It was the summer of Woodstock, Charles Manson and man landing on the moon. At the beginning of that summer the class of 1969 became the largest class to graduate from Porterville High School.

It would also go on to become one of the most accomplished classes ever from PHS.

The class of 1969 is getting ready for its 50th year reunion to be held October 4 and 5. Among the professions represented in the class are registered nurses, psychiatric technicians, teachers, college professors, authors, artists, business leaders, attorneys, pilots, secretaries, accountants, bank tellers, investment counselors, landscapers, photographers, ranchers and farmers.

There’s Leron Gubler, who served as the president and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, for more than 26 years before retiring at the end of 2018. He was the longest-serving CEO in the history of the Chamber in its nearly 100-year history. 

Gubler is credited with stabilizing the once troubled Chamber. He served as the emcee for the Hollywood Walk of Fame for more than 10 years, taking over after the death of longtime Hollywood Mayor Johnny Grant.

Gubler emceed 300 Walk of Fame ceremonies and participated in more than 600 Walk of Fame ceremonies.

He also initiated the Hollywood Chamber Community Foundation wwhich raised $900,000 to assist Hollywood nonprofit organizations. He also helped create the Hollywood Chamber Political Action Committee and launched the State of the Entertainment Industry Conference.

Another member of the PHS class of 1969 is Anthony Barcellos, a math professor at UC Davis. 

There’s also international artist Susie Lusk Chauvel and award-winning children’s book author M.U. Salas-Tristan. Another artist is Bethany Phillips, who has also been a teacher for more than 30 years.

Other prominent alumni include George Gutierrez, owner of El Tapatio Restaurant; Phil Dulay, chef at River Island; and Ron Peters, builder of cars for celebrities and professional athletes.

Speaking of cars, Jerry Holliman will have his 1968 Shelby at the reunion. Holliman is retired after working for more than 40 years with the Porterville Irrigation District.

In addition there’s Dalia Burgueno, who attended Cambridge University and taught in Mazatlan, Mexico for 25 years.

And of course the PHS Class of 1969 had its share of outstanding athletes. It included Steve Brown, who went on to be a consensus All-American linebacker in football at Oregon State. 

Brown is a member of the Oregon State and PHS Athletic Halls of Fame. He also went on to become an accomplished businessman, teacher and coach in his own right.

There’s also Harlace Wallace, an outstanding wrestler at PHS, who owns Wallace Towing. And Doyle Nelms, who set the school record in the shot put.

The PHS Class of 1969 was obviously touched by the Vietnam War. John “Angel” Garza and Timothy Fewell, two members of the class, died in Vietnam. Other Vietnam veterans from the class include Roger Hamilton.

The PHS Class of 1969 reunion will include a meet and gret hosted by Mike and Irene (Stewart) Cline at the Laux residence from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, October 4.

On Saturday, October 5, the reunion will continue from 5 to 11 p.m. at Nuckols Ranch. Sign in, pictures, appetizers and a no host bar will be from 5 to 6 p.m.

Dinner, door prizes and tribute to those from the class who have died will be at 6:30 p.m. From 8 to 11 p.m. the music of The Long Riders will be featured.

For more information, contact Cheryll Web Bouzek, or 408-667-6722.

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