Former students from near and far reunite for educator's...

April 25, 2004

Former students from near and far reunite for educator's birthday

Students of longtime Newport-Mesa teacher Garlan Wetzel, who

turned 82 Friday, threw a big reunion Saturday in honor of their

favorite teacher. "Wetzel's Pretzels," as they called themselves,

picked their former educator up at his Costa Mesa home in a yellow

school bus and escorted him to a party in his honor at the Chicken

Coop, in Newport Beach.


The fourth- and fifth-grade elementary school teacher was so well

loved that nearly 40 students from his 1957-58 classes at the former

Lindbergh Elementary School in Costa Mesa came to the reunion dinner.

Some traveled from as far as North Carolina, Mississippi and Utah to

see him.

Wetzel taught in numerous Newport-Mesa schools from 1953 until his

retirement in 1983 and served as principal of the former Bayview

School by John Wayne Airport, known as Orange County Airport at the


-- Lolita Harper

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