of Buena High School.
time when surf was up, homework last minute, Volkswagons cool, Foster Freeze
a happening, dress codes really existed and “bitch’n”
was the in teen talk.
This page was contributed Kaye
share their moments and send their love…..
“I just had this
What a crazy time
heaven is going to be now that Roper Penn" has arrived.God
will certainly have his hands full.”
by Penn from my 1965 Yearbook:
fun because it is the only was to go.This
is not the end,Roper Penn”
Most of us have
no idea where the nick-name “Roper” came from, but I always remembered
and found it interesting that “Penn” actually was named after the famous
pioneer Quaker “William Penn”.Funny,
how we remember such trivia from our youth.
Penn was someone
you always wanted for a friend.He
had a way of finding humor, where sometimes is didn’t seem to exist.He
could laugh at himself as quickly as he could laugh with others.
Penn and I truly
became good friends during our senior year when we sat next to each other
in Mr. Stite’s drama class. Penn was at his finest in theatre.As
this was a drama class, we all were required to “act” or perform on stage,
memorizing various scenes from plays.Well
of course Penn was hardly one to take time “memorizing” any scene…..he
had his own “play”.
Penn would stand
on stage, and proceed to “act out” a very funny scene from a supposed script
he had at home.Of course Mr. Stites,
or anyone for that matter had never heard of a play called; “The Rogues”.But
Penn’s play was so unique and creative, Mr. Stites let the show roll on.This
continued for the entire year, Penn’s newly created dramas, and Mr. Stites
requesting a copy of the original play after each performance. We
all knew the truth, Penn wrote, directed and ad-libbed “The Rogues”and
Mr. Stites never got a copyof the
play.It was great, nobody cared!
Late summer of
1964, a local scandal hit all the southern California newspapers, as witnesses
saw a “drive-by” shooting of Buena student Buster Brown.The
then “innocent” victim was swept off the ground and immediately hoisted
into a blue VW bug, whisked away – could that blue bug have been the one
and only “Roper’s”?The next day
members of the senior football team were temporarily suspended as a result
of the prank.One witness screamed
and fainted.In those days Ventura
did not have drive-by shootings!
Penn was smart,
real smart.While the rest of us
would study hours for upcoming tests, Penn would fan the book, ask a couple
of questions and get an “A”.I always
had to study just to get a B. Bummer.
During our senior
year, Penn’s Parents often left on lecture tours (both his parents were
world famous psychologists – this I learned only when my college psychology
Professor would often quote Dr. & Dr. Goertzel”).But….as
the saying goes; “while the cats away, ………”.Penn’s
parent free house was party central – not outlandish, but Sunday mornings
the place was filled with empty beer cans (ok so beer is not that wild
by today’s standards). It was a nice place to cruise by on a weekend.
of Penn’s was that he was a good listener.He
was someone to talk to, and someone who would listen.He
was kind to others.I don’t recall
him ever speaking poorly of someone else.Often
he showed compassion unique to “teenagers”.
Penn did manage
to attend our 1985 class reunion, the first time in 20 years we all had
a chance to talk to him and renew valued friendships.I
never personally spoke to him again.We
began an e-mail friendship early in the summer of 2000.I
was working on our 35 year class reunion.Penn
really wanted to attend – it was important.He
planned up to the last couple of weeks, but his health dictated otherwise.I
treasure every e-mail he sent. He still had the wonderful capacity to write
with flair, and make you feel special.
Penn, you truly
are missed. The legacy you
left behind, will continue to enrich the world of others.
We love you,
Dear Fellow Buena
What a loss to
all of us.
Penn was a conscience
for our class and truly did hear a different drum, I think.I
even remember him from Anacapa days and was in awe of that independence
I could see even as he sauntered down the sidewalk
to school with his hands in his pockets.
I remember Penn
with his young face and healthy body and I know God has returned him to
that beautiful condition.
Thanks to his
family for adding their son to our youthful lives.We
share in your sorrow but add the remembrances of young Penn's high school
years to our own memories and offer our promise to take joy in them.
A classmate who
Having to give
up someone we love is never easy.No
matter how good life has
Been or how fond
the memories, the time is never enough.
Initially we are
overwhelmed by the loss, and only after the grief has eased are we able
Find comfort in
how much we gained from the years we had together.
So sorry to hear
this news. I started thinking
about my life as a young "foolish" (but fun) teen and some of the good
times I had with Penn.
The parties at
the house on the hill overlooking the ocean, the road trips Penn, Curt,
and I took in the Volkswagen "bug" Penn owned.Some
really fun memories.
At this point
in my life I most regret not keeping in touch with old friends and even
family.In retrospect, I admire
Penn for all the friends he had, he will surly be missed.The
part of the e-mail that really touched me was about Sandy and Penn always
there for one
another.I always thought Sandy was
a very special person.
Just got the news
I never wanted to hear. If only he could have made the reunion. I would
have given anything to see Penn one more time.
My first introduction
We were at Anacapa
Junior High, during lunch, and I was in a arm wrestle with some kid I don't
remember, and wasn't doing very good, so Penn steps in and shows me how
to lock your elbow, etc. About this time the table we were using fell apart
and Penn and I fell to the concrete: well about this time Mr. McFadden
shows up and thinks we are in a fight and hauls us off to the office. The
only question they kept asking me was, "why do they call him Roper Penn"???
The school thought
he was some kind of girl romancer and wanted to know the connotation behind
"Roper" I'm not sure if I ever
really knew the definition of Roper!!!!!!!!!! That could be a good line
for the Book!!
If you see Sandy,
please tell her how sorry I am and give her a big hug for me.
I am sooo sorry
.Penn must have had to fight hard
these past years.Hopefully his pain
is over and he can help all of us who loved him to deal with the loss of
having him around.
It is truly hard
to believe that the "Roper" is gone.He
was such a fun loving guy that we all loved for who he was and for his
approach to life.
The time is passing
quickly, so we should all enjoy each and every day.
When I got the
news, I was deeply sadden and yet I have not seen Penn in so many years.
The bonding that
took place at Buena in those early year was extremely special and his passing
presents a reality that is not necessarily pleasant - a reality that the
end is closer than we want to believe.
May God comfort
his family during this difficult time.
I just had this
thought -what a crazy time heaven
is going to be now that Roper Penn" has arrived.God
will certainly have his hands full.
I was very sad
to hear about Penn.I did not know
him well, personally, but I remember his shy smile.And
I remember how much fun he had in class with his pals, and again that shy
smile.Those are the kinds of memories
that stand out about high school.I
will be writing his family to let them know
how sorry I am
for their loss.
Thanks for the
news on Penn. I got in touch with him after many, many years thru the reunion
you guys put on. We e-mailed severaltimes
and he told me his story which was all new to me of course.
I can never think
of him without thinking of Sandy and of Glenn.
Seems those three
would be somehow together forever.
Please tell Sandy
how sorry I am for her. She and Penn had a special relationship for most
of their lives. I'm sure it's hard for her.
to the office to receive your sad news. I knew from Sandy that things were
difficult, but did not anticipate this result
I told Sandy that
it is so strange, that on the 18th I was folding laundry from Krista and
Kara's (granddaughters) visit, and as I was folding one of the beach towels,
I was thinking about how
it was a wedding
gift from Penn in 1965. It was a good one, and has held up nicely. I still
have some albums autographed by "Roper Penn," which will mean even more,
Thanks so much
for letting me know; I will send a card along to Penn's family.
Penn's death is
so sad. I really thought he would make it you know. He was a sweetheart.
He had e-mailed me once last year and sounded pretty hopeful about everything!
Thanks. My heart
goes out to you in the loss of your friend, Penn. Hewas
such a talented person who touched many lives; even mine from so long ago.
Such sad news
and he was so young. I didn't know Penn well in school.The
reason he stands out in memory was his friendliness -- not just to those
in his circle of friends, but to everyone.At
our ages then, that was really a gift.
was so very sad...yet, also having
not been real close in high school but having communicated with Penn "after"
the reunion that we both missed,I
was aware of his need for the transplant and I feel very
It was so sad
to get the news about Penn. I
remember him as always being such a nice person and so kind to everybody.
How true that
we take our lives so much for granted and it takes a death of a friend
for us to stop and realize how precious life is.
My thoughts and
prayers go out to Penn's family and friends.
I am so sorry
to read about.I was not close to
him in school, but everyone knew of him because of this great personality,
good looks and somewhat risque behavior.
I learned about
his health problem at the Class Reunion last year and like everyone else
there, wished and hopedfor the best.
The old saying
is right, "you think you have problems untilyou
hear about someone else's".
Please give his
family and close friends my sincere sympathy. Love,
I'd pass along something we have used in the past and have found helpful
when thinking of someone's passing.
we keep what is precious and most special as treasures in our hearts forever".
To me, it means
that although a person may physically no longer be with us, by remembering
the good times, the details of life with that person, they don't seem so
far away and it gives a warm and fuzzy to remember the fun and happy times.
gift was humor. He could make anyone laugh, and when necessary even laugh
Roper was one
of those individuals you wish you would have spent more time with. He left
Thank you, for
the note about Penn...I am so sorry to hear and will send a card to his
Penn was so lucky
to have remade so many classmates as a friend in his last year.
I'm so sorry I
had lost touch with him for so many years.
It hard thinking
about those we once knew passing away, and never having the opportunity
to talk with them again.May the
Lord be a comfort to their families during these times.
Went to the Memorial
service for Penn over the weekend, and it was very good and had a very
large turn out.I'm very glad that
Susan and I attended.
I really didn't
know what a taleneted person Penn was, I was in total amazement of all
of his achievements, and all of his high and low periods.
He surely was
a great person to know and I feel honored that I know the Great “Roper
Gale and Sandy;It
was great seeing you two shoppers !!!!We'll
do it again soon, I'm sure....
If you have the
chance, please stop by the web site that his brothers have created for
I don't have all
the email addresses for the class of 65', so you might if you want, please
pass his web site along to others..
Ted & Susan
Continue here to Messages
from Penn's Friends other than those from Buena High School.