DHS Class of 2016

June 10, 2016

What a day, what a day. It lived up to its billing, for the sheer fact: Peter graduated from high school. Not that that was at all in question, but rather: milestone. One of the biggies.

Some shots on the day, and a bit of commentary:

Family came. I have to say, this was nice. I encouraged family to attend family parties–one in the north and one in the south–instead of enduring the reading of 600+ names of strangers under what could have been blazing sun on uncomfortable bleachers, but then again, it was nice that Matt, Michael, Heidi and Manoj were there!

Just for fun, here’s a photo of John’s graduation from South High in 2004.. Chris, John, Peter and Jay. They were a bit more formal than Davis, where most kids wore shorts and flip flops. I remember thinking Chris was so modern.. taking pictures on his flip phone! I also remember thinking, wow… here’s Peter, having just completed kindergarten… one day he will graduate from high school!


And so he did….

Here is our pre-ceremony family dinner:


And here are a couple of fashionistas helping Peter with his mortarboard:


And off he goes:


A ticket snafu (that is, Peter left the tickets in the car and Jim, instead of collecting them at will call, had to hike down to Eureka and Mills to retrieve them) left us scrambling for seats at the last minute and resulted in family cheer squad separation. At least Matt, Mike, Heidi and Manoj sat together. And Jim and I sure needed each other.

Smily on the outside, weepy on the inside…. parents of the graduate:


It was a lovely evening… not the least bit hot. Ceremony was two hours long… with speeches and the ceremonial presentation of diplomas. I couldn’t see the stage, but did have a clear view of the giant projector screen, so most of my photos are taken of those screen images.

The processional. I’m still humming Pomp and Circumstance…


Principal Will Brown:


There were several student speakers. I liked this one, Darya Saberi:


This is why I’m glad I have friends who take and share photos with me…. here is my view…


and my photographic effort…I was trying so hard to get a good one of Peter, but shaky and rushed as he made his brief appearance…


Thank goodness for Marc up in the bleachers, who got these two!



Marc also got shots of the graduating class in their seats… this pano was right side of stage, where I think Peter was:


And this is a great one of the left side of the stage and the ceremonial shifting of tassels, followed by the cap toss…


Damn… gets me every time. Sniff.

And post ceremony photos. We convened on the quad to get out of the crowd a little…Peter and many of his friends got that memo.

Reed, Peter and Daniel:


Peter and Ray, who will both go to UCSD in September:

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And the traditional family shot:


And that is that.


More Endings

June 10, 2016

The next couple days are going to be a bit of a blur. At this moment, it’s quiet, the calm before the storm. Peter left a few minutes ago for a big dress rehearsal at the high school for all graduating seniors. Family arrives this morning, in about an hour, which begins multiple organized meals and lots of visiting. Can’t wait. Tonight: the big event, followed by the big ol’ hairy Grad Night extravaganza (see a few pics below of yesterday’s all-day set up. Oh my.). Can’t wait. Tomorrow, more visiting and a celebration party for Peter. Can’t wait! Sunday, more celebrations, more planned meals, and more visiting. Family departs Sunday evening then.. it might hit. (Maybe… we’ll be turning right around and heading to La Jolla for UCSD’s orientation, followed immediately by Peter & Co’s Hawaii grad trip. Then, maybe it’ll hit.)

But for now… for the next three days, family, celebrations, galas… and lots of photos, you know, in case it’s all too blurry here in graduation central.

Will catch up with all of that in later posts.


For now, this particular ending… the get Peter up for school effort. No more school.. no more this…

Jim’s that parent, the one who is mostly on the front lines of the get up battle. His weapon? The guitar. More mornings than not, it’s the serenade method, and looks like this:


Thank you, yes, I managed to stealthily snap this photo a couple of weeks ago, sensing the end of this lovely, often hilarious ritual.

Hilarious because throughout, Peter is groaning and begging Jim to leave, to come back in one more minute. The relentless chorus. He’s usually unconscious.. I’m not even sure he hears the guitar.

But Jim persists, also relentlessly.

Shit, but I’ll miss that.


So.. you know it’s a huge violation of the tradition of Grad Night secrecy to reveal anything at all about the theme(s) of Grad Night (and its many venues within). I’ve resisted posting pictures in the past about the various elements I’ve come across in this months long Grad Night planning endeavor.

Yesterday was set up day. As soon as the junior high school kids cleared out–their last day of school–the Grad Night set up folks moved in to begin the amazing transformation of Emerson. I was there for about six hours of it.

Being careful not to give up too much…

There must have been a hundred volunteers on hand, in each of two shifts. Volunteers registered in the hospitality room, got name badges and were sent off to their assigned locale. People were running around all over the place in very organized chaos. Experienced crews were there from some of the area’s construction contractor businesses. The Sacramento Theatrical Lighting folks were everywhere. All the set up committees were in their respective places hanging, assembling, stapling, taping, cutting, draping.. on hands and knees, on ladders, on scaffolding, on scissor lifts…

Here’s one of the larger venues.. the casino:


I was asked to purchase a new ping pong table a couple days ago.. last minute need. Jim picked it up for me, delivered it to Emerson, and volunteers worked today to assemble it in the gym, where, after the last of the hypnotist shows, kids can unwind with ping pong and basketball..


I thought the tool check out was well done.


They provided a huge buffet dinner for all the volunteers.. which was nice.. all with donated food. All and all… this is one huge effort.

Here’s the butt of one of the three co-chairs… (speaking of endings..)


Taking Matt, Michael and Heidi over this afternoon for a tour. Grad Night is so big, and the contributions so widespread throughout the community, that touring it before the doors open at 9:30pm for the graduates is a big event in itself.

And at that point I can finally take real pictures.. and will post later. A year’s worth of work on the part of hundreds and hundreds of people… and tens of thousands of dollars in community donations.

Hope it comes off okay… Peter’s stories will tell.