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A San Clemente High School graduate stands for recognition during commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2008, on Wednesday, June 18, 2008. 

 

 

 

If I remember right, “All Hail San Clemente”, is the anthem of San Clemente High School; all my brothers and sisters will have sung it at one time or another.  The only part I remember is the first part and how the cheerleaders sang it, arm in arm, swaying back and forth, with hands raised high in some kind of peace sign, beginning with the index finger.  It has a tune that I would know if I heard it but strangely, like the pledge of allegiance, I couldn’t sing it alone with a knife to my throat.

 

 

 “…The only part I remember is the first part and how the cheerleaders sang it, arm in arm, swaying back and forth, with hands raised high in some kind of peace sign…”

 

 

 

 I shot the graduation for San Clemente High School today for the Orange County Register and the Sun Post News, and on the same field that I graduated on in 1982.  I was expecting more of an odd feeling of Déjà vu but it didn’t come.  At the moment I write this I am waiting for my photos to download so I can process them and get them to the photo desk at the paper and they can get them on the website. 

 

 

 

 

 

A San Clemente High School faculty member announces the next graduate for the class of 2008.

 

“…If it wasn’t for President Nixon and some wayward and awed Rose Bowl stragglers, we would be as alone as any other small Podunk American small town…”

 

 

 

San Clemente is a town. A place and a people that won’t hit you like a great song on the radio after a great day at work or on the way home in the car from the beach; it isn’t like some kind of nationally shared movie moment of  teary emotion, sight and sound.  We don’t make cars or appliances in San Clemente and it’s not a farming community where there is that corn on the cob and  four H ribbon of a solid “I am America” feeling, either.  It is something that plays itself alone to each person that was born here and is often the case, those that were not born here but live her feel it the strongest.  If it wasn’t for President Nixon and some wayward and awed Rose Bowl stragglers, we would be as alone as any other small Podunk American small town.

 

 

 A San Clemente High School, Class of 2008, graduate proudly recieves his diploma on Wednesday, June 18, 2008.

How do you explain it?  The only thing I can say is that it has to be a combination of many things, all put together, in one package that changes, ever so slightly, from one person to another.  I think that this is what it must be for every town and community at this time of year as they release their youth to the streams that will eventually lead to that really big ocean that is the world. 

 

“…I had a good time but I didn’t break through any journalistic barriers or force fields like some kind of Captain Kirk…”

 

We might ask, if like salmon, they will return instinctively to where they were born.  I don’t know and I don’t think it matters.  They are free but then, when they taste again the

waters of their youth, they will know they are home and where they began; it will be up to them whether they stay or not.

 

I shot all the standard shots today and as I took them, I knew I had them.  The group shot, the solo pensive shot…the buddies shot and the girlfriend shot…the head and shoulders, above the rest shot, the hug shot, the confident, the nervous and the “…OMG…What am I gonna do now, shot…”.   I could have left a lot sooner than I did.  I wanted to get the whole story, from start to finish.  I had a good time but I didn’t break through any journalistic barriers or force fields like some kind of Captain Kirk.  “Standard/Standard” as they say.  “Standard/Standard”…at least within the city limits of this town;  it is what it is.  Maybe you have to be from here to know exactly what that means but, I don’t think so.  “All Hail San Clemente…” oh yeah, I just remembered the next line:

 

“…We Pledge Our Loyalty…”

 

 

San Clemente High School, Class of 2008.

 

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/slide-show-celebration-2072821-time-for-san-clemente-high-grads#slComments

 

 

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Ryan Moore(second from left)leads the clean up of the \

 When I was coming down the freeway on Sunday afternoon, southbound, I saw the big “SC” was a little brighter there on the hill above the football field.  A closer look revealed 6 or 7 people grouped around it in the midst of repair and cleanup.  It was late and I wanted to go home although I saw the obvious photo brewing above Thalahassa field. 

 

I pulled off the freeway and wound my way to the old Ole Hanson Elementary parking lot and made my way to where I best thought I could get to where they were working.  Hoping that I wouldn’t arrive just in time to see them getting in their cars to go home, I was relieved to see they were still hard at work.

 

I climbed down and shot some photos as I came up but the letters are much larger than you would think and I found the shots I had taken were little anti-climatic.  Never the less, the clean-up and painting looks great and just in time for graduation next week.

 

Ryan Moore (second from left), a San Clemente High School freshman has made the spruce up of the letters, his Eagle Scout project.  He was there with his twin brother and a few pals, in addition to mom and dad and another parent.  They had photos of before and during and really it’s been a lot of work.  The letters not only needed painting but some structural cement work as well.  They had weeded as well and the final phase will be to plant something like iceplant around it to highlight it even more.  They had a yearbook as reference and were commenting on what the original story was behind the letters.

 

I don’t have the details on the letters but I seem to remember from my brother’s yearbook (class of 1968) a photo of all the sports team captains arranged around the letters in all their rayban glory.  I thought to arrange the guys in something similar but then the way the lined up looked more natural and so we went with it.  As an alumnus of SCHS, it was fun to see their spirit and dedication to the project.

 

I got home and sent the photo with info to Fred Sweggles, the main reporter for the Sun Post News.  I’m freelance and so unless I am assigned a shoot, I don’t know if it will be in or not, but then shooting spot news like this is encouraged.  It didn’t go up on the web but then when I got the paper this morning it was on the 6th page or so.

 

When I was leaving, the afternoon was giving way to evening, shadows were softening and arms were tired.  I wondered how many total graduates SCHS has turned out over the years.  I think my class, 1982, was something like 365 but I can’t remember.   It’s probably the only club I belong to.

 

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