stillhowlyn's travels 2007 travel blog

Checking in on a very rainy day!

Howard and imposter find his Class Banner!

Catching up with fellow alumni and a great lunch!

The CAL Band makes an impressive appearance!

A peaceful student protest or rain worshippers!

Looking handsome at the more formal dinner party!

A sunny Saturday kick-off for Homecoming Celebration!

With entertainment!


Granddaughter Noelle with "Bear Paw" tattoo!

Noelle & the Drum Corp!

Future CAL Sorority Sister!

"California Dreamin" with Norm, Noelle & Steph!

CAL vs. OR. State

Petaluma seems to be our hub these days with frequent side trips in order. This week we shop, get haircuts and prepare for a big weekend away - all the way to Berkeley! The 12-14th is Homecoming Weekend at CAL and - "ta-da", Howard's 50th college reunion! This is a Big Event (and honor) and one we've been looking forward to for some time.

We had planned ahead and made reservations for a hotel in Berkeley that was within walking distance of the campus. Aahh, the best laid (or is it made) plans, etc. did not work out. The "hotel" was in a state of complete disrepair; bathrooms, elevators and even room keys not working. Plaster peeling and no parking sent us over the edge! Now, where do we stay on one of the biggest weekends of the year? Get on the phone and call all the Berkeley hotels, sorry, all booked but we'll put your name on the waiting list. With the "grand opening" of Alumni events about to kick-off we decided on the Marriott in Emeryville, not too far away but definitely not in walking distance.

Did I mention this was on Friday and it is also pouring down rain?! We walked several blocks from a downtown garage, found the location where we picked up our weekend packets, gathered for drinks and mingled with others from the Class of 1957, 1952, World War II years, and even one lady from a graduating class in the 1930's! We were soon ushered into the dining room for a great catered lunch and what fun to see so many alumni and, as one lady said, "Damn we sure look good", and they did!

Chancellor Birgeneau spoke passionately of the diversity of the staff and student body, represented by Van Nguygen, the first Vietnamese refugee to become Student Body President. With pride he talked of the billions of dollars in research grants received from major corporations worldwide, winning out over MIT, U of San Diego and two universities in England, one being Cambridge! Berkeley is one of the top engineering schools and Howard majored in mechanical and industrial engineering and then went on to Pepperdine for his MBA. He first went to Purdue on a football scholarship but lost it after he was injured and could no longer play!

After a great "start" we went to the Student Union to load up on CAL hats and sweat shirts in order to be properly attired for the big game of Saturday. We also tried to make it to some of the many faculty seminars, only to arrive soaking wet to a standing room crowd. By late afternoon it was time to check in to the Marriott and get ready for a bit dressier dinner affair, for the Class of '57 only, at the Hearst Mining Building.

Drinks and canapes were served as everyone mingled and told of what they had been doing with their lives since graduation. We actually started drawing a bit of an audience (who are these odd people!) as we described our last 12 years of traveling in a motorhome all over the US, Canada and Mexico. One classmate, Bruce Whipperman, caught up with us to mention he writes travel guides under the auspices of Moon Handbooks on the Mexican Pacific areas of Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara, Oaxaca and Acapulco and we joined him to discuss many areas and locations we have also visited.

By 10 p.m. we were "done" and headed back to our hotel and a quick "hello and hug" with daughter, Stephanie, who had driven down from Sacramento after work to spend tomorrow with us!

Saturday is a blur of Homecoming activities! Steph wisely advised us to take a taxi rather than drive in and try to find a place to park. First, she had to do some shopping for Gary and Rob (both unfortunately had to work) and also a shirt for Norm and sweatshirt for Noelle, who met us at noon at the Campanile Plaza where the Bear Affair BBQ and entertainment was held from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Then it was the "Bear Walk" to the stadium (we did a lot of walking!) with CAL playing OR. State and kickoff at 4 p.m. The stadium was packed and we all crunched up like sardines in a can but had an absolute ball - the spirit was overwhelming! Unfortunately, 2nd place CAL lost 28-31! Everyone had a great time and we have decided to make this an "Annual Event"!

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