Valle Del Sol

by Michelle (Fearey LaGue) Mock '69

ASM Micro-Mini Reunion - Scottsdale, Arizona

October 15th 1999




October 15, 1999: St. Catherine of Alexandria, the school were I work, scheduled a mandatory staff meeting to go over earthquake procedures in the event that "The Big One" should occur someday during school hours. Most California teachers take this sort of meeting quite seriously. It is a scary thought, but we do have to face the reality that it could happen. So, jobs were assigned and handbooks were distributed. I am assigned to Search and Rescue and when complete I report to First Aid. We have alternate plans for our own families because we may be caring for our students for 48 hours or more. A drill will be scheduled for the students within the next few weeks. Unlike the hurricanes on the East Coast, earthquakes are something that we can only prepare for and hope that we can react properly. We won't get a warning.

I left the meeting and immediately headed for Arizona. I was not fleeing Earthquake Country. I had plans to attend a teacher workshop about Mars at Arizona State University on Saturday. My husband, Jerry, had already flown to Phoenix for a business meeting and I picked up the kids from school and then drove to Scottsdale. I had asked Heather '87 and Heidi '84 Lambert if they wanted to go along for the ride (their parents live there), but alas, they just went the previous weekend and had other plans.

Next morning we awoke to the news that there had been a 7.0 Earthquake centered approximately 100 miles from our home. It is truly incredible that an earthquake of that magnitude did not cause any major damage or injuries. It was felt in Phoenix! Of course, we slept through it. I don't think we would have if we had been home. I looked for signs of movement when we returned home ... but everything was just as out of place as how I left it and I could not find a single track in the dust on my furniture! But I digress, what does this have to do with a reunion? Nothing really!

Before leaving to Arizona, I had contacted Barry Miller '64, who lives in Chandler (very near Scottsdale). He was going to be on vacation with his family until Saturday evening, but we made plans to have a micro-mini reunion before we returned home. Shortly after I got back from my workshop, Barry phoned us at our hotel. We agreed to meet the following morning for breakfast.

Barry's wife Michelle (beautiful name I might add) could not join us. Laundry and other post-vacation things kept her tied up. Their daughters (ages 8 and 10) had to get ready for school on Monday. It was great to meet Barry though! He is not a great communicator when it comes to email but he is a wonderful conversationalist.

He told us about ASM in those early years and Mark Johnson's memorable 16th birthday party. We shared our stories about what took us to ASM in the first place, discussed alumni who have been found and who we are actively looking for. He talked about the days of playing soccer in the dirt field across from Dr. Fleming. I told him tales from the Miami reunion and we all discussed going to Madrid in 2001. Jerry enjoyed the conversation too. Barry told us about his Aunt Jane who worked at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena for many, many years. He couldn't believe that Jerry and I had also worked at JPL and that JPL sent my family to Spain. Later, Barry mentioned that his family had lived in Findlay, Ohio before moving to Spain. Findlay is just south of Jerry's home town of Toledo! The world gets smaller and smaller!

Like all great ASM reunions, this one came to an end too soon! We had to get on the road back to California.

When I returned home, I found an email from Steve Sibler (MHS '68). He forwarded the email address of Donna Daniels who had attended ASM before graduating from MHS in 1968. Donna got my name at an American College of Switzerland reunion in Pompano Beach and had contacted Steve because she heard that we were planning the first "Rivals No More" joint Torrejon/MHS and ASM mini-reunion next month. As I looked at Donna's class picture in the 1965/66 ASM yearbook, I realized that several people from her class and others from 1967 and 1969 are located in New York State. I think ASMers in New York should plan a mini-reunion soon!

Remember: It doesn't matter if you have ever met before, or if you belonged to the same class. It doesn't even matter if you were from the same decade. I have just recently found out that it doesn't even matter if you attended the same school. The experience that you shared as an expatriate, particularly the special experience of an expatriate in Madrid, is a common bond that makes the mini-reunion experience memorable. If you have never been to an ASM mini-reunion, you should definitely make it a point to go to one. You can also schedule one yourself. All it takes is a reservation and an email.

Hasta la próxima.


ASM: "Valle Del Sol" - Scottsdale, Arizona - Oct 15th 1999



Coordinator's E-Mail Address: Michelle (Fearey LaGue) Mock ('69)