The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Class of 1974 Reunites, Reminisces

Every Senior Class wants to leave a legacy and say goodbye with a bang. The school’s class of ‘74 managed to do this with expertise during their year of glory, wreaking havoc with senior pranks and setting the bar high for future classes.

The class of ’74 had a reunion from 7 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, August 22. They met at the Los Altos History House to celebrate, reminisce and share laughs and memories.

“People were extremely successful and creative in their careers and what directions they have all gone,” said Shelly Bosmans Bowers, ‘74. “Cliques were gone, and everyone was talking.”

Although much time has passed, most of the alumni still recall their high school years clearly as a “pretty exciting time.”

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“Nixon resigned, the Vietnam War ended, the first gasoline ‘shortage’ happened,” said Jerry Manoukian, ‘74. “I didn’t think much about any of it [and was] more interested in what Led Zeppelin was doing. If I had to do it over, I might pay better attention.”

The days were also “carefree,” according to Brad Bishop, ‘74.

“Getting into a good college was much less competitive in 1974 compared to 2010, so there was less stress about which college you’d go to,” Bishop said.

While many members went on to make contributions to society, many admit that different things were on their mind 35 years ago.

The class pulled off many pranks, including the kidnapping of Bob’s Big Boy statue which was placed atop the cafeteria and the dinosaur atop the press box in the football field bleachers.

“A local hangout was the Bob’s Big Boy, similar to today’s hangouts like In-N-Out Burger,” Bishop said. “We borrowed the mascot, which was six feet high, and put it on top of the LAHS Cafeteria. It was quite a feat.”

According to Bishop, the Homecoming Parade floats were also exciting. Back in ‘74, there were about 15 to 20 floats entered into a schoolwide competition. The French Club’s float, which won first place, was in the shape of a huge glass of champagne (with a 5-foot diameter). Dry ice created bubbles and “smoke” that came out of the glass, which was held above the car with a huge hand. Written on the side of the car was the statement, “Toast our Jacques!”

During graduation, the class was serenaded by bubbles and streakers who ran across the baseball field.

“Our graduation was a blast,” Bowers said. “The guy I walked with brought a portable TV so we were watching Star Trek during graduation. TVs were not so small back then. He had it under his gown. There was a metal wire going from the press box across the field to the other bleachers, and a clown on a bike was pedaling across all the graduates in the middle of the ceremony.”

But it was not only the pranks and senior year activities that were exciting: Day-to-day events are now treasured as fond memories.

“There are lots of snippets: the physics lectures, Andy Browne’s biology classes, the coaches,” Manoukian said. “Most of all it was the classmates, the quick encounters, three seconds of belly laughs or heart-to-heart talks that replay at odd times in the memory like an old TV commercial.”

Though the class of ‘74 abounded with pranksters, they were not only distinctive in that respect.

“We had the dinosaur and the streakers, but we also had some real thinkers, leaders,” Manoukian said.

Many of his classmates agree that their class managed to find a balance between fun and success. Jim Gaughran is now the Executive Producer of NBC Bay Area News, and John Bialy is the Marketing Manager of multiple businesses.

“We had so many students that were intelligent and thought outside of the box,” Bowers said. “We didn’t really damage anything, just moved things around. We had so many people that did not follow but led and tried to make a difference then and are still making a difference now.”

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