Back to 1976

Photo essay: Unplanned visit to my boarding school

by Jahanshah Javid
14-Nov-2008 Founded in 1889, The Thacher School is a coeducational boarding high school located 85 miles northwest of Los Angeles, California. The School serves academically talented students who will benefit from a rigorous college preparatory experience. The faculty and students live and work closely together in a community in which cooperation, trust, honesty, and respect are the cornerstones of school life >>>

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by kambizmehrjou (not verified) on

I reallly miss those days.I used to live in Ojai as well and going to villanova was the best part of my life and I still love to go back to villanova and Ojai and most probebly I will do that very soon.I know lots of old friends want to go with me and refresh some old memories.
keep in touch and by the way I loved the photos.



Mortezaa jan salam be to

by Ghaffar Namjou (not verified) on

Mortezaa jan salam,

I am so sorry you feel that way, but I am glad you got it out of your chest. Listen my friend we were what 15 going onto 16 years of age then, and so oblivious of our actions.

Everyone goes through some kind of bitter experience through their teen hood. Do you recall Torang Birangy? I used to despise his sarcastic jokes and all that teasing and mockery that he constantly used to put me through those high school years. And I may add that some of his actions caused me mental trauma in later years. But as I grow older and matured I realized one thing. Tourang truly didn’t mean to be so tormenting, but he learn to be that way because he thought he was being funny and wanted attract attention.

Tourang and I crossed path on the net five years ago and when I got to talk to him over the phone, he was not the 15 year old Tourang, rather a very mature, caring, personable friend. Right then, I was so impressed with his pleasant personality that all those past bitter experiences suddenly disappeared. We have become good friends and email each other often. I even went to Houston just to visit him and his family, and we had a grand time there.

So, you see Mortezaa we have to let go of the past and forgive each other for what took place. In general, we all need to strive to become a better person by forgiving, forgetting and try to be good friends for one another. Remember this (forgiveness is the fragrance of crushed violets up on the hill). And please take this to heart from me to you for the rest of your life, because it would come in handy. Also remember (to take revenge, one must dig two graves). Therefore, it is lot sweeter to forgive than to take revenge. I am more than willing to make it up to you and do what is necessary to win your friendship. Just let me know what?

I like to think that I have matured to realize that one of the most important things in life is having good friends for the rest of our lives. Unfortunately this revolution flushed us all down into the sewage with it. And we all have become some-what homeless just going through the motions and pretending that we are living. So you see, us (Iranian-Villanovans) only have each other to support and help emotionally.

By the way, Torang has created a Web base email just for us Iranian-Villanovans, to have contact with each other. We all have fun emailing each other with jokes and political satire. I like to invite you to join us and have you put into our email list with the rest of us. So I won’t take NO for an answer Mortezaa, hurry up and email me soon, I am waiting.

Your friend,



Ghaffar jaan bazam salaam

by Mortezaa (not verified) on

I love to reopen the friendship but to be honest with you, I am afraid. I know you were young and inexperience, but I can't afford to go through what you put me through again. Ever since that lost, I am suspicious of all male friends. I am currently with my girlfriend since 1998. I have a feeling as soon as you show up, you might snatch her away from me again. I am sorry my dear friend to decline your request. Be safe and happy. It was good to hear from you though.


Dear Marge...

by Khar on

Check out my latest post. Thanks for the link, she is trying to cash in on the celeb status!

I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek

Khar!!!! You are the best! Even at music

by I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek on

I didn't think anyone still appreciated Ian Anderson's music! Thank you!!! Post more blogs! I miss you. Did you see the pics of Sarah Palin drinking margaritas at the hotel pool in Miami?

try this site //

Iranian Reader

Good heavens, after Iran...!

by Iranian Reader on

I remember going to a picturesque (so it seemed in comparison!) junior college in CA after highschool in Iran and I thought this can't be serious. Pretty places just didn't go together with real education. I suppose you didn't study much at Thacher either!


shame on me

by Ghaffar Namjou (not verified) on

Mortezaa jan salam,

Of course, I remember you, how have you been? By the way shame on me for that mishap, I regret it to this day.

I am glad to hear from you, if my memory serves me right you and your brother resided in Santa Barbara after the graduation right?

I have a lot to catch up with you. Would you please email me (GNAMJOU@HOTMAIL.COM). In this way we can talk more in details.

Take good care of yourself,

Your friend Ghaffar


Salam Ghaffar

by Mortezaa (not verified) on

Believe it or not I know you. You are the guy from Isfahan who stole my girlfriend. Do you remember me?
Any news of her whereabouts? I sure miss those wonderful years.


I think boarding schools are

by Kablammad (not verified) on

I think boarding schools are always depressing. I don't know why but I can't seem to find happiness in children that go to these places. There are also horror stories of child molestations and so forth.

In these pictures even the walls are depressing and lifeless and without color. I don't know maybe it is me. I didn't go to a boarding school but was alone in my teens during highschool and college. Spent time with some Iranian teens. People I knew who went to boarding schools didn't seem happy mostly.

My first date was with a girl from a boarding school. That was very fun for me but again the girl seemed less lively. That was just a one time date and I really enjoyed being on a date. Don't remember if we went on another date or not.


Good job JJ

by amirkabear4u on

for sharing these pictures. As a matter of interest did you have to get visa for US back then or not?


Very true

by call me a cynic (not verified) on

Mr JJ, if you allow me I would modify your so true quote, " serving is in our nation's blood"!
No offence intended.


Your Ojai valley high-schooler

by Ghaffa A. Namjou (not verified) on

Jahanshah hello,

It is Ghaffar your Ojai valley high-schooler. Do you recall? I attended Villanova back in 1977. You finally took my recommendation that I gave you five months ago (answering one of your articles), and visited your old high school Thacher. Good for you! How did it make you feel? I always get sentimental when visiting Villanova and wish I could go back in time once more.

Believe it or not I thought you were displaying my high school year book pictures in your photos. I swear some of those faces were just like my own class mates, but again back then we were all alike.

I loved the sports photos. I was always the goal keeper and we played Thacher twice in soccer, and sadly we lost both year. I loved the down-town Ojai because bunch of us Iranian students used to walk from Villanova to downtown to see movies and get some ice-cream and watch people. Did you know many movie stars used to live there? And many episodes of the six million dollar man were filmed there as well as the movie Smokey and the Bandit.

I can appreciate and identify with you being sent to a foreign land far away from home and having to try to blend and survive, specially in those critical teen years. I was 15 when I got to Villanova and encountered many interesting experiences.

I am glad to see your high school pictures and hope our path crosses some day so we could visit and exchange notes. I also wish you a very safe trip to Mexico!

Your friend, Ghaffar


سفر به خير!

simin khanum (not verified)

1976 was a very good year. It must have been hard to be 14 and being away from your home and your family. Drive carefully and stay well.
P.S. I like your shoes!



by Khar on

That's the year I too arrived in U.S. of A at the age 14. Your post made me dig out my high school yearbooks, Oh memories of yesteryear. Thanks Jahanshah!

PS. Man, we looked very cool back then didn’t we (perhaps little grayer now but we still look cool). Little Jethro Tull music for you right out of year 1976!

maziar 58


by maziar 58 on

even in 1976, nice pictures jj khan

 by the way flipping through them in # 27 it look like JA KAFSHI

Before entering masjed.!!    PEACE



Loved the pictures

by bahram9821 on


What a beautiful place, I can't even imagine how you felt at 14 in the new environment. Thanks for the lovely pictures.