Big Milt's Adventure

Tennyson High School, Hayward California

Lancer Leader Big Milt Vassis

I have several thoughts about our upcoming 45th Class Reunion. I was a part of the first three reunions - the last one being 25 years ago. I have always cherished the thought and feeling of being a "Tennyson Lancer" - in fact, one of the first - because our group was the first to open the school and spend all four years there. We all felt pretty special to have this great new high school waiting for us. The facilities were great. The science labs with bunson burners, sinks and lab tables; the great new gym; the music department with practice rooms, the auto shop; the nicely appointed dean's office! It was all good!

Tennyson High School Hayward Calfornia

When we were unable to continue with class reunions on a regular basis, many of us were disappointed. Losing touch with so many friends and the people we knew during this very important time in our young developing lives was tough. The structure of a reunion committee, and planned get togethers really helps us all stay in touch and gives the opportunity to renew or continue old friendships.

This Fall when the first e-mails started and the idea was floated to try planning a reunion first reached me I was elated! I quickly volunteered to participate on the committee and we were soon underway. I have known some of these people since I first moved to Hayward when I was in the 3rd grade! Penny King and I go back that far, for example. That's like 1953 - wow, 54 YEARS ago! Of course we have a bit of a problem now. Because we do not have the continuity of regular reunions we have lost contact with so many people.

BUT - the Internet to the rescue! I think we have all found the Internet and its resources as well as the advantage of using it as a networking device are helping us get the whole crew of Lancers together again. It is proving to be invaluable to keep everyone up-to-date and urge each of us to look hard and long to find our old friends and acquaintances. And it seems to be working, as the list of "found" classmates grows everyday. I am really encouraged by all of this, and I urge ALL LANCERS to do everything they can to help us find and notify every single 1962 Tennyson Lancer about or 50th reunion.

A couple of weeks ago, I took the time to visit the old campus and I was really impressed. I drove up about 4pm, took my handy digital camera and started shooting. The first thing I noticed was the marquee out front....gee, I wish we had it when we were there - it's a great way to announce events and happenings. I took some shots and later - using Photoshop - "put up" an announcement about our reunion.

I strolled around the campus and was impressed with the overall good condition of things. The "Tootsie Roll corridors" brought back so many memories of friends, events, romances, teachers, counselors, sports competition, homework, and the knowledge that I gained at good old Tennyson High. I could even hear this faint voice of Norm Davis on KYA 1260 reading a dedication from "Big Milt the Lancer Leader" to one of my friends - usually a girl, of course. I liked getting all that publicity for MY high school, beloved Tennyson High! "KEBW - Channel 91" was fresh in my mind, too. I remember "Big Daddy Tom Donahue on KYA, and Gary Owens (later of Laugh-In) on KEWB. I love the old music and have an extensive collection of yes, vinyl records still! I have about 2,000 albums, about half that many 45's and now have most of this old music in MP3 format and listen to it often....would you believe on my computer! I have a jazzed up hefty speaker system attached and can easily hear it outside when I crank it up!

Back at the campus, I saw the door ajar to the cafeteria and strolled inside. There was a meeting going on - teachers, I think. I just started shooting pictures of the Blue Knight on the wall, the stage, and the room in general. Nobody stopped me - nobody spoke to me - that was strange. But I got what I came for - pictures of the place where we had our lunch; the place we had "food fights" (what a mess we made!); the place we schemed about a date for the drive-in; the place we got consoled by our friends when she said "no"; the place we caught up on a quick review because there was surprise quiz coming up in Chemistry class; the place we reviewed the performance of the Mighty Lancers on the sports fields; the place we planned and talked about our Junior and Senior proms.

I even walked down the halls of a couple of classroom wings. I saw all the lockers. Memories of times at the lockers! I even looked inside and took a couple of shots of the old "C Hall Head"! It used to get cloudy in there! Talk about a "smoke-filled-room"!

The parking lot was empty now, but I remember all the guys showing off their cars - The '56 Chevys; the Fords; the great 59 Impalas; a Corvair or two. I even put a chrome air cleaner on my '56 Chevy.

The memories are endless. The good times, the bad times - all of it is good and I think all this "stuff" that went on during these very formidable years of our young lives is just wonderful. We were so young - yet we were already young "people" who we shaping into what we would become in our lives. So many things shaped these lives and, for me, Tennyson High ranked high in its influence.

I am a part of this reunion because I miss seeing all of my old friends and want to catch up on how they are doing in their lives, families, and careers. Maybe restart some old friendships! I FEEL the BOND with my fellow LANCERS! I am jazzed up about our reunion! I am cranked up, excited, ready, anxious, and anticipating a GREAT EVENT! It's gonna be "Cool", Far-OUT, Man!" Like, "Go for it!"

I will see each of you there and ask each of you to help us find just one other person, and we will make this a HUGE hit!

Go Lancers!

Big Milt (Vassis) the Lancer Leader

More Pictures >>>

May 27th is the deadline for room reservations at the Marriott Hotel.


* After MAY 24th Ticket Prices $89 Per Person
After June 19th pay at the door...

>>> CLICK HERE to Reserve your ticket(s) NOW

If you wish to pay by check please send $89 per person to:
Tennyson High School Class of 62
c/o Ron Hilbert
2211 West Ridge Dr.
Sutter, CA 95982-2353

For Sunday's Private Brunch Reservations ($24.76 Per Person) On June 24th Email
pay at the Brunch (location in hotel to be announced).


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