Barbara Larsen Cummings

Profile Updated: February 1, 2017
Barbara Larsen
Barbara Larsen

Then

Barbara Larsen

Now

Barbara Larsen

Yearbook

Yes! Attending Reunion
Residing In: Laguna Niguel, CA USA
Spouse/Partner: John
Occupation/s: Middle School Language Arts teacher, Irvine Unified School District - retired
Children: John Russell Cummings, born 1969
Grandchildren:

Kenley Grace Cummings, born 1996
Carson John Cummings, born 2002

Birthplace:

Chicago, Illinois

Life Journey:

After high school I attended Fullerton J. C. where I earned an A. A. degree. During that time I worked at the Steak House at Knott’s Berry Farm, which was much more lucrative than Judy’s clothing store, and was runner-up in the Miss Buena Park contest. The summer before I was to transfer to SDSU, I rekindled my relationship with John Cummings, who I met during Spring Break of my junior year at Savanna. He had just graduated with a double business major from CSUF and was starting his career in management. After the summer of 1968, we eloped and moved to the San Fernando Valley, the armpit of L. A.!

In 1969, our son Johnny was born and I enrolled at CSU Northridge where I earned a B.S. in Communicative Disorders, (speech pathology) in 1973, and my teaching credential in 1974.
We moved back to Orange County in 1973 and purchased our first home in Tustin. Johnny started kindergarten and I landed my first teaching position with the La Habra City School District where I worked with language handicapped k-3rd graders.

In 1975 we sold our first home and moved to Anaheim Hills where we stayed for 13 years. During this time I went back to school again and got my M.S. ed. and two more credentials from CSUF. Our son, Johnny turned out to be quite the athlete. He developed into a great left handed pitcher throughout little league and high school. After being scouted by several college and professional teams, he decided to take a full ride to U. S. C. After his sophomore year at SC, the Seattle Mariner’s drafted him. Three seasons in the minor leagues lead to a spot on Seattle’s major league team. From there he played with the L. A. Dodgers. On the night of our 30th high school reunion the Dodgers were in San Diego playing for the Western Division Title. From there he went to the Detroit Tigers. He had arthroscopy on his shoulder and left baseball to complete his coursework and received his B.A. in Communications from U.S.C.

By 1988, my husband was itching to move south again, so we sold our Anaheim Hills house and moved to Laguna Niguel where we reside today. I was lucky to get a teaching position at a middle school in Irvine Unified School District. My position was school speech and language specialist for the first few years; then switched to regular ed. as a language arts teacher for grades 7 & 8. In 2007 I represented my school as its’ Teacher of the Year. I loved my 22 years in Irvine and retired in 2010 after a 35-year career in public education.

During our time in South County, our son married and had two children, Kenley and Carson. He is recently remarried and lives at the end of the peninsula in Newport Beach with his lovely wife Allison. Johnny has worked with some of the local high school baseball teams over the past few years as well assist the coach of Carson’s Little League team. He currently works with Nth Technology, which I cannot fully explain what they do. Kenley is a freshman at Irvine Valley College and works part-time at Nordstrom.

My parents, Russ and Leona Larsen, whom I love and miss dearly, adopted me as an infant. In 2008, after 8 months of rigorous searching through the legal system of Illinois, I located members of my birth family. I have met my sister’s daughters and a first cousin with whom I have a great relationship. This journey has brought me great joy as well as closure to the many questions I’ve had during my life about who I am-- another long story.
I love retirement and have kept busy with different philanthropy work with the Assistance League of Capistrano Valley. I read with two book clubs, travel with my husband, and spend time with my darling grandchildren. I serve on the Women’s Ministry Board and quilting group at our church. Kathleen Daulton and I have remained close friends over the past 51 years. She is God Mother to my son Johnny. We still have a cat and a dog (more children). This October, John and I will celebrate 47 wonderful years of marriage. Believe me, I consider myself blessed.

Working on the 50th reunion committee has helped me reconnect with friends I haven’t seen in many years. I have come to realize how much I have enjoyed this process and want to continue to celebrate the unique history we all share.

Favorite Teacher:

The teacher who inspired me the most is Mr. Szarek, my senior English teacher. I am still fascinated with the York / Lancaster cousins war.
I also still remember parts of Hamlet's soliloquy that he required us to memorize, recite and write. I thought about his teaching style when I made similar requirements (Oh, Captain, My Captain) of my 8th grade students.
I spoke with Mr. Szarek on the phone recently; he is doing well and living in Edmond, WA.

Most Memorable Moment at School:

One of my most memorable moments was making an absolute fool of myself trying to remember my part in a Girls League assembly which Madeline Bass had written for this once-a-year competition. My mind went blank, which was all the more ridiculous.

The other most memorable moment was the first night of the drill team Spring Show, and hoping I wouldn't forget how to jump in and out of the long, bamboo poles that were part of the routine. I guess I learned my lesson about practicing by then.

Favorite 60's Entertainment:

I probably saw Gidget 10 times at the Buena Park theater. Later on I enjoyed films like Love Story, A Summer Place, and Dr. Zhivago If a movie was showing at the drive-in, forget it; I can't remember one movie I ever saw.
The music of The Beatles, Beachboys, The Rolling Stones, Janice Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Bobby Darin, and The Mama's and the Papa's all bring back fond memories.
I remember watching The Man From Uncle, American Bandstand, Soupy Sales, Donna Reed, Leave it to Beaver, and, I Love Lucy. I finally gave up on Rin Tin Tin, but still loved Lassie.

Summer of 1965:

After graduation my dad got me a job with one of his dealers, Zody's, since in order to get to go to FJC in the fall I had to pay my parents weekly rent. After a summer of working with that group of weird adults, I figured out how to get a better job at Judy's at the Buena Park Mall. I loved working there, but could not afford the clothes.
Most of my free time was spent at the beach, hanging out with Kathleen and friends, and dating my soon to be ex-boyfriend a Servite alum.

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Hello to all, Yes, my facebook page was hacked. Thanks to Skip Johnson for getting word to me through Kathleen, I posted a message on my page Tuesday afternoon alerting those who might be contacted by the hacker. If you are unfriendling me I understand.

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