees, Altar Boys, Steve Miller, Simple Minds, Asia, Bryan Adams, Flock of Seagulls, Hall and Oates, Styx, Judas Priest, David Lee Roth, Shriekback, Van Halen, Led Zeppelin

Spiro Agnew, Ben Franklin, Adolf Hitler (Tell me, they wouldn't let Mike Sela quote Gary Larson, but this one got in???)

Did Steve Scholz and Mark Schmidt really choose the same quote by Aristotle, or did the yearbook staff mess it up?

I remember being surprised that so many people chose Bible quotes.

Best Yearbook Photos

My picks, give yours in comments. I'm not addressing peoples looks (or haircuts: Dan Cantrell!), but looking for a quality of style or humor. Though I do question some of the decisions of the particular photography studio that was used...

Deanna Benedict: So overcome with sadness at the end of high school.
Diana Bertoldo: In a tux, with a red bow tie.
Jon Hastings: In a tux, with a white scarf and sunglasses
Matt Irvin and Jennifer Weed, who each have two photos for the price of one
and the winner is:

Paul Hohlt, with a crazy jacket, a green mortarboard cap, and a rose in his mouth!

Valle Verde 6th Grade

Megan sent me this awhile back. NG '86ers include:

Row 1: (1) Nerissa Taguba, (2) Chris Weiss, (3) JoAnn Sugimura, (4) Mike Borke, (5) Megan Smetzer, (7) Kathy W.

Row 2: (2) Joe Tonda, (3) Brigit Sanderson, (5) Robin Knapp, (6) John Crites, (7) Libby Walker, (8) Rudy Oest

Row 3: (1) Lisa Yee, (2) Blair Stientjes, (3) Nicole Mathewson, (5) Gayle Stansfield, (6) Dave Lincoln, (7) Gayle Tornberg, (8) Mike Giomi

Row 4: (1) Chris Knox, (2) Dan Moore

Posts With Recent Comments

For your convenience, I have set up a list of links to OLDER posts with recent comments. I won't put up the recent comments on recent posts. You'll find this on the right side of the blog. When comments are made, I get an email and can see them easily, but you might not be constantly revisiting posts from a few months ago that may have a new comment.

Comments welcome!

And take a cue from Elizabeth Bacher, who sent emails to her friends who might not have heard about this site. Also, encourage those who haven't written in to send an update. Thanks Liz!

The Principal

Is this true? The movie "The Principal" (starring Jim Belushi and Lou Gossett, Jr.) came out in filming must have occurred within a few years of '87, or right around the time we were there. Maybe it was filmed right after we left, during the summer? Does anyone know anything about this?

From the Northgate Wikipedia Page:
The movie The Principal was partially filmed at Northgate High School. Northgate was chosen for the interior design of the school, having five foot walls around the classes creating an open environment. Northgate's former drama teacher, Ed Meehan, attended Northgate as a student at the time the movie was shot, and can be seen in the film during the classroom scene in the beginning of the movie. Another former drama teacher, Jack DeRieux, was also in the movie during a staff meeting scene at the beginning.[citation needed] Another teacher, Ms. Spring, can also be seen in the 5th scene of the film.

TAGLINE: At a high school where the students major in arson, extortion and assault, one man just might be crazy enough to turn things around...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

What Was That Event

OK I have vague memories of an event, possibly off-campus, that was hosted or emceed by Mike Sela and Amy Doub. Was it a talent show? An awards ceremony? I remember some girl singing a Billy Joel song...

let me know what I'm vaguely remembering....

Rob Perkins

Another NG doctor ("not a Ph.D., but the kind that helps people" -anon.).

Robert Perkins went to med school at Ohio State University and did a residency at Riverside Methodist Hospital. He works at Riverside and some other hospitals in the Columbus, Ohio area. His specialty is physical medicine and rehabilitation.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Julie Tobias-Pancoast

In comments we had confirmation that Julie runs a catering business. I found her at "Toast Catering & Private Chefs" in Lafayette, CA:

"We cater parties based on your budget & style, private chef capabilities."

Greg Dockus

Here's a new update (and it's about time!):

Oh my gosh....what a find I made today!

This is Greg Dockus, class o' 86. What an awesome, awesome blog you have. I seriously couldn't wipe the smile off my space as I read it.

I'm living in downtown Columbus, OH and I am operations manager for a logistics company. I've been in Ohio for 2 years now following a few years in St Louis, MO. After Northgate I attended DVC and then San Jose St where I studied broadcast journalism and am not putting that education to any use at all.

I'm a pretty serious poker player...I played in several World Series of Poker events last year and intend to do so every year moving forward. No kids, unmarried....I may be a but too much of a hedonist to settle down :)

I'd love to hear from any and all fellow Broncos.....please feel free to post my email address.

thank you for a great blog.....

Greg Dockus
gdock AT

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Your Finest Moment

I was reminded today of a speech I gave in my Senior year English class, and thought, in retrospect, that it might have been my finest moment of high school. Well, at least one of my favorite moments...It was better than being on trial, in my Junior year English class, for practicing witchcraft because I listened to the Grateful Dead. I think we must have been reading Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" at the time. Don Reeves made a formidable prosecutor.

This might seem a bit strange, but for me one of my favorite events was giving a talk on George Orwell's essay Politics and the English Language and then using one of Ronald Reagan's speeches to demonstrate all of the ways that Reagan violated Orwell's rules. It's one of those things that, looking back, I'm proud of.

Can you believe that Reagan was the President from the time we were finishing 6th grade (1980) until we were halfway through college in 1988?

In comments please post your own favorite moments of high school that were related to academics or the school experience in some way. Especially those moments that you might not have known at the time would stick with you. Going to see Van Halen at the Cow Palace on their "1984" tour does not count...

Friday, August 8, 2008

Blog Update

The main reason I started this was to get people back in touch, and to find out what everyone was doing these days. Particularly for those of us who didn't make it to the reunion.

At this point, the people who have a strong web presence have been found, and the people who responded to my emails have responded. We have entries for 91 different people. About ten people emailed me but didn't send in a post. Mark Graham, Charlotte Ng, and Kevin Herney have entries. There must be a bunch of people with Facebook pages (Erin Corrigan? Reid Stevens? Mollee Murphy?), Friendster (Chris Weiss?), MySpace (Caryn Gribbon?). Maybe someone who is on these sites can find them and send them the link.

We might get a few more who find the blog through a search engine. Someone suggested we open it up to various discussions about NG, but I'll have to think about whether I want to moderate that.

We could also keep it dormant until the next reunion, as this could be a central location for information and spreading the word. Several people wrote and said they didn't know about the reunion, but we have tracked down more people since then.

We (who is "we" by the way?) have some leads on people, but we can't be sure they are NG folks, even if the name is the same.

For example:

Is Mike Flaminio a brewer in the midwest?
Does Julie Tobias have a catering company?
Is Jill Farrenkopf a librarian?
Is Mark Stiefvater a detective in Pleasant Hill?
Does Karen Eiler work in the Fresno County probation department?
Is Karolyn Covione a pool player in Clayton?
Is Cristella Chu a student at Alliant International Univ.?
Does Bart Hummer run a restaurant in Truckee?
Does Caryn Hult breed dogs in Concord?
Is Caryn Gribbon in real estate?
Does Mary Chatsworth work for a non-profit organization in Massachusetts?
Does Victor Locasio work for Intel in Sacramento?
Is Larry McDonough selling mortgages in Aptos?

So many questions...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

1976: 3rd Grade Party

Megan sent another photo, this one of a birthday party from 1976. I assure you we will get back to High School items soon (as soon as you send me stuff!)

Back row: Kathi W., Lisa P., Krissy K. (I think went to YV), Kerrie M.
Front row: Gayle Stansfield, Andrea Lee, Carolyn Kempker, and Meg Smetzer.

There's Something About Mary

Does anyone else remember Mary O'Brien? Alas, an early crush of mine. She lived near the DeVoe's close to Castle Rock Elementary...She must have moved away after 7th or 8th grade. After Megan sent the Happy Daze photo I found a small picture she gave me, I'm guessing in 6th grade. Do you remember exchanging your school photos? I guess these days they just "friend" each other on Myspace. So what ever happened to Mary?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Happy Daze

Megan Smetzer sent me this Foothills photo. (BTW I have absolutely no memory of this event. Can someone elaborate?). Megan says:

Cast photo. I also have an audio tape of the show, perhaps I can dig it up and put it up as an mp3 one day to hear our squeaky voices.

Please forgive my bad eyes and memory. I may have spelled some names incorrectly. Some names are on the tip of my tounge but I can't place them. [In brackets some of Amato's guesses]

Back row:
Matt Burris, Kevin Reimer, Beth Marlow, Gretchen Schmidt, Lisa Wolters, Akshai Ghandi, Mike House, Mike Sela [OUR FUTURE VALEDICTORIAN], Blair Stientjes, Rudy ____

Middle Row:
Adam Miles, Greg McKinney, Meg Smetzer, Tiffany Worboy, ?,[Kelley O'Keffe?], Mike [Flaminio?] , Greg Dockus

Front Row:
Kathy -_____, Laura Wakefield, [Mary O'Brien--?], ?, Cari Tubb, ?, Jackie _______

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Matt Burris's sweet ride, I think a late '60's Dodge Dart. Was it named "Hiram"? With Anneliese.

Elementary Schools

A quick google search reveals several elementary schools in WC. Which ones fed into Foothills and NG? Was Foothills the only middle school that fed into NG?

Let me know in comments.

These are the ones that seem(ed) relatively close:

Castle Rock (RIP)
San Miguel (also RIP?)
Bancroft Elementary School
Walnut Acres Elementary School
Valle Verde Elementary School
Palmer School for Boys and Girls (is this private?)

Valle Verde 1973

Andrea Lee Carboni sends this photo from Valle Verde. Click for larger image. I'm guessing on some of the pix, so let me know in comments the ones I can't figure out:

She says:

"I count 13 of us from this class that went on to Northgate:

Andrea Lee (Row 1 #2)
Christen Knox
Gayle Stansfield
Tricia Fegan
Carolyn Kempker (Row 2 #1???)
Angie Lecas
Libby Walker
Mike Giomi
Kathy Neuman
Spencer Williams (Row 3 #5)
John Crites (Row 3 #7)
Joseph Tonda
Nerisa Taguba (Row 4 #7)

I bet there are another 12 or so from the other class.

For some reason Valle Verde kids seemed kind of the innocent compared to everyone else!"

Friday, August 1, 2008

Kevin Hannaford

OK this is a bit off topic, but I thought I would put this to you guys and see what you think. The photo is from the 1st grade Castle Rock picture. I did a quick web search and found that a Kevin Hannaford, who used to live in Walnut Creek, died in the 9/11 event in NYC. Do you think it is the same person? This Kevin was 32 when he died, which would have put his birth year around 1969 or 1968, which seems slightly young, but not out of the question. The hair is not the same color. I see a slight resemblance. Maybe you guys could chime in. It seems like too much of a coincidence to not be him.

UPDATE (8/4/08): from comments, apparently this is the same Kevin. Very sad. I remember him well from those early years at Castle Rock, and I was sad when he moved away.

There is a foundation set up:

The Kevin J. Hannaford Sr. Foundation, Inc. is a non profit, charitable organization contributing to the educational needs of children who have lost a parent to death.

While waiting, a video

As you may have noticed, we are experiencing a lull in posts. I'm still waiting to hear from all of the folks who emailed and told me that they will eventually send something in. In the meantime, I'll give you this link to a video of Richard Feynman. Why? In our Senior Year physics class with Mr. Wilcox, he showed us this exact video, and it made an impression on me at the time. It is worthwhile as a discussion of science, but also worthwhile for those of us raising kids now, as there is a nice section about how to get children interested in how things work. Maybe some of you in that class (Brett Sanders, Ken Mock...) will also remember this one.

Feynman video.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

L.A. quake and Bay Area Wake Up Call

As a geologist, I feel compelled to issue this public service announcement for our Bay Area (and L.A. and Seattle) alumni. Today's moderate (M5.4) quake in southern CA is a good reason to evaluate your preparedness for the inevitable large (M6.7) earthquake in northern California. This map shows that based on fault analysis by the U.S. Geological Survey, there is a 62% chance of a large-magnitude quake in the next 25 years or so.

This website has some good information on living in earthquake country. You can check out your risk of significant shaking in specific neighborhoods. This is important because the type of rock or soil on which your house sits is often more relevant than the distance from a specific fault.

As most can't just move, it is important to be sure to have the following on hand. This is particularly important if you have younger children:

Household Disaster Kit

Electrical, water, transportation, and other vital systems can be disrupted for several days after a large earthquake. Emergency response agencies and hospitals will likely be overwhelmed and unable to provide you with immediate assistance. To help your family cope after a strong earthquake, store a household disaster kit in an easily accessible location, preferably outdoors (not in your garage). This kit, which complements your personal disaster kits, should be in a large watertight container that can be easily moved and should hold at least a 3- to 5-day supply of the following items:

Drinking water (minimum one gallon per person per day). This means 6-10 gallons per couple.

First aid supplies, medications, and essential hygiene items, such as soap, toothpaste, and toilet paper.

Emergency lighting—light sticks and (or) a working flashlight with extra batteries and light bulbs (hand-powered flashlights are also available).

A hand-cranked or battery-operated radio (and spare batteries).

Canned and packaged foods and cooking utensils, including a manual can opener.

Items to protect you from the elements, such as warm clothing, sturdy shoes, extra socks, blankets, and perhaps even a tent.

Heavy-duty plastic bags for waste and to serve other uses, such as tarps and rain ponchos.

Work gloves and protective goggles.

Pet food and pet restraints.

Copies of vital documents, such as insurance policies and personal identification.

NOTE: Replace perishable items like water, food, medications, and batteries on a yearly basis.

End of PSA

Monday, July 28, 2008

John Weisel

Anyone heard from John lately? Someone mentioned he was still living in the East Bay area...I found this photo of him from 1986.

Northgate From Space

Courtesy of Google Maps. Click for larger image.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sue Lockyer Update

Sue sent this along with the Castle Rock photo:

At the reunion, Mike R. and I were trying to figure out who went all the way through from Castle Rock Elementary, Foothill Intermediate through NGHS. Isn’t is strange how well you remember the folks you grew up with?

Now my kids are growing up! Cue the Twilight Zone music.

Along with my hubby, Mike, I live with my kids Andrew, 12, Fiona, 8 and Julia, 4 in Montara, CA. If you’ve never heard of Montara, you’re not the only one. It is a small town on the coast, between Pacifica and Half Moon Bay, south of SF.

I teach my kids at home. As scary as it sounds, it is actually very cool. During the school year my head is filled to overflowing with cosine, proper nouns, ancient Egypt, fractions, ABC’s, atomic structure….you get the idea. It is a bit of a stretch to teach a 4 year old her letters at the same time guiding (I don’t really teach him anymore) a 12 year old in literature or physics. But I love it. And them.

I have fun doing my own things too. Love to hike (such great hiking around here!), visit with friends (who doesn’t?) and write on my BLOG!

A Serious Attempt at Fun

Something strange: turns out my pastor’s wife in Pacifica went the NGHS too! Class of ’89. More Twilight Zone music, please.

Love the site – thanks Jeff

Castle Rock 1974

OK, now we are going WAY back in time to 1st Grade, Sue Lockyer sends this one in. Still looking for a kindergarten photo, so if anyone out there has one, please send in a high res. scan. Thanks!

I only recognize a few people in this one, let me know if I missed anyone that was a NG '86 graduate. Click on photo for larger version.

Row 1: (7) Gary Voerge
Row 2: (1) Karyn Dale, (5) Cindy Silldorff, (8) Brian Callahan
Row 3: (1) Pete Rooney, (6) Sue Lockyer, (7) Kirk Mower
Row 4: (1) Beth Schutz

Quite a contrast between the crew cut principal (Mr. Wright, with a black shirt, white tie, and brown jacket. Slick.) and the hippie teacher.

Castle Rock 1977

Here's another one from 4th Grade.

Future Northgate '86 students include (and let me know if I miss anyone, as the names aren't written on this one). Number is the column number starting from the left

Row 1: (1) Robert Dunbar, (2) Kirsten Hansen, (3) Lisa Wolters, (4) Shannon Groh, (7) Tina Cassano, (8) Caryn Gribbon
Row 2: (3) Gary Voerge, (4) Jody Matthews
Row 3: (1) Karen Eiler, (2) Jon Hastings, (3) Chrissy Winslow, (4) Kevin Ballew, (5) Mark Graham
Row 4: (2) Heidi Schexnayder, (3) Rodney Centeno, (8) Robert Trief

Castle Rock 1978

Here's a 5th Grade picture from Trief. Mrs. Malmstrom! What a great name for an elementary school teacher. Actually, it looks like both 4th and 5th grade were combined in this class.


Row 2: Debbie DeVoe, Mark Graham, Jody Matthews
Row 3: Chrissy Winslow, Robert Trief, Cari Tubb, Karyn Dale

Castle Rock 1979

I went to Castle Rock from K-6, and there were several others who did the Castle Rock-Foothill-Northgate sequence, I'm trying to compile a list, but in the meantime here are some photos from Robert Trief (thanks!).

Sadly, Castle Rock was razed a few years back.

Here is a Castle Rock 6th Grade picture. The folks who graduated from NG include:

Row 1: Andrea Braidman, Jeff Amato, Mark Graham, Lisa Bien, Debbie DeVoe, Robert Trief
Row 2: Laura Dull
Row 3: Caryn Gribbon, Robert Dunbar, Steve Berg, Lisa Wolters, Jon "Bean" Hastings, Heidi Schexnayder,
Row 4: Lisa Patterson, and last, but not least, "Susie" Lockyer

Longer Comments or Submissions

If anyone ever wants to post longer comments or other stories etc., you can always email them to me and I can make it a post instead of burying it in comments. That is, you can submit contributions that are things other than your personal bios.

Also, our semester starts around August 18 so we can expect less activity after that time.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Teachers: An Evaluation

What was amazing to me was how little context we had for evaluating teachers. So here are my thoughts on the notables. Leave your own nominations in Comments. And I agree it is better to point out the good ones and forget the others (on whose merits our opinions might diverge)...

Hall of Fame
Sal Costanza (Counselor). I think he recommended Occidental College to me, which I was very grateful for.

Dick Friss (English). I didn't take his class for some reason, but occasionally dropped in, earning the name "The Interloper". It was only after watching the Bill Moyers special on Joseph Campbell that I became more interested in mythology and wished that I had taken his class. Clint Stewart organized some softball games, and he played.

Tom Hall (English). It took until my senior year of HS to learn how to write. My previous English teachers didn't do much to help my writing, but Mr. Hall told me directly that my writing needed a lot of work...and we did work on it, frequently. It paid off in college and now I spend much of my time writing manuscripts. Plus, we got to watch "Apocalypse Now" in class, while reading "Heart of Darkness".

Tony Martinez (Spanish). I think everyone remembers this as one of their best classes. We didn't just learn Spanish, but the conversations we had IN Spanish were really interesting. I still have the cassette of all of the songs that we would listen to and try to transcribe the lyrics. Plus, he gave me the opportunity to do an exchange in Madrid for a month. It's very sad that he is no longer with us.

Ed Arbuckle (Math). He was notable not for the math (though he was a good teacher), but for his aphorisms and catch phrases. I compiled a list of them and a few years after graduation went back to visit NG and gave it to him. "Amato, you are screwing up like a soup sandwich!" "You'll be as happy as an oversexed goat!" "When they gave California an enema, they put the hose in Bakersfield." "Cosecant...sounds like a Norwegian swear word." Unfortunately I think I lost the file sometime back...He would sneak outside to smoke cigarettes between classes. One time he decided to quit, and became really surly. That was the week, I think, that Kristin Hicks got kicked out of the class. She was upset about the way that rounding was a bad day to make a comment!

John Gishe (Math). He taught us calculus, he taught us philosophy. He was a legend, and is still teaching.

Jim Wilcox (Physics). He was a strange guy, but I actually learned a lot in his class, and we did some fun experiments.

Santo Alioto (Spanish, History). Probably the most entertaining teacher I had (or a tie with Arbuckle and Spagle). The sophomore year history class was very lame, but the Junior Year class was really fun. We even watched a selection of "Treasure of the Sierra Madre"...."Badges? We don't need no stinking badges!" (But why did we watch that? I forget the context). He was always dropping obscure references in class.

Betty Spagle (Government). Another great teacher, with a good attitude. She signed my yearbook "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" Plus, in her yearbook photo she is posing with a stuffed panda. [Correction: stuffed panda backpack]

Jeff Spoden (Social Studies). I never took a class from him, but he organized some great events. I think there was one on nuclear weapons/disarmament, and another involving some military vets, and the guy that got his legs run over by a train, during a protest.

Megan's Mysteries

From Megan:

I have a couple of Northgate Mysteries to add, and maybe some pictures later.

1. Did we really have a smoking area? Cancer Cove? Someone back me up. My children and students won't believe me that students could smoke at school. With yard supervisors, mind you.

2. English Club? Anyone but me remember this? It was the English club because we all spoke English? We thought we were VERY clever.

3. The mice from YV? They send a bunch of mice to NGHS painted blue and yellow? I have a co-teacher at my school who graduated 1987 from YV and she remembers this too. Anyone else?

Add your feedback in the comments section. Or email me some Cancer Cove photos...

Ted Wait

I've been teaching music for 13 years and playing trumpet professionally. I currently teach at Los Alisos Intermediate school in Mission Viejo, CA. where I teach 7th and 8th grade band and orchestra. I live in Carlsbad California with my wife Karen of 9 years and going. Unlike most, I went to Los Medanos College before attending San Diego State University and graduating in 1994.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Megan Smetzer Update

Good heavens, what fun that Mike Sela pointed this out to me! That is an amazing website and very clever idea, I'm glad you did it! Glad I'm not the only one who gets a bad hinkey feeling [ "hinkey"? -ed.] when thinking back to high school.

I live south of Sacramento (for 20 years now) and I have three daughters. My oldest (shown above, with Megan) is going to be a senior in high school next year. She plans to attend UC Davis and major in Art History. She will enter as a Sophomore, as she has like a 4.5, takes all AP classes and has taken like four SAT's -- I can't even understand how to read them but her counselors seem to think they are high. I feel like I should get a parent award just for getting up so freaking early on so many Saturdays. Didn't we take just one day of SAT's? She is a smarty pants that's for sure. Don't know where she got that from. Here she is at Disneyland this last spring. She works at Starbucks, texts everyone and makes us crazy like a good teenager should. She is very sweet and has inherited some of my geekdom, enough to be a fun chick to hang out with.

My dad retired a few years ago. Foothill was going to plant a tree in his honor but it's been about 10 years and we haven't seen anything yet. He and my mom travel and love to be grandparents. They are great at it!

I got married at 20, had my daughter at 23, divorced at 25. I got remarried in 1998. We have had two more daughters since then. They are now 6 and 4. I taught public elementary school (computers, science and fifth grade) for about 10 years then took off the last five to be a stay at home mom to the little girls -- actually the bigger girl actually needs me more I think. Too many boys buzzing around for my liking. In order to keep my tenure status I job-share and teach third grade one day a week. Tough life, I know. I don't know about the rest of you but I love being 40. All Grown Up and finally secure in my life.

On a funny note, I had Geri Kurpinsky's nephew in my class last year! She has two girls and lives in Georgia but her brother Jim moved here. What a fluke! I was reading my class roster and I had to ask him if he had an "Auntie Geri". When he said yes I almost fell over!

I have the following websites, including my dorky sewing podcast:

(teaching website)
(attached parenting advocacy website)
(sewing podcast)
(sewing forum I've been running for about three years)

Yea, I'm a geek. Still.


Akshai Gandhi

It appears that AG was (is) in the Air Force, graduating from the Academy in Colorado Springs. He was in the Flying Fiends of the 36th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Osan AB Korea in 95-97. His call sign was "Abu". It sounds like he is now in the Guard in South Carolina.

There is an online magazine called "Code One" that had some info about operations in Iraq:

Operation Iraqi Freedom can be summed up in the words of Maj. Akshai "Abu" Gandhi, a traditional Guardsman and an instructor pilot with the 169th Fighter Wing, South Carolina Air National Guard: "When you think about it, why would anyone want to pick a fight with us? They have to know what this country is capable of doing."

From 2004: ASOC handed me over to a TACP in the Najaf area. The weather wasn't great and the Army guys on the ground were taking fire from a building. They were more concerned about our not hitting a nearby mosque and wanted me to come in on a nonoptimal axis. I told them I wanted a different axis for their protection and that I wouldn't hit the mosque. I executed the attack, put the GBU-12 on the building, and solved their problem. Working directly with the guys on the ground is quite an experience. You want to make sure you get it right.
— Maj. Akshai Gandhi

Kevin Plazak

Kevin is in Portland and is involved (well, not exactly) with a fish called the "cichlasoma cichlid" and recently gave a talk in San Jose called "Setting up a Simple Central American Cichlid Aquarium (using convict cichlids)".

The Pacific Coast Cichlid Association is proud to announce our past Cichlid Blue Editor (the PCCA bimonthly journal), Mr. Kevin Plazak, from Portland, Oregon, as our speaker on May 10, 2008.

Mr. Kevin Plazak has kept and has bred cichlids more than 15 years. He won several publication awards from The Federation of American Aquarium Societies, which included the best Editor/Publication for six and fewer issues.

His informative speech, “Building cichlid community tanks for fun and profit" will be an interesting topic for every hobbyist.

Sean Gallagher

I found this profile of Sean on the Suite 101 site.

Sean Gallagher - Profile

I currently write movie reviews for two publications - CAPRA (Cinematic Amateur PRess Association), a bi-monthly small press publication, and The Moon Valley Tattler, a monthly community newspaper out of Arizona - and one website -, which concentrates on recent releases.

I was born in Texas on February 6, 1968, while my dad was stationed there in the Army. A year later, we quickly moved to New York, and from there I've lived in New Jersey, California, Washington State (I went to college there; Gonzaga University), and Canada. I moved to Brooklyn, New York this past March. I did generally okay in school, though in high school I was probably more known as the guy who wasn't afraid to show off. In college, I majored in history, and that understanding of history hopefully informs my movie reviews.

Though my father raised us on old movies, it wasn't until high school that they became an abiding passion (along with music and sports, though I'm not so passionate about the latter anymore). I like to think that I like a wide variety of movies, from low-budget to Hollywood. I also try to strip myself of any ideology in my writing (except for basic humanistic principles). I do, however, have some principles; if a movie has bad dialogue, or uses music badly (especially modern songs), that diminishes it in my view. I also read a lot of other critics and as many books on film, or books being made into films, as I can.

Mike Noh

After graduating from Berkeley with an engineering degree, decided not to become an engineer, decided to work for an investment bank, then changed my mind again and went to medical school. After stints in Baltimore and Boston, now I work as a radiologist in Reno, Nevada.

I've been married to my wife Ree for 12 years (who by the way took my last name, so her name is Ree Noh who lives in Reno) and we have one son whose 6 years old and his name is Sky. We try to ski as much as possible in the winter, play as much golf as possible in the summer, and travel whenever we get the chance.

hmnoh AT

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Jeff Sykes

Jeff is a lawyer in Boise, Idaho, where he specializes in litigation: Business, Employment, Construction, and Real Estate; Alternative Dispute Resolution.

He went to Cal State Chico for undergrad, and earned his law degree at Gonzaga in 1993. Since 1997 he has been a Partner at Meuleman Mollerup.

I don't think he is related to James Woods...

Ken Wirfel

Need a loan? Ken is a loan officer at CMG in Walnut Creek.

"My commitment to the highest levels of personal service ensures that your mortgage experience will be fast and smooth. You can rest assured that you will get straight talk, highly competitive rates, frequent updates on the status of your loan, and fast decisions and loan closings. You’ll also get the kind of innovative solutions to home finance that only comes with many years of experience."

In 2000, Jocelyn Marie Wirfel was born to Ken and his wife Michele.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Gayle Stansfield

There was an article in the Chronicle a few weeks ago about a Bay Area company for Numi Tea that mentioned Gayle. She went to SF State and is the Western Regional Sales Manager for Numi Organic Tea.

Megan Smetzer

Megan has a website called "Cookiepants" and another with podcasts called Material Mama.

I am a stay at home mama to three girls and part time public school teacher. I’m a native Californian. I love to travel, create, knit, sew, craft and mom.

My podcast, Material Mama is available every few weeks. Fashion and craft sewing chatter to help me stay sane.

Mark Schmidt

Mark is working in San Rafael in the printing business. Shown here with his wife Susan at a Marin County benefit.

Forest Investment Group, Inc. announces the acquisition of Guarantee Mailing Services, LLC, 65 Paul Drive, San Rafael on Friday, July 7, 2006. Two, local, long-time Novato residents, Mark Schmidt and Dave Brooks, the owners of Forest Investment Group, Inc., noted that both companies have been located in San Rafael for more than 20 years and serve many small business and non-profit groups in Marin County.“This is a solid, strategic fit for us” noted Mr. Schmidt. “The strengths of Guarantee Mailing Services, LLC coupled with the expertise of Unicorn Printing Specialists (3175 Kerner Blvd. in San Rafael, another operating unit owned by the Company), should be a positive move for the market.

Unicorn has a strong printing base and has been in the presorted mailing business for several years. The acquisition of Guarantee Mailing Services will expand that base providing more extensive services for both large scale as well as smaller mailers.”Forest Investment Group, Inc. is a family-owned business established in 2003. With this acquisition, eleven employees will be serving the Marin County community with quality printing and presorted mailing services. Strong customer service is a highlight of their operation and should provide the impetus for strong growth.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Site photos

In case people don't know, you can click on the photos in each post for a larger version, if available.

Clint Stewart

I got a geography degree from Berkeley and a law degree from the University of Utah in 1994. I have been living in Salt Lake and practicing commercial real estate law ever since. Perhaps the most notable thing about me is really about my wife, Kris, who I married in 2001. Kris is from Singapore, and has added an unanticipated asian flair to my lifestyle.

The web site is amazing and its great to see everyone’s bios and photos. When Kris saw Jeff’s photos of Mt. Diablo she said “wow, I didn’t know you were skinny and had long hair.” I guess it really was that long ago. Thanks Jeff.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

75 People

Up to 75 personal updates now. Don't be shy, join the fun, names can be changed to protect the innocent!

Billy Schaub

BILLY SCHAUB ~ He has opened for The Ramones, Chris Isaak, Creedence Clearwater Revisited and Drama Rama.

Born and raised in Walnut Creek, California Billy started playing guitar at the age of 11. "We boarded horses and ponies on my parents property and of course we had chickens." At the age of 12 he started singing and performing with the school choir as well as playing guitar at his church with the 9am folk group. "He co-founded the rock band "The Field Mice " and quickly built up a following in San Francisco and Berkeley. In 1993 Billy moved to Los Angeles. His unique ability to change the style from song to song demonstrate his strong musicianship and his intent of keeping the interest of the listener!

Brian A. Hazen, MD

The second MD we know of, after Sharon Krecji...

Brian is (was?) at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Virginia.

Medical Education University of Rochester 1994
Internship Georgetown University Hospital Medicine 1995
Residency Georgetown University Hospital 1998
Fellowship Georgetown University Hosp. Medicine 1999-2000
Certification Internal Medicine 1998

More on the "GN" mystery...

Now I see a couple of references to the "GNers" on p. 164-165 of the yearbook:

"Jessica Morgan - I love to GET NAKED"

"Amy Doub Get Naked!"

and "TL: Aimers: Gners are awesome!"

So perhaps Amy or Jessica (or TL...Tracy Long?), or obviously Tina C. can provide some additional insight about this mystery....

Sanders Photo

Brett Sanders, along with Sam and Pogo. I think Pogo is on the right...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Kevin Reimer

Our 6th known Northgate Alum with a PhD (others being Amato, Scholz, Rascher, Mock, and Deutscher)...

A cognitive developmental psychologist, Kevin Scott Reimer serves as an associate professor of psychology at Azusa Pacific University and a research professor of cognitive developmental psychology in the Graduate School of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and currently acts as a parish associate at the Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church in Oakhurst, California. Dr. Reimer was graduated from the University of California at Davis, earned a M.Div. at Regent College in Vancouver, Canada, and took a Ph.D. in human development/family studies with highest honors in Fuller’s Graduate School of Psychology in 2001. He completed a post doctoral fellowship at the University of British Columbia during which he studied the moral personality—looking especially at the altruism of L’Arche assistants working with the developmentally disabled, and he also has held a John Templeton Oxford Seminars on Science and Christianity award for work at Oxford University where he conducted research on virtue in moral functioning with an emphasis on social cognition. After beginning his teaching career as an assistant professor of marriage and family studies at the Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary in Fresno, California, Dr. Reimer joined the Fuller psychology faculty in 2003 and was appointed to his current position at Azusa Pacific the next year. He has received research support from the United States Department of Justice, the Metanexus Institute as administrator of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, the Fetzer Institute, the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, and Azusa Pacific University. Guest editor of a special issue of the Journal of Psychology and Christianity, he has contributed a number of articles to academic journals and chapters to volumes of collected works. His first book (with Jack Balswick and Pamela King), The Reciprocating Self: Human Development in a Theological Perspective, was published by Intervarsity Press in 2005. He is currently working on a new book, entitled A Peaceable Therapeutic, for Brazos Press, as well as one on altruistic love in L’Arche communities.

Yvonne Papanek

Yvonne is (was?) working as a yoga instructor.

Yvonne has a B.F.A in Choreography/Dance from California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts)and has over 15 years of experience in yoga and specialized dance & experimental movement practices. An Integral Yoga Therapist since 1995, She did residency studies at the Yogaville Ashram in Buckingham, VA.

Yvonne Papanek is an Integral Yoga Practitioner, a Yoga Therapist accredited in Dr.Dean Ornish's certification for Cardiac Yoga, Stress Reduction, and the reversal of Heart Disease. She teaches a mindful based class in Hatha Yoga and Experiential Exercises. She is also an Experimental Dance Artist with a BFA from California Institute of the Arts. She has over 15 years' experience in specialized movement practices addressing mind and body. Since 1993 she has been a member and workshop leader of Body Weather Laboratory, an international movement research forum. The organization seeks to encourage artist, students, and audiences to experience, explore and break preconceived boundaries of physical expression and to investigate the body’s relationship to the environment. The aim is to explore and develop consciousness of the body as an ever evolving landscape within a greater surrounding landscape. Yvonne has worked in Japan, France, San Francisco, and Mexico, and she lives and works in Santa Monica, CA. with a private practice in Yoga, Macrobiotic Cooking and Acupressure.

The Famous Photo

OK I'm not going to put the names on this post...(I don't want hate mail from angry Houston Episcopalians). And please, someone send in some other updates or photos so this doesn't stay at the top of the blog for too long! I may even delete it after a few days...or hours.

The other question is, how did this photo get into the yearbook? Weren't some of the "models" also on yearbook staff?:

[removed as promised...]

Jim Meehan

Jim is an accountant, and partner, at Price Waterhouse Coopers in San Francisco. He is also on the board of the East Bay Community Law Center.

Northgate Mystery #4: The GN Girls

Chris B. alludes to a new mystery: "I recall an underground movement of these young women who used to prowl the streets of Walnut Creek, allegedly dressed only in lingerie, seeking to assault the homes of their male classmates with toilet-paper. Weren't they called something like "G.N." for "Get Naked?" Heady times indeed. I barely remember a group of us somehow learning of one of their assaults, and intercepting them en flagrante. Perhaps this incident is yet another mystery of the class of '86? Anyone remember it?"

Now Tina C. confirms the rumors: "hmmm, are we ready for GN stories....GN was not born in our senior was several years before that....."

And yes, Matt C. provides a photo, so we have visual confirmation. It appears to be Blair Stientjes and Mike Neville with a diminutive blonde hiding her face in shame...However, calling this "lingerie" is a bit of a stretch.

How did you "somehow learn of their assaults"? Was there a mole in the group? So many questions.

The Rappelling Photo

Matt C. sends this photo of NG Mystery #1. Note that this photo is not in the yearbook, but according to Matt "was the cover bleed image for the
last issue of The Sentinel for the 85/86 school year". John Engstrom on the left, Mark Schmidt on the right.

Brett Sanders

Dear Class of '86,

Hey everybody! Thanks to Jeff for the great website!

Having realized, even back at Foothill Junior High (say, was I the only one to buy and proudly wear one of those blue (purple?) Griffon windbreakers? Wait, I think maybe Seth Hansell had one, too) that what I do best is laze around during summer vacation (I am something of a prodigy at this), I have arranged my life since graduation so that I am assured of long nap-filled summers with no work. The rest of the year, I teach (with the enthusiasm of the well-rested) Math and Japanese at a Charter High School here in Beautiful, in an infernally hot kind of way, Bullhead City, Arizona.

I have been happily married for 15 years, having wed my beloved Cynthia in 1993 outdoors at the beautiful convention hall at San Francisco State U, with fellow '86ers Steve Scholz and Seth H. as my Best Men, before zooming off to Japan to teach English for two years. We came back with a couple of Japanese dogs, and got ready for the arrival of our son Sam, who was born in Phoenix in 1996. I landed a job teaching Social Studies and (of all things) supervising the Student Council in Kingman, AZ and have been in Mohave County ever since.

Sammy is a very cool kid who likes computers and baseball and his dog, Pogo. Lately, we have been practicing baseball a lot, and reading books together and getting ready for him to enter 7th grade (!) this year.

More soon from the Banks of the Mighty Colorado.

Happy fortieth birthdays to everybody!
Brett Sanders

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Chris B.'s Comment on Northgate Mysteries

Here's Chris Bowhay's comment on the post "Northgate Mysteries". Because the original is way down there, I thought I would post it here. But we definitely need more info on the lingerie women...
Gear Failure, indeed! Thanks, Matty! That's something worse than a wardrobe malfunction... 1. The rappelling mystery has been unravelled by the victim himself, so I don't think I need to comment further. Suffice it to say, near-death experiences are supposed to involve the spirit rising up, not the body plummeting down. 2. The mysterious car incident has also been mostly unravelled. In order to protect the guilty, I'll not say who asked us for the key that poor, unwitting Mr. Wood gave to John E. and me. (In truth, he didn't give it to us, but loaned a copy for a "late night" newspaper session, which we promptly took to the hardware store in Ygnacio Valley Road, carefully taping the "do not copy" imprint with masking tape marked "shed" and greasing it up with oil and dirt. We didn't know what purpose it might serve some day, but we knew that day would come.) The true perps behind the car plot approached us, somehow learning of our contraband. For several nights before the attempt, they carefully set off the school alarms, bringing our beloved, affable principal to the school in his bathrobe, training him to think that there was something wrong with the alarm system. This was in case they accidentally triggered the alarm on the night of the event. To avoid this, they used duct tape to cover the motion-trigger alarms installed in the doorframes. I was not present at the school that night; John and I had played our parts and had exited the stage. But the next morning was rather glorious.

Now that I work at a Church with a School, I remember this event when our Seniors pull their pranks. This year they managed to use an old-school block-and-tackle to hoist a 500-pound statue of St. Francis onto the tower overlooking the church entrance, dressing him in a Batman mask and cape so that he looked exactly like the mournful superhero looking down on his fragile, corrupt Gotham. It was pretty sweet.

3. The "Chippendale's" faux-ster was our greatest glory that would become our greatest shame. Here's the context: Long before the days of the Spice Girls and their commercialized use of market-driven "girl power," there was a generation of young women that were strong, confident, and unafraid of seeming sexy. At least, that's the way they seemed to me, who wandered the halls of our school in a constant state of pheremonal inebriation. I recall an underground movement of these young women who used to prowl the streets of Walnut Creek, allegedly dressed only in lingerie, seeking to assault the homes of their male classmates with toilet-paper. Weren't they called something like "G.N." for "Get Naked?" Heady times indeed. I barely remember a group of us somehow learning of one of their assaults, and intercepting them en flagrante. Perhaps this incident is yet another mystery of the class of '86? Anyone remember it?

Anyway, raised in a time when Alan Alda was an icon of sensitive masculinity, many young men in the class of '86 felt powerless when beholding the goddesses before us. (Anyone remember Jake Barnes from The Sun Also Rises?) For some, the nadir of our humiliation was when certain of these young women placed a chippendale's poster on the interior walls of that weird, circular air-freshener shaped room just outside the cafeteria which served as the "student government" room, as if it were their private locker room in which we were ignorable eunuchs. Enough was enough. Somehow, some of us thought we should reclaim our dignity and counter-act that pathetic poster with one of our own. So, with Mr. Schwerin's help, and with Charlotte Ng liberally applying water to our hairless chests (hmm-maybe it was Charlotte's idea), we did a photo shoot. We presented the poster at a student council meeting, and I'll never know if the cries from those present were of shock, delight, or horror. From that day forward, none of us could ever run for political office, for fear that photo would be dredged up and used against us.

Thus shame and glory are mingled together, transfixed in a moment of black-and-white time, adorned with strippers' bow ties.

Lisa Wolters-Broder Update

Jeff- Rebecca Deutscher sent me the link to your blog a few weeks ago, and I've been meaning to send you something... In the meantime, someone in our Marketing dept. at work (hi Melanie!), who apparently googles our company name to see what's being said about us in the news, e-mailed me yesterday with the link to ME on your blog. First I had to ask her, uhhh, why are you googling me? (I mean, I know companies "watch" their employees, but... seriously??) Then she explained that she routinely googles the company, and thus found ME. Oh! So I thought I'd flesh out your google-inspired info.!

I graduated from UC Davis in 1990 with degrees in both English and Spanish. Lived and worked around Sacramento for a few years after that, and then moved back to the Bay Area and started working in the Berkeley area. Yep, I worked for McGraw-Hill's computer book division for a few years. (My favorite editing project was "Build Your Own Combat Robot" -- I got free tickets to BattleBots! Nerdvana!) I met my husband (a graduate of Ygnacio Valley HS) through Barbara Aster, and we got married in 1997. Eventually we traded one creek for another and moved to Cave Creek, Arizona. We have two horses in our backyard and three cats in the house. It's a dry heat. I've worked in publishing since college, as a proofreader, writer, project manager and editor. Right now I'm my company's Senior Copy Editor-slash-Slave to the Corporate Machine (hi Melanie!). For all you financial/Wall Street nerds, I know what the PMI is before most everyone else in the country does. And, yes, I believe I'd be required to kill you if I told you (right, Melanie?)... So I guess I'm still part cowgirl, part word nerd/sci-fi geek. Shocking, I know... My dad passed away in 1991, and my mom passed away in 2002, but we still visit the Concord/Walnut Creek area several times a year. For those who remember my mom's bright yellow Ford Pinto station wagon (with the faux wood panel sides--the '70s were so classy) -- which she drove me to Castle Rock in, I drove in high school, AND I got to take to college (lucky me) -- it's actually alive and well, and living in Georgia with a friend of ours who wanted a Ford Pinto station wagon. I guess it's "retro" now, LOL. :-)


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tim Kruger

Tim is the athletic director at Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek.

Serena Hong

Serena went to undergrad at Cal Berkeley (another one!) and law school at Hastings in S.F. She was admitted to the CA bar in 1993. She works in S.F. at the SSA Office of Hearings & Appeals

Dana (Hinkle) Finegold

Dana married Jamie Finegold ('87) and together run Tart, a clothing company. They have 4 kids.

"There is an obvious passion in Jamie and Dana Finegold. They want to create something that makes a woman feel empowered, sexy, and thrilled to be who she is. Perhaps putting all they have into this line is what drives their passion. A family man as much as he is a business man, Jamie compared his growing business to his growing daughter, who’s first time at a Tart runway show was this season. “She was just born when we started our company, so seeing her now ... you know, she was my inspiration in the morning, like, ‘Get up and sell, go make something happen!’ But seeing her here now and getting into it is really cool,” said Jamie."

Brad Hall

Brad is the President/CEO at EntertainmentCareers.Net, Inc., a company in Los Angeles that helps people find jobs in the entertainment business.

Amy (Doub) Casey

Amy is a bilingual educator in Walnut Creek, and teaches Spanish For Kids.
Amy Casey grew up in Walnut Creek, CA, and graduated from Northgate High School and the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has been teaching and tutoring enrichment and conversational Spanish since 2001 and has worked on several translations including the children's book: Play Hopscotch on Saturn’s Rings.

Her abuelita (grandma) is from El Salvador and she grew up speaking some Spanish with her extended family. She had the opportunity to spend a high school summer studying Spanish in Valencia, Spain and was hooked on the language, culture and travel. During college she spent a year studying Spanish and economics at the University of Madrid, Spain. She traveled extensively throughout Spain and has returned on several occasions, most recently in 2007 to lead a group of students and their families on a tour of the Granada region.

Amy Casey's Spanish classes are designed to teach students of all ages including children as young as 2 years of age. She tailors the classes to the students' age and experience and uses diverse teaching techniques to enhance their learning. Whether she is building a base of phonemic awareness and a familiarity with basic vocabulary through songs, games and play or supplementing high-school honor's classes with writing, conversation, students will benefit from Amy Casey's thoughtful, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable tutoring.

"Studies show that there is a `window of opportunity' for optimal brain enhancement," says Amy Casey, who runs Walnut Creek's Spanish for Kids program. "And that is usually in the preschool ages." She addsthat auditory development in people usually peaks by age 12 -- right about the time many American kidsare just beginning to study a foreign language."

Lisa Dorman-Ran

Lisa Dorman-Ran is a swim coach at Twin Valley Aquatics in Sonoma. Here is her bio:

Born and raised in Walnut Creek, California I started swimming at the age of 6 with the now Walnut Creek Aquabears. What started as a fun activity to keep me safe in the family pool later turned into my passion. I was a decent age group swimmer but didn’t really excel until the age of 12 when I qualified for the Junior National Championships. At this time I really began to see how beneficial swimming was for me as a competitor in and out of the pool.

At 16 and a junior at Northgate High school, I made a move to another local team, Concord Pleasant Hill to train with Mitch Ivey. It is here that I made my mark in the swimming world, as a four time U.S. National Champion, member of several U.S. National teams, Pan Pacific champion, 1986 World Championship finalist, and consistently ranked among the top 25 in the world from 1982 until 1990.

With success in the pool I was able to receive a full scholarship to the University of Southern California. While at USC I was a four time All American, Senior Student Athlete of the year, Spirit Award winner, Pac-Ten medal winner and Team Captain. Most importantly, I met my husband Erik and achieved a BS in General Studies, focusing on early childhood education. In between swimming and school I was given the opportunity during the summers to coach with Swim America in Mission Viejo and several swim camps in Connecticut.

Upon graduation I returned to the Bay Area where I worked as a corporate trainer and was head coach of the Miramonte Gators a summer recreational team. With a team of over 250 kids we were able to become league champions two years in a row and place 2nd at the County Championships. Since my two years with the Gators I have worked with clubs in South Dakota and a brief stint with Deanza Cupertino Aquatics before my husband and I relocated to Den Haag, Holland.

We returned to the United States in November 2002 and welcomed our son Tommy into the world in February of 2003. I am very pleased that I have been able to stay home with him and enjoy all that motherhood entails. I am so excited to have the opportunity to work with Twin Valley Aquatics and look forward to meeting each of you. Together we can make this a positive experience for everyone involved.

Jim Donaldson

Jim Donaldson works for the accounting firm of Frank, Rimerman & Co. in Palo Alto.

Jim has 15 years of tax consulting experience serving corporations, partnerships, individuals and S-corporations. He is the partner in charge of the Firm’s corporate tax department. Jim has primarily focused on serving technology companies - from development stage to SEC registrants – but has also worked with manufacturing, distribution, service and other businesses. Jim has been involved in assisting clients with issues involving US federal and state income tax, sales tax, property tax, payroll tax, etc. Jim heads up the firm’s FAS 109 practice, providing tax provision calculations to public and private companies. He also has experience in managing the income tax aspects of multinational corporations. Jim came to the firm after spending 13 years with Deloitte. Jim has a degree in Business Economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Peter Corsa

Peter went to UCSB, later obtaining an MBA at St. Mary's. He worked at Old Navy and the Gap, and is currently a Vice President of Retail at Stuart Weitzman, which I think is a shoe retailer in the Bay Area.

Lisa Wolters-Broder

Lisa is (was?-2004...) an editor for McGraw-Hill, is (was?) working as an editor for a journal published by the Institute of Supply Management, and is a member of the Arizona Dressage Association, which has something to do with horse competitions.

Senior Trip to Hawaii, 1986

There was a senior trip to Hawaii? Guess I missed it. I'm sure there are some stories...until they come out, you can see these photos, again from Nici.

Tiffany Worboy, Mike Bonetti, Nici Grace

Jim Meehan, Jon O'Conner, Jim Clark

Our first beers! Mike Borke, Brad Giacobazzi, Jim McManus, Brian Callahan

Devo! 1986

Larry McDonough, Reid Stevens, Mike Neville, and Rodney Centeno...Great outfits! What was the story behind this one?
And is that Billy Schaub on stage wearing a tie?

1986 rally on the back stage

Some more pictures from Nici. I have vague memories of this rally outside, but can't remember the occasion. It was mainly an airband type deal, right? Or am I thinking of something else. Was this the one where Jamie Feingold and friends did "Blue Moon" complete with the blue speedo mooning? Please elaborate in comments.

These photos show various football players, I think Mannie, Radakovich, Prophet....ID others in comments. Who is the sax player?