Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, January 4, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 8


Mountain Views-News Saturday, December 7, 2019 




Alverno Heights Academy

200 N. Michillinda Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 355-3463 Head of School: Julia V. Fanara

E-mail address:

Arcadia High School

180 Campus Drive Arcadia, CA 91007

Phone: (626) 821-8370, Principal: Brent Forsee

Arroyo Pacific Academy

41 W. Santa Clara St. Arcadia, Ca, 

(626) 294-0661 Principal: Phil Clarke

E-mail address:

Barnhart School

240 W. Colorado Blvd Arcadia, Ca. 91007

(626) 446-5588 

Head of School: Ethan Williamson

Kindergarten - 8th grade


Bethany Christian School

93 N. Baldwin Ave. Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 355-3527 

Preschool-TK-8th Grade

Principal: Dr. William Walner

website: www.

Clairbourn School

8400 Huntington Drive

San Gabriel, CA 91775

Phone: 626-286-3108 ext. 172

FAX: 626-286-1528


Foothill Oaks Academy

822 E. Bradbourne Ave., Duarte, CA 91010

(626) 301-9809

Principal: Nancy Lopez

Frostig School

971 N. Altadena Drive Pasadena, CA 91107

(626) 791-1255

Head of School: Jenny Janetzke


The Gooden School

192 N. Baldwin Ave. Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 355-2410 

Head of School, Jo-Anne Woolner


High Point Academy

1720 Kinneloa Canyon Road 

Pasadena, Ca. 91107 

Head of School: Gary Stern 626-798-8989


La Salle College Preparatory

3880 E. Sierra Madre Blvd. Pasadena, Ca. 

(626) 351-8951 website:

Principal Mrs. Courtney Kassakhian

Monrovia High School

325 East Huntington Drive, Monrovia, CA 91016 

(626) 471-2800 Principal Darvin Jackson


Odyssey Charter School

725 W. Altadena Dr. Altadena, Ca. 91001

(626) 229-0993 Head of School: Lauren O’Neill


Pasadena High School

2925 E. Sierra Madre Blvd. Pasadena, Ca. 

(626) 396-5880 Principal: Roberto Hernandez


St. Rita Catholic School

322 N. Baldwin Ave. Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

Principal Joan Harabedian (626) 355-9028 


Sierra Madre Elementary School

141 W. Highland Ave, Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 355-1428 Principal: Lindsay Lewis

E-mail address:

Sierra Madre Middle School 

160 N. Canon Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 836-2947 Principal: Garrett Newsom

E-mail address:

Walden School

74 S San Gabriel Blvd

Pasadena, CA 91107 (626) 792-6166

Weizmann Day School

1434 N. Altadena Dr. Pasadena, Ca. 91107

(626) 797-0204

Lisa Feldman: Head of School

Wilson Middle School

300 S. Madre St. Pasadena, Ca. 91107

(626) 449-7390 Principal: Ruth Esseln

E-mail address:

Pasadena Unified School District

351 S. Hudson Ave., Pasadena, Ca. 91109

(626) 396-3600 Website:

Arcadia Unified School District

234 Campus Dr., Arcadia, Ca. 91007

(626) 821-8300 Website:

Monrovia Unified School District

325 E. Huntington Dr., Monrovia, Ca. 91016

(626) 471-2000 


Duarte Unified School District

1620 Huntington Dr., Duarte, Ca. 91010



Arcadia Christian School

1900 S. Santa Anita Avenue Arcadia, CA 91006

Preschool - and TK - 8th Grade



Principal: Cindy Harmon


[Nyerges is the author of many books, such as “How to Survive Anywhere,” “Self-
Sufficient Home,” and “Foraging California.” Information about his classes is 
available from] 


It was a Saturday afternoon, and I was sipping organic coffee at Bean Town, the 
nexus of Sierra Madre, talking with Bean Town’s resident artist, Steve Hardy. I 
was telling Steve about a book that I’ve slowly been writing, about certain childhood 
incidents. When my family used to get together for the holidays, it seems we began to recall 
some of the painful memories of childhood, but, in the retelling, we found them hilarious. These 
were stories about our parents, the neighbor-hood, adventures, and various light criminal activities 
of some of our friends and associates. I finally began to write these down, one at a time, a series of 
vignettes whose only purpose was to record that time in our Pasadena neighborhood.

I told Steve that I wanted the writing to be very honest.

“I knew that I was not the Alpha male of the neighborhood,” I explained. I was not the quickest, 
the brightest, nor the best looking. I was just someone who was trying to survive in a world where 
everyone else seemed brighter and more able than me, and they all seemed to be in on some great 
secret that eluded me.

“I did my very best to tell my side of the story as honestly as possible,” I explained to Steve, without 
pretending that I was always brave, or that I always knew what was going on. I found that hard look 
at truth very sobering, but also very liberating. And I began to see my childhood associates in a new 
light, when I really worked to be as objective as possible when I recalled cer-tain incidents. 

For example, one of the childhood bullies, whom I always feared, was always seen as a tough guy 
always trying to have a fight. But when I encountered him many years later, and talked with him, 
and listened to him, I realized that he was not a bully at all. I began to put the pieces togeth-er and 
saw that he himself had been bullied and traumatized by his parents, and he then project-ed that 
out to the other children in the neighborhood. I saw that his seeming bullyness was a re-sult of his 
own deep-seated fears and insecurities. Of course, none of that changed what original-ly happened 
between us, but it did give me greater empathy towards his life situation.

Another childhood friend was often the Alpha Male, the one who knew the answer to every question. 
Unlike all the rest of us, supposedly, he always knew how to do things, how to fix things, and 
how to talk with girls. I always enjoyed his company because I could look up to him and learn 
things, even though I knew there were a lot of things I wasn’t actually learning from him. I just enjoyed 
the experience. I worked at recording many of our experiences together, and in my objective 
(as objective as possible) telling of the tale, I realized that Mr. Alpha Male was also very insecure, 
and displayed lots of puffery and pretending, masquerading as knowledge and experience. I realized 
that mostly in retrospect, but it came through in my writings where I described some of our 

I told Steve that I actually shared some of these writing with this Mr. Alpha, who I thought would 
laugh with me and enjoy it. Not at all! He was a bit cold, telling me that he hoped I would never 
publish it and that it was not the way he remembered those incidents. 

Steve Hardy found this point very illuminating, especially as we were also discussing the need to 
review one’s life each New Year, and to find ways to do better. You can only improve yourself if you 
are able to objectively look at your own weaknesses.

But sometimes, we internally re-write our own personal histories, making ourselves more heroic, 
and stronger, and quicker, and more proactive, than we actually were. This led Steve and I into a 
fascinating discussion about the nature of human history, and how no two historians are ever in 
complete agreement, especially when it comes to the fine details of historical events. Steve pointed 
out that my friend was a classic example of why this is so –we desperately want to have been good 
people in all ways, even if we were not. 

Still, it is the truth that sets us free, and when we cling to our own chosen wanna-be histories, we 
become slaves to our own lies.

As we continued our discussion, Steve worked away on his latest art piece, an approximately 4 foot 
by 4 foot blue and gold abstract, which I was very sure was going to be called “Running from the 
secrets of my past into the Golden Light of Truth.” However, the title was a bit long for Steve to fit 
onto the margin of his art piece, so he only signed and dated it, and left the sub-ject matter up to the 
imagination of the viewer.

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: