Eva Ybarra is still using her administrative skills to organize the ladies who worked together in the bilingual office in the G Building of the old Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) on Grand Avenue. All but one have retired from positions as school administrators.
It wasn’t easy for me to park in the Americana complex in Glendale and then find my way on an especially hot October afternoon to our meeting place in the Granville Restaurant. I might not have even agreed to meet for lunch on a busy Saturday, if Eva had not been so generous in her support of my book. She had ordered four copies from Barnes and Noble Books, I reminded myself as I trudged over the tracks, in uncomfortable shoes in search of the eatery.
I carried another bag filled with more copies of the book just in case one of the other retired educators might be interested in reading about the wild side of a woman better- known for creating teacher-friendly lessons and relevant curricular themes about the environment, California, the Olympics and Consumer Education.
After the initial greetings and hugs, the five of us were aware that everyone looked more rested and better groomed and attired than when last seen blowing whistles on elementary school playgrounds. Because I am the senior member and knew these “girls” when they were just starting their administrative careers, I was given the seat at the head of the table and besieged with questions about my book and requests to buy the copies I carry with me now wherever I go.
“It’s not 50 shades of gray hair,” I warned them before going into my spiel about senior sex and romance being the last taboo. Smart phone cameras came out of purses along with cash for copies of the book and help in spelling some of the names I hoped I was remembering to inscribe correctly.
Eva surpised me with a gift of beautiful Norwegian china saucers and a delicate ceramic box with a romantic couple painted on the lid. Her endorsement of my book meant so much to me, because at one time, she had been a nun. Now I could say that “Confessions of a Geriatric Prom Queen” had won the approval of a former Sister Eva and retired Rabbi Jerry.
I checked off the stories that had to do with my years as a teacher and the two stories about Charlotte, my best friend, who had hired these women when they were young teachers and died before seeing them advance professionally. She would have been so pleased to see how they had progressed under her leadership, and she would have been tickled by the two stories I wrote about her.
The dessert tray of fancy tarts was the perfect ending to a very sweet reunion.