TCHS Alumni News
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Are you OK? San Diego Fires Affect TC Friends
We project that about 350 of our friends and relations plus their families live in the area affected by the current Southern California fires. If you have news affecting TCHS folk, please share it to ease all our minds. (UPDATED 11/4: Also see the Wildfires 2007 album in the Gallery.)

To send news (a) sign in and write a brief news log entry or simply comment on this article; (b) send news via the To The Editor form, designated as a news tip. News stories will be attributed by name and class year, but as always your contact data will be confidential.

We queried the members with SD County zip codes, and a few replies have already come in. We will post any stories we receive.

If you have been affected personally, write and tell us what you need. We will try to hook you up with services. If you can help, tell us that, too.

RC (Updated 10/27; see comments below.)

Photo Album

reesclark60 - Oct 25, 2007, 10:18 AM
Deborah Wykes '84 replied to the editor: My daughter and I live in the Del Mar/Carmel Valley area of San Diego and were evacuated on Monday 10/22/07 but were allowed back into our home on Wednesday 10/24/07. Thankfully we are alive and well and our home survived. Thank you very much for the concern. I have heard from other Temple City Alumni and it is very heart warming to know that my "Temple City family" is still very much a part of my life. My thoughts and prayers go out to any other TC family member touched by the wildfires. Regards, Deborah Wykes
chas307 - Oct 25, 2007, 10:46 AM
My family and I live in Carlsbad. While part of the city was under voluntary evacuations, we sat tight. My wife's brother and kid came up from San Diego late Monday night, but they were able to return late Tuesday. Very smoky and ash is everywhere... we are okay and count our blessings! Thanks TC family for being concerned.
reesclark60 - Oct 25, 2007, 3:46 PM
Updates from the community: Phil Thorndyke: Fortunately, everything at my house is OK. The Witch fire moved 25 miles steadily westward in my direction before wind speeds decreased, and it stopped 4 miles away. If the strong winds had continued, the story would be different. I'll check the TCHS site for news about others. Eric Vossbrink: We live in the Lakeside and we are all well. We did not get a call to evacuate, but the fire came within 5 miles of the house before it stalled. Jess Hudson: The Hudson family along with 500,000 other San Diegans were mandatory evacuated Monday. We boxed up the memorabilia and the ball python, caged the cats, leashed the dogs and when we came back to our house on Wednesday we found all to be okay. I'm very proud of the San Diego people and our local government. Mark Roach Yes, I am OK. I don't believe that there was any damage in the city of Carlsbad. Although our neighborhood was under voluntary evacuation, we never reached the mandatory evacuation stage. As of this time, Thursday afternoon, smoke is still lingering throughout most of San Diego County. We are hoping that the on-shore winds will pickup and blow the smoke out to the deserts to our east. Thank you for checking and I hope that you have received similar news from everyone else in San Diego County. Regards, Mark Roach
reesclark60 - Oct 27, 2007, 12:22 PM
More updates from alumni... Lisa Gonzalez '85: I am ok. Fires did not affect me. It did however hit some friends. I will send more later. Thanks for the wishes! Ron Moon '64: Hi, thanks for your concern. My family was lucky - my wife and I and 2 daughters live close to the witch creek burn area, and 1 daughter in Scripps Ranch area did have to evacuate, but all of our houses were spared. I learned from Gary Gasperino that unfortunately Tom Kaa did lose his home in Rancho Bernardo. Carol Strangman Poole '60 reports that Walt Strangman '61 and family evacuated and returned safely to an undamaged home. Scott Gillett '74: Thanks for thinking of myself and my family. We are fine, lots of smoke but no damage. We were several miles from the fires. We do know several families that lost their homes and some that were lucky and their homes were spared. Wanda Cunningham Bacastow '59: We have had an interesting four days here. The people have been wonderfully helpful to all of us who needed help. I had thirty horses to evacuate from the ranch I have my riding school located. They are all back home now and happy to be home.My riding school students were fantastic and all turned out to do whatever needed being done. All the dogs and cats are awaiting their owners at various kennels and vets offices who donated the space as did the ranches where the horses were taken. The smoke is still very bad so we are mostly all wearing masks. I am so impressed by the generosity of all my wonderful friends and the wonderful strangers who showed up to help. There are lots of very caring people in the area and I am so thankful to them all. We are doing fine and feel deeply for those who lost their homes and lives. We are all thankful for the effforts of all the firefighters who stood in harms way to help us all.
reesclark60 - Oct 29, 2007, 11:21 PM
Corinne "Hutch" Lord '63 writes: Hi Rees, Thanks for the inquiry about the fires down "South." We live in La Mesa in the Rancho San Diego area. The nearest fire was the Harris Fire which began in Potrero, on Sunday, Oct. 21, to the south and east of us. Our older son, Scott, called me just before midnight last Monday night to tell me that the fire had crested the nearby mountain, San Miguel and I should evacuate. I readily agree as my husband is visiting friends and relatives in Mass. now and I'm in charge of my mom, she's 90, and my aunt, who's 87, who both live nearby. So, I called my cousin to see if there was room for us at her "inn", and she said to come on over. Anyway, it took an hour or so to get there as we had to pack clothes, etc., find important papers, photos, etc. (my part), and bring a cat, litter, food, and a dog. We ended up staying at Marty and Chuck's home for 2 days and nights....great accommodations and delicious food and company. Quite a "bonding" time I must say. However, our moms were a bit confused at times and wondered when they could go home. We did come back home late last Wed. night after I checked with a few neighbors. No homes were burned in our area, but other areas were devastated and will take a long time to rebuild. We feel lucky to have just been evacuated and have our families safe too. Chris (Mutter) Gill '68: I was evacuated last week, as was Dan Quinan.('67) We are fine and back at home....thank you for your thoughts and prayers.
jhelmer - Nov 1, 2007, 12:06 PM
Southern California was not only hit with fires in the San Diego area. The hills were ablaze with fire in many areas in Los Angeles County, Orange County and the San Bernardino Mountain communities including Lake Arrowhead and Running Springs. The message board conversation you opened up for comment only included those living in the San Diego area. There are many graduates from TCHS living in all the other fire areas not mentioned. I'd love to hear from those living in all the mountain areas rather than those in recently developed areas in hillside communities.

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