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.