…Cruisin’ the Main with Shannon Small


Las Lomas High School
Senior year
A Triangle… you know the kind. The one in the middle, friends with the girl from Texas and the girl from Down Under. But the girl from Texas and the girl from Down Under can’t stand each other… why? Who knows?
 
Las Lomas High School
Rally in the Gym… girl from Texas and girl from Down Under sitting in the bleachers waiting for their mutual friend to show up… and then out of nowhere… a nose bleed…yep, a nose bleed. The girl from Down Under heads for the bathroom and close behind her is the girl from Texas, going along to help…  two people who couldn’t really stand being anywhere near each other, suddenly share a life changing moment… from that day on the girl from Down Under (that would be me) and the girl from Texas (that would be Shannon Small) became life long friends. 
 
Shannon became the kind of friend that is always there to pickup right where you left off. She has been part of many of the special mile-stones of my life. My American teenage years are peppered with memories of time spent at Shannon’s place. Her parents Pat and Jeanne Small  were a role model for me, of what a loving marriage looked like. Being an artist myself, I had more in common with Shan’s very talented sister Sara, and yet I was best friends with Shan. She may not have her sister’s flare with a colored pencil or a paint brush but Shan’s creativity has a uniqueness that touched my life in many, many ways. 
 
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 Shannon is the keeper of my earliest memories of Life in Walnut Creek. She was my tutor of all things American High School… “Cruising the Main”, “Homecoming”, “The Walnut Festival”, “Boys”, “Grad Night”, “Pinkies Pizza” and night Skiing. Walnut Creek has grown up over the years, just like Shan and I. Today, Walnut Creek is more than the typical small hometown so often depicted in the movies I used to watch as a kid longing to go to California.Today Walnut Creek sits right between San Francisco, San Jose, and Sacramento. The famous Napa Valley wine region is less than an hour away. While just a couple of hours drive to the east, is spectacular Lake Tahoe and the historic gold country in the Sierra Foothills,
 
Shan was one of my bride’s maids, and she is Auntie Noannie to my kids. She is the voice of reason, the sounding board, the champion of trying something new and scary… After my Divorce, Shan encouraged me to try on-line dating… even helped me set up my profile…. and because of her I was out there on the internet where Mike Hill winked at me. A few phone calls and dates later, Mike and I were off to the fun-filled future we share today. When my daughter got married, Shan had the distinction of officiating the wedding. 
 
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Shan lives in San Luis Obispo with her partner Sue. We both live very busy lives and even though we can’t spend as much time with each other as we would like, we share the one thing you can’t buy… memories, time, and true friendship. She is like a second mom to my kids and oldest friend I have the pleasure of sharing my life with. And it all began at Las Lomas High School, Walnut Creek, CA
…and what ever happened to the one in the middle, Leslie?… neither one of us knows. We lost track of her.
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About Rita Norman (Yeraka)

Artist, Poet, Gardner, Writer . . . sharing an extraordinary world with everyone I meet. Daughter, Mother, Wife, Best Friend . . . loving life in Walnut Creek and around the SF Bay Area.

Posted on April 24, 2013, in Friends and Family, Life in Walnut Creek, Photo and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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