As mentioned earlier, here’s a grip of photos from our 20-year reunion. It’s been a real trip to go through this stuff. These people represent a significant page of my youth. While people change, the memories of them remain as-is. Running into them twenty years later adds a whole new dimension not only to the Now, but the Then. I love ’em.
↑ With Naylor. My date for the evening. One of my closest brothers today and forever. We go back to 1981.
↓ With Paulie Gallarza. He was on the Red Sox in T-ball, I was on the Pirates. They kicked our ass the first year. Then we came back and made ’em are bizitches the final year, taking the championship. We go back to about 1974.
↑ Ronald “RJ” Kaloper. As real as they get. We go back to about 1974.
↓ Mendoza. Dozer. A firefighter for L.A. county, and the coolest dad around. He brought his boys over the other night to plug a guitar in and jam with me in the garage. We go back to the mid-seventies, and we’re now closer than we’ve ever been.
↑ Ah, Richard Iacono. My best friend when I was four years old. We were on the T-ball Pirates together. Lived on my block; our moms were friends. We got picked on by the same bullies on the block. He still has a scar on his forehead from an accident in my backyard. We go back to 1973.
↓ There he is. Brian Richey. He looked just like Nicholas from Eight is Enough back in the day. Lived in another neighborhood during the elementary school years, but we got really close in junior high in about 1981. One of our favorite after-lunch pastimes was to hock loogies on the ceiling of the boys’ bathroom and see how low we could get ’em to hang without breaking.
↑ John Matich. My next-door neighbor from 1981-1987. Also a pitcher for the Giants, a rival team to our Padres in about 1980. They were the best team in the league, handing our asses to us in a pre-season scrimmage game and beating us something like 23 to nothing. We came back that same season and beat ’em in the World Series to win the championship. I remember JD Torres and I opened up one of those games with back-to-back dingers. It was what dreams were made of. John was pissed as hell. We spent some quality golden years together; great summers, knew his mom and dad, knew his brothers, went camping together, etc. Love that guy. ↓
↑ Franki Franko. My third-grade girlfriend. I remember her cute little Dorothy Hamill haircut. (I probably had the same one.) We were the two best spellers in Mrs. Linkletter’s class. Here we are, bringing back that vintage 1978 puppy love.
↓ Noelle Jensen. Lived down the block from 1981-1987. Lots of memories, some of them involving a jacuzzi. I was pleased to notice that I’m finally taller than her now. Noelle!
↑ Ken Kordich. We hooked up with him and his lady prior to the bash. One thing he remembers most about our childhood relationship is when he was playing second base for the Giants and a team named the Padres embarrassed them. He still carries emotional scars from the experience.
↓ Gary Wilkerson. He was on the T-ball Pirates with Richard Iacono and me. We go back to 1974. He was a few months older than most of us, and was the first to have a car during the high school days. A white station wagon. We eventually ended up calling him Lloyd, and said station wagon was the Lloydmobile, hauling about ten of us to lunch every day. We must’ve hit Burger King six hundred times in that thing. LLOYD!!!
↑ Ramona Rodriguez. Mona. The cute chick who was down with the metal. Ozzy!!! \m/
↓ Katrina Murphy. Trina. Eight kids. Amazing. Looks great.
↑ Claudia. She was in Mr. Calise’s invitation-only Humanities class I had in senior year that I’ll always remember as one of my favorite scholastic experiences. It had a college-prep flavor to it, and it got us all thinking. Claudia always struck me as a smart mind I wanted to know more about.
↑ Huber. Now a doctor. Also in Calise’s class.
↓ Leonard Miller! After high school I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many bro-deals he cut me at the check-out line at a supermarket that will remain unnamed. Originally met in baseball as cross-town All-Star rivals, then hooked up closer in high school.
↑ Joe Calise. (No relation to Mr. Calise that I’ve ever been aware of.) We go back to about 1982. Joe was one of those big guys that grew hair under his arms a couple years before you did. I always made an effort to stay on his good side for fear of him giving me a melvin, hanging my underwear from the flagpole, and sticking my head in the toilet. He also had the coolest car in high school, a red IROC Z-28. Then he wrecked it and got a blue one like a week later. That spoiled bastard. (Love you, Joe!)
↓ Don Crow. Have you ever had that person in your life that everybody knew, but you didn’t? Then months turned into years, and the next thing you know there’s this person that’s your classmate, but you’ve never even had a conversation together? That’s my Don Crow.
↑ Andy Boysen. We go back to kindergarten. I think. He was also in Calise’s class. Looking at this photo gives me deja-vu. He looks like his dad!
↓ Domicoli. Dates back to 1981. A brother in metal. My image of Joe will always be wearing an Iron Maiden “Piece of Mind” jersey.
↑ Jeff Perez. Knew him from baseball from the early eighties. Left-handed, with similar baseball skills as me. We were platooned in centerfield during high school in jayvees, he being the lefty, me being the righty.
↓ Anthony Cvitanich?
↑ Armando Bello! From junior high. He had a brother George as well. I always liked the Bello brothers. They were supercool to me.
↓ Bong! From another part of town, but we had Weight Lifting in 10th grade. I remember in the nineties, on a night about 3am, I turned on the TV. I saw Bong on Ultimate Fighting! It was painful to watch, if you know what I mean. “STOP THE FIGHT!!! I KNOW THAT GUY!!!”
↑ Marty Katz. Totally below-the-radar guy, much like myself. Not even in the yearbook. He’s now a jazz cat living in New Orleans.
↓ Noelle and Dozer.
↑ Noelle and Trina.
↓ Trina and Naylor.
↑ Naylor and Marty.
↓ With Noelle.
↑ With our bro Hector, five years our senior. He drove us downtown for the bash, allowing us to be carless for what came next.
↓ Lady Kordich taking a picture of a bunch of dudes up against the wall at San Pedro Brewing Company.
↓ A bunch of dudes.