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Saturday, January 14, 2017

John Baker Memorial and Hawthorne

It had been a while since I was last in Hawthorne, California. The last time I was there was when I picked up Sierra from the animal shelter back in 2015.

It had been even longer since I was last in the area of Hawthorne where I lived. But today I went to Hawthorne to attend the celebration of life memorial for Cougartown's John Baker, who passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at home.

Above, the gathering for John Baker at the Hawthorne VFW. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

About 300 friends and family members attended the memorial at the Hawthorne VFW hall. There were some tears, but primarily, it was people telling happy remembrances of John Baker. The celebration included a slide show.

Above, the Hawthorne VFW. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Cougartown, the Hawthorne High School alumni website, was started by Baker in 1999. There was one very well-received announcement made: the Cougartown website will continue! It will be going full throttle "once the dust settles".

I briefly visited with friends Linda Huthmaker and Larry Bach.

Above, with Wayne Dickey (class of 1969). Photo by Dennis Kilroy.

After leaving the memorial, I decided to cruise around to see a few of my former "haunts".

The first was a drive-by of my former residence on 129th Street:

Next, a cruise by Hawthorne High School. It looks vastly different than when I attended there.

After this, I went down to Hawthorne Blvd. There's not too many businesses that operated there during the days I lived in Hawthorne, but one place that is familiar and still in business is Phil's Bike Shop.

Here's Phil's Bike Shop across the street:

After my little tour, I stopped by at a friend Les's house. Fortunately, he was home at the time. We had a very pleasant visit.

Then, it was fighting heavy traffic as I made my way back to the San Fernando Valley.

Photos of John Baker's Celebration of Life can be found here.

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