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Hey, let’s share stories! If you attended Pasadena High in the ‘60s, I’m sure you remember growing up in a small town that once was an enormous strawberry patch. The good old laid-back days of PHS kids were special indeed—and it feels good sometimes to remember the Capitan (triple features), Monterey House (yum enchiladas), The Grove hotdogs (with mile-high chili and cheese), the Corral drinks, the San Jacinto Monument fun, and even the old Red Bluff Drive-In

Of course, all the root beer floats in the world can’t waft us back, time machine- style, to the lazy, hazy days of Pasadena summers—but still, we can return to that time in sweet memories that many of us share.

One thing I know for sure is that we had fun, laughing and gossiping and passing notes to each other between classes (without the convenience of texting), and we gathered in the foyer most mornings before school just to share social buzz.

Yes, we sang and danced to “Get a Job,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Rock Around the Clock,” and “Twilight Time,” and learned as Baby Boomers to respect teachers, parents, and peers. Lucky for us, we had little angst and adolescent depression in our years of being teens—and our parents didn’t compete with other families for the priciest birthday party or the kid-with-the-most-trophies. Our dear old moms and dads just let us go outside and play simple games—collecting lightning bugs in a Mason jar and generally being young and foolish. Most of us had few issues to sort, and somehow we figured out how to prep for the SATs and ACTs without having to leave the orbit of joy that was our norm.  We applied for college and/or got jobs—and some got married. Others packed up new luggage and left for UT or Sam Houston or Stephen F. Austin with exciting plans to pledge a sorority or fraternity—who knew what career was in store? That kind of heavy-lifting thinking we postponed just a few more years, thank you very much.

When I think of PHS in the “olden days,” many fresh faces and bright eyes come to mind, and I know for sure that it was a great time to be young—I loved the friends I made and the acquaintances I learned alongside and the great teachers we had. As today’s kids are fond of saying, it was “all good.”

So please, I invite you to weigh in right here with your memories and photos of special places and people from dear Pasadena, Texas. Help me make this website a cornerstone—a meeting-place of sorts.

These are the givens of ‘60s kids:

  • We loved (and love) our American flag.
  • Every day we said the Pledge of Allegiance
  • We prayed our morning prayers.

We had no idea how much would change in decades to come and what an avalanche of electronics our own children would juggle as life in the U.S.A. changed and people changed and crazies proliferated.

And now we’re left with the complex job of guiding grandchildren and our offspring to make sense of it all—and still smile—and stay optimistic and enjoy the happiness of living each day to the fullest. Through example, we can keep the legacy alive of our long-held belief in the value of living a good life in a wonderful country with the absolute best people on the globe.

Appreciate. Love. Laugh. Hug. Give.

And, of course, elbow-bump.

Diane Shirley Stafford-Munoz