Mesa's first class marks its 50th anniversary

As teenage girls walked around Costa Mesa High School in jeans and blouses Tuesday, Barbara George remembered having to dress more conservatively during her days on campus.

"We had to wear navy blue skirts and white blouses every day," the class of 1962 alumna said. "You could wear a sweater, but you had to wear a dickie underneath.

"It was like wearing a shirt under the sweater, so it kind of covered you. If your skirt didn't touch the ground, you went home."

George — her maiden name is Stipp — along with a committee of nine other graduates from 1962 will celebrate their 50th high school reunion Sept. 22.

"It seems impossible that it has already been 50 years," George said. "It just seems like yesterday."

"When we first graduated, the last thing on my mind was what we would do for our 50th reunion," Rick Jourden said.

The class of roughly 415 students was the school's first graduating class. At the time, Newport Harbor High School was the only other public campus in the immediate area.

"I think the thing that's unique about our school is that we did grow up together," Kay (Logsdon) Richards said. "We stayed together. We were all a part of the class clear on through. So we've had this history, and as we've grown up and gone into the 50th reunion, we still have that history together. Many of us still live in the area."

Steve Howell added, "We were always the upperclassmen. We were like the older brothers and sisters of the high school."

Mary Alice (Fox) Carlson said because the class of 1962 was the school's first, they got to choose the mascot and school colors.

"We started the traditions," she said.

About 150 graduates from 1962, along with some of the school's faculty from the time, will be at the reunion.

"It's going to be great to see the faculty members and our friends again," George said.

Frankie (Dawson) Cooper agreed.

"One of the things I'll always remember is how compassionate and caring the faculty was with us," she said. "They always wanted us to do better, and they really helped us strive to do better."

The reunion, from 6 to 11 p.m. Sept. 22, will be at the Mesa Verde Country Club, 3000 Club House Road. It will celebrate the class with dinner, drinks, dancing and prizes.

Those interested in attending have until Friday to register. Tickets are $77 each.

On Sept. 23, the class will also host a picnic at 9 a.m. at TeWinkle Park, 970 Arlington Drive, and a tour of Costa Mesa High School at 1:30 p.m.

The reunion committee encourages the 1962 graduates to attend the school's homecoming game Oct. 19, where the class will be recognized on the football field.

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