by Neena Strichart
I find it hard to believe that my 40th high-school reunion is just weeks away. Attending Long Beach’s Woodrow Wilson High School in the ‘70s was quite an experience. That was where many of us made our long-term decisions on careers, love interests, music preferences and life-long friends. We attended school during the Vietnam War, the tail end of the hippie era, the introduction of the birth-control pill, Beatle tunes vs. the sounds of Simon and Garfunkel, and, of course, the Nixon presidency. We had no cell phones, few of us had our own cars (I sure didn’t) and a big night out was a movie or school football game.
Those who attended Wilson in 1973 are in for a heck of a three-day celebration. Please read below for lots of details!
Woodrow Wilson High School Class of 1973 40-year reunion Aug. 9-11
Five different events are scheduled, from a traditional dinner/dance at the Long Beach Yacht Club to a surf gathering at Bolsa Chica State Beach. Along the way there will also be a social mixer at diPiazza’s Italian Restaurant, a golf tournament at Wilson’s home course (Big Rec) and a potluck picnic in the quad where students once had lunch 40 years ago, and where one of the current principals of Wilson promises a tour of some of the secret rooms, passages and vaults that few have seen. We will even be opening the Class of 1973’s time capsule.
A lot to celebrate over one weekend. But most importantly the weekend is a chance to greet old friends and make new ones right in the middle of “the old neighborhood” where we all went to school. All for the cost of $100 per person for the “main event” on Saturday night. (The cost rises to $120 per person after July 31, so get your reservations in soon.) Or for the cost of something to eat or drink at diPiazza’s (no cover charge even though there will be a cover band playing tunes of our era). There will be an all-inclusive charge of $85 for those taking part in the golf tourney. And for those rich in memories but poor in pocketbook, there are no charges for the surf tourney or the potluck picnic at Wilson.
The ambitious and excited Reunion Committee has been busily putting together the pieces of this puzzle for months. They have many addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of classmates but are still searching for more. If you, or someone you know, was part of the class and has yet to be contacted, please let the Committee know. Register for the dinner or the golf tourney at rsvpbook.com/woodrowwilsonhs1973, where you can pay by credit card or find instructions to pay by check.
The events, in chronological order, are:
Golf tournament at Big Rec Friday morning
For those who sign up to be part of the golf tourney, activities begin at 8am Friday at diPiazza’s Restaurant, 5205 East Pacific Coast Highway, across the street from Wilson’s home course, aka Big Rec or the Recreation Park 18-hole course.
The format is four-man scramble. A shuttle will escort players across the street to play. Duffers to par players are welcome. Classmates, family, and alumni from other years can play. Want to play in a particular foursome? Contact Joe Butcher at JoeButcher3@gmail.com .
Cost for this portion of the weekend is $85 per person and includes green fees, golf carts, range balls, a goodie bag, on-course beverages, commemorative T-shirts and transportation to and from the course. Awards for best (and yes, some for the worst) will be handed out Friday evening at the alumni mixer.
Registration for the golf tourney closes July 26.
Alumni mixer Friday evening at DiPiazza’s
Come get a jump on reunion social activities at Wilson’s Class of 1973′s alumni mixer Friday night at diPiazza’s Restaurant, 5205 East Pacific Coast Highway. From 6pm to 11pm, the class of ‘73 has the run of the restaurant. There is no cover, and there is a no-host bar. Come enjoy classmates’ company, and feel free to order some of the delicious inexpensive Italian food and beverages diPiazza’s is known for.
Owner Mark diPiazza is a member of Wilson’s class of ’73. Not only will he be working hard all weekend to make the reunion a success, he has hired a cover band to play for the class’s dancing and listening pleasure from 9pm to 11pm.
Time to pull the longboards (or short) out of the garage rafters, wax ‘em up and head down to Bolsa Chica State Beach for some friendly wave-sharing or, if enough surfers show up, maybe some friendly competition.
The free gathering begins at 9am Saturday at Bolsa Chica Beach Lifeguard Tower 25. Surfers of all types are welcome, as well as those who just want to once again enjoy some beach bathing and taking in the beauty of our fine Southern California coastline.
There will be snacks and beverages provided. Bring a beach chair and beach towel. Official nearby beach parking is $15. Tower 25 is two towers and a mid-length walk south of the Jack-in-the-Box at PCH and Warner, where some free parking is available.
The big event for the weekend is the Saturday night dinner/dance at the Long Beach Yacht Club (LBYC), 6201 E. Appian Way.
Enjoy beautiful views of the Long Beach Marina from indoors or outdoors on the Club’s second story. Dance to the music of the official deejay of LBYC’s Congressional Cup– Steve Steiner.
Check-in opens at 6pm. The buffet dinner starts at 7pm. Dancing is at 9pm. And things wrap up by 11pm. Dress is listed as “nice casual,” with a light jacket or wrap suggested as the night cools down over the water.
Dine from a large array of food stations from salads to carved meats, Mexican and Italian entrees. Coffee, iced tea and water are available as refreshments. Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages are available from a no-host bar.
A professional photographer will be available for individual and group photos. Free parking will be available along the marina adjacent to the club.
Wilson High potluck picnic and campus tour
On Sunday, Aug. 11, this free event begins at 11am, with the potluck picnic right in the old quad, just like lunch hour on campus 40 years ago.
At noon, Gonzalo Moraga, one of the two Wilson principals, leads a campus tour of well-remembered sights, and also rarely seen passages and secret vaults around campus. We will also be opening our 1973 time capsule!
Need more details? You can find them at rsvpbook.com/woodrowwilsonhs1973, or contact the Reunion Committee at email@example.com. We hope to see every Class of ’73 alumnus this August!