Ronald Alexander Pavellas Berkeley High School Class of June 1953

Ronald Alexander Pavellas
Berkeley High School
Class of June 1953

He was everything I wasn’t: big, strong, athletic, blonde, popular, wealthy, and stupid.

We were both seniors at Berkeley High, but I was 15 and he was 17. He drove a new convertible; I rode a bicycle to school.

Why he chose me as the object of his disaffection was not fully clear to me, but my refusal to pay obeisance to him probably figured in the equation.

He had a twin brother who joined the action once in a while. At the coffee shop, one of them tipped my coffee over, flooding the counter and my lap, saying: “I’m Mormon and we don’t believe in drinking coffee.” As punishment for my loud and profane objection to this, he and his cronies pantsed me during one of the most humiliating days of my life, in full view of all those full-bodied, angora-sweatered girls who never otherwise noticed me.

I wondered what caused these brothers to focus their attention on me. Perhaps I did, or didn’t, fit a stereotype for them. Perhaps I engendered cognitive dissonance in them which they couldn’t resolve except by violence. I’ll accept that as the reason.

Nothing to forgive at this point. While being queried about attending the 60th reunion, set a few years early because 25% of us were already dead, I learned that one of the brothers was in the 25%.

I didn’t make the trek from Stockholm to Berkeley for the reunion.