I lived at 118 W. Hillsdale Blvd., Apt. F, in the Hillsdale
Garden Apartments. When my stepfather was transferred from
San Francisco to Florida by the RCA Computer Division, I
moved in with Ron for a few months, so I could complete the
school year. I lived with his mother Paula MacGibbon
(operatic singer - boy, she sure could belt out Melisande -
DeBussy, while my mom played the piano), and stepfather Greg
MacGibbon , who was a school teacher. I will never forget
Greg's 1952 black Chevy. Paula is instantly remembered,
every time I see Bea Arthur, her famous twin in earlier
photos, as I recall. Just as tall, too.
Over the years, I lost track of Ron, and his sister Adria
Fisher. The last thing I had heard, was that Ron was
attending Oregon State in 1963. And his parents bought a
house up on the hill, by Highway 92.
In March 2006, I bought a 1961 Hillsdale High "Shield"
Yearbook on eBay, since I never got one. It belonged to
Ron Fisher! How improbable is THAT, among hundreds of
students? But I'm not in it, even though I remember the
photo sitting at Bodnar's Photography. I waited 45 years,
and no photo! Bureaucratic error, I guess.
On the one hand, I was pleased that I
was the one to get Ron's Junior year annual. On the other
hand, it probably means that he is no longer with us.
The SSA death index provides the following information -
Ronald Edward Fisher
Born July 2, 1944
SS Card issued in California
Died Feb. 28, 2004, San Francisco, 94142
I wish we hadn't drifted apart, and I had known him late in
life. Ron was a great guy - really smart, and a great sense
of humor. He was well-liked by everyone. Another missed
opportunity, and lost friend.
It is possible to become consumed with one's own directions,
problems, and inconsequential pursuits, and forget the more
important things in life.
You don't find out about this until later.
2009 UPDATE: In 1961, Ron had a second little sister,
Wendy, who is now Wendy Devore. For awhile, Ron and Barbara
were boyfriend and girlfriend. Later on, Ron married a
different Barbara, and had a son, Joseph Fisher.
2010 UPDATE: I was able to obtain a 1962
Hillsdale High yearbook on
eBay, which lists all my classmates from 1961. It belonged
to Judy Ann Mirk. Even though I was not at Hillsdale in
1962, they somehow included my photo with the 1962 seniors.
Perhaps it was to make up for the fact that I was omitted me
from the 1961 yearbook (I had arrived late from Los Angeles,
and left early for Oregon.)
Saturdays on the
We used to play informal
pickup football games on the HHS grass field. Tackle, with
no equipment. One Saturday, I attempted to advance the ball,
by applying my nose to Dick Bauer's knee. Arggg. I remember
the pain, but what I remember most is the expression on
everyone's face, when I rolled over, and looked up at them -
all mouths agape. I horrified them all.
Off to the hospital. Do you know how they straighten out a
broken nose? Well, there is this heavy, rounded, V-shaped
chrome tool. The big side of the V is the doctor's handle,
and the other side of the V is a rounded prong ... well, you
get the picture. The least fun I have ever had.
The doctor insisted that my mother bring down a recent
picture of my face. HUH? What was that about? If my nose was
crooked, you want to return it to that condition? Are you
crazy? Lose the freakin' picture - make it as straight as
you can! Holy Moses! My nose turned out fine.
My Friends and
Jaime Barnard, Patty Bench, Dick Bauer, Jim Bauer,
Kris Cavalli, Lowell Cain, Chuck Cone,
Mike DeMercurio, Ron Dogey, Ron Fisher,
Pat Frederick, Jay Friedman, Patrick Fulljames,
Bob Futterer, Armand Gambera, Jeff Grant, Allan Hughes,
Dick Hanning (RIP -he punched my lights out in PE boxing
Barbara Lucey, David Mackley, Jim Miller,
Sharon Noah, Bob Nutting, Terri O'Neil, Richard Pearson,
Lou Schick, Rick Schweiger, Greg Strong,
Bob Tornai, Joan Watson, Linda Watson, Joan and John
Emily Williams, Michael Young, Fred Yohe, Bob Yutzy,
And another girl whom I didn't know, whose initials were
C.J., had the most amazing ... err, sweaters, ever witnessed
by man. The "Gran Tetons" came to mind for any Frenchman.
Most male students could not speak properly, if she was
present. I was fine. Not my thing. Mom was big, too.
Kibby's at 36th and
El Camino - remember? How many nights did you spend in
there? Getting a burger, and malted. The quintessential
California "Mel's Drive In".
Hambone's Pizza Parlor at the Villa Hotel? Remember
old Mace, the black blues piano player at Hambone's?
I used to love it, when he asked for "requests", and some
idiot drunk would shout out something to try and stump him.
One night, it was Rachmaninoff's Concerto in C-Sharp Minor -
he screwed around a bit for drama, feigning ignorance . .
and then ...
BONG . . . BONG . . . BONG he started, and flawlessly
completed the entire piece (my mom used to play it - the
most depressing tune on earth. Old Rocky was a dark dude,
and had no problem expressing that fact.)
Mace was classically trained, and highly accomplished, but
preferred the honky-tonk life style. I think he was from
Monterey, or moved there. He was never stumped, as far as I
know - and ALL committed to memory! Yowsa! His skill was my
Remember Alfred Ladendorff for American
Government? Who could forget him? Sorry, Al, but all the
stuff you taught us isn't true anymore. The 24,000
Washington lobbyists now call all the shots (55 for each of
the 435 congressman - their sole job is to pump money to
lawmakers, and EVEN write the laws). It is a whole new ball
People don't matter any more, because they no longer have a
voice. Congress is a TOTAL sellout - it's now all about
corporate cash. The future of this country looks bleak,
indeed. What do you have to say about that, Al? I did like
you, in spite of the accusations of you being "tough". But
with 100+ class sizes in the auditorium (weren't they?), you
had to be a general.