header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
November 27
1941 - Funeral for "our" Remi Nadeau, whose Canyon Country deer park became North Oaks [story]
Remi Nadeau

| Tuesday, Sep 26, 2017
Carrie Love photographs members of the Class of 1977 for the memory book. Photos by Michele E. Buttelman.

Members of Hart High’s Class of 1977 gathered Saturday evening at the Embassy Suites in Valencia to celebrate their 40th high school reunion.

Nearly 130 students of the 640-member class attended from as far away as Florida, North Carolina and locations across the United States.

Guests lined up to get professional portraits taken at the event, which featured a buffet dinner, a DJ and a memory-filled slide show.

David Leathers, now living in the Pacific Northwest and a member of the reunion committee, said the 640-member class was the largest in Hart’s history at the time. Hart High School opened in 1945.

“There were only three grades attending Hart in 1977 – sophomores, juniors and seniors,” Leathers said. “Freshmen did not attend Hart High until the year after we graduated.”

Leathers said the Class of 1977 was a “close-knit and spirited group.”

“I remember that the band, drill team and flag team went to Hawaii one summer and won their competitions,” he said.

Left: Dave Leathers, student. Right: Bob Babko, teacher.

Among his favorite teachers were Bob Babko, the choir director, and Larry Thornton, the band teacher.

“I was a drum major in high school,” Leathers said.

In 1977, a postage stamp cost 13 cents, a loaf of bread was 32 cents and milk was $1.44 a gallon.

Gas sold for 65 cents per gallon, and the average price of a car was $4,317. The average income was $10,360, and the average home cost $58,473.

Scott Brown, now of Saugus, has attended every reunion of the Class of 1977 – the 10th, 20th, 30th, 35th and 40th.

The Hart High School Class of 1977 Reunion Committee: Matthew Woods, Cindy Gordon, Elisa Abernathy Ptachick, Cynthia Kloth Knotts, David Leathers and Susan Calderon Armour.

“I enjoy seeing everyone at these reunions,” he said. “I remember how much smaller Santa Clarita was. The town has grown so much since we graduated.”

Cynthia Kloth Knotts said the Class of 1977 was unique.

“This class is made up of a bunch of spectacular individuals,” she said. “We share in each other’s triumphs and sorrows and are all glad to see another day.”

Event DJ Alan Reno of Santa Clarita said he created a playlist for the event that featured music from the 1970s. Neil Diamond, the Steve Miller Band, the Eagles and a host of memorable tunes such as Rupert Holmes and “Escape” (The Pina Colada Song) and Michael Martin Murphey’s “Wildfire” played softly in the banquet room.

“I notice that at many of these reunions, many people don’t want to dance. People want to talk and get reacquainted,” Reno said. “I try to keep the music at a level where people can talk.”

Major news stories from 1977 included: The first “Star Wars” movie opens in cinemas; the first Apple II computers go on sale; the TV miniseries “Roots” is aired; first commercial flight of the Concord; Elvis Presley dies at age 42; first space shuttle test flight; the World Trade Center is completed; the Alaskan oil pipeline is completed; and the New York City blackout lasts for 25 hours.

Guests get their portraits taken for the memory book.

Class member Jerry Danielsen, a composer, musician, producer and poet who lives in Canyon Country, said he remembers 1977 as a culturally significant year.

Danielsen said he remains friends with a group of people he first met at Hart.

“We were musicians and poets, artsy people,” he said. “At Hart, there was a place called the teepee, but we called it the pyramid, and at lunchtime we would meet there with our guitars and we’d play songs and write music and hang out. That group of people I’ve never lost touch with.”

Among his favorite teachers was Mr. Dickinson, who taught a Shakespeare class.

“We were the largest class to graduate from Hart. They held our graduation at College of the Canyons,” he said.

A teacher he befriended after high school, Richard Weekly, taught creative communications.

“We started a poetry magazine together and a publishing company,” said Danielsen.

“I liked him as a teacher, but after high school we became close friends.”

Danielsen he enjoys the reunions because “we’ve all gotten older and we now have all blended. It didn’t matter if you were a cheerleader or whatever. It is so different from high school, which is such an awkward time when you’re trying to find out who you are.”

Elisa Abernathy Ptachick, chair of the reunion committee and a resident of Minnesota and Florida, gets emotional when she thinks of the good friends she made in high school.

Kelly Montana, now of Scottsdale, Ariz., checks out the gift baskets

“We had an amazing class. So many of us are still very close,” she said. “Typically, we have the largest reunions of the classes before us and after us. When we were young, five of us were best friends, and we are still best friends.

Class member Kelly Montana said her favorite memory of Hart High was sports.

“I loved the sports. We had a lot of support,” she said.

Montana was the quarterback of the school’s girls flag football team.

“We played one game a year, and it was with Canyon High,” she said. “I was the quarterback and we won. So, it was bragging rights.”

Montana started at Hart High after missing her 8th grade school year.

“I still can’t do Roman numerals, and I don’t know anything about mythology,” Montana quipped.

Her grandfather was Agua Dulce’s own Montie Montana, a famous rodeo rider, trick roper, actor, stuntman and cowboy who rode each year in the Tournament of Roses Parade until his death in in 1998. He appeared in the parade 60 times, waving to the crowd from his silver saddle.

Kelly Montana said that as a child, she traveled “a lot” with her family, and it caused her to miss a great deal of school.

Math teacher Don Lund

“We traveled a lot and performed a lot, so I got behind in school,” she said.

She said her favorite teacher was Don Lund (math).

“He was very influential in my life. When I first started at Hart, I hadn’t been in school for a while, and he helped me get the confidence to think that maybe I could do well,” she said.

Montana now lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., and has her own company as a golf and fitness instructor.

“I came to the reunion because I enjoy the people,” she said. “We are the same age, the same generation, and we share a lot of the same memories. There are a lot of interesting stories after 40 years.”

Matthew Woods, a reunion committee member who lives in Temecula, played water polo in high school. He said he enjoys the high school reunions as a chance to reconnect with people from his youth.

“I remember how well everyone got along in high school. Most of us who attend these reunions weren’t necessarily that connected in high school,” he said. “We have such a good time at these reunions. Life is so much different now. The world is so much different. But what I remember is everyone hanging out in the quad and getting along.”


Guests check in for the 40th reunion of the Hart High Class of 1977.


Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.


You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment

Related Content
Wednesday, Nov 24, 2021
As part of an ongoing effort to help students recover from learning loss, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond will host a town hall to spotlight best practices and secure new ideas to support literacy and biliteracy goals.
Tuesday, Nov 23, 2021
The Valencia High School Marching Band and Color Guard competed in the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA) Field Show Championships on Saturday, Nov. 20.
Friday, Nov 19, 2021
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond on Friday announced the formation of an ad hoc committee that will be charged with making recommendations to expand the availability of gender neutral bathrooms on California school campuses.
Wednesday, Nov 17, 2021
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond held a virtual press conference  Nov. 17,  to announce the integration of a host of programs and strategies to help transform education in California schools as well as student and family supports.
Friday, Nov 12, 2021
The Santa Clarita branch of the NAACP is proud to announce and present seven scholarships for Black/African American students residing in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1941 - Funeral for "our" Remi Nadeau, whose Canyon Country deer park became North Oaks [story]
Remi Nadeau
Volunteers are needed to help make fresh garland and vintage-style decorations for the Antelope Valley Indian Museum in preparation for Holidays on the Homestead.
Antelope Valley Indian Museum Looking for Volunteers to Decorate for the Holidays
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials confirmed Friday 29 new deaths and 2,073 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 38,955 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday COVID Roundup: County Releases Data from the Last 7 Days
Find something for everyone at the various events happening in Santa Clarita this holiday season including Six Flags Magic Mountain's magical winter experience, an international film festival and holiday shows.
City Highlights Activities for Holiday Fun in Santa Clarita
The city of Santa Clarita's Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission will hold its Regular Meeting Thursday, Dec. 2, at 6:00 p.m.
Dec. 2: Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission Regular Meeting
1916 - A score of Wobblies bust up Newhall Jail after commandeering SP freight train [story]
Wobblies logo
The Antelope Valley Indian Museum announced it will host the 10th annual Holidays on the Homestead celebration on Saturday, Dec, 4 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Dec. 4: Antelope Valley Indian Museum Invites All to 10th Annual ‘Holidays on the Homestead’
Every November in honor of National Family Caregiver Month, Los Angeles County Department Of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS) recognizes the important role of Los Angeles County's caregivers who provide essential care, support and medical assistance to older and dependent adults.
WDACS Celebrates Caregivers in LA County
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health shared how to avoid foodborne illness, also known as food poisoning, with families celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday.
Public Health Shares Safe Food Preparation Tips for the Holidays
The Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management announced it will be on high alert due to the potential of very strong winds and fire weather conditions that will impact much of our County through Friday morning.
County Residents Urged to Stay Vigilant as Strong Winds, Fire Weather Forecasted
Just in time for this Thanksgiving holiday, Samuel Dixon Family Health Center, Inc., in partnership with Christy Smith and Grocery Outlet, donated turkeys, mashed potatoes, corn, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, green beans and additional non-perishables for their annual Thanksgiving Dinner Event on Tuesday, Nov. 23.
Samuel Dixon Family Health Center Shares Thanksgiving Dinners to Families in Need
1875 - Vasquez lieutenant Clodoveo Chavez reportedly killed by bounty hunters in Arizona Territory [story]
Clodoveo Chavez story
The season of giving is here, and the Department of Public Social Services  is encouraging the public to consider sponsoring a family as part of its annual holiday Adopt-A-Family Program benefiting low-income families throughout the County of Los Angeles.
Social Services Urges Others to ‘Adopt-A-Family’
It’s time to clean our closets for charity and support the Flair Cleaners 19th Annual Holiday Clothing and Shoe Drive Nov. 26 through Dec. 31, 2021.
Flair Cleaners Holiday Clothing Drive Returns for 19th Year
Princess Cruises, the Santa Clarita based cruise line, is announcing new Oceanic destinations, including their longest ever World Cruise.
Princess Cruises Announces New Oceanic Cruises and Beyond
As part of an ongoing effort to help students recover from learning loss, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond will host a town hall to spotlight best practices and secure new ideas to support literacy and biliteracy goals.
State Superintendent to Highlight Best Practices to Support Literacy
The College of the Canyons music department will present its fall “Electronica Musique” show on Tuesday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. at the Black Box Theater.
COC Music Presents Fall Electronica Concert
2003 - Ruth Newhall, longtime co-owner/editor of The Signal, dies in Berkeley [story]
Ruth Newhall
College of the Canyons freshman Danielle Salcedo ran down history on Saturday, clocking a program-record time of 17.54.9 on the 5K course at Woodward Park to become the first California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Women’s Cross Country Individual State Champion in school history.
Danielle Salcedo First CCCAA Individual State Champ in COC Women’s XC History
Los Angeles County, in partnership with the National Development Council, announced that it has extended the application deadline for its small business rent relief grant project to Sunday, Nov. 28.
County Extends Application Deadline for Small Business Rent Relief Grant Project
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials confirmed Tuesday 29 new deaths and 725 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 38,802 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Tuesday COVID Roundup: Public Health Notes Vaccination Disparities Among Children 5 to 11
The Los Angeles County Health Officer issued a Cold Weather Alert for the Santa Clarita Valley and Antelope Valley due to the National Weather Service’s forecast for low temperatures with wind chill temperatures expected to be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Nov. 24: Cold Weather Alert Issued for SCV, AV
The California Highway Patrol reminds everyone to put safety ahead of turkey and trimmings this Thanksgiving as it kicks off its annual Maximum Enforcement Period beginning Wednesday, Nov. 24 through Sunday, Nov. 28.
CHP to Kick off Maximum Enforcement Period During Thanksgiving Weekend
%d bloggers like this: