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If you grew up in LO

LO Facebook page brings happy days of past into the present
by: vERN UYETAKE Former Lake Oswego home economics teacher Patty Reilly now has fun by the hour catching up with hundreds of her former students on Facebook.

Patty Reilly has found a pastime that is absolutely fascinating.

In fact, it is so fascinating, she now stays up until 2 a.m. in the morning.

Reilly's new joy is the Facebook page, 'If you grew up in LO you remember when…,' and it means fun, fun, fun until daddy takes your computer away.

'It is just so interesting,' Reilly said. 'When I heard about the Facebook page, I was intrigued. It is a way to see what people have done with their lives.'

The fun all started last August. She discovered an unknown person had started an open group on Facebook. The site is so interesting, it's phenomenal and also irresistible. In just three days more than 1,400 members joined up, and the number is now is pushing toward 1,900.

'One memory triggers another memory and on it goes,' Reilly said. 'People are writing a tapestry of Lake Oswego life.'

Reilly might have a bigger part of this tapestry than anybody. She estimates that about 10,000 Lake Oswego High School students walked through the doors of her home economics classroom for 32 years, from 1968 to 2000, and many of the Facebook page members are her former students. They are just as thrilled about the site as Reilly.

'Some of Patty's students went on to achieve greatness in homemaking,' said Chris Brynelson of Lake Oswego. 'I'm not one of them. My husband is a great cook.'

Still, Brynelson, a 1975 graduate of Lake Oswego High School, has great memories of growing up in Lake Oswego and loves the group.

'I like the way there is such a wide range of membership, everyone from the 1950s to 2000,' Brynelson said. 'Having such a large group of classes is cool. It brings back such memories. It's a shared history. A lot of people miss Lake Oswego who have moved away and wish they were still here.'

The only rule for the site is: Keep it fun.

'Only one person tried to get political on the site,' Brynelson said. 'He got shut down very quickly. It was, 'Not here, not any way, not any how.' People want it to be fun, not political.'

Maggie Palmblad, Lakeridge class of '73, is now working harder than she ever has in her life, breeding labradoodle puppies in Tualatin. The Facebook page brings back her joy of high school and her joy at getting out of high school.

'I was surprised I graduated from high school,' Palmblad admitted. 'I was not the sharpest crayon in the box. I have a lot of fun having fun and I love people.'

It was a year ago that Mari-Faye Palumbis Karambelas of Beaverton first clicked onto the page and 'I saw all of these familiar faces.'

Karambelas, Lakeridge class of 1979, kept on clicking. Not only to reminisce with old friends but to find out about other Oswegan graduates.

'There are a lot of fun memories for sure,' Karambelas said. 'It was fun to see what they're doing now. There are also so many people I don't know, both younger and older.'

Karambelas well remembers going downtown with her little brother and thinking nothing of it.

'We were completely safe. Those were different times,' she said. 'Lake Oswego was a nice, nurturing place to grow up. Everybody knew everybody. I think Lake Oswego still has a small-town feel.'

Memories are found on every corner when you visit 'If you grew up in Lake Oswego.'

n In a scene straight out of 'Animal House,' horses were put into the principal's office at Lakeridge High School. 'I don't think that could happen today,' Karambelas commented.

n The clever students who brought in car parts into the school library, then reassembled them into a car. This is also a prank that would be difficult to duplicate today.

n LO natives remember fresh milk delivered by the milkman and mail being delivered twice a day.

n The teacher who made students shiver - 'Gosh, she was mean!'

n Open Seas Tavern, fondly remembered as 'a complete dive.'

n Remorse over throwing eggs on Halloween.

n Crazy people who bought pets on the black market.

n Newton's Ice Cream, Lord's Variety Store, Piggly Wiggly and Giant Burger - the last one is still there after all of these years.

'It just goes on and on and on,' Reilly said. 'It's such a small world.'

The past was a blast, and now it is fun again because Lake Oswegans past and present are not just sharing memories but rebuilding old friendships by meeting up at Laker and Pacer ballgames and at restaurants. Brynelson said that her group of friends plans to have Reilly as a guest of honor at one of their upcoming happy hours.

Reilly's only problem with the Facebook page is that she often stays up late viewing the site. But it's worth it.

She said, 'When you read this, you realize you had some kind of impact.'