Time Stands Still

(Or where did it go?)

by Michelle (Fearey LaGue ) Mock '69

ASM Southern California Mini-Reunion VIII

November 4th, 1999




It was just over a year ago that I first met Mark Vasconcellos '81 when he arrived with Vic Hightower '80 and a stack of yearbooks for the first mini-reunion at the Burbank Bar and Grille. The connection that was formed at that first meeting has developed into an enduring friendship. This fact became obvious to me when Mark and his wife, Ceci, responded to a last minute email by showing up for a mini-reunion. We met again at the Burbank Bar and Grille.

This mini-reunion was a chance for me to meet again with classmate and fellow 1969 graduate, Nanette Espinosa. We had not seen each other since our graduation and I just recently found her living and working not far from me in Southern California. The two of us had planned to meet for dinner and when I asked her if she wanted to invite other ASMers she was thrilled with the idea and said, "Sure, invite everyone in the area - the plentier the betterrier!"

Unfortunately, trying to settle on a place and time kept postponing our planned reunion (we were still deciding at 5 p.m. last night if we would go to Burbank or find someplace closer for both of us). Nanette decided we should go to Burbank, just in case someone else would show. I sent out a quick message to a handful of ASMers in the LA area and set off .

This time I didn't even bother to make a reservation. When I arrived at the Burbank Bar and Grille (third mini-reunion we have had at this location), I told the hostess that I would be met by at least one other person, but we could possibly end up with five or six. She said she would give us a table for 4 and try to keep a nearby table open in case we needed to expand. As she walked me to the table, I heard a voice behind me say my name ... it was Mark!

Mark and Ceci already had a table in the outdoor patio and were waiting for us! This patio area is really "kewl"! There is a fire and spaceheaters to keep things cozy (we are finally getting cooler weather in Southern California) and a musician played guitar and sang a variety of easy listening songs. I did not pay very much attention to what he played (we were too busy talking). The music was very pleasant though, not too loud (we were so busy talking) and we clapped politely after each number. We probably drove others around us crazy with our non-stop chatter and numerous flash photos, but everyone at the Burbank Bar and Grille (employees and patrons alike) are very 'kewl' and no one went 'postal' !!! I highly recommend the Burbank Bar and Grille for mini-reunions or just a night out. Each of our Burbank mini-reunions was highly successful, in part, because of the location.

Nanette showed up a little later. I had my back to the door so I was unable to watch for her. Mark, with his "younger" eyes could probably do a better job anyway so he was lookout. I had no clue what she would look like, so the description I gave Mark was: "she is Filipina, has shoulder length hair and said she would be dressed in black". A little while later, a girl walked in fitting that description, "is that her?" Mark asked me. I almost got out of my chair and then said, "Wait a minute, she would be MY age!" This girl fit the description but was in her 20s and unless Nanette had truly found the Fountain of Youth, this would be a stretch!!! It wasn't long before Mark asked the same question again. This time, there was no doubt! There she was (and I believe she HAD found the Fountain of Youth)! It was instant recognition for both of us!

Nanette was more interested in the yearbook than her meal (it took her some time to get around to ordering because she couldn't stop looking at pictures). After she had looked at 'the way they were', I pulled out the photos I brought from the Miami Sixties Reunion (August 13/14, 1999). Her expressions were priceless as she tried to figure out who these people were! Too funny!!!

After a leisurely dinner and lots of talking, we paid the bill and then went for 'un paseo'. We walked three blocks up the street to The Coffee Bean were Mark had an exhibit of some of his photography. Awesome work! We had coffee and talked some more (it never stops). We discussed the photos which Mark took in various locals around the world. He should work for National Geographic! He captures expressions, culture, and moments in time in such a beautiful, artistic way. The variety in this exhibit was very nice.

Once again, it was a week night and getting late for all of us. So, around 10 p.m., we headed back to our cars. As we walked back, we discussed Paella Fest 2000. It never happened in 1999, but we WILL have a California reunion in 2000 with paella, tapas, sangria, friendship and lots of talking to prepare us for Madrid in 2001!

Many of us are hoping for an "American Fourth of July" alumni reunion at ASM in 2001 and Las Fiestas de San Fermín in Pamplona later that week. What are YOUR preferred dates? Be sure to let Kim Cullen at ASM know (or send me a message and I will forward your comments to her)!

Uno de enero,

Dos de febrero,

Tres de marzo,

Cuatro de abril,

Cinco de mayo,

Seis de junio,

Siete de julio San Fermín.

A Pamplona hemos de ir!


ASM: "Time Stands Still" - Southern California - Nov 4th 1999


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