At San Diego Class Mini-Reunion Spirits Were High
By Stu Rickerson '71
California was not spared from the fierce weather sweeping across the country this winter, but as usual it was a milder dose: here when weather forecasters caution about “frigid” temperatures they mean it could dip into the 40s and “torrential” rain usually translates to extended showers that help replenish depleted water supplies. Once again, more than 30 Classmates and family members gathered in the cozy warmth of 71’s “winter” hangout of recent years, Tony’s Jacal in Solana Beach.
The group enjoyed an evening of margaritas, beer, other beverages and authentic Mexican food and Mariachi music that’s been a staple here since 1946 (hats off to our “parent” class of ‘46) as well as the warm friendship, stories (real and re-imagined) and laughter generated by shared experiences at Princeton and in the 48 years since our graduation. What began as a local event for 5 locals from 1971 years ago has morphed into an official Class of ’71 Mini-Reunion, which draws Class members from distant places. Think about joining next February! Special commendation to Marilyn and Jim Ungerleider, who won this year’s distance award, traveling from their home in Virginia.
Others traveled significant distances to attend the festivities too, including the Bay Area trio of Brad O'Brien, Tim Tosta, Mike Ladra; Denver regulars Susan and John Arigoni and Liza and KP Kirkpatrick; Jack McNab (Ottawa, Canada); Hillary and Murphey Harmon along with their 16 year old daughter, Tess (Houston); plus the spirited seasoning of Orange County perennials, Mike Pepper, Betty and Brian Langston, Paul Deibel, plus Maggie and Laird Hayes. All toasted with this year’s San Diego area representatives Rob Watson; Rick Ostrow and Elyse Dasko; Susan and Bill Kuntz; Stu Rickerson; and, Jules and Geoff Smith. Melissa and Larry Kurtz ’72 from Mill Valley added youthful spice to the mix. Lamar Oxford and Duncan Payne were present for some peripheral activities. We appreciate everyone’s effort to attend this annual 1971 event.
A wide range of views prevailed, ranging from the virtues of early retirement (55 seemed the youngest), to surprises of some recent retirees, to a few “Never Retiring!” Among the updates, Laird turned in his NFL side judge stripes after 23 years and was a walking scorer at the PGA tour stops at Torrey Pines and Riviera GC. The “Three Amigos” were overheard planning another cross-country motorcycle trip to attend our 50th. Tess used her trip to SoCal productively to learn how to surf.
Once again, we deployed the 1971 Honor Code in settling up the bill and the group not only easily covered the tab, but contributed an overage of several hundred dollars to the Save the Wild Life Fund to be reinvested prudently until our 50th Reunion May 20-23, 2021. That should be at least enough to buy dinner for the next ’71 Reunions “band of our time.” If you have not yet given to SWLF this year, click here to make your gift.
Visit the Photo Gallery by clicking here to see more photos of the terrific event in San Diego.