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Bulldogs and Indians meet on hometown turf

Molly Shore

What started out as a way to keep in touch with former classmates

through the Internet has flowered into an annual gathering that

brings together hundreds of alumni from both Burbank and John


Burroughs high schools.

Linda Melton Damarjian, Burroughs Class of ’61, was among a group

of graduates who began an e-mail correspondence four years ago, and

eventually decided to bring their virtual reality friendship into the


real world.

“We were chatting with people from different classes, and we said,

‘Why don’t we do a picnic?’ ” said Damarjian.

More than 16,000 e-mail invitations have gone out for the third

annual All-Classes Reunion Picnic from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 16, at

Johnny Carson Park, said Damarjian, this year’s reunion committee


For the first two years the picnic took place outside Burbank.


This year it will be a hometown affair, and Damarjian said she

expects more than 1,000 people to attend.

“We have people coming from all over the country, from as far away

as New Jersey,” she said.

Unlike class reunions where people have a short time to visit,

Damarjian said that the picnic gives people an entire day to

reconnect with former classmates.

Burbank High School graduate Pam Zipfel Kirkwood said that many


different generations attend the picnic, including members of her


“My dad graduated Burbank High School in the winter of ’36, and my

husband and I graduated in 1964,” Kirkwood said. “We’re one big,

happy family.”

According to Darlene Kroah, Burroughs class of ’82, and one of the

chat room members reunited through the message board,

last year’s picnic drew more than 800 people, including 500 alumni.

“I actually saw a girl from junior high for the first time in

years because she didn’t go to any of the reunions,” said the Pomona


An alumni classic car show will be part of the event, as well as a

large Burbank veterans memorial display, door prize drawings and a

disc jockey playing music from different eras.

Picnickers can bring their own food, or purchase a Santoro’s

submarine sandwich, chips and a drink at the reunion for $5.

The picnic committee is asking for a $2 donation at the picnic.

The park is at 400 S. Bob Hope Drive.