As I, Zennie Abraham, proud member of The Skyline High School Class Of 1980, write this, the date is Thursday, February 25th, 2021. In other words, a full 3,861 days since our last reunion of our great class of that fantastic year which saw us go off to college or the military or just plain work somewhere.
The Pandemic took away what would have been our 40th reunion, and although pockets of friends stay in touch via ZOOM, Jitsi, StreamYard, Microsoft Teams, and other virtual meeting systems, we’ve not had one big ZOOM gathering of all of us. Yet. That’s kinda why I’m writing this: to move around the mental dirt, and warm us to the idea of, well, doing such a thing.
Now, you may wonder why I mention Tom Hanks and John Landgraf? Well, both represent Skyline High School. Tom Hanks is Class of 1974, and John Landgraf is Class of 1980. But it’s a fair bet a good portion of our class doesn’t even know who John Landgraf is. Well, if you watched any show on FX Networks, that brand was literally grown by John Landgraf, who was President of FX for many years, and is now Chairman of The Board of Directors. Moreover, John Landgraf is planning what will be ‘the first “Alien” story set on Earth’, which means he secretly is scheming to feed the rest of us as lunch!
And did you know Phil Gates is a famous musician, who was up for early Grammy consideration this year? I interviewed him:
And I am the only media person in history to take note of John Landgraf’s Skyline High / Oakland connection. But it’s important to know because he represents just how talented and influential, and at the same time, unsung, our Skyline High School Class Of 1980 has been. And that includes your kids and families. Some really amazing people, we are!
The last reunion we had was a thing of beauty. Here’s my August 1, 2010 blog post about it at SFGate.com, the website of The San Francisco Chronicle, in my “City Brights” space. (Where, I must note, I generated 26 million page views for SFGate.com. In 2009, alone, I single-handedly-generated more traffic than any other content-generating part or person in the The San Francisco Chronicle website, including The Daily Dish. That was told to me by then Executive Editor Phil Bronstein.)
Skyline High Reunion was a blast! Tom Hanks and John Landgraf, take note
The 30th reunion of the Skyline High School classes of 1979 and 1980 was a blast. No photos or videos yet, but stay tuned. Tom Hanks should make a movie about our reunion, and John Landgraf, the President of FX Network who graduated with us in the class of 80, missed a great backdrop for a hit TV show by not attending.
Hey John. You missed a great one!
First, everyone looked great. Period. For a lot of people, it was impossible to tell they were 47 or 48 years old, as this blogger will be on Wednesday, August 4th.
Second, the turnout was awesome. I’m not sure what the estimated count of people who came to the Sequoyah Country Club was, but I was told there were 100 from the Skyline Class of ’80, which is my class, and 30 from the Class of ’79, but it seemed like there were more people than just that. Eyeballing everything, I’m confident there 300 people; all acting like they were in their 20s.
Which is the point. Some of us are single, others married, some with kids, some without, and some are grandparents. And of all races, creeds, and colors, as they say. But the one thing we all had in common is we drank like fish and danced are asses off. And those who didn��t drink like fish or dance their asses off, talked their mouths off. Talk about a group of people with a zest for life.
At the Friday night “pre-party” at Monahan’s, someone mentioned that when we were in high school, the police were a lot easier on you if they caught you with a beer in your car. In fact, the Oakland cops were happy if you shared it with them! I observed that maybe we were the reason all these draconian rules were created! One thing’s for certain: it’s a different time now.
I can’t say the reunion was a time warp. It’s not even over because I’m off to the gym and then a reunion picnic. But it was a lesson, for me, in just how great the people I grew up with really were and are. Some of us have passed on, and in most cases due to cancer. But for all of us as a whole, we’re the reason that, for all of this country’s problems, America, socially, has really become something beautiful.
Skyline High School should be proud. Tom Hanks and John Landgraf, both Skyline High School grads, should make what would be a great new movie or TV show based on our class.
Heck, maybe I’ll beat them to it.
Stay tuned, folks. We gotta get together!
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