The mighty Tigers’ class of ’78 with approximately 120 people in attendance, took over the Library Plaza in San Fernando last Saturday night, Aug. 26, to celebrate its 45th year graduating from San Fernando High School. The last reunion was 10 years ago. As people checked in, those in the class were handed name tags to clip on their clothing that included a copy of their high school senior picture – a welcomed surprise that sparked conversations about the good old days.
When the music started, the revelers danced the night away under a cloudless sky to the tunes of Tina Marie, Rick James, Wild Cherry, and other ‘70s artists played by DJ Dave Bernal and accompanied by percussionist Denise Zavala, whom some on the dance floor likened to Sheila E due to her prowess on the drums. When attendees were not dancing or visiting with one another, they were taking pictures in front of a giant image of a Tiger lit to give it a glowing effect and also posing with the Tiger mascot, who was played by the 23-year-old grandson of Christy Delgado, one of the evening’s organizers.
In a tribute to classmates who have passed, the tree at the center of the plaza bore 27 names written on heart-shaped cutouts tied to its branches that were also strung with lights.
The entertainment continued when Chanel Pepper, a fire dancer, amazed the crowd while she danced to Light My Fire, twirling lit batons, fire eating and breathing. She finished her set spinning a large lit hoop to Fire by the Ohio Players playing in the background. The crowd that had been boisterous throughout the night suddenly fell silent as they watched her manipulate fire. Later a few in the crowd were overhead saying that they were worried that nearby trees or umbrellas might catch on fire. But the only thing that caught fire that night was the spirit of camaraderie, fellowship and a longing for another reunion.