Donnell Redlingshafer

CVHS 1966 Navigation


Recent Changes

All Names

In Memory

What Was It Like?

Do You Remember?

Bad hair and Glasses

Why have a virtual reunion, or The World's Stupidest DJ

CVHS Links


My freshman year - OH MY! I was very little. I was under 4'8" tall. I had hand-me-down clothes or those that mom made for me. I had blonde hair and my dad insisted that I keep my hemlines BELOW the knee. I walked to school and in the winter I wore a scarf over my head and a coat that mom had cut down from one of my grandmother's. It all added up to a very insecure, mousy girl whom one of the English teachers said reminded him of a "babushka". I was brainy enough to be in the speed reading class offered to our "advanced" students.

The popular, tall, good-looking, out-going students never gave me a second glance. My best friends were Sharan Duncan and Vanessa (oops old age, drew a blank on her last name). Both were also rather mousy and a little pudgy for the day and age. Lunch and class changes were always fraught with tension.

I LOVED to SING! Anything, anytime, anywhere and was known for humming in class. Drove the math teachers nuts. You could find me in any choral group that had an opening. I also played second violin in the orchestra near Paul St. John.

Sophomore year - not much better, personality wise. Friends were still the same. Still in all choral groups and orchestra. I think this was the year that I was allowed to participate in an independent study and I read ALL of John Steinbeck's works and discussed them with an advisor. I liked Cannery Row and Tortilla Flat the best. I was selected for Vocalaires.

Junior year - everyone else was taking driving classes, but I couldn't reach the clutch. So I didn't take Driver's Ed until the summer after. I remember reading Dostoevsky - The Brothers Karamazov - And writing my book report in just two days. Mom was on my case about that one. That summer was also the Senior Picture time and I cut my long hair about two days later.

Senior year - Lots of fun. Remember the sunburns at the Senior Picnic? Mine was peeling - an ugly site when put up next to our bright red dresses in Vocalaires. My date for the Prom was Paul St. John, Dave Russell went with Vanessa and Sharon went with the tall guy, Ha____. (Boy, it's bad when your memory goes!) We went to Golden State Park after the Prom and had a chicken dinner picnic, followed by the premier of Sound of Music. Great Fun!

Now, I have never resented the confident, popular crowd - most of them were very nice to the rest of us nerds and mouses. I particularly remember Margaret Hazeltine as being exceptionally nice. But looking back, you just don't realize what else is going on in those little teen brains. In my own family, we had very little money and my dad is an alcoholic. I was the oldest of five children - a sister born while I was in high school and a brother born when I attended college - and the only one that my father hit on a regular basis. I was always baby-sitting. Mom didn't drive, so I rode my bike everywhere and later was the family chauffeur. I escaped by joining the Air Force and have only been home about six times since 1969 for very brief visits. My folks are still living in Concord and my siblings all live near Sacramento.

Problems, comments or complaints? Need an opinion? Send E-mail to:
This page updated: June 20, 2014