Doreen O’Donnell McClurg
After graduation I commuted to San Francisco State for two years, transferring to Chico
State for the last two years, student teaching in Weaverville, CA. The spring after
graduating from college, in 1965, John McClurg and I decided that marrying oneʼs best
friend was a pretty good idea. Over 45 years later we still think so. John had spent two
summers, along with Craig Arnot, working in Lassen National Forest. Both of our
experiences in the North State led us to set our sights on settling in Northern California
as soon as there was an opportunity -------yes, I know those who live in the Bay Area
believe that they are in Northern California.
We built our own home in 1974, as in using our own hammer and nails. Johnʼs previous
construction experience was a dog house and some bookcases, mine was none. Of
course, as is the way with houses, it seems to be an ongoing project. John is now into
making cabinets as we reorganize.
We retired from education in 2002, John after teaching thirty-three years at Weaverville
Elementary School and thirty-seven in all. I ended with the last ten years as a Reading
Specialist at Weaverville Elementary. While raising our two daughters, I reinvented my
professional self in a variety of part-time educational positions, the most divergent was
facilitating a computer assisted GED/Career Counseling project for inmates at the
county jail, what I refer to as, “The year I spent in jail”.
Over the years, we have hosted high school foreign exchange students from the
American Field Service, AFS, program; Rotary Exchange, and Lions summer exchange
program. When I worked at the high school career center for several years I was
advisor to the AFS student program. It took us until our children were in college before
we traveled out of the country. What a treat to visit an exchange student in their own
home setting! The two great adventures that John and I have shared (other than raising
our girls) were: spending six weeks riding over 800 miles on our bikes exploring Ireland
and spending another six weeks exploring the Yucatan, in an old VW bug, climbing
every ruin, large and small, both dreams held for over 30-40 years.
Much of our travel today is centered around connecting with family. Our older daughter
and family, two grandchildren, live in Anchorage, Alaska. We use our Alaska Airlines
credit card frequent flyer miles and companion fares regularly. Our younger daughter
has recently moved to L.A., so I guess we are about to become more acquainted with
the southern part of our state.
Looking back on our high school experience I realize how much we have to be grateful
for. We had outstanding teachers, an amazing course offering-------college prep,
business, shop---all strong. John frequently uses his drafting training for our home
projects. I have been ever grateful for Miss Murtaughʼs English class------none of us had
to take the bone-head class in college. We were lucky to have Mr. Friendʼs summer
World History seminar class the summer before he went on sabbatical and how many
high schools had the fantastic visual and performing art programs that were available to
us? It was also a period of time when, even though we all felt the insecurities of the
teen-age angst, we basically felt safe and were surrounded by a fine group of peers with
whom I am looking forward to becoming reacquainted.