School pride on display at Berkeley High reunion

Thousands gathered Saturday for the second annual Berkeley High School All-Class reunion. The  class of 1971 set up an elaborate reunion booth. Photo: Mark Coplan/BUSD

Thousands gathered Saturday for the second annual Berkeley High School All-Class reunion. The class of 1971 set up an elaborate reunion booth. Scroll to the bottom of this post to view a set of photographs from the day. Photo: Mark Coplan/BUSD

It was hard to get a word in edgewise Saturday at the second annual Berkeley High All-Class reunion. Graduates who hadn’t seen one another for years, locals who had never left, and even some Berkeley natives who hadn’t even gone to the high school, gabbed, ate and danced under a bright blue sky.

The grassy field of San Pablo Park was crowded with people of all ages. Vendors sold comfort food like fried chicken and ice cream. A hair salon offered to do braids. And organizations with more serious agendas, like WriterCoach Connection and the Berkeley Community Fund, set up tables to distribute information.

Tim Cannon shows off his Class of 1971 pride. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel

Tim Cannon shows off his Class of 1971 pride. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel

But the real action was at the north end of the park, near the stage where most of the class tents were set up. The best decorated, best attended seemed to be the booth of the Class of 1971. Red and gold balloons — the Berkeley High colors — rose above a red carpet and a red ballon that said “71.”

“We are too cool for ‘skool,'” said Tim Cannon, a ’71er and one of the organizers of the event. He, like many others, wore a yellow T-shirt that said “Class of ’71 Rocks.”

Other classes were represented too.

The class of 1965 set up a booth that showed newspaper clippings from that era. One man walked around in a self-designed shirt that read “Class of ’43.” The class of 1963 was advertising its 50th reunion.

The Class of 1963 celebrated its 50th reunion at the BHS All-Class picnic. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel

The Class of 1963 celebrated its 50th reunion at the BHS All-Class picnic. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel

Photo: Mark Coplan/BUSD

Scroll down to view a set of photographs from the day. Photo: Mark Coplan/BUSD

Photo: Mark Coplan/BUSD

Scroll down to view a set of photographs from the day. Photo: Mark Coplan/BUSD

Photo: Mark Coplan/BUSD

Scroll down to view a set of photographs from the day. Photo: Mark Coplan/BUSD

There also was a lot of dancing going on.

Having fun at the Berkeley High School reunion. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel

Having fun at the Berkeley High School reunion. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel

Related:
Thousands expected at Berkeley High all-class reunion (o8.15.13)

[Editor's Note: We removed one photograph from the original post due to a request from a community member.]

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  • Charles_Siegel

    Nothing is wrong and everything is right with fixing the potholes.

    I was responding to a comment that was a satire of all the complaints that are most frequent on Berkeleyside – but it left out this one complaint that is very common.

    I thought it was very funny for the commenter to say:

    “the real problem is fraudulent out-of-district gutter-punk NIMBY’s who
    are nostalgic for the 60s and all of its situational ethics under the
    leadership of Kriss Worthington and Ken Sarachan who have failed to load
    the constantly-pooping homeless people onto trains out of town so we
    can turn the post office into a parking-free office tower”

    but it would have been even funnier if he had added:
    “and fix the potholes.”

  • The_Sharkey

    As we saw from the recent Opinionator piece by Adena Ishii, victim-blaming is rampant in Berkeley. The way bystanders react in situations like that is when we see their true colors, and a hell of a lot of people in Berkeley of ALL skin colors treat people who are different than them as “others” who don’t deserve their attention or assistance.

  • park neighbor

    “There’s constant whining here and elsewhere that not enough is being
    done to engage the minority community to get them to come to white
    organized events”

    Whenever the Berkeleyside comment section comes up in conversation around town, the non-stop anti-white reverse racism is pretty much the first and last thing everyone talks about. Ask anyone.

  • 2ndGenBerkeleyan

    I’m cool with you. No worries. You attended the reunion (I intended to also but got busy that day) and you are as entitled to your thoughts and opinions here as anyone else. But you can accomplish that (and disagree with bgal or me or anyone else) without openly mocking someone whose children were the victims of hate crimes in her neighborhood and who has weathered enormous personal opprobrium for not being “a compliant Stepford wife Berkeley style.” I don’t always agree with her comments on bside, but I am in awe of her personal courage, sense of conviction, real activist spirit and her heartfelt need to “speak truth to power.”

    I am not going to play keyboard warrior with you here. I have outgrown my BHS bully days. If you said the nastiest thing to my face now, I would simply say, “I am sorry I made that impression on you.” And move along.

    But if you’re talking about taking care of business back in the day. That was a different story. I was certainly shaped and influenced hugely by all of the rampant, ambient hostility, posturing and fighting that went on all around me K-12. So, if you really went to Longfellow, West Campus and BHS as I did, I don’t think you really need a recap of how our interaction would have played out. But I will provide you with the end of the script. You are running away and I am shouting at you, “Talk now! You b**** a** f*****!”

  • M_Farrel

    Laura, I respect what you have done for your family and your community. The event was poorly publicized, but I never felt unwelcome before or during it. I learned about it on Facebook, as did many.
    I know Berkeley’s race politics well; they drag down our town and our country. But pounding that drum so constantly, especially about an event that most attendees felt was fun and worthwhile seems counterproductive. What’s the point? Not enough whites were asked to be there? S? Whose ox is being gored?
    Sorry you found my comments about you and your family’s experience, but again you have pressed that frequently. You have a public persona. Taking your body of posts is not unfair.

  • M_Farrel

    Nice how both you and bgal4 make reference to violence towards me.

  • 2ndGenBerkeleyan

    No, no! You misinterpret totally. I am against all of that type of crap and threats now (I wish I had not lived “the life” back then either but I can’t change the circumstances I grew up in where it was a matter of survival…).

    respect your right to articulate your opinions here freely, but no need to needle bgal in a meanspirited way for expressing her views. You often make excellent points very succinctly.

  • Marcia Walden

    These comments have got to be the most immature responses I’ve ever had the displeasure of reading. What a bunch of children, good lord! Ridiculous threats of violence, pissing contests, and whining from (I assume) adults in our community…not sure if I want to laugh or move. I have lived here for only 7 years but I see more intolerance here than anywhere else and more blabbing about how enlightened everyone is here. Are you kidding me? Grow up, people.

  • The_Sharkey

    If only anyone had ever claimed that, your sarcasm might have been effective.
    Nice try though! You’re at least showing more effort in your lame attacks.

  • Elvis Presley

    Agreed…I live in Berkeley and have started reading the local news stories on this app. Although i’m glad for the news stories, the comments section is filled with the rantings of petty tyrants, PC’er-than-thou snifflers and ate-too-much-brown-acid burnouts (and now today’s strain of back-in-the-day OG “thugs”)…pathetic

  • bgal4

    thanks for the kind thoughts and teaching me a new word, opprobrium. Nice!

  • bgal4

    exactly.

  • Gab

    I’m glad to see pictures of such a joyous event! The comments section totally bummed me out, though.

  • The_Sharkey

    Race relations is always a volatile topic, even in a city that pretends to be as integrated as Berkeley.

  • BHS4LIFE

    This is only the second one people. Let’s slow down and enjoy the fact that everyone who attended had a great time.

  • B2B

    BS, Sharkey, the committee did reach out to the non-black community — via news sources, facebook and word of mouth, and wanted the reunion picnic to be as inclusive as possible. I know, I had direct interactions with several of the committee members.

  • JAM

    WOW.People are tripp’in. There were several whites there but it is a personal decision to attend or not. Maybe advertising in more publications would help the diversity in attendence or a different park? Perhaps it’s the makeup of the committee.Get involved if you are really interested!