Memory Hunting

Jo Anne Worley, in the parking lot of Country Elegance during one of their fabled sales. A special Toluca Lake memory.

I want to talk about memories. Making, finding, organizing and remembering memories. Searching through “stuff.” Finding fun things that have nothing to do with what I am looking for. Unexpected pictures with atypical people, it was surprising to find a picture with Stedman Graham, yep, Oprah’s Stedman. I was interviewing him at the Junior Achievement headquarters, for The Tolucan Times. There are no snap shots with some of the great stars I worked with, I felt it was unprofessional to request such a fan like thing. What a jerky girl, passing up Gene Kelly, Jimmie Stewart, Henry Fonda while doing “Cheyenne Social Club.” But I was very tickled to come across a historic picture of Jo Anne Worley at a parking lot sale for Country Elegance, holding up some of the lacey finery that this long gone local boutique offered. Remember these amazing sales when they hauled out racks of duds and people took their clothes off in the parking lot? (Us demure folks wore bathing suits.) They had bridal gowns, country dresses, and big hats? Remember Country Elegance? I’m lost in old times… back to the serious search.

John Marshall Class of 1951: My classmates from John Marshall High School, 1951, are organizing a reunion… guess who fell into the chair? All I did was reply to an e-mail question from Bruce Willoch (a sweet and friendly school lad), asking if I knew of any plans for a 60th. I wrote back, just to be courteous, and said I’d contact a few of our fellow grads that I was in touch with and find out if anything was in the loom. We arranged a small lunch gathering and decided to be a reunion committee. It was deemed by all that since I made the calls, I was the Chair (boo). So, it’s necessary to search for old school mementos, it’s a far reach. But the result will be worth it. It was a peaceful time in our country. Our class was large, but due to so many opportunities for activities, drill team, sports nights, dances, we were woven together. I wrote for our paper, “The Blue Tide” and found my passion in the Drama Department. So now I’m finding a renewed passion to have a best event within everyone’s means, a Last Hoorah of sorts. The Sportsmen’s Lodge is our location and the date is April 30. If you know any 1951 graduates of John Marshall, please have them get in touch with me.

Billy Barnes Book: 2011 is taking off with many projects that require digging up memories. Billy Barnes is writing a book and we are meeting to poke our brains about highlights of his long and splendid career with the “Billy Barnes Revues,” plus the mountains of special material he did for so many great variety shows. Hum “Have I Stayed too Long at the Fair,” then Google Billy and learn what a prolific icon we have in our territory.

Betty White – April 9: Highlighting actors and others for animals 40th anniversary, the phenom Betty is being toasted by a galaxy stars. I’m searching for picture from our early events. These are buried in my treasure trove of boxed keepsakes, be jumbled with a lot of mindless stuff, waiting to be archived…may the finding things angels guide me, and help this search lead to an orderly way to find things in the future.

And just to make this time of pealing away layers of life even more worthwhile, maybe I can find all I need to get my taxes together and make my health insurance forms ship shape enough to get some entitled reimbursements. Needless to say, I’ll be relieved when my plate is not so crowded. May will be a swell month. We’ll Talk…