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Published October 5th, 2016
Campo '66: Seniors for Four Years
The Campolindo 50th Reunion committee, from left: Don Schrader, Sandy Ivy Landin, Valerie Smith Brousseau, Bill Smedley, Gwen Reid Lundmark, Bruce Van Voorhis and Judi Steen Carmona. Campo 1966 yearbook photos courtesy Peggy Hoffman

A lawyer, a doctor and an IRS agent walk into a room...50 years later.
In June 1966 those people were members of the first graduating class of Campolindo High School. The class marks its 50th reunion Oct. 14 and 15 in a special celebration.
It's been a long time. In 1966 Lyndon Johnson sat in the White House, Cassius Clay had just become Muhammad Ali and gas cost 32 cents a gallon. "Bonanza," Red Skelton and Andy Griffith were on TV. Governor Brown - the present governor's father - occupied the governor's mansion in Sacramento. But California teens then were more likely focused on Mustangs and Camaros than gas prices or politics.
Pear and walnut trees were nearly as common as homes, roads and businesses in the Moraga of 1966. Campolindo was the third Lamorinda high school to open its doors (Acalanes High School opened in 1940, Miramonte in 1955), welcoming 180 freshmen onto its campus in September 1962.
"Everybody knew everybody," said Bruce Van Voorhis. The campus was small, too, originally containing just two buildings and a gym. A science-art building was completed the following year and the cafeteria opened in 1964 (before then students ate in the library).
The first senior class clearly had their work cut out for them. Don Schrader says as a new school they established everything - student government, the school mascot and colors, sports teams, band, orchestra, a newspaper, a yearbook, and clubs and social events.
By fall 1965, student enrollment had reached 1,000. In 1966 students could shop at Jo-Ev's, Charles Drugs, or Moraga Camera and Record Shop, eat at K's Carousel or Loard's Ice Cream Parlour, bowl at Rheem Valley Bowl or watch James Bond movies at Rheem Theater. They might tune in to KFRC-AM to hear the Rolling Stones, the Beatles or Johnny Rivers' "Secret Agent Man."
Loard's Ice Cream and the Rheem Theatre survive today, as does the "oldies" music of the Stones and Beatles; Rheem Bowl and KFRC are gone.
Graduate Judi (Steen) Carmona is "really excited about reconnecting with people" she hasn't seen in years, although she readily admits "there's been no reunion diet. I don't look very much like I looked then."
Sally (Hartman) Gordon says she hasn't returned since the 15th reunion, not because she missed other reunions, but because there weren't any others. Despite that, Roger Ganse says he and his classmates have remained friends for 50 years, having become "the next closest to family."
Gordon, Van Voorhis and Ganse each chose the same word to describe Campo '66 members: unique. Being the top class gave Campo '66 a certain blend of confidence and a sense of responsibility toward the others, Ganse said.
"There were no upperclassmen; we were seniors for four years," said Gordon.
50th Reunion Events for Campolindo Class of 1966:
Friday Oct 14
 Panel discussion (11:45 a.m.), guided school tour (3:15 p.m.) both at Campolindo.
 Football vs. Miramonte or no-host reception at Embassy Suites, Walnut Creek (both at 7 p.m.)
Saturday Oct 15:
 10 a.m. to noon. Moraga Commons Park picnic
 5-9 p.m., Reunion at Back Forty Texas BBQ Roadhouse & Saloon, $66/classmate $33/guest
Details online at www.campolindoreunion1966.com.

Roger Ganse
Sally (Hartman) Gordon

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