Elsa Barlow Walton

In 1950, on my first day at Seaside Elementary, Sandy Beaird came to school in a cowgirl outfit that she wore when she sang on the Howdy Doody show. She was a celebrity and I was very impressed. She told me it was easy to find her house because it had the largest tree in Upper Hollywood Riviera. She and Karen Brunel and I all discovered that we could tap dance.

My closest neighbor and good friend was Gaynell O'Malley. On weekends Gaynell and I walked to the beach together, picking up friends as we went downhill — Sandy and Dyanne Demaree among others.

I was a "bookworm" and read quite a bit. I am very near sighted and got my first pair of glasses when I was seven. Dyanne talks about being vain and trying to get by without her glasses. So did I. I tried to walk the halls without glasses. I recognized people by size, shape and movement. How many did I snub? When I was a Junior, I got contact lenses and then Mr. Belknap complained that I blinked too much.

I was artistic and a creative type — took Ballet classes from childhood on into my thirties. I liked to write plays and was attracted to the theater. At THS I was involved in Thesbians and produced dance productions and a one-act play with my friend, Karen Brunel. I went steady with Larry George. He is still a friend and we correspond regularly.

1955, Soph. THS
THS Graduate Photo
1962, grad. U of Oregon
Catching Up

I attended the U of Hawaii in 1959 and danced in the streets all night when they got statehood. I graduated from the U of Oregon in 1962 with a BA in English Lit. I married Stanley Parry and we had two sons, Jeffrey and Christopher Parry. We divorced in 1973 and I married Dennis Walton in 1986.

While Stan went to law school at UCLA, I taught high school English and History at THS for three years from 9/63 to 6/66. At that time, Mr. Belknap was still at THS teaching history. I taught for another three years at Rio Americano HS in Carmichael, Sacramento, CA. In the nineties I substituted in the Palo Alto School District at Gunn and Paly high schools.

'05 Christmas with Dennis
Waimea Canyon, Kauai
June 2004
11/12/05 walking Rudi
Santa Cruz, CA

Stan and I moved to Palo Alto in 1972 and I've lived in the San Francisco south bay area ever since. I love it here. I stayed home with my boys until they started school and then went back to work as a technical and educational writer for computer companies in "Silicon Valley" such as Itel and Tymshare.

After I met Dennis I worked with him to establish his construction business, Walton & Sons Masonry, Inc. I also went back to San Francisco State and got an MA in Instructional Technology.

I retired from the masonry and substitute teaching in 2000. That year we moved to a house in Los Altos. It had a huge yard and for the next seven years I had great fun gardening and designing a landscape plan for the yard and decorating the interior. Dennis with his construction company made all my dreams come true. Over a stone patio, we put in a huge pergola that was quickly covered by spectacular passionflower vines. He put in an herbal parterre, lawns, flower beds, fruit trees, a green house, spa and cabana and a garden room.

However Dennis had a cancer scare and when he recovered we decided it was time for him to retire and get away from the stress of running a business. We spent a year researching motorhomes and the RV way of life. Meanwhile we began to throw out, give away, sell or store our possessions.

In mid-March of 2007 we ordered an '07 Allegro Bus made by Tiffin Motorhomes in AL from Bankston RV in Huntsville, AL. We did a series of yard and estate sales and prepared to leave our home of seven years. In mid-May we drove to Huntsville with some of our goods packed in our pickup truck. There we picked up our bus and traded the truck for a Honda tow car. Our first trip was to St. Augustine, FL to visit my brother and his wife.

Currently, we are slowly heading back to Palo Alto where we will load our motorhome with some of the things we put into storage. Then we will head north to visit relatives in Washington and tour the British Columbia peninsula.

1951, 6th grade
'50-'51 My sister, Sally & I wait for the school bus in front of our new home in the Palos Verdes Apts.
We moved from Port Washington, NY in 1950.
1951, with Karen Brunel — students at Stover-Lane Dance School
1952 Our new house at 356 Via Colusa
1957 Hanging out in the Senior Patio with Larry George.
June 1957 Graduates celebrate in the Senior Patio
1957, with Larry George — signing annuals in the Senior Patio
Dec. 1957 with Larry

We are sorry to miss the THS reunion and I send warm greetings to all my high school classmates.

Elsa Barlow Walton, 7/17/07

PS For photos and bios of the '53 class of Riviera Grade School go to: http://www.CuteSmallDogs.com/Pages/Riviera/RivieraKids.html

Photos and news of our travels can be seen at:

Parry Family 1974
8/62 shopping in Solvang, CA after graduation
12/68 Christmas,
high school teacher,
1 mo. pregnant
with my first son, Jeff
1977 with Chris Parry, age 6
1977 with Jeff Parry, age 8
1/14/98 Chris's 27th birthday.
Born with CP and a club foot, my dramatic little rock star lives in Santa Cruz, CA.
8/11/99 Jeff's 30th birthday with friend, Sara. Jeff is a 6'5" surfer. He is the manager of the International Hostel at Pigeon Point Lighthouse, Pescadero, CA
1980, Backpacking
Muir Trail, Sierra Nevada Mts.,
11/25/05 Relaxing with Dennis and Rudi
in the garden the day after Thanksgiving.
6/21/06 Twenty year Anniversary party
in our garden, Los Altos, CA
1990 Christmas with Dennis, Kona Coast, Hawaii
'07 Allegro Bus 42QRP camping at Space & Rocket Center, Huntsville, AL May 2007
Elsa and Dennis in front of our new home with our dogs, Margot and Rudi. May 2007
Relaxing in our Los Altos home with Rudi.
Summer 2006
Lunch at South Beach Grill in St. Augustine, FL. June 2007
On the roof at Fort Matanzas, St. Augustine, FL. June 2007
Downtown Kansas City, shopping at the Plaza, July 27, 2007 In camp grooming Rudi at Mid-America Camp Inn, Goodland, KS, July 31, 2007
Relaxing at our campsite in Cherry Creek State Park, Aurora (Denver), CO August 5, 2007