The student performance was just one of the many highlights during Garin’s 40th Birthday Bash held last Friday. In honor of the Brentwood Elementary School District’s third school, local dignitaries and school officials past and present shared their favorite Garin memories with an audience of more than 200, while students of all ages mingled with their teachers and mentors, talking about the good old days.
“Forty years old,” mused former Garin Principal Betty Dailey. “Isn’t it fabulous 40? Isn’t that the saying? Well, Garin School, you’re still in your prime. … Happy birthday, Garin!”
Well-wishers enjoyed carnival games and a barbecue dinner provided by the Brentwood Rotary Club. Guests were also treated to a plethora of photo collages of Garin memories as well as photo albums that included class photos from the past two decades.
When Garin opened its doors in 1970, it consisted of only four classes, and Bill Bristow served as principal. Bristow passed away last year, but his daughter Judith Arata told the audience that he would love to have seen the celebration.
“This school was the first school my father built in his administration, and he was ever so proud of the innovative design and thought that went into the actual building,” Arata said. “At the time, it was quite something for Brentwood, and I was fortunate enough to be in the first class that attended Garin. I celebrate 40 years with you. My brother attended Garin, and his daughter now attends Garin, and we are so thankful that the tradition continues with Stacy Joslin and her fine staff.”
Joslin, who has been the principal at Garin for three years, said she was honored to be part of the Garin legacy and looks forward to the future. But before they embraced the future, birthday bashers took a moment to travel into the past, as the Garin time capsule, created by Wanda Groseclose’s 1984 fifth-grade class, was opened after being sealed for nearly 26 years. Groseclose was joined on stage by a dozen of her 1984 students who helped bury the time capsule on the outskirts of town on Payne Avenue, where Groseclose used to live, which is coincidentally now owned by the Bristow family.
“All those years ago, who would think that the future held this for us?” Groseclose told the audience. “This is one of the greatest days of my life – to see all of these former students of mine. They’re all my children as far as I’m concerned. That was the kind of teacher I was. I was the mother type more than anything else. So I really do love all these people who are up here with me today and I am so grateful for this opportunity to see them all. Some of them came up from L.A. Some of them came down from Oregon, and all places in between.”
Groseclose’s husband Clark and Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor, whose son Paul was in Groseclose’s 1984 class, peeled off the masking tape that was meticulously wrapped around a metal garbage can to reveal a treasure trove of memories that delighted and surprised Groseclose’s former students. A Michael Jackson poster, a Tom Jones eight-track, and a Care Bear were among the artifacts stowed away in the capsule. Students also rediscovered a Cabbage Patch Doll, a BeeGees backpack, a Burger King crown, an Avon catalog and two Rubik’s Cubes. Newspapers, magazines, tennis shoes, hair barrettes and a class photo album were also found inside.
More than 40 items had been carefully packed in the capsule, but Groseclose confided that she was glad one item was not included: “My husband is so relieved because we lost a little dog about this time (when we buried the capsule), and he is so glad it wasn’t in there!”
Joslin announced that Garin students will be assembling a 2010 time capsule, but the date and location of its burial have yet to be decided.