Back in the 1970s, Burbank High School students never thought they would sit alongside Burroughs students during the Burbank-Burroughs Homecoming Game.
But that’s what happened Friday night. Graduates from both schools attended the Burbank-Burroughs Alumni Association’s pre-game party in the parking lot of the Burbank Unified School District before walking over to Memorial Field to watch the game.
The balmy weather was perfect for those attending the pre-party. Alumni paid $20 and socialized while chowing down on tacos, rice and beans. A student from Burbank High School performed on keyboard while grads took pictures of each other and shared memories about favorite teachers, classes and football games.
The pre-game party was well attended by not only alums as far back as 1958 but by city and school district officials as well, said alumni association President Joanne Lento Miller, who graduated from Burroughs in 1972.
“We enjoyed music supplied by current BHS student Evan Mehta and a never-ending taco bar as we merged as one community family,” she said. “The energy and excitement continued through the night as we cheered for our favorite team with a bit of friendly rivalry. This is the kind of camaraderie the alumni association was hoping to cultivate!”
Karen and Chuck Campbell, both Burroughs grads from the Class of 1958, were chatting with former Burbank High School coach Dave Kemp, who is now on the School Board.
“We drive up from from Huntington Beach every year for the game,” Chuck Campbell said.
He taught at Burbank High School for many years, and since 2005 he has been researching and writing books about Southwest history.
Alumni association members helping Miller to organize the event were school district liaison Emilio Urioste, School Board President Roberta Grande Reynolds, Connie Barron Trimble, Kimberley Clark, Gil Tobon and Steven Ferguson and Kathy Lawrence.
“The alumni pre-party provided a wonderful opportunity to spend time with high school classmates and to connect with new kindred community spirits who all came out to support our Burbank tradition of friendly rivalry,” said Reynolds, who graduated from Burbank High School in 1972. “We were prepared to have fun no matter who won the game.”
Kathleen Gaston Hitt, BHS Class of 1973, attended with her husband, Bill, who graduated from Glendale High School Class of 1966.
“The years seem to melt away when we see our classmates and old friends we socialized with 40 years ago,” Hitt said. “There was a cozy camaraderie at the dinner, and escalating excitement at the game. To be there made you feel young again.”
The Gaston-Hitt family have several members who graduated from Burbank High — Fred Gaston Jr., 1963; Bob Gaston, 1975; Heather Hitt, 2000; and Jason Hitt, 2005.
To join the alumni association, visit firstname.lastname@example.org.