Catalina High School, Tucson, Arizona, USA

2024 65th Reunion

That Super 65th Catalina Reunion: Here’s to the 70th!

From Ford Burkhart: 

When Ray Lindstrom and Thelma (Tee) Taylor began to organize our 65th reunion, I expected maybe a dozen of our classmates would turn up. Maybe. In fact, it seems we had upwards of 47 of us alums, squeezed into the Trident Grill on Tuesday, April 16, 2024, for several hours, on best behavior mostly, and including kids and spouses the count might have been 50 or 60 or more.

I asked those who attended to share their memories. They all said they much enjoyed the company of our classmates. And I too enjoyed meeting every one in the group, each with a good story or two to tell.

Here are some of the comments from those who attended, and those who didn’t:

For me, Quentin Bryson, our class vice-president, best captured the spirit of our 65th:

“47 CHS Trojans, for a brief few hours, went back 65 years to 1959. It was definitely a festive coming together. Our reunion was warm, friendly, loud, happy, a positive memory-jogger and reassuring. Glad I was part of it.”  

“And a special thanks to Ray Lindstrom from the Catalina class of ’59. Our continuous class Webmaster, reunion organizer, the glue that has held our class together for 65 years, but best -- a friend to all. Thank you, Ray.”

From Marjorie Tench Eseppi, our yearbook editor and most erudite classmate:

“Fortunate, grateful, proud -- to be part of a group of intelligent, talented, thoughtful, successful and kind people.”

From Pam Morris Samuels:

 “I noticed a preponderance of male attendees vs. female and I wonder why. But I got to be one of the lucky girls! What a fantastic bunch of 83 year olds! At this 65th reunion, I enjoyed the fact that we no longer need to "impress" about any part of our lives. We can just share our healthy days, our lazy days, each aspect of nature we experience, each remembrance of a friend we met over 65 years ago! Thank you, Ray and Thelma for getting us together.”

From Paul Hazen:

“I was impressed with our classmate’s physical and mental condition. Almost all were in great shape and very conversational. Most importantly I was impressed with the life accomplishments of so many of our classmates and how active many of them still are. Obviously all these qualities contributing to their longevity. . Great time and thanks to all who spent the time and effort to pull off the event.”

From Lee Seagondollar:

“I, unfortunately, could not attend, but enjoyed seeing Ray and others last September when I was able to come to lunch. I miss all of you and think of you fondly. Stay well.”

​From Jim “Sak” Sakrison, our Student Body President:

“Thanks to Ray, Thelma and Ford for organizing and carrying out our SIXTY-FIFTH Reunion! It was really a grand occasion and so fun to see people who I hadn’t seen for five years, including many who live here in Tucson. Bob Roberson, Jim Frannea, Bill Cassell, Rick Davis, Leanne Lugland and Marjorie Tench Eseppi to name a few. We all tell the same stories from five years ago, only embellished a bit more, and quite a bit more from the date that they actually happened. Hope we can do it again in five years or maybe sooner.”

By Ford Burkhart, New York Times ret., our class journalist extraordinaire.