Anaheim High School alumni holds breakfast

Some of the more "senior" Anaheim High School alumni gathered for a photo opportunity at the Jagerhaus Restaurant during the monthly breakfast Saturday. Pictured from left are Don Schilling, 85, class of 1950; Janet Vincent-Watters, 84, class of 1951; Jeanette Van Delden, 99, class of 1936; Bonne Van Delden-Stevens, 80, class of 1955; JoAn Burdick-Gottlieb, 83, class of 1951 who was the school's drum majorette; Fina Cruz, 76, class of 1959 and Danny Youngkeit, 84, class of 1951 who was a trombonist all of the years Burdick-Gottlieb was the majorette. Youngkeit said during WWII he was the 'Downtown Anaheim Bulletin' paperboy. "I ran in between cars to sell newspapers and my dad was the 'Downtown Anaheim policeman' who wrote tickets when people parked too long, so we knew 'Old Anaheim' quite well as we walked the streets together, my dad, Herman, in a uniform who was also the 'Anaheim gas lamp lighter.' JoAn and I marched in the Rose Parade together four times and we marched in the Hollywood Christmas Parade twice," he said, explaining that they also played at all of the football games and some basketball games.

Anaheim High School alumni holds breakfast

Tradition continues

By Loreen Berlin

Anaheim High School Alumni stick together by meeting for breakfast each month at the Jagerhaus Restaurant.

And just as Anaheim was settled by immigrant Germans who entered the U.S. through Ellis Island, Jagerhaus is an authentic German restaurant, with Anaheim also having a unique German agricultural and citrus history.

Some of the Anaheim residents have known each other since Kindergarten; some as far back as  1938 – that’s 80 years.

Times have changed; at first the breakfast was for men only, but years later it began to include a small group of four brave women who ventured out to attend and it has grown since then with women who wanted to have a say in their community, along with the men, to make it an even better place.

Some of the more “senior” members of the breakfast group are in their late 70s, to mid 80s; 95 and two are 99 but that doesn’t stop them from keeping their hand on the pulse of the City of Anaheim through the Anaheim Alumni group.

The monthly breakfast first includes joining each other for good food and conversation, then announcements of anything happening in the City that all should know about and there’s always a drawing for gifts donated by members.

Some of the topics brought up at the breakfast included information about a “Servathon” by the Anaheim High School Athletic Director Alfonso Rodriguez, which is coming up Monday, Jan. 15, at 9 a.m.

“Athletic programs will meet at local elementary schools along with high school athletes and students will clean the streets en-route to Anaheim High School,” he said. “Our Winter Sports have begun and they are preparing for League Play starting the week of Jan. 8 through12, with wrestling looking to defend their League Championship. Boys Soccer is looking to compete and be ranked in the top-10 in the County and Girl’s Basketball is undefeated and ranked number-one in their Division.”

Ryan Ruelas, who is a history teacher and was named “Teacher of the Year,” serves on the Anaheim Elementary School Board as president and is founder of “BROS” that helps young people have direction in their life where he’s credited with having mentored hundreds of students. He spoke, praising Senator Lou Correa’s “Young Senators Program” that helps young people. “I’m excited about the things that are happening at Anaheim High School,” he said.

Nancy Ramos with the Boosters Club announced a Feb. 3 Casino Night by the Anaheim High School Band and Pageantry Parent Boosters. “This is not an Anaheim High School-sponsored event,” she said.

At the Casino Night there will be two Blackjack tables, a Craps table and Texas Hold ‘em and Roulette tables.

The evening includes dinner, non-alcoholic drinks, live music by “Conjunto Ruizsenor;” opportunity drawings and a silent auction. Pre-sale tickets before Friday, Jan. 19, are $40 per person and $50 at the door, with proceeds benefitting students of the AHS Band and Pageantry groups.

For Casino ticket information, call 714-335-9640 or e-mail
The next  big event after that is the “9th Annual Golf Classic” fundraiser, Monday, Feb. 19, where many alumni who participate have been professional coaches for the NFL, etc.

The Golf Classic is at Western Hills Country Club and begins in the morning, ending up with an afternoon lunch at 1:30 p.m., where trophies will be presented.
Start time is 9 a.m., with registration beginning at 7:30 a.m. and a putting contest from 7:30-8:30 a.m. Bidding on various auction items begins at 12:30 p.m., when non-golfers are welcome to arrive. The day of golf includes contests, awards, goodie bags, a continental breakfast, beverages, an auction, and an opportunity drawing, as well as fun for all participants including non-golfers and event volunteers.
For Golf Classic information, call Chairman Phil Anton at 714-815-9562 or email
There’s an “early-bird” price and all proceeds from the event go toward scholarships, school programs and preservation projects. Thanks to support from the Anaheim High Alumni, friends and family, more than $150,000 has been donated to Anaheim High School.

JoAn Burdick-Gottlieb was born and raised in Anaheim and is a wealth of historical information; below are her thoughts on Anaheim:

“The year 1938 is when the dam broke in Anaheim and we experienced a major flood that came into many of the homes and some of us even sat on top of our roofs for safety,” said Burdick-Gottlieb, a graduate of 1951.
Burdick-Gottlieb said they each attended different grade schools, then all came together in 7th grade at Fremont Junior High School and remained friends through their 12th grade.
In 2001 at their 50th high school reunion, students found each other once again, having gone in many directions after graduation.

“I have seen Anaheim move from a sleepy agriculture town that was founded by German immigrants who planted  grape orchards and settled the town until the vines became blighted,” she said. “Then, orange and walnut groves were planted and thrived and were mature when we were children.”
Burdick-Gottlieb said she remembers milk being delivered in glass bottles by the milk man and that the ice man brought blocks of ice for their ice boxes. “In grade school most of us didn’t have electric refrigerators and our mothers baked bread and made pies and cakes from scratch; they did washing with a ringer washer and hung clothes on the line as there weren’t electric dryers yet,” she shared.

“Our moms and aunts also made most of our clothes and our shoes were leather, so when the soles wore thin, our parents took the shoes to the Hoffman family Shoe Repair on Center Street to have the soles replaced.”

She said many families raised rabbits and chickens and had gardens that children helped the family take care of.

Something we take for granted these days are telephones; most are cell phones now.
However, back then, the largest part of the population didn’t have  telephones as they were born after the Stock Market Crash of 1929; “We were raised during the depression years,” said Burdick-Gottlieb.
“Many parents didn’t have regular employment but they never complained. We loved going to the park and having picnics or swimming in the Anaheim City Park Plunge during the summers,” she continued.

Burdick-Gottlieb shares more of her early life:

“Franklin Delano Roosevelt was our President and we remember when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941, which started World War  II. The homes had to have black-out curtains at the windows and there were no street lights allowed and all families had ration books for butter, meat and sugar, and gasoline was rationed also.
If we missed school, the school nurse, Miss Price, would knock on our door and ask if we were alright; if we had measles, mumps, or chicken pox she would nail a quarantine note on our house and not let us go out and contaminate others.
Television was not available nor even heard of but we all had radios to listen to ‘The Lone Ranger’ and ‘Jack Armstrong – the All American Boy.’

Families kept abreast of the  news of the day and war events via newspapers and radio. We saw the steam engines replaced by the first stream liners followed by helicopters and our parent saw to it that the family attended church and we started school daily saying the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by singing ‘God Bless  America’ or ‘America the Beautiful’ and some mornings after the pledge we sang the National Anthem.

We are the group that remembers when friends came to school and told us that their orange groves were being sold to Walt Disney as there soon would be a ‘Wonderland’ built, called ‘Disneyland.’

We saw our little town grow from less than 10,000 in population to the present day of more than 400,000 residents, according to the Family Justice Center in Anaheim.
We saw Knott’s Berry Farm bloom and many of us worked for Knott’s as Junior Hostesses in Mrs. Knott’s Chicken restaurant, or helping in Ghost Town, or as a waitress or, for myself, as one of the first  Can-Can dancers at Knott’s Berry Farm.

We didn’t have to worry about  being out late or walking home alone, as Anaheim was a very safe town. We looked forward to and enjoyed the two annual Halloween Parades, one for the grade-school students to dress up and march through town on Friday afternoon, and the big night parade on Saturday evening that drew crowds of more than 150,000 people.

We raised our children and most of us have grandchildren; some even have great grandchildren and we’re very patriotic, having pride in our “walk” through the years, knowing the history of Anaheim and its pioneers.

We’ve seen many changes and miss the old town that was taken down with promises of being rebuilt but that never happened. Time moves faster, we have found, as the years roll on but we keep in touch with our Alma mater Anaheim High School as we support our Colonists and continue to meet the first Saturday of  each month from 8 to 10 a.m. for an all-class buffet breakfast at the German Jagerhaus Restaurant, 2525 E. Ball Rd., in Anaheim. Cost is $13 per person.

Our alumni group is registered as non-profit and we continue to raise funds by having an annual Colonist Car Show each October, along with  our annual golf tournament and lunch coming up in February. Over the years we have raised and donated more than $100 thousand dollars to support students and annually give scholarships to outstanding seniors. Also, we’re breaking ground in March for a swimming pool, as the original pool has needed repairs for 15 years.
‘Once a Colonist, always a Colonist.’”

For information about the Alumni breakfasts,  contact Geri McGuff  at or call JoAn Burdick-Gottlieb, class of 1951, at 714-774-5328 and verbally leave a telephone number to receive a return call.


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